Strategic Marketing Consultant focusing on digital media, travel & international commerce currently living in Los Angeles (Hollywood), I have lived in worked in (my hometown) New York City (New York Times), Paris (International Chamber of Commerce, the Principality of Monaco (V. Ships / Vlasov Group) and San Francisco (law.com). Graduated from the Fieldston School, Tufts University (B.A.) and the University of Virginia School of Law (J.D.). Enjoy traveling (have been on over 55 cruises), meeting interesting people from different cultures and backgrounds, reading, and theater.
Ships: Azamara Journey
First let me say that the ship is in excellent condition: my stateroom (a Concierge Balcony) was impeccably clean and more than adequate and the public areas look great. I initially chose this cruise because of its highly rated, gourmet specialty restaurant, the Olympic, where in the past I enjoyed the best means of any cruise line, better than the Queen's Grill on Cunard or Deluxe Category ships. While disappointed that this venue was changed to Tuscan Grill before I sailed, I decided not to cancel my booking: in terms of restaurant quality, that was a mistake. Tuscan Grill is far from gourmet, and lacked professional service; After experiencing 3 dinners there, I cancelled my future reservations and dined at the main restaurant, which was adequate, but due to size alone, not my preferred atmosphere. I lunched at their new Sushi on 5 venue, which was quite good but terribly overpriced (a la carte with no set menu option) as well as located off a busy corridor. Qsine is more for show than for food and I found my server and the maitre d'hotel to overplay their roles, bordering on rudeness (I went once & never again). My favorite daytime venue was Cafe al Bacio, for excellent specialty coffees and friendly service.
In booking Celebrity one needs to keep in mind that they do not claim to be more than a Premium Cruise Line, but clearly they are paying more attention to RCCL accountants than the marketing department or their guests. My advice would be to compare their pricing with that for Azamara and if at all possible book the latter as Celebrity has become little more than Royal Caribbean with a better veneer.
Let me start with what I think distinguishes the M/S Tere Moana of Paul Gauguin Cruises from other small, deluxe category cruise ships: An outstanding on board staff, professional and truly dedicated to guest satisfaction, who enjoy working together as a well coordinated team. This is reflected in an exceptionally fine passenger experience.
The food is outstanding, both in regard to the quality of the ingredients and preparation. The included alcoholic beverages are top shelf and the complimentary wine of high quality.
While I had a stateroom with a nice balcony, holding both a lounge chair and small table with 2 chairs for drinks or dining (there is a large and varied free room service menu) on deck 5, I have seen the other stateroom configurations on decks 3 & 4, all of which are of generous size (there are no inside staterooms). The bathrooms are fine & functional, with showers that have curved sliding doors, rather than the clingy shower curtains found on other ships, and the toiletries are L'Occitane.
The bed (king size or twin configurations) is extremely comfortable with bed linens of the highest quality.
The officers, including the Captain, enjoy mingling & sharing meals with the guests (on this voyage both the Captain & Staff Captain were from Sweden).
The shore excursion options were well planned.
to summarize, on the Tere Moana, Paul Gauguin cruises provides an outstanding cruise experience, which can be recommended with enthusiasm.
added Azamara Journey to their favorites on their profile.
added SeaDream Yacht Club to their favorites on their profile.
shared a quick tip for Celebrity Millennium"Don't waste your money by dining at Tuscan Grill: the main dining room is better. "
reviewed their Transpacific cruise on Celebrity Millennium and gave it 3 stars!
added Sep 2, 2016 cruise on Celebrity Millennium to their profile.
checked in for the roll call for Apr 30, 2017 cruise on Norwegian Jewel!
added Paul Gauguin Cruises to their favorites on their profile.
commented on a Celebrity Millennium cruise review. - "I'm currently aboard the Celebrity Millennium en route to Yokohama and from my experience 1) the food is excellent, 2) the cost of premium restaura..." read more