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Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise because we were visiting China and it fitted in with our timetable. Decided it was a great way to get home instead of flying and hadn’t done a Princess Cruise before. We spent 10 days prior to the cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were visiting China and it fitted in with our timetable. Decided it was a great way to get home instead of flying and hadn’t done a Princess Cruise before. We spent 10 days prior to the cruise exploring Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu and Shanghai. The embarkation and disembarkation were a credit to Princess Cruise as was the organization for each excursion. We enjoyed the variety of ports, the food in the main dining room was good, but the food in the Lido on deck 16 was average. It was only ever lukewarm and very repetitive. The entertainment in the theatre left a lot to be desired and the continuous days at sea were long. Other cruises have run workshops, seminars and information sessions, which were replayed on the tv in your room for you to watch if the coincided with other things. Unless you were into dancing, bingo or casino there was very little to do. The crew were fantastic and it is the first cruise we have done where all the crew appeared to be genuinely happy and getting on with each other. These negatives only relate to a small part of the cruise and I would not hesitate to do another Princess Cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We are experienced cruisers going back to the '80's. We prefer crossings and repositioning since most port visits are superficial at best. Substituting tour buses for luxury ship ambiance and tacky-tacky retail stops that seem ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers going back to the '80's. We prefer crossings and repositioning since most port visits are superficial at best. Substituting tour buses for luxury ship ambiance and tacky-tacky retail stops that seem to be about accommodating the local businesses rather than providing the cruiser any real opportunities. Thus the itinerary from Seward to Tokyo with stops in unusual way ports caught our fancy. Our Virtuoso Travel Agent forewarned us that Azamara was not quite up to true top notch all inclusive lines and that we would in particular find the cabin bathrooms small. All in all it sounded worth trying. We took the "unlimited package" which provided top shelf beverages, unlimited internet access (disappointingly slow and erratic). and three alternate dining experiences. Worst aspect of the experience was a feeling of overcrowded spaces. This was particularly so in the buffet area at prime lunch and dinner where seating was difficult to secure and the space between buffet lines was severely clogged. Food quality was better than you now get on mass market lines like HAL but not as good as we have had on Crystal, Windstar, or Seabourne. Really, it was only somewhat better than a recent experience on RCL. Service was slow albeit friendly and professional. My wife adheres to a rigorous low sodium diet and was very disappointed in the ship's efforts to accommodate her despite their continual protestations that they would. The enrichment speaker was a disappointment. She was overly pedantic and long winded. And, incredibly, she had a pronounced stammer. I can't imagine that anyone who took the trouble to be familiar with her speaking ability would hire her for this purpose regardless of her academic credentials. NO excuse for this management oversight. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I did choose because of the itinerary as not many cruises have port of calls in India. I have cruised on Ovation of the seas before , same Quantum class , and i like the Spectrum of the seas choice of colours and furniture a lot more. ... Read More
I did choose because of the itinerary as not many cruises have port of calls in India. I have cruised on Ovation of the seas before , same Quantum class , and i like the Spectrum of the seas choice of colours and furniture a lot more. The one Big Restaurant choice instead of four is a great idea , a lot less waiting time at dinner . The decision of creating a Silver Lounge for Silver Suites guests is a great idea , even if when I booked it 8 months ago it was advertised that they were going to allow all suites guests to go in the Gold Lounge and Gold Restaurant on decks 15th and 16th forward , but looks like they changed their minds and restricted the access to those decks only to Gold Suites and Gold Balcony Staterooms and they created on deck 14th forward a Silver Lounge . Nice a spacious, with excellent service , but that closes at 8:30 pm so it is not possible to have dinner there . So Silver suites guests must use the Main dining Room. The only terrible think of the Ship is the gym facility. I understand that Chinese customers are not using gyms very often, but the space that has been designed on this Ship for Gym and changing rooms is totally inadequate . I guess no more than 600 square feet with very little equipment , and waiting times to use an equipment are incredibly long , so people just decide not to use the facilities. And the changing rooms are even worse , in the men one there are just 6 lockers so you have to wait to have a locker key . There is no physical space to undress or dress unless you choose to do it near the entrance door where people can see you naked from outside when the door opens. But the worst part is that there is only one shower , so you have to queue to get one. And what i don't understand is that on the contrary the Reception area of the SPA is huge: a lot of that space could have been used to make the changing areas and the gym bigger. So avoid this Ship if you are a frequent Gym user. As already mentioned by other guests , the entertainment is poor in terms of variety. The few shows are outstanding but limited in quantity. And the Lectures as well, not enough. First excursion in Muscat was nice . But today in Mumbai a real rip off. The Guide was really bad, and the bus old and filthy . I Hope next ports of call its going to be better. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the incredible places it visited. The ports of call and most excursions were awesome and well worth the time and money. However, the ship was a completely disgusting place to have to spend time on. Our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the incredible places it visited. The ports of call and most excursions were awesome and well worth the time and money. However, the ship was a completely disgusting place to have to spend time on. Our first cabin constantly filled with smoke fumes from the exhaust stacks above. For some reason, the exhaust found its way into our cabin via the air conditioning unit as well as from the balcony door while it was open. Not only did we endure exhaust fumes day and night, but we also had to deal with the smell of sewage coming in the door when we tried to clear out the polluted air from our cabin. We also smelled sewage gas fumes while out on our balcony and around the ship. As a result of the exhaust fumes, my asthma/bronchitis flared up and I was (and still am) in dire distress throughout the cruise. Paid over $300 to see the doctor on board only to be told that I needed a cough suppressant. Waited over 2 hours with multiple other passengers who were suffering various forms of breathing distress. We reported the exhaust fumes that filled our cabin to customer service. They had a young lady come to the door of the cabin to ask us what our problem was. She said she'd let maintenance know. Maintenance came to the door and asked us, once again, what our problem was. They said they'd let their supervisor know. That was the last time anyone on the ship responded to our breathing issues. When we mentioned it to one of the head waiters, she asked about it for us. She was informed that the maintenance staff considered us to be liers. She was upset on our behalf, but there was nothing she could do. So, the management of Royal Caribbean, Spectrum of the Seas determined without further investigation that WE were LIERS and there were no exhaust fumes in our cabin! The entertainment was hit and miss. Some of the shows were amazing, others were so-so. Most of the so-so shows were repeated throughout the cruise. The ship's band was excellent, however, it always played so loudly that earplugs were necessary. The gymnasium was small with limited equipment. Lots of entertainment for younger passengers - bumper cars, climbing wall, surfing, etc. Quite amazing, actually. The food was great during the first half of the cruise and went downhill as the second half of the cruise progressed. We found that we ate very little of what was served to us. Coughing, loud, tortured, and constant by well over three-quarters of the passengers was heard throughout the ship. Lots of sick people to spend time with while living on the ship. The many people we spoke with also complained about exhaust-like fumes throughout the ship. Staff were absolutely AMAZING! Courteous, friendly, helpful (except maintenance, of course). Can't write enough good things about each of the staff members. They did an incredible job doing what they could to cheer up all of the passengers. EVERYTHING was expensive on the ship. There were charges for everything. Nowhere to purchase toiletries except at the Japanese Pharmacy. One had to purchase three large containers of a product at exorbitant prices. Nowhere could we find simple products like cold suppressant supplies, toothpaste, hairspray, etc. ALL of the shops were high-end and extremely expensive. Nowhere to purchase simple, inexpensive souvenirs to bring home. We were personally aware of three elevator incidents. Two times where people were trapped in the elevator and couldn't get out. Ten people suffered multiple injuries when the elevator they were in fell three floors. I overhead the meeting those people had with management and I was appalled at how rudely they were treated! No compensation was given other than a discount off their next cruise with Royal Caribbean. They were even told that they were lying about what took place. One woman that I had come to know started crying and one of the ship's management people told her to "settle down'. No empathy whatsoever. Even when they were removed from the elevator it was done in an unsafe manner. If the elevator had fallen (it was slowly going down at the time) they would have been severed - beheaded. All in all, we will not be travelling with Royal Caribean again. Mostly because of the lack of follow up with so many disasters and health-compromising issues. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise purely for the reason it departed from Barcelona at the time we wished to travel. This ship was not ready to launch. Our trip was truncated as we had our passports stolen in Barcelona and as a result, we had to ... Read More
We chose this cruise purely for the reason it departed from Barcelona at the time we wished to travel. This ship was not ready to launch. Our trip was truncated as we had our passports stolen in Barcelona and as a result, we had to disembark in Athens because we could not travel further with temporary passports. On an inaugural cruise, one must expect irregularities but this cruise was an exception - in the negative. A) Workmen were regularly encountered all over the ship trying to repair malfunctioning equipment, including the elevators, electrical issues in the hallways, etc. The outdoor speakers did not work for movies....AC could not be used for the gym...etc.etc. The casino seemed to work perfectly though... B). The entertainment was subpar. That is not to say that what we did get wasn’t excellent, but there just wasn’t enough of it. After a wonderful opening performance by Mo5aic we were treated to two evenings of movies in the main theatre....really? That was the evening show offering? To be honest, there just wasn’t enough to do on board throughout the day, especially considering that the adventure deck had such limited hours. C) Staff training. At the start of the cruise the Captain announced that we were in for an extraordinary experience as the crew was all hand picked from other ships. Conversations with crew members and our own experience quickly punched huge liar holes in that claim. It was obvious that many crew members were brand new and had no idea about how to perform their jobs. Nobody likes to be lied to. It was gratifying to see that cafeteria supervisors gradually got a grip on staff and service improved over the five days. For a ship designed for the Asian market, there were a few major design misses. I think that the biggest miss was in the lack of a games room. Every ship I have travelled on has had a big mahjong playing component and have had a place to play. This wasn’t so on Spectrum as the cafeteria was walled off much of the time. The library was tiny and poorly equipped with books, lined with locked cabinets containing inaccessible board games - but no place to play. As well, it was open to the theatre area adjoining the library, so no quiet space. The gym space was totally inadequate from a Western perspective. There was a small space forward on Deck 13 with machines placed too closely together and the space was not adequately cooled. This ship was a curiosity to me. I thought it was beautiful and the cabin spaces were some of the best I have encountered. The recreational facilities were wonderful - except for the very limited access. I am curious to find out how other people experienced this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Our first cruise with Holland America was to South America and Antarctica on Zaandam in January 2017. We were very happy with life on board and were particularly impressed by the Lido Market, the informal food outlet, where food is often ... Read More
Our first cruise with Holland America was to South America and Antarctica on Zaandam in January 2017. We were very happy with life on board and were particularly impressed by the Lido Market, the informal food outlet, where food is often cooked to order. Therefore, we were pleased to come across back-to-back cruises, including a Pacific crossing, on Westerdam in April and May this year. The first cruise took us around the Japanese Islands, a location we would not normally have considered, while the second, repositioning, cruise completed the Japanese itinerary before crossing the sea to Alaska, a place we have visited on two previous occasions and were very happy to revisit. We flew into Narita Airport directly from Manchester and stayed overnight in the Hilton Tokyo Narita Airport hotel before a private taxi took us into Yokohama the next day to commence our cruise. Embarkation was swift and easy. Lunch was first on the agenda because our room was not ready until early afternoon. As before, we only used the Lido Market for our meals and we were very impressed by the friendliness of the staff there and throughout the ship. Our individual preferences were remembered from the start, which was remarkable. One point of concern was that the use of hand sanitizers was not promoted as on other ships, which we did discuss with the Hotel Manager. There is less self service on HAL than on other cruise lines, but there are common utensils and other opportunities for contamination. We had chosen a Signature Suite, a larger room than normal because of the length of the cruise and it certainly offered all the space we could wish for. We had selected the Starboard side and we were amused that at almost every port we were against the dock and our views ranged from enormous scrap heaps to piles of sand or coal, covered by flapping tarpaulin and old tyres! The ship docked in rather industrial areas because of its size, requiring the use of shuttle buses at several ports. However, public transport was easy to use and allowed us to venture further afield, as the places of interest were not all conveniently within walking distance. We don't attend the evening entertainment (or use the fitness facilities, so I have scored both as average below) because we prefer to look outside as much as possible, from the open deck or the shelter and convenience of our balcony. We had managed a very hazy glimpse of Mount Fuji in Yokohama, but Shimizu on Day 2 allowed us to watch her unveil from behind cloud as the sky cleared in the afternoon. Osaka on Day 3 and Kochi on Day 4 had castles and their gardens to explore. Osaka Castle has a lift, but also extremely long queues to use it, so we climbed the stairs, but Kochi Castle had no lift and we were unfortunate to visit at the same time as a large group, meaning that we shuffled slowly from floor to floor, negotiating extremely steep, narrow stairs with two-way traffic, which was dangerous. Coming down backwards or sideways was safest! This rather spoiled our visit but the gardens, with their emerging Cherry blossom, made up for it. Being over 65, we had free entry into some places we visited. On Day 5, we cruised the Kanmon Strait, perhaps not exactly scenic, but interesting nevertheless.The next day, Good Friday, was spent in Sakaiminato. We had expected there to be little to see independently, as the Yuushien Garden we wanted to visit appeared to be a complicated bus journey away, confirmed by information from the ship, but fortunately we called into the local Tourist Office before leaving, after enjoying the many fascinating bronze statues of cartoon characters created by a resident of the town. There we were told about a free shuttle bus to and from the Gardens, including a ride over the famous “Wonky” Bridge, the Eshima Ohashi Bridge. The Garden is very small but is what we think of as a typical Japanese garden, with raked gravel and moss gardens. The two other, much larger, gardens we visited were, to us, far less typical. Kenrokuen Garden, in Kanazawa on Day 7, is considered to be one of the top three gardens in Japan and the darker Cherry blossom was in flower. There is also another castle to visit, with views of snow-capped hills. Day 8, Easter Sunday, was spent at sea, before an obligatory non-Japanese port, Vladivostok, on Day 9. To avoid the need for independent Visas, we booked a walking tour with the ship, which was enjoyable, with the advantage of a sunny day as we were shown the town. Unfortunately, the result of this visit caused considerable delays on our return to Japan after another sea day, on Day 11, because we had to go through Immigration before disembarking, which took several hours. We did no more than visit the town on foot, involving a longer walk than expected, so a shuttle bus might have been useful. The best part for us was a Steam Clock, similar to the one in Vancouver, but otherwise there was little of interest. Hakodate, on Day 12, was another matter, with a viewing tower and a star-shaped fort and garden with hundreds of the paler Cherry blossom trees just about coming into flower. We had intended to take the Rope Way, or cable car, to the top of Mount Hakodate, but it was closed because of strong winds. Instead, we walked part of the way through the woodland, until we found a viewpoint over the town. We could see that the Ropeway had reopened after we returned to the ship, but our alternative walk was very enjoyable. Day 13, in Aomori, offered little to do before another sea day on the way back to Yokohama. We like to look out for wildlife while at sea, but there was remarkably little on this cruise, other than welcome Leysan Albatross and the smaller Short Legged Shearwaters, which were migrating. Oriental Turtle Doves heading for Alaska were also seen circling the ship occasionally and once perched for a while on wires in front of the large windows in the Crow’s Nest lounge. Black Kites were common in the ports and were interesting to watch and attempt to photograph. Day 15, the change-over day in Yokohama, was spent visiting the Sankeien Gardens, where we found another good view of Mount Fuji. The garden is obviously a popular place for wedding photographs and we enjoyed the beautiful traditional dress of brides and grooms. The Garden contains many ancient buildings, removed from their original locations and preserved in the Gardens by the founder. Another sea day took us to Muroran on Day 17. We took a tour of the town on a Hop On, Hop Off bus, with an interesting view point at Cape Chikyu, but not much else. Day 18, our last Japanese port, was spent at Kushiro, the only wet day of the cruise. A bus took us to the amusingly named MOO (Marine Our Ocean) and EGG (Ever Green Garden) buildings, where at last we found local craft for souvenirs, including that of the local Ainu people. The EGG building held craft sessions and an archery demonstration involving local school students, although the day was part of an extended public holiday for the start of a New Era in Japan. The Nusamai Bridge is famous for its statues of the Seasons, the first bridge to be so decorated in Japan. However, they all look as though they should represent Summer! The next six days were spent at sea, as we crossed the Pacific Ocean. Stormy weather at the beginning meant that the Promenade Deck was closed, during which time an Albatross took refuge in a corner of the deck for several days. Its presence and the reopening of the deck were not publicized and we did not see it. We also missed a pod of Orca which passed the ship, observed by people sitting in the bar in the warm. We were told about them several times, after the event, as we braved the Promenade deck on a wildlife watch. A significant part of the voyage for me was crossing the IDL. To see the beginning of a day in the far East, among the first to do so, then see its ending two days later in the far West, among the last to witness it, is special. The International Date Line diverts from the 180° line of longitude, the Antimeridian, to avoid dividing the Aleutian Island from the rest of Alaska, so knowing when we would cross it was not easy. The itinerary initially named it as our first day at sea, then our second, but both were clearly wrong. Even so, Day 21, the second after leaving Japan, was indeed selected as the day to be repeated and this is probably explained by the fact that the correct day, Day 22, was May 4th and Holland’s Remembrance Day. We decided to go by the ship’s position instead. We were advised that we would cross the IDL at around 04.00 on Sunday morning by our calendar and, by following the ship on a tracking web site, we could see it approach the Antimeridian. We did wake at 04.00 to photograph the changing morning light, but there was no sunrise, unfortunately. We crossed the 180° line of longitude at approximately 10.00 and took photographs of the view in front of us as we approached, which was for us, still in the East, yesterday in the West, Saturday; the view to the side which was briefly today, Sunday and the view behind, the East, which would soon become for us as we reached the West, a day in the past, Sunday. One of my favourite hymns sums it up beautifully as it describes the day passing from evening in the West to morning in the East, “The Day Thou Gavest, Lord is Ended.” https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/The_Day_Thou_Gavest_Lord_Is_Ended/ So, Sunday became Saturday once again and we agreed with the ship’s calendar as we crossed into the Western Hemisphere. We had been given a certificate to mark the incorrect crossing, but we returned it and asked for a correct one, which we received. We marked our second Sunday evening the next day with photographs as the light faded and the day was finally complete around the globe. Our days at sea provided the occasional evidence of a whale from its blow, but little else. Each day had included losing an hour as we worked towards Alaskan time, with a second hour being necessary on the last day. Japan does not have Daylight Saving Time, so it was dark very early there and it was pleasant to have longer light evenings as we moved further towards Alaska. We arrived at Kodiak, a new port for us, on Day 25. We were delayed getting into the port, through a narrow channel because of the rocky coastline, by strong winds, but we were able to dock about two hours later. The Captain added two hours to the departure time in compensation. We spent the day walking around the small town, visiting the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Centre and the Russian Orthodox Cathedral. Although the famous bears are usually not in the town, we did have a welcome opportunity to watch a Sea Otter having a wash-and-brush-up in the harbour, close enough to see clearly and Bald Eagles on a slope directly opposite our balcony. One more sea day took us to Icy Strait Point on Day 27, another new port. We had booked a whale watching trip, which was good but very misty and chilly. After exploring the Visitor Centre, we returned to the ship and enjoyed several whales which were using the bay, from the comfort and warmth of the now sunny, outside deck. As we sailed away from Icy Strait Point, on a beautiful evening, an NCL ship was about an hour ahead of us and her exhaust seemed to hang on one side of the valley as ours filled the other side. Legal, but unpleasant and also a matter of concern. Day 28 was spent at Ketchikan, which we have visited several times before, so we used the time to shop for family souvenirs. There were three other ships in port in the morning, but two left surprisingly early and the town was much quieter in the afternoon. Our departure was delayed because the Captain had to go to hospital with appendicitis; luckily for him it had not happened in the middle of the Pacific. Day 29 saw us cruising through the Inside Passage, on a beautiful day to enjoy the scenery, logs being hauled on the water and fishing lodges being towed to their Summer location, before arriving at our final destination, Vancouver. We had chosen to spend a night there before flying home, so disembarkation was not rushed and we could enjoy a final breakfast in the Lido Market before leaving the ship after a long and interesting journey. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Hmmn. The good - Great service by the crew who work hard to keep us all happy. Good food overall in the main restaruant, though I think Carnival do a far better job at the bistro. Chops Grill was fantastic at breakfast. No passnegrs ... Read More
Hmmn. The good - Great service by the crew who work hard to keep us all happy. Good food overall in the main restaruant, though I think Carnival do a far better job at the bistro. Chops Grill was fantastic at breakfast. No passnegrs were to be seen at Johnny Rockets. Those who went reported back on bad food. The pools were great.. This is one thing RC have all over Carnival. The pools are bigger, cleaner and the life guards ensure the kids are behaving well at all times. The not so good - The ship is looking increasingly old and tired. Quite a few rust spots on her. The cabins are worse than a 2 star hotel. The crew works hard to keep her clean, mind you. The lifts were particuarly slow and not well programmed. The evening shows were better than expected. The ice rink shows were fantastic. While the crew works hard to reinforce the message of "wash your hands," for some, the message will never get through. Time and time again we saw quite a few other passengers disregard good hygene standards, particuarly at the bistro. e.g picking up food with their bare hands instead of using the tongs. Sure enough, there was an outbreak of cold and flu on the cruise. The whole process of disembarking for shore excersions was average at best. At The first port) Penang, it took over an hour to get us off the ship once the ship was cleared. That had a negative flow on affect for the shore excersion which was cut short. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the chaos of embarkation should of forewarned us of what was to come. We pre booked an all inclusive drinks package and this was printed on our cabin card which was already in our cabin. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the chaos of embarkation should of forewarned us of what was to come. We pre booked an all inclusive drinks package and this was printed on our cabin card which was already in our cabin. Unfortunately every time we ordered a drink the package did not work so after 2 days and several trips to guest services the card was replaced. I was told "you will have to pay for your drinks tonight but the card will work tomorrow" We were told that it was because we booked it before we went onboard. Although it was printed on the card I had to provide an email which proved I had bought and paid for it. It was also suppose to cover the mini bar in our cabin except there wasn't one. Not even a fridge. Our balcony cabin was standard and disappointing for a brand new ship. As it was built for the chinese market there was only 1 european plug socket in the cabin however there were plenty of usb sockets. The cabin steward was excellent and kept the cabin spotless. We were very disappointed with the standard of food. It was served cold and mostly tasteless. Our waiters were very helpful but they did tell us that there were lots of complaints about the food being cold. The buffet restaurant was best avoided. Watching people carrying off huge trays of fresh fruit to wherever. I think certain passengers must have kept it in their cabin. The queues were huge especially at sea days when they provided an outdoor buffet with a theme. The swimming pools were very small and not adequate for the amount of people onboard. We took 2 trips, both of them in Vietnam. The organisation for getting people off the ship was non existent with queues blocking stairs and exits. On both trips we stopped at places to buy local handcrafts and this wasn't on the itinerary and caused us to be rushed at places that were. We went to the theatre for 1 show and decided not to bother as it was not brilliant and most shows were then shown on the large screen on the lido deck afterwards. The television channels were limited and the only English speaking one was a Chinese news channel although we didnt go on holiday to watch TV. The day in Hong Kong was cut short as we stayed longer in China. Unfortunately it was decided to add an extra couple of hours to our visit but quite a few people had already left the ship when this was announced so they rushed back to find they could have stayed longer. Not good organisation. I questioned both Iglu Cruises and Costa about the need for a Chinese Visa. I was informed that I had to have one to board the ship in Singapore. I then found out that there was a waiver form we could have signed and stayed on the ship. All in all most of the crew were polite, there was a language barrier with the newly recruited Chinese. As the ship is now based in China and wont enter the European market again I dont think Costa are particularly bothered by the poor reviews left by Europeans but I certainly wont use Costa again. I have cruised with Carnival previously, their parent Company and had no complaints. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Like the itinerary with lots of Sea days to rest and recharge. Also got to see Darwin Australia, Kaohsiung(Taiwan) besides the usual Sydney, Brisbane, Singapore, Phu My(Vietnam) and Hong Kong. Ship was big, and nice. Room was a mini ... Read More
Like the itinerary with lots of Sea days to rest and recharge. Also got to see Darwin Australia, Kaohsiung(Taiwan) besides the usual Sydney, Brisbane, Singapore, Phu My(Vietnam) and Hong Kong. Ship was big, and nice. Room was a mini suite(upgraded from a premium balcony), very comfortable, Excellent room service. Sea was calm until South China sea. Mostly Australian on the ship with lots of Asian from Australia. US pax are the minority. Lots of Fancy, high end stores, on board. Too expensive! Piazza was large, busy daily with all kinds of activities. Casino was fun on the Penny machines, not much table activities throughout the cruise(except for Black Jack Tournament), feel sorry for the casino attendants standing at their table side all morning, afternoon and waiting for table players to play! Love the Asian exercise equipment at the aft of the ship for stretching and muscle toning, very simple but effective! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We were excited to be sailing on the Majestic, given that she's the newest and biggest ship in the fleet. We'd only sailed on the Sea and Dawn Princesses before, and we enjoyed those, so we figured we'd love the Majestic. ... Read More
We were excited to be sailing on the Majestic, given that she's the newest and biggest ship in the fleet. We'd only sailed on the Sea and Dawn Princesses before, and we enjoyed those, so we figured we'd love the Majestic. However, this ship missed the mark for us. We opted for Traditional Dining initially, but the Allegro Dining Room styling was quite dark, and had many areas sectioned off, so it felt a little claustrophobic. Our table was one of the many that had a bench seat, with access on only one side, so one diner would have to slide across the seat. Not a fun prospect in formal attire! And given that Allegro was on deck 6, but could only be accessed from deck 7, we quickly switched to Any-time Dining. The theatre, although quite high tech, was nowhere near big enough, only holding 1000 people on a ship of 3500. That meant if you wanted to see the show, you had to be there AT LEAST half an hour early to have any hope of getting a seat. And if you wanted a seat in the middle section, you were looking at being forty five minutes early, minimum. We usually like to attend the ballroom and line dancing classes. However, on Majestic, these are held in the Pizza, and I certainly didn't want to be on display while I fought with my two left feet! There didn't appear to be a decent dance floor anywhere on the ship. Princess Live was one option, but wasn't utilised, as was the Vista Lounge. However, neither venues were really suitable. Pool deck was also a little disappointing. A lot of pool space is lost to the fountains, which although lovely, were only used four times on a 20 day cruise. When the band played out on deck, they were incredibly loud - to the point where you had to move if you wanted to have a conversation. The Hollywood Conservatory is, to our mind, a bit of a waste of space. I can imagine that the Chinese market like it, but to us it was a bit of a waste of space. The Hollywood Pool wasn't bad, although the smell of chlorine smacked you in the face every time you walked in there. A common comment among the people we met was that the gym was woefully inadequate. I didn't experience this myself, but hubby did, and he said there were waaaaay too many treadmills and bikes, and not enough of the weights machines to go around. There was a lot of waiting for those to be free. Now for the good stuff. Our balcony cabin was lovely, and our bed and pillows were very, very comfy. The best we've had on a ship. For the first time on a cruise, there was an abundance of deck chairs - we never had a problem finding somewhere to lie in the sun. The World Marketplace, although a little confusing at first, is actually the best buffet we've had on a ship. Because of the multiple lines, we never had to wait, and not once did we have trouble finding a seat. Would we go on Majestic again? Probably not (although I never say never!). It's a little bigger than we like, and it feels a bit like a live sheep carrier - they've crammed as many guests in as possible, sacrificing some of the common areas in the process. I'd be interested to try another ship of the same class to see if it's the ship, or the target market that is the problem. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was my second repositioning cruise on the Majestc. The first one was from Shanghai to Sydney in Aug/Sep 2018. Cabin: On this current occasion I traveled with friends (a couple). We had adjacent balcony cabins on deck 14. We ... Read More
This was my second repositioning cruise on the Majestc. The first one was from Shanghai to Sydney in Aug/Sep 2018. Cabin: On this current occasion I traveled with friends (a couple). We had adjacent balcony cabins on deck 14. We chose this cruise because we wanted a cruise that terminated in Hong Kong. My cabin was comfortable except for the very soft pillows that Princess now has. Also, there was a strong smell of stale urine in the bathroom. This was also the case on the earlier cruise when I had an inside cabin. Despite several attempts on both occasions by the cabin stewards to remove the smell, it lingered. Dining: The food overall was very good. We had anytime dining, and ate in the dining room sometimes. We also ate at the International Marketplace, Harmony Restaurant, Crown Grill, Alfredo's, La Mer, and the Noodle Bar, and we did the Chef's Table dining. I thought the Crown Grill on this ship was the best of any ship. The food was excellent and cooked to perfection. I didn't care for the food in the Harmony Restaurant. One of the dishes was very nice but the others were rather bland. La Mer was OK. We ate at Alfredo's quite a few times. Like the food there. Had quite a few lunches at the Noodle Bar. The Chef's Table was not as good as some I've had in the past; more emphasis on presentation rather than flavour. And the food in both the dining rooms and the International Marketplace was pretty good. Ship: I don't particularly like its design which I understand was tailored to the Chinese market. The ship lacks the bar/lounge areas which Australians, including me, seem to like, such as Wheelhouse, Explorers, Skywalkers and Crooners. There was a Crooners on the Majestic but it was the casino's high rollers room converted. Not a crowd-friendly space and tucked away in a corner next to the casino. This was also the nightclub but it didn't really work as that either. The ship has a space called Princess Live on Deck 7 midship. It's like a small theatre. It doesn't really work well for most of the events that it's used for. The seating is quite uncomfortable; there is no bar and wait staff from the nearest bar up the passage have difficulty taking orders and delivering drinks. Apart from a bench across the back of the room, there are no tables so activities like trivia and bingo are difficult there. Also, the Promenade deck walking area does not go right around the ship. It does run up both sides of the ship but it's very narrow in parts and walking is very difficult if there's anyone else in the area. The Princess Theatre has 800 seats for 3500 passengers. This meant that you'd need to get there more than half an hour before a show to have any chance of getting a seat. Most of the activities were held in the Piazza as there was really nowhere much else to have them. A couple of times when we were dining at Alfredo's (on Deck 6 in the Piazza), the music in the Piazza was so loud that we couldn't have a conversation. The Majestic has an adults area on Deck 17 called the Hollywood Observatory. It's an indoor area that has a good sized pool, a bar, lots of lounges and other seating, include cabanas which can be closed off for privacy. A lovely area except for two things - some recorded birdsong which is really unnecessary and gets on your nerves after a while; and the fact that the whole area is air conditioned. That's OK if you've gone there just to read or play games, etc, but it makes it very cold when you come out of the pool! Entertainment: The entertainment was very good overall. Some excellent performers, and the production shows were great. Lots of activities. We never had trouble finding something enjoyable to do. Service: The service on the ship, as always, was excellent, although I noticed that there seemed to be less wait staff than usual in some areas. This meant that there were sometimes delays in getting vacated tables cleared, or getting a drink. This was my fourth cruise with Captain Dino Sagani at the helm. While his daily noon navigation reports were always informative, I've never seen him or his officers out and about the ship other than at official functions. Ports: While the number of ports was small (only 6 including Hong Kong), there was plenty to do at each. I found the destination presentation for Kaohsiung to be very helpful in getting a feel for the logistics of the place. The only Princess shore excursion I did was to Long Tan and Nui Dat in Vietnam. So much Australian military history in that part of the world. We were privileged to participate in a short memorial service while at the Long Tan Memorial. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Would I go again on the Majestic? Probably not. I don't care for that class of ship. I much prefer the Grand or Gem class. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I agree with nearly all the comments made in the reviews regarding the 1st leg. We felt like 2nd class citizens. Most staff were under trained but about half were smiling and friendly. Only watchable TV in English was News and ... Read More
I agree with nearly all the comments made in the reviews regarding the 1st leg. We felt like 2nd class citizens. Most staff were under trained but about half were smiling and friendly. Only watchable TV in English was News and documentaries on China's CGTN network. Entertainment was quite poor with the best act being a comedy magician on the night before disembarkation. No milk or fridge in our cabin. We could only use our balcony when at sea since there was always cleaning, painting & maintenance being done while in port and the balconies on deck 2 were used as a through way for staff so the extra cost for the balcony was not good value. Why does a brand new ship need painting? Mandatory €10 per person per day (including disembarkation day) for "Service Charge" plus another service charge on any drinks and food purchased. Mixing cultures and too many languages really doesn't work for me. Every announcement was repeated in about 5 languages and the behaviour of some passengers in the buffet restaurant beggars belief with pushing and piling plates to overflowing with one type of food and thus quickly depleting amount left for other people. We've sailed with a fair number of cruise lines and therefore we have something to judge Costa against. One gets the impression that Costa's aim was to relieve passengers of as much money as possible. This was the worst cruise we have been on and no way will be sail with Costa again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
the staff on sapphire seemed to just be going through the motions there were many we spoke to and they were just looking forward to getting off in Athens and Rome (contract finishing) , the onboard entertaiment was boring to say the least ... Read More
the staff on sapphire seemed to just be going through the motions there were many we spoke to and they were just looking forward to getting off in Athens and Rome (contract finishing) , the onboard entertaiment was boring to say the least there is only so much violins that a person can listen to (37 days) thats all that seemed to be on in the piazza area (boring) the cruise director and manager had no idea how to entertain the whole ships demograghpics as they just caterted for the oldies there were plenty of youthful passagers looking for some real entetainment but it just never happened. get rid of these fools, there was no free coffee avalible midship (piazza) or any of the down stairs café/bars except in the horizons buffet and the resturants which meant you had to go to the back of the ship just to get a brew, another way princess makes a buck if your not that mobile then your forced to pay at all other locations (the only other free coffee was in plastic jugs by the smokers area) real smart. the harassment from the photo shop staff was constant and very annoying as they would always deliberately cut you off when disembarking for their stupid photo's this was very tacky, I had to firmly tell them several times that I was not interested,(it felt like they were preying on the vulnerable for a quick buck) the pizza in alfredos is very good but they will not allow you to take it away if you want to then there is a $3 us room service fee. the outside area mid ship to aft often stuck of a strong sewage/ methane smell in fact I spoke directly with captain H L on deck and he stated that there was a problem with a vent pipe midship this smell was present off and on for a least 10 days (even called customer service to let them know) the Indian visa fiasco was a joke as we like nearly all passengers paid a minimum of $80us per person for an 8 hours visit to cochin, we wrote to princess months prior to the cruise and advised them that we were not interested in getting off in India, only to be told that we would still require a visa to board the ship.Only to find out that some 70 odd passengers that did not turn up at Singapore with it and were allowed to sail, they only had to sign a waiver that they would not get off in India , we wrote a written complaint to quest services on the ship but did not receive any response (once again poor service) the platinum / elite club is not worth obtaining as there are not free drinks offered in this club ,why would you bother spending more money to become elite ,we will stick with royal Caribbean from now on as they give over 3 hours of free drinks to the diamond club members and it only takes 80 days to reach this level (not 150 with princess) the only plus thing was our stateroom attendant who was very good and plenty of in room movies. almost forgot don't bother with the internet it is very slow and not worth the money Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We had always wanted to see Australia and New Zealand. Originally we thought we'd do this as a mostly land tour with another company, but my wife floated the option of doing this, plus Sydney to Auckland (which we will do the end of ... Read More
We had always wanted to see Australia and New Zealand. Originally we thought we'd do this as a mostly land tour with another company, but my wife floated the option of doing this, plus Sydney to Auckland (which we will do the end of this year). Viking could not have done a better job! This was a relatively new itinerary for the ship and crew, so this was especially impressive because they were still ironing out details with excursions. Some of our fellow guests did have some complaints such as not getting the ones they wanted, or did not like the free included excursions. Most of the free ones were okay, although 1 or 2 did not have great tour guides, but if people chose their paid excursions when Viking first made them available (before trip), there should not have been a problem. The crew on the ship were wonderful, from the captain who gave us daily updates (even on a storm that was chasing us) to the cabin stewards to the dining staff. They all would go out of their way to accommodate any request. I also greatly enjoyed the musical performances in the atrium as well as the shows and the planetarium. My wife (and obviously many others onboard) really appreciated the free laundry room. The itinerary and the excursions made this one the best trips I ever had. Snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef was just spectacular. My wife tells everyone this was her dream trip (and we've done quite a few!) because she loves animals. Holding a koala at Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo near Brisbane, feeding wallabies, even feeding crocodiles at Crocodylus Park were experiences she'll treasure forever. There were certainly many opportunities to see wildlife we don't see here in the states, but there are also many options for other things to see and do, like the views at Castle Hill in Townsville. When we got to see the Komodo dragons, that was quite spectacular, but an added plus there was the nature walk around the island (of course with the guides to keep an eye on us!) I understand that due to poaching Indonesia may restrict this particular island, but hopefully there are other islands Viking can use for this excursion. The temples on Lombok and Bali were unbelievably beautiful and unique. As difficult as it was to believe, some on the tour criticized seeing them, but I think these were probably the same people who complain about the beautiful cathedrals in Europe. The Laguna Luxury Resort and Spa in Nusa Dua is a spectacular complex with unbelievable views from our rooms, 7 swimming pools, restaurants, nature walks, a beautiful beach, spa treatments in thatch-covered beach-front rooms and many other amenities, with many types of colorful birds. Although we gravitated towards zoos and nature parks, Viking has other tours that should appeal to almost anyone. Although some excursions may seem a bit expensive, when you take into account the extremely affordable cruise rates (compared with land and air travel by other companies) it's a great deal. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise to escape the late winter early spring weather and on price and the ships itinerary. The beginning, after being picked up at our Venice hotel we were dropped at Venice airport to wait around for two hours without ... Read More
We chose this cruise to escape the late winter early spring weather and on price and the ships itinerary. The beginning, after being picked up at our Venice hotel we were dropped at Venice airport to wait around for two hours without any information before being herded on to a fleet of buses for a 90 minute journey to Trieste. This is where the confused disorderly nightmare got worse we where dumped with thousands of other passengers in a massive car park with no queuing system in place no queue marshals no Costa staff to organize fair queuing, it just became a very unpleasant fight to retain a place in the queue with many people just pushing in. It took us three and a half hours of queuing to check in without being offered a drink or toilets being available, we were lucky that it was not raining nor hot and sunny, otherwise the experience could have been much worse. When we did manage to board the ship the chaos continued, we were instructed to go to our muster stations at least 4 times only for the exercise to be repeatedly cancelled, eventually we tried to attend the evacuation procedure, however the stair wells were blocked with other passengers on each occasion and this made it impossible for many passengers to get to the correct muster stations. like many other passengers we missed the emergency drill completely. The Cabin, ours was internal with a big comfortable bed otherwise the cabin was small and lacked storage, one small wardrobe with 8 coat hangers , the shower was good plenty of hot water. Dining, Poor quality food mainly cold, plenty of Queuing. Entertainment, Second rate. Shore Excursions,poor and a total rip off. Service, our cabin steward was excellent (Berco), some of the bar staff were very good. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The main purpose of the trip was to visit Hong Kong as my wife had connections there when she was a child. We did not get off at any of the ports en route as we had visited all of them previously and we enjoy the ship on the quiet port ... Read More
The main purpose of the trip was to visit Hong Kong as my wife had connections there when she was a child. We did not get off at any of the ports en route as we had visited all of them previously and we enjoy the ship on the quiet port days. The following are my opinion of good and bad aspects. GOODx—- Sydney embarcation was fast and faultless The ship was in good order with paint being refreshed continually The cabin was clean and well kept by the steward, Joseph The evening entertainment was generally good. The cruise director and staff were also good. Best production show “Bravo” The waiters and bar staff were all fantastic being the best part of the voyage. The Filipino, Balinese and other Asian staff make the cruise with their friendliness and all round abilities. AVERAGEx—x The food in the MDR and Horizons was generally uninteresting, sometimes poorly cooked with root vegetables generally undercooked. BAD——x Our interior cabin was so narrow it was difficult to get in and out of bed. We had our double configuration altered to singles. About the first time in married lives we have done this. Princess cabins are the smallest we have ever been in but this was the narrowest! The officers are rarely seen. The new red loungers on deck 12 look nice. Toget two together, go to deck 12 early, spread out towels and leave a book or an old hat. Then go to breakfast for an hour or two. They are then “booked” for the day. Drinks are generally expensive and bar staff advise happy hour just a memory. The passengers were the oldest demographic ever encountered and general conversation was how many cruises done, to where and how good a price they had got. It would have been nice to have met young or even middle-aged people. The highest class is ELITE (synonym for snobbish) but the benefits are poor compared to Royal Caribbean. The disembarkation in Hong Kong was the worst ever encountered, even beating Honolulu. Off the ship was easy but the Terminal processing was awful with long queues. The final line to get a taxi took at least 90 minutes and the whole process 2and 1/4 hours. AVOID any cruise terminating in HK. Tender processes looked long and tedious. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise because of its interesting itinerary visiting several countries like Cambodia and Vietnam which we had not visited in the past. After sailing on 7 previous NCL cruises, we were well used to the freestyle crushing which ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of its interesting itinerary visiting several countries like Cambodia and Vietnam which we had not visited in the past. After sailing on 7 previous NCL cruises, we were well used to the freestyle crushing which NCL is famous for. Hence had no reservations about booking the cruise on NCL Jewel. We have always liked the smaller NCL ships like Spirit, Sun, Star and Jade. The only NCL cruise which we didn't like was on the Epic and hence have resisted in booking on bigger ships. Also itineraries on bigger ships are catered for mass markets whereas the smaller ships offer very interesting itineraries sailing to ports which are not visited by bigger ships. We flew to Singapore from London via BA and stayed for 1 night at one of the riverside hotels in Singapore. We had been to Singapore a few times before hence only stayed for 1 night however if you have never been to Singapore before, I would highly recommend staying 3 to 4 nights prior to cruise to take in most of this fabulous city. On the day of the cruise we took a local taxi to the cruise terminal for only 10 Singapore dollars and were at the port just after 11am. Check in was quick however as the cruise was visiting so many different countries, everyone's passports had to be throughly checked to ensure everyone had correct visas. I had made sure we had all the visas required (only Cambodia visa required for UK citizens) however lot of people who were checking in didn't have the correct visas so were charged a huge amount by the ship to get the visas and this was even before the cruise had begun. Thus lot of people were complaining how they were charged so much money eg. Ship charged $89 for each person for Cambodia visa however I had obtained them for £30 each by visiting Cambodian embassy in London. It is the passenger's responsibility (not the cruise line's) to ensure they have the the correct visas. So please be carefully in checking if any visas required well before travelling. In this cruise, the cruise line could arrange the visas (at a much higher cost) for all countries it was sailing to which was great for those who hadn't arranged them. However for some cruises you wouldn't be allowed to board if you didn't have the correct visa. Once checked in, we queued for the immigration which took about half an hour (much lesser than my previous cruise from Singapore which had taken well over an hour in the queue). Thereafter we boarded this beautiful ship which was just refurbished a few months ago. Everything seemed new in the public areas like furniture and carpets which was great. However I was surprised to see no embarkation photos being taken. In fact we noticed that very few photos were taken either at ports, or on open decks or in dining areas. May be this is for the best as most people don't end up buying them and hence have to be discarded. We were asked to go to garden cafe for lunch as cabins were not going to be ready till 1pm. There was plenty of choice including plenty of vegetarian options. However NCL have changed their food labelling system in the garden cafe. Before, all vegetarian food had a green symbol on label and red for non veg. However now they have green symbol for cold food and red for hot food which is silly as one can see if the food is hot or cold. When I queried that with the senior staff member at the restaurant, I was told that NCL had made that change so junior staff could interact more with customers as they would have to verbally advise someone who was vegetarian regarding what food was vegetarian or not. This was silly as most staff didn't know what food item was vegetarian or not when I queried and had to check with someone else. Also they were too busy to talk to guests. NCL need to bring in another system to identify vegetarian foods in garden cafe like 'V'symbol on the labels which is what they have in menus in all other restaurants. I was also advised by the senior staff that there was a seperate vegetarian section. However I told him that the vegetarian section only had Indian options and if I wanted to try other vegetarian cuisines I had to go to other areas of buffet which didn't have correctly marked labels. Anyway there was nothing he could do as NCL head office had made that decision. Although we used garden cafe for breakfasts and lunches only we soon became used to what foods were vegetarian or not as the menu didn't change much there. Food was good and loved their Indian veggie South Indian breakfast options. Cabins were ready after 1pm as advised. We had a port side balcony cabin on level 9 towards the aft of the ship. Great place as it was close to get to restaurants and was always quieter at the back end of the ship. The cabin was well appointed with new carpets and wall paintings. The bathroom was similar in design to Jade with seperate shower and toilet with sink in middle. Seems no changes had been made there. TV was on the smaller side compared to big screen ones on newer ships. However it had a great range of movies and news channels. It had around 4 movie channels showing drama, action, comedy and family movies. Also several news channels like BBC and several American and Australian ones but no CNN. The balcony was adequate size with 2 chairs and a table. Storage area was adequate too with plenty of drawers and shelves and hanging space too. The cabin steward, Alexandro, always kept the cabin nice and tidy with lovely towel animals every evening on the bed. He knocked the door when the luggage arrived (around 2pm). We unpacked our cases straight away and hid them away under the beds so we didn't have to see them again for the next 12 days. That is the beauty of cruising, you visit fascinating places nearly every day without packing and unpacking. After the fire drill and safety briefing at 4pm, the ship soon set sail after 5pm towards Koh Samui in Thailand. Food in the main dining rooms (Tsars palace and Azura) was great with a few vegetarian options everyday. Also I had a voice message and a letter left in cabin to say that if I wasn't happy with the vegetarian selections, I could speak to maitre'd who would arrange to get any other special requests prepared. However I didn't need to as I was happy with the choices they had on main menu. We dined mainly at Azura as it had a more intimate atmosphere but also visited Tsars palace a few times. As we had 3 day dining package in addition to the drinks package included, we visited the Italian, teppanyaki and French restaurant on 3 nights. Loved the French and teppanyaki restaurants and would be happy to go back. However not happy with the Italian one as the food choices that had were already in main dining room and garden cafe menus. Also service at Italian restaurant was not up to the mark. Never tried chin chin and O'Sheehans restaurants which were the other 2 complimentary options. However visited the O'Sheehans bar regularly as got great service from barman there. The other bars that we visited were at bliss lounge, pit stop which overlooked the pool deck and bar at the back of the ship. Didn't visit most of the bars on level 6 as we used to in the Jade. Late evenings we mainly visited the spinnakers lounge as it had the dance floor and live bands playing followed by DJ. However the bar staff were not very good and often got drinks mixed up or couldn't understand what we wanted. Anyway we enjoyed our times there most evenings. The shows in the theatre were great. Loved the 3 production shows: Rock you, velvet and Cirque De Bijou were all brilliant. Singers were great and so were all the dancers and aerialists. Also loved Mary Jess, the British singer who wowed us all with her operatic singing. Also enjoyed the local Thai dancers show, the Australian tap pack show and music shows by 2 of the singers from the production shows. In fact there wasn't a single show we didn't like which was a first as usually there always a few shows we don't end up liking. The cruise director, Dan, seemed to do a good job and also sang in the bands in spinakkers lounge. However we were shocked to see him telling off some junior staff when we docked in Hong Kong that they couldn't get off the ship until all passengers were off the ship. That is no way to talk to anyone, no matter how senior you are to them. Other than that he was always approachable and friendly. The other bands who played music around the ship were not as good as what we have experienced on other ships. There were very few activities during sea days with only 1 afternoon movie on each of the 4 sea days. We were given popcorn on 2 of those days but not the other 2. Probably ran out. NCL should certainly be screening more movies especially on sea days. Also lack of daytime activities during sea days was a disgrace. Luckily we had 3 good sunny sea days so most people were busy around the pool area. However on our last overcast and cooler sea day, there seemed to be nothing much to do around the ship. The captain of the ship could hardly ever been heard or seen. In fact we didn't hear him for first 2 days. Also he wasn't present at the finale show. An apology regarding the tendering chaos at Koh Samui (more about that later) came 2 days later. In our recent cruises, we have got used to captains who have been very visible around the ship and making announcements and jokes over the tannoy system. However this captain didn't seem to enjoy interacting with his guests. The first port of call was Koh Samui. This was the only port where ship had to tender. It was a beautiful sunny day and tendering process started early in the morning. We took an excursion to see temples and views of Koh Samui which was great. As we were on the tour, we didn't need a tender ticket to get off ship so were one of the first ones to get off. Tour finished at lunch time after which we went around the town and got back to tendering area around 2.30 or so. We were one of the lucky ones to get a tender back as soon as we got there. However thereafter it seems some people were queuing up for 3 hours or so to get a tender back. We were not sure what was happening as no announcements were made at the time. We were supposed to depart by 5pm but we didn't leave till around 9pm as passengers couldn't be brought back to the ship. Later we found out that due to change in tides, they couldn't load tender boats to full capacity. However that should have been known in advance and arrangements made to bring guests back from another tendering area. Lack of information to guests on ship was frustrating and captain only apologised regarding that 2 days later which is not good. If an incident happens, passengers need to be informed as soon as possible. We were in lam Chabong (gateway to Bangkok which is 2.5 hours away and Pattaya which is an hour away) for next 2 days. On the first day we did canals and Royal barges tour in Bangkok which was excellent with a great meal at a 5 star hotel. A lovely sunny but very humid day. Got back to ship around 6pm that day. Next day was another hot and sunny day and we did an ancient city tour near Bangkok which was very interesting too. Ship departed at 4pm that day and we were back an hour before that. The problem with this port is that it's too far away from the main cities. So one couldn't enjoy the night life offered by any of these 2 cities unless you were prepared to pay extortionate taxi costs (as no shuttles were offered at night). The ship should make arrangements for this for any overnight ports so guests can enjoy nightlife at these ports. Also, if you didn't do an excursion, the costs of day time shuttles to Bangkok were quite high. I'm sure guests wouldn't have minded paying for night time shuttles rather than for taxis. So in our opinion, this was a wasted overnight port and would have rather been in a port like Halong bay overnight to enjoy the nightlife offered there as it was easy to get into town from port area. This was our last port in Thailand. Next day, we were in Cambodia (Sihanoukville). We enjoyed this port and did a lovely excursion to temples, market and beaches on a sunny and hot day. However would have loved to visit Angkor Wat if we had an overnight stop. The main reason people visit Cambodia is to see Angkor Wat. So an overnight stop here rather than in Lam Chabong would have been better. Anyway, will have to make another trip to Cambodia too see that. After a day at sea, we entered Vietnam. Our first port was Saigon however the city was over an hour away from port. It was very hot and humid again. Very busy city with lots of motorbikes everywhere. It was a long day (over 9 hours) and we visited Buddhist pagoda, market, notre dam cathedral, presidential palace, lacquer showroom and were given 1.5 hours free time in between. No lunch was included. In fact not even a bottle of water was provided on this long day. Very difficult to cross busy roads in this city as hardly any pedestrian lights and no one pays attention to zebra crossings. Good to see this city once but would never go back there again. We had another sea day and then visited chan May in Vietnam where we did an excursion to see Da nang and marble beach. Had a good day sightseeing, visiting a museum, temple, da nang beach and a marble showroom but didn't actually see marble beach as it was a private beach for the 5 star hotels there. So not sure why the excursion had marble beach in its title. However we enjoyed the day which was once again hot and humid. The last stop in Vietnam was Ha long bay which was the highlight of this cruise. It was a misty day but luckily no rain which was forecast. We did a junk boat cruise around the islands and visited a cave which was very interesting. In the afternoon we walked to a local theme park and went on some really good roller coasters there. Surprised that the entry free to theme park including unlimited rides was only US $2 each. However when we tried to walk around the town area, we were hassled by guys on motorbikes trying to sell you stuff. So we returned back earlier. After another day at sea, we docked in Hong Kong. Debarkation was smooth on ship's part. However after a smooth immigration, the queue to get out of baggage area was long as there was not enough ground transportation for everyone as 2 ships were disembarking at same time. For Hong Kong to have such a nice new terminal and not have enough ground transportation for 2 ships, was a surprise. Hopefully it was a one off situation and doesn't happen regularly. We were out of the baggage area by 10.15 or so. We took a MTR tube to Hong Kong station which has down town facilities to check in luggage for certain flights. We got our boarding passes and then went to explore the beautiful city before returning back at night to take train to airport. All went very smoothly with no hiccups and we arrived back to London next day morning. On the whole I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone wanting to see highlights of Far East countries like Vietnam without any hardship involved. The itinerary was great but if they make minor changes in future like having overnight stop in Cambodia or Ha long bay, it would only make it better. The ship was great and I would give 4.5 stars for the cruising experience. Definitely one of our best cruises ever. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because of where Connie was taking us, we hadn't been to Colombo, Cochin, Goa, Mumbai, Muscat or Abu Dhabi. (We had been to Phuket and Dubai several times before). After reading many reviews about Connie ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of where Connie was taking us, we hadn't been to Colombo, Cochin, Goa, Mumbai, Muscat or Abu Dhabi. (We had been to Phuket and Dubai several times before). After reading many reviews about Connie before, we really didn't know what to expect as there were so many conflicting reviews both good, bad and ugly. So I've decided to write a review on our experience on aboard and Connie in general. Connie herself is in great shape, nice and clean and everything was working on board, with no smells. In regards to activities onboard there were many choose from, but we chose to relax and just take in the sun on sea days and venture out when docked at all the ports. In regards to Shore Excursions we did choose one from the ship, but it turned out terrible so we complained and received a 30% refund. To be fare to the Shore Excursion team it was the tour guide who was terrible not the places we visited. Cabin, WOW we had no idea that it was going to be that BIG, we had an Oceanview Category 4 Stateroom Number 8003 and our cabin attendant was absolutely superb. Dining was easy, we just rocked up and asked to sit with 6 other guests and within a couple of minutes we were seated and every night apart from 2 nights we sat with different guests and the food was great, we tried just about everything they had on the menus, with top service all around. Entertainment on board this cruise was really really good compared to some horror stories we heard, in fact all over the ship the entertainment was good. The Ports, well what can I say they were simply fabulous, Phuket jus simply laid back and just did what we wanted to do that included catching up with friends (using free Wifi of course), Colombo it was a pretty place and would like to go back again and spend more time, Cochin, well we kind of liked it but Goa and Mumbai were much much better and overall we thought India was kind of organised chaos. Muscat was a beautiful city where the mountains reach out and touched the sea and the city and harbour met. Aub Dhabi, did'n really do any thing for us, it looked like another suburb of Abu Dhabi. Now for the best part, on Connie there is this special place called the Martini Bar, we lived there every night of the cruise just meeting the most loverly people you could ever meet from all over the globe and the 4 bar tenders put on the best Martini/Cocktail shows I ever seen, pouring 15 Cocktails in one go, it was simply the best, well done lads. Overall we had a WOW of a time on Connie will be sailing on her again in the very near future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this to fill in the gap between visiting Singapore and Hong Kong. A disappointing start at embarkation. We were concierge class but no effort had been made for us to embark quickly and we had to find staff to usher us through. As ... Read More
We chose this to fill in the gap between visiting Singapore and Hong Kong. A disappointing start at embarkation. We were concierge class but no effort had been made for us to embark quickly and we had to find staff to usher us through. As it was we boarded at 1pm, we had been invited for luncheon valid until 1.30pm. We could have missed this. Our luggage did not get to our cabin until 8pm which we consider very poor. We dined in the restaurant each evening, second sitting. Every time we complained on the temperature of the food and why supposedly hot food was served on cold plates. We were not aware that we had a classic beverage package until the penultimate evening, If we had known we would not have purchased a wine package. Why were we not informed of this when the wine package was purchased? We had a Shore Excursion to Na Trang, Vietnam, where our Guide always seemed to be in a hurry getting off the coach and walking well ahead of the group leading them along busy streets and across roads with no consideration for those who could not keep up. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We are Celebrity fans having first cruised on Equinox in 2013. We only ever cruise at Christmas and with friends we met on our first cruise. The biggest disappointment was the arrogance of some of the passengers especially with the ... Read More
We are Celebrity fans having first cruised on Equinox in 2013. We only ever cruise at Christmas and with friends we met on our first cruise. The biggest disappointment was the arrogance of some of the passengers especially with the sunbeams. Now we Brits have a reputation for competing with other europeans for beds around hotel pools in europe but seizing 20 beds at 0630 using 4 towels per bed, smacks of selfishness and arrogance and to top it all, from fellow Brits1 We cruised at Christmas from Abu Dhabi including Goa, Mumbai, Dubai, Sir Bani island and back to Abu Dhabi. Abu dhabi is rather boring, Goa was disappointing, Dubai is impressive but hugely expensive, Sir Bani island (never went ashore) seemed pointless. Why have to wait two ours to be tendered to a beach for a BBQ? We were deck 11 in AquaClass and our cabin attendant was fantastic as were 80% of the crew some, clearly their first contract, need a short sharp shock. Celebrity has a policy of not allowing reservation of sunbeds and if you leave, its 30 minutes or your personal belongings are collected and taken to guest relations. Never happened. Pool butlers seemed either intimidated or were perhaps, getting a little kick back for turning a blind eye. Now I appreciate that there are never enough beds on sea days especially if the weather is hot, but it kind of iritates you knowing you have to hunt for a bed after you've had breakfast and certainly put us and our friends, in a bad mood - not the way to start your day! The ridiculous use of 4 towels per bed, kind of flys in the face of Celebrity's "save the waves" campaign and perhaps should require you to sign for a maximum amount of two towels using your sea pass and return them otherwise, you pay for them. Better policing would also help. We always book AquaClass mainly because Blu restaurant has, in my opinion, the best food on the ship along with a comprehensive and impressive wine list. Neither was obvious in Blu in fact, its probably some of the most mediocre food we have ever had. Celebrity have definetly reduced the selection too, even though we always opt for Premium Drinks Package as opposed to the Classic Drinks Package. I would be replacing executive chef too. Are Celebrity aware of the dozens of potato dishes that can be created rather than has or chips? Or sauces rather than some light hearted attempt to disguise yesterdays with todays? As a former chef, I was deeply frustrated at the lack of culinary skill or imagination AND the bloody lack of potato dishes! Connie is showing her age and any any amount of "refits' makes little difference. She is shabby and unloved and should be scrapped. Going back the Solstice class a in September and then Christmas 2020 - never again on a Millennium Class. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We are a couple in our early 40s who have sailed around 20 times on a variety of lines with most itineraries averaging 2 weeks. The majority of our trips have been on main stream lines on ships of around 2,500 passengers. We have sailed ... Read More
We are a couple in our early 40s who have sailed around 20 times on a variety of lines with most itineraries averaging 2 weeks. The majority of our trips have been on main stream lines on ships of around 2,500 passengers. We have sailed once on Regent and once on Viking Ocean and have an upcoming Crystal cruise. Before this cruise we had just completed 4 other cruises totalling 54 days. We flew from Miami to Dubai to take this cruise. Unfortunately I picked up the flu while onboard which did limit my ability to enjoy the cruise fully. Speaking to other passengers it sounded like respiratory (and some noro) had been common problems on the preceding legs. Unfortunately initial impressions were poor as the embarkation process was shocking. Taxis did not know where to drop passengers and so we had to drag bags a long way and then entered what can only be described as a bare shed with no air conditioning. The luggage collection process was the worst I have ever seen, no organisation at all, after waiting for far too long I gave up found a copy of the passenger manifest lying around and wrote out my own luggage tags and left out luggage in the middle of the shed and presumed somebody would eventually pick it up (obviously they did). We then joined another long queue (described by a fellow guest as an easyjet style check in). Eventually we reached the desk where we waited 20 minutes to get our key, others were getting theirs in 5 minutes. We asked to speak to the only Seabourn representative in the shed and she sped the process up. We were handed a keycard and nothing else, no information, nothing. Again nobody on the pier and eventually on entering the ship we found the CD Handre to greet us. We then wandered aimlessly through the ship until we stumbled across lunch. Thankfully things picked up after this underwhelming start. The ship itself is gorgeous inside and out (although you could tell some finishings were a bit poor). Modern art everywhere. Public areas like the Square and the Ovation lounge were lovely places to relax in. There are loads of small outdoor spaces for relaxing although many are marred by smoking areas. Also the private extra cost Retreat (which strangely is never mentioned or advertised) limits a lot of usable space. There is one self service laundry with excellent quality machines which is perpetually busy. Cabin - this is probably the major highlight of the ship. Our suite was large, modern, comfortable and stylish. We loved the walk in closet, there was more storage than we knew what to do with. The bed was comfortable although not as large as others we have experienced. The tv is large with loads of on demand options although there was functionality problems with both the music and the lectures. The lounge area is very spacious and the wet bar is great, although not set up on the first day as requested they added things daily. The balcony and furniture was great but it got dirty frequently and needed better cleaning. The bathroom was very spacious and sleek with separate bath and twin vanities. The shower was a little small but worked well. We loved getting caviar sent to the suite in the late afternoons and enjoying the sunsets. Dining - there are several venues although they don't differ significantly in style and cuisine (sushi excepted). A major plus was how visible the executive chef was. The major highlights were the caviar in the surf followed by an amazing lobster bbq on the beach (logistically very impressive), an amazing Indian buffet dinner which had amazing detail and superb curries, caviar anywhere anytime. Breakfast in the Colonnade featured great fruit and a good mix of buffet and a la carte options, unfortunately early service was slow and forgetful. Similarly lunch in the same venue featured great variety and quality and changed daily and has a lovely outdoor area but was marred by service problems, no drinks and main courses completely forgotten on consecutive days. A discreet word to the manager saw immediate improvement. Seabourn does have an issue with their failure to assign one server to a table which meant constantly repeating requests, wine and water being refilled with incorrect choices etc.A fellow guest who is a Seabourn regular was shocked dining with us that we had to reconfirm our water choice more than 8 times in one meal (we told her that was a nightly occurrence). We thought the patio (burger bar) option was very average for lunch and only ate here once. Sushi (and ramen) were a nice option for variety. We had dinner in a variety of venues. The mdr was very nice with good quality food. Service here was good without being great with the wine and water issues regularly raising their ugly heads. The earth and ocean concept is a good one and poplar but very inconsistent. Our first night was very slow with side dishes forgotten and staff not being able to explain dishes. Our second attempt was excellent as we ate much later and the staff was under less pressure. The Colonnade was good and provided great variety but was often understaffed outdoors which led to long waits. Sushi did a great formal night set menu, the small venue is casual, quality is solid without being great but provides some much needed flexibility. The TK grill is supposedly the speciality restaurant on board, the space is sleek and stylish, the adjoining bar has a piano player but service was again patchy and cocktails only average. The food was good quality but it was basic fare and never changed. What we really disliked was the service and ambience, they were clearly trying to be arrogant and intimidating but just come off as painful and rigid. Entertainment - The CD Handre is probably the best we have encountered, highly visible, busy, approachable, amusing and clearly talented as a musician. His trivia was a highlight, especially the final round! Sea days included loads of activities from games to lectures with the art and jewellery classes being a highlight. The shows were typical of those we have experienced on small ships, good without being sensational. The Tim Rice show was a little disappointing given the hype. The guest comedian Steve Stevens was a highlight. Seabourn did a great job with parties and events such as the Country Fair, Outdoor dance party, Captains farewell - all fun events. There was plenty of music options with the quartet being our favourite - the combination of Gary and Shae doing duets was a highlight and all of the band members hosted activities which were loads of fun. The other bands and piano player (could have been more engaging) were all very talented. Service - this is what we were most looking forward to. We had heard of the legendary service levels, name recognition and ability to fulfil requests. The reality was quite mixed. It was clear there was a lot of new staff, especially in the dining and bars and we often heard arguing and complaining amongst staff which should not happen. Guest relations were excellent both on the phone and in person. Housekeeping was good but they seemed paranoid and we often found the supervisor in our room and twisting our words to make it seem we were complaining (we did no such thing and were happy with our attendant). Bar service in the main bars was solid without being exceptional with Sasha being the standout. The Colonnade was marred by problems but management fixed it for us but others were constantly highlighting the problems. For us the biggest let down was the pool areas. Chairs were reserved all day on sea days and not policed. The small deck 5 pool had every chair taken one day (more than 20) with only 2 people actually there. Worse though was pool side service. My wife was routinely ignored to the point she refused to attend the pool area at all half way thru the cruise, at one point a server spilt a drink on her and didn't offer to help clean it up. My final day I spent 4 hours by the pool and never once was asked if I wanted something. None of the myriad of glasses and dishes (all self served) were ever cleaned up. The quality of drinks was so bad we actually made a server try the frozen margaritas they were sending out and he had to spit it out and apologise. Another server begged me not to order a cocktail and told me to pick my favourite spirit and mixer and even then said it was a risk. Most guests were giving up and just ordering champagne and wine. There was no beer list and the barmen would not tell you what was available - it was an absolute joke of a pool bar. The managers would try and improve it but it would only be a temporary solution. Ports- had been to most of them and with illness only got off twice. Port talks were offered but the information often had basic mistakes. Disembarkation was relaxed but as usual Singapore port was slow with long queues. Overall - a sleek ship with fabulous cabins, a great CD and activities. Service levels are patchy, smoking is intrusive, lack of outdoor walking areas. Would like to try their smaller ships if the price were right. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I chose this cruise as I wanted to be away to avoid a certain anniversary. I looked for a Reposioning Cruise as I like plenty of sea days and not many port calls. Travelling as a single is always expensive and this was not a cheap holiday ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I wanted to be away to avoid a certain anniversary. I looked for a Reposioning Cruise as I like plenty of sea days and not many port calls. Travelling as a single is always expensive and this was not a cheap holiday even though it included drinks and gratuities. So one could not say ‘ You get what you pay for’ and imply it was a bargain rate and that I should have known better... The ship itself is fine, very clean and the majority of the staff are good at their job, helpful and courteous. The food is again ‘fine’, good choice, plentiful and varied, if somewhat overcooked at times, but the chefs are catering for a wide range of tastes and appetites. The Turf and Surf had very good food and was well worth the supplement.Embarkation and airport transfer were excellent. Excursions were pretty standard and reasonably priced. My problem was I am not vastly overweight, don’t wear Primark clothes, wouldn’t dream of drinking a pint of lager at ten in the morning, dislike having to strain to speak to people over the incessant row made by the talent-challenged entertainers in the bars, would have loved to sit on the sundeck without loud pop music blaring out - so I didn’t really fit in. It sounds snobby I know, but had I been aware of the target market of Marella Cruises, I would have realised it was out of my comfort zone. We all have different tastes and it doesn’t make us better or worse than each other, but Marella was not for me. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We selected this cruise based on the interesting itinerary from Rome to Abu Dhabi, including a journey through the Suez Canal and a trip to Petra from Aqaba, Jordan. The ports were all a lot of fun and interesting. Several were easy enough ... Read More
We selected this cruise based on the interesting itinerary from Rome to Abu Dhabi, including a journey through the Suez Canal and a trip to Petra from Aqaba, Jordan. The ports were all a lot of fun and interesting. Several were easy enough to do on our own. Our time was limited in Catania and Muscat, so I wish we were there for more hours. The cruise was long with many sea days, but we enjoyed the different activities the Celebrity Constellation offered. I wish they would vary the timing of activities from day to day so we could do more. For instance, if you decide to participate in trivia, it's at the same time daily and often conflicts with several other things on the schedule. Also, the schedule is packed from 10am-3pm, but not much going on in the late afternoon. While the Constellation is an older ship, it didn't feel old and they've done a good job keeping it updated. We found our cabin comfortable and the ship easy to get around. The food in the Oceanview Cafe was great for breakfast and lunch, offering a wide variety. We also enjoyed access to ice cream and cookies in the afternoon. We had great service by a couple of different waiters in the main dining room (a few not so great servers). For the most part, the food was good, but not great. We had a few misses. The entertainment was predictable but enjoyable. The production cast and musicians were very good, and we liked the theme nights in the Reflections lounge in the late evening. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We had never cruised with NCL before but will definitely go with them again! Having boarded in Singapore, we could not believe how well the ship's crew catered for such a broad range of clients! The food was terrific and ... Read More
We had never cruised with NCL before but will definitely go with them again! Having boarded in Singapore, we could not believe how well the ship's crew catered for such a broad range of clients! The food was terrific and although we usually avoid the buffet, we actually loved it for therange and quality of food offered. The steakhouse restaurant was delicious too! We booked one shore excursion with the ship which was comparable in cost to the other twoI had booked independently for other ports. The standard of entertainment was fantastic! Again, nailed it as far as appealing to many different cultures and ages on board. Although this was an older ship to some of the ones we have been on before, it was impeccably maintained and the ambience in the smaller restaurants and bars was spot on. This was also smaller than some of the other ships we have experienced which gave it a more personal feel. Definitely recommend this trip to others! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Firstly I chose this cruise for the itinerary going to the Philippines but it was changed to Vietnam This was also a place I wanted to see so didn’t cancel Not sure that was a good idea I have been on many cruises and many Royal ... Read More
Firstly I chose this cruise for the itinerary going to the Philippines but it was changed to Vietnam This was also a place I wanted to see so didn’t cancel Not sure that was a good idea I have been on many cruises and many Royal Caribbean I am quite loyal to them but not sure after this cruise The organisation was bad from start to finish from boarding to disembarking The food was the worst I have ever had ranging from cold to inedible I have to say the staff were all amazing and did their best The entertainment was the worst I have seen I have never seen so many walk out of performances It seemed all the entertainers were from Australia and the standard was not the usual Royal Caribbean produced I don’t know what has happened to Royal Caribbean I spent the whole cruise trying to convince other passengers that this was not the normal way a cruise holiday should be and to convince them to give R C another chance but I fear they have already made up their minds If this is the way R C is going to continue I fear I may even jump ship Read Less

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