26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Take lots of antibiotics and cold and flu medicine with you. The cruise from Perth to Tilbury was full of sick people. They go to the card room, the bars, the dining areas and the lounge. They were taken on a tour of the kitchen. I ... Read More
Take lots of antibiotics and cold and flu medicine with you. The cruise from Perth to Tilbury was full of sick people. They go to the card room, the bars, the dining areas and the lounge. They were taken on a tour of the kitchen. I stopped going to the fitness classes, the entertainment and group activities because of the risk of infection. We ate outside. The well people were.becoming hostile to the sick people. Some well people would not use the pool. The bread and deserts are uncovered. Infection spreads. The gym has equipment that dores not work. It is like the rehabilition room in a rundown old person's home. The equipment in the crew gym is great but you are not allowed to use it. Forget this cruise if you have special dietory requirements. You either eat high cholestorol or salad for 39 days. The salad becomes boring. The white coat staff cannot fix things and they can hide behind limited English. The internet does not work. On the plus side you get to a lot of places. The excursion coordinator, Elizabeth, was excellent. It is cheap. The bar and waiting staff are great. They should be paid a living wage and not depend on tips. Tip those you like. Who knows where the $8 a day goes. If you like bus tours with lots of sick people this is for you. Not recommended for anyone who is or thinks under the age of 85 and who does not remember the war. Read Less
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I chose this cruise for it's itinerary, timing and value for money. It was also a way to get from Melbourne to London without jet lag and swollen ankles. It is an old ship and fairly small but I prefer the small ship atmosphere and ... Read More
I chose this cruise for it's itinerary, timing and value for money. It was also a way to get from Melbourne to London without jet lag and swollen ankles. It is an old ship and fairly small but I prefer the small ship atmosphere and friendliness. Overall the ship exceeded my expectations with a super friendly crew who went out of their way to make it an enjoyable voyage. Being small it moves around a bit in a swell and the stabilisers do not seem very effective but if you want a smoother ride you should stick to floating apartment blocks. The cabin was good for its type with the most comfortable beds I have had on my many cruises with various cruise lines. The in cabin entertainment was lacking with few movies that were repeated on a loop throughout each day. The show lounge entertainment was excellent with no shows repeated in the 6 weeks aboard. The dancers were great but the singers ranged from exceptional (Angelina) through to good with one who shall remain nameless who was painful. Pre dinner entertainment in the Captains Club was very good with a pianist and either a singer or violinist accompanying her. A nice way to start the evening. The cruise director Tony and assistant cruise director Katy ensured the entertainment flowed freely with a performance in the show lounge twice nightly and various sail away parties on the outside decks as we left ports. The second show was always less crowded and it was easy to find a good seat. The daytime entertainment was sparse but included 2 lectures each sea day which I found to be very interesting. The food was adequate but not great. Too much fish and chicken for my taste but the head waiter Tojo was fantastic in trying to accommodate me and would arrange extra steamed vegies or grilled meat and chips if all else failed. The bread rolls were excellent but the afternoon teas were not good as the cakes were dry, the scones like hard biscuits and the sandwiches boring ham and cheese every day. One big disappointment was the breakfast eggs. It is against Astor's policy to serve eggs either fried, poached or boiled, with a runny yolk. Every egg was hard in the centre. Health and safety was the excuse but I haven't seen this on other cruise ships and six weeks of overcooked eggs was an irritation to most passengers I spoke to. They need to consider passenger tastes rather than covering their own backs. Liz, the shore excursion organiser was very good. She went out of her way to help even if you were enquiring about a non ship tour. We had major health concerns on board culminating in a shoreside hospital visit in Capetown and 2 subsequent ships hospital visits. The ships doctor (Dmitri) and his staff gave us confidence to continue our voyage and ensured we had the appropriate care till we arrived in London to the point of offering to arrange specialist care on shore when we docked. Ships medical assistance is not cheap so good travel insurance is vital. The internet costs were very cheap ($5 Australian per hour) but totally unreliable. On the occasions where I had to seek help from the reception staff for internet and other problems they were great. Service with a smile always. The ship displayed some meanness in small ways. Like no shampoo and conditioner in the cabin, just a body wash in the shower which could have been dishwashing liquid. They gave us a lovely tray of chocolate goodies for Easter but we only received a chocolate on the pillow on the formal nights. Room service was limited and not complimentary. Other reviewers have said the crew are surly but we found everyone from the Captain down to be cheerful and friendly. The one exception was our cabin steward. She was a miserable soul who obviously didn't like her job. She kept the cabin clean but whether it was a language problem or a personality trait, her face could not form a smile. Would I travel on Astor again, yes I would, the good far outweighed the bad, a sentiment widely felt by fellow passengers, many of which had cruised with her multiple times. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Sailed to Auckland from Tilbury in October 2016. I had initial fears that I would be travelling on a floating old people’s home for 6 weeks and although I was 10 years below the average age on board they were a great bunch and many were ... Read More
Sailed to Auckland from Tilbury in October 2016. I had initial fears that I would be travelling on a floating old people’s home for 6 weeks and although I was 10 years below the average age on board they were a great bunch and many were repeating the trip. Some amazing and interesting people on board. Definitely not luxury cruising but extremely comfortable. I loved the breakfasts and still miss them. My wife just doesn’t do quite the omelette that they do on board. I also loved the fact that breakfast frequently lasted from 06.30 hrs to 10.00 hrs. Lovely wee ship and great experience. I may go again next year but am thinking of Columbus in January 2019 but am worried she might not be as friendly as Astor as she is about three times the size. . I also loved the informality of Astor and the way the crew could socialise with us at night. Prior to the trip I had not been on a liner since 1966 but I thoroughly enjoyed my trip. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Itinary we want to go to st Helena and ascension we got to st Helena but not ascension Due to rough seas for a tender .think in five years a tender has not got ashore .we felt the ships food was not as good as other ships we have been ... Read More
Itinary we want to go to st Helena and ascension we got to st Helena but not ascension Due to rough seas for a tender .think in five years a tender has not got ashore .we felt the ships food was not as good as other ships we have been on but at no point did we ever go hungry . Entertainment as good as any London shows one of the singers called Roland Carr had fantastic stage presence t and I hope he gets picked up . Also wonderful polish singer opera again should be in opera house infact told her that. Staff excellent nonthing too much trouble reception who also speak German first class . Captain was very visible every morning as close to 11Am spoke to every one. A lot of the bigger ships could take a lesson . The ship has every thing that the larger ships have bridge, quizzes , shuffle deck, didn't Play . We had village fair which was very good captain again visible also wonderful weather. We didn't do any tours as we had been to most places .very good shuttle bus as Walvis bay got ripped off by taxi May be in the on board news paper would be good idea to put local fares in if there is no Shuttle bus. Felt shopping for presents unless you did it ashore ship,is missing out teddy bears things for grandchildren .also needs a shop where things you might have for gotten .i relize ship is that much smaller but feel shopping could have been better. Read Less
35 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise for its ports of call, destination and cost. Embarkation could have been handled better. We seemed to spend a lot of time lining up and by the time we got on it was time for drill. Astor is an older and smaller ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its ports of call, destination and cost. Embarkation could have been handled better. We seemed to spend a lot of time lining up and by the time we got on it was time for drill. Astor is an older and smaller ship and consequently does not have the facilities and amenities of the bigger ships. However, we found that less passengers meant we got to know each other and everyone was friendly and happy to chat. The morning quiz was so popular that not everyone could get into the bar. We sat outside and answered the questions ourselves. The guest speakers were popular and very informative, especially the astronomer. The evening shows were good on the whole. Especially the rock n roll show (Jordan stole the show) and the Rocky horror show. Jordan was great in that too. As the stage and seating were all on the same level everyone wanted to sit at the front. The food was good although we are not used to so much fish. We preferred the Waldorf dining room. Get waited on and don't have the push and shove of the buffet. And get plenty to eat without over eating. The shore tours are reasonably priced and a variety of options. Some people say the tours are expensive but you are picked up from the ship, returned, have an English speaking guide and any admissions are included. It is much easier in an unfamiliar place where English may not be widely spoken. Swakupmund Namibia was great. Nothing like I expected for a town surrounded by desert. That was an enjoyable day out with a man who lived there as a child and had seen it change from a small town to a thriving metropolis. Clean and modern. The sand dunes and carpet weaving factory were great. Our cabin and the ship in general was kept clean. Warning that a young man was cleaning the ladies toilets might have been useful. My only gripe would be why is Ascension Island on the itinerary when they really have no intention of stoping there. In 5 passes of the island they have only gone ashore once. They say the water is too rough but the island is a strategic place for the British and Americans which makes me wonder. Despite not going there we were 3 hours late arriving at Casablanca. How late would we have been if we had stopped at Ascension Island. This cruise was value for money. May not have the glitz and glamour of the bigger more expensive cruises but was more relaxed. And as I said to my husband it is the first time we have been on first name terms with the crew. And the captain is a good singer. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise based on value for money. We were not seeking a "party" boat. I must admit I was expecting it to be boring, but had a wonderful time. The activities were well planned and the food was excellent the entire ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on value for money. We were not seeking a "party" boat. I must admit I was expecting it to be boring, but had a wonderful time. The activities were well planned and the food was excellent the entire trip. Crew were very professional. Despite being on the boat for 38 days, we did not want to get off when we arrived in England. Has definitely turned me on to cruising. The stops along the way included Mauritius, various locations around South Africa and Namibia. Loved Cape Town and St Helens. Then Morroco and Portugal. Loved the ambiance of the entire trip. Met many wonderful people. My wife got gastro on the boat, however I believe this is an occupational hazard of cruising. Whilst I was not sick, we were in lockdown in our cabin for 76 hours. However all the way through the Doctor, crew and officers ensured that we were well looked after. They were very professional and ensured that the illness was not spread to others. I cannot speak highly enough. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We sailed on the Astor from London to Auckland, New Zealand. The voyage was wonderful and the ship and crew exceeded our expectations . Boarding at Tilbury was average , but with only 505 guests it did not take lone really. The ... Read More
We sailed on the Astor from London to Auckland, New Zealand. The voyage was wonderful and the ship and crew exceeded our expectations . Boarding at Tilbury was average , but with only 505 guests it did not take lone really. The ship is not suitable for kids or wheel chair use , but we knew this before boarding. Disembarking at Auckland was just too easy. We were told there were 249 crew on board. The food and shows were of a very high standard for a small ship.Every single night brought a new show in the show-lounge. Many outstanding production shows as well as single acts. The crew could not have been better , always willing to help with a smile. Tips were included in the ticket and it was good not to have a 15% service charge added to drinks etc. We had a bonus of an up-grade which was nice. The Captain was amazing , always about the ship and joined in the singing and dances at times. Mixed with guests on shuttle buses etc.Of all the cruises we have done, he rates top in our book. The ship though old was in pristine condition through-out. Up keep of varnish work etc was non-stop and put bigger cruise ship operators to shame. The ports of call were all enjoyed and the ship charges for tours was very reasonable compared to other cruise lines. Though the smallest ship and maybe the oldest we have cruised on , we really did enjoy every da (and night) on board Astor Read Less
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