Sail Date: April 2014
10 days without sight of land and the activities during the day was non existent unless you want to do a quiz and win one golf ball between the table. Dont get me wrong I enjoy a good quiz but when thats about all there is it gets boring. ... Read More
10 days without sight of land and the activities during the day was non existent unless you want to do a quiz and win one golf ball between the table. Dont get me wrong I enjoy a good quiz but when thats about all there is it gets boring. We decided to play table tennis enjoyed that then the next day they decided to do maintenance on the floor there and on the basketball court. The outdoor pool was emptied for a few days. The average age on the ship would have been about 65 yet they put toy story on the tv and other movies where at least 15 years old. Saturday night entertainment was The marigold hotel at leas five years old. My husband loves kareoke they had that twice at 11.00pm everyone had gone to bed. The drinks where really expensive. The shop on boatd was so expensive no one ever went in it. Getting off the ship on the tenders was arranged for 9.00am the last tender left at 11.45am with strict instructions to return at 2.00pm from Mossel Bay. Each port of call there was problems making people late for the tours and some people had to cancel. I have to say the staff are very pleasant and helpful and the food was good but there was just to many other things against this cruise we left at Cape Town many others where going all the way to England.   Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Choose this cruise to get from Cape Town to United Kingdom as it was at the best time. Queen Victoria was not till end of month should have waited. Astor suite was beautiful really big well furnished with a lovely stewardess . It was an ... Read More
Choose this cruise to get from Cape Town to United Kingdom as it was at the best time. Queen Victoria was not till end of month should have waited. Astor suite was beautiful really big well furnished with a lovely stewardess . It was an island of comfort in an otherwise mediocre ship. The astor needs a huge dose of TLC, znd some decent money spent on it. Food was OK, breakfast was OK but very predictable, we like tea in a tea pot every teapot was chipped with lids that didn’t fit, that was indicative of the standard of the ship. Crew were very nice, but struggling against the odds. The gym very basic and all instructions in German, considering the ship had spent 6 months cruising Australia a complete lavk of attention to detail . Disembarkation the premium suites were advertised as disembark at your leisure, they were in such a hurry to get every one off as coach loads of embarking passengers had arrived, and coaches for Victoria had arrived, just called everyone together. It was a rugby scrum of 800 passengers. Customer service have not answered my emails after 5 months. Read Less
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Astor suite great, spacious and beautifully equipped lovely steward. Staff did their best. Rest of the ship could do with a lot ofTLC. Embarkation was a nightmare, the three premium suites supposedly offered leisurely disembarkation, it ... Read More
Astor suite great, spacious and beautifully equipped lovely steward. Staff did their best. Rest of the ship could do with a lot ofTLC. Embarkation was a nightmare, the three premium suites supposedly offered leisurely disembarkation, it was a rugby scrum, every one called together before they were ready. Even a couple who had to go to the hospital were caught up in this. They just wanted every one of as soon as possible because the coaches of embarking passengers had arrivef We chose this ad only ship that was going from cape town to southhampton at a time we wanted, Queen Victoria was nesrly a month later, should hsve waiteda month food was ok but nothing to write home about , gym not up to much, as a wsy of getting from A to B rather thsn flying back from cape town was ok, as a holiday very very very very very very very very very very very very very disappointing. My advice is this a a budgetcruise line and it shows Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
On-board Management makes good money by promoting packages. Value for money is poor. Especially staff are not friendly & does awkward drinks. Cabins sometimes smells likes a fish. Entertainment is always the same excellent. Pool ... Read More
On-board Management makes good money by promoting packages. Value for money is poor. Especially staff are not friendly & does awkward drinks. Cabins sometimes smells likes a fish. Entertainment is always the same excellent. Pool area service is very poor. No towels after get wet. Food in Buffet restaurant is not as per the taste & crew working in that areas is disgusting, they eat & drink from the buffet. The Shops are most of time closed & the staff working in the premises is look like sleepy moods. The shop have no such a variety of products & too expensive. The Excursion where they take us & how the staff take care of us is very touchable to our hearts. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
About the cruise from Fremantle to Esperance and return Departing From: Fremantle On: Mon 14 Dec 15 Returning On: Sat 19 Dec 15 Power: Nowhere on the web site nor did the travel agent say that the power plugs where ... Read More
About the cruise from Fremantle to Esperance and return Departing From: Fremantle On: Mon 14 Dec 15 Returning On: Sat 19 Dec 15 Power: Nowhere on the web site nor did the travel agent say that the power plugs where the European style plugs, our travel agent said that it was a British company and it would be the English plug. We went to the reception desk on the first day and asked if they had any adapters to convert from European style plugs to Australian plug they said no but when they found out that I had been booked on with a CPAC (Continuous positive airway pressure ) machine they seem to find one. The next morning the reception rang us to see if I was finished with the adapter, I found this very discerning as I was told that I could use for the whole voyage due to my health problems Food and Restaurants: To start the lack of variety between the Waldorf Restaurant and the Ubersee Club, the food was the same. The difference is that in the Waldorf Restaurant the waiter bought you the meal to the table ( emphases is on wait , several times sitting near the serving station we saw food bought out and after about five to eight minutes the food was served to our table) and one help oneself at the Ubersee Club. The coffee seemed bitter and very strong and it came from urn. After the first show we went back to the Ubersee Club for coffee and a snack but there were no snacks (Danishes, cake and biscuits etc.) The Web Site says that there is Afternoon teas and late night snacks. We could not find the late night snacks The variety of the meals did not very that much and there was only two Appetizers Soup Main meals where on other cruise ships there are three and four every one. No steaks chicken or any type of seafood Table setting lacked finesse as they had no soup spoons on the table in the Waldorf Restaurant instead they had desert spoons In the Waldorf Restaurant one evening as Appetizers they had Swedish Meat Balls advertised, when the dish arrive I surprised to find only one meat ball on the plate, several passengers made comments to the waiters that in the English language the plural means more than one yet in the Ubersee Club I was told that I could help themselves to as many as one wanted. After several trips other cruise ships around the world, we were disappointed in the standard off dress in the Waldorf Restaurant in the evening people came in thongs shorts and tee shirt and on the formal night some of the people weren’t dress up Security Several people that we talked to found the same problem with the cabin doors, we all expected the doors to lock when they closed as they do on other cruise ships, not so on the Astor, first evening we shut the door and short time later someone pressed the handle down and the door open, he blamed the ships motion. This is a Security problem; there is no notice to say that the cabin doors are not self locking. The doors could be fitted with slam locks (self locking) or notices placed on the back of the doors stating that the doors are not self locking under the lifeboat sign Damaged cases On our case we had an expensive address label when we handed our case over at the luggage area, on our way aboard we happened to see a luggage address label next to the Gangway, it just happened to be ours, When we arrived at our cabin we found our case and the pull up handle was damaged. When we landed we could not find our case in the area for our cabin number. We asked if all the case where off the ship and one of the staff just waved us off to another area and said damaged case where over there they made no effort to apologises about the damage to the cases. Where we found our case with a completely broken pull-up handle we had to use a strap to pull the case TV The range of TV movies was very poor and the selection of TV Channels also was poor , no channel with documentaries on or cartoons etc where on other cruise ships there are three and four channels with other forms of entertainment, on our TV on Channel 1 one could not read where the photos were taken Service The best way to describe the service: is the lack of service! If one was in the Astor lounge the only time where one could order a drink was about fifteen minutes before the evening show, no service in there at any other time of day. Even with the orange dot on the card that represented the drink package they still had to take the card and it took at time up to fifteen minutes before there returned with your drinks card and then you had to sign receipt. Even when I ordered two drinks on my card the insisted that they took my wife’s card, I could have been buying a friend a drink and then I do not know what would have happened. My wife went to the Spa area just before the life boat drill and asked about the Spa package that we had as she wanted to have her nails done; the lady there did not seem to be able to understand the English language and could not tell us about the Spa package. So the next day we went to the Reception desk to find out about the Spa package and by the time we went back to the Spa area we were told that there was no more time slots for nail packages. Yet they kept on advertising the different spa treatments the whole voyage. It seemed to us that most of the crew had a fair amount of difficulty in understand English; some of them had to get a supervisor to help them understand what was said The Company said that they had not had any complaints before Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
I am a regular reviewer and I have never had to make a unkind review and I do not like complaining but I feel I have to warn potential passengers of my experience of cruising on the “Astor”. This was my fourth cruise this year and I am ... Read More
I am a regular reviewer and I have never had to make a unkind review and I do not like complaining but I feel I have to warn potential passengers of my experience of cruising on the “Astor”. This was my fourth cruise this year and I am an experienced cruise passenger. My problems started when I booked the cruise on-line from an advert in the West Australian Newspaper. The advert said; I should pay before a certain date because the price would go up. It didn’t the price went down. I wrote an email to the “Cruise and Maritine Company” to point this out and included the price difference. Their reply was trite, so I sent another email explaining my point of view. They did not reply. From the minute I entered the ship to the minute I left, the staff who were manly Eastern European were indifferent, distant and quarrelsome. Duty free bar prices I thought were steep compared to a five star hotel in Bali; for a cocktail (using cheaper brands of spirits) $10.95- a small draft beer $6.95 - a glass of house wine $8.50 The noise in the public rooms as well as the cabins was loud and the vibration from the engines was constant. The ship being small, took the full brunt of the Indian Ocean swell and pitched and rolled, thank goodness I do not suffer from sea sickness. The Astor was previously called “Fedor Dostojevski” and served the Russians. Straight out from a Gulag it would seem luxury, but for the average cruise passenger I would rate it less than two star. Therefore, if you expect only two star accommodation and service for a four star price this holiday is for you. When I picked up my suit-case on boarding the cruise it was damaged and security agreed that it was their porterage that was responsible. Later I was asked to see a receptionist and I thought they would solve the problem but they only offered me a paltry sum off my cabin account, which I declined. Because they admitted responsibility, I asked them to put it in writing so as I could claim off my travel insurance. The receptionist became aggressive and accused me of bringing the suitcase on board already broken so as I could defraud their insurance. I was too disgusted to argue and left. With their attitude I am not expecting an apology at any time soon. And finally when I got my Bank Statement they had taken my cabin account off twice, I could not believe it. They did reverse the transaction but I panicked when I seen what they had done, again no apology or explanation. I promise I will never set foot on the boat again.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2014
It was to be just a short break. A group of women (30) with a hobby in common (scrapbooking) on board the MS Astor for a few days out of Fremantle doing what they love best. Embarkation was confused, but I'll put that down to the ... Read More
It was to be just a short break. A group of women (30) with a hobby in common (scrapbooking) on board the MS Astor for a few days out of Fremantle doing what they love best. Embarkation was confused, but I'll put that down to the group organisation rather than the cruise line and get to what I really want to say - about the cruise itself. The food ranged from ordinary to poor. There was one really nice roast duck, but other than that ... I mean how do you make a cheese and herb omelette tasteless? And availability of food was extremely poor. Outside of set meal hours, there was nothing to be had. We were doing back to back - 3 nights cruising and then a 4th night in port. So on the morning of the first section, we were just going about our normal activities. We weren't disembarking with the rest of the passengers. We didn't know that they were expecting us to go through all the checkout procedures. We did know that we would have to change cabins (why for one night?) but didn't realise the trouble this would cause. They issued us with new ID cards, but that meant that the computer system couldn't find us because it still had us in the old cabins on the old ID cards. What we (by this time only 2 of the original group of 30) didn't know that that the breakfast service was being shut down at 8:00am (instead of 9:00) and that there would be no further food available anywhere on board until lunch at 1:00pm!! We were lucky to find a spot where an urn and some tea bags were available to make a cup of tea!!! On the Sunday evening, I booked for a massage - I asked for 15 minutes head and shoulder. When I got back to my room I found that I had been booked for a 30 minute massage, but thought OK let it go. When I went for the massage, it seems that I fell asleep (as do many people during a massage) and when I woke up they charged me for 60 minutes ($186!!). No amount of trying to reason with them was of any use. No amount of trying to talk to someone at the Reception Desk was any use. It is a SCAM people. I discovered that I was not the only one they did this to. When I went to disembark on the final morning, they couldn't find me in the computer - one hour to reconcile between my original embarkation and my disembarkation because of the back to back. No one available to take my (very heavy) bags full of scrapbooking gear off the ship because the majority of passengers were overnighters and had only 1 small bag. And then when I finally got to the last security check point, they can't find me in the computer either and tried to send me back to Reception yet again. I'm not going to keep going - to talk about the engine noise, the claustrophobic inside cabin that felt like a cell, the paper thin Cabin walls, the hip bath sized pool, the very poor layout of the ship. On the plus side - the Entertainment in the Astor Lounge each night was really good. And that's about all the plus side! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2014
My husband and I have been on many many cruises over the years and have been before on the Astor on 2/01/2014 from Fremantle to Asia and back and had a great time. We saw the farewell 1night cruise and thought it would be great to go on ... Read More
My husband and I have been on many many cruises over the years and have been before on the Astor on 2/01/2014 from Fremantle to Asia and back and had a great time. We saw the farewell 1night cruise and thought it would be great to go on and asked a couple of our friends to come along as they have never been on a cruise before and we were singing the praises about the Astor. When we arrived at the port of Fremantle for boarding at 4.30pm we were told to wait as they had a lunch time event on and they were not ready for us to board, no apology, we were all told to sit down and wait to be called per row, we felt like we were being treated like a herd of cattle after spending our money on what was supposed to be the start of a nice experience especially to introduce our friends to cruising, we eventually boarded at 6.00pm and then had to go to reception to join a big line of passengers to register your charge-card to activate your on board card, we did not get to our cabins till 6.30pm, never any apology from anyone. We had a pleasent evening the entertainment was good, but in the morning we woke with our stewardess banging on our cabin door at 7.15am to come in to check the mini-bar, they said we had to have our cabin keys back by 7.30am otherwise we would be charged $25.00, we went to breakfast after being up early as most people were, everyone would have left the ship by 9.00am, they just wanted you off to get organised for the big cruise ahead, we felt like we had been on an school over-night excursion with food and entertainment thrown in for the price of $149.00 each. 4.30pm on board - 9.30am dept next day, what a joke, what a disgrace, next year they are having lots of overnight stays on board, would certainly recommend not going on them, very disoppointed after our first experience on the Astor, will not be going with them cruising next time around, they have got too greedy and trying to do too many events and cannot cope with them all. Kate Clymer Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2013
A small group of us spent a night on the Astor in Fremantle, Western Australia on a "cruise to nowhere". The ship remained in port and was designed as an introduction to cruising for new cruisers. Most of us had cruised a ... Read More
A small group of us spent a night on the Astor in Fremantle, Western Australia on a "cruise to nowhere". The ship remained in port and was designed as an introduction to cruising for new cruisers. Most of us had cruised a number of times previously and since . I have not done a review earlier but as I see constant advertisements for the Astor in our week-end newspapers I feel that it is time for me to say something !!! We enjoyed the night we had on the Astor, fun entertainment and good food HOWEVER the ship itself is like a "caravan on the sea". It is very small with very limited facilities. This is fine if potential cruisers are aware of this but the advertising we see indicates in now way how small and limited this ship is! In absolutely NO WAY does it compare to real ships such as the P&O or Royal Caribbean ships that sail out of Australia. These ships have a huge array of eating options on offer , a choice of pool and spa areas and numerous entertainment options. I feel that potential cruisers need to be aware that the Astor is nothing like the ships they generally see advertised and need to do further research so that they make an informed decision regarding sailing on this ship!!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Astor is an older, smaller ship, our preferred style of cruising. This trip was from Adelaide to Melbourne and Tasmania, an itinerary that suited our requirements. It all seemed perfect. Then we embarked. The Portside experience was ... Read More
Astor is an older, smaller ship, our preferred style of cruising. This trip was from Adelaide to Melbourne and Tasmania, an itinerary that suited our requirements. It all seemed perfect. Then we embarked. The Portside experience was quite efficient with queues managed well. However, once we embarked we were greeted by surly, non interactive security. The usual procedures of hand luggage X-ray and metal detector entrance was fine, but then, without any apparent cause and no request, my husband was body searched. This has never happened to either of us on any previous of around thirty cruises. Additionally, the search was well beyond the bounds of propriety. My husband immediately complained to management, including the captain and staff captain. No effective remedy was offered or action taken. It is apparently company policy. When we discussed the incident with numerous other passengers we found this was a common experience. Both men and women were regularly frisked on embarkation and on reboarding at every port. It was embarrassing to watch and must have been humiliating for the victims. The average age of passengers would have been over 70, the only items likely to be secreted on their bodies were artificial knees or hips. Clearly no effective risk assessment had been undertaken prior to implementing this policy. Our attitude to other elements of the cruise was coloured by this initial experience. For the price other aspects of the cruise were quite acceptable, and the overall crew service and food were relatively good. We enjoyed our port experiences and the one ship organised shore excursion we undertook was impacted by the weather, not the standard of the process. As the ship was fully booked and we had booked late we had a standard twin inside cabin. It was typical of ships of this age and had adequate storage and facilities. There was no body lotion provided, with the drying effect of ship air conditioning that would have been appreciated. Everything was very basic. Food was of a good average, although variety at the buffet for lunch was limited. Skim milk was not provided at tea and coffee stations or with cereal for breakfast. I believe it was available on request. Our favourite pastime on board, other than reading, is trivia. The quiz questions were good, not too hard with some teasers. There were no guidelines set down before the quiz, such as use of phones or numbers in teams, and question sheets were not exchanged prior to marking, not satisfying for serious trivia buffs. The library was quite good, better than some recent cruises I have been on. All in all, I will not use this company again, or any other line that has a similar approach to customer privacy and respect. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We travelled from Adelaide to Perth on the Indian Pacific and the Astor left a day after we got to Perth so we thought that would be an interesting way to return. The cruise started out badly discovering we had not got the cabin I ... Read More
We travelled from Adelaide to Perth on the Indian Pacific and the Astor left a day after we got to Perth so we thought that would be an interesting way to return. The cruise started out badly discovering we had not got the cabin I requested but that was the travel agents fault. The corridors are narrow but the restaurants were spacious enough. The service in the Waldorf was hot and cold. When you first sat down the drinks waiters couldn't wait to present you with the wine list and take your orders, but try getting a second drink if you didn't order wine. You could look directly at a drinks waiter and he would look away. They were each assigned a certain table and didn't seem to want to help any other table out. But, if you dined in the specialty Mediterranean restaurant it was like being on another ship! Service and food were both excellent. Even though some of the service was lax the food itself was pretty good to excellent. There is no facility where you can buy a good coffee except after 9am in the morning. My Wife likes a coffee first thing so she was not impressed. Another irritation was the fact they charged $10 a day in gratuities. I believe this contributes to the behaviour of some of the crew. We never saw our cabin steward once for the whole voyage. I am comparing them to the steward we had on our last Royal Caribbean cruise who always seemed to be available and wishing you good morning etc. Won't be cruising on this ship again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was a trial for us on a small ship, being used to the three Queens and a more formal style. The journey from Fremantle to Adelaide, Feb 2018, was rolling and pitching constantly, and not at all pleasant for a couple used to big ships ... Read More
This was a trial for us on a small ship, being used to the three Queens and a more formal style. The journey from Fremantle to Adelaide, Feb 2018, was rolling and pitching constantly, and not at all pleasant for a couple used to big ships and liners. However, that's what we wanted to find out, so small ships aren't for us. We booked a suite (110) and the room was large and comfortable. The bathroom and shower were very good. There were 2 floor to ceiling windows, one at either end of the cabin. Dining was just a terrible experience. We booked and were told by email that we were on early sittings, on a table of four, which suited us. Once on board, it was announced that there were no early or late sittings, just one "anytime" dining starting at 18:00. This of course created a queue outside for 10 or 15 minutes before opening time, with most couples wanting one of the rare tables of two. There were no crew supervising, and queue jumping was the norm. I can't believe the rouses people came up with to get to the front of the line 30 seconds before opening time! CMV's website quotes "For formal evenings many gentlemen wear a dinner jacket, although a lounge suit is quite acceptable. On these occasions ladies have a chance to dress up and opt for evening or cocktail dresses. On ‘informal’ evenings a suit or smart jacket and trousers, with or without a tie, is suggested for men and the ladies have further opportunities to look elegant in cocktail dresses, trouser suits and stylish co-ordinates." Well, on formal nights people in shorts and thongs were turned away, only to return in jeans and T-shirts. I felt out of place wearing a jacket, and disappointed that the staff do not enforce their own printed standards. On Valentines Day, the ladies were given a pink paper serviette folded to make a rose - how tacky! The food was just the worst. Fish and chips was universally described at our table of 6 as inedible, and all meals were very second grade. If you can't cook chips, you can't cook! Watching the "human chain" moving the luggage down the gangway by hand on disembarking was a comedy, and as the workers tired (it took 45 minutes) they found new ways to pass the bags, including "tunnelball", kicking them along the gangway, and letting the ones with 4 wheels career down on their own until they crashed into the sides! Unfortunately, selling drinks packages just ensures that those who buy them make sure they get their money's worth, and they start early and finish late in a poor state. It's fine if you want a cheap cruise with like minded people, but it isn't what you'll enjoy if you're used to cruising in style. The library was a shambles, with 2 rows of books, one IN FRONT of the other, on all the shelves. It was unmanned. We had one shore excursion, unfortunately by tender. They could only be bothered launching 1 tender, so delays were unreasonably long, and tenders overcrowded. They are stamped with "46 passengers" and we counted at least 70. We were glad to get off, and would never again go on a small ship or any CMV ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose to cruise on Astor to check the ship out on a short cruise while contemplating a longer cruise on it. The prominent marketing in Australia of this boat sailing out of Perth-Fremantle using "pay for one and the second person ... Read More
We chose to cruise on Astor to check the ship out on a short cruise while contemplating a longer cruise on it. The prominent marketing in Australia of this boat sailing out of Perth-Fremantle using "pay for one and the second person travels for free" was an inducement. The daily charge of $10 Aust per person turned out to be more than better ships that we have cruised on. This is an old German ship which doesn’t have up to date procedures; e.g. a huge key and fob for entry to the cabin and a swipe credit type plastic card to transact on board both to be carried at all times, long slow queue to disembark and hand in the key etc. The mostly European crew were surprisingly curt. The PA system was unintelligible resulting in passengers looking at each other puzzled and asking ‘what did that announcement say?’ We bought the drinks package for $34 per person per day. We could have saved about $100 by simply buying drinks as we went. There was no advice about how to ‘register’ for the drinks package before you ordered your first drink at embarkation and paid full price. There were too many exclusions in the drinks package and no clarity about what was included; e.g. coffee was not included. The same drink was a different price depending upon which bar it was bought at. There was a receipt to be signed every time a drink was purchased, only one drink to be purchased at a time resulting in not being able to buy a friend a drink on your drinks package card, but a separate cash receipt had to be signed with that charged to your on board account which was tiresome and petty. There are only 2 dining rooms, a dining room with waiters and starched table cloths, and a cafe. Both are reasonable depending upon what you want and whether you want to be served. Both are small and usually busy with queues at the only coffee machine. The food is average compared with other ships on which we have travelled. Passengers shared serving utensils at the buffet and breakfast which is a potential health hazard not found on other cruise boats. Before we embarked we understood we had arranged for our party of 8 to all sit together each evening, but the dining room concierge refused to honour this. They insisted that it was "free dining". The staff wouldn't let a couple sit at empty tables for 2 insisting that they join people at larger tables that were not full. This resulted in the newcomers at the table being ignored by the serving wait staff who had previously served those at the table who had arrived earlier. One night at the main dining room all but 2 of our group were at the restaurant door ready to be seated, but the concierge refused entry until all were present. This resulted in 2 ladies over 90 (one on a walking frame) having to stand for 15 minutes outside the door which was rude and discourteous. Some dining room staff (such as those clearing tables) went about their tasks oblivious to the diners, with the result that there was some ‘congestion’. The average age of the cruisers was about 75 and more than several had walking frames or wheelchairs. The ship is not set-up for these devices with door sill projections at the entrance to some cabins, toilets, and bars resulting in people having to step over them. They need ramps at each of these obstructions. There is no ramp at some ports so they use the ship's stairway. This is very difficult for those people who had difficulty climbing the steep stairway. The ship rolled about as it slugged its way South to Esperance. Several passengers were seasick. None of these experiences are particularly worrying, just tiresome, petty and inconvenient when you are on a cruise expecting it to be enjoyable and relaxing. A reconciliation of all expenses [fare, travel insurance, drinks package, on board expenses], associated with this 5 day cruise resulted in a cost of $770 a day. In hindsight, at this rate we would expect a better cruise experience than we had. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We have taken 40+ cruises in the last 10 years and wanted to try the Astor as there are few options from Fremantle. We are used to very large Royal Caribbean ships but have also sailed with Princess, Celebrity, NCL, MSC and Cunard. We ... Read More
We have taken 40+ cruises in the last 10 years and wanted to try the Astor as there are few options from Fremantle. We are used to very large Royal Caribbean ships but have also sailed with Princess, Celebrity, NCL, MSC and Cunard. We went with an open mind as we knew this was a very small ship with limited facilities. However, this was more different that we expected and certainly not for us. Embarkation took 2 hours and was slowed by the fact they don't have credit card details at online check in stage. We had a Premium Suite on Atlantic Deck - it was clean and spacious and had a great full sized shower. The bed was comfortable and the room was our sanctuary away from everything else. The decoration was very dark - navy furnishings and dark mahogany wood everywhere so quite austere. It did make us laugh that we had a traditional room key and massive fob to lug around your Seapass (or whatever CMV call it) doesn't work as a door key.... never none that before! Food in the buffet was akin to school dinners - there were queues everywhere and food options were limited. None of the waiters wanted to help when I asked for cutlery. Not great, but edible. The hand sanitizer was not manned so fellow passengers were not using it which is not great when there are so many cases of Norovirus these days. Walking around the ship, it showed its age. The broken basketball net was a children's Fisher Price toy and sports equipment was past its best. The area around the outside pool was crowded with very few places to sit down and relax. The ship is tatty on the outside which is a shame. Deck space is very narrow. In fact, the whole ship is laid out with narrow and claustrophobic corridors which are made worse by the dark wood. Smears of greasy fingers were visible in many places. Anyone remember Fawlty Towers? It is a bit like that as you see the same staff everyone 10 minutes!! The queue for dinner was a farce - we were told to wait 5 minutes (reality was 20 mins) but as new passengers arrived, there was no system so those who turned up a long time after us went straight in. We had a table for 2, which was good, but service in the restaurant was slow and the waiters were not welcoming, more functional, and just asked what we wanted. Soup was cold and had to be sent back, I received the wrong salad so had to have it changed and the main courses (both lamb and beef) were lukewarm. This was a shame as it was beautifully presented. Dessert was ok but coffee/tea were never offered. We went to the theatre (a one deck show lounge) and listened to the act. The girl was a good singer and had an 80s repertoire. In fact, his really sums the ship up - stuck in a time warp and we felt like we had gone back in time. Notices around the ship, as well as drinks menu, were poor quality photocopies on cheap paper. Some claim this is a 4 star ship... 2 star is more realistic, possibly a low 3 star. The area around the entrance to the Spa on Deck 1 smells of smoke as this comes through from the staff area. Be mindful of this is you are looking to book a cabin on this deck and are a non smoker. The stateroom attendant barged into room whilst I was in the shower and never even knocked. We begrudge the $20 daily fee for gratuities when none of the staff showed any interest. We appreciate they have a hard job but they could at least smile and say hello to passengers. If you have children, there is absolutely nothing for them to do whether they are primary school age or teenagers. On departure morning, you have to be out of your room by 7am, complete with your luggage as there is no leaving it outside the cabin the night before.... so everyone turns up to breakfast with their luggage!! If you have never cruised before, the points raised may not be an issue. But if you are used to larger, newer ships with all the facilities and dining choices, you may be disappointed with the Astor. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My wife and I booked a night on the Astor to see what it is like as living in Perth there are few cruises to choose from. I cannot give a view on actual cruising on the ship as it was an in port celebration, so we didn’t actually ... Read More
My wife and I booked a night on the Astor to see what it is like as living in Perth there are few cruises to choose from. I cannot give a view on actual cruising on the ship as it was an in port celebration, so we didn’t actually leave the dock. I have also been on around 13 cruises with Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises and Celebrity. The ship is small, built in the 80's and is getting on for a cruise ship. Embarkation was ok, we were given a group number and sat in the terminal till our group was called. We had arrived at 1130am and didn’t board till 1.30pm so a two hour wait in the passenger terminal. There appeared only 5 staff booking over 500 people hence 2 hour wait. After getting a 'seapass card' we walked on board. After getting on board we went straight to the room. We had booked a premium suite on Atlantic deck. Arriving at the door we realised there is no swipe or insert card entry. The door was unlocked, and two keys were on the desk. Given the ship had undergone an upgrade I would have thought electronic locking on doors to modernise it would have been a given. The suite was very good and extremely spacious and bathroom excellent. What let the décor down and also around the ship was the expanse of fake mahogany veneer everywhere making open spaces very dark and closed in. We had lunch in the buffet area which was average, Food was unimaginative, bland and lacked choice. There was also no staff member ensuring that people sanitized which given the increased risk of norovirus on ships I find amazing. We had a walk around the ship and given the size, deck space was at a premium. We checked out the indoor pool in the Wellness Centre at level one. I’m not sure Wellness Centre is appropriate as the area stank of cigarette smoke apparently from staff quarters. For dinner we went to the Waldorf restaurant and had to wait for a table. The waiting was not organised, and no queue was in place. The menu was good with lots of choice and presented very well. What let the service down was the food served in a luke warm state. After dinner we took in part of the show featuring singers and dancers. To be fair they do a very good job with the space they have to work in. On return to the cabin we had instructions that we were to be out of the cabin by 7am which I thought was very poor. During the night the noise from the funnel was loud and made sleeping difficult. In summary, the Astor I am sure caters for many people not wanting the frills / attractions / variety other larger cruise ships offer but I was not for me. I also think it is overpriced given the lack of facilites. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Cabins were locked by old fashioned keys, as were the safes. The inside cabin we had (519) was very small, but it was clean. The single beds were bunk bed size and we were only able to fit a small suitcase underneath. The big suitcase ... Read More
Cabins were locked by old fashioned keys, as were the safes. The inside cabin we had (519) was very small, but it was clean. The single beds were bunk bed size and we were only able to fit a small suitcase underneath. The big suitcase had to be propped up against the bar fridge. There was a small TV - Channels 3 and 4 each played a different movie every day, but on a loop for the entire day. The $29 a day drinks package was good value, providing you did not mind "house" spirits, but many people were upset that it did not include bottled water - only water by the glass. The food was disappointing. The meat was generally overcooked and the three different daily salads were loaded with onion and seemed to have the same bland dressing. Tea and coffee were only available from 6.30am, unless of course you ordered from Room Service for a fee. Bread and rolls were stale and the scones were rock hard. Smokers were contained to the starboard side of the pool deck only and were allocated two tables and 8 chairs under the stairs catering for approximately 80 to 100 people. The Lido Bar on this deck closed at 6.00pm and drinks were only available from the deck above at the Hanse Bar. The service from these bars was extremely poor. Perhaps CMV should consider accepting non smoking cruisers only on such a small ship as the Astor, instead of extracting money from smokers and then denying them the same holiday enjoyment afforded to non smokers. The Library was only open from 9am to 10am and the shops also had staggered opening hours, apparently due to staff shortages. That was the same in the beauty salon where there was only one staff member performing massages and serving customers buying product. Tenders were used to go ashore in Esperance and the fumes from the engine were overwhelming. We won't be sailing on the Astor again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
We went on a 10 night Christmas cruise sailing from Fremantle to Bali and back again with a large family group. We had our 2 year old son with us and found the boat to be less than suitable even though we called and asked first. We knew in ... Read More
We went on a 10 night Christmas cruise sailing from Fremantle to Bali and back again with a large family group. We had our 2 year old son with us and found the boat to be less than suitable even though we called and asked first. We knew in advance there was no kids club and organized ourselves with craft and toys to keep him entertained. Honestly it was hard work. There were five children on board and only two high chairs, so meal times were a battle for the high chair. The outdoor pool is VERY deep and has only a ladder for entry / exit which was fine for our boy but none of the other children. The food was the same, day after day. Certainly not gourmet. I think they mainly cater for the elderly which is fair enough because that is 90% of the passengers. There is no babysitting available at all so every evening we had to retire at 7.00pm with our son. We did stay out one evening until 9.00pm, and the cabaret show featured fire jugglers - despite the constant warnings of the risks of fire on board. The curtains in the cabin may as well not be there, they do not block out any light at all. If you are not an early riser, make sure you book an inside cabin. Be sure to book a cabin in the centre of the boat, we were up the front and averaged three hours sleep a night. The rocking and noise was unbearable. Every time we hit a wave it was like a cannon going off. Our family in the middle of the boat didn't experience any rocking or noise though. We had to take our own bed rail for our son (they don't supply them) so make sure you get one before you go. Be sure to take your own pillow. I have never had a neck complaint in my life but after three nights sleeping on their pillows I had to visit the Hospital and have injections for the pain, and two physio visits since I got back. They didn't have any other pillows available. The staff were fantastic. Our cabin manager was brilliant and our room was always spotless. If you wanted to make it a "Booze Cruise" they offered a drinks package for $28 per person per day, where it was all you could drink house wines (which were actually very nice), spirits and cocktails. You had to sign up for the whole duration and everyone in your cabin had to sign up. The organized activities throughout the day were very popular and well attended, not suitable for kids though. The staff tried to organize one activity a day for the kids but it never worked out very well - they had one glue stick and one pair of scissors for five kids to share etc etc. I would rate this cruise honestly as two/three star, there is nothing wrong with that as long as you pay accordingly so wait until you get a good deal. It is not luxurious and not suitable for kids. Also, we packed our four bottles of duty free purchased on board in our luggage to be taken off by the porters, two bottles were smashed when we collected our baggage and there was not a soul to be found to report it to once off the boat and through customs. Pack very carefully anything they are moving for you! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Paid half price and got half of nearly everything. We actually left on the 23/3/19 for 11 day cruise from Poole. We were attracted to the cruise because it left from Poole, was visiting the Shetland Isles and in particular The Scilly ... Read More
Paid half price and got half of nearly everything. We actually left on the 23/3/19 for 11 day cruise from Poole. We were attracted to the cruise because it left from Poole, was visiting the Shetland Isles and in particular The Scilly Isles. At the start we only had half a day in both Dunkirk and Invergordon. At the end, the Scilly Isles was cancelled altogether because of rough weather forecast and difficulty of boarding tenders to go ashore. Indeed arrangements for getting passengers ashore were generally very unsatisfactory particularly bearing in mind that at least the half passengers seemed to have mobility issues. In many cases, apart from tenders it involved walking down a steep set of rickety steps. Not the best we have experienced. As Tresco was the only coach trip we had booked we and many others were bitterly disappointed. There were frequent shuttle buses at most ports of call though which were very good once ashore. The food was terrible. Breakfast was the best. Portions were minute. One roast potato, slice of carrot and piece of broccoli in the dining room. Matchbox sized portions of cheesecake. I actually lost 3lbs!!! The bar & wine waiter were obviously under instructions to ignore whatever the customer asked for and only to give large measures. We were going to tip our room steward extra but a couple of days before the end I asked for another toilet roll and was told it was rationed!!!! So no tip! All in all I am sorry to say I cannot recommend this cruise and based on what we had CMV either. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Leaving from Adelaide was the big attraction as the norm is a flight to the eastern states to catch a cruise. The smaller ship was ok but limited your choice of places to go and rest or a bar for a quiet drink. I have been on 8 cruises and ... Read More
Leaving from Adelaide was the big attraction as the norm is a flight to the eastern states to catch a cruise. The smaller ship was ok but limited your choice of places to go and rest or a bar for a quiet drink. I have been on 8 cruises and my experiences with the night entertainment has always been average to poor and the Astor’s takes the cup for the worst performances I have ever seen. And lastly a singer or singers with a guitar at various times night and day to listen to would have been great instead of a pianoist and violinist who were at best depressing. We took out the premium drinks package which to my surprise only included a Shandy beer or the most bitter beer I have ever been unfortunate to try Bitsburger, surely a mid strength or light beer could have been on the list. We drunk cocktails and spirits all cruise which cost a lot more than the beers were, that got me stumped how CMV came up with that idea. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise as it was a small cruise ship experience, budget price, Tasmanian Adventure, Feb. 2018. We have done cruises on Princess, P&O so this was an interesting experience. The Astor Ship had a very cosy feel, very good ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a small cruise ship experience, budget price, Tasmanian Adventure, Feb. 2018. We have done cruises on Princess, P&O so this was an interesting experience. The Astor Ship had a very cosy feel, very good staff, good entertainment, great cruise director, wonderful singers and dancers, in the well equiped Astor Lounge, on a small ship, packed most nights. The Dinning area was well appointed, good staff, average menus, not much imagination, food ok could have been more variety, Captains Club Bar was well appointed, nice feel, with good late nite entertainment, very good waiting staff. Hanse Bar great, with the pool area not far away, nice relaxed area. Cabins were small, but ok, we had single beds, we couldn't shift the single beds together. Drinks package was good, well priced. Ship did rock & roll a bit in heavy seas, all in all this was a budget cruise, nice itinerary out of Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne and Tasmania, good for first time cruisers, but for us would pay a bit extra, go on Princess Cruises, as they now, like others lines, are servicing this market, in Southern Australia. Read Less
Astor Ratings
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