Astor Cruise Review by skcusime
- Sail Date: February 2018
- Destination: Australia & New Zealand
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.
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Bathroom good, and excellent large shower, no bath.
Cabin steward did not make an appearance until the second day. I expected he/she would have come in an introduced themselves on day 1 as with Cunard.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Cape Le Grand National ParkThe 3 tour groups were disembarked by the gangplank, before the ship's Captain decided it was to rough to stay berthed, so he moved the ship to anchor in the harbour before the non-excursion customers could disembark.View All 7 Cape Le Grand National Park Reviews
We were told to take towels and bathers, as we were going to the best beaches in the world. Well, there wasn't enough time to get your toes wet at any of the stops. Stonehenge was good, and the owner gave us an informative talk about it's building on 2011.
On return to port, we had to queue for 45 minutes to board the one overcrowded tender boat.
Disappointing 4 hours for $90 per person