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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: August 2019
We always said we would not cruise with P&O Australia as it always receives such dismal reviews but they offered a cheap Auckland to Brisbane 4 night comedy cruise and we thought let’s try it as it is better than flying and if we ... Read More
We always said we would not cruise with P&O Australia as it always receives such dismal reviews but they offered a cheap Auckland to Brisbane 4 night comedy cruise and we thought let’s try it as it is better than flying and if we hate it it is only 4 days, We have cruised all the cruise lines and over a 100 cruises so are the first to admit a little jaded and critical. Well we were impressed with the decor of the ship on boarding as the public rooms and pool area are very modern in decor and still in good condition. The staterooms are original Holland America decor but still tidy and comfortable and very spacious. We had stateroom 10062 with a balcony which was a good position for the pantry and access to the pool etc. The food overall was good in all restaurants and the service was excellent and much better than we thought it was going to be. The production shows were fantastic and some of the best shows and singing we have seen on a ship for a long time. There were lots of activities on during the day and with lots of children on board it seemed to keep everyone happy. The drinks at the bars were priced ok and included all service charges unlike HAL and Princess who add 15% on top of the menu prices. The staff were all friendly and very efficient and so nice to see Pacifica staff onboard to add to the flavour of the cruise line being based in Australia and NZ. It is definitely a family oriented ship but a few too many children for our liking as we are at a stage in life that we like a quiet time. Well done to P&O and your wonderful staff you managed to impress us! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
This extraordinary experience of the majestic Kimberley region provided me with wonderful memories for a lifetime. The crew were amazing and went out of their way to facilitate an unforgettable cruise. I had a vague idea of what to ... Read More
This extraordinary experience of the majestic Kimberley region provided me with wonderful memories for a lifetime. The crew were amazing and went out of their way to facilitate an unforgettable cruise. I had a vague idea of what to expect to see but this trip takes in some of the most breathtaking locations of the Kimberley including; Montgomery Reef, Horizontal Falls, King George River, Mitchell Falls, Hunter River..the list goes on. Take the helicopter package it really does provide the most amazing perspective of the grandeur and size of each location. The food was of exceptional quality and variety. Unfortunately I will need to lose a few kilos post holiday. The cabins were well appointed and very clean, no complaints. Highly recommend this cruise to anyone who is keen to be amazed by our beautiful country, its remote wilderness and its heritage. I will be travelling True North again and looking forward to a new adventure. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose the Great Barrier reef 10 night discovery in a balcony room. The positives Housekeeping and entertainment were good with no issues. There are a few negatives The food particularly in the pantry was bland and dry. No ... Read More
We chose the Great Barrier reef 10 night discovery in a balcony room. The positives Housekeeping and entertainment were good with no issues. There are a few negatives The food particularly in the pantry was bland and dry. No variety unless you like curry or a roast. The breakfast options were a bit better. The waiters never came to us to offer a drink, They clean tables only. On Princess Cruises they routinely would ask if you wanted a drink. That counts for paid drinks as well. On that note, without the drinks package all that was included was water or watered down orange juice. The poocific explorer on some days there was a sewerage smell around deck 12 and even in our room. We notified reception and they sanitized our room promptly to their credit. Also they don't tell you at time of booking that the waterslides cannot be used at the reef. Travelling with a child we would have liked to have been informed. I think i will stick to princess cruises Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Having sailed twice before with Ponant on expedition cruises the choice for our cruise to the Kimberley was easy to make as we knew first hand the type of cruise that we would be joining. Ponant are a little expensive compared to some ... Read More
Having sailed twice before with Ponant on expedition cruises the choice for our cruise to the Kimberley was easy to make as we knew first hand the type of cruise that we would be joining. Ponant are a little expensive compared to some other operators in the Kimberley area, however the quality with Ponant is always the same and they spare nothing to allow each person to enjoy the most out of the adventure. In Wyndham you have the choice of 3 excursions (included in the cruise price),a cruise undertaking the remarkable Ord river wildlife, a scenic flight over the east Kimberley including the Bungle Bungle Range or a day exploring El Questro station including Emma George and Zebedee Springs. We chose the Ord river which is supplied by a Ponant contractor and is a fantastic day seeing all the wild life and the water system of the river. Each day we enjoyed 2 different Zodiacs trips offered by the very experienced Expedition team which allowed us to get up close to some of the most amazing sights on earth. We will never forget the King George River, Vansittart Bay, Hunter River , Mitchell Falls, Collier Bay ( Horizontal Waterfalls), Talbot Bay (Montgomery Reef),Lacepede Islands or the amazing day trips to view and learn about the first nations people and the cave art work and way of life. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Did this cruise two years ago on L'Austral. It was so good we re-booked and took our adult children on with us this time on Le Laperouse. This trip was even better! The new ship is beautiful. Love the cabins and public areas. The new ... Read More
Did this cruise two years ago on L'Austral. It was so good we re-booked and took our adult children on with us this time on Le Laperouse. This trip was even better! The new ship is beautiful. Love the cabins and public areas. The new Zodiac landing arm is amazing. When not in use for this purpose we had a champagne cocktail party on it as well as a concert by an opera singer as the sun was setting over the Indian Ocean. Magical. The expedition team were fantastic. Very knowledgeable and likable. Wonderful Captain and crew on board and sensational food. An incredible itinerary in such a beautiful remote area. We felt very privileged to be able to hike to some of the Aboriginal rock art sites. We are quite well traveled and cruise a lot and hands down this was the best trip we have ever done. Could not fault a thing. If you haven't been to the Kimberley be sea, I would highly recommend it with Ponant. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The crew were unfailingly friendly yet efficient. The organisation of embarkation, disembarkation and the multiple excursions was flawless, and supplemented by daily debriefing/briefing sessions which ensured passengers were well informed ... Read More
The crew were unfailingly friendly yet efficient. The organisation of embarkation, disembarkation and the multiple excursions was flawless, and supplemented by daily debriefing/briefing sessions which ensured passengers were well informed as to the requirements and expectations for each day's activities. Shore excursions were supervised by highly qualified, well-informed and enthusiastic scientist/naturalists, and we visited stunning locations which are only accessible by boat (or helicopter). While encouraged to participate, passengers could do as much or as little as they wished. With only 175 passengers aboard, there was a great sense of community on the ship. Cabin accommodation was very comfortable, well laid out and kept spotlessly clean and replenished by twice-daily staff visits; individual balconies were a bonus. There was plenty of space for lounging and relaxation. Facilities included a gymnasium and sauna/spa/massage. Although there were only about 15 children on board, they were well catered for by the cruise director and her team (and, to their parents' great credit, the children's behaviour was beyond reproach). There were ample entertainments laid on in the evenings and at night. Meals were superb in variety, cuisine and presentation, with excellent wines included (no need to subscribe to the "superior" beverage package!); all dietary requirements were catered for. Only complaint: too short! Would we go again? Definitely! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We choose Coral Expeditions because it is an Australian company and therefore had a depth of local knowledge and experience. The added bonus was they were launching a new boat, the Coral Adventurer in time for us to join the Broome to ... Read More
We choose Coral Expeditions because it is an Australian company and therefore had a depth of local knowledge and experience. The added bonus was they were launching a new boat, the Coral Adventurer in time for us to join the Broome to Darwin journey. Our total experience was beyond expectation. The boat was luxurious and spacious. There were plenty of places to relax, eat and drink on the outside decks as well as a comfortable lounge large enough to hold us all for group briefings or presentations. The cabin was spacious and had a king size bed. Cabins were serviced at least twice a day and linen and toiletries were top end. Meals were excellent and maintained their standard of high quality, freshness and variety throughout the entire trip despite being in a remote area. The crew, from the Captain down. were incredibly friendly, fun and helpful yet always maintained a professional approach . They all multitasked. including the Captain, which was great to see as there was a real team feeling about the adventure. Expedition staff were well organised with nothing left to chance. Communication about activities and events was clear and consistent. We knew exactly what to expect about every excursion. Expedition staff went out of their way to help everyone on board achieve as much as they wanted in terms of participation in activities and it was all done with a smile and encouragement. Having the 'walk on' tender also was a great help in assisting everyone to take part but the crew was also very helpful in assisting passengers who wanted to take part in the zodiac excursions. Both guest lecturers were excellent and provided interesting insight and further information about the various excursions. The added bonus from the trip as if it wasn't excellent enough was the ability to download trip notes, photos and a video, making it really easy to relieve our brilliant experience. We enjoyed the relaxed feel of the ship; not having to dress for dinner was appreciated. Thank you Coral Expeditions for making this trip so memorable. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We booked this cruise because it seemed an amazing deal, after booking I was really tentative about whether we'd enjoy it or not (our first time cruising) but I didnt need to worry too much! Everything was just so easy, we knew ... Read More
We booked this cruise because it seemed an amazing deal, after booking I was really tentative about whether we'd enjoy it or not (our first time cruising) but I didnt need to worry too much! Everything was just so easy, we knew not to expect 5 stars but it was a pretty solid 3. Having a balcony made all the difference and we loved sitting out watching the waves (and dolphins!). The kids enjoyed the kids clubs (ages 6 & 9) especially the planned activities. Which was brilliant because we got to enjoy the adults only area - settling in on a daybed with a mocktail and a book was bliss - really appreciated having no internet, made it much easier to just zone out totally. Food was fine, the mexican was great and the sushi was well worth afew dollars. They poached eggs to perfection every breakfast. Everything else was just fine, even Nouveau was just ok. We didnt really do any of the activities onboard as they were all either on while we were eating or really late but doing nothing in a pleasant room was perfect for what we needed. Would cruise again based on this trip but might look at higher end cruise lines (although love that Carnival has so many balcony rooms) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
It was a Dark Mofo 6 night mid-winter escape to Hobart that caught my eye. To Tasmania in the middle of winter ? Yeah why not. I have fond memories of the Dawn Princess but not very good memories of some of P&O Australia's ... Read More
It was a Dark Mofo 6 night mid-winter escape to Hobart that caught my eye. To Tasmania in the middle of winter ? Yeah why not. I have fond memories of the Dawn Princess but not very good memories of some of P&O Australia's "new" (old) ships. I thought my experience on the Pacific Eden' inaugural trip from Fremantle to Sydney a couple of years ago would have cured me from every going near P&O Australia again but....I must have had a lapse of concentration. Pacific Explorer seems to have a terrible problem with what I suspect is their sewer system. For two days the stench in the Atrium on Deck 4 level was eye watering and then one morning I woke to find the stink had found its way to my cabin on that same level. It leaves a metallic taste in your mouth. You need to escape to the open decks. But stench aside and in most other places I enjoyed myself very nicely. FOOD The Pantry is not much better than a shopping centre food hall. Its seems the food is all put out on display at the beginning of service (and replenished obviously) I mostly found things to be lukewarm or cold. Breakfast eggs were like golf balls. Toast was cold and chewy and they have the worst coffee I have every had on a cruise ship...thank you Nescafe. I restricted my visits there in the end to just lunch for a sandwich and a salad and some fresh fruit which were all very good. The dessert displays at night were sometimes a bit dramatic (one night it was pink on pink on pink) but EVERYTHING comes out of the same packet and tastes the same, no matter what colour the cake is. The Waterfront Was very nicely laid out in smaller sections and the menu was interesting despite lots of pay for extra's items and the service was pretty good by friendly staff. A glass of wine order at dinner seems to throw everyone into a spin however and one night I waited 30 minutes for the wine to arrive. Other nights I was well in to my meal before the wine finally arrived. Breakfasts in the Waterfront are very nice, very sane and civilised and the eggs, toast, and coffee are quite okay. Avoid the Pantry buffet bun fight. Alfredo's was very good (1st night) but after that I just dined in the Waterfront in the same area and mostly the same table where the staff and service was very good and the food quite surprisingly good. There were a couple of misses on the menu but after the Pacific Eden where everything on the menu that trip was a HUGE miss, I managed okay this time. Pizza For lunch one day was very nice. Not very warm but quite tasty. The Public Rooms have been very nicely decorated and service is very good. I left most of the entertainment on board to the night owls. The Dark Mofo inclusions for on land at Hobart were generous. Will I go P&O Australia again, ahhm, not sure. They need to fix that stink on the Pacific Explorer though. Everyone was talking about it. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I have been on many cruises with various cruise line. This has been my 5th P & O and I must say after this trip I will never sail with P & O again. The cabins are so small that you don't even have room for your luggage ... Read More
I have been on many cruises with various cruise line. This has been my 5th P & O and I must say after this trip I will never sail with P & O again. The cabins are so small that you don't even have room for your luggage when you empty it. Not even under the bed which is where you normally would store it. The entertainment was very average. The food was below standard except for the in 400 Gradi, which was excellent. The cruise director and her crew were excellent. As were the cabin staff. But the biggest problem a of all was a stench that was evident throughout the whole ship for 5 of the 6 days. People could smell it in their rooms, the dining areas and the bars. There was just no escaping it. The reception staff kept making excuses, but at no time were we ever given the truth about the smell or was any sort of apology given. At one stage the even tried to say that it was a passengers deodorant. We spoke to other passengers who said that they had had the same problem previously on the Explorer. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I booked this as a quick cheap getaway for a few days and it was pretty inexpensive. Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy, probably because customs wasn't involved. The condition of the ship was better than expected as ... Read More
I booked this as a quick cheap getaway for a few days and it was pretty inexpensive. Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy, probably because customs wasn't involved. The condition of the ship was better than expected as I had read reviews that it had seen better days but it was very nice and no obvious signs of wear and tear and certainly better than some ships we have been on. Lots of areas to lounge around including window seats but these were popular with the teens and 20 somethings, plenty of other sitting areas including lots of sun lounges on decks. I booked an interior cabin which is something I haven't done previously but as it was quite cheap and only for 3 nights I thought why not. The cabin was 10214 and located aft and at the end of the corridor, this I booked deliberately so no passing traffic and away from lifts and family rooms etc. The room was as expected small but clean and tidy and in good condition, just dark I wouldn't book an interior again because of the size and darkness and for the sake of a little more in price, I need light and fresh air. Overall the cabin was certainly acceptable. The shower was compact as they mostly are and we managed to squeeze in although if you were on the larger size it would be a tight squeeze. The water temp was lukewarm at best after about 3pm, so if you wanted a shower before dinner then it was a cold one. The bed was difficult to get in and out of due to the lack of room on either side and the mattress springs gave us some free acupuncture until I requested and received a mattress topper, which alleviated the issue somewhat. A clock of some sort would have been good as to tell the time in the morning as it was so dark it could have been 3 am or 11 am- this I didn't like and we missed breakfast in the restaurant because we overslept. We had cabin 10214 which is the last cabin , so no passing traffic which is perfect. I chose this cabin due to its location and not the deck above (11) as that was directly under the gym, then again maybe noise from the gym goers might have woken me earlier. No choccies at night and I had to remind the steward to bring us our pre-ordered water but all in all, pretty good. Food- well this was a downer for a range of reasons. We prefer to eat all our meals in the restaurants BUT they were all booked out. We attempted to eat in the Asian and Italian (included in fare) restaurants but were told by staff that they were booked out for the whole cruise. When we pointed out that they were actually empty, we were told that they have been prebooked and passengers hadn't shown up yet but they couldn't give the tables away incase they did. We found out from other staff that this is an ongoing issue, especially with short cruises. We ate in the main restaurant one night and the food looked good but was cold and this was an ongoing issue with all food on this ship, whether it was in a restaurant or the buffet, it was always cold. Restaurant staff seem uninterested and confused and the whole dining experience is unorganized and understaffed. Maybe trying to cut costs with less staff?? The main restaurant the "Waterfront" is disappointing serving cold food that should be hot and getting a drink proved to be a challenge. Some of the meals on the menu are included in your fare but the "better" ones are at a cost. This goes for Breakfast Lunch and Dinner menus, which was a bit of a surprise. Dining in the Specialty restaurants (if you can get in) is at the marked price on the menus, not a "cover charge" as they do on other cruise lines, so this can add up to be quiet a bill if you're not careful. Buffet food was served by staff at stations which is a good idea to prevent the spread of germs (BTW no one washed their hands entering the area, nor were they directed to, as on Princess). Food in the buffet was of a good variety and impressive but COLD. The design of the buffet doesn't really work as the flow of diners is impeded by queues of diners at each station, so doesn't work very well. There is also a coffee station for barista coffee which also formed a long queue which snaked its way across the path of those trying to get to a food station. Staff in the "Pantry" seemed uninterested and slow to pick up plates and don't offer to get you a coffee, juice etc at your table as they do on other cruise lines. Getting something to eat is the downfall of this ship, its disorganized, cold and mostly at extra cost. Iceream, burgers pizza etc is all extra which was a surprise as it has always been included on other cruises we have done. Entertainment- This was a Comedy Cruise which wasn't the reason we booked but an added bonus. Shows were excellent but as the venues are small it was hard to get a seat with a lot of passengers sitting on the floor. Shows were 18+ but kids were still "allowed" in with some being young children under 10etc which I don't think is acceptable and seemed to throw a few of the comedians off as they "censored" their jokes as to not offend. Staff do not police the 18+ rule. Pools- pools are clean and well maintained as are the hot tubs, not too crowded but it was June and a little cool outside. It was impossible to find deck staff for a towel or blanket and there are no towel/blanket stations to help yourself. Bars- all very good, some staff better than others. Love the Oasis Bar at the rear of ship. Very crowded on sailing out of the harbour but that's to be expected but hardly anyone there at other times. Shhhh don't tell anyone. Their programme of events isn't very informative or inclusive of all events and nor does their on-board app work. They have information screens but these either don't work or aren't up to date, so finding out what's on or where is difficult, even for a seasoned cruiser. first timers would struggle. Would I sail on Pacific Explorer again?- Maybe but would book a balcony especially on a longer cruise. Lessons learnt from this cruise- 1. P&O fares are cheaper but with all the extras you have to pay for it works out the same if not dearer than other cruise lines 2. Demographic is made up of families and middle-aged couples with a few older passengers and groups of "cellabrators"- 30th/40th/50ths, bucks/hens groups etc 3. Don't book inside cabins- not worth the saving of a few dollars 4. Pre-book restaurants otherwise, you can't get in. Maybe P&O need to look at how they manage this better. 5. Book aft staterooms - less traffic and away from family rooms with easy access to lifts and outside. 6. No kettle/ Tea/coffee facility in cabin 7. Not included in fare eateries such as burgers,pizza, icecream on pool deck or anywhere. 8. Some entertainment shows are an extra fee 9. Be prepared for a bigger stateroom account due to extras having to be paid for such as shows and food. 10. Theme nights are only just a small event and hardly mentioned or attended. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This small ship expedition cruise was absolutely amazing. From embarkation to disembarkation the whole hard working crew could not have been more cheerful and helpful. The new ship has obviously been purposefully designed and it showed. ... Read More
This small ship expedition cruise was absolutely amazing. From embarkation to disembarkation the whole hard working crew could not have been more cheerful and helpful. The new ship has obviously been purposefully designed and it showed. With plenty of well laid out public spaces for the 120 guests it was hard to believe there were so many on board. Our balcony cabin was a good size and immaculate. The food was fantastic and I'd love to get hold of some of those soup recipes. The two 'Explorer' vessels and the ribs meant we all got to visit so many wonderful places in the Kimberley. There was always something available that catered for all abilities with the whole experience enhanced by the wealth of knowledge provided by the expedition leaders & lecturers. The open bridge made us feel even more at home. Thank you so much to all on board who made these first time cruisers feel so welcome and keen to do more of this type of cruising. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Coral Adventurer was specially build for cruising the rugged Kimberley coast, could go to all the places the smaller boats can go at half the cost and much more comfort. The two explorers were very comfortable,a breeze to get ... Read More
Coral Adventurer was specially build for cruising the rugged Kimberley coast, could go to all the places the smaller boats can go at half the cost and much more comfort. The two explorers were very comfortable,a breeze to get onto,protection from the sun and toilet on board- that was a bonus! Lots of activities and you could do as many or as little as you pleased. The crew were so friendly and helpful, smiles on all their faces, the food was fantastic, great lecturers and loved having an open bridge where you could sit and chat to the Captain. Some of the crew also joined guests for dinner, so interesting to chat to them about there travels. Our cabin was very comfortable, boarding and exiting the ship was a breeze. Nice to have crew line the port to say goodbye. I would like to do another cruise on Coral Adventurer. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise as they use proper tenders plus zodiacs. They have shade, proper seats and even a loo. The guides were first class and we learnt so much about the land, aboriginal rock art and how the Aborigines lived. The ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise as they use proper tenders plus zodiacs. They have shade, proper seats and even a loo. The guides were first class and we learnt so much about the land, aboriginal rock art and how the Aborigines lived. The ship took us to the Horizontal Falls which were amazing, we went through in zodiacs. Then the Montgomery Reef which is huge at about 40 kms long. When the tide changes, water pours off as in waterfalls and hundreds of turtles are waiting to catch fish. We saw crocodiles and nurse sharks. Whirlpools were amazing and also the BOAB tree with HMS Mermaid 1820 carved on it near Careening Bay. The lectures were excellent but the cruise was let down by the disorganised hotel side. No breakfast marmalade and it took days before I obtained low fat milk. The staff looked at me as if I had asked for the moon! We were called to dinner long before they were ready for us and food grew cold without proper heating especially stone cold porridge. Surely they could organise hot plates underneath. The food was fairly good and desserts the best part. We have cruised often and feel they have a lot to learn. The carpet in our cabin wasn’t vacuumed often. The dining room was under-staffed and the kitchen too small to cope with so many diners at once. The staff were inclined to chat rather than be efficient. The lecturers, tours etc were first class. No fridge and no TV. Definitely need a fridge. When we were due to embark, we asked if we would get breakfast on board as it was so early. We were told yes. Of course that did not happen. There is no excuse for that. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Wow, wow, wow. Our week on True North was by far the best holiday we have ever had. The Kimberley region is a spectacular location for a holiday but being able to see it with True North was what really made it. All of the staff on board ... Read More
Wow, wow, wow. Our week on True North was by far the best holiday we have ever had. The Kimberley region is a spectacular location for a holiday but being able to see it with True North was what really made it. All of the staff on board were friendly, easy going and professional. They took the time to get to know guests and provided an exceptional service. The food prepared by the chefs was ample and delicious. The chefs were accommodating to specific requests and also happy to share recipes for favourite meals. Housekeeping was done promptly and discreetly and the rooms were very comfortable. Jo-Lee in the bar made excellent cocktails and was familiar with guests usual drinks. There were always loads of great activities on offer and the staff had an immense knowledge and passion for the region and it’s history which was incredibly contagious. I am so, so glad we got to experience True North and would not hesitate to explore with her again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The balcony room was quite spacious and in a great location. The evening shows were outstanding, the group put lots of energy in their show and costumes, the variety was great too. This cruise could have been very nice experience, however, ... Read More
The balcony room was quite spacious and in a great location. The evening shows were outstanding, the group put lots of energy in their show and costumes, the variety was great too. This cruise could have been very nice experience, however, the way information sessions were organised, it was very clear that fitness and spa team are trying to sell you anything and everything. The sessions were not quite informative and sometimes had very conflicting information. I'm not sure why you need to sell shoe inserts and detox pills on the cruises, it is just disgusting. most fitness classes were offered at the additional cost. I think spa should be relaxation space and not pushy sales space. The reception service was rude and not helpful, all 3 attempts to get any information about tours, shuttles, etc. was a waste of time, the staff has to be trained well to communicate to guests, this ruins the experience overall. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Here is our secret for a great cruise. Prior to embarkation and having read all the wonderful marketing material, we discount the hype by 20 per cent. Now let's be honest. Have you ever had a burger or sandwich that looked as good as ... Read More
Here is our secret for a great cruise. Prior to embarkation and having read all the wonderful marketing material, we discount the hype by 20 per cent. Now let's be honest. Have you ever had a burger or sandwich that looked as good as the one on the T.V advertisement? Of course not. The Maasdam is now the oldest ship in the fleet but all public spaces are well maintained. In fact we believe the Rotterdam dining room and the Theatre/Showroom are beautiful. The size of the ship is a plus as there are plenty of seating in quiet places. We never waited more than a a couple of minutes for the elevator. During this 24 day crossing from Auckland to San Francisco there were about 11 sea days and this was when the library was appreciated. It is a great place to read about the American founding fathers American politicians and presidents, American sportspeople, and well known American authors. I particularly appreciated the stories of the American heroes of the integration of black Americans. Well, we must understand this is an American owned company. For the same reason we gave up on Trivia. Our cabin 140 on deck 9 was a disappointment. It was past being tired, it was exhausted and it was dominated by a four seater settee in dark brown vinyl that most likely could fold out into a bed. It looked like a refugee from a Salvation Army charity shop. But get this. Its unwanted presence in our tiny space now placed us in a Vista Suite which raised our gratuities to $16.00 U.S per day per person. The redeeming feature was the large covered balcony. Our total gratuity bill was around the equivalent of $1,100 Australian dollars. To the rest of the world that pays a livable wage to all workers this is a hangover from the days of the 18th century English Poorhouse where the poor were dependent on charity to survive. Meals in the Rotterdam dining room were very good, and while we avoid the rugby scrum of the buffet we were forced there when the dining room was closed. The food was surprisingly good. staff were better than good, they were wonderful. Entertainment was soloists such as a guy playing the flute while jumping all over the stage, a magician, a girl playing the piano accordion etc etc. And get this one. One evenings entertainment was a nature movie with the ship's talented musicians playing mood music. There were lots of complaints when usually the best nights entertainment is the crew, was relegated to 11.00pm. the Cruise Director known as K.K was the best we have ever seen. So here is the bottom line. We enjoyed this cruise and we love so much about HAL. Our 20 per cent discounting of the marketing hype was about right for the ship in general, but we should have discounted the cabin by 30 per cent. ps The guest lecturers saved us from being bored to death. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a last minute booking as it fitted with time off work and was inexpensive. We are Elite on Princess but have cruised with P&O several years ago and were not expecting it to be of the same standard, however we were ... Read More
This was a last minute booking as it fitted with time off work and was inexpensive. We are Elite on Princess but have cruised with P&O several years ago and were not expecting it to be of the same standard, however we were pleasantly surprised. The ship is small so easy to find your way around and very nice inside, quite different to other ships we have been on, more like a modern Hotel. Our room was a ocean view on deck 4, all we could get at that late stage, but it was quite large compared to some of the rooms we have been in on other ships. The only issue was machinery noises from below at night and the air conditioning that had a mind of its own and no matter where the controls were set varied between freezing cold and hot. We normally take the traditional dining option on Princess but did enjoy the options of the different dining rooms - Angelo's, Dragon Lady and the Waterfront. The food was what you can expect on a cruise ship and remember it is not expensive. Some meals were very good and some not so good. It was necessary to book well in advance if you wanted a specific time, in order to see the shows and while this was ok on a short cruise we would still prefer the Traditional dining option - same time, same table, same people, same waiters on a longer cruise. There was no shortage of variety as although the menus were quite small they changed every 4 days. We only ate in the Pantry at lunchtime and breakfast on shore days when we had early starts. There was a huge variety to choose from and generally the food was good. It was a little disjointed though having to go to different stations to put a meal together. Best to find a table then check out what you want, and then get to the stations with the longest queues first otherwise the hot food will be cold. The entertainment was excellent, the production shows, guest artists and live music was as good as any we have seen on a cruise ship. Sideshow alley, the magician/singer duo, and the Hawaiian Comedian were stand outs. Embarkation and disembarkation was very well organised, as good as we have come across. The Tendering process was poor, we gave up in Lifou after waiting over 1 1/2 hrs in the morning. And when I finally went ashore in the afternoon it took over 2 hrs from the time I joined the queue for the return journey, all the time standing in pouring rain - not pleasant. It is a small ship and therefore there are not the facilities we are used to. There is no hot tub in the adults area and as the main pools were freezing cold the two hot tubs in the main pool area were always full of children. It was the school holidays and we understood that the capacity of children allowed on board was maxed out. There are no wine lists in the bars - only in the restaurants and although there was a good range of wine in the restaurants it was very limited in the bars and there was different availability in the different bars. Bottled wine was in the $30 to $60 range with reds in Angelo's generally more reasonable than a good Chardonnay anywhere on the ship. It was good to see the ships security policing the R18 shows and adults only areas and crew removing towels from loungers that had been left by lazy and thoughtless passengers. The Unesco Heritage site snorkelling trip in Noumea was a highlight despite poor weather conditions. Expensive but well worth it, one of the best snorkelling sites we have been to in many years. Sharks, turtles, lots of tropical fish both small and large, moray eels and great coral. Having a guide with us made it feel much safer and they knew the best spots to go to. On a sunny day this would be stunning!! The shore excursion to Mare was also good, nice beach with easy swim to some coral reefs with some brightly coloured tropical fish. Due to poor weather we did not get to visit Mystery Island. Overall a good cruise and certainly value for money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Did the 10 night "Kimberley Waterfalls" trip with 34 other passengers from Broome, WA to Wyndam. Everything on the boat from the cabin, to the food, to the service was first class. The 21 crew members were young, energetic, ... Read More
Did the 10 night "Kimberley Waterfalls" trip with 34 other passengers from Broome, WA to Wyndam. Everything on the boat from the cabin, to the food, to the service was first class. The 21 crew members were young, energetic, friendly and very helpful. The activities which are tightly scheduled included fishing, walks, helicopter flights, swimming, picnics and naturalist led excisions. Some of these take a moderate level of fitness so if you are a couch potato this probably isn't the trip for you. Also, there is no nightly entertainment and on many mornings breakfast was at six dependent on the tides.On our voyage there were five Americans and the rest of the passengers were Australians. Everyone was most cordial and mixed well. The cabin size was comparable to what we'd experienced on much larger ships and the bathroom was larger. There is plenty of storage. Dress is totally casual. Bare foot, shorts and tops. The food was excellent and often included fish caught that day by passengers. There are no meal choices except at breakfast but this was never a problem because everything served was delicious. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
For many years we have heard of the wonderful experiences people have had on True North and it has been on our bucket list for some time. We went on the Kimberley Waterfall Cruise departing from Broome in April 2019. We were collected ... Read More
For many years we have heard of the wonderful experiences people have had on True North and it has been on our bucket list for some time. We went on the Kimberley Waterfall Cruise departing from Broome in April 2019. We were collected from our accommodation in Broome and taken to the ship at the Port. Here we were met by the friendly young crew of True North and given name badges (very useful) and a welcome drink. After some mingling with the other passengers and crew we were taken to our cabin by one of the crew and shown through the various facilities (daily laundry service was included - how fantastic). After a chef prepared dinner (every meal was simply sensational) we were given details of where we would be travelling to over night and the options of activities available the next day (a process that occurred each evening). The choices always covered peoples capabilities and interests. During the course of our 10 night cruise, I fished (and I had very limited previous experience and the staff were always patient and helpful - and with a sense of humour) and caught fish, I climbed up rock paths to water holes and water pools, visited the most amazing rock art sites, stood on the bow of the ship under a waterfall, had heli picnics (such an incredible experience flying in to an isolated water fall to see a tarp, chairs and BBQ set up), leaned much about the area and its history from the onboard naturalist, saw crocodiles and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. The list goes on. After a day out in the sunshine experiencing the wonderful Kimberley Coast you returned to an airconditioned boat for evening cocktails, a beautifully cleaned room (every cabin has its own bathroom) and the most delightful staff who are always friendly and upbeat. The trip is expensive (as you would expect) but certainly was worth every penny. I am definitely planning to travel with them again in a few years. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Have cruised before on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria and wasn’t disappointed So disappointed this time around Meals average No dress code in Restaurants and children in adults only area Great Gatsby party was such a let ... Read More
Have cruised before on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria and wasn’t disappointed So disappointed this time around Meals average No dress code in Restaurants and children in adults only area Great Gatsby party was such a let down people dressed up waiting for the party to start just hanging around stairs etc The band played wrong era music rock and Beatles Then when they did the Charleston it was by record Back to school was fun Shows were hit and miss Cabins are ok plenty of space balcony was big enough for two but needs the refurbishment Two many costly extras that are free on other cruise line Edge a waste of money and Soda drinks packages use cans to fill the glass which was often warm or flat Our cruise was a great price so I wasn’t expecting too much but unfortunately I was disappointed with the food choices in the restaurants and didn’t match was on the menu to on the plate Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This year 3 members of my family are celebrating a “Big 0” Birthday. To celebrate these milestones we decided to have a weekend together. What better way to spend time together than on a cruise. Having previously cruised with Princess, ... Read More
This year 3 members of my family are celebrating a “Big 0” Birthday. To celebrate these milestones we decided to have a weekend together. What better way to spend time together than on a cruise. Having previously cruised with Princess, I suggested a short cruise. The Golden Princess had a 3 night cruise from Melbourne to Sydney. Perfect! With 13 passengers and an age range from 3 to 69 we boarded in Melbourne for what proved to be an amazing way to be together. With so much to see and do, everyone was treated to some activity they really enjoyed. Kid’s Club provided magical experiences for the little ones whilst Wine Tasting and night life were enjoyed by the adults. The live shows and movies were enjoyed by all. The gym junkies in the group were pumping in the early morning at the very well appointed Fitness Centre. The food was sensational. So many choices and every meal was delicious and beautifully presented. There was something for everyone. Half time pies at the AFL footy telecast, pizza and icecream at the pool, High Tea and late night snacks after Dancing the night away. We also got together for Buffet breakfast and fine dining in the evenings. The staff were excellent and so attentive to all our needs. In every area of the ship our requests were cheerfully attended. Each member of the group gave our trip a 10/10 rating and we are already planning our next cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Many time travellers had recommended the princess ships to me,thought it was time to try. The quality and type of food was excellent,the restaurants so good the waiters and the staff were so friendly and their choice of the menu was ... Read More
Many time travellers had recommended the princess ships to me,thought it was time to try. The quality and type of food was excellent,the restaurants so good the waiters and the staff were so friendly and their choice of the menu was incredible. The ship is a dream so much to see and do it is hard to get around to every thing ,the movies under the stars is a knockout. The cabin crew were so good and obliging helped in every manner that was possible. The staff at DONATELLOS are the best that I have experienced you have to experience to appreciate fully. The embarkment and disembarkment were so smooth took no time at all. My wife and I are in the process of booking several tours with princess at this time,much longer cruises are now in order. Coffee and wines were the best could not have asked for better. All in all I did not want to get off the ship it was that good. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Before traveling we read many negative reviews about this ship so our expectations were quite realistic. It was a taster cruise to see if I could handle the seasickness and being on board for days in a row. We had an amazing time and ... Read More
Before traveling we read many negative reviews about this ship so our expectations were quite realistic. It was a taster cruise to see if I could handle the seasickness and being on board for days in a row. We had an amazing time and could find little fault. For the price we paid, we didn't expect the highest quality food or the most luxurious accommodation but our meals in the specialty restaurants were fine. Yes the serves were small, but extra dishes could be ordered. I loved the smaller serves, compared to the huge meals served in most restaurants everywhere these days. The staff were amazing. Nothing is too much trouble. We found the entertainment to be excellent with something for everyone. I am sure there are more glamorous ships on offer but we went with an open mind and a positive attitude and enjoyed the whole experience. On this comedy cruise we laughed our way across the Tasman. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise over a Sydney to Melbourne one as had the need to go one way or the other (function in Melbourne). Unfortunately this ship is getting very old & has some challenging issues. The toilet wasn't working upon ... Read More
I chose this cruise over a Sydney to Melbourne one as had the need to go one way or the other (function in Melbourne). Unfortunately this ship is getting very old & has some challenging issues. The toilet wasn't working upon arrival to our cabin & also several times throughout the cruise causing me to have to visit a public toilet on multiple occasions, unfortunately for Princess many of these were also out of order. The lack of Happy Hour means that many people no longer mingle in the bars & we'd be happy for princess to bring this back, even if it was at an inflated price. There was a guy at the bag drop in Melbourne who was very odd, all I wanted to do was use his stapler to staple my bag tag on to my luggage, instead when another passenger handed me the stapler, snatched it & put it in his pocket & made me wait over 20 minutes for 2 staples (sarcastically thanking me for waiting after stapling my tags for me). Unfortunately we noticed the limitation of nip sizes when pouring drinks, whereas in the past they used & filled the large size of the jigger now they use the small side & only half fill it. If the alcohol is so much more expensive now, put the prices up, don't rip your passengers off. On the plus side the cabin was the largest we've had to date (6 previous cruises) and the TV was huge, shame it didbn't have the movies on demand like on the Diamond. Read Less

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