5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
It was our first cruise and we absolutely loved it! The ship itself was magical, we especially loved the Atrium and the Open Deck Pool on Deck 14. The Service was amazing! Every member of the crew we interacted with felt like old ... Read More
It was our first cruise and we absolutely loved it! The ship itself was magical, we especially loved the Atrium and the Open Deck Pool on Deck 14. The Service was amazing! Every member of the crew we interacted with felt like old friends. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly. The dining was lovely, the ambience created in each dining room and at the specialty restaurants was great. Some of the food wasn't as fresh as we would have liked, some pieces a little more fatty than we were used to, but other than that it was great. The entertainment was great. We watched Pianoman and I've got the Music, as well as the singer, Monique and the Comedian, I can't seem to track down his name anywhere but he was a 62 year old from canada, who has a chinese wife and he was amazing. We loved our shore excursions, especially our market visit and cooking class in Ho Chi Minh City! That was the perfect day! We took a bus into the city and then went on a peddy cab ride through smaller city streets, (this was amazing!) and then we met the chef at the market and she took us around buying ingredients. Then we got an hour to shop at this market as it has a wet market and a souvenir section. (we got lots of great souvenirs and tea sets and tshirts and bags, it was great). Then we met the chef back at the Rex hotel and learnt how to make Vietnamese Spring rolls, the sauce that goes with them and we learnt to make tomato roses. then we did a little sightseeing and headed back. What an amazing day! I know I have already raved about the crew but they were seriously amazing. I couldn't get my hands on enough of those cruise nomination cards on the last day and I miss several members of the crew now that we have left. The day we were at Koh Samui, we used tender boats to get to shore and on the way back, there was a huge line at the dock to get back onto the cruise. It was a hot day and we were all tired. There were a few hundred people all waiting for tender boats and the shelter was full so we were lining up outside the shelter in the heat but the Princess staff managed to even make that a much better experience than it was. They had crew members handing out cold towels and chilled water as well as umbrellas to shield the sun. They also loaded up two tender boats at a time, speeding up the process. I was so impressed by their efforts to make the situation that much more bearable. We loved playing Pyramid at the explorers lounge one night. loved it even more because we won a bottle of champagne! haha. We made some lovely friends, we saw new cities and had new experiences. We loved every minute and we cannot wait for our next cruise experience. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We enjoyed our two-week cruise from Singapore to Myanmar and return aboard the Volendam. As first-time cruisers we found the relatively small ship very comfortable. HAL upgraded our cabin from oceanview to a Lanai cabin on the lower ... Read More
We enjoyed our two-week cruise from Singapore to Myanmar and return aboard the Volendam. As first-time cruisers we found the relatively small ship very comfortable. HAL upgraded our cabin from oceanview to a Lanai cabin on the lower promenade deck. We liked the panoramic views from the sliding glass door and the reserved deck chairs right outside the cabin were a bonus. We worried that the passersby doing their walking rounds on the deck would make us uncomfortable, but found the mirrored sliding glass door provided complete privacy. Food throughout was excellent, whether in the main dining room or on the Lido deck. Paying the extra charge for the Canaletto restaurant one evening was worth it with a different menu and wine selection and great service. Entertainment was spotty (we know HAL isn't known for its entertainment). Two nights they brought aboard local dancers from Malaysia and Myanmar and the shows were superb. Otherwise the Volendam dancers and singers were mediocre (the women were much better than the two male leads) but nevertheless not a bad way to pass the time, and their production "Droom" was a definite step up with beautiful costumes, music and dance. We found a favourite bar for pre-dinner drinks and after a couple of days the staff knew by memory what drinks we wanted and which snacks to deliver. HAL shore excursions were well organized and we felt were worth the high cost. We'd sail on the Volendam again on an Asian route. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2016
From the moment we set eyes on Sapphire Princess we new we would have a great time Been 67 and 72 years old we coud not fault anything, The food was fantastic - the buffet great selection of foods - at night we chose to eat at Savoy ... Read More
From the moment we set eyes on Sapphire Princess we new we would have a great time Been 67 and 72 years old we coud not fault anything, The food was fantastic - the buffet great selection of foods - at night we chose to eat at Savoy and Santa Fe. Our favourite Santa Fe with waiters Antonio and Dwi made a great evenings dining. The entertainment very professional musicians- our cabin A340 beautiful with a balcony and cabin steward Georgi on the 12th level. All staff very friendly and attentive. The swimming pool areas great for a lazy time on the many deck chairs watching a movie or enjoying a swim. so many activities for the young and old. Met people from all over the world - only 300 Aussies on board - 75% Asian/chinese as lunar new year and also Canadians, Americans and British The ships decor was exquisite and a walk on the promenade for relaxation recommended. The tours a shore were good. we had visited Bangkok, Koh Sumai and Ho Chi Mingh many times before but still enjoyed returning for memorys. Congratulations on a great cruise and we hope to return next year definately with Princess. Every day so well organised Thankyou Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We'd been interested in cruising for a while and some friends recommended Princess for a quiet cruise with good food and not too many party animals! When this came up at a very good price for the 7 nights (Singapore-Ko Samui-Laem ... Read More
We'd been interested in cruising for a while and some friends recommended Princess for a quiet cruise with good food and not too many party animals! When this came up at a very good price for the 7 nights (Singapore-Ko Samui-Laem Chabang-Phu My-Singapore) I couldn't resist. Overall, I was very impressed with the Sapphire Princess and her crew. Embarkation and disembarkation were easy and efficient; staff were helpful, competent and friendly; the ship was very clean; they obviously took hygiene seriously, with plenty of reminders about hand washing and insisting people used the hand clean before getting food in the buffet; our stateroom had a comfortable bed (although pillows were lumpy) and enough storage; and most of the food was very good. We liked the anytime dining option, and used it for 6 of the 7 nights. The staff in the Santa Fe seemed the most efficient, we didn't have to wait as long for a table as we did in the Pacific Moon or Savoy, and the service was better. The only real disappointment was the meal on the last night when we had overcooked mussels, and third-rate frozen deserts. To be fair, when we mentioned this to the Maitre d', he was very apologetic and offered to get us alternatives. Other than that, meals were good enough that I couldn't resist 3 courses when I'd normally just have one. We ate in Sabatini's (extra US$25pp) one night, also very good, particularly the lobster. Drinks were restaurant/bar prices, which with the poor AUD and 15% gratuities made them expensive, although it wasn't worth our while to buy the beverage package. I gather that's much the same as other cruise lines. We didn't drink a great deal, but we do like a beer before dinner and a glass of wine with it... the occasional cocktail... which ate up a fair bit of our onboard credit. Breakfast in the buffet was reasonable, with excellent omelettes. However, when we discovered the breakfast in the International Dining Room was better we realised we should have taken that option all cruise. Will know next time! Speciality coffees were very good at the International Cafe (we bought coffee cards) and the cakes/pastries were delicious. I should have asked for the recipe for the gluten-free pineapple fruit cake. Or maybe not. Still a few kilos to lose... We only came across one grumpy staff member (he was in the International cafe) all cruise. Our cabin steward, Jay, was excellent - always available when we needed him but not intrusive. The shore days were a mixed bag. We're not into organised sightseeing so didn't go on any tours. We'd prefer to stay a few days in a place, amble around and get to know it so one day was always going to be unsatisfactory for us. On the plus side, we had a pleasant walk and good Thai lunch in Ko Samui, and we found out we didn't like Pattaya without committing to a longer holiday. Vietnamese New Year restricted us in Phu My. Although it was interesting to see the market in Ba Ria (delapidated free shuttle bus to/from ship put on by the town!) not much else was open. We had a look at some of the shows on the boat (music, some apparently disconnected song-and-dance compilations, and a magician) but we weren't attracted by them enough to stay and watch. Not sure if this was sub-par or they just weren't our type of show. Next time I'd pay more attention to the enrichment activities, though, because they one I did get to (Head Chef/Maitre d' cooking demonstration and galley tour) was good. They were very polished and I learned a few things about dishes I thought I knew how to cook! The gym was well-equipped and, together with using the stairs rather than lifts, probably saved me from looking like a beach ball by the end. We did 5 work outs!!! So, we'd cruise Princess again. I'd do another cruise to Asia if I could get this good a deal, but plan on staying on the boat for shore days unless there was something I really wanted to see. What I'd really like to do now though is cruise Alaska so I can see the wildlife and that scenery :) :) Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
I could not have been happier with our cruise on Sapphire Princess which departed Singapore on 27 Jan 2016. The quality of the ship was first class and all bars and eating areas were different in their own way. The meals were excellent ... Read More
I could not have been happier with our cruise on Sapphire Princess which departed Singapore on 27 Jan 2016. The quality of the ship was first class and all bars and eating areas were different in their own way. The meals were excellent and even though many people avoid buffets we ate at Horizon Court for dinner about half of the time (usually after day trips when we couldn't be bothered dressing up a little more) and we were pleasantly surprised with the quality and variation. Always plenty of seafood and even heaps of lobsters one night. The dining rooms were also great. Our cabin was getting close to a refresh, in terms of carpet replacement and some work in the bathroom but it was still great and the beds were as comfortable as any I have slept in on my travels. Shore excursions were great and we were offloaded very quickly. Drink prices on board I thought were reasonable and the entertainment and other on board activities were varied. The service at the Passenger Service Desk was good except on one occasion when the bloke I dealt with couldn't have cared less. Other occasions, the staff were great. I could not of been happier and I am missing the ship since we left. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
To be honest I have probably over rated At average, I think its below, but not quite poor. This was our first ocean cruise if this nature. We are seaworthy, having done many other types of vessels, both river and ocean going. We booked 18 ... Read More
To be honest I have probably over rated At average, I think its below, but not quite poor. This was our first ocean cruise if this nature. We are seaworthy, having done many other types of vessels, both river and ocean going. We booked 18 months before hand and had the most appalling experience from then on, getting online, customer assistance, and then to add to it they cancelled our original date and hence we changed to this cruise. So our early experience was rather tainted to say the least. So we then received emails x 3 to tell us if the norovirus. Yes these things happen, but my did it throw the crew out. The first three days were a total joke, disorganised, chaotic, with queues at MDR, for excurions, to get drinks at the cafeteria etc. We were concierge, we thought that this was something special, again was let down, after two days we received one robe between two ( I had to ask for), after less than a week we no longer received breakfast order cards. Received a broken tote bag and a plastic wallet for a credit card, and a bottle of cheap plonk. We never tried the canapes. We had to ask for binoculars, which when we received after 10 days and were the cheapest set I have ever seen. We never got offered pillow menus or other assortments listed on the webpage, and of course that information is not provided when you get on board so you forget the nitty gritty. The room was tired, torn curtains, and drapes hanging off their hooks. We never got our cases express, in fact half an hour before we had to go for dinner, so almost had to do mdr in jeans. I am not sure what the concierge chap does, apart from leave messages on your phone, never saw him stand up and take his eyes off his computer screen, I would have thought a face to face introduction would have been more fitting. I did have to approach him once as the air con and shower fan failed, that took a few hours to put right. However our cleaner was very pleasant and did his best. We had select dining in mdr which was again a nightmare, we gave up booking and just turned up. On the first formal night despite booking we had to stand in a queue for 30 minutes. The food was canteen food, plated nicely, but often the plates were dirty with encrusted food underneath them, and far too much salt. it was noisy, frantic and not a leisurely experience. Quissne was a pleasant experience. We had a beautiful meal in Olympic in contrast. But of course this all cost extra. Wine choices were not great in mdr. You could never get a bed near the pool, towels draped over them all day, and one half you cant use because of smokers. Little areas with beds in shade, so I gained little from that area of the ship. The spa treatments were so expensive which was a shame, so never got to use them. Entertainment was okay, a handful of one night only acts flown in, the ship dancers were, well lets say holiday camp level. Day time activities were atrocious, themes disguised with the aim on selling spa services, paintings and overpriced jewellery etc. I was very disappointed with the daily programme, which on paper looked full, but was as I say selling on, trivia/quizes, one lecture appertaining to destination and not much of anything else. The same every day. It was boring and unimaginative to say the least, but at least I got to read two books. (Could have done that anywhere of course). The ship itself really has come to its end, our balcony was rusted, not very clean, and the rails around the deck of the bar at the cafeteria were so rotten, you could stick,your finger in them and you certainly wouldn't lean on them. The trip itself had to be changed due to a storm, so we missed Malaysia and had to spend two days in a freezing Hong kong, but that could, not be helped. They provided a free shuttle bus to a mall, where the shops were closed until 12, then we had to stand in very long queues in 3 degrees, waiting to return so not a great memory of Hong kong. Excursions - some okay, at ,east one way over sold and priced. Vietnam - rural traditions. Please only do this if you can walk, it is clear on the description, we had one or two who could walk for than a few metres, before near collapse, and of course this took longer than necessary as we had to wait for them every few yards. The rural aspect bit was a little village onthe edge of saigon, obligatory pop into a kindergarden, look at four stalls selling scraps of suspicious looking meat covered in flies, a look at the outside of a house, then on to Saigon, which was busy, busy, hot and and sticky, a look at a temple, a post office, lunch in a nice hotel, butwith not enough seating allocated for the party. We then had the obligatory laquerware factory. The best part of the overpriced day was watching the loads and overloaded tiny mopeds from the window of the coach. Vietnam - hoi han/ danang. Loved the merchant town, and would recommend just getting transport here and doing it alone. We went to china beach, Danang and the obligatory marble factory. Both days long coach trips. Hong kong highlights, sitting in a coach was the best thing for this freezing day, but we went up the tram to the peak, snapped a photo and jumped back on the coach, then Stanley Market where everyone bought coats, hats etc. The day could have been better with good weather. Manilla - hidden valley very long trip through busy Manilla, but the valley was pleasant (if not artificial) and a change from the boat and city. The pools were a pleasant experience. Boracay Island - Phillipines - this was the biggest let down and biggest rip off, and they really sold a wonderful experience, suggesting we were going to a hotel for a barbecue on its private beach. I don't recall the cost of the trip, but it was not cheap. It entailed tender on the lifeboat, a 10 minute trip on a little bus to a long busy 4 miles plus white beach which was crowded, the private area was a roped off patch in front of a street hotel, sun beds jam packed together, then a barbecue or queues again, spilling onto the street in the way of pedestrians. DO NOT do this one, just get the tender over and get the little tribikes, you will see more, and save a fortune. Singapore - I chose not to do any trips, as it such a civilised place, so easy to get around, you have easy access to underground, taxis are cheap, there are hop on off buses, don't waste your money, do it yourself. So in a nutshell, this has put me off cruising for now anyway, my trips are usually more intrepid and individual, and I take ownership if things are not right. If I was to cruise again would I chose celebrity I am not sure, others tell me other ships in the fleet are better, but is the entertainment and activity any better, I don't believe so. Its a shame as the itinerary could have been more interesting, but the ship and organization just let the whole experience down. The highlight of my trip the days I spent in Singapore in a hotel, I did and saw so much more. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our first cruise and so we can't really compare with anything else. The cruise was SE Asia in January 2016. Depart Singapore 8/01 arrive back in Singapore 19/01. Positives The ship was great. Spacious, lots of ... Read More
This was our first cruise and so we can't really compare with anything else. The cruise was SE Asia in January 2016. Depart Singapore 8/01 arrive back in Singapore 19/01. Positives The ship was great. Spacious, lots of different bars and swimming pools, cafes, clubs and dining options. Our cabin (with balcony) was great - very clean, relatively spacious and modern. The bathroom was small but functional. Shower was excellent. I loved lying in bed with the balcony door open listening to the ocean. The TV entertainment was good - a good selection of movies, live TV and programmes. The public areas in the ship were also classy -really sparkling and clean. Carpets seemed new. Food was very good. I'm a bit critical when it comes to food and really enjoy going to good restaurants but the food on board was great - particularly bearing in mind how many people the kitchens have to serve each day. One restaurant (Horizon) was buffet style. The first day was disappointing for lunch - I was a bit concerned about what the food would be like for the rest of the cruise. But after that things really improved - for example a typical night would have maybe twenty or thirty choices and all very good. There were also nights when the chefs would cook food from a selection for you - for example one night you could select from prawns, scallops and squid (the scallops were fantastic) on another, chicken, steak or pork (in addition to the usual 20 or 30 choices). And you could have as much as you wished. The other dining option was sit down formal - again great food. I had lobster one night which was beautiful and I had it twice! Similar for scallops. You could also pay a $25 cover charge per person and opt for a speciality restaurant -eg crab shack, steak house etc. these were great - with as much as you could possibly want. Great cakes were available just about constantly, noodle bars appeared at lunchtime and there were two good pizza places and a burger grill. So, I could not fault the food. apart from: why is it not possible to serve regular non- UHT milk for coffees? Surely if you can freeze lobster, mussels, clams and steak you can freeze milk???? Some people like UHT but on a 5star cruise liner?!! Drinks I felt were reasonable in price (apart from the issue below). Beer was about US$6 plus 15%. But no particularly stand out quality options (subjective I know but for me they were all very bland). Cocktails were about $9 plus 15% and I really enjoyed these. Probably a little too much. The buy one get another for $1 happy hours were good deals. Drinks package was a little steep - I think it worked out to over US$50 per day - we didn't buy into this although it could have worked if we were both heavy drinkers. Housekeeping was faultless - immaculate morning and turn down before bed. Cabin was spotless So if you were happy to just look after yourself I think the Sapphire Princess is excellent. Negatives The service. And I suspect the management. As others have said the service on this boat was very ordinary and not becoming of a 4 or 5 star establishment. I've listed some examples below purely so as to illustrate the overall impression - none of the examples given should be weighted more than any other: 1. Scarce staff when setting up sun beds - no one rushed to help. Some sunbeds were left strapped up during the day and getting one was a challenge. (Forward on sun deck near to sanctuary if anyone's interested) 2. No one came round to ask us if we would like anything to eat or drink when on a sun bed - ever. And yet staff will harass you for photographs and you'll get bombarded to pay for extras such as paintings via flyers (see below). Even when we paid extra to be in the Sanctuary no one came round apart from to give us afternoon tea. It really felt like self service. Whilst I don't wish to be disturbed constantly, once or twice every hour would have been nice. 3. We called the "dining bookings" line to book a table for the steak restaurant one day and were put through to 4 different people - nobody seemed to know what was happening and nobody took any initiative to find out and get back to us - it seemed to be "how can I get rid of this call" not "How can I make this customer's life easier?" 4. Not sufficient waiting staff at busy times. Downstairs in the atrium, 5 o clock (international cafe?) and only two waitresses. We waited 20 minutes for our order (two coffees) and had to remind staff 3 times. 5. If you buy a bottle of wine and don't finish it then the ship will save it for you - and you can get it wherever you eat on the following nights by stating where you purchased it. Sounds great! We did this and were told that it would be kept in the Santa Fe dining room and that we just had to say this to the waiter in whichever restaurant we were in and it would be retrieved and brought to the table. The following night we went to the Sterling Steak House ($25 cover charge per person) and told the waiter where the wine was. After 10 minutes wait the waiter returned to say that the wine wasn't there. This to me was really poor, almost juvenile service. What should we do? Say "well it is!"? ("It isn't" "it is" etc etc) We waited a further 10 minutes and I was about to go down 8 decks to find it myself (by finding the waiter who took it off me) when they finally found it. But we were faced with the potential scenario of having to argue whether we'd finished the wine or not. It was very unprofessional of the waiting staff to tell us it wasn't there (and possibly the Santa Fe dining room for not finding it) Meanwhile we had to wait for the wine before we ordered. Which leads me to.... 6. There is no mechanism for receipts and the system is open to abuse. Yes they will store wine for you but they should give you a receipt for it to prove that this happened - we had a lucky escape. And no receipts are issued on board - crew could double enter purchases and you would never know. 7. My wife was spoken to very rudely by a maitre d one night. I won't name the restaurant or the person but we complained and nothing happened for nearly two days. Personally I think there should have been a quicker turn round in this. But also - and this is debatable- the maitre d telephoned our room to apologise. I'm not sure whether this is appropriate - i think management should have taken some responsibility and spoken to us. The person who has been complained about calling the room can be very confronting. But I'll leave that to everyone else's judgement. 8. In the terrace pool and the sanctuary pool there are clear signs saying "adults only". Yet we saw, on a number of occasions, kids in the pools. Not one staff member said anything apart from one Australian life guard who did the right thing and asked them to leave on one occasion. On one day a uniformed person (green seaman's outfit with stripes (an engineer?) was watching his wife and kids in the "adults only" terrace pool (back of the boat) (leam chabang day, princess cruises staff if you're reading this). (How do we know it was a family? Because the kids were calling him "daddy".) This to me is in itself minor but it suggests a deeper issue with standards and leadership. And it places staff who try to do the right thing in a difficult position. (How to tell customer kids to leave when staff kids are in the pool??) 9. On one day about 3 days in, we could not get our hot water to work in the shower. We telephoned housekeeping and never heard back from them for the remainder of the cruise! 10. General demeanour of staff was inconsistent. In the main it was positive and friendly but occasionally was brusque and cold. Someone in an earlier post mentioned nationality issues and I tend to agree - very generally speaking the most positive and friendly were from certain areas of the world and the cold and brusque from others. This i think again points to weak management and training. 11. Statement of account: we asked when a statement of account would be produced and was told by the passenger service desk that it would be delivered to our cabin on the evening of our penultimate day. By 11pm it was not there. By 8am on our final day it was (I assume it arrived over night) But get this, we were instructed to check out of the room by 8am on the last day AND the statement said that we had to query any issues BEFORE we disembarked because Princess Cruises would refuse to reimburse if we complained after we left. So essentially Princess expected us to stay awake until at least 11pm to receive our statement, then check it sometime between 11pm and 6.30am (at which point passenger services had closed for the night) and leave the ship by 8.00!! Goodness knows how this could work but it certainly wasn't very customer friendly. Other issues There was a really cynical approach to extracting cash from passengers. I felt that it was pestering - and had a negative impact on what should have been an oasis of relaxation after a day spent dealing with street vendors in SE Asian cities. Photographs in particular - everywhere we went on the boat or when leaving - someone was trying to take a photo of me for me to buy. And they were expensive (and constructed at a price point that encouraged you to buy more (e.g $49.98 for two photos but if you spend more than $50 then you get 3 free gifts; you couldn't spend a little bit more to get to $50 - it was significant). To give an idea of how much the company emphasises photos, one whole section of the starboard side was devoted to displaying photos. And in one newsletter (16th/17th Jan) the head of "photo and video" of the ship gave his views on life (the captain and other officers had a day each writing in the newsletter) and of course there were a couple of paragraphs encouraging you to buy yet more photos. I was interested in the captains views, and the chief navigator, even the executive chef - but the head of photo and video.....!?? Art galleries - I was absolutely fed up with receiving flyers and "personal invites" to art auctions. I'm on holiday. And I don't want to buy a Leica camera or a gemstone either. Bottled water - does the cruise line really have to charge $1 for a tiny bottle of water when leaving for a day ashore? They lost a lot of goodwill here. To me the boat should have been a 5 star hotel afloat. I've stayed in a lot of 5 star hotels but have never been pestered for photos or made to pay for the odd bottle of water. Gratuities: I appreciate that this is a geographical and cultural issue and is therefore controversial. It's also one that probably applies to all cruise lines but given the inconsistent service I didn't want to have $11 daily (each) added to my bill for gratuities "for my convenience". Either increase the prices to include decent wages for your staff (and let the market decide if your prices are still worth it) or let me decide who I want to tip. I tipped the housekeeping chap - he was consistently excellent and worked extremely hard. It seems that this is a real problem as an incentive - why should the rude and offensive guy in the restaurant get the same tips as the pleasant room cleaner? And why would people try to do their best for passengers when they're getting tips anyhow? The Sanctuary. This was an adults only area lounge at the front of the ship. It cost $20 per half day. I didn't mind paying this. What I did mind paying was the $3 delivery charge for food. This was again a cynical attempt at extracting extra cash. I'd already paid extra why should I have to pay again for a delivery charge for something that waiters should do as part of their job? In a hotel if I order food at the poolside I don't have to pay a delivery charge.... One minor one - "Sundaes" the ice cream parlour should be prosecuted under the trades descriptions act. It was soft serve ice cream in a cone. Chocolate, vanilla or both -no toppings. And not particularly nice. McDonald's is better. I ordered one bottle of wine during the cruise. It was a Chilean Sauvignon Blanc priced at US $27 and possibly the worst wine I have tasted since I was about 14 when I scraped a few coins together to get something cheap for a party. It smelt of sulphur, seemed to fizz on my tongue and left a metallic edge. Really dire and I was very disappointed that the cruise liner could serve this -.kind of affects the trust a bit. (And I wouldn't pay more than about $4 for this in a shop so God only knows what the mark up is) Information on days in port was weak. It came out in a newsletter about 10pm the night before docking and even then had patchy information - particularly if you wanted to do something independently. The really poor aspect was delivering clear information about how to get from the point of disembarkation to a central place where you could get a taxi or other transport. Shuttle buses were often provided but the context of this was poorly described. I formed the view that this was deliberate to get passengers to sign up to high price excursions (and at $240 for a Brunei day trip, some of these were extortionate) All of the above are relatively minor problems in themselves. But collectively - and they all occurred in a relatively short cruise of 11 days - they form an impression of a supposedly 4 or 5 star cruise. Other people we met on board complained about different issues - such as poor entertainment. This didn't bother us because we didn't go on the cruise to be entertained - we went to relax. But what appeared to be common to all was the general feeling of poor service - and "it's not my job". I think there's probably an issue with general organisational culture and management. Would I cruise again? Yes!! Overall it was a positive experience. I loved our cabin, the food and the physical aspects of the ship. Would I cruise with Princess again? From talking to other seasoned cruise people, probably not -.- I think there are better companies out there. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Smooth embarkation at Singapore. Rooms compact but comfortable and very clean. Bathroom on the small size but adequate. Worth booking concierge or above for the extra perks ie free WIFI of 500 minutes and extra specialty restaurant ... Read More
Smooth embarkation at Singapore. Rooms compact but comfortable and very clean. Bathroom on the small size but adequate. Worth booking concierge or above for the extra perks ie free WIFI of 500 minutes and extra specialty restaurant bookings. Drinks are expensive, however Oceania is lenient when bringing some alcohol for cabin consumption onboard. Mini bar is loaded with soft drinks of your choice. The dining venues are varied with much choice of superior food. Afternoon tea was also a highlight with fine quality offerings. To balance all this, there is a small but well equipped gymnasium with modern machines and a gym supervisor, Adamir, to assist. Staff service throughout the ship at all times was first class including, Jacques, who patiently assisted with any internet queries. The shore excursions and private transfers were exorbitantly priced and best avoided. Better to register with Cruise Critic Roll Call and prearrange tours with other passengers. We would certainly cruise with Oceania again! Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
If you are looking for upper class society experience, this ship is not for you. Costa Victoria is a very laid back, relax ship. Overall, this is a ship without big wow factor like rock climbing or ice skating rink. It is quite an old ... Read More
If you are looking for upper class society experience, this ship is not for you. Costa Victoria is a very laid back, relax ship. Overall, this is a ship without big wow factor like rock climbing or ice skating rink. It is quite an old ship, but some hardware have been upgraded since the editor review was made. Costa card now opens the door as well, so you can just bring one card around the ship. The inside room is tiny but the beds are very comfortable. I fall asleep almost instantly every night. Bathroom is small but for Southeast Asian size it is good. The most fabulous thing about the cruise is the programme newspaper. It tells you literally everything. It have every info you need on board and even reminds you about things you might forget. Following the programs will make you sufficiently busy the whole day. Shows at night is nice but we all feel that the Michael Jackson show could be better... Maybe there's too much emphasis on that one show. The other shows are equally good, if not better than Michael Jackson show. Food are OK, be warned there are A Lot of bread and cakes. If you are a rice person, there is always a pot of rice at the end of buffet line at Bolero. Sit down restaurant have rice options as well. The indian food are nice. Guests on board are all really casual. Staffs are friendly and helpful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Being first time cruisers we weren't expecting anything, but were surprised by the service and the experience we received on board, will be doing another cruise. The Cruise started from Perth with about 1400 of the passengers on ... Read More
Being first time cruisers we weren't expecting anything, but were surprised by the service and the experience we received on board, will be doing another cruise. The Cruise started from Perth with about 1400 of the passengers on the return leg from Singapore to Perth where we on boarded, being over 29 days 80% of the passages seemed to be over 65, but you expect that on a long cruise just before Christmas (which was almost why we booked those dates to avoid the children). The Children on board where great. The Entertainment was focused on the seniors sector, there were a couple of acts which we very good (including Dianne Cousins), some which were past it and felt like a RSL club venue. The shore excursions offered by the ship were limited, most people only wanted to visit the local markets, we choice to take the more adventures excursions, The Nation Park tour in Cambodia was the best! They were over priced for what you get otherwise you need to organise your own trips. Our Evening Dinners were the best, mainly thanks to our waiter, he gave us a review every night and which options to select, there weren't enough greens, he ensured we had an extra side of greens and if you want additional items or less, then you just had to ask, there was no problem. Overall, it was a great experience, the ship is looking a bit dated in places, but was good value and worth it. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
My wife and I undertook our 5th cruise on Seabourn, this time on Sojourn to Myanmar where we spent 4 days and 3 nights. The cruise was excellent in every respect. We have travelled on Silversea, Oceania, Cunard, Princess and Crystal, and ... Read More
My wife and I undertook our 5th cruise on Seabourn, this time on Sojourn to Myanmar where we spent 4 days and 3 nights. The cruise was excellent in every respect. We have travelled on Silversea, Oceania, Cunard, Princess and Crystal, and in my opinion Seabourn clearly has the edge. I was able to order a plate of caviar whenever I wanted one ( which was quite often) and the service at meals was superb. The range and variety of food is very impressive, and the wines served at lunch and dinner were of a very high quality. The Observation Bar for pre- dinner drinks is a beautiful venue in which to meet newly made friends, and the trivia on sea days was great fun. We can't wait for our next cruise through the Philippines in April, again on Sojourn, this time with old friends. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
1. Very poor room service. It takes more than an 45 mins to deliver a coffee or tea in the room. 2. A room without toiletries. 3. I booked the room and when I reached to my room I found out the room was booked in someone else name ... Read More
1. Very poor room service. It takes more than an 45 mins to deliver a coffee or tea in the room. 2. A room without toiletries. 3. I booked the room and when I reached to my room I found out the room was booked in someone else name and with someone else luggage. 4. The Customer Care will tell you that everything is covered as part of the package except for the alcoholic drinks whereas, they charge everything except for the room. 5. Non-availability of necessary adapters and also none of the customer service will inform you for the requirements. 6. Staff is very unfriendly and also rude. 7. No sense of knocking at the door they will simply open the door of your room. 8. Public toilets were not neat and clean. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Cruised from Singapore to Fremantle as part of their round Australia cruise late 2015. Boarding in Singapore a nightmare - seemed very disorganised, lots of pushing and shoving and waiting. Passports taken on boarding. The ship ... Read More
Cruised from Singapore to Fremantle as part of their round Australia cruise late 2015. Boarding in Singapore a nightmare - seemed very disorganised, lots of pushing and shoving and waiting. Passports taken on boarding. The ship itself is really nice. Well laid out, easy to navigate, beautiful foyer area. Ship very clean. Rooms were nice - had a balcony cabin and it was spacious, with cute towel animals and nightly bed turndowns. Nice bar areas. Gym reasonable but not that big, and reasonably priced beauty parlour. Ship had two pools and 4 spas and a water slide. Has a video arcade for the kids. It does not have a lot of the 'bells and whistles' that some of the newer ships seem to have. Day time entertainment provided by the cruise staff was enjoyable. We particularly liked the trivia and the dancing / exercise classes. Godie, assistant cruise director, was highly entertaining and a real highlight of the cruise for us - went to everything he was involved in and enjoyed his sense of fun. The rest of the cruise staff could not be faulted - they worked really hard with a passenger group that was often difficult to engage and they were always friendly and entertaining. While in port, there was not a lot on offer but good while at sea. Night time shows were very good and some of the best entertainment have seen in a long time. Some great international acts and quality dancers. The bands around the ship were great - nice music, friendly musicians who came and introduced themselves and remembered you the next day. Food for me was not great - ate in the buffet and as a western vegetarian who cant eat spicy food, it was a bit limiting but survived the week. Was definitely more suited to the Asian market. Some of the paid restaurants did not have any vegetarian options. Gala night dinner in Genting Palace was nice but wait staff perhaps needed a bit more training. While the ship probably is mainly suited for the Asian market, and for those that want to gamble, I found enough things to do to entertain myself so that I really enjoyed it. The staff all around the ship were friendly and nothing was too much trouble and the cruise staff made it fun. I will travel on the Virgo again and hope the next trip is as enjoyable as the first one. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My whole family booked a cruise almost at last minute taking advantage of a very long mid term school vacation for the kids with some public holidays for the adults. We agreed to make it a surprise for the kids, so all they knew was ... Read More
My whole family booked a cruise almost at last minute taking advantage of a very long mid term school vacation for the kids with some public holidays for the adults. We agreed to make it a surprise for the kids, so all they knew was they were going to send Grandma to the airport and we will go spend time in cool Tagaytay ridge. The kids couldn't believe it when we all went down and offloaded the bags at the airport. But they didn't also know that there was another surprise waiting in Singapore, which was the Sing-KL-Phuket cruise aboard mariner of the seas! We arrived at Changi Airport 7 hours in advance because of airline changed schedule of the flight, so kids slept until it was time to go to port. The problem is that RCL website FAQ mentioned that the ship will be at Harbor front Centrum. As there were 11 of us, we needed to get 2 Taxis (one Maxi Taxi and 1 regular taxi) when we arrived at Harbo front, we were informed that we were in the wrong terminal, so we had to take regular taxis now! Gee thanks RCL for a not so good start! You would think that they should update the info on their website, as the nice lady in Harbor front pointed out, we were not the only ones that go there looking for RCL. Once we got to the Terminal and got everything sorted out, we were able to start relaxing, except of course the kids were now excited as they can see that we will be living on board a ship, no Hotel this time. I of course did some other research, including reading cruise critic information, and so we made our plans for the first day while we were waiting to board the ship. Kids wanted to do Ice skating and rock climbing and join the different youth clubs. When we boarded, we were surprised that we were asked to go to different dinning areas for lunch, so at least for this cruise there was no chaos about where to eat, all the dinning rooms were serving buffet lunch while we waited for our rooms. It was actually relaxing and not chaotic. Then off we went to sign waivers and sign up sheets then we were able to check in our rooms. Luckily this time the kids were not so keen about staying in their rooms, they wanted to explore. We decided to have buffet for dinner, which was nice as we were one of the first in line at 630pm opening. But the buffet was quite chaotic after that. Our first port of call was port Klang, we were of course un prepared, even after researching and reading up, including the onboard info about shore excursions. We woke up a bit late and thus by the time we were off the ship, it was already too late to take a taxi to town and get back before "all aboard" call. So we ended up just checking emails at the Terminal, which was a nice enough terminal, with airconditioned place for people to get wifi and charge. There was a convenience store on the ground floor. The next port of call was Phuket, we really just wanted to go down and just walk around, so that is what we did, but as Phuket didn't have a terminal, we had to queue for a boat ferry number, and we were already quite late (again) and only got to shore around 11am, We eventually people got tired of walking, so we took a "tuk tuk" style minibus to Robinsons mall, nearby is a fresh market. We just walked around in the malll and eventually went back on board. Tuk tuk cost 200bhat per trip for 7 to 10 persons. By this time we were already getting into the cruising life, we knew which place to go for food, which place will be open at which times, etc. and we were able to enjoy the different activities. While waiting for our ferry to Phuket, I even learned how to make a rose ribbon :) The kids were also enjoying themselves already, the teens were enjoying their teens club, and the youngest is enjoying Aquanauts, she never even realized that the rest of her family was in Phuket that day! Tips: 1. Children's Clubs are THE BEST! My second daughter never showed up for any of the activities, but the youngest and the eldest (teen) enjoyed their different clubs. The one that didn't join still enjoyed our company going to the shows and such. 2. Cabin, we got an inside cabin with double deck beds, WATCH your HEAD! I am a bit tall and the first thing that I did was bang my head when I sat down on the bottom bunk. My wife who isn't really that tall also banged her head the second day. They should put a bit of cushion on those things! But the kids looooooveed them! We were also located aft of the ship, so there was less movement, not that the seas were rough, but we could feel the movement of the ship when we are forward of the boat like at the "Savoy theatre". 3. Before the cruise, I felt formal night was just a way for snobs to dress up, I was forced to bring a coat and tie (well my wife packed it for me), but at the end it was still nice to have dressed up, though I think that some cruisers had a way better idea than coat and tie, they worse their countries' formal wear like Kimonos, and Batik, etc. That was great! I would not not have hesitated to bring my Barong Tagalog with me! 4. If you have kids, get at least one day of breakfast with Characters. The food is nothing special vs. the regular breakfast menu, but the photo opportunity with the characters is nice, it's a relaxing way to queue for photos with characters. My Tip, take your time, they should not be rushing you to finish the photos, if you like each and every family member should get their turn with the character, if you like. 5. Main dining room, I found out that some cruisers didn't realize that the Main dining room reservations are held for us for the whole cruise, meaning your table will be empty if you do not show up. 100% of the time the Main dinning room menu is better than the buffet menu, which almost never changes. The menu is also themed depending on which country the ship is cruising near to. So that when we were in KL we had Malaysian cuisine, and in Phuket, they offered Thai Cuisine. There were also some classics though. The Service in the main dinning rooms are 11 out of 10 by the way. YES and you can order as many main dishes as you want! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We were doing the Singapore to Hong Kong 10 day cruise and as first time cruisers looking forward to it but not knowing what to expect. The ship is an older one that has had a refit not long ago. While waiting to embark they had ... Read More
We were doing the Singapore to Hong Kong 10 day cruise and as first time cruisers looking forward to it but not knowing what to expect. The ship is an older one that has had a refit not long ago. While waiting to embark they had computer problems ( well that's what we assumed) and we waited with no one telling us what was going on in a hall with little air conditioning for about 40 minutes with more and more people crowding in as there arrival times arrived. they finally got it sorted and after that smooth sailing as they say. On-board activity's were poor and badly timed and sometimes expensive $33.00 USD for 6 bingo cards??? Excursions were expensive and we were constantly warned about the dangers of making our own way. However my wife and I as seasoned travelers ignored them and had the best excursions we had on the trip at less than half the cost of the tours. Also not musch info was forth coming from the Excursions desk as most of them spoke little english Now about our cabin! On our first night being very weary after a flight from Brisbane to Singapore then the heat of the terminal we were shocked to be awoken by a loud banging and rattling noise. This was repeated quite frequently though out the night (every 10 - 15 minutes) so loud that even with ear plugs in it was difficult to sleep. The next day I investigated as to what the hell was making the noise and discovered that as we were on deck 8 under the Park cafe\solarium that they noise was being made by cheap carts\trollys being rolled across the tile floor loaded with dishes and supplies for the Windjammer dining area and also collecting the glasses etc in the pool area. That day I asked guest services if there was anything they could do such as using trolleys that had pneumatic tires or to maybe put some carpet runners down between say 9 PM and 6 AM. They assured me something would be done. Nothing was. While talking with a fellow cruiser one day she told me she had complained about the same problem several years before. I bet if the captain had to sleep there it would be fixed very quickly. The food in the Romeo and Juliet dinning room was excellent and we ate most of our meals there if possible. Service was also fantastic. Entertainment was so so some acts were good but in the whole it was to short. 35-45 minutes and then that was it until the repeat show a couple of hours later. No room to sit in concourse area and no shop to pick up those things that you forgot or ran out of. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was our first ever cruise. We were advised that embarkation would be late due to the ship arriving in the port of Singapore with norovirus. The Explorer was duly sanitized and boarding commenced for us at 2.45 pm instead of the former ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. We were advised that embarkation would be late due to the ship arriving in the port of Singapore with norovirus. The Explorer was duly sanitized and boarding commenced for us at 2.45 pm instead of the former nominated time of 12 noon. Upon receiving advice that our cabin was ready we made our way down to deck nine only to find that our Sea Pass cards would not open the door. So it was back to Guest Relations on deck 5 to get the fault remedied. New cards were issued but we soon found out that they also would not open the cabin door. Back once again to Guest Relations where there was a long queue most of them with a similar problem to our own. Another set of cards was issued along with an apology but a few minutes we found out once again that the cards would not gain us entry to the cabin. Back we went to the Guest Relations where the queue was as long as it had been on the previous occasion. Just as we were going to be attended to, a call was made for muster drill which necessitated everyone heading to their respective stations for the drill. After the drill we went back to Guest Relations where my tolerance was beginning to run fairly thinly. Another long line greeted us and after 30 minutes I demanded that I be given a card that would work. To our utter disbelief the two new cards would not work either so we sat on our cases outside our cabin completely disillusioned. Other passengers urged us to go to Guest Relations yet again but after telling them I had been there five times they advised me to go higher up the chain. At that point our cabin steward Claude came along and after explaining to him what had taken place he took pity on us and opened our cabin door with his master card. He called security and about 10 minutes later a gentleman arrived but after many attempts he could not get the cards to work. He came back about an hour later, apologized and said they were now working. He said the problem had begun in Southampton at the start of the long cruise but had got progressively worse. We then headed for one of the bars to get rid our frustrations. After that we headed for dinner but I noticed that each time I had ordered drinks from the bar or from the dining room waiter I was asked to sign a chit. I explained that we had a premium drinks package each but the waiter pointed out that there should have been issued stickers on each of our cards. Back to Guest Relations after dinner where the missing stickers was adhered and another drink at the Tavern and we were off to bed. Breakfast the next morning in the Windjammer was like a rugby scrum as the many who were taking the day excursions into KL from Port Klang had risen early. It was our first sightings of the mountains of food that some of the people were loading onto their plates. We found it so off-putting that we gave breakfast away and went for a long walk around the decks. When we got back to our cabin we found out once again that our cards would not gain us entry. By this time I had completely had it with Guest Relations and I demanded to see the manager. Security were called and came down with us to our cabin where they ascertained that indeed the cards would not work. They took them away and said we would be called over the PA for us to collect new cards from Guest Relations once the problem had been rectified. After lunch we heard the announcement and got our new cards. These worked and did for the remainder of the trip. However, once again the premium package stickers had been left off and I was only alerted to that fact when asked to sign a chit later that evening in the Schooner Bar. Back once again to Guest Relations where I asked them pithily "do you people ever get anything right"? After that we did not encounter any further problems but it did leave a bitter taste in our mouths about our first ever cruise. As a former chef I thought the food was OK without being outstanding but that is to be expected when the brigade down below is producing about 15,000 meals a day. The staff were a delight and couldn't do enough for us. However, once again Guest Services stuffed up on our last night when I went to pay the on-board expenses. All of the chits I had signed had not been expunged from our account and two purchases from "The Shop" had been duplicated. We had also bought three bottles of Bombay Sapphire Gin when we were on Langkawi Island for the day, however, only two were returned to us. Back to Guest Services where they rang the barman but to no avail. After about three hours a new bottle was produced from the bar, so eventually we had everything sorted out. There was plenty of activities on board which was a necessity with six consecutive sea days from Phuket to Fremantle. We are thinking do we go back to playing golf at resorts or do another cruise? At the present time I'm thinking that we have had our first and last cruise but that might change in the future. We did have another cruise booked with the Golden Princess but I have instructed American Express to arrange a refund as we are in no mood for another cruise at the present time. Most of the cruise was quite enjoyable, but boy, Guest Relations need to get a lot better than they were on this cruise and as a consequence our thoughts on Royal Caribbean at this stage are not particularly complimentary. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We did lots of research on the internet before making a decision to go cruising and found one, (ie Singapore to Fremantle) that suited us. There was trepidation about being on such a large ship with so many fellow passemgers but this soon ... Read More
We did lots of research on the internet before making a decision to go cruising and found one, (ie Singapore to Fremantle) that suited us. There was trepidation about being on such a large ship with so many fellow passemgers but this soon evaporated when we emabarked in Singapore. The Explorer of the Seas is great and met and bettered all of our expectations. Our stateroom on deck 8 overlooking the Promenade deck was spacious enough for the two of us although the bathroom was "petite". The entertainment and activities onboard were many and our dining stewards Arun and Oscar in the Saphire Dining Room made our evening meals a happy and pleasurable experience.There was not much that we could find fault in either about the ship or staff although we came across some multi cruise passengers who made finding fault a sport!! We did not buy any of the beverage packages choosing what and when we wanted but saw many determined to "get value for money" every hour of the day. Cruising on the "Explorer" was a good introduction to Royal Caribbean and experience for us. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Cabin 7206. Forward just under the bridge. Great cabin. Had 2 large ceiling to floor windows. Nice and bright. Felt a little more movement than the rest of the ship, but not uncomfortable. Cabin location was very private. Would ... Read More
Cabin 7206. Forward just under the bridge. Great cabin. Had 2 large ceiling to floor windows. Nice and bright. Felt a little more movement than the rest of the ship, but not uncomfortable. Cabin location was very private. Would reserve this cabin again if possible. Embarkation in Singapore very slow due to Singapore Immigration. Disembarkation in Fremantle a breeze. Thanks to Aussie Immigration. Enjoyed "sea days" rather than "port days". Did a couple of shows which were good, but basically just found a quiet deck chair and watched the ocean and passing parde. Crew were great, food fantastic, only complaint would have to be the inflated exchange rate from US$ TO au$'S...not too sure if this was our bank, or RC. Would cruise with RC again, but would try and find a smaller vessel. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
I paid a significant amount of money to have the Royal Suite so I could give my mother and father a real treat on the cruise. The Royal Suite experience was billed as a 5 star experience which I stupidly as it turned out interpreted to ... Read More
I paid a significant amount of money to have the Royal Suite so I could give my mother and father a real treat on the cruise. The Royal Suite experience was billed as a 5 star experience which I stupidly as it turned out interpreted to mean the equivalent of a 5 star hotel experience. To start the trip we flew Emirates Business Class from Brisbane to Singapore at a cost of some many thousand dollars and then stayed for 3 days before the cruise left at Raffles Hotel in Singapore. This was a truly 5 star experience at a costs similar to that charged by Royal Caribbean for the Royal Suite. Perhaps the marketing people at Royal Caribbean should stay at Raffles Hotel before they have the hide to describe what they offer to the public as a 5 Star Experience. Don’t get me wrong perhaps my expectations were too high but they only arose from Royal Caribbean’s sales/call centre staff and the Royal Caribbean website. Also thank god for the Concierge Kevin and our Suite Steward Aldrin. Both were very helpful and tried to assist. I have built up my expectations of as I say a 5 star experience. Needless to say I think a back packers hostel in country Australia could have provided a better experience than what was provided by Royal Caribbean. Departure day arrives and we get a limousine from Raffles Hotel to the Marina Bay Cruise Terminal. What a shambles this experience was. I should digress and explain that I am 50 year old male and confined to a wheel chair. I travel always with my Carer. My father is 80 and cannot walk out of sight on a dark night and needs a wheel chair to board an aircraft and uses a mobility scooter. My mother 77 years old is blind and has difficulty walking. I of course had told Royal Caribbean about these issues repeatedly and in writing. I was told that we would be met at the drop off and that there was express procedures to go through customs and that arrangements could be made upon arrival to get my father a wheel chair. Needless and not surprisingly none of the promised things happened. There were only staff from the Marina Bay Cruise Terminal who put us all in line and said they could not help with my father wheel chair. There was no staff members from Royal Caribbean evident or present. Matters were exacerbated by Voyager of the Seas departing at about the same time. Once we got through security (told by a security officer we should have gone on the disabled peoples lane and that Wheel Chairs were available and Royal Caribbean should have had staff helping its disabled passengers) we got through security and found the priority check station. This matter proceeded and despite asking for a wheel chair for my father who was nearly out on his feet no wheel chair was provided. Remember I was sitting in my own wheel chair at this time. Once they processed our check in we were met by Kevin the Concierge who was to escort us to the ship. I demanded a wheel chair for my father (the wheel chair I had asked for months previously and been assured it would not be a problem and everything would be taken care of at the kurb) and only when I intervened in a 4 way argument between 2 wheel chair pushers and 2 Marina Bay employees which had gone on for 5 minutes and left my father nearly collapsing did the Wheel Chair pusher eventually provide a wheel chair for use by my father, We were then taken to customs and customs clearance was expedited and then we were taken to the ship. By this time my disabled bladder was wanting to empty and we got stopped by some ship employee telling us we needed to choose a dinner sitting and me telling him I did not want to (as I intended to dine in cabin at the dining table which was part of our Suite) and me actually peeing my pants because this staff member would not take no for an answer until I became rude. It is easy to get rude at 5O years of age when you pee your pants. We eventually got to the ship and the Suite. The master bedroom was supposed to be a large king which could be split into 2. Of course despite being told this was not a problem it could not be. The Suite is divided into 2 areas lounge/dining/second bedroom and master bedroom and en-suite. The air-conditioning control for the Master Bedroom was set at half hot and half cold and was cool to cold. Remember this Cruise left from Singapore – pretty hot place. The outside maximum today was over 35 degrees Celsius. The air-conditioning was not working in the lounge area. I sought to have it repaired. The maintenance man told me he had fixed it and went to tinker with the master unit. He did not return despite me asking him to give me an update. I complained again and he came back this time with another maintenance man and a guy in white overalls and after 2 hours working on it told me it was fixed and it would cool down in about an hour. At this time it is is well past 8 pm but the temperature in lounge 25.4 degrees Celsius and getting no cooler. Of course it has not been fixed. Still very hot!!! Just walked into the master bedroom (Control set at 50% between hot and cold) freezing in there. Control set in lounge 100% cool – not cool at all. The Curtains in the Suite are remote controlled. The Curtain control did not work and would not open the heavy curtain. It took 2 hours to replace the knob which was broken. I was told before the cruise that Australian Electrical units could function from the power outlets on board. Not so – had to request adapters. Asked 2 times and waited 4 hours until 2 adapters were provided. I was told by Concierge to how to order dinner from the menu he provide. Menu called MOJO. Telephoned and spoke to the room service lady who answered. She had no knowledge of this menu and told me half the selections on it were not available. I read the menu to her and told her if she did not know about it to put her supervisor on the phone. At this stage she agreed she had been wrong and took the order for 7.30 pm delivery to the Suite. What a monumental mistake this course of action was. The food arrived early (7.15 pm) – we selected scallop gratin dish for starters, prime rib x 2, sweet and sour pork and prawn cocktail plus desert. The Food and Beverage Managers idea of what Scallop gratin is not something know to other discerning dinners. The Food and Beverage Managers version (I took a photo to prove it) consisted of a small steel plate with some white meat about 8 mm x 8 mm and covered in melted butter – actually drowning it. A disgusting greasy mess that was not edible. This was followed by what i would describe as oven finished prime rib with vegetables. It was cold and was just a piece of 6 mm thick over cooked roast beef. It was ordered medium rare and served well done. It again was returned half eaten. The prawn cocktail was average and the sweet and sour was 5 pieces of pork 1 piece of onion and 2 pieces of capsicum and some steamed rice and a sweet and sour source. Hardly a main course size meal for all that. One of the worst meals I have ever had the misfortune to be served. If the Food and Beverage Manager thinks it is acceptable fair to be served to passengers expecting a 5 star experience, then his expectation of what 5 star means are on a course that will never meet. It is simply not acceptable to serve this garbage to people let alone to passengers who have paid significant money for a 5 star experience. Also remember we are in the Royal Suite for this 5 star experience. The Bar Fridge had a can of coke and can of lemonade and 2 bottles of water in it. When I pointed this out and asked for half a dozen cold cans of coke, bottles of water and cans of lemonade to be delivered the bar attendant arrived 2 hours later with hot stock. Some 4 hours after this the fridge has not even made the stock cool let alone cold and I have little expectation that the fridge functions efficiently if at all. The morning will tell and i was proved right. I went to take a shower in the second bathroom turned on the water soaped up and then got scalded because there was no cold water. So covered in soap after being scalded I went to the other shower and again started with the water on washed off the soap and it again was only the cold water in the pipe before I got hit with scalding water. I called maintenance about this problem and the air conditioning. A maintenance man arrived. He said after 40 minutes and the arrival of a second maintenance man that there is too much hot water pressure and it needs to be fixed. He made a phone call about air conditioning and they both left 25 minutes ago. I am waiting a return. Neither problem has been fixed. My father and mother went to bed dirty as no shower could be taken. Royal Caribbean did not make any offer to provide alternative showering arrangements. I am waiting for it to be fixed. It is 11.31 pm I then spoke to Assistant Customer Service Manager - I demanded to speak to the captain and was told he was asleep and that there was nothing they could do and that they would not wake him up. Eventually the most senior officer awake the Assistant Front Desk manager came to the Suite. He then organised for further technicians to come fix the air conditioning. It took 2 hours further to fix same. So at last everything was working. We never left the ship - so all food was supplied by ship - everyone got sick and we got quarantined in the cabin. The food was garbage including the expensive restaurants. It was the worst experience i have ever had. Another issue that deserves comment. Get interest -2 devices – costs over $550.00 for the cruise. I cannot even open my Gmail server to get some mail before the Gmail server connection log ob times out. This is simply fraud. The email connection whilst still in Singapore behaved like this. I could go on - but this review will be pages long Simply don't waste your money - RCL are a joke and their product is garbage, Read Less
Sail Date: October 2015
My only regret is not doing this years ago, absolutely fantastic experience, now deciding where to go next, only downside was embarkation, a total nightmare, but after talking to fellow cruisers it appears to be a Singapore thing rather ... Read More
My only regret is not doing this years ago, absolutely fantastic experience, now deciding where to go next, only downside was embarkation, a total nightmare, but after talking to fellow cruisers it appears to be a Singapore thing rather than RCI so moral of the story is do not board a cruise from Singapore. It was a shame that the port stops were so short as there was very limited time to make the most of, even an extra 2 or 3 hours would have made all the difference. There was no need double back to go to Malaysia at all, they could have stopped at Bali instead and/or had more time at the other ports. Some of the entertainment was a bit cheesy but give the demographic of the large no of people on board this was perfectly acceptable. These are only minor niggles, and once again the overall experience was excellent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
I flew to Singapore and took in 3 tours before embarking on the Sea Princess as a 'cruise virgin' and 'solo sailor'. The first impression at the Singapore Terminal embarkation was not good. I assumed by arriving around ... Read More
I flew to Singapore and took in 3 tours before embarking on the Sea Princess as a 'cruise virgin' and 'solo sailor'. The first impression at the Singapore Terminal embarkation was not good. I assumed by arriving around 12pm, I'd be on board having lunch by 1pm. We were given a ticket number to wait. Some passengers got on and our group #14 waiting two hours in the terminal, with no explanation and no activity. Then passport snatched of me on the gang plank not by an officer (ones in white), but a cabin staff member. Having got that off my chest, I have to say the crew, the passengers and food were excellent. I had a great cabin location next to lifts on the level 6 close to the atrium. The shows I attended I really enjoyed and the entertainment the crew put on the last night was truely a great way to finish the cruise. The staff are multi-talented. As a solo sailor I met a lot of people and found everyone friendly and accommodating. The ship coming out of dry dock presented some minor problems, there issues with toilets overflowing and new staff not sure of some things. Problems I had were quickly fixed, except I couldn't use a HDMI cable to review photos on the TV. It worked the first day, but despite two attempts technician was unable to fix it. Communication on board was good and only major drama was the breakdown of 3 tenders (one with a rope around the prop) in Langkawi which left a never ending line of people on the dock in the hot sun for about 1 1/2 hours. There seemed reluctance to send senior officers ashore to manage the issue. I know there will be strong complaints about this. Although where I was we joked and made the best of it. But seriously the tenders are our line-line and not a good look given they were supposed to overhauled in dry dock and certified. The tour reservations I had in each port I was very happy with, Except Lombok it was expensive and the tour bus old and air con barely managed a puff of air. I leaned on one seat standing up and it broke, injuring the knee of a passenger behind me. That put a dampener on that tour and I hope the women's knee is okay. Overall, as a first cruise I enjoyed most of the cruise experience and can see why it's now so popular way to travel. If on your won a short cruise is great. Longer ones, you definitely need a companion as there a times where you feel left out and not catered for. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise ever and we had expectations of a great time. We could not have been more disappointed and definitely will not cruise again on any cruise line after this experience. For a cruise that only had 2 ports in 12 ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever and we had expectations of a great time. We could not have been more disappointed and definitely will not cruise again on any cruise line after this experience. For a cruise that only had 2 ports in 12 days, the activities were uninteresting and repetitive. There is only so much towel folding one can take. We were also expecting a high standard of night time entertainment rather than RSL standard. Unfortunately whilst we enjoyed the basketball court (not much else of interest to do) it was out of action after 5pm as the Elite passengers would be having some sort of function in the room below. I thought we all paid the same money? It seemed the biggest form of entertainment that Princess was interested in giving its passengers was to spend money at their "sales" or to spend money at other forms of entertainment such as the Day Spa. The hot water in our shower was tepid from day 3 and the television worked only intermittently. The food was average. We went to one of the paid specialty restaurants and two of the courses were inedible. The "buffet" had a reasonable variety but was basically rehashing the same food each day and coming to the end of the cruise it was really awful. It seemed like everything left over was made into some sort of strange "dish" to get rid of it. Not to mention the fruit and vegetables were getting older by the day to the extent that limp and brown lettuce was being served up in the buffet. I eat mainly vegetarian food and there was a distinct lack of imaginative vegetarian dishes except for tired vegetables and fruit. I will say that the wait staff were mostly polite and friendly. We came on this cruise at the recommendation of a friend who also was on the cruise and who had been on Princess cruises before and had really enjoyed them, but commented this was the worst one she had been on. So disappointed and can only view this as a colossal waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
I had read months and months of reviews and must admit that I was keeping my hopes alive that i would enjoy my first cruise just by keeping an open mind and thinking positive. Sure there were plenty of things that could be improved upon ... Read More
I had read months and months of reviews and must admit that I was keeping my hopes alive that i would enjoy my first cruise just by keeping an open mind and thinking positive. Sure there were plenty of things that could be improved upon but it was still DEFINITELY worth sailing on this ship. For my first cruise Royal Caribbean did pretty well and ticked 90% of the boxes for me... I loved cruising and being able to do anything or nothing !! Some days it was a bit hit n miss in the dining dept... we made several complaints in dining room and once we had an indepth discussion with head waiter, another night I bypassed him and demanded to speak to chef to come out once to discuss issues with him (and scored a nice bottle of red from doing so!!) We found the choices and quality in the Windjammer buffet amazing and delicious and really it should be the other way around IMHO !! I even told a chef in the buffet that we were there because the dining room was lacking on several occasions and he took my cabin number and wrote down my comments in a notebook….low and behold a lovely big cheese platter appeared in our room later that night !! At least they heard me….. we did not have breakfast in main dining as we tried room service and the buffet was so varied and fabulous that I didn’t feel need to be formally served for breakfast. AND some days we only made it out of bed for the last min closure of buffet and so would have been waaay too late for dining room. Lunch in dining room was pretty good on the 2 days I tried it. There was certainly a great deal of difference between dining floors in Formal dining rooms as we had friends dining on L4 who came up to our L5 table each evening after eating and the service they got was amazing !! Their waiter even brought all the ladies a little fan during the stop in Bali and had it sitting by their plates that evening with a magnet for the men !! Now that is personalised service !! Our waiters were ok, did their job with a smile but nothing special. THE FOOD…well although some of the food choices were ok some were really poor ... the issue was with not so well made dishes (eg:satay sticks completely missing ANY satay), very minimal serves in some cases with no vegetables or carb on one plate (eg slice of quiche type frittata very small all on its own and that was a main dish !!) and then your neighbours has something that has the lot and a full plate !! It was very inconsistant and food lacking in flavours and very rarely any garnish on a dish except for the last night!! Deserts in dining room were 20 % ok 80% dismal.,,, lucky we headed to buffet to top up on deserts if we wanted. But seriously if the buffet did not satisfy you then you are really VERY picky and I loved to try out many different items. Forget the coffee it was absolutely horrendous.....do bring your own of whatever you love or suffer in silence... you have been warned !! Tea was also shocking... it took at least 3 teabags to make one cup and then that was after soaking it for a min of 4 -6 mins !! After two days suddenly Lipton teabags appeared so they must have had lots of complaints !! They only serve long life milk too so that ruined all tea and coffee for me so I had it Black with honey and lemon which they supplied. We brought a bottle of real fresh milk at our first stop and kept it in our fridge but there are lots of cabins that don’t have a fridge on LOTS. You can get ice though twice a day to cabin though. Breakfast was always plentiful and nice…. bit hard to stuff it up really !! Never found a problem with long lines at buffet nor egg station and always found a table. We didnt get a drinks package and found there was more than enough to drink and only had 1 wine or cocktail each evening and otherwise there was plenty of free tea, cordial / water or apple juice. I am VERY fussy with water taste and was considering buying the water package but in end the water tasted just fine. I took along a water bottle with a fruit infuser down centre and at breakfast i would get some fruit to put into it and then fill with water and that would last me the day. I would refill in evening for night water. The drink prices were average and not too crazy but I am not a big drinker so this didn’t affect me. We discovered the sachets of Nestle chocolate powder which was lovely made HOT in early morning or late evening but EVEN BETTER in daytime mixed with a dash of hot water then ice and all milk..... just like a Brownes choc chill !! Yummy... once even had a dash of vanilla n choc ice-cream from the free soft serve machine ( discovered on day 6 on outside of pool deck) into it!! (bad me!!) Decor wise I went with an open mind, as reading many neg reports I had level expectations. I thought it was all lovely. Our room was great and we had a small fridge (more like a cooler) and kettle and coffee maker but we did upgrade to a junior suite. BUT we visited several others rooms and peeked into any with open doors to check them out and I was impressed, carpeting great, bed n pillows comfy, bathroom all operational and adequate, no bad smells anywhere, pools clean and LOTS of staff diligence with hand gel and good hygiene standards. Our cabin attendant was pretty good, friendly with just the right amount of interaction. Room safe had press numbers but was very small although others said theirs were bigger ours could not fit our iPads. Hairdryer worked well, I took a thick elastic band to wrap and hold the button down ( as suggested on cruise critic forums) and I took my hair straighteners no problems. I also had a mini portable hand held steamer, pegs and washing line that we used and also lots of clip type magnets ( from two buck shops) which held things onto metal walls by bed and in bathroom. We also had a mini magnetic whiteboard for our door and I took Velcro dots to stick the pens onto door. Our Aircond worked just fine and we did not hear anyone else complain about it at all, slight noise but nothing more than at home. Room service breakfast was just fine BUT the service was dreadful the 3 times we tried it.... they missed out many dishes every time, usually had to make a few phone calls and get them to re-deliver….. which they did pretty quickly (and the Manager ring to apologise) as we usually did this on port days to make life simple. Oh and do NOT order toast on room service…..couldn't be chewed !! Pastries were lovely….as were waffles and pancakes. I loved the solarium pool area, it was covered and partially A/C, had no kids, had food and drink refuelling station open all hours with THE most delicious roast meats and salads and fresh toasted panini's and free packets of chips (crisps) with soups! I very much loved the ‘quiet area’ deck out front of gym / spa on back of ship, which we would never have found ourselves but we were shown it when doing a first day tour through the spa. Great idea touring thru all the areas day 1 as they want your money so happy to show you thru anywhere. Had a few spa treatments and they were just great but expensive, I had my hair washed / cut n blowdryed for a formal night and that was a nice treat but booked out quickly. If you go to the spa and ask when the next formal night is they will tell you well ahead so you can book. They only had 1 nail tech but she was very good and her nail art was impressive. We tired Izumi as we won a free meal there but it was very average, we wanted to try the hot rock but they only do that for dinner session not lunch. The view of the ship from Izumi is great though. The “Hot Pot” that they advertise for lunch in the Steak nGrill speciality restaurant is actually a steamboat type menu….. I tried to tell em that to Aussies a Hot Pot is a pretty basic cheap cut casserole and no one will book and pay extra for that so perhaps they should rename it to increase bookings !! Just saying…… I feel the tendering process was a bit of a problem but really that is in the hands of the gods. The swell is not predictable and it was a little tricky to time the step onto the boats some days !! I really appreciated those mens strong arms to haul me up and down !! ;) The one thing they need to improve on is the bringing people back process and not leaving you sitting on a wharf for 2 hours waiting for a tender boat to arrive. I mean they scan you off the ship and ON so they easily know exactly how many people are still ashore ..... so send in the damn tenders and collect us !! Most shows we really enjoyed especially the comedians (well EXCEPT the last nights appalling character!!) and the ships dancers and band were great. The costumes and stage dec’s were really good and the dance team changed (new crew arrived) half way thru for us so it was good to see some new stuff. It was disappointing to not get to see the aerialist show in Centrum (cancelled due to weather) but got to watch them practise lots…… really with the Captains ocean experience and a bit of logical thinking ( which maybe should have occurred) I would say that it should have been obvious to schedule it for earlier in cruise as the waters will be calmer.... its never going to be calm around Lower WA coastal waters !! The Bingo was expensive but fun a few times with quite small prizes all under $600, casino was made smoke free on Day 2 so that was great and I really think more people went there after that. I am amazed that there were hardly any waiters roaming about anywhere so there was No push to buy drinks at all. There were very few shops and very limited items for sale and almost NO meds, creams etc of any kind at all so if you think you’ll need it…bring it !! I found the cruise director (Keith Williams) quite nice and pretty good at his job as were all the staff. My roommate paid for the internet connection which was pricy at around US$22 per day but she used it a lot and was in middle of conference planning and most days the connection was pretty good...there were two days with none and they refunded those days which was nice. All in all I had a lovely holiday, had lots of great conversations, met many interesting terrific folk, had lots of great sleep, lots of good food and wine, learnt a lot of tips for future cruises and definitely do not regret sailing on Legend OTS !! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
We had a fantastic time on our very first cruise. Everything was just so easy! You unpack your bag, which is delivered to your suite, and then off you go. You can do everything or nothing. The entertainment, food, activities, gym were ... Read More
We had a fantastic time on our very first cruise. Everything was just so easy! You unpack your bag, which is delivered to your suite, and then off you go. You can do everything or nothing. The entertainment, food, activities, gym were all excellent. But what made the cruise so memorable were the wonderful staff. The service and attention to detail was simply outstanding. No matter where you were on the ship the staff couldn't do enough for you. In particular, our cabin attendant, Anthony Pinto, was exceptional, as were our waiters at My Time Dining. In fact, we requested to return to the same table in the evening so that we could catch up with them again. The food was great and service even better. Evening bands and entertainment were fabulous. The beer/wine drinks package was a great deal for us. We chose to do one shore excursion to Koh Samui, which we booked before departure. Transfer to the shore was easy and the time spent at Chaweng Beach was great. Beautiful weather and an opportunity to have a swim in the Gulf of Thailand was a treat. We had the opportunity to do another shore excursion to Bangkok, however, chose not to due to the distance we would have to travel in a bus to get there and back. It was the best decision as we remained on the ship and enjoyed all the facilities without 90% of the other passengers, as they went ashore. We are hooked on the cruising holidays. We look forward to sharing this wonderful experience with our three children and the extended family. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
The ship was late getting to port from dry dock. Getting onto the ship in Singapore was a lengthy process just getting through the port process. We were held up for an extended period with no information as to why the delay. The gangway ... Read More
The ship was late getting to port from dry dock. Getting onto the ship in Singapore was a lengthy process just getting through the port process. We were held up for an extended period with no information as to why the delay. The gangway was very hot; water would have been nice. There were reports of heat exhaustion among some passengers. Apologies and an explanation came the next along a refund. The crew particularly the waiters and cabin stewards were excellent. The standard of the food on board was patchy and varied from excellent to just edible. There were lots of glitches with equipment on board like inefficient toasters, inoperable laundry equipment, faulty exercise gear and others. The accommodation was very good our room had just one issue, the air con was too noisy. We heard of issues with cabins from blocked toilets to flooding due to a burst pipe. Entertainment was from great to useless. As first time cruisers we had no benchmark to compare with but will cruise again with another cruise line. Read Less

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