Just got back from New Years eve cruise. Here is the high (sic low) lights of the 14 days. Before embarkation you are issued with a cruisecard - it is your onboard credit/ security card. Upon entry stood in a cue for over 20 minutes only to find out this was to have a hole punched in the card - great 1st impression. Hey - puch a hole in the card before you issue it!!!! Then into another cue to be stung $8 for a lanyard to hang this card from your neck. 50 cent lanyard for $8. The Moral - bring your own lanyard and avoid any cues unless you know EXACTLY what the cue is for as the crew won't tell you and often its to up sell you. This is the 1st of many up-sell episodes onboard.
Ships itinerary was changed due to cyclone- no one can help that - but this throws out all the booked shore excursions. Ship avoids telling passengers to last minute that the excursion they have booked is now "altered" to offer less excursion but same price and if you don't realise this 48hr beforehand they won't let you cancel. they knew upto 10 days beforehand that a lot of the shore excursions would deliver less than that was advertised due to dates and times changing but made no attempt to contact passengers in enough time to allow them to cancel or change. I found out that some of the experienced passengers knew this would occur and cancelled, then the ship sold this spot to another less suspecting passenger who was wait listed for the same excursion. As we found out the ships excursion fee was upto double what is normally charged for the same excursion if booked off the ship. So much for group discount. Absolute RIPOFF. Do your own research beforehand. Ship is overpriced and deceitful. Do NOT, repeat DO NOT book another excursion via the ship.
No dryers to dry clothes. Tip - they will offer complimentary drying of your clothes but only if you complain. Tip - to get anything fixed or done - you have to complain. They will not proactively inform you of what you can do. Makes for a great, relaxing holiday when you have to whinge all the time simply to get something that you have already paid for. Cocktails are $11 for a glass of ice and some cocktail if you are lucky - maybe 3 mouthfuls per glass. bottled water $5. Softdrinks (cans) $2.50. Buy a sticker that gives you unlimited soft drinks (post mix) its worth it if there are more than 2 kids.
Ship was affected by vomit and diaohhea bug - quarritined people made to stay in cabins and all self service aspects stopped( ie food and drink etc), ie staff served you which delayed service immensely. You often had finished your meal before your drink order was taken.
No cold water in the health spa or gym to stop bugs spreading and tap water on ship runs warm. Takes some water bottles and refrigerate them at night (that is - if your fridge works).
If you enjoy a nice coffee - don't go on this ship. Coffee card is $35 for 10 brews. This was the second most common complaint I heard after the shore excurion rip offs. If you can take your own coffee you might be able to get one of the crew to brew it - good luck as they are programmed robots who simply follow procedure.
Gym has limited equipment but adequate.
Health spa is nice but over priced - check what discount they will offer if you book multiple sessions. Take an umbrella and some rain gear for going ashore. At Isle of pines the cue to return to the main ship was over 90 minutes long- standing there in high humidity, rain and heat without shelter - tragically poor organisation and no communication. Just great if you have kids or are elderly. They don't tell you where toilets are etc on the shore excursions. THe offered lunch on one excursions was a pack of arnotts biscuits - "only take one please" and a bottle of water = A$80 - BARGIN
Take a power board as limited power points in cabins to charge all items we use these days. INternet $65 per 100min or $0.75 per minute and slow speed so avoid skype etc.
In short - don't go.