Embarkation was as expected at Fremantle - disappointing - as per previous times it is a shabby facility, disorganised and slow, 2 hours wait is a bit much when you hear people can get on in 15 minutes at other ports in Oz.
Once on this mammoth ship we were never disappointed, our fabulous cabin overlooked the promenade and was just like the brochures. Ample storage and a good size bathroom with a shower door and all the hot water you need. Our attendant was always there with a smile and worked around our daily routines.
We chose my-time dining and were given the same table every night as we liked the position and our waiters Ace and Sherwin came as a bonus. The menu was vast and varied and always came piping hot. And my requests for extra ice cream was never a problem. Food at the windjammer was plentiful and always fresh and hot. the tables were constantly being cleared and cleaned. And you even got served with a smile if you wanted one.
Activities were there if you chose to attend or just lay back and relax. The functions held on the Promenade deck with the cartoon characters was great and enjoyed by all ages. Promenade deck was in a world of its own and was filled with fantastic pubs, cafes, shops and venues. great to look down on from our cabin window.
Entertainment in the main showroom was varied with a good selection of entertainers, some good and some really good. It was free and you could leave if it wasn,t to your liking. All led by an amiable cruise director Graham. The ice show was the "icing" on the cake, spectacular.
The pools and spas never seemed over filled and the adults pool area was a great refuge, not that the 300 kids on board was a big problem for us.There was ample deck space and plenty of deckchairs, seats and tables to go around. The ship is more than capable of swallowing up 3500 plus passengers and not feeling to squeezy. Sure you may have to wait a few minutes for an elevator or maybe you should run off some of the excess food you ate and take the stairs occasionally.
Don't worry about drinks packages as the alcohol was very cheap and free poured
( no measuring cups on this ship )and the cocktails were great. Must mention the casino - simply don't bother.
Food, beverages, facilities, service and entertainment was best value for money we have had on all our cruises. Yes I am happy to say the US of A have excelled with this ship.
Port Headland was a pleasant surprise and it was great talking to our Northern cousins on the living conditions way up there. And hardly any flies. A fantastic sunny day but not much to look at and no where to go. I did by a FUIC at the local deli ! to my delight.
A very, very long cruise to our next port, but we knew this when we booked the cruise so I won't say anymore. A great time to relax to say the least.
Thailand - and a great ship planned tour of the Palace and canals etc. Great value and well planned and organised by the ship. Second day shopping at Pattaya
Beach allowed us to get some bargains.
Vietnam - well what an experience and a beautiful country. Good shopping and will have to go back to see more.
Finally at Singapore - great new cruise terminal but spoilt by lack of taxis. Got off the ship in 15 minutes and then spent nearly 2 hours waiting for a taxi to our hotel. But I know this will be fixed real soon as that's what they are good at.
Overall we were not disappointed and we think we got value for money, always the biggest problems are the passengers who can never be pleased. Got to meet a diverse number of people from all over the world and some who live just around the corner.
Keep an open mind and carry on cruisin and enjoy the experience like we do !