Background: Aussie Couple, early 40’s. Have previously cruised on the Sun Princess & Radiance of the Seas.
We have just returned from a 12 night South Pacific voyage visiting Lifou, Noumea & Isle of Pines (New Caledonia) and Suva and Lautoka (Fiji). Below are our thoughts:-
• The ship Absolutely beautiful, clean and modern
• The staterooms We had a Deck 9 Aft rear facing. Bed was good, layout was excellent and innovative bathroom with curved shower screens a credit to the designers
• The Martini bar flair bartenders were great
• The Grand Epernay food
• The disembarkation. We were allocated No.1 and were and from the time we left the ship to in a taxi was about 3 minutes ''" no kidding.
• Bistro on 5 Great food and services and totally worth the $5 cover-charge
• Premium Alcohol Package Very convenient
• Embarkation in Sydney was good considering there are 2800+ passengers
• The captain and bridge crew’s control of this monster ship on the last night when we hit big oceans in the Tasman sea.
• Mast Grille made good hamburger/hotdog meals
• Oceanview Café Food was very average compared to the two ships we have previously been on.
• The entertainment in the Solstice theatre was hit and miss.
• Pool entertainment when the band wasn’t playing. It was good when the afternoon Zumba classes were on at least we have some recent music as a reasonable volume.
• Most staff seemed tired and overworked. Whilst service was okay, they were pretty robotic.
• The Coffee place Poor coffee and poor service. Seemed like passengers were an inconvenience to them.
• Activities on board are few and far between and appear to be geared towards the elderly passengers.
• The blue plastic outdoor cups need replacing. Most were either cracked, scratched or in some cases, leaking
• Pool towels need replacing. Most were quite old a ratty
• Not enough seating in the Oceanview cafe
• Norovirus on the ship meant an enhanced sanitation program was implemented i.e no self-service anywhere on the ship
• Running out of most beers by day 6 of 12. The selection after day 6 was very poor.
• Passengers refusing to tip. I know it’s not the aussie thing, but please people ''" the cruise staff rely on this. It’s how they make a living,
• Slow service (understaffing) at most bars
• Smokers area next to the running/walking track on deck 14
• Smokers area right outside the door on deck 12
• What is the point of all the lawn ''" most of which is roped off for the entire time. Seems like a waste of space.
As I previously said great ship, but probably more suited to those who want a low-key cruise with little variety. We are not likely to cruise with Celebrity again, but more likely to stay with their sister line, Royal Caribbean.