Pros: cabins, food and crews were great, loved being at sea. Experienced ships officers inspired confidence in ship handling. Plenty of things to do to keep busy. Entertainment was generally adequate. Enjoyed meeting fellow passengers. Mario was fabulous as compere of various activities. Relaxing way to travel. Professionally managed and efficient staff overall.
Cabin was excellent, comfortable and sufficient room and storage. Very well serviced. Only one problem: We had to tape up three sides of the air conditioner vent due to cold, dry air dropping straight onto the bed and causing us breathing congestion the first night aboard. We could see traces of where thisnhad been done before by others. We did not appreciate the unhelpful Front Desk female staff who initially dismissed this problem and was stiffly reluctant to assist - when we asked to borrow gaffer tape, they made us sign a $40 deposit to ensure we returned it. The day after we returned tape, she rang to complain my husband had not responded to a phone message she left (he had given feedback to the desk staff direct) so clearly some inefficiency occurs at Front Desk.
Cons: Totally inadequate seating in the cinema. Difficult getting a seat for theatre shows and computer lessons unless you turn up half an hour earlier. Not long enough time ashore (due to port fees?) and what possessed captain to bring ship through marvellous Sydney harbour heads when most passengers are still asleep! Frequent sales pitches for future cruises and tours are acceptable (though the tours are grossly overpriced) but we felt irritated that some of the seminars were disguised sales pitches for dubious and exorbitantly overpriced products and services. Before boarding I selected a spa offering, a one hour session for 'body composition' assessment and advice on nutrition and exercise to get me off to a good start on the ship - on arrival for my appointment at the gym I was asked what I wanted - when I said 'what the online advert offered' I was then told this session would be, in fact, three hours and a lot more expensive. After some confusion and poor management of the situation by the gym manager, I was given an hour as booked .... but the first 25 minutes turned out to be a sales pitch for their detox pills (see elsewhere on this site for negative reviews)! The body composition involved a bio electric impedance machine with no other physical or health status assessment other than brief questionnaire. (http://consensus.nih.gov/1994/1994bioelectricimpedancebodyta015html.htm). The rest of the hour involved a cursory run through gym equipment - at my request, as staff did not have a session structure as advertised online! Not good value and false advertising for this service.