We have recently returned from the Far East Discovery cruise from Singapore to Hong Kong by way of Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Embarkation was swift and efficient and our luggage arrived at our stateroom very quickly? As very regular Holland America passengers we found the service as good as ever and the food very plentiful and appetising. I am not sure why other reviewers found the meet and fish?tough as the quality of ingredients seemed good to all of us. We had excellent table companions at the late sitting and found our wine steward knowledgable and helpful. One evening we attended the Head Sommelier's dinner in the Pinnacle Grill which was absolutely fabulous and could have been served in any Michelin starred restaurant. The entertainment on board was disappointing compared to other HAL cruises but we were quite satisfied to go to the movies in the Wagang theatre most evenings. The musicians in the piano bar and explorations lounge were first class and attracted large audiences, proving their popularity.
The cabin was very comfortable and we had sufficient wardrobe and drawer space for all our clothes or all our clothes etc. We did find the decor a little dull and out of date - it could do with a bit of modernising and a change of pictures to something more appropriate for a cruise ship It was convenient for the elevators. The only slight problem was it's being under the Lido and the chairs on the aft deck were dragged around by the crew early in the morning and by guests during the rest of the day. The verandah was in need of painting and modernising. The AC controls were impossible to regulate but the weather was not too hot or humid during this cruise.
The Front Office staff were helpful at all times and nothing seemed too much trouble for them. They kept their cool when ignorant guests were shouting and swearing at them, which would have tried the patience of a saint.
We did several excursions and found them good value for money as we ate lunch in hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, one of the top hotels in the world. We had good tour guides and saw a lot of the main sights in each country. We were rather apprehensive about going iinto Sihanoukvikle but were glad that we did take the shuttle into town as we enjoyed the market and found the locals very smiley and helpful, although we did have to fend off the tuk tuk and taxi drivers who surrounded the shuttle when we arrived. They were just trying to make their living, which I imagine is not particularly easy. There was nothing threatening about their behaviour however.
Disembarkation in Hong Kong was smooth and efficient and the ship's being docked in the very centre of Hong Kong Harbour was a delight. It must be one of the best ships' berth in the world.