We had booked this cruise almost a year ago but upgraded from Concierge to Penthouse when the opportunity came a few months before embarkation. The experience was generally seamless until we returned to Sydney airport and joined the queues.
Embarkation- Singapore cruise centre was chaotic as a few ships were in port at the same time. Nautica staff guided us individually from kerbside to immigration-otherwise we would still be roaming the terminal.Check in was reasonably quick and lunch was provided while cabins were finished.
Cabins- Ours was comfortable and roomy with a decent size verandah,everything worked,and it was spotless.
Service - Our butler introduced himself as we arrived at the cabin. He was invaluable with on board organisation and room service. There were two cabin stewards and the cabin was cleaned twice per day.Always spotless.
Dining - food was fine and the portions served in the Grand dining room and the specialty dining rooms seemed to be designed to encourage the tasting of multiple courses rather than simply stuffing the belly. Dining room staff were always on hand and were helpful and polite.
Entertainment - low key and enjoyable. The cruise director showed remarkable restraint with her broadcasts. (Broadcasts did not penetrate into the cabins except for safety notifications).
Ports - generally were of little interest to us but the procedure for going ashore by gangway or by tender was well organised. We experienced few holdups. Most of the ports visited are not on the pop-up menus in the "Port Review "section. In Semarang and Bali we opted for private transport and experienced the heat,congestion ,dirt and mendicants. In Darwin, TI and Townsville the towns were basically closed down for the New Year holidays. Hamilton Island was perfect except it seemed everyone else from the other towns had arrived there for their holidays.
Overall, we were looking to be pampered and pampered we were. After 40 years of travelling, living more in hotels than home,I have never seen service better than this. Cleanliness and maintenance seemed to be almost obsessive. I do not see the need to sail on another line, this one will do (although I might just splurge on a Vista suite for the next one)