Embarkation in Hong Kong consisted of queueing in the rain behind a bus load of Belgians who seemed to be on a group charter cruise. When we finally got on the boat we were ushered into the lounge where we queued again to have our photos taken and our passes issued. Then we were left to find our own cabin. Our "personal stewardess" (loosely speaking) appeared after a little while, introduced herself and disappeared. Think we were a bit unlucky because other people had very good stewardesses, who ran them baths, made sculptures from their towels, kept their mini bar topped up, etc. We weren't too worried about any of that, but it would have been nice.
The cabin was a bit shabby and in need of a makeover. There were signs of water damage around the plinths of all the furniture. The balcony we had paid quite a bit extra was only 1 foot deep and just about big enough to stand on. The food in the restaurants was ok but after about 10 days became bland and boring. Lunch on deck was very disappointing - hamburgers, hot dogs and a very meagre salad selection - the same every day. The fine wines on the "allowed" list were the type of wines you can buy in any supermarket for between £6-£10 per bottle. We asked for some chablis in our cabin instead of the champagne, because we don't like Champagne and were told it is not on the list, but we could buy some. This did not happen on our first cruise.
The toiletries in the bathroom were on ration (again not the same as our first cruise, when there was an endless supply of decent size Molton Brown products). This time the sizes have reduced to miniature and I had to ask on three occasions for more bubble bath. One time having to ring reception in the evening because my note had been ignored by the stewardess.
Pampering moments on deck (advertised as one of the luzury features) consisted of one 1hour session during the whole cruise.
The BELGIANS! Well, what can one say? They took over the ship basically. They went everywhere enmasse, they shouted rather than talked to each other, they took over the skydeck bar every day - smoking all the time. There was probably about 50 of them all together and it changed the whole ambience of the cruise. Many of the other passengers were complaining about their behaviour.
The end of the cruise was apparently two days before it should have been because our stewardess left a note in our cabin wishing us Bon Voyage and hoped that we had enjoyed our cruise. Most bizarre and we never saw again after Day 12. No goodbye in person - very strange.
The Captain and his Officers were noticeable by their absence. The Captain appeared to have no interest in talking to the passengers. Some people were asking if he was still on the boat and were the announcements on the tannoy recorded messages!
On a more positive note we did meet some very nice people (not Belgians) and see some interesting places. The restaurant waiters were always very attentive and they still deserve 6 stars.
Sadly I think we could only give the overall experience 3 stars.