WE were once told by a lovely lady on our first ever cruise, that if you had a good experience, you would be back, and get the bug, how true!
I dont know about you folks, but when we are on holiday, the standards we expect are what we have at home or better, this was not the case in our recent venture unfortunatly.
PORT - This was a bonus as it was our local port Newcastle,one of main reason why we chose this cruise, all staff from porters to check in, were freindly and helpful,we boarded smoothly and quickly,
SHIP INFO -To say this ship is shabby is an understatement! wherever the refurbishment has taken place it is not apparent, Hollyrood lounge seating is disgusting!, they have no springs, all broken, more waves than on the sea! very uncomfortable! cheap and chatty tub chairs in Hampton lounge, not enough when shows on, staff had to bring chairs from outer decks to compensate for this, I appreciate this ship is an old lady, but we have been on older ships before,( Fred Olsens BLACK PRINCE comes to mind) but she had character!! this ship has none.
ENTERTAINMENT - If this ship has anything going for it, then this is it, the dance troupe were brilliant! lecturers,comedians, second to none, cruise director and his staff worked very hard,however daytime activities leave a lot to be desired,throwing bean bags into a plastic bucket!! come on!! your not entertaining kids here.
STAFF & SERVICE
bacon pieces looked and tasted like leather! sausage I would not give to a dog
all cakes very dry and no taste, one cook,one pan,one ring, to cook choice of eggs for 800 pax at breakfast, not a lot of choice at lunchtime,evenings.
most of staff in this area were glum with no customer interaction at all,when I asked for knives to be replenished, I was grunted an inaudible reply, nearly all of staff here also spoke to each other in their own language in front of all english speaking pax, how rude!! the general feeling was that pax were an inconvenience!!! we constantly saw staff wipe tables with dirty cloths then place them in their pocket UGHHH!! its amazing we didn't have an outbreak of norovirus, I took to wiping any table we used, using paper napkins and hand gel.
The main restaurant was not much better, poor quality food and service, when we and other pax complained to our waiter we were told"you should have chosen something else" a wait of 20 - 30 mins in between courses? on one occasion we were given the excuse "we have run out of soup bowls" and on another "you are at sea you have all the time in the world" I was speechless!! so we missed the begining of shows most evenings.
SUMMARY - Weird smell in public areas and toilets where there were hard floors, We could only put this down to dirty mopping equipment.
Rope ladder used at some ports was wobbly and dangerous!
Fuel surcharge, we were assured when booking early we would not incur these costs
We would not recommend this ship to anyone, or indeed any CRUISE & MARITIME cruise, we paid 4 star prices for a 1 star service
Dont be misled by any good reviews for Ocean Countess, this ships hotel staff need a full retraining programme!!!!! BE WARNED!!