1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We went on the Astoria in March 2019 and firstly the really good aspects: It went from our home port in Poole so no distance to travel. It is a nice size with not too far to walk to the restaurants and lounges, it is quite stable so ... Read More
We went on the Astoria in March 2019 and firstly the really good aspects: It went from our home port in Poole so no distance to travel. It is a nice size with not too far to walk to the restaurants and lounges, it is quite stable so although quite rough seas it didn't roll too much so no sea sickness. It had a cinema with recent releases being shown. They had a good speaker on board who shared his Vulcan experiences so being into aviation this was a nice surprise. The cabins were very well appointed with plenty of space for clothes etc. The staff were very friendly and we received good service. They provided shuttle buses at all the ports for independent travellers not going on the excursions so there weren’t the long walks that we have had on other cruise providers Next the not so good aspects The cabins were noisy and vibration from the engines could be felt all night long. We couldn't work out whether this was the location of our cabin - deck 4 mid ship but I suspect that it was throughout the ship but the beds were very comfortable so didn't affect our sleep. The general consensus was 'the more you pay the more you sway' .The service in the Olissipo restaurant was quite slow and the food average. We did treat ourselves to the steak bar and had an excellent 8 course meal although one of the steaks was too tough and went back. The schedules weren't kept to due to rough weather (not their fault) so we only ended up with 4 full days ashore and 4 half days. Our trip to the Scillies was cancelled which was disappointing. We felt that the information provided by the excursion team was poor for independent travellers. For instance when we went to Invergordon we were told that it was difficult to get the public transport into Inverness and that we should take the £25 ship transfer. In fact there was a bus that went straight into Inverness and cost only £12 return. Clearly they were more interested in selling the excursions. There were 2 sizes of wine on offer a large and small glass but despite repeated requests for a small glass, large ones (187ml) always arrived. So we ended up buying a bottle which was cheaper. Overall it is a good value boat and CMV are recommended as good organisers. We would go on Astoria again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I have always wanted to visit Tasmania and this cruise was advertised at a reasonable rate in the Sunday Mail. As this is the final voyage from Australia of the Astor I was not expecting much. We were surprised pleasantly by the ... Read More
I have always wanted to visit Tasmania and this cruise was advertised at a reasonable rate in the Sunday Mail. As this is the final voyage from Australia of the Astor I was not expecting much. We were surprised pleasantly by the cabin size and ample storage. The water pressure and hot water availability was faultless. The waste system operated faultlessly unlike other cruises we have completed. The food was incredible. The bar staff were knowledgeable and hospitable. A special mention for the entertainment staff and in particular the extremely hard working dancers. The shows kept getting better. The Captain was a true gentleman and exceptional host. Housekeeping and general cleanliness was to a very high standard. The spa was a pleasure to visit. The sauna and co located internal swimming pool were immaculately clean and attended by staff. I wasn’t expecting much from an aged ship on a relatively minor shipping line but I was constantly surprised and delighted from start to finish. Thank you CMV. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Leaving from Adelaide was the big attraction as the norm is a flight to the eastern states to catch a cruise. The smaller ship was ok but limited your choice of places to go and rest or a bar for a quiet drink. I have been on 8 cruises and ... Read More
Leaving from Adelaide was the big attraction as the norm is a flight to the eastern states to catch a cruise. The smaller ship was ok but limited your choice of places to go and rest or a bar for a quiet drink. I have been on 8 cruises and my experiences with the night entertainment has always been average to poor and the Astor’s takes the cup for the worst performances I have ever seen. And lastly a singer or singers with a guitar at various times night and day to listen to would have been great instead of a pianoist and violinist who were at best depressing. We took out the premium drinks package which to my surprise only included a Shandy beer or the most bitter beer I have ever been unfortunate to try Bitsburger, surely a mid strength or light beer could have been on the list. We drunk cocktails and spirits all cruise which cost a lot more than the beers were, that got me stumped how CMV came up with that idea. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Low priced cruising 'English style' small ship. Thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Instead of the usual gorgeous balcony cabin on a 5 or 6 star ship it was a totally budgeted choice. I can tell you the food on this ship is 6 ... Read More
Low priced cruising 'English style' small ship. Thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Instead of the usual gorgeous balcony cabin on a 5 or 6 star ship it was a totally budgeted choice. I can tell you the food on this ship is 6 star and so beautifully presented in their version of a grand dining room that I can't make one single criticism. It was superb in every way from the white linen tablecloths to the service from the sommelier / drinks waiter to the absolutely beautifully presented food which was always tasty and delicious. The drinks package which I decided to purchase allowed for easy ordering of cocktails, wine and so on and the drinks again were always beautifully presented and tasty. I found the house wines to be quite palatable and I highly recommend the cocktails, especially the pina coladas! Breakfast could be taken as casual affair in the buffet and again was always delicious. If you are after a multitude of activities the ship is not for you. Its a scaled down basic style of cruising but there is still entertainment on the decks on fine sea days and the evening cabaret style entertainment is a feature of most evenings - lots of song and dance whilst you sip on an after dinner beverage. The entertainment lounge is not tiered so sometimes you need to find just the right seat to see in between others heads. Shopping on board is minimal but adequate with a couple of small shops selling candies and chocolates, handbags, clothing and so on and the walkways were never filled with tables of bargain like I have experienced on other ships. There is no casino on board. There are photographers wandering around at dinner for example and you have the opportunity to order photos if you wish but there is no pressure to do so. The swimming pool outdoors is not heated and is adequate. I only saw two people swim in it the entire journey and it was February in Australia. The lifts are small. I like the way sofas are placed nearby to the lifts on various levels so people can sit and wait - I have wished for this on other ships but never seen it before. Embarkation was smooth and friendly. Disembarkation was lengthy - you are required to exit the room by 7am. We did not get off the boat until about 10am. It was a long wait and a long breakfast but survivable as we were quite comfortable. Would I do it again? YES Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Astor is an older, smaller ship, our preferred style of cruising. This trip was from Adelaide to Melbourne and Tasmania, an itinerary that suited our requirements. It all seemed perfect. Then we embarked. The Portside experience was ... Read More
Astor is an older, smaller ship, our preferred style of cruising. This trip was from Adelaide to Melbourne and Tasmania, an itinerary that suited our requirements. It all seemed perfect. Then we embarked. The Portside experience was quite efficient with queues managed well. However, once we embarked we were greeted by surly, non interactive security. The usual procedures of hand luggage X-ray and metal detector entrance was fine, but then, without any apparent cause and no request, my husband was body searched. This has never happened to either of us on any previous of around thirty cruises. Additionally, the search was well beyond the bounds of propriety. My husband immediately complained to management, including the captain and staff captain. No effective remedy was offered or action taken. It is apparently company policy. When we discussed the incident with numerous other passengers we found this was a common experience. Both men and women were regularly frisked on embarkation and on reboarding at every port. It was embarrassing to watch and must have been humiliating for the victims. The average age of passengers would have been over 70, the only items likely to be secreted on their bodies were artificial knees or hips. Clearly no effective risk assessment had been undertaken prior to implementing this policy. Our attitude to other elements of the cruise was coloured by this initial experience. For the price other aspects of the cruise were quite acceptable, and the overall crew service and food were relatively good. We enjoyed our port experiences and the one ship organised shore excursion we undertook was impacted by the weather, not the standard of the process. As the ship was fully booked and we had booked late we had a standard twin inside cabin. It was typical of ships of this age and had adequate storage and facilities. There was no body lotion provided, with the drying effect of ship air conditioning that would have been appreciated. Everything was very basic. Food was of a good average, although variety at the buffet for lunch was limited. Skim milk was not provided at tea and coffee stations or with cereal for breakfast. I believe it was available on request. Our favourite pastime on board, other than reading, is trivia. The quiz questions were good, not too hard with some teasers. There were no guidelines set down before the quiz, such as use of phones or numbers in teams, and question sheets were not exchanged prior to marking, not satisfying for serious trivia buffs. The library was quite good, better than some recent cruises I have been on. All in all, I will not use this company again, or any other line that has a similar approach to customer privacy and respect. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise for the inexpensive price and because it left from our hometown of Adelaide. Although it was quite enjoyable and relaxing we would not sail with it again because the food whilst quite edible was only really nice on ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the inexpensive price and because it left from our hometown of Adelaide. Although it was quite enjoyable and relaxing we would not sail with it again because the food whilst quite edible was only really nice on the first and last nights. It was made to a cheap price. The one thing that was outstanding was the entertainment with a small group of really good singers and dancers and a fabulous cruise director called Katie. We did not choose the weather but it would have been nice to be warmer. We spent a day in Melbourne a day and a half in Hobart and a day in Burnie. We spoke to many other guests and if they had sailed on Princess like us they were not planning on another cruise with CMV We were in an interior cabin which was quite nice but the beds were like rocks. Fortunately when I told our cabin steward he bought me another mattress to put on top and then it was ok. There were some strange ideas that we have not seen on any other cruises for example you could not have soft eggs they had to be hard cooked or nothing. Also there was a table reserved for the captain every night at the show and we thought that was in poor taste as he should defer to the guests and not sit in front of them. All in all it was a relaxing cruise but I would hate to do a long trip to Tillbury on it Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Ship has been updated and so very well presented. My friend and I chose the trip because it was from our local port and returned to the same port. Advertised as four days but really a short cruise of 2 full days at sea to unwind from ... Read More
Ship has been updated and so very well presented. My friend and I chose the trip because it was from our local port and returned to the same port. Advertised as four days but really a short cruise of 2 full days at sea to unwind from life. We chose to stay on board one day and enjoy the benefits at the wellness centre. As usual the costs of services were a bit on the high side but well worth it. A feature of the wellness centre was heated lounges near the indoor swimming pool (there was an outside pool). Dining in the restaurant was a pleasure. Food choices was of a high standard and the staff very attentive. My only disappointment was that the food and wines offered did not showcase the local cuisine which is certainly world class (NCL does this extremely well). Embarkation was held up by having to register your credit card before you boarded. This could have been avoided if available when going online to provide details for the trip e.g. travel insurance. Online experience did not mention that it was English power points so unless you read the reviews you may not have realized you needed a power adaptor. Entertainment on 2nd night was an ABBA tribute show. Fast paced and world class. WOW! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Thoroughly enjoyed the trip leaving from our home town. We went to KI first and then to Port Lincoln. Have been to both of these places before so did not go on any optionals. The food in the Waldorf Restaurant at teatime was very good and ... Read More
Thoroughly enjoyed the trip leaving from our home town. We went to KI first and then to Port Lincoln. Have been to both of these places before so did not go on any optionals. The food in the Waldorf Restaurant at teatime was very good and we chose to dine there for the whole 3 nights. Sat at a table for 6 and enjoyed other peoples company and talked to them various times throughout the voyage. Had buffet lunches in Ubersee and afternoon tea there. Good choices available. Had a nice paddle and relax in the pool down in the Wellness centre and enjoyed the sauna and the heated loungers. Had an inside cabin on Atlantic deck and we were both very happy with that. Plenty of room for us. All very clean and all that you need.for a short trip. Maybe not so if you were doing a long voyage. The entertainment was fabulous and they were all very talented. You would probably get different crew each season so we were lucky to have a very good array of entertainment. Every one of the crew were friendly and welcoming. People of all ages were on board but more older than younger. We hope to go again next year when the ship docks in Adelaide again and would be happy doing the same trip again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
The ship is about 28 years old but has been recently refurbished and for the size is quite modern and very comfortable. We did have very smooth seas for the cruise and everything ran like clock-work. There are two excellent main places to ... Read More
The ship is about 28 years old but has been recently refurbished and for the size is quite modern and very comfortable. We did have very smooth seas for the cruise and everything ran like clock-work. There are two excellent main places to eat, the Ubersees Club (casual buffet style) and the Waldorf Restaurant (more formal). There are also two small specialty restaurants, one Asian and one Mediterranean style - small surcharge applies) but I did not try either. This ship cruises mainly in Europe and caters to European passengers and the food reflects that. From the cold meats, cheeses and roll-mops for breakfast to the style of desserts on offer. All of the usual fare is available cereals, eggs and omlettes cooked to order, multiple bread choices and pastries, noodle and pasta dishes cooked to order for lunch and dinner. Lots (and lots) of pork is offered. Fresh fruit is a bit rare. There are Asian and European F&B staff. The Asian staff have a much better grasp of English and have willing smiles and seem to enjoy their jobs. Alas quite a few of the (Eastern) European staff struggle a bit with English and some are rather sour and surly and seem resentful when you ask for something. This was perhaps the only bad part of the whole Astor experience. The (few) sour and surly male staff. I did not participate much in the on-board activities but from all reports they were enjoyable and well attended. The age group of passengers on my cruise was mainly 60years plus. Not a ship to go on if you are under 40 and want lots of late night fun or take kids on. In fact I think it would be unwise to take children on this ship. I would travel on Astor again without hesitation. The bigger ships might have it all, the Astor has pretty much all you need if you're after a quite, relaxing, laid back cruise. The few sour and surly male staff notwithstanding. Read Less
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