To be honest I have probably over rated At average, I think its below, but not quite poor. This was our first ocean cruise if this nature. We are seaworthy, having done many other types of vessels, both river and ocean going. We booked 18 ... Read More
To be honest I have probably over rated At average, I think its below, but not quite poor. This was our first ocean cruise if this nature. We are seaworthy, having done many other types of vessels, both river and ocean going. We booked 18 months before hand and had the most appalling experience from then on, getting online, customer assistance, and then to add to it they cancelled our original date and hence we changed to this cruise. So our early experience was rather tainted to say the least.
So we then received emails x 3 to tell us if the norovirus. Yes these things happen, but my did it throw the crew out. The first three days were a total joke, disorganised, chaotic, with queues at MDR, for excurions, to get drinks at the cafeteria etc.
We were concierge, we thought that this was something special, again was let down, after two days we received one robe between two ( I had to ask for), after less than a week we no longer received breakfast order cards. Received a broken tote bag and a plastic wallet for a credit card, and a bottle of cheap plonk. We never tried the canapes. We had to ask for binoculars, which when we received after 10 days and were the cheapest set I have ever seen. We never got offered pillow menus or other assortments listed on the webpage, and of course that information is not provided when you get on board so you forget the nitty gritty.
The room was tired, torn curtains, and drapes hanging off their hooks. We never got our cases express, in fact half an hour before we had to go for dinner, so almost had to do mdr in jeans. I am not sure what the concierge chap does, apart from leave messages on your phone, never saw him stand up and take his eyes off his computer screen, I would have thought a face to face introduction would have been more fitting. I did have to approach him once as the air con and shower fan failed, that took a few hours to put right. However our cleaner was very pleasant and did his best.
We had select dining in mdr which was again a nightmare, we gave up booking and just turned up. On the first formal night despite booking we had to stand in a queue for 30 minutes. The food was canteen food, plated nicely, but often the plates were dirty with encrusted food underneath them, and far too much salt. it was noisy, frantic and not a leisurely experience.
Quissne was a pleasant experience.
We had a beautiful meal in Olympic in contrast. But of course this all cost extra.
Wine choices were not great in mdr.
You could never get a bed near the pool, towels draped over them all day, and one half you cant use because of smokers. Little areas with beds in shade, so I gained little from that area of the ship. The spa treatments were so expensive which was a shame, so never got to use them.
Entertainment was okay, a handful of one night only acts flown in, the ship dancers were, well lets say holiday camp level.
Day time activities were atrocious, themes disguised with the aim on selling spa services, paintings and overpriced jewellery etc. I was very disappointed with the daily programme, which on paper looked full, but was as I say selling on, trivia/quizes, one lecture appertaining to destination and not much of anything else. The same every day. It was boring and unimaginative to say the least, but at least I got to read two books. (Could have done that anywhere of course).
The ship itself really has come to its end, our balcony was rusted, not very clean, and the rails around the deck of the bar at the cafeteria were so rotten, you could stick,your finger in them and you certainly wouldn't lean on them.
The trip itself had to be changed due to a storm, so we missed Malaysia and had to spend two days in a freezing Hong kong, but that could, not be helped. They provided a free shuttle bus to a mall, where the shops were closed until 12, then we had to stand in very long queues in 3 degrees, waiting to return so not a great memory of Hong kong.
Excursions - some okay, at ,east one way over sold and priced.
Vietnam - rural traditions. Please only do this if you can walk, it is clear on the description, we had one or two who could walk for than a few metres, before near collapse, and of course this took longer than necessary as we had to wait for them every few yards. The rural aspect bit was a little village onthe edge of saigon, obligatory pop into a kindergarden, look at four stalls selling scraps of suspicious looking meat covered in flies, a look at the outside of a house, then on to Saigon, which was busy, busy, hot and and sticky, a look at a temple, a post office, lunch in a nice hotel, butwith not enough seating allocated for the party. We then had the obligatory laquerware factory. The best part of the overpriced day was watching the loads and overloaded tiny mopeds from the window of the coach.
Vietnam - hoi han/ danang. Loved the merchant town, and would recommend just getting transport here and doing it alone. We went to china beach, Danang and the obligatory marble factory. Both days long coach trips.
Hong kong highlights, sitting in a coach was the best thing for this freezing day, but we went up the tram to the peak, snapped a photo and jumped back on the coach, then Stanley Market where everyone bought coats, hats etc. The day could have been better with good weather.
Manilla - hidden valley very long trip through busy Manilla, but the valley was pleasant (if not artificial) and a change from the boat and city. The pools were a pleasant experience.
Boracay Island - Phillipines - this was the biggest let down and biggest rip off, and they really sold a wonderful experience, suggesting we were going to a hotel for a barbecue on its private beach. I don't recall the cost of the trip, but it was not cheap. It entailed tender on the lifeboat, a 10 minute trip on a little bus to a long busy 4 miles plus white beach which was crowded, the private area was a roped off patch in front of a street hotel, sun beds jam packed together, then a barbecue or queues again, spilling onto the street in the way of pedestrians. DO NOT do this one, just get the tender over and get the little tribikes, you will see more, and save a fortune.
Singapore - I chose not to do any trips, as it such a civilised place, so easy to get around, you have easy access to underground, taxis are cheap, there are hop on off buses, don't waste your money, do it yourself.
So in a nutshell, this has put me off cruising for now anyway, my trips are usually more intrepid and individual, and I take ownership if things are not right. If I was to cruise again would I chose celebrity I am not sure, others tell me other ships in the fleet are better, but is the entertainment and activity any better, I don't believe so.
Its a shame as the itinerary could have been more interesting, but the ship and organization just let the whole experience down. The highlight of my trip the days I spent in Singapore in a hotel, I did and saw so much more. Read Less