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94 Asia Romantic Cruise Reviews

This was our first Viking Ocean cruise — we’d done Viking River Cruises and they were always terrific. This cruise interested us because it called on ports in Japan and China as well as Hong Kong. We were completely satisfied with ... Read More
This was our first Viking Ocean cruise — we’d done Viking River Cruises and they were always terrific. This cruise interested us because it called on ports in Japan and China as well as Hong Kong. We were completely satisfied with the cruise, including the room, dining and shipboard experience. We were a little disappointed with the shore excursions, not because they were bad, they just weren’t as good as they were on their European river cruises. We were told it was because Viking controls the tours on European river cruises but contracts them out on ocean cruises. Getting on and off the ship was easy because there were less than 800 passengers aboard, even with the Chinese immigration officials making it difficult. Passing through immigration in Japan was a piece of cake. The ship had scheduled entertainment nightly in the theater and other areas of the ship as well as dancing in the lounge. Viking’ ships are a great size, not too big and impersonal, but big enough to have the amenities and entertainment to make it fun. Hong Kong and Shanghai were wonderful places to spend time and snorkeling on Ishigaki Island was memorable. We could have given up The smaller ports for more time in the larger. Dining was first rate at the Restaurant, the Chef’s Table and Manfrettis’ and very good at the World Cafe. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This is a great intimate soft adventure but with all the luxuries. We shared the experience with 144 other passengers but you never felt crowded. Every sail away the sails were raised along with emotions. Dining was very good with a six ... Read More
This is a great intimate soft adventure but with all the luxuries. We shared the experience with 144 other passengers but you never felt crowded. Every sail away the sails were raised along with emotions. Dining was very good with a six course meal should you choose with full waiter service. Drinks were well priced with house drinks at 3.5 Euro along with an excellent wine list from house bottles through to Cristal champagne. Something for every budget. The breakfasts and lunches were buffet style with so much to choose from. Tenders to shore in most ports where other ships could not go including deserted beaches. The sports team boys provided many activities from sailing to water skiing all included. By Day two all the staff knew your name. Music by Jerby was excellent, from piano to guitar to late night dancing, including a fun passenger and crew party night. Cruise Director Irina was great fun (Ciao Ciao) and Edwin a fantastic Bar Manager/Sommelier. If you want something different from a mega cruiseliner this is it. The ship is very stable and while there is a slight rumble from the generators you get used to it. Passengers were mostly well travelled in the forty plus bracket. Many were repeat customers which says something. There were no kids on our voyage. Very inclusive and welcoming to all including our LGBT group of six. As the Captain said, “you can take a hundred photos, but it is what you take home in your hearts that matters!”. Highly recommended. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My husband and I decided on this cruise because it was so culturally immersive. We left out of shanghai and embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Make sure you write out the name of the cruise port in Chinese if your taking a taxi ... Read More
My husband and I decided on this cruise because it was so culturally immersive. We left out of shanghai and embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. Make sure you write out the name of the cruise port in Chinese if your taking a taxi there because the drivers don’t know English. Also make sure they use the taxi meter so your not over charged. We got a balcony cabin and the room was super spacious and larger than other regular balcony rooms in other ships. We had cabin 9160 and it was awesome. The entertainment and announcements were all done in both English and Chinese and they did an awesome job. The ports were all amazing and it was the first time this ship had gone to Vladivostok and Kyoto so we had an awesome send off from the locals on the pier. All the staff onboard were awesome and super friendly. Everyone speaks English on board as well as most can also speak Chinese. The food was so yummy and the menu was huge every night! I would defiantly cruise again on this ship! The shows were well rehearsed and better than the ships in the Caribbean. The only thing was the shopping wasn’t the greatest on board. It was all super high end shops. The pools and hot tubs were never ever busy and super easy to find a chair. They do not have walking waiters by the pool or shows for drinks so be aware. There is no bingo on board either if that’s your thing. This ship is so different from the ships in the Caribbean but everything was great! There is always lots of activities to do presented in both English and Chinese. The ship never felt crowded even in the windjammer! They have a great variety of both western food and Chinese food which is awesome to give new things a try. Kyoto Japan was our favourite port of call so if you go make sure you get the motor coach into the city with royal! Vladivostok was really pretty and the locals were all very nice. You cannot go ashore without a visa or booking a tour directly with the ship so we booked a tour. Fukuoka japan was great too but the prices of merchandise was higher here. We also did explore dazaifu and you get free time to shop! Great tour! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose Star Clipper on recommendation of our independent travel agent as being a great ship to go on for a first voyage. It surpassed our expectations and we shall certainly do another one. We chose this route because we wanted to ... Read More
We chose Star Clipper on recommendation of our independent travel agent as being a great ship to go on for a first voyage. It surpassed our expectations and we shall certainly do another one. We chose this route because we wanted to sample the Borneo wildlife and we saw orangutans, sun bears, many monkeys and crocodiles. The ship exuded class and comfort, the service was excellent and the staff both above and below deck were personable and helpful. The Captain and officers were professional and friendly and we always felt safe. Our cabin was 330 and was really comfortable with a shower room and toilet , air conditioning and lots of well-planned storage space. There was just the hum of the engine all the time which was needed for the generators even when we were under sail which was most of the time. It did not keep us awake and after a day or two we didn't even notice it. This was Star Clippers maiden voyage from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu and it took 10 days with several stops, mainly in ports but also at anchor and using the safety boats to disembark. There was no formal entertainment but there was no need for it. Several evenings resulted in impromptu events such as a crew/customer talent show which was great fun. There were lots of informal talks from the crew and also star-gazing and engine room and bridge visits as well as making cocktails etc This was not a ship for those wanting to be entertained. Go to a big cruise ship for that! Dress was smart casual in the evenings but men were required to wear long trousers and shirts in the restaurant. Most ladies dressed up in a casual way and wore cocktail dresses or smart trousers etc. Certainly there was no pressure at all. This was not a ship for children as there were no facilities and people enjoyed an adult-only experience. Excursions to Kuching, Brunei and Sepilok were really great and well-organised. We booked once on board and there was plenty of opportunity to learn more and no pressure. We absolutely loved it and can't wait to go again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. ... Read More
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. Everyone's cruising style is different, but Viking is perfect for us. Our reasons include what they don't have, no children, no casino, no Vegas style shows, no butlers, and no formal nights, to what they do have - sleek, Scandinavian design with room for everyone, focus on educational lectures, focus on classical music, the most amazing spa and fitness center at sea, fabulous food with no charge speciality restaurants, and wine and beer with lunch and dinner. We had a penthouse veranda and it was wonderful. Maybe a bit more closet space would have been nice. The bathroom was our favorite ever with it's roomy shower and heated floor. I would chose the same cabin when we cruise with them again. As mentioned by others, Viking needs to work on their shore excursions. We were on a new itinerary so maybe that was part of the problem. They definitely need to invest in new listening devices. But overall, we have found our new favorite cruise line and can't wait to sail with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that ... Read More
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that matters and something to reminisce in future. See photos. In Nov 2017, we travelled the shinkansen or bullet train around Japan for the autumn foliage and kind of felled in love with the beautiful people, place and views. So this time, we wanted to see the sakura. We experienced sakura in Hirosaki Castle Park in North Honshu. Aomori is the closest big town. ( see photos and separate review on the Diamond Princess ) We sailed QE, Melb to Yokohama for the first leg and switched over to the Diamond Princess to sail around Japan for the 2nd leg for another 9 nights. Thanks Cunard staff for the cabin upgrade. Hundreds of us, had to do the switch over and gladly give the Japanese a chance to enjoy what we did in the last 3 weeks on the QE. The rumour was, 1700 Japanese were getting onboard the QE for the Golden Week ( 4-5 public holidays ). In my past reviews on Cunard voyages, I have commented their excellent ambience, decore, service, food, entertainment and varied activities. Breakfast room service and dining service were excellent, everyday. These high standards continued, in my humble view. Thanks Reynaldo and Alvin for your serving of pistachio souffle which I enjoyed watching more than eating ( I am not a dessert person ). Thank you to our Brissie realtors table companions and making everyone laugh, sometimes in tears, each night. And to Ron and Angela for the many many happy times we had while onboard. On sea days and there were many, Zumba exercises at 9am and line dancing at 10am, ballroom dancing at 11am and in the afternoon, different type of dance lessons and from 7.45pm onwards, ballroom and latin dancing in the Queens Room till midnight and in the Yatch Club, with more pop and disco until the wee morning hours. In QE, you can literally DANCE TILL YOU DROP DEAD. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Survive I did with a trick, get some rest and catch a nap. We enjoyed dancing but not as dedicated as some others who wake up at the crack of dawn, to practice in the Queens Room. Thanks to the many people we met while dancing like Des and Pauline, Ron n Barb, Arthur n Betty, and Tim n Tima, Mark n Annie, etc.... Life on board the QE includes the pool activities, mahjong, fencing, table tennis, darts, trivia, interesting talks, shows and of course, drinking and fine dining and late night suppers in the Lido after dancing. Following an interesting presentation on the social culture and food aspects of Japan, there was an interesting ceremony on breaking of the sake or wine barrel. The Japanese vintage sake was free flowing and was limitless. It was not a good idea, on an empty stomache and before lunch but life goes on.... Neil, the entertainment director and zumba instructor, was easy, funny and encouraging to many newcomers to zumba. He got my table companions, Steve and Donna, converted. Lesley, did a great job hosting and was ably assisted by the dance hosts like Brian and Sheila, Richard, etc. Much credit is due to our 4 dance instructors who patiently taught many of us, several useful dance moves and techniques to improve ourselves. Recorded music used for dancing was in manyways better than live music on some occassions ( see review on QE to Tasmania and Port Arthur) As for the ports, we were lucky to get some magical views of sunrise over the Sydney Opera House and the ferries darting in and out of Circular Quay ferry terminal. I have lived and worked in Sydney before and this experience is still a treasure. A tip, get the portside cabin when coming into Sydney. We enjoyed strolling along the Royal Botanical Gardens and the views from Mrs Macquaire Chair of QE, Opera Housre and the Harbour Bridge. This must be one of the most beautiful harbour in the world, in my view. In Brisbane, we enjoyed the free shuttle to town centre, free City Hopper ( red coloured ) ferry ride around Southbank and wandered and shop inthe high street. We dropped in a big Commonwealth Bank to do some banking and got free wi-fi and an excellent coffee, on the house. Thank you customer service. That is why banked with you. We skipped visiting Alotaul in PNG as it was so bloody hot and humid but we did our own shore excursion ( aud 45pp for a 2 hour air cond bus tour ) in Rabaul to the Hotsprings, Mt Tavurvur ( pronounced TaVOORvoor) volcano that last erupted 5 years ago in Sep 2014, the Japanese general Yamamoto bunkers, and the Volcano Observatory station. The scientist staff showed us in and explained all the seismological monitoring. You can get some beautiful views of QE in the harbour below and the volcano, too. In Manila, we got a free shuttle to a big shopping complex. We got some currencies and went shopping. I booked and got a nice hair trim by a gorgeous hairdresser and my wife got a manicure done at the same time. You can walk out of QE or port to see Josef Rizal Memorial and Fort Santiago without having to catch the free shuttle. Do that later. Otherwise, it was a 30 min hike back and it can be very sweaty due to its humidity and the pathways are not always clear and smooth. In Nagasaki, we took a tram ride to the nearest station and walked 5 min to the Peace Park and another 5 min walk to centre of the atomic bomb blast. The English tourist brochure on how to ride and pay the tram fare and the direction to the stations is very simple and clear to understand. Remember to change tram at the main station for the next tram and get a transfer ticket from the tram driver before disembaring. This is used for the 2nd and final tram when you exit. Just follow the cruise crowd as nearly all will head in the same direction. It is 50% cheaper to pay on the tram as you exit instead of buying the day pass. You may not have much time visting other places. We window shopping when we return and walked up to the Church which was first used by Portugese inthe 13th-15th century. BTW, you can see the small mountan scenic top from the QE ship portside andyou can catch your own ropeway or cable car up there for a small fee as compared to shore excursion. Yokohama, has a lot ot offer which we will do the next time. This time, we caught the city free shuttle to Sakuragicho station. We have a Suica card from previous visit and we avoided the very long queue to buy a train ticket to Central Tokyo or Shinjuku or Akihabara in our case. We caught the unreserved seating JR Keihin- Tohuku for Omiya direction express train direct to Akihabara for under 600 yen or usd 6 or aud 9. Incredibly cheap and quite fast if you know how and do your homework. Use hyperdia.com website. Otherwise, Cunard transfer will be aud 100 plus. Hopefully, my table companions took up my suggestion,if not for the money, at least, just for the experience. In conclusion, we were very happy overall with the voyage and the many people we met, dined and danced with and highly recommend this ship and voyage especially for the Pollywogs who have never crossed the Equator. You get a big colorful Cunard map of the world certificate with your name on it for crossing the Equator. Nice surprise. Looking forward to the next Med cruise in Sept. Hopefully, you enjoyed reading the review and got something out of it in some little ways. Well, at least enjoy the photos. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This cruise was a big treat for our 5 year anniversary and it did not disappoint! This ship just came out of the Celebrity Revolution transformation dry dock and though we had a few technical glitches on the cruise due to working out the ... Read More
This cruise was a big treat for our 5 year anniversary and it did not disappoint! This ship just came out of the Celebrity Revolution transformation dry dock and though we had a few technical glitches on the cruise due to working out the kinks in new technology, any time there was an issue, they upped the service across the ship. This kind of service recovery is a huge win in my book. They anticipated guest needs and created options almost at the speed of light. The destinations were remarkable and extra thought went into planning transportation to and from the cruise docks to major hubs/ transportation to get into the big cities (Seoul, Busan). The Service - WOW! I think Celebrity specifically hires for personality and genuine care and this ship in particular has a senior staff that knows it's people create the experience. Even the captain was approachable and engaged in creating a true customer service experience. Every single employee we met was warm and accommodating and wanted to get to know us. It's easy to train somebody on points of service, but to have someone create a connection is much harder to instill in someone and usually is just a natural trait of a great person. They all had an eye for detail and their service was polished and elevated without feeling stuffy and disconnected. If there was an issue, the employee was ready with options and showed the utmost concern and empathy. The Cabin - AquaClass 1008 The Revolution has added SO MUCH STORAGE to the rooms and created a fresh and timeless look. Our room was our only issue on this cruise. Previously on the Millennium, our cabin didn't exist, it used to be where the Spa locker rooms were located. The room was just steps away from the thermal suite (included in aqua class) and the solarium pool which was IDEAL. The only issue was... 6 of the 13 new rooms are located just under the nightclub and we were one of them. It was fine the 1st two nights when nothing was going on but by the 3rd night, the bass thumping was just too much and really impacted the peace of our cabin making it hard to sleep. The balcony had no shade but also had no impeded view of the water. (Watch out if you have a rainy season cruise, you can't enjoy your balcony like lower decks) The additional spa amenities are nice and the robes are cushy but they took out the SPA shower in the bathroom! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I was so looking forward to all those extra jets. The bed and furnishings were so comfortable and high quality. The cruise staff had already been made aware on the cruise before ours of noise issues in the new rooms on deck 10 and when we went down to notify them, they apologized profusely and understood our concerns as they too, were not keen on those rooms being added in the dry dock knowing their proximity to the nightclub. On the next day, they had us moved to an Aqua Class on deck 9 mid-ship which was just as lovely (plus, it had the overhang from the pool deck on 10 which meant we could still enjoy the balcony on the rainy Korean sea days). They even gave us an additional specialty dining credit and a voucher knowing that we booked the 10th deck as a higher level of Aqua Class. Again, the service recovery and proactive approach was AMAZING. The Dining Our room included the Blu dining room and it was phenomenal! Our servers and sommeliers were so attentive and FUN! They joked and laughed with us while providing and incredible meal from the well-trained culinary team. We also had new friends who did not have access to BLU, so we would dine occasionally with them in the main dining room and they attention to service and detail was at the same level along with the fresh and varied menus for a 14 day cruise. The specialty restaurants were fantastic as well and Tuscan Grille became a quick favorite of ours with the different groups we met always wanting to go back. Celebrity has a knack for delivering varied menus with super fresh ingredients and great flavors. Wine (as always) was in plentiful supply and the variety was amazing. Beer and alcohol had some stocking issues (standards that should be at every bar weren't getting re-stocked) but this was acknowledged by the Beverage director at a wine tasting. Traveling in and out of Asia ports has its limitations of what is available and what actually shows up to the ship. Entertainment For a 14 day cruise, there was not a dull moment on the ship and they had so much variety in specialty acts and the players on board. The musicians that Celebrity hires are some of the best (MSC and Celebrity care about great music in public spaces). The activities were fun and engaging and being one of the only couples under 40 on the ship, I had worries, but they made sure to tailor to all ages. (SILENT DISCO!!!) I was so sad to disembark the Millennium knowing a new standard had been set for service and experience. The employees felt like extended family (because they take the time to connect and get to know you) and it was bittersweet leaving them. I highly recommend you cruise on the Millennium because the captain knows his ship is an extension of himself and will be your home for however many days you are onboard. They will make sure you leave wanting to come back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I am retired in Thailand with a lovely young wife, I have been cruising for over 50 yrs, and done maybe 40 plus cruises, and around 10 with Azamara, we currently have three booked Azamara is at the top of our comfort zone money wise, we ... Read More
I am retired in Thailand with a lovely young wife, I have been cruising for over 50 yrs, and done maybe 40 plus cruises, and around 10 with Azamara, we currently have three booked Azamara is at the top of our comfort zone money wise, we do not like crowds, we do not stay up and party all the time, often when in port we stay on the ship, we prefer not to be harassed by children, and the passenger profile, is generally professional and restrained, you do not get pushed out of the way in the buffet We like the pretty well all inclusive policy We do not do many shore excursions The food bearing in mind what is being paid is excellent, with very wide choice and good included wine choice The cabins are a little small but adequate, exceptionally well looked after, and the stewards will do anything possible to make your stay as comfortable as possible We love the white nights, are not so sure about the Amazing evenings but there is no cost The most exceptional thing about the ship is the staff, they are the very top, and go out of their way to help In October we are doing Hongkong to Singapore, then back to back the Myanmar trip that we have done before, in March next year we do Sydney to Singapore on the Journey Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
7 Family members joined us on this cruise to help celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. Some family were first time cruisers and others have cruised with us before. The Sun Princess did not disappoint with staff that always exceeds our ... Read More
7 Family members joined us on this cruise to help celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. Some family were first time cruisers and others have cruised with us before. The Sun Princess did not disappoint with staff that always exceeds our expectations, all of the staff just work so hard to make sure we all have a fabulous cruising experience and this cruise was no exception. Weather was great nice calm seas all the way to Hong Kong. We dined in the Share Restaurant which once again was Amazing!! Totally recommend this dining experience as food and service is A+ The only negative is that the smoking area is very prominent and very smelly on Sun Princess as you walk out on to open deck everyone sitting right there, I have been on other Princess Ships where the smoking area is much smaller and you never even see it but hopefully one day all Princess ships will finally become Non Smoking vessels which would be great. Lots of room around the pool and getting a lounger was never a problem. We all really enjoyed our cruise and looking forward to planning the next :-) Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise firstly because it left Sydney harbour, secondly because it arrived in Hong Kong harbour and then for what was in between. We visited Brisbane and did a tour of town, lunch some shopping etc. Our next stop was Darwin ... Read More
We chose this cruise firstly because it left Sydney harbour, secondly because it arrived in Hong Kong harbour and then for what was in between. We visited Brisbane and did a tour of town, lunch some shopping etc. Our next stop was Darwin where we went to Crocasaurus cove and did the cage of death with a croc, awesome. We visited Lombok where we snorkelled with Gemma from Mimpi Manis Snorkel Trips for the day, then to Ho Chi Minh City where we did a day tour with the ship, it was awesome. We visited Nha Trang also with the ship, we just could not have fitted it all in without these tours, we saw heaps. But the highlight for us was Hong Kong. 2 nights with the ship which was a very good idea, then we were on our own. We loved all the sea days at the beginning of the cruise and totally got into trivia, read a couple of books, great weather for swimming every day, the only thing I would say is there is just not enough shade around the pools, especially the back round one, (Sun Princess) but even around the other 2 the ones under the upper level get snapped up so fast. A pet peeve is seeing people in the pool or spa that are drinking and they dont move for sometimes over an hour, you know who you are and dont think that no one notices. This was for our 30th wedding anniversary and we booked at Share by Curtis Stone for our special dinner. The food was very nice but I came away feeling cheated, I really dont feel like we vot our moneys worth. Also I swear, unless my math is wrong, you actually pay $2.00 more for the fixed menu then buying a la carte...as I said maybe I'm wrong. I do think there is still work to be done on getting people off the ship in a timely manner at ports, Nha Trang was a disaster getting off, and there were a few hot heads letting steam off at staff that are just giving numbers out etc that have nothing to with how long it takes go get you off the ship. We had such a good time, the food was good, far too good for my waistline, the staff were friendly, my room was always clean and tidy, good coffee at the International cafe, no where else though, but bring ba k happy hour, what is the deal with that....its a great way to meet people. Now, I wonder what my next cruise will be......Princess of course!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Have reviewed Disco before and we love it, so will concentrate on ports and trips. It’s fair to say that in some of the Ports a DIY job is not really an option as they’re as big as a city. In other places the ports are a minimum of 2 ... Read More
Have reviewed Disco before and we love it, so will concentrate on ports and trips. It’s fair to say that in some of the Ports a DIY job is not really an option as they’re as big as a city. In other places the ports are a minimum of 2 1/2 to 3hrs away so it’s a long day. We like half-day trips so a bit restricted, but most were very good. Compared to a recent cruise to Norway where everything was very expensive, we thought these trips were reasonable. We reckon the grub to be good but not great. We did Islands buffet for brek and most lunches or the Snack Shack where the wings, fish and chips are excellent and hot. Stays open until 6pm so if you’re late lunchers like us it’s great. One slight knock in most areas is that the grub could be a bit hotter. We liked 47 for dinner and eat quite late, after 8.30pm.You do get a buzzer but it’s a chance for a few bubbles pre-dins. We tried the Steak on Stone for an £11.95 surcharge. Well worth it-best dinner of trip. As others have said, if you want a sunbed on sea days you need to be up with the early breakfast cooks, about 5am. We normally waited until it thinned out a bit later. No-one gives up their beds. They run a ‘yellow card’ system for beds left for more than 2 hrs but it’s just for show. Drinks great. Longest wait a few mins. Good bottled beers, Peroni, Corona, San Miguel. **I refuse to pay for wi-fi so there’s very limited internet access. Even on the day trips there was hardly any ‘free time’ so you had to try find wi-fi wherever you could. Langkawi Nature Reserve: Excellent. Half day. About 30min journey. You go into bat cave then boat journey to watch eagles feeding from the river which is amazing. Penang: Temple followed by funicular ride to top of island. Really good. At top you can have a buggy ride around the area for a couple a quid. Very good. ***Hotel at top of hill has wi-if you can access. KL: Half day sights. Petronas Tower excellent and Independence Square and War Memorial good. Visit to disused colonial railway station a bit bizarre and an obvious ‘filler’ Bangkok: did trip ‘On your own’. Be warned, it’s 3 hrs in traffic to get there and you get 4 hrs there. And you’re dropped at a Shopping Mall outside the city. Our excellent guide recommended the Skytrain (about £3 for an all day tourist ticket) to the river, a river taxi (also about £3)then a Tuk Tuk back which was about a fiver. Had a great day. Went to Reclining Buddha which wife loved. Some guides apparently discourage being too adventurous due to time constraints but we really enjoyed it and had no problems getting back. Pattaya Beach: Coach Trip ‘On your own’. Cancelled Bangkok on own for day 2 as couldn’t face the journey and getting up in middle of night-or so it seems. Taken to shopping mall then on your own. Not really a daytime place but still enjoyable. Lots of British men talking to young people in sea front bars which is a bit weird but glad we went. Singapore: half day ‘In the footsteps of Raffles’. Best trip of the hol. Only four hrs but we got half hour walk tour, 30 mins boat ride, Singapore Sling in the Raffles Hotel (no queueing as part of trip-on your own be ready to queue for about 45 mins) then a ride on a tri-bike with a recognised firm so safe and reliable. Excellent. Sihanoukville, Cambodia: Did our own thing. An eye-opener. Quite a few scare stories re valuables and the like but didn’t hear any horror stories. There will be beggars and Tuk-Tuk overload but it’s not overwhelming. Went to the beach with another couple we met, Tuk Tuk for about 20 mins which was $20 dollars US and he wouldn’t haggle. Whole place is a building site. Vietnam: Ship is 3hrs from Ho Chi Minh so any trip is a schlep. We did Cu Chi tunnels which I really enjoyed but it was a bit of a one-trick pony. Still worthwhile. Malacca: half day sightseeing. Bit dull. Highlight was going up viewing tower and a castle. We did all those trips and they’re great, but they’re usually early kick-offs. We did four on the spin and I couldn’t wait to get back for my bottle of Peroni. We’d do the itinerary again. Loved it. **Depending on flight time, you can keep cabin past the 8am kick-out.Ours was £35 right up to 3pm departure for Gatwick and worth every penny as you weren’t fighting for space as everyone waits to get off. Apparently, 80% of people paying keep their own cabin. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We wanted to visit New Zealand and Australia. Tasmania was a terrific surprise. We selected a mid-size cabin due to the length of the trip and that there would be days at sea. Everything was exceptionally well done from the housekeeping ... Read More
We wanted to visit New Zealand and Australia. Tasmania was a terrific surprise. We selected a mid-size cabin due to the length of the trip and that there would be days at sea. Everything was exceptionally well done from the housekeeping staff to the entertainment staff. The food was amazing and the surprise birthday cake was a special treat. We would go on this trip again if we didn't have such a long air flight at each end-we are traveling with the same company to a different location(Baltic) A special treat for us was the educational courses and being able to interact with the educators for further information. We were given information about the area, history, & astronomy so we understand what we would see and be part of the for the next day. The food was terrific in all locations and had no problems with reservations for the smaller restaurants. Often we ate in the main "cafeteria" location and were able to make many new friends at nearby tables. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We started with a 3 day cruise Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and back and then Singapore to Kota Kinabalu, 2 stops in Vietnam and 2 stops in Thailand and then back to Singapore. As I stated in my first ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We started with a 3 day cruise Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and back and then Singapore to Kota Kinabalu, 2 stops in Vietnam and 2 stops in Thailand and then back to Singapore. As I stated in my first review, the ship was great, crew was great and our cabin Steward Catherine and dining room waiters Alexander and Katherine were outstanding. We only ate at the buffet a few times and it was what you would expect, we ate ate Sabatini's and it was very good. We saw a couple fo the the shows in the theater and they were good. Since we were already aboard there was no issue with embarkation but when we did embark a few days earlier it was quick and easy. The lectures on the ports were very informative and though we did not see them in person, we were able to watch them on the TV in our rooms. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
we chose this cruise as it is a destination we hadn’t been to before, we were not disappointed. The Saphire is a lovely ship, very easy to find your way to dining rooms and activities, the entertainment on board is varied and suits all ... Read More
we chose this cruise as it is a destination we hadn’t been to before, we were not disappointed. The Saphire is a lovely ship, very easy to find your way to dining rooms and activities, the entertainment on board is varied and suits all tastes, The Drop band had a good range of music and entertained us in club fusion, around the pool on at sea days and in the Explorers lounge. The trivia games were fun and tested our knowledge. The art auctions, balloon drop, deck parties and movies under the stars plus shows in Princess theatre provide entertainment for all. The tours were well organised by the excursion team were reasonably priced and interesting. Great service in the dining rooms especially for people with food intolerance. Loved seeing Kuala Lumpur Petronis Towers. Chinatown in Singapore, James Bond Island excursion is well worth the 90 minute bus ride not suitable for people that have mobility issues though. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary. It started on February 15th with a 3 day cruise from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and back, and then a second cruise from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu, 2 stops in Vietnam & 2 stops in Thailand, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary. It started on February 15th with a 3 day cruise from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and back, and then a second cruise from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu, 2 stops in Vietnam & 2 stops in Thailand, then back to Singapore for a total of 13 days. The ship is very nice and the crew is awesome. Our flights were arranged through Princess and were very good flights. We got a transfer from the airport to the cruise terminal through Princess. Embarkation was very quick and easy in Singapore. We had a Mini-suite on deck 9. Our cabin steward Catherine was great and made sure we were well taken care of. Room service most every morning was very punctual. Our dining experience was really good. We did the buffet a few times, but mostly we ate in the Savoy Dining Room and requested Alexander and Katherine as they were just so much fun and very good at what they do. We went to a couple of the shows in the theater and they were very good. We ate at Sabatini's once and the food was as expected, very good! We had very ample time in the ports to get to our shore excursions. There were a couple ports where the cruise line arranged for transportation from the ship to the gates as we were very far away. We arranged tours in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore Kota Kinabalu and Koh Samui though private tours and our disembarkation tour through Princess. We would definitely go on Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
A great crew and entertainment group, made this one of the best cruises we have taken. There was plenty to do on Sea Days and the food was very good. They did have some of the same items a few times, but very good. The ships ... Read More
A great crew and entertainment group, made this one of the best cruises we have taken. There was plenty to do on Sea Days and the food was very good. They did have some of the same items a few times, but very good. The ships entertainment was very good, the people they brought on, could have been better. All our ports were what we expected and we took some very good Princess Tours. Would go again, nice mid size ship. The pizza is one of the best of any cruise lines and is open all the time. Buffet was good and there was always a place to sit. Movies at sea are always fun and the cruise had most of the latest films out. The cabin steward was very good, worked with our odd schedule. The embarkation was quite easy and getting off again quite effortless. If you want a good cabin go with the mini suite. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We are a couple in our early forties and chose this cruise for two reasons. Firstly, we had taken a cruise with P&O two years ago which was particularly average. Secondly, we felt that Princess did not actively encourage children due ... Read More
We are a couple in our early forties and chose this cruise for two reasons. Firstly, we had taken a cruise with P&O two years ago which was particularly average. Secondly, we felt that Princess did not actively encourage children due to its lack of giant water slides and variety of kids' clubs. We do like children, but prefer a relaxing holiday in the company of adults - and this opinion was shared by many passengers that we socialised with. We were not disappointed! The demographic was predominantly adults 35-70. The ship was clean, well appointed and the staff were just fantastic. We booked a mini-suite which was spotlessly clean and spacious. There was a great choice of bars and entertainment throughout the cruise and our shore excursions were efficient and represented good value. It is worth noting that the James Bond Islands tour involves almost a four hour return bus journey and the K.L. city journey is not short either. We probably would not have booked those tours had we known the travel time. The best part of this cruise was the staff. They went out of their way to be friendly and share a joke or two. The ship is so clean and well maintained with plenty to do. The drinks package is definitely good value and there is a huge variety of included cocktails to choose from. The bed and pillows were just divine! We will absolutely sail with Princess from now on and are already looking for our next destination! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Gangies voyager 11 I will try to cover the whole time and be as honest in my experience The boat is spotlessly clean, the floors polished and the furnishings of a high and comfortable quality. There is ample room in the sun deck ... Read More
Gangies voyager 11 I will try to cover the whole time and be as honest in my experience The boat is spotlessly clean, the floors polished and the furnishings of a high and comfortable quality. There is ample room in the sun deck or lounge for everyone so it never feels busy or full. The dining hall was light airy and the range of food was of a high standard. The chef was a really great guy. He walked around the tables, offering his advice and offered to personally cook what ever you fancied. There was a full breakfast. The obligatory egg station, along with the continental style cuisine of cheese, meats and pastries and one part that I personally loved which was the healthy station. Here were local smoothies, juices and yogurt. The coffee was sublime, proper coffee and great sized cups to. English breakfast tea along with all the India teas were also on offer. Lunch was a buffet, many hot local dishes and by hot I mean cooked. The curries were all mild and the wok fried vegetables were one of my favourite. The India people love sweet things so the deserts were rich in cream and sugar. Free flowing wine, red or white, or beers and the staff always knew when your glass was nearly empty. You really never needed to ask. Afternoon tea was almost another meal with sandwiches and cake. Evening dinner was wonderful. Lots of choices from several starters, several mains too. We had scallops, lobster and the chef did us proud in his recommendations. Again the free flowing wine or beer. The wine was local to India but palatable and if you really wanted a premium bottle they were available to purchase. But personally I don’t think you needed to. The bar staff were very quick to make sure your glass was never empty, and each day was a Uniworld cocktail to try. The waiting on staff were cheerful and happy. When I spoke to them I asked if they were looked after and they all loved working for Uniworld which was a comfort. We had a suite mentioned separately. The other rooms were still very spacious, this were the colonial or the signature rooms. These still had the wonderful sliding windows and a walk in shower. On board activities ranged from yoga which was twice a day, cookng classes, history of the Ganges river and sari wearing. Then we were all given henna tattoos, I chose simple design on my leg and hand I loved the thought I could be daring even if just for a few days. Most days began early with yoga, then breakfast and we were split into two or three groups to visit temples and walk around the local markets. This splitting us up meant we had a large bus to 12 of us. All could have the window seat and easily to keep together. We were given small walk handsets so we could listen to our guide without disturbing other holiday makers. Our first 5 nights Were in the tune of the infamous golden Triangle of India New Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. were on land so we visited the Taj Mahal and New Delhi with it’s bustling streets and chaotic road system then off to see the Agra fort. I loved seeing the Taj Mahal so awe inspiring and definitely a catch at the back of your throat moment. We had ample time to explore on our own. But if I’m honest the hotels were a treat in themselves so we chose to stay in the grounds, lie by the pools and enjoy the rest bite before the cruise. We were on this cruise the only British. But never let this be a negative, often there are more British, It had Canadians, Americans and Australians. All over 50 years as far as I could tell. Mostly couples but mums & daughters and 2 solo travellers. We all mixed well after the welcome dinner. Which gave us a chance to chat and start our new friendships. Which we did, and hoping we continue our new friendship in more years to come. People ask me did I enjoy India. I totally fell in love with the people and the place. Uniworld river cruise Ganges 2 was the icing on the cake. The staff bought the experience on board with turban and sari lessons, cooking lessons and talks about life on the Ganges. Jane Mac Donald came on board so I knew it was going to be on the TV....and I watched the episode with pride and fond smiles of my perfect holiday. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Fabulous. Started a two week, back-to-back from Phuket - Northern route first week, then Southern. We had done similar cruises in the Caribbean on the old Windjammer Barefoot Cruise ships back in the early noughties, before they went bust, ... Read More
Fabulous. Started a two week, back-to-back from Phuket - Northern route first week, then Southern. We had done similar cruises in the Caribbean on the old Windjammer Barefoot Cruise ships back in the early noughties, before they went bust, and on the SV Mandalay twice over the past few years. This time, for a number of reasons, we wanted a bit more luxury and fancied a different route so the South East Asia sailings appealed. We were concerned that the ship can take 170 when we were used to fewer than 50 on board. In fact, during both weeks on the Star Clipper there were around 130 passengers on board. So, the ship. Stunning to look at and plenty of room to be on. Cabin size, layout, cleanliness, service all great. Plenty of deck space for us sun lovers and seemed to be just enough shade for all those who wanted it. Food, as everyone else has said, high quality, plenty of choice, loads of it, but with only one truly Thai option at dinner time,no problem for us. Dining room spacious, well airconned, sociable but not overpowerlng. Crew: Amazing, friendly, efficient - keeping the ship in top shape all the time. Peter was an excellent cruise director, Captain friendly and approachable, Anita, the hotel manager must really take credit for how smoothly everything runs. The sports team really shone, Hugo and Mathius were outstanding in looking after guests at all times, keeping us safe and entertained. Ports of call: lots of beaches (sadly a few over-run with swimming in life jackets :-) but all still very beautiful, as was the scenery, and the 'city stops' in Malaysia interesting - Langkowi one week and Penang the other. We did the island tour in Langkowi which was worthwhile and the Orangutang sanctuary in Penang which we would highly recommend. The sailing: we were solely under sail for around 65% of the time and it was as wonderful experience as we had hoped. Up on deck during the day and especially in the evenings it was an amazing, peaceful and beautiful sight. So, overall an excellent trip and we will certainly do the Star Clipper ships again on different routes. If you're just thinking of it, do it - we were not alone in loving this trip and heard absolutely no complaints from the lovely fellow guests (half Brits, some German, French, Swiss, Candian and Americans. Oh, and no signs of sea sickness whatsoever from the quite sea-sickly person! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Mingalabar!! We finally decided to pay Myanmar a visit and we have included the cruise as part of the lists of things to try, and boy did we make the right choice! The Strand cruise made our whole Myanmar experience more memorable. We ... Read More
Mingalabar!! We finally decided to pay Myanmar a visit and we have included the cruise as part of the lists of things to try, and boy did we make the right choice! The Strand cruise made our whole Myanmar experience more memorable. We spent my husband’s birthday and New year celebration on the cruise. From day 1 of pick up in Mandalay, we were greeted with friendly staff and had a quick tour with an agent Hubert around Ubein bridge. Hubert was very friendly and knowledgeable with very good English command. Light Breakfast was served too while waiting for our ride to the port. The cruise has definitely exceeded our expectations. Amenities were great. The cabin we were given was superb with a good bathroom and a nice view. Service was excellent! Food provided while on the cruise were all very tasty and presented very well. The dinner at the sandbank was awesome. Food served were fresh and delivered by friendly staff. Thanking the whole crew for taking good care of our needs. Special mention to Barth, Neville, Win (hope I remember his name right, the hairless guy at f&b), the Thai chef and his crew for making my husband’s birthday celebration memorable and for the delicious food on board. The port in Bagan was average but everyday we were taken out for tours at Pagodas and temples with a tour guide. We did the horse ride and met some locals. We celebrated New Year’s Eve on the boat where there was some live cultural show and a band. We got to mingle with other guest while waiting for the new year countdown. It was a lot of fun! On our last day before checking out, we went for the hot air balloon ride which we booked separately. It was an awesome experience! Everything was just perfect! Encouraging and inviting those planning to visit Myanmar to include a cruise with The Strand for a much special trip. Kyay Zuu Par (Thank You!). We hope to be back! Bernard and Venus from Bangkok Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were suppose to visit our nephew and his wife in Okinawa, Japan. She was pregnant and he would eventually be deployed. She decided to go to Seattle to have their baby and be with family. So, my wife and I wanted to see Okinawa and ... Read More
We were suppose to visit our nephew and his wife in Okinawa, Japan. She was pregnant and he would eventually be deployed. She decided to go to Seattle to have their baby and be with family. So, my wife and I wanted to see Okinawa and found out there was a cruise company whose itinerary would include Okinawa. One of Princess Cruises Asia routes met our needs with a 15 day cruise This would be my wife’s first time to Asia. My second. I lived in Okinawa 32 years ago. We originally booked a club class mini suite and were upgraded to a Premium Suite with Balcony. Spacious room and balcony. Walk-in closet with lots of storage space was nice. Chocolate covered strawberry’s and fresh fruit were a nice added touch. Our steward, Rodrigo, couldn’t be more accommodating and made us feel like royalty. Service at the Explorer’s Lounge and Sante fe dining room were excellent. The ships exterior and interior were well maintained and clean. The only negative was a strange smell on the starboard side of the ship. My wife suggested a pedicure, manicure and massages. I was reluctant at first but glad we did them. Fantastic service. We had seven ports of call and did six excursions. We wished the port of calls layover time could’ve been longer. A little disappointed in our time in Okinawa. We docked at 1:00 pm and didn’t clear customs until 3:00 pm and were to leave port at 11:00 pm. The excursions were well planned and had friendly and knowledgeable guides. Looking forward to cruising with Princess Cruises again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This is part 2 of a 5 cruises on the Jewel. We traveled all the way from Vancouver to Sydney via Alaska, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. There was a ... Read More
This is part 2 of a 5 cruises on the Jewel. We traveled all the way from Vancouver to Sydney via Alaska, Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. There was a 2 week gap while the Jewel was in dry dock in Singapore, so there were some changes in decor. Of course, there were also crew and entertainment changes along the way. The itinerary of the cruise was amazing. We particularly chose it because of the many ports. Some of the ports are a long way from cities and some use tenders, but if you are prepared for that and have appropriate expectations, this could be the best itinerary of all. The crew was by far the best feature of the Jewel. We have been on many cruises with different cruise lines on different ships. The friendliness and cooperative attitude of the Jewel crew is the best we have experienced. When you are on a ship for as long as we were, there are bound to be issues that crop up. The attitude of the crew can make or break the experience. We were on-board with a number of Cruise Critic members and the ship's group services coordinator always made efforts to facilitate our gatherings and excursions. The Hotel Director (Steven) and his senior staff always made the effort to meet and welcome us. We know that the relationship is complicated as we do publicly review their cruises, but often organize excursions outside of the NCL offerings. We were never made to feel anything but welcome and supported. The cabin (inside) was well laid out and comfortable. The bathroom with a real sliding shower door was better than most. Unfortunately, the partial refurbishment in dry dock left them with a less attractive mix of decors. However, the added USB chargers and improved TV's were good. The dining was good. We mostly ate in Tsar's Palace and the Garden Cafe. Unfortunately, the food taste was not up to the excellent quality of the service in either location. Certainly, we were able to find meals that we liked, but there is just some missing richness to the flavour. There is an overabundance of Indian dishes in the Garden Cafe relative to the demographics of the passengers. Cagney's and Le Bistro are a step up in food quality, but at a premium cost. La Cuchina also demands an up-charge, but without the added quality. O'Sheehan's is convenient, but not very tasty pub grub. Since we were B2B, the embarkation was easy. Unfortunately, NCL didn't provide much in the way of excursions to Tokyo for passengers continuing on. Therefore, I arranged an excursion and had 6 others join us through Cruise Critic. There were the usual variety of enrichment activities (demonstrations, discussions and presentations), but it would have been nice to have more in the way of cultural descriptions in anticipation of the ports we called at. The entertainment on NCL is always good and the Jewel was no exception. The singers and dancers in the production crew are a step up and the singers are capable dancers for the most part. The other entertainers were on a par with what you get in-between the production shows on any cruise line. There was a bounty of other musical performers in many other venues, such that there was choice and quality throughout most afternoons and evenings. There were a range of styles, so you had a choice based on location and most performers had different themes on occasion. The fitness center has replaced all the treadmills and ellipticals in dry dock, so they are all new now. For the most part, there are enough to meet the demands, but it did get busy at times. The staff/crew is/are the best thing about the cruise. Always smiling and friendly (except the security staff for reasons I don't understand), they make what could otherwise be an average experience great. The public rooms are certainly adequate for the size of the ship. Many were partially refurbished in dry dock. I think that they would have been better off completely refurbishing some of the areas rather than partially refurbishing many of the areas. It left some areas with a mismatch of the old and new decor. Both the cabin stewards and dining area staff tried to provide excellent service and were mostly successful. The flexible dining approach can leave you being passed between waiters in the main dining room if you arrive early, but they handle it well with good communication between the wait staff. The excursions were good, but always expensive relative to other cruise lines or independent arrangements. I think that this is because many NCL promotions provide excursion discounts, but even with the discounts they are more expensive than non-discounted fares from their competitors. Overall, we were satisfied with the value for the money, but that is because we know what we are looking for and know that our priorities are a good match for NCL. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We cruised in a Palace Suite as the All Inclusive offer appealed to us and the cruise fare was not much more than a balcony cabin. The Palace is a private ship within a ship concept, complete with Butler service, drinks included, Palace ... Read More
We cruised in a Palace Suite as the All Inclusive offer appealed to us and the cruise fare was not much more than a balcony cabin. The Palace is a private ship within a ship concept, complete with Butler service, drinks included, Palace speciality restaurant, free wifi and a chance to dine once at the other speciality restaurants on board We pretty much tried everything on board and loved the private Palace pool area which has a huge amount of loungers, mini cabanas etc all of which are hardly used so make for a nice peaceful sanctuary. There are 4 spa pools, two hot and two cold also in this area and there is no shortage of service around the pool area with drinks replenished on a regular basis. The Zook beach club is a neat area and they hold lively parties there at night, a bit like being in a top beach side night club. The ship is 2 years old but still has that brand new immaculate feel about as she is very well maintained. Try the water slides, they are a total rush with various speeds and hair raising drops for the adventurous Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were treated like a "PRINCESS" on this cruise. Choosing Diamond Princess was the best. From the time of Embarkation everything is so well organized. The luggage and checking in, the crews are welcoming. The ship is so ... Read More
We were treated like a "PRINCESS" on this cruise. Choosing Diamond Princess was the best. From the time of Embarkation everything is so well organized. The luggage and checking in, the crews are welcoming. The ship is so clean and huge. Everything is there, shopping, casino, spa, swimming and jacuzzi, plus club danceing. The shore excursion they offered are the best and very organize and worth the money. We went to sign up with Princess organized tour and they pick the best tour for experience and money. Dining at Vivaldi was excellent food choices was great and the waiters are so friendly and hard working people. They always make sure that everyone is well attended and have the best dining experience every night. the pizza bar, the bar, the hamburger are always available in case you get hungry in the middle of the day or the night. Entertainment was awesome there are a lot of choice from dancing, singing, bingo, movies and lot more. The stateroom was amazing, clean well organize and have everything you need. Amazing experience, everyone should experience. Princess Cruise the Best. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
First time on a clipper ship after about 20 other cruise ships from silver seas to celebrity. Exceeded our expectations with excellent food both quality and choice and the drinks were not expensive. Itinerary changed due to the earth ... Read More
First time on a clipper ship after about 20 other cruise ships from silver seas to celebrity. Exceeded our expectations with excellent food both quality and choice and the drinks were not expensive. Itinerary changed due to the earth quakes, but did not affect cruise as we still got to see the Komodo dragons highlight of the cruise and other different islands. Crew and service was some of the best we have experienced. In particular the Russian captain who was always around the ship and joined in dancing with the passengers, a nice touch was him shaking hands with us as we left the ship at the end. Passengers were a good mix of ages 30 to 80 which was a relief as fitted in with us being in our 70s. The nationalities was also a good mix about 8 in all and helped give the ship a party atmosphere in the evenings. We knew not to expect big ship entertainment, but although low key (almost home made) we found very good from crew shows, to a film about Clippers under the stars and an excellent musician Jerby playing keyboard and guitar who got everyone joining in after dinner. Of note should be the German cruise director with a good sense of humour who made a point of saying he was Bavarian not German. If you are in to water activities the 3 staff offered wind surfing, kayaks, paddle boards snorkling and water skiing at all our beach stops, with an on board diving instructor for the enthusiasts. Always enough sun loungers on deck, but obviously you had to move around for shade because of the sails. HIGHLIGHT of the ship was seeing her with all full sails specially rigged up for us to see from the tenders. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018

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