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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Have sailed on most lines over the past 25 years , most recently on Regent, Seabourn, Silversea. We were impressed with the consistently excellent service throughout the ship by the delightful crew. The ship’s ambience is quite serene ... Read More
Have sailed on most lines over the past 25 years , most recently on Regent, Seabourn, Silversea. We were impressed with the consistently excellent service throughout the ship by the delightful crew. The ship’s ambience is quite serene and decor just lovely and comfortable. Food overall is very good. We dined in all of the venues. Our least favorite was the main restaurant due to the noise, confusion, slow service. Guests are squeezed in like sardines and waiters appear breathless as they rush past you bringing plates to the tables. Not a relaxing environment. Our favorite venue was the Chef’s table. On our 5 visits, we received top notch service and food with wine pairings. Entertainment was tastefully done and we thoroughly enjoyed the classical duo. The 4 person dance and singing ensemble were also quite enjoyable and personable, as well. We especially enjoyed Bjorgen. Our steward, Yud, and his assistant were excellent. They kept our suite immaculate and always stocked with whatever we needed. Where Viking failed us is with our cabin (Explorer Suite) in terms of its size and general layout. See separate description as part of this review. Suffice it to say, the designers really failed on this one. We paid top dollar for such an accommodation and we would have been better off spending less and booking a PH category on deck 8. So disappointed being crammed into the over furnished space for two weeks. (And allergies flared up due to moldy massive cushions brought into already cramped space at night.) Included shore excursions were very good for the most part. Wand, of course, the NZ to Australia itinerary is outstanding. Such beautiful countries and the weather was great. Crossing the Tasman Sea (which I feared ) actually wasn’t bad, at all. The ship handles quite well in rocky seas. Overall, we very much enjoyed ourselves and the Viking experience. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This is my second review, but this time focusing on the tours. NCL did a great job putting together tour options in an effort to satisfy a variety of interests. I heard only a few gripes (and I'm not sure these folks would have been ... Read More
This is my second review, but this time focusing on the tours. NCL did a great job putting together tour options in an effort to satisfy a variety of interests. I heard only a few gripes (and I'm not sure these folks would have been happy with anything anyway.) This cruise started in Auckland, NZ and visited Bay of Islands. We stopped in Australia (Sidney, Port Kembla, Airlie Beach, Darwin, and Cairns), Indonesia (Komodo Island, Bali), Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), and ended in Singapore. I selected NCL highlights tours in each port. Port Kembla was a wonderful surprise. The Star was the 4th ship to use this evolving tourist spot. The city came out in full force to help cruisers get around, including giving rides to see the area. We went there as part of an itinerary change that substituted Port Kembla for Brisbane. (See multiple reports of earlier Star engine problems the prior couple of months.) Feedback from cruisers was very positive. Rough seas made the Great Barrier Reef tours a bit dicey for some with some disappointment depending on the location. Just seeing the Australian locations was a reward all by itself. Some folks visited the inside of the Sidney Opera House and heard a little bit of the orchestra rehearsal! Great timing! I opted for the Sidney Harbor Cruise Tour and it was worth every penny! Besides anything in Australia, the visit to Komodo Island was memorable for the hot, sweaty walk and the huge Komodo Dragons we saw. The Bali Arts & Crafts tour included woodworking, bamboo carving, painting, and a visit to a batik manufacturer. The guide was very informative and offered great advice. I totally enjoyed the ride around Kuala Lumpur. Of all of the stops, I believe that this one was the richest in culture. NCL offered several Singapore tours that dropped folks leaving the ship hotel drop-off. They saw the entire island and feedback was great. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Having travelled with Regent seven times before we knew what to expect. No irritating on board charges, signing for drinks or tips - all included. As has been the case on all other Regent cruises the staff were 100% in every respect - ... Read More
Having travelled with Regent seven times before we knew what to expect. No irritating on board charges, signing for drinks or tips - all included. As has been the case on all other Regent cruises the staff were 100% in every respect - attentive, friendly helpful and smart. The restaurant menus are excellent and even more varied. Our cabin which had been refurbished was excellent. The redecorated Compass Rose is lovely - really relaxing. Food at the 11th deck Sette Mari is fabulous - we dined there several times in the 25 days on our cruise segment. The following points for potential improvement must be read in the context that we have already booked our next Regent cruise so they are not 'showstoppers'. Excursions varied - cannot generalise but be careful as to what is chosen - do the homework! Komodo visit - good. Bali overnight - a waste of time and a big disappointment - not Regents fault. However the Bird Garden was worthwhile. Could do with an overnight in Sydney but probably too expensive with Berth fees! The lounges are unchanged and the chairs are uncomfortable but stylish - there could be more consideration to these bearing in mind the age group of the 'regulars'! The cabin balcony chairs could do with an update. Delivery of the main courses and side dishes in Compass Rose could be improved with better coordination. Read Less
81 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We sailed on the January-February 2017 cruise from Aukland to Singapore. The trip was a very mixed experience, with some parts very enjoyable and others quite disappointing. On the positive side, the cabin stewards did a great job, and ... Read More
We sailed on the January-February 2017 cruise from Aukland to Singapore. The trip was a very mixed experience, with some parts very enjoyable and others quite disappointing. On the positive side, the cabin stewards did a great job, and our stateroom was always neat and orderly. We enjoyed the new menu in the Compass Rose dining room, with a wide variety of items always available and daily specials. The evening variety shows were much improved over those on our previous cruises on Regent. The enrichment lectures given by Terry Bishop were outstanding, and we would certainly look for cruises where he was featured. On the negative side, there were several problems. Regent had clearly not planned an adequate number of shore excursions, and in many ports there were just no free excursions available. Every day seemed to have long lines at the Destination Services desk of people trying to book tours, often with no success. they offered the excuse that the ports we visited did not have an adequate infrastructure to accommodate a ship our size but, in talking with local guides, it seems that they had no problem with much larger ships. Many of us felt that Regent management was just cutting their excursion budget and not booking enough tours. After all, the ports we visited in New Zealand and Australia are major cruise ship ports, and infrastructure should not be a problem. In some ports Regent tried to upsell us to paid tours, but we found better and less expensive tours on our own over the internet. The excursions we were able to get were often disappointing, often with a lot of wasted time when we were dropped off in uninteresting towns with little to do for several hours. Our stateroom was also a disappointment. The Voyager was just recently remodeled, but the work appears to have been of less than top quality. The walls in our room creaked loudly whenever the ship moved. We have been on a fair number of cruises, some on rough seas, and while some movement noise is inevitable on ships this was well beyond the ordinary or acceptable. The ship's maintenance staff was able to mitigate the noise to some extent by putting wooden shims between the walls and the ceiling, but surely better ship construction should have made these types of fixes unnecessary. Also, the ship seemed to have a large number of maintenance problems with the plumbing, with several leaks. Some days we had no water for a while and, when it came on , it was black. The Voyager lounge was closed for a while because of water leaks. Due to the leaks on our deck (7), the carpet outside our room had a mildew odor that penetrated our cabin. We were also disappointed in the specialty restaurants, both with regard to food quality and service. The meat in the steak restaurant was not of the quality we have had on previous Regent cruises and, as the trip was in major beef producing countries, this should have not been the situation. In Chartreuse, the newly named French restaurant, the main dishes were disappointing. And service was so slow, beyond leisurely, that even starting the meal at 6:30 or 7:00 we were not finished in time to get to the 9:30 entertainment on time. As this was a longer cruise we had multiple opportunities in each restaurant, and were consistently disappointed and eventually cancelled reservations as we preferred the main dining room. Finally, when we wrote to Norwegian Cruise Lines management expressing our disappointment and our inability to get the promised shore excursions, it took over a month to get a reply from them. This suggests that customer service is not high on their priority list. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Our cruise began in Auckland and finished in our home town of Sydney this was my 4th cruise and my partners first. A first for Azamara for both but my closest taken cruise was with the mother company RCCL. It was port intensive with only ... Read More
Our cruise began in Auckland and finished in our home town of Sydney this was my 4th cruise and my partners first. A first for Azamara for both but my closest taken cruise was with the mother company RCCL. It was port intensive with only 2 full sea days which I thought was fabulous as I don't cruise to just sail about I want to see the new country that I am visiting so good on Azamara for excellent planning. So how did it compare well most of all I would have to say and was far better then on the Rhapsody mainly because of it small size. What made that better everyone was close and friendly the staff seemed to be free to talk to passengers which made the experience so much nicer then on larger ships. It made making friendships so much easier as if you talked one day you could be sure to meet again the next day on larger ships you sometimes never see people again. The food which on ships seems more important then when on land was very good quality the serves were small but when offered so many courses who needs large serves. I personally never had a bad meal. What I will comment is that although I only had one specialty meal I really couldn't see the value Prime C served very similar meals to the main dining and when paying US$25 extra pp I couldn't see enough difference to get me back again. Cleanliness our room was always kept very clean by our cabin staff. The cleaning staff were always cleaning stairways etc and the antibacterial wash was placed in all eateries as well as gangways and shorelines to try to keep all bugs at bay. The first 48hrs no one could serve themselves food until the all clear from medical staff. These measures worked as no one became ill unlike other lines in recent months. The only comment I can make is that windows were not cleaned whilst in port and they were very salt stained making clear vision difficult. I felt maybe this was because they will go into dry dock shortly and the surrounds were rusted so maybe cleaning was not so easy without spreading rust. Entertainment this is what was lacking for me. It came nowhere near RCCL most of the choices made were soloists and they were either lacklustre or not really showcased to their advantage. The production shows were good I enjoyed them as there was colour action and variety. The deck parties were also great for the same reason. I enjoyed both Polynesian performances on board as culture is what travel should be about. The Azamazing Night was a little disappointing for this reason as although I loved the quartet they had the traditional Maori culture could have played a much bigger part. Excursions well I only booked one through the ship they were terribly expensive some 3 times what private parties offer. I don't know why ships do this as if they were more realistic in price you would never look outside for better value I booked 3 outside money lost to Azamara. In fairness to them the one I did do was enjoyable organized well but at least $50 to 60 to much. I did however really want to catch one of NZ trains and the other on offer was plain straight out prohibitive for us because of the price. Room size in a word SMALL ours was the budget inside so I wasn't expecting much but is was even smaller then I imagined I saw inside some of the balcony suites and they were still small compared to RCCL. However I will say if room size is the most important thing for you maybe cruises is not something you should do as I would never spend much time in a room unless ill. Overall I think for the mature market please note I do mean not suitable for families or young Azamara offers a great deal it may seem more expensive to begin with but all is inclusive except excursion. There is no quota on drinks which I understand does happen on some lines. So plenty for all being food or drink. Yes rooms are small but currently there are enough places to sit elsewhere. I think the ship will seem much more 21st Century after the refit so those joining the Journey and soon the Quest will be pleased with what they find. I will recommend this ship to my friends and family and I would love to return in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
I'm a first time cruiser but won't be in a rush to return. The Pacific Pearl was just okay! Alot of the staff were friendly but quite a few were rude and some were nonchalant and unhappy. The evening entertainment was moderate ... Read More
I'm a first time cruiser but won't be in a rush to return. The Pacific Pearl was just okay! Alot of the staff were friendly but quite a few were rude and some were nonchalant and unhappy. The evening entertainment was moderate to terrible. I had to leave one show after 15 minutes it was so crap. Also, the cruise director was very annoying, repeating herself every evening on stage. The ship has two small spas/jacuzzi's which was a squash for more than 8 people and it would have been good if they were either bigger or they had a few more of them. We ate dinner at the Waterfront Restaurant one evening but the risotto was completely bland and the pizza was disgusting. Because of this we ate at the only other free restaurant, The Plantation, every day. But after 6-7 days I was sick of the options for each sitting as the breakfast was always the same, lunch the same and dinner the same each day. My travel companion had been on a Princess cruise a few months ago which she couldn't stop raving about and comparing against the Pacific Pearl. She felt the Princess cruise was 5 out of 5 and the Pacific Pearl only 3 out of 5 at best. Due to a cyclone heading toward New Caledonia we couldn't go to Lifou or Noumea understandably but there was no compensation at all like a glass of wine or a credit to each cabins account. A few positives to end the review: we had a great cabin: big porthole, comfortable beds, wardrobe space with coat hangers, tons of drawer space. The gym is good with plenty of equipment for a ship. Basically, if you want to go on a cruise maybe avoid the Pacific Pearl and try a Princess ship instead. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
PRINCESS CRUISES DIAMOND PRINCESS When we booked our 35 day cruise, taking us some 13,000 miles from Auckland to Beijing with 16 stops in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and China we wondered how Princess could meet ... Read More
PRINCESS CRUISES DIAMOND PRINCESS When we booked our 35 day cruise, taking us some 13,000 miles from Auckland to Beijing with 16 stops in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and China we wondered how Princess could meet the standards we have experienced on Cunard and Holland America at a cost of only £140 per person per day on a magnificent ship and in a mini suite with one of the largest balconies imaginable. The answer is they can't and they make little pretence of trying to. That is not to say the cruise -- which we thoroughly enjoyed -- wasn't good value. But it's a distinctly downmarket product. One gets a sense of this with the first cup of coffee. The mugs in the Lido (or the Horizon Court as Princess calls it) are melamine, as are the plates. And the coffee is pretty much undrinkable. The food there is however, very good. Bland, of course, but varied and with simple things done well. I would rate their production of breakfast as highly as anything we've experienced at sea with first class eggs, excellent corned beef hash and lean English bacon alongside the crispy American variety. The Lido is really where Princess put most of their catering effort and, in their defence, they are responding to what customers want. Huge portions are the priority and day after day, meal after meal, we watched cruisers fill the enormous oval dinner plates with massive helpings. Not surprisingly, many of the cruisers were as massive as the portions they loaded onto their plates. But in the formal restaurant, things are disappointing. Formal dining may not last much longer on Princess. On the second, 8.15 sitting, we sat in a frequently half full restaurant where the service was very good but where the food was largely mediocre and sometimes simply poor. If only it had matched the quality of the prose on the menu. One night, between Hong Kong and Taiwan, the six of us ordered Rib Eye steaks which were huge in size but with so much gristle that not one of us would have paid for them in a restaurant. The beef was almost always lacking in flavour and the kitchen perpetually struggled to produce steaks or prime rib which met our requirements. One night, medium rare beef would be nearly blue and on another almost well done. Vegetables were sad, the soups inevitably uninspiring and everything was served with far too much salt. We drank so much water at dinner that we always left the table feeling bloated. There are good things about Diamond Princess. The ship is magnificent with six pools and eighteen bars and its size meant that it coped superbly with some unusually difficult weather including, at one point, 30-foot seas and a force ten gale. The staff are always well presented, always wonderfully welcoming, and we found the bar staff outstanding. The Crooners Bar produces Margaritas to die for. But the entertainment was generally very poor with puerile comedians and two Cruise Directors convinced that their job was all about presenting an imbecilic morning show on stateroom TV. Movies Under The Stars provided an exception. The picture quality was good, the sound quality excellent and this was a delightful way to watch the cinema late at night. The cabins are the usual high quality. We had D736 a mini suite but designed for disabled customers and with two beds which would not easily fit together. But by compensation we had a huge bathroom and a magnificent balcony of double the normal size and with views to the rear as well out to sea. We had just one cabin steward who had to cope with twenty rooms on his own and we soon realised that it was impossible for him to respond promptly or sometimes at all to additional requests. The customer base is a little different to our previous experiences on Cunard and Holland America. There was little formality and only a minority of men wore tuxedos on the half dozen formal nights. On the other nights smart casual really meant that anything goes, including shorts and lots of blue denim jeans worn by men who were old enough to know better. Baseball caps in the formal dining room were a common sight. So our verdict on Princess? Good value but this is an economy product. Nothing wrong with that. But if you have enjoyed the standards of lines like Cunard or HAL (even though they might cost more) you'll find Princess seriously lacking. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2008
We have just returned from a fabulous 30 day journey on Regent Seven Seas Voyager. I booked last minute from Regent  and was offered an F category at H pricing. We booked just 10 days (Auckland to Sydney) with a 3 day pre cruise stay in ... Read More
We have just returned from a fabulous 30 day journey on Regent Seven Seas Voyager. I booked last minute from Regent  and was offered an F category at H pricing. We booked just 10 days (Auckland to Sydney) with a 3 day pre cruise stay in Auckland. The flight, the hotel, all handled by Regent, was perfect (albeit eCONOMY CLASS) BUT aIR New Zealand is a wonderful airline, so it wasn't too bad. (oVERNIGHT FLIGHT OUT OF lOS Angeles, non stop to Auckland...around 13 hours) ONCE ON THE SHIP, we couldn't resist extending, so we met with the cRUISE CONSULTANT ONBOARD, who worked hard to make it happen (again at the same discounted pricing)and before we knew it, our 10 day voyage turned into 30 wonderful days! The seas were rough, but we were mid ship on deck 8 and it didn't bother us too much. sINCE THIS IS PART OF A WORLD CRUISE, the passengers were older than we have travelled with on other Regent sailings.....We are in our late 50's, and have found the Regent trips to the Med and Tahiti to attract a younger crowd. Food was superb in all of the restaurants. The wine flowed (DECENT LABELS EVERY MEAL INCLUDED) and the gifts from Regent on each segment were very nice. We each received leather credit card/ cases and nice wool and leather travel bags. Customer service was the best ever: the stewardess was exceptional, the wait staff professional and courteous, and the maitre d/s in each restaurant went our of their way to accommodate. We don;t like the formal nights (there were 4) BUT THE SERVICE AND MENU IN COMPASS ROSE ON THE FORMAL NIGHTS was the best we've had. tHE ITINERARY WAS relatively active: about 6 total days at sea in the entire 30 day voyage. Weather was not very good in AUSTRALIA AND WE HAD SNOW IN jAPAN. Yet I can still say it was the Best cruise we've ever taken thanks to Regent and the wonderful job they do keeping the passengers happy! We have already booked the President's Cruise for May of 09 (23 nights Ft Lauderdale to London, and can not wait to get back with this amazing ship and crew! Read Less

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