18 Auckland Luxury Cruise Reviews

Since we first started cruising, about 4 years ago, we always wanted to try Cunard and see what the real difference was at this level of cruising. This was our 15th cruise so we have a few ships to compare it to. First impressions were ... Read More
Since we first started cruising, about 4 years ago, we always wanted to try Cunard and see what the real difference was at this level of cruising. This was our 15th cruise so we have a few ships to compare it to. First impressions were amazing. Gorgeous decor, lovely stateroom, beautiful rooms to relax in, we were very impressed. On sailing might, we went to the Verndah restaurant which was first class, even the following night in the Britannia dining room, the food and service were top notch as was the first couple of shows that we went to in the main theatre. At this point of the cruise this was 'best cruise ever' material. Then we came to Sydney and 1700 people disembarked, with 1700 new people embarking and for what we could see a lot of first time cruisers, getting the chance to experience Cunard at a reasonably lower cost, given that this was only a 5 day cruise, to Tasmania and back. The whole vibe of the ship changed, people were older loud, rude and obnoxious, the English Pub was always full, so Trivia was standing room only, the buffet was full and almost impossible to get a seat there for breakfast. There were many old people with scooters and walking frames. I have never seen people with walking frames on a disco floor, but I guess there is a first time for everything and good on them for giving it a go! We really were ready to disembark after 9 days, a first for us. All in all QE is a beautiful ship with first class food and service but maybe it's that we are just not old enough. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We had been planning a trip to New Zealand and Australia for a long time. It involved a lot of research. During our land tour travels in Europe and Morocco we had met many Aussies and Kiwis and have kept in touch with many. We researched ... Read More
We had been planning a trip to New Zealand and Australia for a long time. It involved a lot of research. During our land tour travels in Europe and Morocco we had met many Aussies and Kiwis and have kept in touch with many. We researched many ways of visiting both NZ and Australia. Considering the long travel time to them from the East coast, it became apparent that the easiest way was to take a cruise that would include both New Zealand and the eastern coast of Australia. The end of April the year prior to this trip we took a river cruise with Viking. It was their “Tulips and Windmills”, which included the annual Tulip Festival in Amsterdam. It happen to be one my wife’s “Bucket List” items, so we signed up. We were very impressed by the service, food, land tours, accommodations and the 190 passenger and age limitation of no one under 18 years old. So we decided that we would concentrate on a New Zealand/Australian cruise for 2019 with Viking. Prior to the Viking river cruise we only did land tours. We felt cruising didn’t provide an in depth view or feel of a country’s culture and attributes. However, as we progressed further into retirement it became apparent that land touring became more demanding. Secondly, my wife had several back operations that had limited her mobility. So having a consistent and comfortable “home base” along with comfortable air travel on trips greater than 6 hours became important considerations. Now that we decided on the trip more research was required to determine dates, air travel, accommodations and tours offerings. The first thing was to determine the best time of year for the trip. Since we are both retired we concentrated on the Southern Hemisphere’s Spring (Sept. - Dec.) or Fall (Feb. - June). We decided on the Fall considering rainfall, temperatures and the fact we were heading North to the equator. We soon discovered that no cruise line, including Viking, included New Zealand and a complete Eastern Australia itinerary. There was a Sojourn Cruise that started in Bangkok, Thailand and ended in Auckland, NZ. However, after reviewing the itinerary we decided that the tours and time at sea on the Bangkok to Bali leg was something we could eliminate. So we decided to combine two of the three cruise legs with Viking - Auckland to Sydney and Sydney to Bali. The Sydney-Bali leg included a tour to see the Komodo Dragons and the highly publicized resort area of Bali. We wanted to start our trip in Auckland, NZ. Luckily, there was a reverse of the Sojourn cruise on the same ship, the Orion, with legs starting in Auckland and ending in Bali that started the end of February. The Orion was a brand new ship, on its second voyage and the crown of the Viking ships at the time. It had a planetarium, which was not available on another ship on any cruise line. So now we were down to airline reservations and ship accommodations. As I stated earlier, my wife had back surgeries that effected her mobility, so airline and ship accommodations became important. The ship accommodations were pretty straight forward. A Penthouse Jr. Suite provided the best option of space and services. The suite size on Viking, 425 ft2, comes with a double sink vanity and full shower bathroom and is or is one of the largest on any cruise line. It also had a movable divider between the sitting and bed areas, which allowed my wife get up in middle of the night without disturbing me. Now for the most difficult part, airline reservations. First of all, not all all of the major airlines provide service to Auckland, NZ. I normally handle our airline reservations myself and use Delta, which has a home base in Atlanta. However, researching schedules and rates I found that the Viking Premium Air service, Business Class, was cheaper and handled the disembarking and airport transfer in Bali. Secondly, we decided to arrive into Auckland 4 days/3 nights earlier than our embarkation date. I made and got confirmed dates to stay at the Wharf Apartments($185 US) for 3 nights thru Expedia. It was a 1 BR with a full kitchen in the center of the restaurant and business district and on the water. It was also located just 3 piers down from our embarkation on Viking. Via the internet I also made transfer arrangements from the airport - $38 US for 2 to our rental. However, I was unaware that Southeast Asia was a new area for Viking and airfare contracts were not as fully developed as with cruises in the Europe, U.K. and Mediterranean. The first choice provided by Viking Premium Air was absolutely horrible. The flight to Auckland was 33 hrs with a 4 hour layover in Sydney and an unconfirmed final flight to Auckland arriving at 4 pm, losing a whole day. The flight from Bali to Atlanta was even worse. It left at midnight before we scheduled to disembark that day. That flight went Dubai - Boston- Atlanta for a total of 34 hours with a layover in Boston and unconfirmed flight to Atlanta. So after many phone calls and an addition $200 each we got flights to Auckland for a total of 20 hrs. direct and arriving 10 am. The return flight was 23 hrs. So I guess all’s well that ended well. The flight from LAX to Auckland was 13.5 hrs. on a Boeing 787. The lay flat seats on it are the best I’ve flown. I’m 6’2” and was able to be comfortable. The ankle area was not constricted like other airplanes. In addition, a Casper mattress and linens were used. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose Azamara and this itinerary based on the recommendation of friends who did it a couple of years. ago. We too weren't notified of the change of embarkation point, but noticed the ship in the "wrong port" the night ... Read More
We chose Azamara and this itinerary based on the recommendation of friends who did it a couple of years. ago. We too weren't notified of the change of embarkation point, but noticed the ship in the "wrong port" the night before from the roof top bar of our hotel. Sailing on smaller ships is a great experience. More attention from crew and an altogether sense of community familiarity that just happens among the passengers. We had a balcony room, midship on the deck 6. It was very comfortable and the small shower was adequate. Because of weather or just being out and about we really didn't use the balcony much but it was nice to have. The crew was always attentive, the entertainment very, very good, and most meals were well prepared. However more attention should be given to timing and suggestions as when to eat in the dining rooms if you want to make a show. Any time after 7.15pm creates a rush. Prime C was a disappointment, the food was just ok, the service slow and the room needs to be refurbished. Aqualina though did not disappoint. My only other comment on the food was that there way too much. Something was always there, available and too inviting. We did several exercise classes. More thought needs to given to the space required as many were popular and people couldn't participate. However they were advertised as 45 minutes, but most were barely 30. The Amazing Evening in Melbourne was in a beautiful recital hall with a performance by a top Australian vocal artist. Very enjoyable. The White Night was well done, the production performers professional and personable. Dancing in the Living Room to the Sound Sensations became a nightly destination for us. The crossing to New Zealand was a day and a half of rough seas, but part of cruising. But we found there were too many sea days, especially when they were back to back. All the ports provided something to do, some more that others. Napier was special and unique with its art deco architecture. We don't do cruise sponsored shore excursions. We find better value and choice is always available at the port. Cruise lines ask you think about the environment when using towels, etc, but they don't do anything about the amount of newsletters, brochures, invitations and sale announcements they produce. There must be better and more efficient ways to communicate to your guests and cut down on paper useage. It was ridiculous on this cruise. Overall, there is no reason not to consider Azamara for fun and enjoyable experience. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This trip should b a no brainer for SS, but it's not. To many little issues turn into stupidity. Examples, a Milk shake in US is made with ice cream and milk, they use no milk but use ice. Very difficult to explain how to make ... Read More
This trip should b a no brainer for SS, but it's not. To many little issues turn into stupidity. Examples, a Milk shake in US is made with ice cream and milk, they use no milk but use ice. Very difficult to explain how to make since there order system doesn’t allow explanations. The restaurants have a set menu, which means no different meals. Oceania, Regent, Crystal all have new menus for dinner every day, they also post outside what that nights menu is. The food is good but trying to customize a meal is difficult as you must order at least 24 hrs in advance. All, except 2 restaurants, must have a reservation, even though they are not filled. With empty tables at 8PM, you cannot just walk in. When we boarded we were told we needed an Australian Visa...but why wasn’t that notification made prior to boarding? So, request was made by Muse, but they applied to agency other than govnmt. Which charged more than double, notification was made about the problem and I was told I had to solve it. Fortunately others had same problem, so Muse handled the problem. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - Auckland NZ to Sydney AUS - and over Christmas/New Year's holidays. We've done about 50 cruises in the last 20 years on a number of lines. Most recently we took three cruises on Crystal ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary - Auckland NZ to Sydney AUS - and over Christmas/New Year's holidays. We've done about 50 cruises in the last 20 years on a number of lines. Most recently we took three cruises on Crystal but began to notice things slipping as they seem to have lost sight of their core cruise business as they have expanded. So we were eager to see what Silversea had to offer. The service aboard the ship is uniformly top-notch. We never encountered anyone who wasn't eager to please and go out of their way to assist. The ports of call were all very interesting and the shore excursions we chose were enjoyable and informative. The ship, while recently updated, is nevertheless showing her age. Furnishings were all current and well-maintained. But it still comes across as somewhat dowdy. We did find the size of the ship to be ideal; it was easy to get anywhere easily. We dined most evenings in the main Restaurant and found the food to be well-prepared and presented. There was a bit of overlap with similar dishes cropping up on several occasions (duck, goose, etc.). The soups were superb. Bread seemed a bit less perfect and the breadsticks on the tables were usually stale. The appetizers were the least inspired - everything is either tartare or carpaccio from meats to vegetables. Nice pastas and vegetarian selections. We also appreciated the fact that the menus were delivered to our suite every evening for the next day's lunch and dinner. Lots of press given to "La Dame” (nee Le Champagne), a Relais & Chateaux specialty restaurant. This was a big disappointment in almost every sense. The service was slow and the asst waiter could not answer any questions about the menu other than to recite what was printed on the menu. Simple questions like is the glaze on the duck breast sweet or savory. Quite odd considering that the menu does not change. The Dover sole was rolled up pieces of sole, overcooked. And the lobster was adrift at sea in a puree of green peas and mint. Perhaps a riff on mushy peas but misbegotten, nonetheless. The wines served were pretty generic - we overheard passengers at a nearby table complaining that they were "supermarket” grade. In general, we found the wines served at every venue in the ship to be less than distinguished. While focused on European and local vintages, they have very little to offer in the way of Californian, South American, African or other wines. After trying virtually everything they brought out, we found ourselves longing for anything with some oomph. We resorted to purchasing wines on several occasions from the Connoisseur's list - and maybe that was the underlying intent. The room service breakfast menu is the most extensive we have ever seen and we enjoyed breakfast in our cabin (Medallion Suite) every morning. Our butler was regular as clockwork with ice and canapes in the afternoon. Our suite was extremely spacious and had an unbelievable amount of storage space in addition to the huge walk-in closet. All in all, this was one of the most enjoyable cruises we have taken - in part due to the itinerary but also to the high level of service we received. We would do Silversea again if the itinerary and schedule were appropriate but I am not certain we would venture to try "La Dame” again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Looking for cruise in warmer location in the winter. Never visited NZ/AUS. Heard good things about Oceania. Liked small ship. Regatta is "Old" but we did not notice any particular defects. We had two ports cancelled due to ... Read More
Looking for cruise in warmer location in the winter. Never visited NZ/AUS. Heard good things about Oceania. Liked small ship. Regatta is "Old" but we did not notice any particular defects. We had two ports cancelled due to stormy weather for safety reasons. Disappointing but beyond control of Oceania. Cost of missed tours was refunded. No mechanical problems that we were aware of. Embarkation went smoothly. We had priority boardung due to cabin location. Fairly large que for concierge class and below at the check in. Rooms onboard not ready until about 1:30 PM. Everyone ends up in the buffet line until room is ready. Cabin air conditioning somewhat loud, but not overpowering. We did not find the electric outlets a problem. All of our plugin equipment worked on 220V. Room came with a Laptop computer. This device is only useful for using the internet. It can't upload any personal files (thumb drive) or save anything like camera downloads. So, bring your own laptop if you need to do any serious work. Overall a positive experience. Would book Oceania again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
My wife and I chose Oceania because the company had a good reputation among some of our friends, who are seasoned travelers. We had been satisfied with previous cruise lines, i.e., Crystal, but Oceania had the best travel time for us. Our ... Read More
My wife and I chose Oceania because the company had a good reputation among some of our friends, who are seasoned travelers. We had been satisfied with previous cruise lines, i.e., Crystal, but Oceania had the best travel time for us. Our excitement of seeing the Regatta from the outside gave way to gross disappointment when first taking in the so-called renovated interior. It had a very dated appearance, reminiscent of the first cruise we took 43 years ago. This view was shared by all of our many friends, whom we were fortunate enough to meet on board. Apparently, the other Oceania ships are nicer. That being said, the ship was spotlessly clean. Our stewards were a highlight of the trip and basically served as our private concierges. Otherwise, service was a mixed bag. By in large, it was excellent throughout, but with several glitches. For example, we requested morning coffee in our cabin. The waiters were as nice as could be, yet we often had to call several times because our order had been forgotten. In another instance, a sommelier had total screwed up our bill that we had to stay for an extra 20 minutes till he tried unsuccessfully to straight it out. Many of our friends did not like the food, but we did. Helping size was small but typically we can always ask for more. We are both fish eaters and were astonished to find out that they rarely served fresh fish. As a result frozen lobsters were terrible. We complained to the head chefs in 2 restaurants, who noted that it was company policy? Yet, huge fish markets at most ports. Humm! The speciality restaurants (Polo and Toscano) were hardly special. All fluff with no stuff. Menus did not change. 2 bad entrees there! Indian and Asian buffets were exceptional with legitimate native choices. Wine was good with a large selection and rather inexpensive! Passengers were disappointed that the ship did not dock at Akoroa (Christ Church) and we bypassed Milford Sound, ostensibly because of bad weather. No fault of of the ship unless the captain made a bad choice. The costs of excursions were out of sight and inflexible. We booked only one trip with Oceania for a 10 hour drive along the Great Ocean Road in Geelong. Because my wife wasn’t feeling well, we had to cx, but they would not return money even though there was a waiting list. Shame on them! Fortunately, I had made reservations in all of the other ports with private companies at a fraction of the Oceania cost and greater flexibility We were very pleased with global Viator and local Zealandier. Both were communicative and provided great tour guides. Opting for the WiFi package saved us a lot of money, but the bandwidth was weak and no more than one device can be used at a time. Ancient! Entertainment was good to excellent, even though the showman always catered to an older audience. Enrichment activities were inadequate. The ship needs at least one nationally recognized presenter per cruise. The laundry room was a disaster! Only 3 operating washer-dryers for 600+ passengers. 3 hours to wash underwear in a small hot room with guests who paid a lot of money needing to sit on the floor! Really? The bottom line is that we like cruising will not ever use Oceania. The value is overrated! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I was looking for a small ship cruise that would not have children dominating the pool and amenities so my Travel Agent recommended Azamara. Overall my wife and I enjoyed our NZ cruise very much, with superb service, unlimited cabin ... Read More
I was looking for a small ship cruise that would not have children dominating the pool and amenities so my Travel Agent recommended Azamara. Overall my wife and I enjoyed our NZ cruise very much, with superb service, unlimited cabin service, wonderful dining and a quiet veranda cabin we were set. On the down side the bathroom was too small for us and the balcony tight without room for a recliner couch. The ship had gone through a major refurbishment in 2016 (I think) so was immaculate. I would recommend upgrading to a better drinks package if you are a scotch drinker for instance. The basic beer and spirits are as described, very basic with only a choice of two beers. The pool and spa were wonderful with constant waiter service. I cannot express strongly enough the wonderful well trained staff on the Azamara Journey. My wife is sight impaired so her escort by a happy smiling staff member to dinner was always a treat. My only real complaint is the ship does not sell DUTY FREE liquour so buy your booze at the airport during transit or you will be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and the fact that it went to Milford Sound. The day we were in Milford Sound was amazing. The normally shrouded in clouds location was bright and sunny and clear, which made viewing of the glaciers, ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary and the fact that it went to Milford Sound. The day we were in Milford Sound was amazing. The normally shrouded in clouds location was bright and sunny and clear, which made viewing of the glaciers, mountains, waterfalls just spectacular. Oceania does a very good job in many areas. Food is always beautifully presented and delicious. The selections are varied. What we had issues with on this cruise were our cabin location (read below), the VERY SLOW internet, the choice of a couple of ports that were nothing ports when we could have or should have spent an overnight in Sydney or Bribane or Auckland, rather than Eden, Cooktown, which we missed anyway due to rough seas for the tender, and Darwin. Cost of a cocktail with an automatic 18% upcharge is just not right especially when a martini or Cosmo is served in a 1/2 pour baby glass unless you get it in "Martini's" lounge. Staff was outstanding. Entertainment so so. Ship was clean but they were varnishing the stair railings so you had to put up with that smell for most of the cruise. I would take another Oceania cruise as we like their itineraries and the low number of passengers. Everyone we met was well traveled and lovely. There were only 2 children on this cruise and they were on the 180 day around the world cruise. We were only on for a 23 day segment. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose the Auckland to Bali leg of the Insignia`s world cruise and were very happy with itinerary, Milford sound being a particular delight. The ship`s staff were universally helpful and friendly, the food just about the best of our 20 ... Read More
We chose the Auckland to Bali leg of the Insignia`s world cruise and were very happy with itinerary, Milford sound being a particular delight. The ship`s staff were universally helpful and friendly, the food just about the best of our 20 or so cruises, and the wine package reasonable. Having cruised on the larger Riviera we prefer the latter not least for the more roomy public areas and theatre, the latter on the Insignia suffeing from a petty flat floor and therefore restricted vews. This would have been a 5 star rating if it hadn`t been for three issues : - our package included free wifi - fortunate as this was very limited although one passenger did confirm it was better at 2.00 am in the morning. We were also restricted to only one device at a time meaning constantly switching between my wife and me - it was good to have a shuttle bus service in most ports where necessary, problem was that Oceania chose the low cost povider meaning erratic service with one wait of an hour for a 30 minute service. It was noticeable that the Princess line ship in two ports had a more regular timetable and better buses - and for a lower cost line come to that - were disembarked at Bali at 08.30, at the airport by 09.15 to find our airline desk not open until 16.00 hours resulting in a long wait in a hot airport with limited facilities and no possibility to go to the lounge which we had booked. On other cruises we have had the option to be transferred to a local hotel for the day with regular transfers to the airport, some free and other with a charge which we would have gladly paid. Not the way to end an enjoyable holiday with a long flight in prospect. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Having taken two earlier cruises with Seabourn, on the Odyssey and the Sojourn, we were excited to sail on the cruise line's latest ship, the 600 passenger Encore. Overall, the experience was great, the crew as always was friendly ... Read More
Having taken two earlier cruises with Seabourn, on the Odyssey and the Sojourn, we were excited to sail on the cruise line's latest ship, the 600 passenger Encore. Overall, the experience was great, the crew as always was friendly and attentive, though we did have some issues with service that we attributed to this being a new ship and new crew. Ship One of our concerns in moving from Seabourn's 450 passenger ships to the larger Encore was crowding. Fortunately, this was almost never an issue. The public spaces like Seabourn Square and the pool area were enlarged, so we almost always able to grab a chair or a chaise lounge. The overall design of the ship is similar to the others in the Seabourn fleet, but classier, with more artwork and more dark woods. Cabin We has a V5 level cabin. As on prior voyages with Seabourn, we found the cabin to be exceptional, offering plenty of space and amenities. Large king size bed, seating area for 4 people, walk in closet, bathroom with two sinks, a shower and a tub - can't ask for more. While the cabin on the Encore was rated as the same size as those on the Odyssey and Sojourn (300 sq ft), we thought the Encore cabin was slightly thinner but longer. And Seabourn had replaced the bleached wood on the Odyssey and Sojourn with cherry. The 50 sq ft, balcony, with a table and two chairs, also got a lot of use. Ports and Shore Excursions Our 16 day cruise encompassed several ports in New Zealand and Australia. This was a great way to see these countries, as the distances between ports would make a land trip challenging. In New Zealand, we visited the big cities of Auckland and Wellington along with several smaller ports - Tauranga, Napier, Picton, Akoroa, Dunedin, and Stewart Island - and a cruise through the Fiorland National Park, including the stunning Milford Sound. All of the ports were interesting. The smaller ports in particular were much better than we had anticipated - each showing off their individual charm. In Australia, we visited Melbourne, Geelong (a suburb of Melbourne) and Sydney. All three stops were great; Sydney in particular deserves its reputation as a great city to visit. We purchased excursions for five ports and each one was excellent, both for what we were able to see as well as for the enthusiastic tour guides. Tauranga - we took the excursion to Hobbiton, about a 30 minute ride from the port. For fans of the movies, this is a must. An outdoor movie set of the Shire. Much larger and more elaborate than expected. Picton - we took the excursion to the vineyards of Marlborough, visiting the Cloudy Bay and Wither Hills wineries. Both stops were great. This excursion also included a stop at a local home with an elaborate English garden, which was well worth the visit. Oban, Stewart Island - we took the excursion that gives you the highlights of the island, which lays south of New Zealand's South Island. Can't say enough good things about Stewart Island. Alot of beauty, not alot of people. Geelong - we took the excursion to the Aboriginal Cultural Center; unstated in the description, we also got an overview of the waterfront and town of Geelong. Both stops were quite instructive. Geelong has a wonderful waterfront dotted with artwork. The Aboriginal Cultural Center was quite informative. Dining The Encore has two new restaurants for Seabourn - The Grill by Thomas Keller and Sushi. Both fell short of delivering an exciting culinary experience. The Grill by Thomas Keller presented dishes created by the famous chef. Having eaten at Per Se in NY and at Bouchon in Beverly Hills, we were excited about what Keller would come up with for Seabourn. While the food was excellent, it was not exciting or daring. Frankly, we missed the tasting menu from Seabourn's Restaurant 2. Sushi offered bento boxes at lunch and sushi at dinner. Being so close to Asia, the limited menu was a disappointment. The Encore's main Restaurant was bigger and more airy than on the older ships. The food, as always, was excellent. Service A word about dining service - at times, especially early in the cruise, it was slow. It seemed as if the kitchen was still getting its sea legs, so to speak. Also, at dinner, if you ordered wine, the wine steward would stop by our table frequently to refill our glasses. But if we ordered water or a soda, we could not get a refill without flagging someone down. Seabourn appears not to have assigned anyone to refill water glasses. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My dad was stationed in New Caledonia during WW II and I grew up sorting shells he brought home and later looking at his scrapbooks. I was delighted to see it firsthand. Vanuatu was a bonus and turned out to be a highlight. The shore ... Read More
My dad was stationed in New Caledonia during WW II and I grew up sorting shells he brought home and later looking at his scrapbooks. I was delighted to see it firsthand. Vanuatu was a bonus and turned out to be a highlight. The shore excursions were excellent, especially the ports in Vanuatu. Being exposed to different cultures is important to me and the islands seemed very authentic and much more exotic than I expected. My only criticism was the use of the naturalists. On other cruises we have always enjoyed lectures by professors and experts on the area, that included historians as well as naturalists. Some of the lectures were quite good, others were almost insultingly basic. And there was almost no information given about the history of the islands and their place in the world today. I also would have appreciated more information on the people of the islands from an anthropologic viewpoint. With a couple of exception, the naturalists were not very visible on the excursions, it would have been good to have more direct contact with them. One of the things I appreciated most was the organization on board, you did an excellent job at that, from the lifeboat drills on. The food was quite good in the second floor restaurant, not so much on the 6th floor. But the wait staff was terrific. We also had contact with the medical staff, sadly, but they were very responsive and helpful Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
The ship is in excellent shape now that it has aged a bit. The cabins seem smaller than the 242 sq. feet advertised. Oceania is now being cheap with soap and shampoo--not exactly what you expect from a luxury cruise. Other than that, the ... Read More
The ship is in excellent shape now that it has aged a bit. The cabins seem smaller than the 242 sq. feet advertised. Oceania is now being cheap with soap and shampoo--not exactly what you expect from a luxury cruise. Other than that, the cabin steward was efficient. Since this is the 3rd time on the Marina for us, there were no surprises until the last day. The food and service in the specialty restaurants is superb and you can eat there almost every night if you wish. Just phone reservations at 9 AM and you will get a seat. The MDR had a lot better food than last cruise but the service is spotty. Entertainment is a weak point for Oceania. One great show featuring Tahitian dancers the last night was it. Anyone who buys one of Oceania's shore excursions has more money than brains. They were often less well done than ones you arrange through Cruise Critic roll call or by yourself and 4 times the price. Ridiculous. This was my second time in the South Pacific and other than New Zealand, prepare to be hot and humid. Its OK at sea but on land, it is really draining. Oceania's air deviation service was a total rip off. I booked to take off at a cost of an extra $350 for the 2 of us with Air France in the morning. Somehow, even though I had a seat, they were overbooked and was bumped to the flight at midnight I was trying to avoid. Complaining to Oceania's Guest Relations has resulted in no response whatsoever. With the ship overnighting in port, They basically abandoned us to fend for ourselves in 90 degree heat We missed our hotel at LAX and our connection the next morning and with all flights booked for the rest of the day, spent another night in LA. What a terrible end to what had been a nice cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My husband and I just returned from 13 day itinerary New Zealand and Sydney, Australia. We loved the more intimate smaller cruise, enjoying the ship, getting on and off, longer port days all pluses with less passengers. The staff were all ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from 13 day itinerary New Zealand and Sydney, Australia. We loved the more intimate smaller cruise, enjoying the ship, getting on and off, longer port days all pluses with less passengers. The staff were all very accommodating, and kept all public areas and our room extremely clean. The specialty restaurants had more interesting choices, and executed miles above the main dining room. There were always choices for breakfast and lunch, and the grill available in the afternoon worked well for us, especially after returning from tours. It was a shame that our cruise was one of the last before going in to be updated. Luck of booking when we did. I usually book my tour excursions privately and have always found doing it this way saves substantial money. We did use the cruise tour in one port and it was very good, small number of other passengers, great guides. We would definitely book again with Azamara but only if the itinerary interested us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Seabourn uses all manner of glorious adjectives to describe their cruises, and on our recent 17-day trip from Auckland to Sydney aboard Odyssey, they came close to their advertising. The ship, which resembles a yacht, is beautiful from the ... Read More
Seabourn uses all manner of glorious adjectives to describe their cruises, and on our recent 17-day trip from Auckland to Sydney aboard Odyssey, they came close to their advertising. The ship, which resembles a yacht, is beautiful from the outside. Inside, it's attractive, easy to get round in, and well-organized. The main dining rooms, with low ceilings, are not as well decorated as one might expect. Other public areas and outside decks are roomy. We were full, with about 450 guests, but we weren't crowded. We seldom waited more than a few seconds for an elevator. We always had space in the whirlpools and access to lounge chairs. The suites, while not huge, are very attractive and comfortable with a sofa, two chairs, a table, a bed, a walk-in closet, a very small dressing stand, and plenty of storage space. The bathrooms include a tub and shower, both small but adequate. The veranda is fine for two people. The ship, constructed in 2009, shows age in a few places but is well maintained. We had cabin 656, a perfect location. The staff, as billed, was friendly and outgoing. Some remember your name as the cruise goes on. Drinks are included in your fare, and waiters were anxious to make sure our glasses were filled. Waiters in the dining rooms were sometimes helpful, other times not. Service at dinner can be slow. The captain spoke to us daily, but if you missed his talk or couldn't hear you were out of luck. The ship should do far better at providing details about the progress of the trip. Announcements over the loud speaker are strictly limited, which is good, but the television system could fill the blanks by providing lots of information for us to access when we want. In fact, the TV was poorly utilized. Information about destinations wasn't always easily available. In Melbourne, we didn't know that hop-on hop-off buses were waiting at the end of the pier. Had we known that, we would have changed our plans for the day. Food, which has been criticized in some past reviews, ranged from good to excellent, sometimes even superb, in our opinion. The wine, also frequently criticized in reviews, was good, although we're well aware it's not $50 a bottle wine. The galley was open for tours and the chief was available to talk to. The fish, steak and pasta were excellent. You pick where and with whom you wish to eat. The main dining room, called The Restaurant, was more formal. The Colonade less so. The Colonade should be a buffet for all three meals, but at dinner it's not and sometimes it can have a rather restricted evening menu. There is also an outdoor patio grill with a limited menu for lunch and dinner, weather permitting. Seabourn touts its dishes by the famous chef Thomas Keller. It's an attempt to offer something unusual and different, and it doesn't always work. We found them to be sometimes interesting and sometimes odd. The ship perhaps should concentrate less on edgy recipes and more on providing consistently superb cuisine. Seabourn does offer a variety of special experiences. One day, on the wharf of a small town,we observed a ship official buying fish from a local fisherman. We were able to talk to both of them. The chef offered passengers several opportunities to accompany him on food-buying trips to local markets. While cruising through a beautiful New Zealand fiord, waiters bought special drinks to passengers gathered on deck. During the Super Bowl, the ship brought a television hookup to the main showroom so anyone could watch, and served a hot dog and hamburger lunch. There were misses, too. Daily newspapers were available electronically for the first half of the cruise, and then disappeared because of unspecified reasons. Shore excursions were overpriced, as on many ships, and sometimes not very well managed. The conclusion of the cruise, in Sydney, was bungled. We stayed overnight on the ship, but our dock was in a distant location well away from the central district of Sydney, the place everyone wanted to go. A free shuttle bus was provided to an entertainment area, but operated in hit-and-miss fashion without staff supervision. For how much we spent on the cruise, we deserved better at the end. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My husband and I picked up the Auckland-Melbourne leg of this cruise February 12. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise, though there was room for improvement as noted below. The beautiful scenery of New Zealand and smooth flow of the cruise ... Read More
My husband and I picked up the Auckland-Melbourne leg of this cruise February 12. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise, though there was room for improvement as noted below. The beautiful scenery of New Zealand and smooth flow of the cruise fortunately made up for the mild to moderate service flaws we experienced on this ultraluxury small ship which competes with Regent and Seabourn. PRE-CRUISE: We spent two days prior to the cruise in Auckland . We stayed at the conveniently located Auckland Hilton, right on the pier near where the ship docked, which has a wonderful (though expensive) view restaurant called Fish. We also independently toured excellent wineries and had a gourmet lunch on Waiheke Island the day before the cruise at the fantastic and scenic Mudbrick Restaurant. I recommend allowing at least two full days for touring in and around Auckland as it is a delightful port with many options for half-day or full-day excursions, a good port choice by SS. AMBIENCE: We had been on the Spirit before in May for the Monaco Grand Prix cruise in 2014 (see my separate cruise review from then). As before, the ship was very clean, with nice lines, and is elegantly designed (though I personally do not like a lot of the artwork adorning the walls, e.g., the African works and pop photographs), and appeared well-maintained. It was quiet and nicely air-conditioned in public and private areas. The chairs in the restaurants and lounges are soft and comfortable and public areas are uncrowded. Boarding was easy and pleasant and coming on/off the ship at each port was also easy (other than in Melbourne, where it took a full hour to get off the ship for our excursion). There were many passengers already on board who had boarded in Los Angeles, or earlier, many of whom seemed a bit bored with the cruising they had done to date, but I doubt that is atypical for older passengers on long trips. Passengers seemed to be, for the most part, between the ages of 65 and 75, though some were much older. A few were in wheelchairs, some were stroke victims, some were much younger (or at least young at heart) and some were very healthy and fit appearing. I did not see (or want to see) any small children, though I read on a CC post that the captain’s wife had her well-behaved baby on board with her and on some excursions. This is not really a ship for children. Most passengers appeared to be native English speakers, either North American or British, though there were also Germans, a couple Spaniards, French, and a few Japanese passengers on board (and probably others I did not identify). Passengers were all polite, well-dressed and mostly well-traveled and affluent at varying levels, though some passengers we met seemed to prefer monologues to dialogues. Crew in restaurants and housekeeping and maintenance areas appeared to be primarily Filipino descent, though there was a mix of origins. They spoke English with passengers, and either English or Tagalog or their native languages with each other. The quality of English spoken by basic crew ranged from poor to outstanding (mostly somewhere in between). Crew smiled frequently, though some smiles were forced. Officers were European and spoke excellent English (they also obliged with a very nice bridge tour). The chef is French, from Bordeaux, and an absolute delight, very animated (he led a galley tour and a wine/food demonstration, great fun). He sets high standards for his staff, and told us he requires they take a quiz identifiying passenger names and faces, which are posted on the kitchen walls. FOOD: overall, good to very good, except for room service breakfast (the few times we ordered the latter, we often were delivered the wrong items, hot foods were served cold, or we received comical variants of what we had requested, such as an ultradiluted Tang-like pale pink liquid that was supposed to be OJ, or dry cereal but no milk) Once we ordered a room service “cheese plate” and what appeared was a plate of 10 small pieces of identical brie cheese instead of a variety (quicker to fix the plate that way). Our favorite restaurant for breakfast or lunch buffet was La Terrazza where we could choose from a variety of freshly baked breads, croissants, fruit, cheeses, meats, yoghurt, fruit, egg and sausage dishes, pizza, pasta, sushi, even European style creamed herring. We loved dining outside on the deck (choice of sun or shade). We had one excellent meal (lamb) in Le Champagne. Stars’ small plates, accompanied by a talented jazz singer and pianist, was also very pleasant, interesting. The food in The Restaurant was generally quite good though there were some tasteless pasta-in-red-sauce or rubber fish dishes ( the service was another story, see below). Unfortunately there did not appear to be anywhere to get some quick food of any kind other than through room service between 10 and 11AM, and between 11 and 12PM there is only service on the outside patio deck (not very convenient if you either have an afternoon excursion at 12:30 or 13:00, or the weather is inclement). However, with enough planning, there was never a risk of going hungry! SERVICE: Here is where we had some problems, primarily with the butler and the main dining room wait staff. Our veranda suite was immaculate on arrival and was kept in that condition the whole cruise, as before. The sheets were soft, the towels were soft and thirsty, and nothing was broken (not even the sink and tub stoppers which are often the first to go). There was both a shower and a separate soaking tub and a full supply of several kinds of toiletries, and a pillow menu. The butler did not appear until we had already been checked into our room for several hours (he apologized for being late). Having traveled with SS before, I knew what I would want: I presented him with a modest written list of requests for the room , and reviewed these with him verbally as well to make sure he understood them. It took about three days before we finally got the mini-bar properly stocked, and I took to writing out a day by day request list and leaving it on the bed to avoid confusion between him and housekeeping. On the first day I noted the mattresses on both sides of the bed were quite hard and asked if they could be flipped to the soft side (as had been done on the Silver Cloud for us in the past). Without looking, he said he thought they were already on the soft sides. I asked him to doublecheck when we went to dinner and he said he would. We returned, but there was no comment. The next day I again asked him about the mattresses, and he fired back (inaccurately) that they were already on the soft sides. Eventually my husband and I flipped the mattresses ourselves and found there were indeed softer sides (we can only conclude the butler did not want to bother to look and just made up that we were already on the soft side to save work). As a bonus, when we flipped the mattress, one side had a yellow-discolored mattress cover. There were also incidents where it appeared the butler and his assistant were determined to do things their way, no matter what, even if we did not want them done that way: e.g., they charged into our room despite a Do Not Disturb sign when just an hour before my husband had told the housekeeper that I was seasick and was resting and did not want to be disturbed. They insisted that it is their “policy” to call and if no answer then come into the room even with the sign up if they had not been in earlier in the day (and apparently even if they had just seen us and been told NOT to come in). Another incident showing a mechanical, no-judgment style was one late afternoon, when we had no sign out yet but the room had been serviced earlier. The housekeeper rang the bell and when I opened the door she was standing there holding cotton balls, indicating she wanted to put them into the bathroom. I first told her I did not need any balls, but she insisted on offering them, so I offered to take the few balls from her so I could just close the door. I was tired and did not want or need her coming into the room, but she refused to give them to me, and instead insisted on going with the balls into the bathroom, only to discover that the cottonball container on the high shelf was already full. The main dining room personnel, though sometimes good, often appeared overworked and uninterested in doing anything other than their minimum and there is a lot of “someone else will do this” attitude. They rarely came over to ask how our food was after bringing it. Our first night, we sat over a half hour without even drink offerings. On other nights, personnel would often just come over and start pouring the generic white wine of the evening for everyone if the first person said he wanted white, without asking what others wanted. One evening my husband and I joined a table set for 8, and the waiter came and poured white for everyone and ran off before I could ask for red instead. I tried to catch his eye for 15-20 minutes, but he was busy studying his tablet, not looking up at our table at all. When I finally caught him, I asked to try the red. 10 minutes later, still no wine, so I waved at him at his station when he finally looked up. He immediately knew what I wanted as he then grabbed the red of the day which he’d forgotten to bring. As it was warm, and awful, I again tried to catch his eye, and after more struggles, asked for the Connoisseur’s wine list as I knew where on the list the wine I wanted was and could quickly show him. Three people and 15 minutes later I got the list, and to save time quickly pointed out the bottle of wine I wanted which had the price clearly marked. Instead of taking the order I wanted to give, the waitress ran off, hoping someone else would take the actual order, and another person eventually came. I thought I was finally set, but then instead of bringing the wine, the first waiter came over yet again, after another 10 minutes delay, to show me that there is a price to the wine I wanted, to make sure I would know there is a charge, which was already quite obvious! As I had specifically asked for the Connoisseur’s menu, which has prices marked, I was annoyed that yet another delay was somehow justified to make sure I REALLY knew that I would be paying extra. By the time I finally got the nicer wine, I felt exhausted enough to need a stiff drink instead. Perhaps if I’d been wearing formalwear I’d have had better luck. In general, our perception was it was a long and difficult process on the cruise to order upgraded wine, either in the restaurants or in the room (where no wine menu is available – there is a food menu and a caviar menu but not the Connoisseur’s list, and to get that, you have to call the butler and start the struggles there). We would have ordered a lot more higher quality wine if it were not such a strain to do so each time. Not uncommonly personnel also exhibited a “not my problem” attitude: in La Terrazza, the big, grind-style salt shaker on our table did not work (likely due to trapped moisture). The waiter tried it, no go, and I commented to him that many of the shakers on board did not work, likely due to moisture, so perhaps they could consider adding water absorbing substances (or rice). He managed to extract enough salt for my dish from another shaker that was slighty less impacted, and then took the broken shaker and just stuck it on the next empty table (instead of removing it from the dining room to get the moisture problem fixed). Another time I noticed papers blew off a tray a waiter was carrying on the outside deck , and they looked like they were headed for the sea. Another waiter came by, looked right at the papers, which appeared to be receipts of sort, ,and kept on walking, leaving them on the ground (not his problem, apparently). In contrast, the front desk personnel and cruise/social directors were all friendly and helpful with proper executive function and judgment. The cruise consultant, however, was less friendly (other than in public, such as at the boisterous Venetian welcome), and was not in his office very often. My sense when I inquired about 2016 cruises was that he is tired of his job, or perhaps would prefer to deal with male customers or both man/woman together when they book. SHOWS: a small group of delightful, talented enthusiastic singers did a good job performing everything from ABBA to opera. I went to all but one of their shows (hint: don’t sit in the front row during the Dancing Queen number or you may land up on the stage). There was also a very talented and beautiful classical pianist Van-Anh Ngueyn whose playing moved me to tears. SPA: my husband loved the massages once I convinced him to go try them, and I loved the manicures and the pleasant lady from Latvia (Kristine )who did them (but not the world-beat pounding music that was playing there) EXCURSIONS were overall well-organized, except in Melbourne (1 hour to disembark for a tour). In Tauranga we went on the Volcanic White Island tour by Helicopter, fantastic (I hope to post pictures my husband took)! Ulva Island excursion (off of Stewart Island) is also a not to be missed walk for light to moderate hikers, beautiful and invigorating. Milford Sound was also spectacular, postcard perfect. In sum, we enjoyed the cruise, despite some annoyances, and would consider returning to SS for the right itinerary (though our next two cruises are booked with Seabourn, to test them out and compare). But we do hope that the main dining room waiter and suite personnel training will improve. I hope to post some pictures showing “best of” in the near future.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
First let me say we are in our 50's, I think this is important because a review from someone my age may be very different from someone in their 70's. We are also from the US. We allowed Oceania to make our flight reservations so ... Read More
First let me say we are in our 50's, I think this is important because a review from someone my age may be very different from someone in their 70's. We are also from the US. We allowed Oceania to make our flight reservations so we flew from San Francisco to Auckland (main flight) and the captain had us in Auckland 1 hour earlier than expected. We were on Air New Zealand and I don't have any complaints. We booked Super Shuttle before we left home to get from New Zealand airport to the ship. This was an easy inexpensive way to go. Embarktion in Auckland was a breeze, disembarktion in Papeete was also very easy. We dropped our luggage off at the ship, changed clothes and bought a tour from the information desk right outside the ship. We toured Auckland for the day and we were very impressed, a beautiful city. This is our second Oceania cruise and we had an A4 cabin. We were right down the hall from the lounge so it was great to go to the lounge for coffee every morning. The cabin 9008 was starting to show a little wear with the linens but other than that no complaints with the cabin. Our cabin steward however never introduced herself and didn't tell us how to have our garments pressed for free, we found the cards at the end of the cruise. I honestly had no intention of using the service since it takes 1-2 days but it would have been nice to know. As usual with any cruise line the breakfast gets old very quickly. How about some ethnic foods for breakfast just to mix it up? A couple of nights we weren't all that impressed with dinner in the Terrace Cafe and we never ate dinner in the Grand Dining Room. We went to as many specialty restaurants as possible. We even ran into some crew from the Rivieria in 2013. Maria in Red Ginger is the best. Red Ginger is my favorite restaurant on any ship. Of course the entertainment in the Marina lounge was terrible. I have never read a positive comment about Oceania's entertainment so I can't figure out why they don't do something about the quality. I'm pretty sure entertainers who work on cruise ships don't charge an arm and a leg for their services. The ports of call were great and we booked almost every tour before leaving home. Tauranga was our first stop and we bought a tour from Learning Journeys, Michele was our guide and the tour was incredible. We stopped at a beach, the kiwi shop, the geysers and a Mauori cultural show. Her website is www.learningjourneys.co.nz. We were in a passenger van with a total of 6 passengers I believe. Our second stop was Bay of Islands and we had a tour on a Zodiac style boat with Tango Island Boat Tours. We were the only ones on the tour and it was fantastic. We had him drop us off in Russell then we took the ferry back to the ship. The tour was $260 NZD. Our third stop was New Caldonia we took a boat to Duck Island that we purchased ourselves for maybe $30 USD a piece. The snorkeling was amazing. There is a bar and restaurant there, the chairs and umbrellas were about $15 USD. Bring water shoes to get in the water it is very rocky and lots of coral. Fiji, finally we arrived and it was pouring rain. This was the only excursion we booked thru the ship the river by long boat. As we left the port we left the rain behind. We took a bus to a cultural center enjoyed a show, had lunch and then on to our river boat ride, Fiji time. We took the boat up the river about 40 minutes to a waterfall and swimming hole. The island is so friendly and the people are truly so nice. The next day we were still in Fiji just a different port, Lautoka. We had arranged a tour with others from the ship to Beachcomber Island. The water is spectacular and we had a great time snorkeling and lunching with our group. Again, water shoes are needed here for the rocks near the beach. We did have a small boat take us out to a snorkeling spot. We definitely did not want to leave. Our next stop was Samoa and when we arrived it was raining. We weren't sure what we were going to do but had found out thru the ship's Currents newsletter about Senegal Beach Resort. We called them when we arrived and they had a van picking up other passengers so we got on that van and made the drive to the other side of the island where we had sunshine the entire day and access to the resort for $60USD per person. Our next stop was American Samoa where we took a cab to 2$ beach just past Tisa's and the beach actually cost $5. The beach was larger than the one at Tisa's but had quite a bit of glass on the beach. We just spent the day hanging out and our cab driver picked us back up at the end of the day. After 2 days at sea we finally arrived in Bora Bora. This was the most spectacular port and the scenery does not disappoint. The first day we had a tour with Reef Discovery called Pure Snorkeling. Fabian was our guide for the day and he was great, loved his sense of humor. It was too bad we had to put up with a woman who had a phobia of wearing fins. This was the most spectacular snorkeling we have seen any where in the world. We went to 4 stops and if you like snorkeling book this tour, www.puresnorkeling.com. Fabian has the best office in the world. Our second day in Bora Bora we had a tour with Natura Discovery and did a 4x4 tour in a open air jeep. They do have an option for an enclosed air conditioned car but we didn't see anyone taking that option. This tour was $140 USD for two and Daniel was our guide and he did a spectacular job. He really educated us on the island and how they live. Yes, the tour is bumpy and hot but plenty of stops. We had him drop us off at a beach and caught a shuttle back to the ship. I wish I had thought to rent an over the water bungalow for the night. We met some couples who did spend the night in Bora Bora. Unfortunately we had to leave Bora Bora for Moorea where we rented a roadster for the day. Their website is www.moorea-fun-roadster.com we had so much fun and drove the entire island. We just stopped at beaches, the juice factory and shopped near the roadster shop. We wished the day had been longer. Off to Papeete where it was raining. We got off the ship that night, walked around the food trucks and found out where Avis was DT as we had a car for the next day. Avis DT was close enough to walk from the ship with our luggage. We drove the entire island stopping when we wanted and had a day room at Le Meridian. We arrived at the hotel around 2pm and hit the pool for the rest of the day. We had dinner at the hotel where the food was good and the service was terrible. We headed for the airport at 9:15 and waited for a long time to check in sweating because it is outdoors. We finally got past security where we thought it would be air conditioned but more heat. There was a place open to buy water but they only had one person working with a very long line. All in all it is our favorite cruise and a great part of the world for a cruise. The people are on all of these islands are very friendly and gracious. I was not disappointed in any of the tours we chose and really only disappointed in the entertainment on the ship and the options of food at breakfast. Oceania charges way too much for their shore excursions and transportation, I guess they are catering to those too uncertain to book their own? I would encourage everyone to look into independent excursions that are probably a fourth of the price Oceania charges. The Destination Services staff was wonderful and very accommodating. Another thing they could improve is the selection in the shops, the toiletry selection was very limited especially on over the counter medications. The ladies clothing selection was what I would term old lady along with the purses. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I feel compelled to reflect on my recent cruise on Crystal Symphony. It was my first time on this line, my last cruise was with Silversea and I have cruised twice on Paul Gaugin. I boarded in Auckland with no issues as a solo passenger. ... Read More
I feel compelled to reflect on my recent cruise on Crystal Symphony. It was my first time on this line, my last cruise was with Silversea and I have cruised twice on Paul Gaugin. I boarded in Auckland with no issues as a solo passenger. There were lines but these moved quickly. Once on board I had the lunch in the MDR. Pleasant but nothing to rave about and I was aware of a nasty smell in the background. At 3pm the room was ready. My first impression of this entry level room...small, tidy but bland decor and light fittings that are stuck in the eighties. The wardrobe was adequate and there were plenty of hangers! Lovely. The ship had just been in dry dock and some areas are gorgeous eg Palm Court. Other areas are ok but nothing really wowed me. The atmosphere is quiet sophistication and many passengers are repeat customers who wouldn't dream of defecting to another line! Some do not have any basis for comparison ie they haven't set foot on any other ship. The main reason I won't be back is the dining arrangements. I was wait listed when I booked months ahead but was able to change this once onboard. However I did not like these fixed arrangements and you have to dine with the same folk each night basically unless you opt for dining by reservation. I liked Prego and booked for a second time on the last night. I was seated alone to my dismay..this was not enhancing my experience but was rescued by two lovely women beside me. In Silk Road a nasty smell of Lobster was evident. Gentlemen hosts. These are advertised as professional dancer hosts. I didn't think they were all that welcoming and I was the one to ask them how their day had been! Again, most odd I felt. One even corrected me on some dance steps even though I am qualified in Ballroom myself! They were never seated at any table I was on for solo passengers. I did have a problem communicating my need for a hot water bottle for pain in the evening but eventually this was resolved and I was not charged for the heating pad that I used each night. It was brand new also. I used the Spa for massages and the staff were very professional. The Spa waiting area is nothing special at all with only 2 chairs! As well there was only one nail technician for 900 passengers. I could not make an appointment . Debarkation was very good and I was in the car to my Sydney hotel within minutes. Overall the service on the ship is very good but I don't feel I will return because I like to choose when I dine and I like meeting other people each night. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014

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