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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
I have travelled twice before with this company on different ships and been very satisfied. This trip was appalling. . The cabin was adequate but water in my cabin frequently ran brown and on one occasion full of black oily bits requiring ... Read More
I have travelled twice before with this company on different ships and been very satisfied. This trip was appalling. . The cabin was adequate but water in my cabin frequently ran brown and on one occasion full of black oily bits requiring the assistance of housekeeping. My cabin steward was delightful and hardworking. I did not expect Rain inside the Captains club (burst pipe I presume) and other areas, also in cabins. Stops were at container ports with no way off the ship except by their excursions which were poorly managed. A total lack of good information and maps, particularly of the transit of the Suez canal which was a disappointment to me as that was one of the reasons I chose this trip and on my previous trip on the Astor the transit of the Panama canal had been so well presented. Excursions were either rushed with an inadequate amount of time at the destination, which was a safety risk as one of the visits was to a temple with 263 steps plus further steps inside and only half an hour allowed, and too much time at the pewter factory shop' leading me to the conclusion that Cruise and Maritime are no longer about customer service but making money. The entertainment was mostly amateur and the comedians did not deserve the name. the food was good in the main but tended towards the bland, probably to suit the extreme age of the majority of passengers, into which category I do not yet fall! The saving grace was the service staff, particularly in the dining room but unfortunately the same cannot be said of most of the reception staff and the ShoreEx personnel were uninformed, unhelpful and occasionally downright rude. In short, this trip failed to live up to my expectations on many levels. My daughter joined me for 10 days of the trip and has informed me she will never cruise again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
We were quite impressed by Astor. For a small ship it punches above its weight. It is very well appointed and is really quite spacious. When it became apparent the Trivia sessions were so popular the venue was quickly changed to ... Read More
We were quite impressed by Astor. For a small ship it punches above its weight. It is very well appointed and is really quite spacious. When it became apparent the Trivia sessions were so popular the venue was quickly changed to accommodate the crowd. It was also spotlessly clean, we have cruised many times and this is definitely the cleanest ship we have been on, bathrooms were immaculate, cabins were smallish but functional. The activities offered were in line with most cruises, although not as frequent probably due to the availability of space. We enjoyed the variety of food offered at both the buffet and the dining room. The Cruise Director, Toby, was very versatile and did an excellent job, did everything from singing, voice-overs, panto, even took the Sunday religious service. The entertainment troupe was top class and they managed a full production each of the 11 nights, include in this the band and special mention of the violinist. All of the crew were very pleasant, friendly and eager to please. Disembarkation was a little congested and could be remedied by reducing the numbers in each group. We experienced some big sea swells which Astor handled very well. We found this to be a very relaxing, friendly fun cruise and would definitely consider sailing on Astor again. Also a big plus is the Femantle departure. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
MV Astor 19 December to 30 December 2015 Fremantle – Bali – Fremantle Christmas in Bali Cruise Our family group of 8 (our ages 7, 11, 19, 41, 44, 64, 70 and 77) have travelled together for many years… This is a review of ... Read More
MV Astor 19 December to 30 December 2015 Fremantle – Bali – Fremantle Christmas in Bali Cruise Our family group of 8 (our ages 7, 11, 19, 41, 44, 64, 70 and 77) have travelled together for many years… This is a review of the latest cruise we undertook aboard CMV’s Astor. Having previously cruised aboard the more modern mega cruise ships, this was our first trip on a smaller ocean liner and approaching the Fremantle Cruise Terminal, it was quite an exciting novelty to be greeted by the Astor’s smoke stacks peeking above the building in an elegant fashion, rather than a towering 15 story high floating city dwarfing the terminal below. This does not mean however that we found the Astor’s dimensions to be undersized. In fact, for the most part, we were greeted with plenty of space. The embarkation process was a little haphazard, but quite speedy. Though there were a few issues with our birth dates and particulars having been mixed up amongst our group. I for one quite enjoyed being 19 for the trip, though my eldest was a bit disgruntled at being labelled as 64 yrs old, and hubby being classed as 7 years old was amusing for all concerned. This card printing error caused no issues at all, and was easily fixed in the onboard system at check in. No new cards were required and the novelty was enjoyed. Once onboard we were guided towards the rear of the vessel. This is where the two restaurants Ubersee – casual buffet, and Waldorf – main dining room, are located, as well as the pool deck and the late night, intimate Hanse Bar. This is one of three relaxation zones onboard. The others being the large comfortable Astor (show) lounge, and the main bar – the centrally located Captains Club with its flanking corridor seating areas. Upon boarding we enjoyed a casual lunch in the Ubersee. The food is a main topic of conversation amongst our family group and other guests onboard, and is one of the things that you should consider if you are considering booking a cruise aboard the Astor. Food Compared to larger ships the options are limited, but certainly adequate and do vary enough to keep you satisfied. All meals are served in both the buffet and main dining room, with strict opening hours. While the presentation changes, for the most part the same food is served in both venues. As a general guide, in the Ubersee all meal times offer the following… A choice of cheeses and cold meats, 3 ready-made salads. 3-4 salad vegetables and accompaniments in a DIY section, a good selection of bread and rolls and always two choices of soup (hot or cold). Hot selections for breakfast are always bacon, eggs 3 to 4 ways, sausages, fried tomatoes, potato of some type, and an omelette station… A few other offerings alter daily. Lunch and dinner usually feature 2-3 meat/fish options, a vegetarian option and pasta, rice, mixed vegetables and potato. Dessert is approx. 3 options plus fruit salad. Fruit salad is always available, with ice cream offered at lunch time. Made to order, and pre-made Sub Sandwiches are available at lunch time. The Waldorf offers a very similar buffet style breakfast as that in the Ubersee, though definitely more stylish. This is a good option to consider to avoid the crowds. Lunch in the Waldorf is a different affair. There is a small salad/cheese/cold meat buffet on offer, but this is just for a light snack as you wait. You are instead offered a 5 course menu similar to that offered at dinner time. You can then pick and choose which course’s you wish to order… though this can cause some delays if your table mates order more courses than you. Dinner in the Waldorf is a fancy affair. Absolutely no shorts, no flip-flops, no bathers. While they are relatively casual (with an open seating policy), there is a standard to be maintained. On a normal night your menu consists of 5 courses, which are as follows: Appetiser – two choices. These are small tasting portions. Soup – two choices. Salad – one choice only which changes daily. Main – three choices. Meat, Fish and Vegetarian. Dessert – three choices. Cheese, Fruit Salad, and one other option. Please note that there is the option for grilled chicken, steamed vegetables and the Curry of the Day, offered in small print at the bottom of the menu if none of the offerings suit. The menu is listed outside the dining room each afternoon. We found it to be a good policy to check the menu early on, to ensure that the menu suited all of our party. A couple of our group, being more the meat and three vegetable types, chose on a couple of occasions to eat in the Ubersee, where they could focus on the more standard fare offered for the evening. It also bears mentioning that seating a large group is all but impossible in either the Ubersee or the Waldorf. Both restaurants cater for smaller numbers 2, 4, & 6, and we inevitably had to split between tables. Arriving early at Waldorf ensured we were well situated, however Ubersee was always very very busy during the breakfast and lunch meal times, and we often resorted to sending our party down in groups of two or three, holding the table for each subsequent group. It was normal for any spare seats to be snatched up by others hunting for somewhere to eat. This is great if you want to meet new people. This was however one of the only failings by the Astor team… they should have either made a greater effort towards encouraging use of the Waldorf for breakfast and lunch, or had the Ubersee open for a longer period to cater for the circling crowd. Beverage Package One of the most impressive features offered by the Astor team is the all inclusive drinks package. Offered at $29 per day per adult, this package well and truly pays for itself and is MUCH cheaper than other similar packages offered by other cruise lines. The drawback for us being that all people in a cabin need to purchase a drinks package including children ($19 per day). Master 7 thoroughly enjoyed the mocktail menu, and his 11 year old cousin was quite the knowledgeable party, learning the mocktail ‘drink of the day’ listed in each evenings Ship Newsletter. Normal consumption of soft and hard drinks comfortably covered the cost for adults, while some of our party far more than covered their (and everyone else’s) costs… and their livers will be punishing them for some time to come! There are three bars on the ship. The Captains Club, the main central bar.. the Hanse Bar, located on the 8th deck overlooking the pool deck, with a comfortable outdoor lounge area, and intimate booths inside… and the Pool Bar, which was only open during daylight hours. The restaurants do not offer bar service, but we found the waiters and waitresses were happy to supply cocktails/mocktails/spirits upon request which were sourced from the Captains Club. Occasionally, during peak periods, this lead to lengthy delays. The Cabins We booked this cruise only 8 weeks out, and as such did not get choice of cabins, but were still quite happy with what we ended up with. Located on Deck 5 (Atlantic), we were situated in cabin numbers 201, 204, 205 and 206. Of these, 206 was definitely smaller, with the angle of the ship culminating in less floor and storage space. All others were of a decent size and matched the pictures supplied on the CMV website. Be aware… most of the cabins aboard feature fixed TWIN beds only. Quite frankly, I doubt you could get around with a single Queen sized bed in the room. We were on the Christmas cruise… with children…. So had extra luggage for toys, decorations, and the usual. We ended up with three full sized suitcases in our cabin, none of which fit in the storage space under the single bed. We ended up pulling down the Pullman bed and using this as extra storage space. It worked well, but I do suggest that you measure the depth of your cases to ensure they will fit. The measurements are provided in the paperwork. In our searches prior to the cruise, we found no descriptions or photo’s of the standard cabin bathrooms, which led me to think the worst. I was pleasantly surprised. While not large, they were comfortably apportioned, a good sized rectangular shower cubicle with brilliant shower head/wand, great water pressure, a well-lit vanity mirror and a number of open shelves for storing all your various toiletries. The toilet button is on the wall above the vanity… a number of our party were left searching for some time to find the ‘hiding in plain sight’ button. Towels are white, and pretty standard. Not flash, but serviceable. Each room was supplied with white terry cloth robes for use by each guest. It was too warm for most, but my aunty did make use of hers on occasion and seemed quite happy with it. The biggest comment to make is about how incredibly spotless the cabins (and the rest of the ship for that matter) were… absolutely top notch! When we boarded, a good portion of the almost entirely European crew were finishing up their term of service, and the ship reeked of German precision and attention to detail. Amazing to see and enjoy! The ship dynamic did change somewhat after our sojourn in Bali, where I would estimate at least a quarter of the staff were replaced with their Asian and Indian counterparts, all staff continued to be friendly and accommodating, and if there were a few delays as new staff learnt the ropes, we weren’t in any rush, and happily excused the delays. We did have the opportunity to spend some time in the Astor Suite, and found the amenities to be fantastic. Well worth the extra cost if you can afford it. The massive balcony area would easily fit 50 people, and a party for 15 were comfortable in the lounge area, though seating was limited. Once again, all is very much as displayed on the CMV website. Our family of 8 would have been quite happy in the one suite! Entertainment There are three entertainment teams onboard. The main show team featuring, singers and dancers, plus the fabulous ship band, who provide a different cabaret performance most evenings at around 21:15. And two duo’s who perform throughout the ship. A singer and pianist, and a pianist and violinist duo. The violinist is outstanding… definitely make a point to attend at least one of her performances. In addition, the show team host various trivia, bingo, and game activities throughout the day. Not a massive schedule, and the second half of the cruise was quite limited, but if you bring a few books, head to the sports areas, or find yourself a comfy position on a deck chair, then you will be well situated. Please be aware that both pools, the indoor and outdoor are both only accessed via ladder. This restricted access for most of the elderly passengers, leaving the pool for the use of the younger element onboard. I suggest that anyone intending to cruise aboard the Astor should give serious thought to bringing a book or two to read, some cards, a board game, or some other form of entertainment suitable for your cruising group. This is a relaxing ship, and quiet entertainment prevails. That being said, it is also a very, very friendly ship, and you are sure to form a few friendships. Other stuff The onboard shopping is limited, and shops are only open for select hours. Cabins are accessed via a normal key, rather than electronic card slot. Your in room safe also requires an actual key… which you can get from Reception on Deck 5. If you are a smoker, there is only one area designated for your use. A section on the rear pool deck, starboard side, with a few tables, and chairs. This area was always well populated, and the smoking crowd seemed to have a great time getting to know one another. Children – there were less than a dozen children under 15yrs on our cruise, so there were no activities planned exclusively for them. However, as long as you came prepared with toys, games etc, (luckily Santa planned ahead for our two!), then they will be fine. There were always a few activities each day that were suitable for our pair to join in on (Quoits, Darts, Shuffleboard, craft sessions etc.) We noted two young (under 5yrs) children onboard… the parents were on-hand 24/7 with these two. Not a relaxed cruise for this family unfortunately. Be prepared for the chance of a lot of ship movement, with the smaller ship bobbing a lot more than the larger heavier vessels. The front of the ship had a good amount of vertical movement, whereas the rear of the ship wallowed into the swells at times, with some of the elderly passengers requiring a goodly amount of assistance to get around. This ship is NOT wheelchair friendly. You can get around if you are injured and have no choice.. but avoid this ship if you are in a chair permanently, it’s just not worth the struggle to get around. This should also be a consideration for people with heavy mobility issues. If you rely heavily on a cane or walker to get around, this ship with its heavy movement, and high door thresholds that need to be stepped over were quite dangerous for some less steady passengers. In summary... Astor is a lovely lady of the seas. Maintained to impeccable standards of cleanliness and functionality. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, the ship is elegant and refined, and anyone looking for a quiet, relaxing cruise should definitely consider booking a vacation aboard the Astor. While we enjoyed our cruise with children, and our kids did have fun, I agree that the Astor does not cater for families, and is most definitely geared towards those aged between 60 and a healthy 90 years of age. Overall a wonderful cruise, on a beautiful ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
I am a regular reviewer and I have never had to make a unkind review and I do not like complaining but I feel I have to warn potential passengers of my experience of cruising on the “Astor”. This was my fourth cruise this year and I am ... Read More
I am a regular reviewer and I have never had to make a unkind review and I do not like complaining but I feel I have to warn potential passengers of my experience of cruising on the “Astor”. This was my fourth cruise this year and I am an experienced cruise passenger. My problems started when I booked the cruise on-line from an advert in the West Australian Newspaper. The advert said; I should pay before a certain date because the price would go up. It didn’t the price went down. I wrote an email to the “Cruise and Maritine Company” to point this out and included the price difference. Their reply was trite, so I sent another email explaining my point of view. They did not reply. From the minute I entered the ship to the minute I left, the staff who were manly Eastern European were indifferent, distant and quarrelsome. Duty free bar prices I thought were steep compared to a five star hotel in Bali; for a cocktail (using cheaper brands of spirits) $10.95- a small draft beer $6.95 - a glass of house wine $8.50 The noise in the public rooms as well as the cabins was loud and the vibration from the engines was constant. The ship being small, took the full brunt of the Indian Ocean swell and pitched and rolled, thank goodness I do not suffer from sea sickness. The Astor was previously called “Fedor Dostojevski” and served the Russians. Straight out from a Gulag it would seem luxury, but for the average cruise passenger I would rate it less than two star. Therefore, if you expect only two star accommodation and service for a four star price this holiday is for you. When I picked up my suit-case on boarding the cruise it was damaged and security agreed that it was their porterage that was responsible. Later I was asked to see a receptionist and I thought they would solve the problem but they only offered me a paltry sum off my cabin account, which I declined. Because they admitted responsibility, I asked them to put it in writing so as I could claim off my travel insurance. The receptionist became aggressive and accused me of bringing the suitcase on board already broken so as I could defraud their insurance. I was too disgusted to argue and left. With their attitude I am not expecting an apology at any time soon. And finally when I got my Bank Statement they had taken my cabin account off twice, I could not believe it. They did reverse the transaction but I panicked when I seen what they had done, again no apology or explanation. I promise I will never set foot on the boat again.   Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
I was just having a look at the reviews of the Astor and for the first time in my life had an urge to spend the time (which i treasure greatly) to sign up to a site so i could put my two cents worth. I was on the Astor from Freo to Bali ... Read More
I was just having a look at the reviews of the Astor and for the first time in my life had an urge to spend the time (which i treasure greatly) to sign up to a site so i could put my two cents worth. I was on the Astor from Freo to Bali and back for 10 days over xmas 2014 on my first cruise experience. When i saw that the Astor was here and having wanted to go on a short cruise to dip my toes i did a bit of research waited a month or two and booked at what i believe was a reasonable price. I was not expecting a five star experience and i didn't get one. What I did get was a very pleasant time at a very reasonable price. I am a not a complete skinflint but i am a sucker for value for money and if that gets your heart racing then I can recommend the Astor (although the experience may vary of course) I have spent a bit of time on the ocean and whilst the trip out of Freo was a bit rough it didn't last long and soon got to the point where one night I had to get up and go outside as i thought we were dead in the water. We were steaming at a steady rate and i couldn't feel or hear a thing. I didn't hear either of my neighbors except once when there was some shouting.which you would have heard in a crowded street. The public areas of the ship were deathly quiet most of the time and the only noises that could be heard at times was the waitstaff when they were asking for drinks orders or delivering them. The Staff were very friendly, they all spoke english (of varying abilities but you get that when you have to speak several languages), they were all polite, they were all courteous, they were all professional and every single one of them went out of their way to make sure I was looked after. The reception people looked a bit frazzled on occasion but i was still served professionally. The Captain is a good sort and the ship is clearly looked after. Our baggage was delivered to our cabin without issue and the room stewards were fantastic. I had a slight issue with a leaking shower and they sorted it out immediately by getting a maintenance guy in and cleaning up after he fixed it. The only issue I can say bug'd me was the constant apologizing while it was happening but after seeing some passenger behavior i can understand why they were doing it. After being in remote camps in the 80's and 90's the food was better than what I was expecting could be cooked for a crowd of 600 three times a day but I couldn't rate it versus other ships. I do however eat good food when at home and know when I am being fed rubbish, which this wasn't. The full service restaurant was a nice experience and I didn't mind a short wait in the Captains bar until a table was free as i was getting to be a bit of a fan of a cocktail and quickly got used to a pre dinner drink in the Captains lounge. Compared to a bar in Perth the drink prices were reasonable and less than I was expecting given I was very much a captive audience. I was not that keen on the idea of cruising and i might have been going out of my mind for the first three days trying to turn off after a hectic year but i did get to relax, mainly because the internet was next to useless for trying to get work done (it was sufficient for emails though and i was warned). I enjoyed the experience more than i thought i would, which the wife was eternally grateful for. Thank you Astor, Captain and crew, you set us up for a good start to the year.   Read Less
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