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221 Australia & New Zealand Entertainment Cruise Reviews

This was our second cruise on Celebrity Solstice and found it most enjoyable with no complaints bar two which I will go into later. Embarkation a breeze. Just board when you want, Dont follow their advisory boarding times. Their a pain if ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Celebrity Solstice and found it most enjoyable with no complaints bar two which I will go into later. Embarkation a breeze. Just board when you want, Dont follow their advisory boarding times. Their a pain if you get a late time. They dont hassle if you turn up early. Everyone was very pleasant. Complaing ONE/ Boat drill was a real pain. They made us stand in a small atrium with virtually no seating so everybody had to stand for 20 minutes so of course we couldnt see the demonstration talk come video. I eventually had to sit down on the floor due to aching back. Their were over 2800 passengers and for some reason lots of asians, americans, canadians british etc.Lots of pushing for drinks package for first couple of days, Got a bit annoying Our cabin 2507 was balcony and very spacious. Bed was great. Good sized bathroom, No complaints there. Cabin steward Rhonda was very nice and polite. Cabin electricity suitable for Aussie appliances but you will need American or British electrical plug adaptor. Ship is huge but easily naviable. Plenty of elevators. Lots of public lounges and other spaces to find quite spot for some quiet time. Ship is gears to mature passengers, not a lot for kids and hardly any at all/ Numerous places to eat. Their is set dinning or select dinning. We choose select dinning. You have to ring them to book time. You can choose size of table from two to eight people. Waiters effecient and ;polite. Their are a number of PAY restaurants. We tried the Tuscan grill the first night and not greatly impressed. We found the main dining room food just as good We found the entire crew very polite and effecient. Tables are cleared immediately. Their is no compulsory tipping but please tip them. These guys work long hours every day for upto 7 months No complaints about crew at all. Two pools. One outside. One inside. Both with spas. Two of the spas have small hoists to help disabled people into them. This ship is disabled friendly. All doors including toilets open automatically [except cabin door] In port ramps are used, no stairs. Staff will help you if required. Quite a few electricl wheelchair people on board. Tendering is not very disabled friendly. You may miss out. Lots of entertainment. I think their were four different groups playing throughout the ship during the day and evening. A lot of the daytime activities were designed to seperate you from your money! The jogging track was only 200 metres round and crowded which was a pain. Good gym if your into that. Smallish library, pretty useless really. The Oceanview buffet is where you have breakfast, lunch and dinner if you want. Multiple stations have various menus such as Asian. Western, Salads. Bread, Desserts. Carvery etc. Except for the Carvery its all self serve. I found some of the meats dry and tough. The Carvery was usually ok. Some desserts were dry as well. It can get very crowded and noisey in this place. We always found a spot out the back deck but can get breezey and cold sometimes. Disembarkation good as we were able to take all our luggage of with us and not wait for them to unload so you can get off immediately. Complaint TWO. Piped music is played throughout most of the public areas. I found this most annoying, In particuar the music at the Oceanview cafe was atrocious and sometimes sounded like a strangling cat. This ship is geared to the mature and seniors but yet the piped music to the oceanview and coffee shop was geared to the young set of which their were hardly any. Both my wife and I couldnt stand it and would eat and get out as quickly as possible. We had this problem last cruise to which I complained but apparently fell on death ears. Now for something really important HYGEINE. Last time on this ship I got the dreaded Noro virus. Confined to cabin for two days and missed a good port. This time we took no chances. Upon entering our room we used sanitised wipes to clean everything. Door handles. Taps, Toilet, TV remote, phone etc/ We did this every couple of days as the cabin attendent cleans 15 rooms so germ transfer is a problem. When you enter any eatery you must use the hand wash dispenser but I noticed some people sneak in without doing so. The most contaminated implement are the food thongs. We used hand wipes after useing them. Also take my advice and do the following. Under no circumstances unless necessary touch handrails or bannisters. Use your knuckle to touch elevator buttons. Even clean your seacard every couple of days. Countless waiters touch them. You may think Im paranoid but I am an ex paramedic and know how easy it is to get contaminated and having the noro virus once was enough for me/ I would have given this ship five stars except for the two complaints noted. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Good price at the right time. Just happened to stumble on it when searching cruises from Adelaide on my go to website Cruise sale finder. I loved the cruise. Quite an older crowd when we embarked there were a lot of elderly people. During ... Read More
Good price at the right time. Just happened to stumble on it when searching cruises from Adelaide on my go to website Cruise sale finder. I loved the cruise. Quite an older crowd when we embarked there were a lot of elderly people. During the cruise didn't didn't see them much. So more relaxing cruise because there was only a few kids on board. Has its upside if your younger or middle aged. The ship didn't feel crowded most of the time. Always room in the pools and spas. Buffet was never packed. Good hygiene practised in the buffet stewards at the entrance making sure everyone washes there hands.!!! Lovely ship had a lovely cruise. No rough seas always a bonus when travelling Bass straight. The coffee package is good value. Food anytime. The entertainment was very good. Plenty of it. Something for everyone. The dining rooms very very relaxing and food was filling. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Where do you start trying to describe this incredible ship although there a lot of passengers she is a very big vessel and there are a enough spaces and venues to accommodate everyone. Embarkation was the quickest we have ever had ... Read More
Where do you start trying to describe this incredible ship although there a lot of passengers she is a very big vessel and there are a enough spaces and venues to accommodate everyone. Embarkation was the quickest we have ever had arrived at pier @11:00 on by 11:20 so efficient. We had an obstructed view balcony cabin on deck 6 port side quite roomy plenty of storage and hanging space and we were looked after extremely well by our wonderful cabin steward Henri. All of the entertainment venues were well attended and packed out most nights in particular the Two70 at the rear of the ship absolutely mind blowing venue. A big shout out to the following bar staff who went above and beyond and are a credit to Royal Caribbean Trystan,Crispin and Allan in the Schooner Bar and Alwin and Marina in one of our favourites The Bolero. All dining staff throughout the ship amazing as always first class cant do enough for you. We did our own thing at port stops so cant comment on shore excursions. To Captain Henrik and his crew thank you all for taking us on this wonderful journey on this fantastic ship. Would we cruise on this ship again yes in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The only reason I went on this ship was to be part of the Bravo Cruise of Performing Arts. Whilst a regular on Princess and Celebrity, this was my first taste of the Royal Carribean fleet. I had heard mixed opinions from friends, most ... Read More
The only reason I went on this ship was to be part of the Bravo Cruise of Performing Arts. Whilst a regular on Princess and Celebrity, this was my first taste of the Royal Carribean fleet. I had heard mixed opinions from friends, most of whom did not place the Radiance in the WOW category. So I went with less than high expectations. How wrong I was. The ship is older and smaller than the mega vessels floating around. But I was really impressed by the leadership of eh captain and officers. They run a tight ship, so to speak. Cleanliness was of very high importance. Everywhere, all day and night, crew members were washing, polishing, scrubbing. Our hands were sanitised so many times they began to be squeaky! But from the beginning. Check-in was smooth and painless. We were on board at 11 am. The upstairs Windjammer Cafe was in full swing with a really good selection of food. Alas, no cabins were open until 2 pm so there was a bit of hanging around! My stateroom was a Royal Suite on deck 10 which was all one could ask for. Well laid out, large balcony, good quality furniture and fabric, coffee machine (with poor US coffee) However, one brickbat was that there was no walk-in shower, and you had to clamber into the bathtub to have a shower. Quite an ordeal for some passengers. There were no grip rails to hang on to either. Dining was extensive. As well as the Windjammer, the main dining room was Cascades which was fine but nothing to rave about. Dining times were fixed at 5.30 and 8.30 and you could not change. The Italian restaurant, Giovanni's Table had food to die for. Faultless and the wine list was pretty good as well. Other specialist eateries were Chops Grille, Izumi Asian eatery and a host of casual cafes. For a ship this size, it had excellent choices. Bars were good too. The champagne bar was a bit of a misnomer as it served nearly everything else but. The schooner bar and colony club had great ambience. The casino was vast, but on our trip, the players were vastly outnumbered by the croupiers. Staff were obviously very well trained, friendly and genuine. As this cruise sailed from Sydney, there was no expectation of tipping, so the service was sincere and not in the quest for the dollar! Being a suite guest, there was a wonderful private Concierge club with an open bar, and special arrangements for dining in special areas. Officers were evident and approachable, not like on many other ships. As I stated before the reason we went on this ship was because it was a charter for the Bravo Cruise of Performing Arts. 35 acts, ranging from a full orchestra, string quartets, trios and duets, soloists, choirs. Music from go to woe everywhere on the ship. And what was so nice was that you could hear cabin attendants and cleaners humming opera as they went about their work. This voyage on the Radiance was outstanding., Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Traveling to far off places is both exciting and enriching. I can’t think of a much further destination than Australia. While this is not our first visit to Australia, it was our longest. Thirty one days is what we spent in total. ... Read More
Traveling to far off places is both exciting and enriching. I can’t think of a much further destination than Australia. While this is not our first visit to Australia, it was our longest. Thirty one days is what we spent in total. Because we fell in love with Sydney on our last visit, we again scheduled a few days stay in this beautiful city at the Westin Inn. We chose this cruise because it circumnavigated the whole continent of Australia. On our last visit, we were at the tail end of a cruise that began in Auckland, New Zealand, and sailed south around that beautiful country, and terminated in Sydney. This cruise allowed us to visit multiple ports as we sailed counterclockwise around Australia. This provided a fascinating overview of the many different geological and commercial venues that adorn this country. A surprise port was in Alotau, New Guinea! Princess Cruises provided numerous opportunities to enjoy excursions in each port of call. There were excursions that all passengers could enjoy. Of course, you have to expect that a particular excursion might be cancelled due to lack of guests signing up. Reimbursements are made in these rare cases. Don’t miss taking the spectacular Skyrail Gondola ride in Cairns, or the Ngilgi Cave trek in Margaret River(Busselton). Entertainment on board featured some of the best musicians that we have ever experienced! Two were especially spectacular, that performed in Crooners Bar Lounge area. They were Pierre Eugene and the Moonlight Duo. Pierre, a pianist from Haiti, sang songs in his mellow, romantic voice, that covered the eras from the 1930’s through the present day. The Moonlight Duo, beautiful young ladies, that played piano and violin, enthralled guests in Crooners as well as in other venues around the ship. I could go on and on, but I’m sure space is limited. Let me end by just stating that Princess made every aspect of this cruise effortless and gracious. Princess remains the number one choice of ocean going cruise lines for us, and we have sailed with quite a few other lines. If you have the time, this will be a cruise of a lifetime, that you will never forget! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
first cruise had no idea what to expect , will know how to go about how to book next time,we were very happy with the entertainment,which was different every night, the room steward was very efficient and the room was always cleaned on ... Read More
first cruise had no idea what to expect , will know how to go about how to book next time,we were very happy with the entertainment,which was different every night, the room steward was very efficient and the room was always cleaned on time.the cabin was as good as we would have expected especially the bed which was very comfortable,the position was the downfall however ,we payed for a cabin in the centre of the ship through an agent but was allocaited a room at the rear , lucky for us we only had a few rough days which was quite uncomfortabe to sleep.the dining was quite pleasant with a great variety of food every day,over all it was a great experience for our first cruise and would and would recommend anyone to go ahead and give it a try, we are sure to try again but will be sure to use our experience when we do our booking .the ports we stopped at were quite disapointing for shopping but i guess thats what to be expected ,give it a go you may like it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We expected a lot more based on the past experiences related to us by friends and family. The room service menu left a lot to be desired even when they delivered what we ordered, which was about 10% of the time. You can't get toast ... Read More
We expected a lot more based on the past experiences related to us by friends and family. The room service menu left a lot to be desired even when they delivered what we ordered, which was about 10% of the time. You can't get toast with breakfast even if you ask for it! Our room was a tired shade of beige, with both lampshades conspicuously held together by sticky tape. I can only assume the shower space was designed by someone who'd never taken one, topped off by a curtain that was about an inch short of serving its purpose, leaving us with a soaked bath mat each time. Lunching in the "anytime" dining room was a queue-early or queue-long experience, with only one of three dining rooms opened to cater to the masses. Having made it in once (after prior aborted attempts) we realised it wasn't worth the wait after all and never went back. Afternoon tea was an exercise in attracting the attention of waiters just emerging from the galley, as we watched the septuagenarians and older finger the sandwiches they wanted on the trays already circulating the room, only to be served ones they hadn't touched by the waiters who let this happen while we watched; you can only hope their hands were clean! The dinner menu changed daily and was a mediocre offering, with the best saved for the last night, presumably to leave us on a high note. Sadly, the five nights prior had already left an indelible mark. I feel sorry for the wait staff who had to continually serve up such middling fare so incommensurate with their excellent service. I can't speak for the drinks in general, but the mark-ups on sauvignon blanc were close to 5 times retail ($46 for a $10 bottle of wine) - far better to bring your own on-board in quantity and pay the $15 per bottle corkage. I don't mind paying for good wine but that is just inexcusable gouging. Hobart was nice, but we arrived on a day when many attractions were closed. Note to self - must do more research as cruise-line obviously doesn't. Will definitely go back there under own steam to explore further. We've cruised on Celebrity Solstice before and almost certainly will again. Cruising on Ruby Princess was a first and a last for us. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We traveled with our family which consisted of 13 adults, 1 child & 1 infant. We took a shuttle Limo from Cheektowaga NY to Toronto. We flew 22 hours from Toronto to Sydney. We had a 1 hour layover in Vancouver at 2:30am, which was ... Read More
We traveled with our family which consisted of 13 adults, 1 child & 1 infant. We took a shuttle Limo from Cheektowaga NY to Toronto. We flew 22 hours from Toronto to Sydney. We had a 1 hour layover in Vancouver at 2:30am, which was awful. When we got to Sydney we only had that day to explore, so we checked in at The Holiday Inn at The Rocks and then spent the day walking around. Though we were jet lagged, we were going on adrenal from the excitement of being there. We saw the Opera House, walked across the Harbor bridge and ate and shopped at The Rocks. We even found a Starbucks! The next day we had a shuttle to the cruise pier, at 11:00 am, which was across the street, but we had to much luggage to walk there. We had priority boarding and curbside luggage. Which really wasn’t curbside. We had to drag our suitcases 100 feet to drop it all off. We went to the front of the line to check in. The building didn’t seem to have AC, because we, as well as the staff, were all sweating in there. Once on board we were given a glass of champagne and had our family picture taken. We were then escorted to Luminae, a restaurant for all Suite quests. By 1:00 our cabins were ready. We received flowers, sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries. We received our suitcases by 5:00, which was wonderful. The food in Luminae was very good and the service was superb. We also ate at Tuscan Grill and Sushi on 5, which were 2 specialty restaurants. The food was very good there as well. We mostly ate at the Buffet for breakfast. It had a lot of varieties and once you found what you liked, you could enjoy it every morning. A lot of our group ordered room service, which came within half hour. That was a treat in itself. Our Royal Suite was a good size. A few times we had 12 people visiting us comfortably. Though the furniture needed an upgrade and the TV only had 10 channels. None of which I liked. There were free movies and pay per view. I saw most of them already. I am known as a movie bug. The internet was awful. You could never stay connected. It took long to open apps and search the web. I would get text messages hours later, when I would remember to reconnect to WiFi. The Ship was very nice considering it’s scheduled to be remodeled in 2021. There were some shops, but mostly high end designers, that you wouldn’t normally buy from. The souvenirs were limited and they didn’t have a store that sold any staples, should you need any. A major disappointing thing was all the Senior Citizens that were the majority of people. Our group ranged from 14 years to 56 years old. So a lot of the entertainment was geared towards 65 plus years old. There wasn’t much going on past 10:00pm. The elevators took a long time to come when we had to use it. Most times it was full with wheelchairs, walkers or both. The Buffet was always crowded. A few mornings we couldn’t find a table. There should be as many tables & chairs, as there are guests on board! The shows were mediocre, 3 out of the 12 nights were very good! Going to and from Ports went smoothly, whether we walked off or had to take a tender. Though our stroller had to be carried up or down stairs to enter & exit the ports. Not sure how the wheelchairs and walkers handled it? The Excursions were ok. A few were misleading. We informed the Excursion desk of our disappointment and they didn’t seem to care that much about our opinion. We booked a private tour 4 months in advance. The night before it was scheduled, we received a note and voice mail, that it was canceled due to mechanical issues. (Whatever that meant?!) So we had to try to arrange something else with a tour company on shore. That was a pain, but it worked out. We probably won’t travel on Celebrity again. Their prices were almost double what I’ve paid on other CruiseLines. They weren’t any better than those, so I’m not sure how they justify that. Some crew members that we would like to recognize, as those who went above & beyond for us, were Sam and Ty in Luminea, as well as our Butler Lorenzo. We spent some time in Michael’s Club, which was a lounge for Suite guests, where you could get a drink and some cookies and just relax. The Conceirge in there, Davina, was very helpful as well. All and all we had a great time with our family experiencing Australia and a cruise was a great way to do it!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We took a 4-day cruise out of Sydney to Melbourne on 10/11, than stayed on ship for 12-day cruise 10/15 to east coast of Australia and Great Barrier Reef. We are longtime Celebrity cruisers, and were somewhat disappointed with our ... Read More
We took a 4-day cruise out of Sydney to Melbourne on 10/11, than stayed on ship for 12-day cruise 10/15 to east coast of Australia and Great Barrier Reef. We are longtime Celebrity cruisers, and were somewhat disappointed with our transatlantic cruise last Spring on the Celebrity Reflection. But these two cruises fully restored our faith in Celebrity. Excellent and very visible/entertaining captain and crew, impeccable service in main dining room and lunch buffet, as well as in lounges. Food quality and variety were excellent. Entertainment with ship house band and others was varied and outstanding. Most theatre performers were excellent, and there were some very good matinees. Cruise director was energetic and fun, entertaining at a variety of venues during the day and evening.Cabin stewards and size/cleanliness/comfort of our balcony cabin for both cruises were terrific. Ship is in very good condition and well-maintained, even though it’s the oldest of the Solstice-class ships. It’s a mid-size ship (under 3,000), and they managed the tendering at several stops very efficiently. Many of the ship tours for the Barrier Reef are very expensive, and we limited ourselves to a couple, simple city tours (e.g., Melbourne) that were very good and fairly priced. The cities and coastal stops in Australia are beautiful with lots to do—from the exotic to just simple city tours and dining/shopping. Our only real complaint, which is symptomatic of most cruise ships, is the price and quality of drinks/wines, even in drink packages. We had a “classic” as opposed to the “premium” package—didn’t expect the best, but also didn’t expect Celebrity to be serving wines that retail for under $5 in the US (ugh!). And if you don’t specify what liquor you want in your cocktail, they pour the house brand rot-gut. When you’re paying $60 a day, per person, this should not be. Our biggest disappointment, though: having to leave the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This review would mainly be based on ‘The Palace’ which I would highly recommend. 14 nights, Singapore-Jakarta-Bali-Darwin-Cairns-Gladstone-Sydney. As this was a maiden voyage of this cruise line touring out of China, communication ... Read More
This review would mainly be based on ‘The Palace’ which I would highly recommend. 14 nights, Singapore-Jakarta-Bali-Darwin-Cairns-Gladstone-Sydney. As this was a maiden voyage of this cruise line touring out of China, communication was the biggest hurdle. Once we got to the right port, check in seemed very unorganised. We chose a Palace Suite which was an upgraded package, and was advertised "A boat within a boat, with VIP treatment". This entitled us to a different check in lounge and process different to standard. After standing in lines that weren't moving and checking twice that this was for "Palace guests" and being told everyone checks in here we finally saw other people being ushered to what seemed where we should be, and sure enough, we had a separate area to check in, which was what we expected finally. Once on the boat, we went straight to our room to check it out. Room 09212. Centre back of boat. Old, but clean and tidy. (The new refurbishment didn't make it to this part of the boat) We did however change rooms after 1 week as our room vibrated and was very noisy with a heavy propeller noise at full steam ahead (which with earplugs was more tolerable) but once we knew more rooms were available after Darwin departure we got moved to Room 10022 which was so quiet, we then realised how bad our old room was! "The Palace" was an area for guests who splashed out, and we thought highly worth it. Own pool area, bar, restaurant and casino. (I wouldn't recommend for children) The service and food was flawless, the staff were amazing and all food and drink (including spirits) was included in this package. Took us a while to work out our butler service and she did struggle with English, but everyone was so helpful and on call to please us. The night time shows were spectacular, but were repeated. Easy to get a seat at with reserved seating for Palace guests, but also seemed fine for everyone else. The daytime entertainment lacked in having much to do at sea days, and when they did have something on it was badly organised, much due to lack of knowing what an out of Asia market would want. We didn't hold back in telling them and they were very eager to make changes and we did notice them become more organised as the trip went on. (The chaos sometimes added to the entertainment!) We didn't stray to far from our Palace entitlements, as when we did it did look very chaotic and we had spoken to a lot of others who weren't quite happy with the standard service. The free restaurants on the boat were 'The Lido’ which got the nickname 'the piggery' as it was a bit of a snatch and grab no manners ordeal. Food was standard buffet style. Free tea and coffee water and juice was available at all times.’Dream Dining’ was great food but service very slow. ‘The Pavilion’ was authentic Chinese and the Chinese loved it. Heard that the alcohol was very expensive, would recommend a drinks package if you want more than a few. There looked to be a fantastic kids club, (we didn't take our children on this cruise) but there were no kids!! Saw about 3 the whole time. The excursions were a bit of a let down, as the ones we wanted to do never seemed to get enough interest to get opened and go ahead. So we were always in limbo if we were on our own or at the last minute they would say 'we got enough people'. We didn't quite understand with 1800 passengers, why they couldn't scratch 35 people minimum together. Because the ships passengers were mostly Chinese, we found out they weren't interested or they went on the Chinese speaking tour and they didn't get enough numbers for the ones we wanted to do. However we had a blast hiring private drivers for the day in a group we made friends with on our own, a piece of cake to do in all ports we stopped at. Overall "The Palace" experience made our trip amazing. I would say it would have been average if we had choosen to go main stream. Improvement was happening as the cruise went on, and all staff were helpful and friendly. Once they nail the communication, organisation will get better! We will be back to sail again another day! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Fact Finders review Vasco da Gama Half World Cruise Tilbury to Sydney 9 October – 2 December 2019 The facilities, services, design and layout of the ship presented very well, despite its age of 27 years, in the pre-cruise promotional ... Read More
Fact Finders review Vasco da Gama Half World Cruise Tilbury to Sydney 9 October – 2 December 2019 The facilities, services, design and layout of the ship presented very well, despite its age of 27 years, in the pre-cruise promotional material. The itinerary crossing two magnificent oceans and the Panama Canal was just perfect for us. However, our cruise experience was devastated by the lack of appropriate maintenance or upgrade of Vasco da Gama’s essential services and utilities. It became apparent shortly into the cruise that these were in dire need of refurbishment and should been addressed during the ship’s time in dry dock. The associated problems of this neglect plagued passengers throughout their entire cruise experience. It became obvious to us that the purchase of a second or third-hand ship with a patchy maintenance record and renaming it after limited refurbishment (only the engines?) and remodelling of some public areas was a high-risk strategy. CMV should have carried out a comprehensive audit of the ship’s utilities and essential services and undertaken a thorough overhaul of them rendering this critique unnecessary! Our cruise experience was also greatly diminished by unprofessional executive management and incompetent management of guests’ needs, reminiscent of Fawlty Towers. We could not understand what all the “white uniforms with epaulettes” were doing as they stalked their way around ship, including the dining rooms. We were told that it was to ensure that staff were doing their job properly. Unfortunately, there was a gestapo-like quality about their supervision which did not contribute to a relaxed and genial atmosphere. Certainly interaction of executive and some senior managers with passengers, as we have experienced on other cruise lines, was not a priority for them. The following is a list of issues drawn from our and other passengers’ experiences on the ship over 53 days of cruising that we believe CMV must rectify to ensure that passengers do not have to endure them in the future. 1. Inadequate and ineffectual air conditioning system - temperature and air flow could not be properly regulated in cabins and public areas of the ship; 2. Defective plumbing and faulty waterproofing - resulted in sewage spills, flooding and water penetration requiring fans all around the ship to dry out carpets and dispel unpleasant odours; 3. Incomplete coverage of the public announcement system across public areas of the ship which prevented passengers from hearing ship announcements. This represented a major safety issue as passengers in these areas were unable to hear important or emergency announcements; 4. Primitive and unsafe gangways to tenders - gangways to tenders were uneven and too narrow for ease of movement and were totally unsuitable for passengers with mobility problems. When there were no planned land excursions, at a limited number of ports, disembarkation of passengers became a free-for-all rabble because there was no organisation by management of passengers. It was irresponsible and negligent of management not to coordinate disembarkation in a safe and efficient manner. Hundreds of passengers were forced to queue up and down stairs and along passageways on the disembarkation deck for up to an hour before getting off. This created considerable discomfort and a major health and safety problem for passengers, particularly older passengers, because of overcrowding and heating from so many bodies. It represented a major safety issue because there was no emergency exit plan provided by management as to how passengers could quickly and safely exit from these areas. Areas around lifts were so overcrowded that people exiting them had extremely limited egress and when they were unable to take their place at the end of the queue they were forced to push in front of other passengers who became upset at the intrusion. Passengers who were not disembarking had to fight their way back to their cabins if they resided on that deck. 5. Untrained and/or inexperienced hospitality staff - CMV appear to have recruited a large cohort of employees to work in the ship’s hospitality service areas who had very limited English and lacked even the most basic restaurant and bar service skills; 6. Uncooperative and ineffective guest service at reception - staff provided little or no action on guest concerns. Just in case passengers expected any form of “concierge services” on Vasco da Gama, provided by most other cruise lines admittedly more highly rated than CMV, the opposite was true with reception stonewalling most enquiries; 7. Unprofessional performance by executive managers and some, but not all senior managers - guest concerns and suggestions for improving their cruise experience were generally ignored despite the ship's stated policy of effectively communicating with guests. As a result, legitimate management problems identified by passengers during the cruise persisted until final disembarkation; 8. Communication - CMV claims that it seeks to establish a good level of communication with passengers, but we found out from bitter experience, that doesn’t happen. CMV avoid addressing negative issues with passengers that might reflect poorly on the company and its reputation, but which directly impact passengers. Take, for example, the complete absence of public announcements to forewarn and forearm passengers about serious outbreaks of respiratory infection, gastric infection and norovirus. The symptoms of which plagued many (hundreds?) passengers throughout their entire cruise, all of which had potentially life-threatening implications, particularly for older and more susceptible passengers. Passengers estimated the average age of this cruise around 75 years, with a substantial number in their 80’s! This age grouping made the risk of health complications from infection a reality and represented a dereliction of duty by management for passenger care. Another example of bad communication was CMV's explanation of the power failure on Vasco da Gama in Spencers Gulf outside Adelaide (see 2GB link on stranded ship) which was described as a “controlled precautionary blackout’, not a power failure. 9. Inordinately expensive Wi-Fi and lack of "duty of care" by IT at reception - to ensure that passengers did not lose their data allowance by failing to disable all relevant apps and updates, including automatic receipt of unwanted emails that used large amounts of data. The general advice provided by reception on these technicalities, especially for older passengers unfamiliar with them was totally inadequate. This resulted in the loss of much of their paid for data through unwanted data usage. 10. Loss of opportunity to enjoy our onboard cruise experience and to disembark on land excursions in countries we have never visited because of our ship-related illnesses. We believe that widely varying temperatures in the ship, because of the faulty air conditioning where air flow in some areas and thermostat control more generally was almost non-existent exposed us to respiratory infection as a result of moving from the hot and sweaty conditions in our cabins to uncomfortably cold conditions in public areas, particularly in the Hollywood Theatre, where we spent 2-3 hours a day. We are also of the opinion that sewage spills in passageways and cabins and associated sewage aerosols were directly related to our gastric infection which resulted in us being restricted to our cabin for 7 days with diarrhoea and vomiting and isolation for 2 days. During the weeks we endured the symptoms of these respiratory and gastric infections we were unable to function normally, unable to participate in on-board activities, unable to attend restaurants and to missed land excursions of 3 ports at the Cook Islands (Rarotonga) and Tahiti (Papeete and Bora Bora), which were high on our bucket list. The positives of the cruise - the redeeming feature of this cruise, however, was the great layout and decor of the ship and the excellent range and standard of musical entertainment provided by the very talented musicians and entertainment team. Decks 8 and 11, the Hollywood Lounge, the Study, Blue Room, Captains Bar, Ocean Bar, Jade Spa, sauna, steam and relaxation rooms, including the gym were outstanding in design and décor and were great venues for on board activities. The standard of the stage shows, singers, dancers, costumes, choreography and stage production whilst not as big as on larger ships were outstanding. The standard of the comedians brought on board, however, were second rate and should have been left on the club circuit. Some of the guest lectures were a bit hokey and off-topics that could have been more relevant to the destinations of the cruise, rather than obscure myths and legends and overly detailed stories of so-called celebrities that many passengers had no idea about or were really interested in. Some were most enjoyable and informative. The standard of food and service in the main and 2 specialty restaurants was average to good, but not as outstanding as promoted by CMV, however. Whilst the menus changed daily in the main restaurant, the same menu ran for 7 days in the 2 specialty restaurants. As a result, passengers ran out of choices after a few days, especially those with dietary restrictions. The menu in the main restaurant ultimately become very repetitive and boring. After three quarters of our way through the voyage, we could have written the menu ourselves. How many variations can you have on grilled fish? The bottom line - if passengers were able to suspend their frustration, annoyance and disappointment with the failings of essential services and the unprofessional management of the ship, including some of the wait-staff who didn't seem to want to be on board, and focus on the positives of the cruise experience, the maintenance problems of the ship were inescapable. This was the prime reason for me rating the cruise as “terrible”. Fix these up and the rating would sky- rocket. But CMV didn't, despite it being aware of the faulty or potentially faulty condition of the ship's utilities and associated maintenance problems! Our personal cruise experience - we quickly discovered that there was something critically wrong with CMV restaurant and bar staff recruitment. Bar staff throughout the ship had limited English and did not understand beverage or cocktail orders. In Club Bistro, staff had very poor English and could not understand a simple request for a food order. Staff tasked with cooking breakfast and food service were incompetent, disorganised and clearly untrained, or poorly trained. Wait staff clearing and resetting tables were slow and inefficient. Overall, Club Bistro wait-staff appeared disconnected and disinterested in serving guests. Eating in Club Bistro was equivalent to having a meal in a second-rate boarding house. Breakfast service was a shambles. It created considerable irritation and annoyance amongst guest who could not get their orders understood or served in a timely manner. Despite massive feedback from guests nothing seemed to change. On the last day guests were left stunned that Club Bistro staff still could not get their orders right. I submitted my concerns and suggestions for improvement to the guest services manager who duly ignored them, responding by saying that the ship had an "ongoing staff training and development program". The problem was that the staff training program was at the expense of guests. Why are passengers paying the "price" for on-board training of inexperienced and untrained staff so that CMV can minimise costs? We believe that this policy warrants investigation in relation to whether CMV is compliant with hospitality industry standards, including employment of unqualified staff and their level of remuneration? Over the entire Oct-Dec 2019 cruise, senior managers were detached and impervious to guests and their concerns. They stalked around the ship like gestapo with no little or no passenger interaction. Passengers were clearly not a priory for them, as no action appeared to be taken on our feedback, both personal and as the result of a mid-cruise questionnaire. We could only wonder what their duty statements required! Staff at reception were the same. They essentially ignored our concerns. They fobbed guests off by saying they didn’t have the authority to act and that they would pass any complaints on to the manager responsible. And that was the last we heard of it. As a result, there were many unhappy, frustrated and upset passengers due to the lack of action and lack of responsibility of senior management. On the very last day of the cruise the public toilets on the ship malfunctioned. Now we know the ship lost all power and services en route to Adelaide. This was not to be unexpected given the history of the ship. It is 27 years old without a major upgrade of the facilities concerned. It is ironic that the ship’s power supply failed, since it was one of the few ship upgrades that occurred. Systemic problems with the air conditioning caused cabins and public areas to be either freezing cold or unbearably hot. Such drastic changes in temperature throughout the ship exposed passengers to respiratory infections early in the cruise. These took several weeks to recover from and seriously detracted from the enjoyment of the cruise. Some passengers were exposed to potentially life-threatening complications, including pneumonia, particularly amongst older and more susceptible passengers. All the so-called communications received by passengers from management about on-board health issues were general in nature, that is, limited to hygiene and the need to sanitise regularly. There were no warnings from the ship's management that the ship was experiencing a major outbreak of the above health problems. It was as if it didn’t happen! Guests coined the phrase “hospital ship” and “Oh you’ve got the Vasco cough, too”. Some were turning up to the Hollywood Theatre wearing beach towels to ward off the cold. One guest speaker made repeated jokes about it, at our expense, as well as the poor standard of food and service in Club Bistro, which was so disorganized, as explained above, that guests were arguing as to who was to be served next. This was great for moral! Passengers with respiratory infections were then put on buses with 20 and 30 guests where they coughed their way their way around various tours of up to 6 hours duration! Hello further transmission of respiratory infection! What was management to do! As if respiratory infections throughout the ship weren’t enough. They were followed mid-cruise by acute gastric infections and an outbreak of norovirus. The symptoms of these infections lasted up to a fortnight to three weeks before full recovery with many passengers experiencing lingering debilitating symptoms for additional weeks. Passengers who advised ship's management of their symptoms were compulsorily isolated in their cabins and put on a clear soup and bread diet for 48 – 72 hours, depending on the severity of the diarrhoea and vomiting, the odour of which permeated the passageways. Don’t even attempt to imagine the smell, which got worse when there were sewage spills on several decks. Passengers were advised that the ship’s captain had the power to remove passengers from the ship if they didn’t comply. Their cabin card was deregistered until they were medically cleared. What a shame that afflicted passengers couldn’t leave their cabins to take their scheduled paid-for land excursions at various ports-of-call. We missed all of Tahiti – Papeete and Bora Bora. Vasco da Gama’s unserviceable and unmaintained plumbing system resulted in blocked and broken sewage pipes or seals spilling sewage into bathrooms, bathtubs and passageways on many decks throughout the entire voyage. Imagine the smell on top of the vomit? No don’t! Toilets regularly flooded into bathrooms and cabins, saturating carpets and personal belongings. One couple who had to move out of their cabin twice because of flooding during the cruise, experienced another flood the night before disembarking Sydney. We felt sorry for the engineers and support staff who bore the brunt of the mismanagement of the ship’s service facilities. They had to work virtually 24 hours dealing with the numerous crises throughout the ship. It was only due to most of the passengers’ goodwill and resignation that they were on a cheap cruise and could do little about the ship’s systemic maintenance problems that there wasn’t a mutiny. However, the issue of over servicing and over charging by the subcontracted medical centre of passengers’ medical conditions – including those referred to above - was an issue that did result in over 100 passengers convening meetings, including with the captain, to seek redress for the exorbitant cost of medical treatment. Reference to this and other problems encountered by passengers on the ship may be found in postings on the Trip Adviser Forum. Could CMV be accused of knowingly disregarding passengers’ level of comfort and overall cruise experience without upgrading essential service utilities in order to keep the ship at sea to maintain revenue? Could it be that the CMV "business plan" is to buy second and third hand ships without proper upgrades to provide cheap affordable cruising taking the risk that their highly competitive price point would attract enough new customers to keep the company afloat despite driving away return customers? Fact Checkers believe that an independent audit of compliance of the ship’s essential services and utilities be carried out by cruise ship regulators with the aim of enforcing systems upgrades previously disregarded by CMV to prevent a repeat of the fiasco on Vasco da Gama. Also, an independent review of the standard of guest services and competence of senior management on Vasco da Gama should be carried out, in particular targeting the performance of the guest services manager and hotel director specifically in relation to what action they took or didn’t take and why on the myriad of passenger complaints and the two formal feedback questionnaires on improving passenger cruise experience on Vasco da Gama. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose princess as I had previously cruised with them in 2013 on the ruby princess by far the most amazing cruise I have ever done. I loved the itinerary and have always wanted to cruise with Princess up to the barrier reef. The ... Read More
I chose princess as I had previously cruised with them in 2013 on the ruby princess by far the most amazing cruise I have ever done. I loved the itinerary and have always wanted to cruise with Princess up to the barrier reef. The majestic princess looked amazing new clean we were very excited to be on the ship. This was a huge disappointment the ship is catered for an Asian market so the food was of the lower standard The entertainment was boring and the staff unfriendly. Also we felt like we were on a moving nursing home everyone on the ship was so old it was truly a geriatric cruise even my 71-year-old mother felt out of place. The entertainment at night was so dull that they had a string duo playing at 8 pm 9 pm in the main atrium. There is also no place to dance no dedicated place to dance only in the atrium where all the ballroom dances with frustrated if you got in their way. We paid a premium price for this cruise and were highly disappointed the only thing that redeemed it was the amazing itinerary I’m not sure I want to cruise princess again which makes me feel sad because the best cruise I ever did was on the Princess ship. The food was terrible just terrible my carnival cruise was better food,Actually even the p&o and MSC was better. So disappointed such an Asian ship it does not belong in the Australian market its really catered to the asian market. It was a floating nursing home a geriatric flop with bad food and boring entertainment the only good entertainment was zinger band they were amazing. . Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Hi, my husband and I and 2 friends boarded this cruise on the 13th August to the New Guinea Islands. My first disappointment was the fact that we could not take on a pack of bottled water or the usual 2 bottles of wine on baord, like we ... Read More
Hi, my husband and I and 2 friends boarded this cruise on the 13th August to the New Guinea Islands. My first disappointment was the fact that we could not take on a pack of bottled water or the usual 2 bottles of wine on baord, like we could on every other cruise. And our first thoughts as we headed towards the boat was how tired and dirty the boat looked. As the cruise sailed up the Brisbane River, we all decided to get a cocktail to celebrate the beginning of our holiday only to find out that the cocktails we ordered had half the amount of alcohol in them. It was on another P & O Cruise that the bar staff taught us how to make Mudslides and Toblerones and these cocktails on the Aria were like chocolate milkshakes, the other drinks on the boat seemed to be watered down as well. Not impressed at all. This happened right throughout the cruise and when we questioned the bar staff they just said (It is company policy) which I can only gather is what they have been told to say. Not good enough. We wrote in a complaint at desk and asked to see someone higher up, which of course never happened. The next complaint is the variety of food in the Pantry Dining - poorer quality and poorer variety of food than any other cruise we have been on. We tried 3 other restaurants and was not happy with the amount of dishes to choose from, on there menu's and at these venues. Had much better on other P & O Boats. Then we went to see a show - because of the layout and low tiering of the seats in the Marquee - we could not see the stage performances hardly at all, and in the end, we had to get to the Marquee sometimes 3/4 of an hour earlier just to get a seat in front of the glass petitions on the top level to be able to see the show. Then there was the trivia - we learnt early that we also had to get to trivia at least 1/2 hour beforehand just to get a seat and many people just walked away in disgust. When we ordered drinks from any venue (except the Dome room) we had a long wait. Any venue that had a good entertainer at it, just got swamped with people and there, again, was no where to sit. The layout of the boat is very poor. The adult pool on the back deck didn't even have 1 spa - this has never happened on another ship. Pretty poor. The only 2 spa's on the main deck were usually full of kids and parents. The amount of toilet facilities around the boat were very poor and outdated. None I found had more than 2 toilets in them. We were all very disappointed with this cruise ship and would never go on it again and this was not just our opinion - there were people on the boat that told us how disappointed they were as well. The only good thing I could say about the boat is that the rooms were nice and that the staff cleaning our room were very good. I feel this trip was not worth the money we spent on it. The only way P & O will get us back on their boats is to give us a free cruise to prove they have changed their policies and maybe ditch the Aria boat or give it a make over. I feel terrible to make this sad revue but feel it is necessary to do so and hope P & O read it and make plans to rectify situation before more people right more sad revues. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
It was a Dark Mofo 6 night mid-winter escape to Hobart that caught my eye. To Tasmania in the middle of winter ? Yeah why not. I have fond memories of the Dawn Princess but not very good memories of some of P&O Australia's ... Read More
It was a Dark Mofo 6 night mid-winter escape to Hobart that caught my eye. To Tasmania in the middle of winter ? Yeah why not. I have fond memories of the Dawn Princess but not very good memories of some of P&O Australia's "new" (old) ships. I thought my experience on the Pacific Eden' inaugural trip from Fremantle to Sydney a couple of years ago would have cured me from every going near P&O Australia again but....I must have had a lapse of concentration. Pacific Explorer seems to have a terrible problem with what I suspect is their sewer system. For two days the stench in the Atrium on Deck 4 level was eye watering and then one morning I woke to find the stink had found its way to my cabin on that same level. It leaves a metallic taste in your mouth. You need to escape to the open decks. But stench aside and in most other places I enjoyed myself very nicely. FOOD The Pantry is not much better than a shopping centre food hall. Its seems the food is all put out on display at the beginning of service (and replenished obviously) I mostly found things to be lukewarm or cold. Breakfast eggs were like golf balls. Toast was cold and chewy and they have the worst coffee I have every had on a cruise ship...thank you Nescafe. I restricted my visits there in the end to just lunch for a sandwich and a salad and some fresh fruit which were all very good. The dessert displays at night were sometimes a bit dramatic (one night it was pink on pink on pink) but EVERYTHING comes out of the same packet and tastes the same, no matter what colour the cake is. The Waterfront Was very nicely laid out in smaller sections and the menu was interesting despite lots of pay for extra's items and the service was pretty good by friendly staff. A glass of wine order at dinner seems to throw everyone into a spin however and one night I waited 30 minutes for the wine to arrive. Other nights I was well in to my meal before the wine finally arrived. Breakfasts in the Waterfront are very nice, very sane and civilised and the eggs, toast, and coffee are quite okay. Avoid the Pantry buffet bun fight. Alfredo's was very good (1st night) but after that I just dined in the Waterfront in the same area and mostly the same table where the staff and service was very good and the food quite surprisingly good. There were a couple of misses on the menu but after the Pacific Eden where everything on the menu that trip was a HUGE miss, I managed okay this time. Pizza For lunch one day was very nice. Not very warm but quite tasty. The Public Rooms have been very nicely decorated and service is very good. I left most of the entertainment on board to the night owls. The Dark Mofo inclusions for on land at Hobart were generous. Will I go P&O Australia again, ahhm, not sure. They need to fix that stink on the Pacific Explorer though. Everyone was talking about it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We choose this cruise because the last Solstice trip (to Sth Pacific) the average age was around 60, still way older than us but ok. This time is very around mid 80s and most people were not mobile. Getting around the ship was very ... Read More
We choose this cruise because the last Solstice trip (to Sth Pacific) the average age was around 60, still way older than us but ok. This time is very around mid 80s and most people were not mobile. Getting around the ship was very frustrating and the music on board was obviously to cater for them - 30s and 40's (which my husband and I can't stand). We don't have children (by choice, they annoy me); so it was good that there weren't too many to be seen or heard. The ports were mostly good but I would get rid of Lautoka and Suva and try and use a beautiful outer Fijian island. I've been to Fiji a few times and the ports are not a true reflection of the beauty of the Fiji. We both really enjoyed Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga - we did shore trips in each location but not through the ship. We did the Oolala trip, with the ship, in Lautoka and it was terrible - I went two years ago and everything has changed for the worse. It was overcrowded, mean and the food was inedible. The entertainment was generally ok, if geared towards very old people. The dining was good but portion sizes are very small. I'm a size 8 and I had to eat 2nd dinner in the buffet some night as I was still starving. One of the guys (a professor) giving talks was so boring and his material very old. Surely they can find people who are actually interested in their material and pass that on to the cruises. Cost for gym classes is a bit expensive at $17US Why is the spa so expensive? I would love to have treatments but not at twice the price of Australia. The shops are ridiculous - LV and Tiffany - seriously???? why not have nice brands that your target market can afford. Get rid of the stupid art show - just have nice stuff around the ship to admire (not to purchase) Based on this cruise, we have decided to cruise again in about 20 years time - unless Celebrity really do something to encourage a younger (but Childfree) market. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The Majestic Princess is an amazing ship. The staff and crew were fantastic and provided an outstanding level of service. One of the highlights has to be sailing through the Fiordlands. Absolutely stunning and we enjoyed this mostly from ... Read More
The Majestic Princess is an amazing ship. The staff and crew were fantastic and provided an outstanding level of service. One of the highlights has to be sailing through the Fiordlands. Absolutely stunning and we enjoyed this mostly from our balcony. There is so much to do on the ship if you choose to or you can simply relax. I would highly recommend the Chef's Table. This is worth every extra penny and as long as you enjoy fabulous food and service, then you will love it. It is also a great chance to dress up and for the men to wear sports jackets (not necessary but looks good). The food in the dining areas is fantastic and the service across the ship amazing. The bar and dining staff really know how to look after you. The entertainment on the ship is of an extremely high standard. Lots of places to sit and have a drink with friends before deciding where you will eat your dinner. You will love it. We will certainly be cruising with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Choose the cruise for ease of journey and a number of places in New Zealand we had missed previously. We were impressed with Dunedin and fascinated with the history and beauty of Napier. Having been to Auckland before we decided to take ... Read More
Choose the cruise for ease of journey and a number of places in New Zealand we had missed previously. We were impressed with Dunedin and fascinated with the history and beauty of Napier. Having been to Auckland before we decided to take the ferry over to Davenport, an easy choice as the ferry is right on the wharf where Majestic Princess docked. It was a lovely 15 minute ride which showcased the harbour and the little town itself was pretty and very visitor friendly; we had lunch there and browsed interesting shops before returning to Auckland. The itinerary Proved to be just the ticket! Every staff member we encountered on the ship were without fail, friendly, efficient and helpful, from wheelchair assistance at embarkation and disembarkation, to dining and stateroom staff. Caught up with all the latest movies under the stars and in cabin and really enjoyed The Crown grill, La Mer and Alfredos. Symphony dining staff were also superb. Joined the pop choir and made some new friends ….All in all loved it and are excited to return next year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We have wanted to see these ports all our lives but haven't had the chance to go ,loved the opportunity especially being able to leave and return to Sydney as my husband doesn't like to fly for long periods. Always love the ... Read More
We have wanted to see these ports all our lives but haven't had the chance to go ,loved the opportunity especially being able to leave and return to Sydney as my husband doesn't like to fly for long periods. Always love the dinning room for evening meals the service is always excellent . We would do this one again . The ship is excellent only thing to improve would be somewhere for the bowls etc to be played not a lot of room in the atrium when they are playing. Our cabin was excellent the beds are beautiful I slept every night I don't sleep as well at home. Loved the shows was a bit disappointed no ventriloquists or variety performances mostly singers. The encore performance was one of the best I have ever seen everyone put in 100per cent effort and a great show resulted in a standing ovation for the performers Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My wife and I needed some time away after a very stressful couple of years. We heard amazing things about cruises and had high expectations going in. We did not expect those expectations to be exceeded! But they were. An amazing experience ... Read More
My wife and I needed some time away after a very stressful couple of years. We heard amazing things about cruises and had high expectations going in. We did not expect those expectations to be exceeded! But they were. An amazing experience that we will definitely be doing again. We were expecting to have mainly relaxation with lots of reading and time laying back relaxing, but instead found ourselves thoroughly entertained with all the on board activities and entertainment staff. The atmosphere is contagious and everyone is having a good time. The food is incredible and the staff are so friendly and helpful. It's something that needs to be experienced to be understood. The destinations we went to were great and it was so easy to get on and off the ship. It was like the ship was our hotel room and we could go exploring each destination and just return once we were done! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My mum and I chose this cruise as she wanted to go to New Zealand and I wanted to go on a cruise so we thought why not combine both. We had the most amazing time, we have both cruised once before on P&O and everyone we spoke to ... Read More
My mum and I chose this cruise as she wanted to go to New Zealand and I wanted to go on a cruise so we thought why not combine both. We had the most amazing time, we have both cruised once before on P&O and everyone we spoke to said we would love princess even more and they weren’t wrong. I had read a lot of reviews on here, some good, some not so good and all I can say is some people really mustn’t have anything better in there lives but to complain because I could not fault one thing for the whole cruise. The food was amazing weather we ate in horizon court, the restaurant or just a burger and chips. All the crew were friendly and extremely helpful. The room was always cleaned twice a day by our steward. The entertainment was amazing, from the performances weather they were in in princess theatre, vista lounge or the explorers lounge. As for the cruise director PJ and his staff, well they had me in hysterics every night, especially Alex, he is one amazing guy. Embarkation and disembarkation was very quick and stress free. The only downer on our trip and it has absolutely nothing to do with princess, it was just bad timing was being court up in Christchurch in the terror attack, was rather scary for a while but we made it out safe and sound. Loved this trip so much that we are looking at booking another princess cruise to Fiji next year. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My friend suggested this cruise purely because it left from Melbourne and was convenient for us. We booked through a travel agent who was enthusiastic about our travel choice. The only things we could complain about, unjustly I suspect, ... Read More
My friend suggested this cruise purely because it left from Melbourne and was convenient for us. We booked through a travel agent who was enthusiastic about our travel choice. The only things we could complain about, unjustly I suspect, were 1.The lines at embarkation. There were of course 901 passengers,so considering that the lines though massive, did move relatively quickly, I really wouldn't complain. And 2. The waiting period for tenders at the first tender port took much longer than expected, at over an hour. |However, apart from these two minor compaints, the entire cruise and ship excursions aside from this were absolutely fantastic. The food was delicious in both the buffet and fine dining. I tried room service twice and it was delicious too. And prompt. The waiters were a delight and so obviously loved their jobs. My cabin attendant was lovely and efficient and helpful when I had the odd question. The cruise director and his staff were absolutely brilliant and virtually a reason to travel again, on their own. They kept us informed and SO entertained with a variety of events and fun activities throughout the cruise. From Trivia games and lip sync battles to Samba lessons. It was all so much fun.The ship itself is beautifully decorated and my friend and I, plus my 14 year old daughter loved the four shore excursions we did too. They ran smoothly and delivered value for money. We did our own thing at Akaroa and Auckland and encountered no difficulty doing this either. My daughter quickly befriended other teenagers through the Kids Club and they subsequently entertained themselves on board very well, very much enjoying both 'the piano man' and the karaoke. I also took the time to have a facial, manicure, pedicure, stone therapy and a haircut. I went all out! I never felt so good though, after all that and the staff were all excellent. Professsional and friendly, as you would hope. I am definitely going to cruise with them again. Can't wait in fact!. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this cruise as an opportunity for my partner to experience a cruise steeped in history which he loves and for a little luxury. I have been on other liners and the difference was quite significant. We arrived early and was ... Read More
I chose this cruise as an opportunity for my partner to experience a cruise steeped in history which he loves and for a little luxury. I have been on other liners and the difference was quite significant. We arrived early and was pleasantly surprised to be let on board immediately. Embarkation was a breeze. To keep this review brief I will deal with the disappointments. I expected more of the food. It was very ordinary and at breakfast only one person was doing personalised egg choices. We gave up. Cheapest bottle of wine - $48 USD which equated to almost A$70. Toilettries were never replaced even after asking 3 times. In fact the steward was only seen three times and it was very poor service. Finalising of account queue on the last night. Both my partner and everyone in the queue were furious at the wait time with 2 people serving and another desk free being payment for tours with nobody at it. People eating at 8.30 pm session had to wait till 10.30 to see a show lasting sometimes till 12. My partner would have loved a tour of the ship's history perhaps as a speaking or walking activity. We spoke to others who agreed. It was both my birthday and our anniversary and there was no provision or opportunity/acknowledgement for anything special as with other liners where a sign and balloons are put on your door or they bring out a little cake to your group dinner table (sounds trivial and not that I wanted to be centre of attention but if it's a special occasion, it always goes down well). When I enquired about this they advised I should pay for the specialty restaurant or purchase one of their expensive gift packages. We did not go on a shore excursion with the ship as most were booked out and were quite expensive. We went on a private tour and it was the highlight for us. It was a public holiday in Burnie but as the operators were locals they knew all the places to go. We were stressing before we went as to how formal the gala dinner would be, what to wear and how this would be presented. It was over-rated and nothing special was done. On the positive side - room was comfy, smooth sailing, nice surprise of a bottle of bubbly in the room, entertainment good, good guest speaker talks, impressive fit out of ship and we particularly loved the bar near the theatre (can't think of name) where the meals there were better than most restaurants and were free with such a great atmosphere and we found the staff here to be the most welcoming and engaging of all Happy it was a sampler but wouldn't go again.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The free room service was great, as was the burger bar. I also really loved the free food at the 24hr International Cafe and the Ginger Twist tea there is really nice. Matt Baxter, who sang and played the guitar, was great also. I would ... Read More
The free room service was great, as was the burger bar. I also really loved the free food at the 24hr International Cafe and the Ginger Twist tea there is really nice. Matt Baxter, who sang and played the guitar, was great also. I would have preferred that the production show was an hour long rather than just 30 minutes, and the choreography was quite elementary. The dance and Zumba classes provided were good, but I would have enjoyed more. The sail-away party was a lot of fun and the music in the night club was great. The decor around the ship was very nice and since I was able to embark nice and early I had the pool to myself for a while, which was really nice. Stephanie, the entertainment director from France, was great! She was really friendly and a great dancer also. My Cabin Steward, Bong, was extremely friendly and kept my room immaculate. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Such a fantastic ship and the step up in quality from our previous provider was HUGE. I didn't think it would be that different from our previous cruises but it really was. The rooms were so much tidier and newer. The bed was very ... Read More
Such a fantastic ship and the step up in quality from our previous provider was HUGE. I didn't think it would be that different from our previous cruises but it really was. The rooms were so much tidier and newer. The bed was very comfortable and the air con worked well. On previous cruises the air con didn't work which was horrid. Food was fabulous, outstanding in fact and we all put on weight lol. I think above all the dining staff were superb - they went above and beyond their duty each night and we really were grateful. We ate in the Symphony restaurant and recommend it highly. We had a meal in one of the specialty restaurants but we still preferred the Symphony. We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment which was also a big step up from the previous provider we've used in the past. We would definitely recommend this ship over other providers of similar value. We were so impressed that we have booked two more cruises with this company. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Staff- amazing Ship-amazing Food-amazing Activities-amazing Shows-amazing State Room-amazing Overall - fantastically awesomely wonderfully AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING We will be on board again in December for the ... Read More
Staff- amazing Ship-amazing Food-amazing Activities-amazing Shows-amazing State Room-amazing Overall - fantastically awesomely wonderfully AMAZING AMAZING AMAZING We will be on board again in December for the Christmas cruise with family and friends and we are really looking forward to it. Hopefully we will meet up with some of the fantastic staff again. We will definitely be showing up for the bingo again. Didn't know bingo could be so much fun. We will also try out the dodgem cars next time as we missed them this time. The North Star was a highlight for me. The view out in Picton harbour was fantastic. Special mention to our wait staff in Chic restaurant I Wayan and Dedey their wonderful personalities was really something to look forward to as part of our restaurant experience, and healing about their home towns and customs was very interesting. We highly recommend a holiday on your wonderful OVATION OF THE SEAS. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019

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