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173 Hong Kong to Asia Cruise Reviews

Being no stranger to Cruising I booked this cruise as a special birthday treat. Flew all the way from Scotland to Hong Kong to board the ship. Ship itself was good . Stateroom was well kept and the facilities onboard were good. Staff ... Read More
Being no stranger to Cruising I booked this cruise as a special birthday treat. Flew all the way from Scotland to Hong Kong to board the ship. Ship itself was good . Stateroom was well kept and the facilities onboard were good. Staff were wonderful in every department. I enjoyed the entertainment although most of the passengers I spoke to thought it was not up to standard. I think this was mainly due to the age difference as I was certainly one of the younger passengers. My only gripe is the Lido deck and the self service restaurant. I say self service but we were asked to point out which foods we would like and it was plated by a member of staff. This meant standing in queues and being painfully aware that on seeing a dish which I didn't know, I wouldn't ask about it as it would hold up the service. The result was that I missed out on a variety of dishes as I always felt rushed to choose. It also meant that at breakfast times the crew were under pressure to supply eggs and half the time they were undercooked and the rest of the food was already plated and by the time the eggs were added the meal was lukewarm. On the other hand breakfast in the main dining room service was very slow. As food is a huge part of any cruise I was left underwhelmed. Such a pity as it was a wonderful cruise otherwise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Previously cruised the Med on New Amsterdam and had a great cruise. Sadly this did not meet our expectations. We spent 2 days in Hong Kong before sailing as my husband wanted to sail around Hong Kong harbour on a Star ferry. ... Read More
Previously cruised the Med on New Amsterdam and had a great cruise. Sadly this did not meet our expectations. We spent 2 days in Hong Kong before sailing as my husband wanted to sail around Hong Kong harbour on a Star ferry. Embarkation was very smooth and quick though we weren't asked to fill in a health questionnaire which was unusual. The hygiene on board left a lot to be desired. We have been on many cruises with different cruise lines. This is the only one where passengers were able to enter the dining areas and return on board without sanitising their hands. I mentioned this to the nurse who said they would increase sanitation if there was an outbreak! Entertainment in the theatre was very poor. We left and didn't return when a pianist, supposedly having played on Broadway, started playing 'Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head' on a ukulele and singing out of tune! The Port talks were excellent and it was good to be able to go to deck 10 for more 1st hand info. Our restaurant waiter was not the happiest person and on a couple of occasions quite rude. He quickly took plates away and brought the next course before everyone on the table had finished. I pointed this out which he did not like. The food was average. Lido food was ok but a bit repetitive. A disappointment after the New Amsterdam 3 yrs ago. Despite booking a disabled cabin and giving all details to HAL stating that my husband was a full time wheelchair user, unable to walk, not 1 port had accessible transport or shuttle and many no taxis available. He travelled to Asia for the 1st time on a special holiday and couldn't go on any tours. He should have been told this when he booked. The ship was so quiet in the evening. After dinner, unless you went to the Blues Band (limited wheelchair space) or pianists which were next to the noisy casino, it was like the Marie Celeste. Sadly I don't think we will cruise with Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
my two take-aways from this cruise: 1) this cruise line caters to the mainland chinese, and 2) if you spend money on extras, it's great, but the included stuff is lackluster. i would go again, and i'd probably enjoy it more, ... Read More
my two take-aways from this cruise: 1) this cruise line caters to the mainland chinese, and 2) if you spend money on extras, it's great, but the included stuff is lackluster. i would go again, and i'd probably enjoy it more, having more accurate expectations and being more prepared to entertain ourselves. went on this cruise with grandmother in wheelchair, mother in upper 60s, and uncle. we had two balcony rooms, one with wheelchair access. we were happy with both rooms--comfy beds, and overall good size, efficient use of space. everything was clean and in good working order. cabin stewards were easy to reach whenever we needed anything (like towels or soap). public spaces also looked good--new and well-kept. even though there's a good english site, the cruise guests are mostly chinese. the staff seem to be mostly multilingual. there were some who didn't speak english, but an english speaker could be found easily enough. if you book shore excursions, make sure you ask about language. we were on a 5-day cruise to vietnam. we did 2 shore excursions, and they were good, but on one of them the guide only spoke mandarin. the large majority of things are multilingual on the cruise, including booking excursions, so it's reasonable to assume a tour would be multilingual--nope. i was rather annoyed, but luckily my uncle was able to translate major points for us and a few others on our tour who also spoke no mandarin. that aside, getting on a boat in halong bay is totally worthwhile. beautiful views! and it was very cool to be able to buy just-caught seafood from fishermen who come up to your boat in theirs, then have the people on your boat cook it. mother had been on a norwegian cruise, and i had been on a carnival cruise, so we had some expectations. we were rather disappointed by the included food, activities, and entertainment. we were really bored on the ship, and glad it was only a 5-day cruise. on our entire cruise, the only thing scheduled at the zodiac theater was the safety orientation. so we saw what a nice theater they had, just never had any programming to enjoy it. they played movies on the lobby screen, but i'm not going to enjoy a movie with a bunch of people constantly walking by and chatting. there was only one show (a concert by a well-known older chinese singer, popular with chinese guests) and it also was held at the lobby. there was a live band that played at one of the bars every night, and they were ok IF you liked that music. there was a party with fireworks on the last night. that was it for entertainment--no magic acts, or acrobatics, or dancing or anything. the virtual reality stuff might have been fun if it was included, but not worth the price. the dance club wasn't terrible, but there were very few cruisers under 40, so there were few people there the one night i went. the top deck attractions looked fun (i just didn't make use of them because i had to entertain my mom and grandmom). for activities, they had some dance lessons, that were decent. they offered yoga and other exercise classes, but for a fee. food. this is where i was most disappointed. tip: they sell coupons for various restaurants in the shopping area--buy some at the beginning of your trip (obviously not more than you could use). the food in the main dining room is the same as the buffet--there's not much variety and it's of mediocre quality. there was no included food at off hours--the only 24-7 food options cost extra. aside from the food itself, spending money means not having to fight the crowds. as other reviewers mentioned, there were lots of rude, pushy guests, so that's a big plus. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, not knowing that Haikou, China and Sihanoukville Cambodia would be terrible stopovers. Lost 2 full days at places no cruise ship should go to. The ship itself is fine (we sailed on the Viking Sea 2 ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, not knowing that Haikou, China and Sihanoukville Cambodia would be terrible stopovers. Lost 2 full days at places no cruise ship should go to. The ship itself is fine (we sailed on the Viking Sea 2 years ago to Norway - a far better trip). The food at the speciality restaurants was very good, at the world café just average and very repetative. Pre cruise information from Viking was misleading, uninformed and as for the so-called "required" China visa, just plain untrue. There were couples who did not get a China visa, did not get off the ship (good move) and nothing happened. The included tours were for the most part drive bys and the paid tours over priced. If you insist on doing this cruise get a group together to do private tours. Our 6 private tours in Vietnam were wonderful and we saw and did much more for far less than the ship's paid tours. The Hong Kong and Bangkok half day included tours were good overviews. Viking is a step above Royal Carribean, Celebrity, Azama but not at the level of Regent Seven Seas, Seabourne, Silvers Seas, Oceania or Crystal. If we had known how awful Haikou and Sihanoukville were, we would have looked for a better itinerary on a more luxurious ship considering the cost. Many experienced ocean voyage travelers we met felt the same way and Viking lost quite a few prior passengers with this cruise, including us. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our third Viking experience, previously a 15 day river and 15 day ocean. I guess I should start out by saying the the Viking ships are beautiful, well laid out it never feels congested. The cabin attendants are first class and ... Read More
This was our third Viking experience, previously a 15 day river and 15 day ocean. I guess I should start out by saying the the Viking ships are beautiful, well laid out it never feels congested. The cabin attendants are first class and the dining is excellent. Entertainment is limited but, we already new that. The singers and dancers on board did a very good job with what they were given. The cruises director and staff seemed to only work about half the time. Compared with our previous Viking cruise, the entertainment was almost non-existent. The guest services group ranged from very good to just another body filling up space. My wife and I flew into Hong Kong from LA two days early. it was a tough 15 HR flight and my wife experienced some issues. The Viking host at our hotel was very helpful but, it was evident that many staffers were not adequately trained to Viking standards. This would turn out to to be the overriding theme for the rest of our trip. Transportation to the Orion was uneventful and embarkation was smooth. Our luggage was delivered to our cabin within a half hour followed by the attendants. We enjoyed the ship for two days but upon arriving in Xiamen my wife was still not feeling well so we visited the medical center. Before I proceed, I just want to say that the doctor and med staff were caring, thorough and extremely professional. They had a doctor and two nurses with quite a lot of equipment. After much testing the doctor decided to send her to the hospital for further tests. We were advised to take it easy for the rest of the cruise. We cancelled our post cruise extension and were advised that we would need to file a claim with the trip insurance company(we are still working on that). Three days before disembarkation, we received the details for our four day extension for the first time(the one that we cancelled). It included baggage restrictions...we had four bags and each one was over sized according to their list. We also had medical equipment which was not allowed. For the morning flight returning to Beijing we had to leave our hotel in the early am. Bus rides and planes made up most of the time during the four day trip. The day before our final port my wife was feeling worse. We went to the med center and they kept her over night. The next morning she was transported to the hospital in Tianjin where she stayed for five days before flying back home. The reason for this long story is that the cruise had many high points and of course many lows. In the future, I would definitely travel with Viking again. I will always find out who the cruise director is before booking, and will not travel with this one. I will purchase travel insurance on my own and not use TripMate. If traveling to Asia I will fly, train, drive, book hotels on my own and hire my own guides. It is difficult to separate our personal problems with our feelings about THIS Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have cruised with HAL. Celebrity, Princess, RCL, Costa, MSC, Carnival. Azamara, and Oceana. This was our third Viking Cruise, second Viking Ocean Cruise. We had a very good experience on our previous Viking Ocean cruise, including the ... Read More
We have cruised with HAL. Celebrity, Princess, RCL, Costa, MSC, Carnival. Azamara, and Oceana. This was our third Viking Cruise, second Viking Ocean Cruise. We had a very good experience on our previous Viking Ocean cruise, including the quality of the excursions, so we were disappointed in the very poor quality of the excursions in China. Viking claims that China was not experienced in handling American visitors at most of their ports. However, when we booked a private tour with a reputable Chinese travel agency for the port for Beijing, we received excellent and knowledgeable service, were taken to a clean and high quality restaurant, had a guide who spoke good English and took care of us. The excursions that Viking provided were low quality, with make believe tour guides who could not speak English and who did not know what they were doing. The "restaurant" that we were taken to was a overcrowded "banquet hall" with dirty rest rooms that lacked soap and the food was not good. On our private tour in Beijing, the guide sat with us and made sure that people with special diet concerns got what they needed. With the Viking tour, my wife told the guide that she must have a vegetarian meal and she was assured by the guide that she would get that. What happened was that the guide totally disappeared for the whole meal. We tried to communicate with the wait staff but they did not understand English. Therefore, since the food was served family style with no explanation of what we were getting, my wife could only have tea for her lunch. Certainly not a 5 star experience. The included tours were far from being a luxury experience from a luxury ship. They were quite miserable, especially on the 6 hour round trip on a bus to the great wall. The guide barely spoke and we were left to stare out the window with no narration. When we arrived at the wall we asked if the guide was going to accompany us to the wall to provide some guidance or narration. Her answer was that she had been there before and that she had no interest in seeing it again and that we were on our own to see it. Is that what the Viking excursion department considers to be a guided tour? Since there were a number of days at sea, entertainment is important. Viking decided to have 4 singers and no dancers on this ship Viking decided to schedule only 2 shows with this limited staff which worked out to one major show per week. Some nights just a movie was shown as the "entertainment". Again, not a 5 star experience. The ship is beautiful and the food is good, especially in the specialty restaurants. The historians on board gave high quality lectures. On a 14 day cruise, Viking should provide better excursions and more entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our 37th cruise and 10th on RCCL. By far, the ship was the biggest disappointment we have ever had and not up to the standards we have come to expect from RCCL. Voyager of the Seas is heading for drydock next year but by the ... Read More
This was our 37th cruise and 10th on RCCL. By far, the ship was the biggest disappointment we have ever had and not up to the standards we have come to expect from RCCL. Voyager of the Seas is heading for drydock next year but by the looks of her, she should have been there last year. * The hull is a patchwork of rust and paint. Usually, they paint them so much that it always looks beautiful. * The carpet in the hallways is dirty and has numerous holes where luggage is left. * The public restroom floor baseboards were gross. There are not enough restrooms in public areas which results in long lines after events. The entertainment was lacking. The productions shows are always wonderful and the Broadway in the Movies was especially great, with numerous costume changes throughout. And the skating shows are always amazing considering the small ice surface and the movement of the ship. Other than that, the theater shows were lacking. One juggler (?) just thought it amusing to continually drop things. The comedian was not funny and the singer from the Philippines was fine but not very entertaining. Many people walked out of all of these shows before the end. We traveled from Hong Kong to Singapore. It was disappointing not to have any speakers to help us learn about that fascinating part of the world during our sea days. Our cabin had no coffee table so the only place to eat was on the balcony. Unfortunately, it was so hot we had to rush to eat and then run back in. Then where are we to leave our room service tray?!? I'm not sure where anyone could eat in an inside cabin. The dining room staff is obviously overwhelmed. We asked for a table of 2 but were assigned a table of 9. The tables are so squished together that the staff has trouble serving. One couple was consistently 15-20 minutes late and then the staff would slow our service for them to catch up! And the food was just plain boring and awful. For example, the JUMBO fried shrimp was 4 very small pieces with rice. They could be swallowed in one bite...that is not JUMBO! The Windjammer was JAMMED! There's lots of food stations which is great and it's huge but we struggled every time to find a place to sit. Overall, I would describe this cruise as very disappointing. We were in a wonderful part of the world and we would have appreciated enrichment and entertainment that reflected Southeast Asia and enhanced our trip. We know RCCL can do much better! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My wife and I chose the cruise as it was going to Japan where we had never been. We were never advised by Royal Caribbean or the travel agent that the cruise would be mainly occupied by the Chinese. I have nothing against Chinese but ... Read More
My wife and I chose the cruise as it was going to Japan where we had never been. We were never advised by Royal Caribbean or the travel agent that the cruise would be mainly occupied by the Chinese. I have nothing against Chinese but when it came to dining they occupied all the tables and chairs in the Buffet restaurant. After they finished their meals they would not leave the table but would sit talking and playing games on their phones. They put out an announcement for people to vacate thr tables after their meals so that others could sit down, but they did this in english and not Manderin. When I complained to the catering manager only then did they start making announcements in Mandarin, it didn't make any difference. It is the worst experience my wife and I have had on a cruise. When we booked the cruise no one advised us that the cruise would be occupied with mainly people from china. I understand that there was only about 400 westerners and over 3,000 chinese on board. The food was very repetitive and you had to fight your way through the Chinese to get to the food. If you went down to the Boardwalk Cafe to get a coffee and a sandwich the area was again occupid by the Chinese. They would just be sitting there playing games on their mobile phones and talking. We considered the entertainment was very ordinary The ship is getting old and needs an over haul. We had a Balcony cabin which was good and the attendant was excellent. When we got to our first port of call it was a public holiday and everything was closed. We have traveled with Royal Caribbean before but I am sorry to say we wont be travelling with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We wanted a taste of Vietnam and this cruise after returning from London to Hong Kong was a good way to break up the trip to Adelaide. The good First of all the ship itself is gorgeous, the cabin was excellent and I had the best ... Read More
We wanted a taste of Vietnam and this cruise after returning from London to Hong Kong was a good way to break up the trip to Adelaide. The good First of all the ship itself is gorgeous, the cabin was excellent and I had the best night's sleep. Their care and attention in preventing any outbreaks of norovirus was excellent with being guided to the wash basins outside the main buffet dining room Windjammer. Children will enjoy this ship but many of the things are extra cost. The staff were excellent and tried to assist with the things that were horrendous. The entertainment Pixels was excellent and very professional. The Bad The crowds were unbelievable and very off putting. This went hand in hand with the noise, the pushing and the shoving. And I am horrified to say- the spitting! The ship left from Hong Kong and probably 95% of the passengers were Chinese. The menus catered for these passengers. The programs on the TV catered mainly for Chinese. Anytime it was necessary to queue this was forgotten or just not adhered to - the crew tried their best but giving announcements in English to a crowd of Chinese is just not going to work. I don't know why it is so hard to have the tenders available to take passengers back to the ship. Coming back from Nha Trang - after the bus ride there was a wait in the very hot sun and humidity of over an hour to get on a tender. The food was not great and all of the complimentary restaurants had the same menu. The speciality restaurants had a charge of US$41 per head. The shops on board are all designer labels and not an option for most travellers that actually save for a holiday. The Spa on board - so,so - not particularly professional. If you wanted to watch a movie in your cabin it cost US$15.95 Disembarkation from the ship was OK but after this point getting into Hong Kong was a nightmare. 100's waiting for taxis. If I were travelling with a younger family I might consider the ship again but certainly not from an Asian port. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Chance to revisit Hong Kong and visit Japan for the first time. Embarkation very smooth and trouble free, although a lot of walking involved, so those not so mobile may need assistance. Disembarkation not as smooth - no luggage ... Read More
Chance to revisit Hong Kong and visit Japan for the first time. Embarkation very smooth and trouble free, although a lot of walking involved, so those not so mobile may need assistance. Disembarkation not as smooth - no luggage trollies in baggage reclaim area, had to struggle a bit with cases to find ground transportation. Ship's décor. and cabin décor. and layout very good. Some different colours used other than the usual ones to seem to get on cruise ships. Lack of pre-cruise info re excursions, ports of call and dining options. Once on board things didn't really improve. Went to a destinations talk on first sea day - it had already started when we got there (10 mins before announced time), it didn't give you any info re ports of call, but merely consisted of a member of the excursions staff reading out a list of tours available, and not very well at that. It looked like they'd only just seen the info themselves as they read it out. Dining arrangements were not good - two set times, which at times caused difficulties especially if you had been ashore. In effect we had to make the choice between going to dinner or a show - we could not really do both. There was an outbreak of tummy bug on ship, yet rules re hand washing were not enforced. One person I spoke to was in a hot tub in the adults only area when someone came in with a toddler in a nappy - he complained to the lifeguard who merely shrugged his shoulders. We did not do any organised shore excursions as we thought they were expensive and lacking a bit in imagination. This opinion was reinforced when talking to other passengers who had gone on excursions. The shuttle bus operation from the port to city in Shimonoseki was a shambles. Lines of people on the dockside waiting for a limited number of busses into town. Eventually additional busses were put on. Stateroom attendant was great, attentive but never intrusive. Dining room service was in the main part OK only, with one or two honourable exceptions. Service in the Music Hall was very good, but in one or two other venues you felt like you were interrupting, either a conversation or some other task they would rather be doing. We've done a number of RCI, and associated Companies, cruise and were a bit disappointed because we know they are usually a lot better. Somebody did comment that if this was your first RCI cruise it could well be your last, which is a shame because they are usually a lot better. We visited the front desk once and had to wait quit a while as only one of about six positions were manned, before other members of staff started to appear. Loved Hong Kong and Japan, but ship was OK only. Perhaps too big ? Cruise from Hong Kong to Japan and enrichment talks were on ancient Egypt - could have done with more info on the region. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Every meal was a challenge Relais & Chateau should be embarrassed. The bagels and croissants at breakfast were worse than the lowest grade . Maybe you could find similar at the Dollar Store. The pancakes in la Terasse were served ... Read More
Every meal was a challenge Relais & Chateau should be embarrassed. The bagels and croissants at breakfast were worse than the lowest grade . Maybe you could find similar at the Dollar Store. The pancakes in la Terasse were served with fake maple syrup. Room service had small bottles of real maple syrup, but the pancakes were like rubber and thick. The waffles were also 3/4 of an inch thick and tough! It was like a comedy..You could have thrown the pancakes like a frisbee. The vacuumed packed individual portions of various fishes had been left in the brine solution so long they were inedible. Even the dining room manager who finally tasted it agreed. The lamb chops were so tough it was like sawing wood. This was true even in Le Dame. The smoked salmon was of poor quality.All fish except the Dover Sole was either extremely salty or mushy.. The texture was completely missing or both. One lunch there was a beautiful whole salmon cooked with the skin on. When it was cut the insides were just like a very wet sponge or mush! The gnocchi was fine if made fresh by the chef to order, but what was served to everyone was a pasty , glob. The bread sticks were not crisp. The only good food on the ship was in the movie on the television. The meat also seemed to be pre seasoned in a vacuum pack. It was impossible to read the labels on these prepackaged portions since they were de boxed down below the kitchen.. The staff was wonderful and responsive....but they had no quality ingredients to work with!!!!!! The itinerary was the inducement, but we had to charter a helicopter for $1900.00 to go to Corregidor because the ship could not dock in time to connect toa boat that makes the trip from Manilla. This was just poor planning not an accident. The ship was supposed to have arranged a special schedule with the boat. They did not inform us of the problem until the day before the scheduled tour. The orangutan visit at Sabah was a disappointment. It was a very poor zoo with 400 onlookers in a limited space. At the very least the ship ought to go there in the afternoon when it is not so crowded. On the other hand the orangutan viewing at Sarawak was much better, The whole operation was more professional and geared to preservation of this endangered species. There were more animals in a more natural habitat and many fewer tourists. The thermostat in the room has no control..You have to turn it to heat to get it to cool. It has no fan control. They finally opened the ceiling and closed off the vent that blew like wind in the ceiling over the head of the bed. The shower also had no control over temperature. It changed every 30 seconds unpredictably hotter or colder. Could never get the doors to the veranda to open without two people pulling on it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Retired couple with 20 + cruises many different cruise lines: Second time on the Jewel. Just OK. Food all restaurants greatly improved over last Jewel cruise (2014). Garden Buffet expanded in more and better entree selections. Le ... Read More
Retired couple with 20 + cruises many different cruise lines: Second time on the Jewel. Just OK. Food all restaurants greatly improved over last Jewel cruise (2014). Garden Buffet expanded in more and better entree selections. Le Bistro still our favorite. Proper cleanliness throughout the ship - male thermal suite always maintained well. Entertainment fair to poor. Same shows as 4 years ago. Music way to loud all venues. (When asked to pipe down upon port arrival [so we could enjoy Japan's Pier Greeting Performance by musicians and dancers] the topside pool musicians said no because its in our contract. Ruined the arrival for many.) This being an Orient cruise only 1 local entertainment brought on board although we ported at 8 different piers. Most disappointing. Cabin bedding terrible -- Norwegian changed mattresses for us and still could see the slump in the beds. Felt like sleeping in a hammock. Service charges are non-stop. Though our service charges were paid up front, still hit up with charges every time we orderrd a drink, food, or activity. These are a major rip off for all cruisers. Unusually long waits for NCL sponsored Destination Tours, and long lines on-board to book these tours. Do so before sailing. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Disappointing Weather Beleaguered Odyssey to the China Seas This was out tenth cruise with Celebrity plus a further three more with the RCCL Group, and overall, this was by far our worst cruise experience yet. It is difficult to ... Read More
Disappointing Weather Beleaguered Odyssey to the China Seas This was out tenth cruise with Celebrity plus a further three more with the RCCL Group, and overall, this was by far our worst cruise experience yet. It is difficult to pinpoint precisely why we came away so disappointed but there was something distinctly odd about this cruise. We are relatively experience travellers and fully accept that one must accept the rough with the smooth while traversing our glorious planet and as such find it somewhat churlish to complain when things do not always go to plan, but from the get go the cruise lacked any atmosphere. Perhaps this was due to the scheduled 20h00 departure time when most guests were either at dinner or in the grand theatre, so the usual sail away party that encourages guests to get into a party mood never effectively happened. A further contributing factor could well have been the highly diverse demographic on this cruise where passengers of the various distinct nationalities tended to stick to themselves. Of course, the strange weather we experienced on the trip did not help sailing through a major storm on the second day of the cruise and then effectively losing two days anchored either in a harbour or out at sea due to dense fog that restricted access to or egress from a couple of the ports we were scheduled to visit during the cruise. The general feeling of discontent that permeated the ship, shared by many other passengers whom we interacted with throughout the cruise, inevitably had a dampening effect on the overall cruise experience. Yet the cruise ship management team seemed to be quite blissfully unaware of the obvious malaise developing among their passengers. Based on this cruise, we can only infer that the standards of the Celebrity brand generally are slipping. In virtually all aspects a clear deterioration of their product offering was notably detected. Some random observations in this regard include: Entertainment: Apart from the ship’s hard working orchestra, a really top notch card magician and an energetic female singer who really knew how to work a crowd, the quality of entertainment offered was very poor. Indeed how some of the acts could possibly ever have been contracted frankly beggars belief and suggest Celebrity is scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to attracting cruise ship performers. Food: The quality of food in the main dining room was always well presented but generally somewhat bland. The same could be said of the buffet dining option in the Ocean View Café which was in the main uninspiring and very much of the sameness day after day. However, in the defence of the F&B team, it must have been extremely difficult to cater for the tastes of the multicultural demographic on board. The obvious conclusion the typical passenger must come to is that the notable decline in the “for free” restaurants is but a not too subtle way of persuading guests to use the speciality restaurants, most of which did not seem to be that well patronised. We object paying what we consider to be an excessively exorbitant couvert charge for the speciality options, the Tuscan Grill and QSine, a sentiment that is shared by most other passengers as neither of these two venues seemed to be that well utilised. In the event, we did sample the fare of Sushi on 5, the speciality Japanese venue and were well satisfied with the meal which was well presented, tasty and good value. Guest Speakers: We usually enjoy the “On the Podium” enrichment lectures of the guest speakers on board. On this occasion however, the talks namely a series on Buddhism and another on oriental art were clearly not of much interest to the rank and file passenger and were extremely poorly attended. Apart from the first lecture in these series which were held in the Cosmos Lounge, subsequent lectures of both series were offered in the huge main Celebrity Theatre. On one occasion the art history lecturer had an attendance of less than ten in the Celebrity Theatre venue, while on the occasions we attended either of the speaker’s offerings, we never counted more than thirty to forty people in attendance. Surely seeing these enrichment talks were being so poorly patronised, The Cruise Director should have offered the speakers a more intimate venue? Cruise ship management: As mentioned previously, the cruise ship management did not seem to be able to gauge the level of non-satisfaction that enveloped the ship. Ship officers were seldom seen around the ship, and the Cruise Director did not seem to understand that the poor attendance at organised activities on board could mean that passengers were not all that happy with what was being offered, and communication with passengers (especially during times when the ship lay anchored off shore or in port – on two occasions for almost a full 24 day) was woefully inadequate. Even the affable Captain Alex, whose humorous daily admonitions of peace and love often did provide sound food for thought, was found wanting in this regard when passengers were kept completely in the dark for almost 24 hours while the ship was anchored at the port of Incheon which was closed due to excessively reduced visibility. Communication from the Cruise Director did improve when the ship was again anchored off shore outside Shanghai for a further extended period, so perhaps the ship’s management did learn from their previous shabby performance after all. Itinerary: We chose this cruise because of the itinerary as a visit to Beijing, in particular, had long been on our bucket list. While completely out of Celebrity’s control, the delayed arrival in Incheon, the full day lost while the ship was anchored in Incheon because of the port’s closure and the further delay while Shanghai port remained closed, all had the effect of severely constricting the limited time available to see the attractions in Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai . Specifically, we had booked a three day two night ship excursion to Beijing which was to be the highlight of our trip. Unfortunately because of the weather, this excursion had to be reduced to a two day, one night offering which meant that the attractions and sites to be visited had to be concertinaed into two not three days resulting in minimal time being spent at some key attractions such as the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square, or to some attractions such as the Summer Place not being visited at all. Most disappointing. Similarly we had a half day hotel drop off ship excursion in Shanghai at the end of the cruise. This too had to be curtailed as the excursion which was scheduled to be completed by about 13h00, only started at 16h45 because of the ship’s late docking. However, all’s well that ends well as the excursion enabled us the see the Bund in Shanghai at night. Awesome! The ship: The Millennium was ostensibly refurbished only two years ago. Clearly this refurbishment was focused primarily on upgrading the experience of suite class passengers as the refurbishment seems to have been restricted to reconfiguring the speciality and suite class restaurants and to upgrading suite class staterooms. Very little attention was paid to the more frequently used public areas such as the Ocean View Café and surrounds which are in a particularly bad state, or to the standard staterooms. Our Concierge class stateroom while clean and adequately equipped was drab and in dire need of upgrading. However, while ageing and in urgent need of a complete makeover, the Millennium was always kept clean and well maintained. Service: The one enduring positive of the cruise was the generally good to excellent service we received from most of the service staff with whom we interacted be they stateroom attendants, barmen, waiters or stewards. It is really one area where the RCCL Group have got it right and staff invariably are attentive, well trained, obliging and cheerful, always seemingly willing to go the extra mile and undertake their duties with a smile. By contrast, we found some of the more professional staff in Guest Relations and particularly Shore Excursions to be surly and off-hand. Perhaps this was because a lot of extra work was thrust on them to amend or rearrange a number of excursions that were affected by the weather issues. But they should acknowledge that the passengers were also significantly inconvenienced during this cruise. It is after all, their job! Despite these obvious shortcomings, the cruise nevertheless presented us with opportunity to exploring some unique parts of the East and to view many iconic sites first hand. Some highlights included: • Exploring the beautiful temple and gardens of Zhongheng Park in Keelung (the port city for visits to the capital Taipei), site of the majestic 25 metre high statue of the Goddess of Mercy – the biggest such statue in SE Asia • Visiting Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb museum in Nagasaki, a most moving experience and a timely reminder that we have to keep the nuclear weapons out of the hands of hardliners wherever they may exist • Traversing the ultra modern city of Busan by hop on – hop off bus. Unfortunately a rushed visit so we did not have the time to see the famous fish market, apparently one of Busan’s main attractions • Viewing an ancient volcanic crater site followed by a close up view of centuries old village life on Jeju Island • Visiting, albeit in a somewhat hectic fashion in view of the delay in arriving in Tianjin, most of the major iconic attractions of the city of Beijing including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven • Staying for one night in the glorious China World luxury hotel (as part of the included Beijing experience). Certainly one of the best hotels we have yet stayed at • Viewing the lights of Shanghai at night • A most interesting post cruise a private day long tour of the ancient village of Su Zhou and the unique 900 year old water village of Zhou Zhuang. We have been loyal Celebrity cruise passengers for over ten years where we have been privileged to enjoy many wonderful experiences. This only further serves to heighten our concerns at the apparent (but notable) decline in the quality of the Celebrity product. Had we not already have booked and fully paid for a further Celebrity cruise of Canada and New England this coming September (which we seriously considered cancelling), the Millennium cruise of China and South Korea would probably have been our last with Celebrity. Hopefully, our experience on the Summit in September will restore our faith in the Celebrity brand. However, whatever the outcome we feel the time has now come for us to explore the products offered by competitor cruise lines so, in all probability, we shall be bidding a fond but sad farewell to the Celebrity brand after our Canada/New England cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary,which was exactly as expected.It is an older ship and could use some work. It was kept very clean. Unfortunately we had one bad sea day and 2 fog delays which made for boring days on the ship which ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary,which was exactly as expected.It is an older ship and could use some work. It was kept very clean. Unfortunately we had one bad sea day and 2 fog delays which made for boring days on the ship which didn't have much going on during those days.The embarkation was fast and easy.The cabin was tight and ordinary with just enough space.The conceriege class, as we have had before,is a waste.The snacks in the afternoon were not so great. The food was good,although desserts at dinner were terrible and dull. The buffet dining was ok if you could find a table to sit at. Very frustrating. All the staff were very pleasant,polite and more than helpful. The casino was average for a ship this size. No exceptional features to the ship make us feel that it was outstanding. So,If you want the itinerary take this ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and based on past experience with Celebrity. We (2 adults and a 10-year old plus other family memebers) spent most of a week before embarkation exploring parts of mainland China as well as Hong ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and based on past experience with Celebrity. We (2 adults and a 10-year old plus other family memebers) spent most of a week before embarkation exploring parts of mainland China as well as Hong Kong. Embarkation and disembarkation were both smooth and efficient despite Celebrity having warned just a week before departure that disembarkation would be problematic and no outbound flights should be booked before 1830hrs. Celebrity's late and not very explicit warning on this point probably generated more problems for guest relations than it was worth. How easily this matter was managed when discussed with guest relations staff seemed to vary depending on which staff member you spoke to, an issue which came up in other contexts as well. The ship itself was clean and seemed in good repair although there were also some signs of wear (e.g., a cabin mirror with the glazing worn off in one spot). We had an inside cabin and in most respects it was typical of those on other cruise lines though perhaps a bit smaller or less well designed. Navigating from the bed to the bathroom when the sofa bed was open was almost impossible. Dining was a mixed bag and I wonder if the proliferation of private dining options has come at the expense of the main dining room. Food in the main dining room was just average at best. Food in the buffet was very good. In combination the result might be average but poor to average might be a better classification. Entertainment was very good but other on-board activities though quite good seemed a bit anemic in terms of quantity. Food service staff were very good (kudos to Chang, Adi and the others) as was our cabin attendant. Guest relations staff were a bit variable (occasionally difficult) as were excursion staff. Service from landside Celebrity staff (their call centre) was poor (non-responsive even on simple inquiries like prepaying gratuities). Great ports despite weather issues and we enjoyed the shore excursions we purchased. We were surprised to find Celebrity offering a separate set of small group excursions on-board which were not mentioned among the excursion offerings available online prior to sailing. Some of these small group excursions offered superior experiences at similar cost to the large group excursions. We would do the trip again because of the itinerary but we would not use the same cabin again under any circumstances. Overall this Celebrity experience was more like a 'Holiday Inn' experience which is OK provided your expectations align with that reality. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The Volendam had recently refurbished their bathrooms and public areas but unfortunately did not refurbish their cabins which were very tired indeed. Great storage though in Cabin. The ship was continually cold onboard and we were given a ... Read More
The Volendam had recently refurbished their bathrooms and public areas but unfortunately did not refurbish their cabins which were very tired indeed. Great storage though in Cabin. The ship was continually cold onboard and we were given a variety of reasons why the air conditioning continued to blast out cold air yet I have seen other reviews about HAL complaining about the cold onboard their ships. Many passengers continually wore coats throughout the ship, some even had blankets with them in the dining room. Two of our companions left the ship with chest infections. Entertainment day and evening was very poor with very few activities to choose from. At age 60 plus I felt like youngster on board with the averse age of guest being about 80 years old. For whatever reason the ship was deserted at 10 pm every evening! Staff were generally very helpful except when we complained about the cold. They continually repeated that they take all complaints seriously but couldn’t explain why the air conditioning was always blowing out very cold air. If I were to speculate why I would suggest they are trying to ensure germs cannot breed. They should have followed this up though with staff encouraging passengers to wash their hands as they entered the dining areas as I have experienced with other shipping lines. The hands cleansing machines were at every entrance but unfortunately not all passengers used them. I will definitely never sail with HAL again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this because of previous experience of Celebrity and also the itinerary. We were a little worried about the ship because of some reviews but she's a nice ship, in generally good condition despite her age and a good size. Food ... Read More
We chose this because of previous experience of Celebrity and also the itinerary. We were a little worried about the ship because of some reviews but she's a nice ship, in generally good condition despite her age and a good size. Food in the suite restaurant, Luminae, was very good and the staff very pleasant although appeared a little rushed sometimes. We ate once in Qsine and had an excellent experience. MDR was less successful. Food wasn't great and neither was service. Maitre D's seemed quite inexperienced. Top deck buffet was always packed with a lot of the customers using it as a meeting area not just a restaurant. As for the bars, the staff in the suite club, Michael's were all excellent and we enjoyed being in there. Cellar Masters was pretty good too. Cosmos lounge was not our favourite; service not grea and they charged me extra for a drink that was already included in our drinking package. I was never asked to sign for the charge. Rendezvous, a through lounge, was quite poor, especially table service. No danger of over-drinking waiting for service in there. Martini bar was good. We didn't use the main pool but did use the 'adults-only' Solarium pool. It was a Thalassopool that seemed very salty. Canyon Ranch spa was, as usual, an horrendous rip-off. The worst part of this cruise was the entertainments/enrichment activities. A new cast arrived on the ship the same day as us and two weeks later they's done two show, both of which were mediocre at best. The singers couldn't harmonise although the dancing was ok. Invited acts ranged from very good to poor. 'House' acts also varied. Violin duo, Lado Strings, was excellent and Groovity were ok but the house band was awful. Shore excursions, we thought, were very good value for money especially considering the distances involved. Tour guides, whilst having limited English, were good. Overall we enjoyed our cruise. It appears to me that Celebrity have cut back on staff. There's no assistant room steward and some of the bars seemed bereft of staff. Maybe we'll look to try another line soon. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We cruised on Reflection a few years ago and several other cruises on another cruiseline, must say Millennium does need a refurb it is well maintained, but, it does need work. We upgraded to Aqua class, as I love spas... most ... Read More
We cruised on Reflection a few years ago and several other cruises on another cruiseline, must say Millennium does need a refurb it is well maintained, but, it does need work. We upgraded to Aqua class, as I love spas... most disappointing, went in and out... it was dark, not a place i would go back to, what a waste of $$. Must say would not chose this ship again. The crew, our steward, restaurant staff and front office wonderful. Entertainment, not enticing nor interesting. We chose this ship for the itinerary, should have checked more. The beverage package no worth if you only have a couple of drinks as a cocktail or wine with dinner, especially when you can not use it per cabin, only per person... not even for ones birthday drink. Specialty restaurants were great. Sushi on 5, Blu, Tuscan and Mediterranean all wonderful, service, food was yummy. Tour Itineraries were good, well priced and tour guides were knowledgeable and informative. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We wished to revisit Halong Bay but the weather was grey most places we went so maybe not a good time of year to visit. The main dining meals were the worst out of our 20 cruises.We usually eat in the main dining but we tried it several ... Read More
We wished to revisit Halong Bay but the weather was grey most places we went so maybe not a good time of year to visit. The main dining meals were the worst out of our 20 cruises.We usually eat in the main dining but we tried it several times. The service was good but meals were not. Eg french onion soup was a bowl of soup with a slice of bread on to with cheese which was inedible. Meals in the buffet were varied with a good choice but the cakes were all soggy. They had layers of filling which made the cake wet. The ice cream parlour was brilliant. We would have liked to watch movies but they were hidden away on deck 12 with only a few seats in the shade plus the movies were old. There was not much going on around thr ship during the day. A big plus was a heated hydrotherapy pool in the solarium which we used daily. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Great crew and amusing approachable captain--all so keen to be pleasant and help--we cruised by North and South Vietnam and 3 ports in Taipei Food was so good than no need to use speciality restaurants, No lectures on port visits ... Read More
Great crew and amusing approachable captain--all so keen to be pleasant and help--we cruised by North and South Vietnam and 3 ports in Taipei Food was so good than no need to use speciality restaurants, No lectures on port visits despite being to such an interesting part of the world. Visits to many temples and more temples which seemed old fashioned Compared to the countries we bussed through--why not trips to university or computer/chip production facilities or one of many ship yards. So much more to countries than old temples! A bit of imagination needed here! Perhaps the boat being American stopped too much introspection about past history as far as Vietnam is concerned. We visited the Chain Kai-chek memorial in Taipei and later research revealed that it might be in the process of being closed down by a government with less than glowing memories of the General! All interesting themes for a good lecturer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Maybe it's a matter of expectations and what you consider expensive. With an average verandah room and the cost of $16,000 for a 15 day cruise, we had high expectations. This was by far the most expensive cruise we have ever taken. ... Read More
Maybe it's a matter of expectations and what you consider expensive. With an average verandah room and the cost of $16,000 for a 15 day cruise, we had high expectations. This was by far the most expensive cruise we have ever taken. It was a stretch for our finances. The room was smaller than those we have had in the past on other cruise lines and the bathroom space rivaled that on an airplane. For the cost, we could have had a suite on HAL, Celebrity, or Princess. But we chose Oceania because of the itinerary and loved that most stops in Vietnam were overnight. Plus, being on a small ship it could dock up the rivers and be centrally located in Saigon and Bangkok, where the larger ships would be 2 hours away on the coast. The dining room had a few missteps as far as proper cooking of steaks and eggs. They were very slow, no matter which meal, to get the courses out. I found a two hour dinner just too long. The specialty restaurants were no better than the main dining room. I would not recommend the O Life. We could not get a custom air route that we wanted, so Oceania made the flight arrangements, which were beyond awful. We took only 1 "free" excursion, which my husband then told me "never again". The group tour was 5 or 6 buses going to Hue together and the bathroom situation was so bad, I couldn't drink water until we got back aboard the ship. I booked last minute private tours for the other ports. We did not care for the entertainment and the fact that there was no theater but a lounge instead. I kept thinking, "Is this worth three times the amount of Celebrity?" and the answer is, no. Overall, it was a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Decent value for the price that was paid. Old ship, showing her age. Many of the public areas seem to have been converted to specialty restaurants during prior renewals of the ship and this distracted from the beauty of the ship. ... Read More
Decent value for the price that was paid. Old ship, showing her age. Many of the public areas seem to have been converted to specialty restaurants during prior renewals of the ship and this distracted from the beauty of the ship. Certainly not a 5 star cruise. Maybe years ago it was. We saw no significant differences from other RCL ships or other so called 4 or 4 and one half star cruise ships. The dining experience in the Main Dining Room was crowded and the service and food was just average. The bar service was uneven. The Buffet section of the ship was at times crowded and confusing - as it is on many other ships. This Asia itinerary was interesting but most of the ports were far away from the points of interest. The industrial ports that were visited were not developed for tourists. The information that was provided by Celebrity regarding the ports was poor. For example, on our first full day aboard ship in Hong Kong - a relatively new port facility developed for visitors but located far from public transit and the center of town, we were assured that taxis could be accessed at the port. We got up and waited at the taxi stand for 25 minutes and could not find a taxi. This ship had over 2000 passengers and yet the ship apparently did not make any provision to assist anyone to get into town. We ultimately had to take a bus to a shopping mall and hail a cab at the mall. So it took us well over an hour to get into town. In summary, if the pricing is good, and the itinerary interests you, this ship is OK. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We like Celebrity and have, to date, always enjoyed the quality, cleanliness and service on their cruises. We chose this itinerary as its a new area to us. We boarded at around 7pm and, maybe because Celebrity no longer offer this or ... Read More
We like Celebrity and have, to date, always enjoyed the quality, cleanliness and service on their cruises. We chose this itinerary as its a new area to us. We boarded at around 7pm and, maybe because Celebrity no longer offer this or maybe because we boarded so late, we missed the welcoming glass of sparkling wine. Not an important thing, but it's one of those small touches that we had enjoyed on previous Celebrity cruises. Our cabin looked fine and we quickly unpacked. We specially enjoyed having the first night in port as it gave us extra time to enjoy Hong Kong. Unfortunately, neither of us could sleep on our first night as the cabin floor vibrated noticeably and there was a lot of noise in the room. We hadn't noticed this in the daytime. It got so we became quite distressed at the prospect of spending 2 weeks there, so I went to speak to the help desk. They quickly sent a lovely lady to help us and we were offered an inside cabin to spend the night in, so we finally got some (half a night) sleep. The following day, we were told we needed to wait until everyone had boarded then could expect to be offered a better cabin by the evening, so we went out for another day in Hong Kong. Our new cabin was fine, as were the room attendents of both cabins and the lady who came to our aid in the middle of the night. The onboard entertainment was generally of good quality and we both appreciated the unubtrusiveness of the daytime entertainment team. We did 3 onboard excursions, all were transfers only, so we could enjoye our time being free to wander. In view of the out of the way port locations, we considered these pre booked excursions worthwhile. One of the things we enjoyed was being able to leave the cruise ship and spend a night in Bangkok. This seemed like an extra mini break in the middle of the cruise. We also enjoyed arriving in Singapore and not having to disembark on the same day. Being able to efffectively spend 2 days in Singapore was a treat. All in all it was a very pleasant cruise, but I wouldn't rush to go on Celebrity Millennium again as it really is a ship that has seen better days. One noticeable thing was that there were definitely less maintenence staff visible, whereas most ships we've been on have had people visibly cleaning, polishing, painting different areas most days. The MIllennium has a fair amount of visible rust which I'd have expected to see staff working on, scruffy chairs in the buffet that weren't up to the usual Celebrity standard etc. etc. Having said all this, Celebrity is still my favourite cruise line and if the Millennium was doing a trip we really wanted todo, we'd return to it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The ship was OK. The storage in the balcony cabins was poor. The food was OK I've had better food on most Celebrity Ships. The main problem with the itinerary was that many ports were 3 to 31/2 hours away. The entertainment was fair. ... Read More
The ship was OK. The storage in the balcony cabins was poor. The food was OK I've had better food on most Celebrity Ships. The main problem with the itinerary was that many ports were 3 to 31/2 hours away. The entertainment was fair. I had already seen 3 of the major shows. They don't seem to create new shows that often. I liked the entertainment that were individual people or groups. At least these weren't repeats. One of the best things about the entertainment was the house band. They were exceptional. I think they should have more than Tuscan Grille & Quisine for specialty restaurants. The 2 best ports of call were Hong Kong & Singapore because the ship was docked at these port cities. A suggestion might be to stay an extra day in Thailand . I only got to see Bangkok and their glorious temples and wonderful food and would have liked to see beautiful Pukett from what other people on the ship said. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Ship is now rather tired. Compared to our previous Celebrity cruises the standards are slipping. Bar prices do not represent value for money $9 +18% percent for a warm beer. Wine $32 per bottle +18% at very minimum and the ... Read More
Ship is now rather tired. Compared to our previous Celebrity cruises the standards are slipping. Bar prices do not represent value for money $9 +18% percent for a warm beer. Wine $32 per bottle +18% at very minimum and the Sommeliers are largely clueless about the wines. Several times was given non branded spirits and charged for branded, $3 difference. Food in main restaurant was not hot due to cold plates which spoiled what is excellent food. Entertainment very good except for band called the Mersey Boys who were poor. Upselling of speciality dining at $50 per cover along with photos, shops and tours became very annoying. More time with staff spent getting basics right would be better. General impression is that the staff are poorly led and often 2 or 3 team leads can be seen congregating together. Staff are generally helpful in most cases but some are absolutely clueless. Ship berths, particularly Vietnam, long distances from cities and Bangkok - an container port berth ate Laem Chabang 3 hours from city. Changing the dress code to 'evening chic' is a disappointing move. This devalues the whole experience with men and ladies resorting to designer means and shirts. Many of those we asked felt very disappointed with the relaxed dress code. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018

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