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119 Hong Kong to Asia Cruise Reviews

The cruise was suggested by a friend as a great way to see Asia.. The ship is very old and there were many examples of torn fabric on chairs, the handrails were worn, some of the out side steps were near collapse, there were areas of ... Read More
The cruise was suggested by a friend as a great way to see Asia.. The ship is very old and there were many examples of torn fabric on chairs, the handrails were worn, some of the out side steps were near collapse, there were areas of rust everywhere, floors were uneven, people locked up seats around the pool by putting their towels on chairs very early in the morning, ... Generally this ship is very old, furniture is old and worn, the decor is old, and this ship is long overdue for either a complete retrofit or retirement. The excursions were poor. Long bus rides. Poor tours. When we moved to our room the smell of sewer from the shower was almost unbearable. This improved somewhat but stayed until the end of the cruise. The toilet blocked at one time. The cabinets were old. The staff were mainly east European and I did not think they were as friendly as other Celebrity cruises. This ship was definitely not Celebrity quality..far from it. I had a cruise booked for Alaska on this boat in 2018. I will most definitely be cancelling. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Now that I got my land legs back and over a chest cold,I will tell you about my or our experience ,Hong Kong to Singapore .the ports we a visited where a grad experience ,the cruise line Seabourn left a lot to be desired ,we had a cabin ... Read More
Now that I got my land legs back and over a chest cold,I will tell you about my or our experience ,Hong Kong to Singapore .the ports we a visited where a grad experience ,the cruise line Seabourn left a lot to be desired ,we had a cabin for disabled on deck nine,the bathroom which is very important for a disabled person was very functional ,the front door dit not stay open by it self,you need to put a wedge under the door to get in and out,,needs to be looked at,the cabin itself very plain,but again functional . the ship itself lacks warmth and class,the staff are passionate and very obliging ,but again there all talk like a Seabourn manua ,not natu ,the goog,glorious food,,in the main dining room we found had never had the wow effect,and the menus kept repeating it self,the wines served at dinner were far to young and need to be stored a few more years ,the dining room in it self is a no event,very boring,again nothing special,we liked the way ladies were escorted to there tables by staff,mabe even officers,we arrived in a wheelchair and no one gave us a second look,much less show as to our table ,,nice one Seabourn , the pool deck is fare to small for all the people,that brings me to the Seabourn Square,which is a reception ,a library ,and a meeting place plus a coffe shop,it looks like a business class lounge in an airport,,very boring,we had pre dinner drinks in the piano bar,again staff were excellent ,the piano player,played the same tunes night afer night ,and had a break every thirty minutes,looking back which I don't like to do,I just like to forget about is overrated cruise line,I wound go on Seabourn if they paid me. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We are a 3 star Mariner with Holland America working towards our 4 star. We go away every winter and liked the itinerary of this cruise. We were on for a total of 42 days. We like to listen to the piano and violin entertainment with a ... Read More
We are a 3 star Mariner with Holland America working towards our 4 star. We go away every winter and liked the itinerary of this cruise. We were on for a total of 42 days. We like to listen to the piano and violin entertainment with a martini before dinner. Adagio, Andreea and Alexandru were fantastic. The food on this ship has slipped. The worst French Onion soup I have ever had. The service at dinner was very slow and the food often arrived cold. We like to eat breakfast and lunch on the Lido deck aft however this ship offered no service for these tables. That is no juice or coffee in the morning and nothing at lunch. We often had to get our own cutlery and clear a space at the tables. We used to enjoy the Culinary Centre and related activities however now Holland America has invited America's Test Kitchen to do the shows and they are very dry and poorly presented. Plus there are no samples. This is a big mistake on Holland America's part. We like Holland America however it seems evident that there is some serious cost cutting going on, at least on this ship. We will never book the Volendam again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Have cruised NCL several times before with few problems. Wanted to see Australia and New Zealand. The ship lost one of its two engines in early December. NCL never informed us of this. I found out from on line reviews. It continued ... Read More
Have cruised NCL several times before with few problems. Wanted to see Australia and New Zealand. The ship lost one of its two engines in early December. NCL never informed us of this. I found out from on line reviews. It continued to sail on one engine. Our Jan 16 cruise had two ports dropped. NCL hoped to fix it in Singapore on Jan 22. They say they fixed it. Some 32 hours later, a loud boom, and we were back to one engine. Forty hours later, they finally told us and cancelled 3 more ports, 2 of them in Australia. When NCL offered crap as compensation, and the captain said that he appreciated our understanding, a protest and near riot erupted. A spokesman from "corporate" was going to meet us. A salesman from Sydney showed up. We were given "future cruise credits" as compensation for missing half of our ports. NCL management sucks! We arrived in Sydney on Feb 6, in time to start the second leg of our cruise, with 3 ports dropped.. The Norwegian Star is probably the worst ship in the cruise business. It has a long list of failures. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise for the new and exciting ports of call on the original itinerary. However, in Dec 2016, the NCL Star had one engine problem forcing them to drop Ho Chi Min City and Bangkok from the itinerary. We only found out about ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the new and exciting ports of call on the original itinerary. However, in Dec 2016, the NCL Star had one engine problem forcing them to drop Ho Chi Min City and Bangkok from the itinerary. We only found out about this by reading Cruise Critic This occurred after final payment and NCL would not give us a full refund to cancel the cruise, they only offered a $200 onboard credit per person. So we went on to the cruise and flew to Hong Kong a few days prior and then boarded the ship there and noticed the ship could make only 9-10 knots. After 2 sea days we made Na Trang, Vietnam, which was not nearly as interesting as Ho Chi Min City would have been. Then after another two sea days we made Singapore which is a beautiful modern city that was very interesting. We stayed overnight in Singapore to allow NCL to make engine repairs, which they did. We had two more sea days while we sped at 21 knots to Bali, Indonesia, which was a tender port. NCL Star's tendering operation allowed all of their tours to tender before others could tender which meant we had a three hour wait before we could get off the ship! To our surprise, a driver for the Ubud tour with Bali Sun Tours we booked thru Shore Excursions Group, was still there waiting for us and we had a nice "private" tour driving through the Bali "countryside" to visit the arts and crafts businesses in Ubud. After a shortened Bali tour, we got back in the huge line to tender back to the ship. As we sat down for dinner that evening as the ship is sailing out of Bali, the captain came on the PA and said that the other engine is now broken and they would have to drop three more ports of call from our itinerary (Komodo Island, Airlie Beach, and Brisbane), meaning a total of 5 out of 10 original ports would be skipped. And we didn't find out until later that NCL was only offering $250 per person plus a 50% future cruise credit for this itinerary change. The mood of most passengers instantly went downhill and an impromptu meeting of passengers in the atrium started a petition to NCL to reconsider their poor offer. I believe there were some youtube videos that show the action there. So now it took us three more sea days to make Darwin, Australia, and we were told by the captain that an NCL representative from Miami would come on board to hear the passenger complaints. However, when we get to Darwin, the NCL rep was from the Sydney office, and to be able to hear him, we had to skip leaving the ship early in Darwin. The NCL rep did say that he had no power to change the offer but he would listen to our concerns. He did get an ear full of complaints. And the next day, we got another offer from NCL that was a reimbursement of $500 per person (max $1000 per cabin) and a 100% future cruise credit (up to the cost of the current cruise less taxes and fees, etc). More passengers were happy with this offer, but we noted that we wished we had been able to cancel this cruise and recoup some of our travel expenses. Anyway, we did visit Darwin and took the Hop-on Hop-off bus and Darwin was a nice place to visit even though it was rather hot. One local in a downtown cafe told us that it was just a little warm. Then we had two sea days and then we ported "near" Cairns, near being at Yorkey's Knob where the slow tendering process began again. Originally, we had booked the NCL tour to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef at Airlie Beach, but NCL cancelled that tour, but since we had booked that one early, they set up another GBR snorkel tour at Cairns and I got to be one of about 80 passengers allowed to sign up for it. The tour's catamaran pulled right up to the Star and we boarded for an hour cruise to the GBR dive/snorkel site. The seas had some big swells so the barf bags were passed out. We were at the site about 5 hours and I made 2 long snorkel trips and made many underwater pictures but the site was not very colorful but it was very interesting and I'm glad I got to see it. I felt sorry for the other passengers that weren't allowed to make this tour. We had three more sea days after Cairns until we wound up into Sydney. The captain was anxious to get into Sydney early, so the sail in to Sydney Harbor occurred around 3am, so we skipped watching the sail-in. The Overseas Passenger Terminal is right in the middle of the Sydney harbor, so we had great views of the Opera House on one side and the Sydney Harbor Bridge on the other. We had been to Sydney before on another cruise, but it is one of our favorite places. We spent a couple of days there walking around "The Rocks" and visiting the Opera House before flying on to Auckland (for 3 days) and then back home to the US. The Norwegian Star is a decent ship if both engines are working. We had a "cove" balcony cabin on deck 8 forward and our cabin was decent sized and our steward kept it very clean. Our only complaint with the cabin design is that the cabinet shelves are on the inside of the closet making it very difficult to see and reach for things stored there. The bath space is good (similar to the Jade and Dawn). And the cove balcony seems to help keep the wind and sun from bother us too much. Since this was our fourth time on the Star, we had seen all of the cast shows but we were impressed by the Star's cast singers and dancers. We don't particularly care for Acrobatics, Aerialists, Magicians, which they had, but the singing acts they had were very good. The dance band, Exotique, in the Spinnaker Lounger, are great, especially when they do their Motown set. And the Melodic Trio in the Atrium are good at times. We think the food overall on the Star has gotten worse since our last cruise with them in June, 2016. The Versailles Dining room menu didn't have enough variety in their dishes and vegetables (but it was a 21-day cruise). Note the menu also had "paid" items like surf and turf which would cost you extra, which we think is another crass attempt by NCL to nickel and dime their passengers. It seemed that the service in the Versailles was very slow compared to other cruises, too. The buffet was unappetizing. We ate at O'Sheehan's Bar and Grill many times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, since the service there was much better. Thanks to our Platinum Latitudes status, we had a free meal in La Cucina Italian restaurant and Le Bistro French restaurant, and they were both good! If we had made all of our original ports of call, this would have been an exciting and interesting cruise. However, this was too many sea days on a ship we've sailed on too many times, and so I would have to give it a poor rating. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We planned this cruise for over a year. We saved so we could afford it and enjoy seeing the Far East side of the World and we booked back to back cruises to continue on the ship for the Australia/New Zealand cruise. We have sailed with ... Read More
We planned this cruise for over a year. We saved so we could afford it and enjoy seeing the Far East side of the World and we booked back to back cruises to continue on the ship for the Australia/New Zealand cruise. We have sailed with Norwegian for more than 25 years and have never been so disappointed with any cruise line as we were with the responses received from NCL regarding the problems on the cruises that was to be "our trip of a lifetime". It certainly was that but not for the right reasons. The ship broke but that was only half of the problem. The fact that Norwegian continued to sail a ship that they knew was broken was a huge problem and eventually caused the ultimate problem of being adrift at sea with no engines and having to be towed back to port. This could have been a disastrous situation had the ship gotten any further out into the Tasman Sea. They were lucky that the final breakdown happened only 77 miles from port and we were not in any rough seas. I honestly believe that Norwegian put my and all the passengers on the ship at risk by sailing a ship with a known problem and only one propulsion engine working. Ports were canceled on the first cruise and on the last cruise to New Zealand all ports were canceled. The NCL response to the passengers for this was the absolute poorest I have ever seen from a company and I am sure there will be litigation to come based on their attitude toward the passengers. The ship breaking and the missed ports might have been forgiven if the company attitude had been appropriate. Please DO NOT book any sailings on this ship - It is OLD and needs to be put to dry dock, there is no telling what could happen next. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We joined the ship in Hong Kong having selected this cruise as a special holiday to celebrate our golden wedding anniversary. We had already been advised that two ports of call were cancelled because of an Azipod engine problem. When ... Read More
We joined the ship in Hong Kong having selected this cruise as a special holiday to celebrate our golden wedding anniversary. We had already been advised that two ports of call were cancelled because of an Azipod engine problem. When coming back on board we at Bali we were told that three more stops were cancelled due to ongoing problems. The initial compensation offer was pathetic but was increased after the passengers almost mutinied. Although the offer was better it does not compensate for the loss of half of the scheduled stops. In all we spent 15 out of 21 days at sea, including two lots of 3 days. Since we left the ship in Sydney we have heard the second engine broke down while cruising from Melbourne to Hobart and she has had to be towed back to dry dock in Melbourne. As for things on the ship I must say the staff were excellent, always smiling and helpful. The food was OK but not as good as on other cruise lines we have used. Some of the shows were excellent while the others were, at best, average. Were it not for the future cruise credit that is included in the compensation package I would not consider booking with NCL ever again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We had not been to any of these places before. But we're looking forward to the cruise. We were on freedom dining which worked out well dining room staff were pleasant and helpful but the food was very slow arriving at table,think ... Read More
We had not been to any of these places before. But we're looking forward to the cruise. We were on freedom dining which worked out well dining room staff were pleasant and helpful but the food was very slow arriving at table,think problem was kitchen. Food was of poor quality and under done my wife got raw chicken and the beef I had was raw and cold in the middle. We have travelled with Celebrity before on this ship and I would say that quality of food has dropped a lot it was very poor choice on menu. The Ocean View was also poor breakfast was fine apart from bananas which we like for breakfast were never available but they were used on evening menu. No matter how often you asked for them! Lunchtime was terrible if you did not want to eat Chinese food very little choice chicken and very little else. Other meats and fish were in very short supply and the fish they did provide was of a poor quality. That said we did not starve! It gave the impression that it was all costed for maximum profit. The first thing we were hit with was the big sell on drink packages four different staff approached us try and sell us the package. Glad we did not bother we are not drinkers. There surcharge if you don't take the package is 18% on all drinks the cost of the cheapest bottle of wine is around $40 plus 18% this I believe is to force people to take out a upgraded package as the the reasonable quality drinks were above the price of the starter one. The service charge was way above other cruise lines. If the staff got the money they were asking plus a wage they would be very well off. Trips were expensive and we were left in the first port at the only way to describe as a dirty coal terminal and no shuttle bus I believe this was designed to make you take the trips all ports apart from one no shuttle was provided ,very poor! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise because we had heard the company were very good but the ship disappointed. The places we visited were on the whole were great but the ship let it down. The hotel accommodation before and after the ship were very good ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had heard the company were very good but the ship disappointed. The places we visited were on the whole were great but the ship let it down. The hotel accommodation before and after the ship were very good indeed but again the ship let us down. The cabin I would say was average but the concierge service was very good. Service at the bars was not very good with wine that had been open for a while(tasted what I would call flat. I had the non alcoholic drinks package for a number of reasons but decided to have a bottle of red wine in the restaurant ($37!) for an ordinary but nice bottle. Safety drill I thought was very inadequate. Dress code in the evening dining was not as implied by brochures it seem anything went even outdoors jackets, baseball caps, trainers and old jeans this was at the fixed dining. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I would never have submitted this critique, but after writing a letter to Mark Conroy, Director of America's, and receiving no reply, I decided to write an online review. Let me begin by saying that my husband and I travel ... Read More
I would never have submitted this critique, but after writing a letter to Mark Conroy, Director of America's, and receiving no reply, I decided to write an online review. Let me begin by saying that my husband and I travel extensively both independently and with private guides. We have also enjoyed many cruises (Regency, Oceania, Holland, Princess) and have always returned home happy and looking forward to our next adventure. This trip to Southeast Asia was our first experience with Silversea, and we specifically chose the cruise for two reasons. First, the itinerary was appealing and fit our interests, and second, we wanted a luxury line with whom we could begin to establish a loyalty program. Based on our experience, it is highly unlikely that we will be doing so with Silversea. The cruise was average and surpising for a luxury cruise line. The absolute plus was the service we received from our butler, Mark, our cabin steward, Jesus, and one of the waiters in The Restaurant, Jessie. They could not have been more pleasant, professional and helpful. However, for such a small ship, the service from the rest of the staff could only be described as dysfunctional at best. Pool side service was non-existent. There were plenty of wait staff around, but it was beyond difficult to receive any type of service from them. One afternoon my husband asked for a glass of water twice, and he never received it. On a few other occasions, I tried to get the waiter’s attention to place a simple drink order, and until I stood up and waived, or called out, I was ignored. I observed other guests in the same situation. Our one and only meal at the Grill was so frustrating that we never went back. The wine steward informed us that she was completely out of white wine. It took the persistence of our waiter, and forty plus minutes before I was able to enjoy a glass of wine. Our entire experience on the ship felt like there was a complete disconnect in the overall service quality. Let me end by saying that the sites we visited along the way were incredible. The guests we met on board, and the people we met in the countries we visited were lovely. The food on the ship was good, the portions the perfect size. And again, we cannot say enough about the wonderful service and attention we received from Mark, Jesus, and Jessie. Other than that, there was a huge gap in service and attention to detail. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise for its itinerary and the sailing dates since it coincided nicely with the Christmas and New Year's holiday. My husband and I have cruised multiple times before (on different cruise lines). But our previous ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary and the sailing dates since it coincided nicely with the Christmas and New Year's holiday. My husband and I have cruised multiple times before (on different cruise lines). But our previous cruises have all been in the Caribbean or the Alaskan Inside Passage, where the scenery and activities do not change much from port-to-port and there is nothing to do at port at night (besides drink). This was our first (and last) international-type of cruise where there are world class cities and UNESCO heritage sites on the itinerary. There was simply not enough time in port for any of the locations. Furthermore, the destinations of interest were so far away from where the ship docked (1.5 - 3 hours each way), much of the precious port time was spent on a bus. With the exception of Bangkok, none of this is communicated when you book your cruise or your shore excursions. Like many things with Celebrity Cruise Lines, you have to find out things on your own. Lack of communication, and sometimes conflicting information, was definitely an overarching theme of this cruise...from booking to our very last shore excursion. This was our first (and last) cruise with Celebrity. ***EMBARKATION*** While check-in ran smoothly, the nickel-and-diming upon embarkation was ridiculous. There were crew chasing passengers down in the terminal like they left their passports at the desk or dropped their wallets. But, nope, they just wanted to sell them a premium beverage package. Most of us were coming off of 10-12+ hour flights and were toting our luggage. We just wanted to get to our cabins and not be hassled into buying unlimited sugary drinks or cheap, drugstore wine. (Referring to the Beringer white zinfandel, among others, that was included in the classic wine package.) ***PORTS OF CALL AND SHORE EXCURSIONS*** HONG KONG On a map, it looks like we were not too far away from the heart of the city but in reality, we were not in walking distance to anything and there was no train/subway station nearby either. Our second day at port was cut short by 4 hours because they wanted everyone back on the ship by 1:00 PM (instead of the scheduled 5 PM) in order to go through immigration and have your passport collected. (Couldn't they just do this at embarkation?) As a result, our day was cut in half. DE NANG The highlight of this port is Hoi An. If you are ever in this part of the world, go there! It is a well-maintained historic waterfront village full of shops and restaurants, and it is a UNESCO heritage site. Unfortunately, it takes 2 hours to get there by bus from where the ship docks. My husband and I did the countryside by bike plus Hoi An tour but it poured the entire time. This made for an absolutely miserable bike ride. I couldn't tell if you if it was scenic or not. No one wanted to stop and take photos. Stopping usually meant you had to stop in a very deep puddle. And we all had our heads down to avoid being splashed in the face by the rain. We just wanted to get through our one hour bike ride in the wet sand while avoiding the mopeds. (There was no avoiding the ankle-deep puddles.) This part of the tour should have been cancelled. I think everyone would have preferred more free time in Hoi An as we only had 20 minutes on our own. SAIGON / HO CHI MINH CITY We chose the Cu Chi Tunnels plus Saigon tour. This tour was not offered until we got on the ship. We originally just booked the Tunnels tour but since it had no Saigon stop, we upgraded to this one. However, since there are no highways in Saigon, you have to drive through the city anyway in order to get to the other side of it (where the tunnels are). This took almost 3 hours each way since, again, the ship was docked in a far away industrial port area. We enjoyed learning more about the Vietnam War in this experiential way. You can go in the tunnels if you want; we did. They are narrow and dark, but you are only in them for a few minutes (short one-way trip). The stops in Saigon were a little boring because Reunification Palace seemed to be all about who gets entertained in which room. But, it is a major historical landmark so you will want to see it if you are in the neighborhood. There's just no point going inside, in my opinion. BANGKOK Depending on traffic, Bangkok is 2-3 hours away from where the ship docks. As a result, 1600 of the 2000 passengers overnighted in Bangkok. We arranged our own private tours. During the day, we were with our awesome guide, Rut, from Your Thai Guide (https://yourthaiguide.com) who showed us around the Grand Palace and some temples, and in the evening we did the Hangover Tour (http://bangkokhangovertours.com) with our lovely hostess, Aya. If you are open-minded and want to experience the Bangkok nightlife, we highly recommend this tour! This was the one day we completely planned on our own and this was our favorite part of the trip. I don't think it was a coincidence. KOH SAMUI Again, we booked our own tour--a private beach picnic with snorkeling and kayaking through Island Gems--but this one did not meet our expectations as all of the private beaches they wanted to take us to were full of garbage due to the heavier-than-normal rains. The photos on their website and all of their glowing TripAdvisor reviews painted a different picture. However, the picnic food (once we finally found a sliver of trash-free sand) was delicious. SINGAPORE Another rainy day coupled with disappointment. We had an evening tour booked, The Singapore Night At a Glance tour. However, since it was pouring rain, 4 out of the 5 activities on that tour ended up being canceled. However, the tour was not. The tour ended up being just a 5-minute boat ride then the guide, who had no idea what to do with us, just dropped us off in the Marina Bay Sands, a gigantic high-end mall with the largest casino in the world, for 30 minutes of leisure time. (The place was so big, you could not do anything in 30 minutes.) I do NOT recommend this tour. You can do all these things on your own for less money and, if it is raining and everything is closed or canceled, it will not cost you a dime. Heading back to the ship just to meet up for the evening tour was a major hassle. I would have rather stayed out and not wasted the $84. At the beginning of the tour, they told us they were going to give us a 25% refund because the SkyPalace would likely be closed. They didn't tell us that almost all the activities on the tour would be cancelled until we were on the bus and away from the ship. Otherwise, I would have cancelled. After complaining to Guest Relations, we ended up getting a 50% refund but that was still a rather expensive 5-minute boat ride. The next day we did the Singapore Sojourn Tour with Airport Drop-off. It was a good overall tour but, being our second day in Singapore, most of the group (including us) had already seen a majority of the sites featured on the tour. Singapore is not that big. ***DINING*** FOOD AVAILABILITY I was shocked to see such extended periods throughout the day without any food available. For example, after 9:30 PM, the only food available (but only until 1 AM) was the pizza/pasta station where pasta was cooked and served one person at a time--my husband waited almost 30 minutes for basic pasta and there were less than 5 people ahead of him--and the pizza pans were always empty. A late night buffet on New Year's eve would have been greatly appreciated (and needed) among the revelers. VEGETARIAN OPTIONS Vegetarian options in the main dining room were a joke. One night, potatoes were listed as an entree!! The buffet was no better since most of the rotating ethnic dishes were not marked vegetarian or otherwise. There were icons that could be used to denote vegetarian, lactose-free, gluten-free, etc. items but, unfortunately, that section of the item display cards were often left blank. I felt bad for the people with food allergies. The first two days, we tried asking the staff behind the buffet if the items were vegetarian or not but, with their extremely limited English, that had no idea what we were asking. I was also disappointed to see that tofu was not an available item on the stir fry bar. Speaking of ethnic dishes… When one of the vegetarian entrees in the dining room was an “ethnic” item like Indian or Thai, there were not any starters, soups or salads that were of the same cultural cuisine. (For example, a bleu cheese souflée was on the same menu as a Thai-style stir fry.) The menu items did not complement one another--another indicator that the vegetarian menu was an afterthought. On New Year's Eve, while everyone else was enjoying their special holiday menu items, the vegetarian entree in the dining room was spaghetti with marinara sauce. My husband was embarrassed to eat it surrounded by so many dressed-up guests enjoying their fine dining experience. But, he doesn't like mushrooms and the only other option was an awful mushroom risotto--I had (half of) it and it was the worst risotto I have had in my life. On the plus side, I did not gain any weight this cruise because all the food was so unappetizing. With the exception of three desserts, bread, and cheese, there was not one menu item I would order a second time in the dining room or select again from the buffet. Even the salad dressing was sub par. I had indicated when we booked our cruise that both my husband and I were vegetarians. But there must have been no record of it in the main dining room because, for the first 2 nights of the cruise, we didn’t even know there was a vegetarian menu. (We only found out because I read it in a book that was hidden behind some catalogs in our stateroom. Most other cruise lines display all their menus at the dining room entrance.) The hostess should have known we were vegetarians, especially since we had to give our names and cabin number to her every time we entered the dining room. She could have then relayed the information to the seating captains so that we were given the vegetarian menus along with the regular menu, instead having to ask for it every time. (We had open seating dining.) SEATING Another service issue in the dining room that I had never seen before on a cruise was how long it took to seat people. All of the people in charge of seating guests in the dining room had to examine the seating map very closely before seating anyone. It was as if they were seeing this map for the very first time. And, to be fair, perhaps some of them were if they joined the are in Hong Kong. But this happened EVERY time, with EVERY guest, at EVERY meal with EVERY crew member in charge of seating. After 12 days and nights, I would assume that one would eventually learn where the tables are located. This sounds like inadequate training on Celebrity’s part. FOOD SAFETY I question the ship's food safety practices when it comes to dairy products. All of the milk and half-and-half used at the open coffee stations sat in very large, non-refrigerated glass dispensers all day long. While there may have been a column of ice in the middle, I can guarantee you that the temperature of the milk was not maintained at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Adding anything from these dispensers into your coffee made your coffee taste horrible--like sour milk. Coffee from the dining room and room service was fine since the creamer did not come from these dispensers. ***CABIN*** Small - as expected. The closet doors, cabin entry door, and bathroom door all opened into the same narrow interior hallway, which made maneuvering rather difficult, especially when both of us were trying to get dressed/get ready at the same time. We sprung for a balcony room. While it was nice to have breakfast out there in the morning, half of our ports-of-call were in very industrialized smelly areas so we did not enjoy the balcony as much as we would have liked. Also, toward the end of the cruise, a nearby smoker was getting more and more comfortable with breaking the rules and smoking on their own balcony so that also limited our balcony use. Unfortunately, we could not find the offender so we could not report him or her. One thing I was not expecting in a premium cabin on a premium cruise line was a white shower curtain covered in orange mildew. But that is what we had in our bathroom. ***SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS*** While the crew was friendly enough, I feel like Kamong (I hope I spelled his name right) and Adrian in the martini bar were the only two members that provided above-and-beyond service. They also look like they are having fun at work, which is really nice to see. The crew puts in very long hours, 7 days a week, for 8 months in a row. If after reading this review, and you still want to cruise on the Millennium, go to the martini bar and do the flight! There's plenty to share if you don't think you can drink them all yourself. And if you don't like the sweet ones offered, create your own combination. Adrian will even let you pour your own martini tower after he mixes them for you. It's drinks and entertainment all-in-one! ***ENTERTAINMENT*** The cruise ship dancers were better on this cruise (compared to others) and the one female Celebrity singer, Lily Jane, was amazing! I really enjoyed the guest performances by the Queen cover band and the electric violinist, Jane Cho--she was phenomenal! The guest magician was OK as were the acrobats. Both the magician and the acrobats did a second matinee show but you can tell that the matinee show was their "B" repertoire. On the contrary, Lily Jane and Jane Cho's matinee performances were spectacular. Outside the main theatre, the lounge singers on the ship either sang too slowly or did not enunciate the lyrics so there was nothing dynamic there. ***ACTIVITIES*** All the game shows were up in the disco and they were mostly after 10:30 pm. On other cruises we have been on, they tend to be a little earlier in the evening and usually in one of the promenade lounges. I thought these were a little out of the way from everything else and a little late given our early ports of call, so I skipped them. I went to the gym for a Zumba class, which cost extra plus a service charge. (I am in the group fitness industry, instructors are not tipped workers.) It was taught by a personal trainer so there was a lot of jumping jacks and running--way more than a traditional Zumba class. I also took a class with resistance tubes with the other personal trainer. It was free so it was only 30 minutes. The instructor acted as if he was still in bed sleeping and he did not bother to correct anyone's terrible form or help people who were doing the exercises completely wrong. Neither instructor introduced themselves at the beginning of class. I did not take any other classes because the instructors were so poor. ***IN SUMMARY*** We did not find anything "premium" about Celebrity Cruise Lines. In fact, there is nothing differentiating Celebrity at all from its competitors besides price. (We have previously cruised with Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Holland America and Princess and each are unique in their own way.) I found Celebrity most comparable with Princess but Princess has better food, with more options and meal times, and at a lower price. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I retired from the Police Service after 30 years and this was a retirement present to ourselves. What a big let down. We had been told that Celebrity was a 5* cruise experience but this was not our experience. We paid a wee bit more and ... Read More
I retired from the Police Service after 30 years and this was a retirement present to ourselves. What a big let down. We had been told that Celebrity was a 5* cruise experience but this was not our experience. We paid a wee bit more and went for a Concierge balcony cabin on deck 7. To say that we were disappointed with the cabin is a vast understatement. The whole ship is just plain tired. The paint work on the balcony has rust coming through where they have clearly skimped on the maintenance. The only way to describe the cabin is tired and run down. The top sheet had what appeared to be dried blood on it. The bottom sheet was frayed and torn and there were numerous black spots on the pillow case. The valance was worn through and dirty. There was an electrical socket with the cover lying off of it and the socket was loose in it's setting. The floor of the shower tray was loose and I couldn't believe that a supposed 5* company still used a shower curtain. The shoddy decor and paint work was repeated throughout the ship as was the somewhat dirty appearance. The staff gave the impression of "get as much money from the guests as you can". This was the case from the minute that we stepped on board. I found the dining to be very average at best with shoddy service from a number of rude members of staff. Eating in the premium restaurants was excellent but you had to pay for that privilege. I found the shore excursions expensive and you were never given enough time to enjoy the sights. When you docked, it was in industrial ports and a long drive from where the sights were. I could go on but it would only frustrate me even more. This was not what I had been led to believe Celebrity Cruising was all about. The ship is very tired and in need of major surgery. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Overall it was an enjoyable cruise and trip, however, some things made the overall experience a little sour. What we enjoyed: the destinations and the ship amenities and food service. What was quite poor: The guest relations. ... Read More
Overall it was an enjoyable cruise and trip, however, some things made the overall experience a little sour. What we enjoyed: the destinations and the ship amenities and food service. What was quite poor: The guest relations. McDonald's treats its customer better. Before we embarked we called the guest relations to get an address for where the ship was in port. The lady on the phone gave us the wrong address! We had to pay extra taxi fee to get to the correct destination. And had to find it and navigate with no phone or internet service. Which, in a foreign country is quite difficult to say the least. We also had a poor experience with guest relations after the cruise. My iPhone was misplaced the second to last day of the cruise and not found so we put our name on the lost and found items list. Of course it never showed up before we disembarked. I contacted the cruise line 2 weeks after the cruise asking if it had been found or turned in and they responded they had not found it. Well a week later they email me with a picture of the phone asking me if it was the correct phone and it was. So I said hooray please ship to my address. Well, it has been over a month since then and still no phone. I have emailed two times requesting some update or status and have not received an answer. My suspicion is that my phone was not "misplaced", but was stolen by the crew. But because I protect my phone with pin and password the member was not able to hack into it and eventually gave up and turned it in. I scoured everywhere I was the night I lost it, it had to have been taken by someone. So, anyway, we won't be using Holland America Cruise Line for any future cruises simply because of the guest relations. We love cruise travel and never have had anything like this as far as overall customer service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We felt in love with cruising after our retirement. This was our second time with Royal Caribbean. Because this Ovation Of The Seas, advertised as a mega new ship, my husband and I would like to have a go as we have never been on such ... Read More
We felt in love with cruising after our retirement. This was our second time with Royal Caribbean. Because this Ovation Of The Seas, advertised as a mega new ship, my husband and I would like to have a go as we have never been on such sized ship before. A wrong decision, extremely disappointed. Compared with Princess, Holland American and Celebrity cruises etc what we had in the past, this mega ship was no better than the Costa Victoria. Dining was hopeless, portions served in the main restaurants were small , [though we could do the double helping]. For example, lamb shank, it was originally small in size, but they cut the shank into half to serve on the plate, never seen on any ship before. The buffet area was like a battle field, food was ordinary , stir fry meat, fried rice, noodle and some oriental stews. The salad greens were the best among all. Something like sausages meat loaf served as carvery and one night we had roast pork belly. Cooked vegies was not enough. Over all, far from our expectation. Apart from that, the quality of the passengers was another problem. It was a big relief for us once we disembarked and vowed never again ! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Where to begin? We sailed on this ship in 2002. Totally different experience now. Realizing the ship has seen better days, this itinerary worked for us. 3 years ago we sailed on Silhouette, and couldn't have been more satisfied. Lets ... Read More
Where to begin? We sailed on this ship in 2002. Totally different experience now. Realizing the ship has seen better days, this itinerary worked for us. 3 years ago we sailed on Silhouette, and couldn't have been more satisfied. Lets begin with the concierge balcony stateroom. What we expected size wise. However that is where it ends. Dust ruffle on bed torn, as was the bed sheets. Then we walked over to the desk and noticed a dirty soiled chair. Turned around and saw a vinyl couch from Love Boat era. The staff changed the dust ruffle and bedsheets. They replaced the dirty chair with one that was worn out but cleaner. They claimed to have changed the couch, looked the same to me. We usually travel on newer ships, but as I said earlier, the itinerary is what sold us. Once settled in cabin, up to the buffet. I was totally blown away at the lack and quality of food. I realize the parent company Royal Caribbean International needs funds to pay off the 3 monsters which we have sailed on both Oasis and Allure. That said, I cannot state how disappointed in the lack of quality and choice in both dining room and buffet. The lobster was rubber with a ton of salt. The meat was as tough as I ever had. We also ate in the Tuscan Grille one evening. The food served there, should have been in the dining room. Nothing special. I wonder why they took away the Olympic which was one of the best dining experienced to this date. Overall the staff was pleasant. However this ship needs to be put out to pasture, and RCI might want to look why they are losing customers. Even Carnival & NCL blow this away. Definitely NOT what we expected. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We choose this cruise for two reasons,.Firstly we had sailed with Celebrity Eclipse to the Baltic in 2016 following two years with Cunard and had found it to be the equal in quality but aimed at a younger market and secondly the itinery ... Read More
We choose this cruise for two reasons,.Firstly we had sailed with Celebrity Eclipse to the Baltic in 2016 following two years with Cunard and had found it to be the equal in quality but aimed at a younger market and secondly the itinery which took us from Hong Kong to Vietnam then to Thailand and finishing in Singapore was exceptional From this perspective the cruise worked well with excellent tours at each port but there was no comparison with our previous experience of Celebrity. Embarkation was pretty smooth and we were aboard in no time at all following a first class overnight stay at the Dorset Hotel in Hong Kong (previously known as the Cosmopolitan). First imppressions of Millenium was of a tired slightly rusting vessel not a patch on Eclipse. We knew this was a smaller ship but did not expect standards to be lower. We had booked a 2A balcony stateroom on deck 7 and it was slightly more cramped than we remembered and with the dreaded shower curtain rather than a screen in the shower cubicle. Our troubles began and continued with the whole dining experience, both in the Oceanview self service restaurant on deck 10 and also the Metropolitan Dining room on Deck 4/5 where we had booked 8.30 pm fixed dining for a table of 6 but got a larger group of 10 which consisted of 6 Brits and 4 Americans. On that first nights dinner we left the dining room at 11.15 pm after a lengthy wait for service with the waiter thinking it was alright to serve half the table their starters and taking around a further 10 minutes to complete the service by which time the first served food was stone cold.,.A schoolboy error. We complained to the Maitre De several times and the second evening the staff were far more attentive and good service ensued for a couple of nights. It was obvious from the Menus that there has been a cut back in meal options, I suspect to encourage people to pay extra for speciality dining which is insuting peoples intelligence at best. We took this up with the Maitre De who insisted the menu was the same on all Celebrity ships and had not changed for 18 months. This I believe was untrue as previously my wife and I were spoilt for choice each evening, whilst on this sailing it was a job to find something we could eat for a change. There are the same "favourites" each night of the cruise with only a couple of starters and main courses changing each evening which got to be boring after the first week By night 4, two of our American colleagues had switched to an early sitting as they found they were missing the late show as finishing time had drifted backwards again. On several occassions we and our fellow guests sent food back for being either cold, undercooked or overcooked especially the beef dishes which were never cooked the same two days running. Breakfast was mostly taken in the Oceanview restaurant on Deck 10 which was self service. Poor layout meant that you had to visit 4 different food stations situated at extremes of the restaurant to get a basic engish breakfast. Due to the length of queues at each station the food was normally cold before you could return and find an empty table to sit at, normally we compromised and ate half a breakfast. Eating breakfast in the Metropolitan was an option we tried and although the first day this was much more satisfactory, however the second day most of the shared table returned their cooked breakfst was served stone cold - again. As we left the dining room we could see cruisers having heated conversations with the staff over the poor service and poor food. We and a couple of dining colleagues asked for a meeting with Linda,[ head of the restaurantsa to express our disgust at this consistantly poor dining experience. She took note of our complaints and said one of the big problems on board was that the galley was 2 floors down from the dining room which meant the food was likely to be cold when it reached our table.She promised a e mail to Miami HQ to pass on our complaints but I won't hold my breath for a response! Linda was also shocked that it took a vist to 4 different food stations to get a full english and promised to investigate further. I cannot believe we were the first guests to complain about the food, they had heard it all before and were just paying lip service to our moans. Entertainment on board was also sadly lacking the wow factor with a few exceptions and most nights people were walking out of the theatre during the performances. The sound was very poor with some of the entertainers screeching at the top of their voice to make themselves heard above the orchestra. Staff were always very pleasent and always spoke to guests when passing. Shopping on board was also poor with the usual tat beeing rolled at each evening for a flash sale. Question - Does the Art auction really work ? We also picked up that this ship will be decommissioned in 2018 - not soon enough I am afraid. Whilst we had always looked forward to our next cruise this experience put us off cruising - at least with Celebrity! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
First off, the good news. Incredible itinerary with every port delivering an unforgettable experience. The bad news is atrocious food, brown water in the cabins for many days, and not much to do on sea days. We are not that fussy- ... Read More
First off, the good news. Incredible itinerary with every port delivering an unforgettable experience. The bad news is atrocious food, brown water in the cabins for many days, and not much to do on sea days. We are not that fussy- we're more concerned about itinerary than almost anything else. But with food quality highlighted by groaning warming dishes heaped with goop, there is a limit. Many people we met never went to the sit down dinners because they felt the menus were uninspired and the food quality not worth the effort. We would go to the Lido session first, eat what appeared to be healthy choices and take our chances with the dining room. For us, the opportunity to meet people from other parts of the world is important (over 50 countries!), so we were there for the company, not the food. The ship is pedestrian in design- clean, a bit rusty, and ready to be pedaled off. Having been on many other lines, this was a big disappointment. Entertainment was okay, not unusual for a cruise. They have cut a lot of corners. No flowers, no waiter shows, bits of lobster here and there, no animal towels in the rooms- and it shows. The staff was great and people tried very hard to please. Bottom line: the ports were great, the ship not so much. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
First of all, my husband and I are Elite Members on Celebrity, so have traveled on many of their ships. In fact, this was our third time on The Millennium. We chose this particular cruise for the itinerary, as we had not been to most of ... Read More
First of all, my husband and I are Elite Members on Celebrity, so have traveled on many of their ships. In fact, this was our third time on The Millennium. We chose this particular cruise for the itinerary, as we had not been to most of the destinations. We have also cruised on many other cruise lines. We have never had a problem with any cabin on any ship before and we don't tend to complain. We had no problem on our previous 2 times on The Millennium We booked a Veranda cabin on Deck 8. From the minute we walked in our cabin, it was nothing but problems. I took one look in the shower and found the shower unacceptable. The floor had cracked tiles that were dirty and moldy. Plus, it was dirty and moldy around the bottom of the shower. I immediately called downstairs and they sent management up to look at it. They agreed and told us it would be fixed the next day. I asked for a room change, but they said they didn't have one available. The shower was cleaned and fixed the next day. Our new friends we met on the ship had the same problems in their shower, only a lot worse. They even took pictures of the shower to show people. Management came up to their cabin also and they were immediately moved out of their cabin on Deck 7 and given a Cabin on Deck 8. Also, the bathroom is just very old. Still has a shower curtain, mirror steams up and no rod in shower to shave your legs. Ship has changed brands of their shampoo, conditioner, etc. and it is not very good. Cabin Steward never gave us any extra soap, shampoo, etc. unless we asked. Had never experienced that before. Millennium has also cut back to just 1 cabin steward, where we have had 2 for the last few years. Only having 1 cabin steward did not bother us. The shower was just the beginning of our problems. That was just Day 1. Day 2 - We had dark black water coming out of our bathroom faucet. Called management and they came to room. Said there were pipe problems. They brought us a 6 pack of water to brush our teeth. Day 3 - The wash cloths had holes in them and were paper thin. When I told my husband, he told me he had the same problem the day before, but hadn't said anything to me. I let management know about this also. I have never experienced paper thin wash cloths in any hotel or ship - anywhere in the world. This was totally unacceptable. Day 4 - We had no hot water and very little water pressure. Day 5 - The air conditioning didn't work all evening and night and into the next morning. Our cabin was unbearably hot. Day 6 - Had brown water all evening and night again. Brought us more bottled water. After Day 6 we asked for a meeting with management and we met with Antoinette - the Assistant Guest Relations Manager. I told her about all our problems and how unhappy we were. Of course she was apologetic and assured us everything would be fine from then on. At this point, she gave each of us a $200.00 certificate for our next cruise because we are Elite members. Day 7 - Once again we had brown water, the air conditioning didn't work in our cabin and now we had a horrible vibration noise in our cabin. Management came to our room and agreed the noise was horrible and would try to get it fixed. Still said they were having pipe problems. Day 8 - No hot water to shower - said because of the pipe problems again. Day 9 - Toilet wouldn't flush. Cabin steward couldn't fix it so they had to call a plumber. Day 10 - Horrible vibration noise again and this time the ship was turned off, as we were docked. The noise/vibration would start and stop. Now it has gotten to be 10:00 at night. We were dead tired after a long day on tour and another early tour the next morning. We called management to come and listen again, while my husband was already in bed. They couldn't believe how bad it was. They left and called us and offered us a different cabin to sleep in for the night. At this point, we were dead tired and told them we weren't moving. We got very little sleep that night. Day 11 - Vibration/noise stopped and then started again. I called down and asked to speak to Antoinette again. She didn't call me back and I had to call her two more times before she ever called me back on Day 12. Day 12 - Can you believe - no problems for the last couple of days on the ship. I told Antoinette again how unhappy we were and that I was going to be posting a review of all of this on Cruise Critic. At this point she told me she was voiding our $200.00 certificate that she had given to each of us. She told me she was now going to give each of us a $500.00 certificate for our next cruise on Celebrity, which she did. There were so many complaints on this ship regarding cabins. Our new friends each received a $350.00 certificate because of so many problems in their cabin. My husband talked to a couple in the elevator and they had each received a $250.00 certificate. I think the ship was giving money away left and right. Internet is very slow. It basically didn't work in our cabin. Much better in the public areas. Tours were fine - except way too expensive as they always are. Dining Room - The food was average - not real exciting menu. We had an outstanding waiter who made our evening meals enjoyable with our friends - Hernando. Was very disappointed they didn't do the evening drinks for Elite up in the observation lounge. They gave each Elite member 3 drink tickets to use in any bar. It's not the same. We threw them away, as we already had the free drink package. We enjoy the get together in the observation lounge from 5 - 7 pm each evening and definitely missed it. Cruise Director - Steve Gayda is very good. We have had him before. The crew was very nice and friendly and tried very hard to keep all the public areas spotless. Entertainment - We would say the entertainment was average to a little above. The singers and dancers are very good and those kids work hard at putting on a lot of shows. The acrobat show was very good, until the woman fell to the ground from way up high and crashed on the stage. That was so scary and needless to say, the show ended. Stores - It's always the same o - same o merchandise. They need to get some new buyers for the stores. Bottom Line - We would never go on The Millennium again. Our cabin experience was horrible. This ship needs to be retired. We even heard a rumor from more than one person that this ship is supposed to be sold, but don't know how true this is, since it is already booked for the next couple of years. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I chose this sailing knowing Asia would be different. Royal has gone beyond that and made a ship and experience that is unfriendly to westerners. This cruise took me from platinum to emerald status, and I am disappointed it wasn't too ... Read More
I chose this sailing knowing Asia would be different. Royal has gone beyond that and made a ship and experience that is unfriendly to westerners. This cruise took me from platinum to emerald status, and I am disappointed it wasn't too pleasant. Check in was about the best part of the experience. The process was still chaos, as they don't tell anyone you need copies of your passport to board the ship. RCCL provides a single copy machine for 3000 guests, who are mostly 50+ year old Asians, to copy their passports. Needless to say, it is a long wait to get copies. The staterooms were ready on time. I was booked in 6648, a single occupancy balcony stateroom. The room itself is great! I cruise solo many times, and for the price, it is well worth it. The balcony is huge on this particular room, probably bigger than the room itself. What I did not understand, is you get 2 chairs. That is it. No table, no lounger. Seems like a waste. Food was extremely disappointing. Bland, no variety, and in some cases, downright awful. On embarkation day, went to windjammer. This was the only day they offered honey stung chicken, and it was not on the room service menu like normal. They had it in chicken tender form. As I bit into the first piece, I was shocked (painfully) to discover a bone in the chicken, I want to say it was a rib. I nearly broke my tooth. The bones were literally chopped into the chicken in all the pieces. Beyond that, there was little variety. Both sides of the windjammer had about 3-4 entree choices that were repeated 4 times. The food needed salt, and I found the salt and pepper shakers were almost always empty on the tables. Seating was entirely inadequate. The Asians on board would eat, then sit and occupy the table for an hour after their meal. They made announcements multiple times for people to leave their table after they were finished, but everyone would sit there and read books or drink tea for an hour after they ate. Because of the weather, the Kung Fu noodle shop was closed most of the time. I am not sure why they made the location of it so its availability was weather dependent, but I was unable to try it. Sorrentos was greasy pizza, the crust was soaked with grease and it dripped from every slice. I bought some macaroons from the coffee shop. Worst 6 dollars I spent. I love macaroons, but these were stale and I am confident they were either not made fresh on the ship or were several weeks old. As far as entertainment, don't expect much you can enjoy. There was a comedy show that was mediocre. The rest of the shows were canceled due to the weather. Not sure why they rely on so many performance type shows that are so easily canceled. The casino is awful. Overcrowded and EXPENSIVE! $25 minimums on 3 card poker, texas holdem bonus and blackjack. Let me tell you what the biggest BS about that is... the guy sitting next to me playing texas holdem hit a royal flush. Betting $25 minimum, his payout should have been $12,500. Instead, RCCL has a policy that they payout no more than $10,000. I believe if the min is $25, the min that should be paid out is the best hand at $25 bet. He was very angry and rightfully so. I was angry for him. They had a single $6 minimum blackjack and 3 card table that was only open during the late night hours. They instantly filled up. There were no slot or blackjack tournaments despite being advertised in the planner. I did have some good luck on the slots, hitting a $1900 handpay. BUT BEWARE! RCCL has now adopted a new policy of collecting tax on Americans and giving a W2G. This makes no sense. Shore excursion offerings were terrible. They offered 2 options in each port. In Okinawa, they had to dock in the cargo port, so you had to be shuttled to town. RCCL instituted a meaningless ticket process where we stood in a long line to get tickets for the free shuttle. It was meaningless, because when it came time to deboard, they did not collect nor even check the tickets and it became a disorganized free-for-all. I had an excursion booked back to the airport in Hong Kong. It was canceled due to a lack of bookings. I was left stranded to find my own way back to the airport. Fortunately, Hong Kong is easy to navigate, and I highly recommend the Airport Express train. Guest services was a constant nightmare. Not sure what everyone needed, but the line consistently stretched into the main area of the ship almost day and night. They need to staff it better, as I only ever saw 4 people up there. Other notes: -The phone in the room only speaks mandarin when checking voicemails. It is impossible to check voicemails. -There is no kleenex tissues in the rooms. No spot for them in the bathrooms. -North star was constantly closed for bad weather. Seems like a gimicky waste of space anyway. -The maintenance and cleaning you normally see on ships was not happening on the Ovation. Balcony glass and rails, as well as decks had dirt and salt all over them. -Ice cream machine by pool was consistently closed. No posted hours, and was random when it was open. This is HUGE: The hot tubs were NOT HOT! The water was a disgusting luke warm temperature. Unusable and unpleasant. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Whilst we enjoyed the cruise - new places - new people and warm (too hot) lol weather, many aspects were disappointing. I would suggest mainly due to bad management. This was our first cruise with RCI and from what non whingers had ... Read More
Whilst we enjoyed the cruise - new places - new people and warm (too hot) lol weather, many aspects were disappointing. I would suggest mainly due to bad management. This was our first cruise with RCI and from what non whingers had suggested previously had high hopes. Day 1 - missed out on lunch as we were advised that we would not be boarded until 5pm so rather than sit for an anticipated 3 hours in the terminal changed our transfer. from 1.30 to 3pm. When we got there the terminal was all but deserted as everyone who ignored the timings were just boarded when they got there!! Quote RCI "Beverage & Wine Packages: It is not truly a vacation until you have a fruity drink with a tiny paper umbrella in your hand. Start enjoying your vacation with a refreshing beverage the moment you get onboard by reserving a beverage package." On route to a bar we passed the beverage package sales person and just asked what I thought would be a simple question and really didnt get the answer I expected. Me " is there a list anywhere of what drinks we can have on this package - which wines and what other drinks/coffees. RCI Drinks package specialist " That package is no longer valid for wine, beer it is now only a soft drinks package" 40 minute wait at customer services who just said the advice was incorrect and yes we could have wine and beer Oddly? they didnt ask who had given the "Soft drinks only" line my feeling is that the whole thing was engineered by RCI - They had told the drinks package sellers to say what they said. The bar "menu" in anchors aweigh had 3 intriguing cider type drinks unfortunately bar staff had not heard of them? Dinner Romeo & Juliet - First night dinner was terrible food and service (Other reviewers have said that food was good and it was brought in containers from the US.) In this case many containers were left in the dock in hong kong and at question time it was admitted that the beef was not very good as it was from China. Variety and quality of food in R & J was poor compared to other MDRs. Fish referred to in the menu was always "not available" and was substituted by another. Service was variable - one night took 2.5 hours we were not offered bread and plates were removed one at a time and taken to the station. A few days into the cruise we eventually found a table with delightful, efficient, friendly and entertaining waiter and assistant, (Tu and Joy Lish) so we just turned up there every night. Table for 10 usually only 8 of us and our team made sure we were never late for a show. This was the only table we used where between courses the crumbs were removed with a knife Talking of the shows - these were poor productions by the rcci singers and dancers compared to others we have seen. Some of the "brought in" acts were good 3? very good and one was dire. Not sure about the centrum as a venue not enough seating or standing room for that matter and if lucky enough to get a seat couldnt see much that was going on. Day 2 - (no I am not doing a day by day whinge) Went to the first lecture on Chinese art we gave up after 20 minutes of the presentation system not working or the presenter not being able to operate it and didnt bother with the rest after that. This was followed up in the afternoon by a "Shore Excursions information talk Ports of call in asia. " On other cruises we have found these very useful - details and pictures of what you will see on excursions and what to do in port if you are not on an excursion. This was sadly lacking as the talk was delivered in very poor English and was simply read out from the description on the Shore excursion sales info. Fairly clear the presenter had not actually been to any of the places. Also on other cruises we were given small maps with directions and main places of interest the day befor the port so you could plan a route. ( if only to the nearest bar) Although expensive we enjoyed the classic excursion to Manilla guide was very informative and English very good. Excursion to the underground river. - One mad dash there and back- guide was useless gave no information or commentary (unlike others) gave one answer to a question from the people in the front seat and didnt even bother telling it to anyone else. Pointed us to the boat waiting area - didnt accompany us. On to the hotel for lunch pointed out the dining area and left. The boatman was very good had his own commentary additional to the electronic one. I will say nothing about the poor tendering arrangements as this may or may not have been controllable however the system for issuing the van/ coach tickets seemed rather complicated- this was made worse by the dispatcher not being able to pronounce sticker and ticket with sufficient clarity to distinguish the difference. Other problem areas - we enjoy quizzes and whilst there were many the team was not at all organised. The questions were not properly prepared in advance at least twice we had the same questions, and on 2 others the printing was incorrect. On sea days the schooner bar is too small to accommodate quizzes and the venues kept changing after people had complained. We know its meant to be fun but even so, well organised fun is better. The schooner bar and centrum were also used for crafting and dancing and participation games but both were far too small. Last and least : Future Cruise team - make an appointment? anyway I noticed that no-one was waiting and it looked like they were finishing so I hung about to ask a question to see if I wanted to make an appointment. Next appointment came in and I asked if they minded me jumping in front of them to ask my question and it was not a problem. Future Cruises however seemed taken aback at such an idea, but I asked my question anyway. Did they have any details of the cruise to Barcelona on Lots at the end of its days in Australasia. The answer came back that they were taking no passengers on that cruise. ( I wear hearing aids in both ears and bearing in mind that the answer was delivered in a very heavy chinese accent I rephrased the question in case I had misheard. Something like - so the ship is sailing back to Barcelona without any passengers? The second reply simply confirmed the first so I just gave up. Thinking about it perhaps they meant that whilst it was a future cruise that would have passengers and it was within the onboard future cruise offer period this was something else that RCCI were not going to honour. As the ship has been sold I cant see RCCL taking much note of anything regarding the vessel but there was nothing wrong with the vessel or the crew but the lack of organisation and supervision of the crew (75% new to the ship I understand) meant a lot of people were less than pleased with the overall cruise.experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise to celebrate my husbands retirement having previously holidayed on the Brilliance of the Seas. ..Oh dear!...this was definitely the most disappointing adventure so far! The ship was sooo overcrowded and we had to queue ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my husbands retirement having previously holidayed on the Brilliance of the Seas. ..Oh dear!...this was definitely the most disappointing adventure so far! The ship was sooo overcrowded and we had to queue for absolutely anything and everything. Guest relations was understaffed and the queues lasted hours, then to deal with poor untrained staff..a complete nightmare. The Windjammer cafe was akin to a busy canteen with people struggling to find a place to sit and eat the low quality food in cramped conditions. Really bad was having to queue to get a mug of hot water from a staff member then to make your own tea with a tea bag.....and don't get me started about the untrained bar staff serving cocktails in pint glasses!!...The entertainment was dire (except for the excellent ice show).. All in all Butlin's on a boat and not for the discerning cruiser! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Demarcation at HK was a fiasco, not enough staff on arrival with no welcome, very long queues for a piece of paper that could have been sent out in advance. Virtual screen worked only 1 day out of 7, despite repeatedly reporting. ... Read More
Demarcation at HK was a fiasco, not enough staff on arrival with no welcome, very long queues for a piece of paper that could have been sent out in advance. Virtual screen worked only 1 day out of 7, despite repeatedly reporting. Drinks package misrepresented at time of booking by planet cruise staff, so not directly RCLs fault but understand from a rock staff member that titling of drinks packages changed at some point- so an apparent lack of communication between agents/cruise company, if true and at the expense of the customer. Information both written and oral was contradictory and spent far too long most days queuing at guest services seeking clarification.Didn't meet anyone who was happy irrespective of their nationality from first time and world travellers and frequent users of RCL. We enjoyed the entertainment shows in particular the ice show and comedian. Second dining guests should be able to see a late night show, not one scheduled at 06:45 when you are getting ready for dinner. Inexperienced staff in sapphire dining room, waited 45 mins for our drinks on first night, but thank God for Josef rescuing the staff many many times and was exceptional. Food quality not always good, no apology from the chef who our head waiter called not at our request. Common experience of bars running out of certain drinks on the first few days - how can this be so, but symptomatic of some bar staff just making excuses. Trips we took were well organised by Saigon tours and good value. Sanya as a port was a waste of time, RCL find another port offering more. Chinese authorities were a disgrace, staff struggled to cope. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I never write reviews but felt compelled to this time. I read the reviews on Star Cruises before we sailed with them. Having cruised before in different parts of the world, I thought it would be nice to travel with an Asian cruise line ... Read More
I never write reviews but felt compelled to this time. I read the reviews on Star Cruises before we sailed with them. Having cruised before in different parts of the world, I thought it would be nice to travel with an Asian cruise line through Asian countries, even though I had read some bad reviews. What a big mistake that was. We knew it would be challenging, but had no idea just how hard it would be. There were only 4 English western passengers on board and hardly any of the other 2500 passengers could speak English. We absolutely know that was our fault for booking an Asian cruiser and don't blame the cruise line for that. It was our bad luck. I just want to advise non Asian passengers to definitely don't go with this cruise line. As I said it was our fault about the language but so frustrating with the announcements and entertainment - but getting on and off for excursions etc. was complete bedlam. You just had to join in and be pushed about as seems to be the custom. All the excursions are in Mandarin but we were made aware of this before we booked, but they didn't understand any English and I just pointed to my watch to find out what time we were due back on the bus at every stop. Lol. The food was average for the buffet, with little variety. To eat in any of the 3 free restaurants, you had to line up like at a Medicare office and wait until your number came up on the screen, this sometimes took 45 minutes of waiting. There were other restaurant on board (like you get on other cruise lines where you have two sittings in the dining room and the food is top quality) but it costs a minimum of $A30 per head. We had no complaint about the ship itself. It as lovely and kept clean and polished the whole trip and they staff were fabulous. They went out of their way in be polite and assist in every way possible. We picked this particular cruise because it was sailing down to Vietnam from Hong Kong. It had longtime been my dream to go to Halong Bay in Vietnam. But hey presto, literally at the last moment they informed us the cruise had been "rescheduled" and wasn't going to Vietnam but to two islands in Japan. They wouldn't even give us any reason, just that it had been rescheduled. I read this had happened before but assumed it had been a one-off problem. Although they offered a full refund on the cruise, it was only days before we were due to leave home, so we were out of the time limit on cancellations from the the airline, the accommodation and various tours in Hong Kong, so we had no choice but to go ahead. We spoke with the captain about the rescheduling and he told us he'd been informed by past western passengers that after 30 years of travelling, this had been the worst cruise they had been on. The rescheduling isn't unusual and he joked that is why you don't see Star Cruises advertised in brochures because of their unpredictable scheduling. We asked one waiter on the last night where the next trip was going and he said they're supposed to go Japan, but might end up in Vietnam!! So my advice to any Australians planning a trip in Asia, avoid this cruise line at all costs. Not because it's a bad line but because you will not like it and like us, non-Asian speaking passengers, you'll consider it a complete waste of time and money. It definitely wasn't cheap so spend your money on Princess, Royal Caribbean or any other line as you'll have a much more enjoyable holiday. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This cruise from HK was an absolute disappointment and didn't live up to it's 4.5* grading!!! The food was cheap and nasty in the Windjammer, inferior compared to other ships we've sailed on. Diners in the Windjammer ... Read More
This cruise from HK was an absolute disappointment and didn't live up to it's 4.5* grading!!! The food was cheap and nasty in the Windjammer, inferior compared to other ships we've sailed on. Diners in the Windjammer were constantly bombarded with loud intrusive and aggressive "music" more conducive to a disco than for relaxing eating and mainly intended for the crew. The feeling was eat and get out as quickly as you can! The Sapphire Restaurant menu was limited and disappointing compared to other ships. We were charged for 2 bottles of wine which we didn't have - no apology only "we will adjust your account". Our fellow diner was also charged for 1 extra bottle of wine. Fridge in our Junior Suite (which was lovely and spacious) didn't work even though it was running and we did complain. Our milk went sour overnight, our bottles of water and wine remained warm. Sadly the entertainment was also mediocre. The one group called "black Tie" were an embarrassment and more suited to entertain in retirement villages for free . Then again maybe Royal Caribbean got them for a steal . The service from the staff was excellent , always congenial and service with a smile . Our suite was spacious, comfortable and practically sound proof , which made it possible to get out of the mayhem on the rest of the ship . Earlier this year we enjoyed a cruise on the Independence of the Seas from Fort Lauderdale which is practically the same ship. Maybe sailing out of Hong Kong is not the way to go. Voyager certainly displayed remarkable inferior differences . Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Itinerary and the reputation of SilverSea were our reasons for choosing this cruise. The itinerary was all we hoped for; the older ship and its management less so, based on flooded cabins. Embarkation in Hong Kong and debarkation in ... Read More
Itinerary and the reputation of SilverSea were our reasons for choosing this cruise. The itinerary was all we hoped for; the older ship and its management less so, based on flooded cabins. Embarkation in Hong Kong and debarkation in Tokyo were handled very well: easy, lots of direction and help, punctual. Our suite was sizable, with a walk-in closet that was very welcome. Staff service at all venues, and our butler, were outstanding. The food was good, though not as good as Oceania. Entertainment was good, but limited; the cruise director did double duty as a singer/comedian, and was actually not bad. One good lecturer, one mediocre. We noticed immediately, however, that the ship was in need of work: e.g., the deck railings were in serious need of varnish. Later we learned this ship is due to be "retired" next year, which may explain possible deferred maintenance. The problem arose on day 10 of the 16 day cruise, when we encountered high winds and heavy seas. That can happen. But this older ship was simply not "ship shape." Dozens of staterooms--our deck 5 starboard was the worst hit--were flooded by wind-swept rain and ocean spray that leaked through the veranda door seals, soaking the carpets (and some clothing and under-bed suitcases). That continued for at least 12 hours, with no solution offered to stop the leaks and no official communications from the captain. Inconceivably, very little, and nothing effective, was done over the remaining five days of the cruise as the soaked cabins became uninhabitable from the smell alone. We were offered downgraded accommodations (no balcony), but had to insist on getting some help moving. Even that cabin had a leaking window. No announcements by the captain, no meetings with ship officers, no remedial plans presented and no offers of help. Silversea, after several weeks, finally offered us (but apparently not others), a very modest and restricted credit toward a future cruise, hardly proportionate to the number of days we had no use of our suite. Amazing, and disappointing, for a high-end cruise line. My ratings below are for the first 10 days, before the ship and its crew were tested by stormy weather. For the last week of this cruise, most of these ratings would have been negative. I can only hope those sailing on the Silver Shadow this year enjoy good weather, and that at least the Deck 5 suites have been stripped and refurbished while in port. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016

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