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107 Hong Kong to Asia Cruise Reviews

Our holiday was for myself, my husband and my three sons (17, 22 and 25) in two parts booked through cruise.co.uk. The first part was a 10 day, all inclusive tour around China. Our second part of the holiday was a seven day cruise ... Read More
Our holiday was for myself, my husband and my three sons (17, 22 and 25) in two parts booked through cruise.co.uk. The first part was a 10 day, all inclusive tour around China. Our second part of the holiday was a seven day cruise aboard the Voyager of the Seas which we boarded at Hong Kong. I have cruised many times with Royal Caribbean and have, in fact, been on this actual ship. All previous cruises have been excellent and of an equally great standard that I have come to expect from Royal Caribbean. On this part of the holiday we were joined by my parents who had travelled separately to Hong Kong in order to enjoy the cruise with my family. At no time were we informed that this ship was about to go into dry dock for a major refurbishment and serious repairs STATE ROOMS When booking this holiday with cruise.co.uk, we explained that while we were happy for my three sons to share a room, they were adults and, putting it bluntly, quite large! Adam understood our requirements and sold us a balcony grade cabin for myself and my husband and a panoramic suite that could sleep 6 for my three sons to share. At the time of booking Adam explained that he could not get a room number for the panoramic suite although he guided us to the ‘deck plans’ and explained it would either be state room number 1804 or 1814 on deck 12, just a few doors down from our state room. He explained that although room 1814 was officially a disabled cabin, it had much larger floor space so would accommodate my three sons. On our invoice, we were never provided with a room number for this room. We paid more for this room as it was so much larger. Upon arrival on the ship, my sons were allocated room 1852 which while panoramic, was not a suite that slept 6. The staff told me it could sleep 4 although we soon found out that with only two beds and one small sofa that could only be converted into a single bed, it only could sleep 3. The floor space was exactly the same size as our balcony grade cabin. The staff were very unhelpful explaining that there were no other rooms available as the ship was full to capacity. We later found out that there were actually 400 rooms unallocated on that ship that week. We believe we were miss sold this room under the pretence it was bigger than the balcony grade cabin and could sleep 6 people. We most definitely paid more money than our balcony grade cabin which was the same size. We expect to be reimbursed for this. LIFTS We were on the 12th deck so obviously lifts were a necessity. On day one, all of the panoramic central view lifts were suddenly covered in a green netting that stretched from the top deck to the bottom. We were informed that they were being repaired. We established, by talking to the engineers and taking photos and videos that these lifts were NOT under repair but were actually being ripped out in readiness for the ship to go into dry dock in a week’s time. Two of the other lifts didn’t work at all and one of those broke down completely within a couple of days. One lift wouldn’t go passed deck 10. Being on deck 12, I’m sure you can understand the inconvenience this caused not to mention the sight and noise of workmen carrying out a complete rip out right in the middle of your holiday FOOD - Windjammer There are many areas where food can be obtained and the Windjammer Restaurant is the self service restaurant on deck 11. The food looked plentiful and nicely presented however, it was nearly all cold and on occasions, undercooked. We were told that hot plates were no longer working and some of the ovens were soon to be replaced. This response did not help us in any way at all. My husband was continually frustrated to get a plate full of food, find a seat to sit and eat it, only to find it cold and disgusting. It was then that we noticed the lack of staff in the restaurant. Plates were not getting cleared away from tables, spillages were having warning signs placed over them but not getting cleared up and the water/tea station was continually unmanned. FOOD - Johnny Rockets We decided the only way to get a decent hot meal would be to pay the additional price in order to visit one of the 4 speciality restaurants on board. Unfortunately, this was also a disaster! We visited Johnny Rockets - a burger bar restaurant with a $10 surcharge. The place had few customers, the waitress spoke very little English and the chef was busy fussing over one beef burger when we walked in. We sat at the counter and tried to order - the waitress could not understand why we would want our fries WITH our burger - surely we would want them as a starter? We looked around and could see other guests munching on just chips and overheard them all complaining about when their burger was going to be served. This restaurant was advertised as an authentic, American burger joint yet the staff had absolutely no idea how burger and fries were meant to be served and consumed! We waited 25 minutes for the chef to cook the burger - we watched as he used his spatular to scoop up a raw chicken breast, slap it on the griddle next to our burger and then proceed to turn our burger with the same spatular. I don’t think any more needs to be said about Johnny Rockets other than it was a total let down. Again, staffing seemed to be the issue. FOOD - Sapphire Restaurant We had booked my time dining. This means that you can reserve a table the day before. This is a practice that I have often used and has always worked efficiently in the passed. On this cruise however, the queues of guests outside the restaurant all waiting to be taken to their pre-booked table was ridiculous!. You expect queues outside the other restaurants when there are allotted seated times - often a hundred or more guests would be waiting for the 6pm sitting and would then all be let in at once. But you do not expect this in the ‘my time’ dining room. Yet again, lack of staff was the issue. Once shown to our table we again experienced a lack of staff - no wine waiter or water waiter. I got up twice to get my own water. The one waiter we had was very over worked. When food arrived after a long wait it was often cold and inedible. We complained several times and eventually the restaurant manager, Ellen came to our table and listened carefully to our grievances. We told her we would be unable to risk eating in the restaurant again and would have to purchase the food package which enabled us to eat at the speciality restaurants at an additional surcharge. Ellen almost begged us to give her another chance to prove the restaurant was worth another visit so two days later we tried again. Firstly, the seven of us were showed to a table that could only sit five people comfortably yet they had squeezed seven place settings on. We complained and were moved to a table that could comfortably seat 12 guests although was only partially laid up for eight. Again, we had to serve ourselves water and again the wine waiter had to be called and called and when he finally arrived asked US to write what we wanted on his pad as he couldn’t understand English!!! Our meal was late and the starters were cold. We complained again but was told this time there was a severe shortage of staff and that everyone was doing their best. This was really not acceptable and made our complete dining experience on the ship appalling. FOOD - CHOPS GRILLE As the food and service was so appalling on the ship, we had no option other than to pay (at a considerable cost of £380 - invoice enclosed) for a ‘food package’. This entitled us to eat at the three main speciality restaurants over three nights. Unfortunately it appeared that most guests had the same idea so Chops restaurant was so busy we were only able to book the whole family in for one of the nights. We wanted to book for our last night but they had already filled their books by day two of the cruise!. Our experience in Chops was what we would expect from Royal Caribbean - food was beautiful, staff attentive and service fast. What a shame the rest of the ship couldn’t be like this and what a shame they were so booked up that we couldn’t enjoy good food on our last night FOOD - IZUMI Another of the three specialist restaurants was Izumi, a Japanese restaurant. Food here was very good - we noticed most of the staff from the Captain’s Bridge were in there. Unfortunately service was appalling. It took ages to get a drink and even longer to get the food. We wouldn’t have eaten in there at all had we been able to get a table at Chops FOOD - GIOVANNI’S TABLE The last on the list of the three specialist restaurants. Menu seemed limited and again service was far too slow. Our booking was for 8.30pm but we were left standing for 15minutes while the maitre d took someone’s order. Again, short staffed. STAFFING After realising that most problems encountered on our ship were due to staffing, we decided to complain at the main desk. Queues here were always long but after a 30 minute wait we were finally seen. It was established that the ship was seriously understaffed due to another cruise liner enlisting the more experienced staff in order to ensure their maiden voyage did not receive any criticism! We were assured that the staffon board were qualified although some were new to their positions. When we started speaking to staff, it came to light that a large proportion of staff had originally been ‘cleaning staff’ who had been bumped up recently to fill in for the short fall in serving staff. This would account for the amount of staff unable to communicate with us due to their lack of English. It would also account for the poor service being received in every area of the ship. In the spa area there was only one hairdresser working and he informed us that he had originally been contracted to work until December but had only recently been told that the ship was going into dry dock so would be leaving his position then. He said that the other hairdressers and spa consultants (there was only one who could give pedicures) had all left the ship back in Hong Kong SHORE EXCURSIONS One of the most important aspects of a cruise is the shore excursions. These excursions are advertised a few weeks prior to the cruise departing via an online brochure. The information available is fairly minimal. It should be noted that most excursions were marked as ‘booked’ before we even boarded the ship. It was established, once on board, that this wasn’t the case but unfortunately led to unreasonably long queues of guests trying to book tours at the tour desk. As it was unclear which tours would be the best to choose, we decided to attend the one hour meeting held on the first day in the ship’s theatre. This meeting is normally held by the cruise director where they explain in detail the different tours available, show a video of passed tours and generally help sell the excursions. If you are unable to attend this meeting, there is always a video on loop on your state room television. Ufnfortuanlaty, our tv didn’t work at first and once it did there was absolutely no mention of any of the tours on any of the channels - we complained at guest services but they were unsure what we were talking about. I assumed that possibly cruising to Vietnam was quite a new thing for Royal Caribbean and they were yet to produce a promotional video (?). Whilst still unsure what tours to book, we decided to attend the meeting in the theatre - this was a total waste of time as the cruise director was not on board. As a replacement, we were presented on a stage with a gentleman that spoke very little English. He embarrassingly read through the information brochure we had been given and showed some photographs that were also already in the brochure. He could provide no additional information and was unable to sell any tours. We complained to guest services who explained that the main tour manager was not on board the ship. All of the tours were very expensive so we wanted to choose the right ones. There were five of us (seven including my parents) so this could prove to be a costly mistake. We queued at the ‘shore excursions desk’ but was greeted with another member of staff, who while friendly, really didn’t have a clue about the difference between the excursions. It was quite apparent that Royal Caribbean were also using the cheap option when it came to docking the ship and rather than dock at the more expensive ports, were docking at the cheaper more industrial sites. This in turn pushed the price of the tours up as buses had to be taken with at least a two hour journey to get to any destination. To add salt to the wound, on our final day at sea, once we had sailed well away from Vietnam, the tv in our state room started to show videos of the trips we could have gone on! It was such unnecessary incompetence and due totally to a lack of staff CLEANLINESS OF THE SHIP When a ship docks and guests disembark for a day’s tour, it is normal practise to clean the boat and carry out necessary repairs whilst all is fairly quiet on board. This did not happen once during our whole cruise. It became quite obvious that no one gave a damn about the condition the boat was in or the cleanliness of the boat. Windows were left filthy and rust was evident everywhere. The ceilings in the main dining room were damp and stained and gave a general impression of a very unhygienic area to eat. Plates, cups and old food was constantly being left lying around and tables were rarely wiped. As well as the lifts being out of action there was also a problem with the air conditioning and constantly we would be tripping over portable air conditioning units placed around the ship. The outside of the ship was a total mess too and not once was the pully system lowered to clean the outside windows or ship. It was also very noticeable, as a previous guest with Royal Caribbean, that no effort was being made on the ship. No speciality events were on offer or any of the little extras that are normally available to guests. Small things like changing the ‘day of the week’ plate within the lifts was never done - each lift had a different day in it! It was made so very apparent that all the staff just couldn’t wait to get off the ship as they were feeling very overworked and harassed. We frequently heard guests being rude to bar staff simply out of frustration at not getting served. We had purchased the drinks package at a total cost of £1200 but it was useless trying to get a drink within half an hour. Where a bar would normally have at least four or five working, there would be only one. All the above is understandable for a ship about to go into dry dock but totally unacceptable to guests on board who have paid full price and expect the best attention, top quality food and comfortable and beautiful surroundings. What was most certainly not expected nor acceptable was shabby, poorly maintained surroundings, substandard food and poorly trained, inattentive staff. I ensured that I followed the complaints procedure and at every chance made my grievances known. A member of Royal Caribbean staff, on my very last day of cruising, offered to send me and my family a voucher off a future cruise. This offer was declined as I felt it was insufficient compensation. Regardless, the vouchers have been sent through to my email address and I, in turn, have returned the email rejecting these vouchers. I find the offer of the vouchers particularly insulting as one of them was for £1. I believe I did not receive the holiday I paid for so I have made an official complaint. I am seeking full compensation for loss of enjoyment, inconvenience, disappointment, loss of value and out of pocket expenses. I included photographic and video evidence in support of my claim and also some of the receipts for out of pocket expenses. I am hoping they respond within 7 days....we shall see Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
After cruising with Royal Caribbean for several years to obtain Platinum level and after enjoying our last cruise on the Harmony of the Sea, we were excited to explore Vietnam with Royal Caribbean. Keep in mind that my wife and I have ... Read More
After cruising with Royal Caribbean for several years to obtain Platinum level and after enjoying our last cruise on the Harmony of the Sea, we were excited to explore Vietnam with Royal Caribbean. Keep in mind that my wife and I have cruised over 840 days at sea and now made cruising a family affair as we cruise with our minor and adult children and their families. On this 3 week holiday we had a great experience beginning at the Ocean Park Marriott Resort in Hong Kong before boarding Voyager of the Seas and was very excited to sail. However, we are sick with disappoint on our most recent Royal Caribbean sailing. We expected the smaller class ship would not have all the amenities we enjoyed on the Harmony, but we did expect the same level of food quality and service. In 30 years having cruised budget to exclusive lines we have never seen food prepared so poorly. Much of the food served on Voyager was very tasteless and served cold in both the main dining room and the buffet. When we payed for meals at Johnny Rockets and Chops the food was flavorful and served at an edible temperature. My husband began eating burgers in the hope of getting a quality tasty meal. He changed to ordering a hamburger from the main dining room as they were better than the burgers served in the Windjammer which appeared to contain filler and certainly not the quality of Johnny Rockets burgers. We tried being the first in line for the buffet, but the pork chop and pancakes were cold even at the start of the mealtime. We were also disappointed that the Windjammer buffet closed so early in the evening leaving only 1 after 9pm dining option which only had complimentary water, coffee, hot tea and milk. Being a non coffee drinker and lactose intolerance water and or basic hot tea was my only choice. In addition small things like sweeteners and the selection of tea flavors was half of what was offered on the Harmony. As for complimentary beverages, we don't believe fruit punch beverages which mimic Koolaid is acceptable. There often was debris clinging to our glass after consuming the drink. Our cabin steward provided wonderful service, as did Mr. XXXXX at the front desk. However, the rest of the staff provided substandard service and we found most staff were focused and commenting on what they would be doing once the guest were off the boat and the renovation of the ship begins. The children's activity center discouraged us from dropping our 8 year old son off. We did not understand why they would not take a child during published open hours even if other children would not be there. When we have someone watch our son at home when we are out, there are not other children present. Entertaining a ward when the parents are at the shows or casino should be the goal of the activity center, instead we had to limited our casino and bar experiences as those are not family friendly activities. Our first excursion was Halong Bay by Boat. The bay and caverns were beautiful; however, the guide provided limited or virtually no details of what we were seeing. He was very personable, but unable to answer several of our questions regarding the formation of the caverns. The Shore Excursion team tried to address our dissatisfaction of the tour of Halong Bay, but that too was several hoops to go through. The initial Shore desk agent we expressed our disappointment to made us feel like the inept guide was our fault as no one else had complained. She implied by her comments that we were lying. She was supposed to get the manager to talk to us, but it took following up with the front desk twice before we received a call back from the Shore Desk manager 36 hours later who was unfamiliar with what happened even after we had filed a complaint. We had to relive the experience again. Eventually Ms. XXXX refunded 50% of the tour cost. Great news but we were saddened that the tour did provide the learning content required of his school needed to complete his trip report. In all it did not provide a learning experience for us or our son. Although the cruise was not going well our goal was to book another with the onboarding Next travel team. This attempted booking was also a new disappointing experience. Even though we were not excited to be on the Voyager, we thought we would plan our 2020 cruise. Wow, booking early offered little incentive and the Next Cruise booking manager did not seem very concerned that we will be expanding our travel search to competitive cruise providers. Basically he was of little service and did not live up to the hype that we experienced during the frequent cruiser reception. Once aboard we understood from the crew that the Voyager would be going out of service for renovations and modernization after this cruise. However for this cruise we had to endure elevators which were non functional and some partially functional contributing to my husband discomfort as he is under the care of a sports medicine physician and was advised to avoid stairs during the trip. Modernization is definitely needed for this ship as many baseboard tiles were falling off the wall, water for hand washing was unavailable in some washrooms, and stairwell tiles/lighting leading to the casino were broken. Casino display lights were partially functional. As we have stated we encountered numerous other maintenance issues we do not normally encounter on a cruise ship. Tiles were missing or loose, the bed shade was cracked but taped together and the exterior seemed to have rust stains everywhere. RC cruises have always raised the bar for food, entertainment and experiences. However this cruise has recalibrated our RC experience to the level of experience similar to more budget cruises but for a higher price. And end the end not only were gratuities automatically added to our shipboard account now envelopes are being left for additional gratuities for cabin/dining staff. Leaving additional gratuities is a good thing but for first time cruisers they may not understand that the envelopes are not mandatory. In addition, we found that some tours had a $100.00 per person markup when compared to walking 100 yards off the ship and getting the same tour from the local provider. Right now we'd not recommend RC mid level ships for a family cruise nor do we believe our last experience lived up to RC's reputation of service, support, and guest appreciation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my 7th cruise with RC and up to this point I was very loyal to them and had always enjoyed my cruises. I was traveling with my parents and wife on this cruise and they are all very experienced cruisers too. All of us couldn't ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise with RC and up to this point I was very loyal to them and had always enjoyed my cruises. I was traveling with my parents and wife on this cruise and they are all very experienced cruisers too. All of us couldn't believe how bad this ship, staff and ports were and the amazing corners that RC is cutting to save costs. First, the service was awful. It seems that staff has been cut by 40% versus other cruises. Bars are packed, the windjammer is always packed and crew members just seemed overall annoyed with passengers. One of the funniest (in an awful way) anecdotes to capture how bad it is was that they don't allow you to pour your own water or coffee at the Windjammer. The problem is, half the coffee machines and ice machines are broken, so there are only ever 2 stations that are fully functioning. So this creates long lines at every station, just to get a cup of water. At times 15 people would be queued up, snaking between tables waiting for water. The staff had no urgency or worries about this. At one point I was standing there for 3-5 minutes while a crew member was watching individual cubes of ice fall into a bucket from a dis-functioning machine. So finally I went behind the station to pour my own coffee. Comically bad. The ship itself is tired and worn out. Rust everywhere, stains on the carpets and a general musty smell. Our hallway on floor 7 had a roof leak so there were buckets of water dotting the halls catching drips and huge fans running all day to try and remove the growing mold. The internet almost never worked even though we paid for the "streaming" package. One day it was down the entire day and didn't work at all. The pool chairs are nasty and outside decks have dirt and stains all over them. It just looked tired and worn out everywhere. The Vietnam ports of call were nightmares. Large container ports and if you didn't make your own plans you would be completely out of luck. The tender process was comically mismanaged. It was supposed to begin at 9am and didn't start till 11am. So there were scores of people lined up on the stairs, angry and hot. Finally they just started loading people onto the lifeboats regardless of their ticket number so people who had been waiting for 2.5 hours were passed by people who showed up 15 minutes earlier. Tempers were beyond hot. Overall, this cruise ruined RC for me. I brought a list of concerns to the Guest Service deck and the exact response was: "thank you for your concerns. Unfortunately we've heard these things from hundreds of others and there isn't anything we can do. Thank you though for not shouting at me like most other people have been. Hopefully this ship is dry docked soon because there is nothing we can do." My last comment is about the leadership. I think there is a serious concern with the Captain of this ship. It doesn't get this bad without poor leadership at the top. I was actually sad when I attended the exclusive crown and anchor night and he was giving out years of service recognition. An employee was getting their 5 year award and he butchered the pronunciation of their name. He just laughed and said "oh well, it doesn't really matter anyway." How awful....inhuman and embarrassing. I felt so sad for this crew member who had given 5 years of their life to RC and was then laughed at in front of the entire room because the Captain not only didn't know their name, but didn't even care what it was. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This is our 1st Celebrity cruise, but it was my 11th overall. Definitely did not live up to my expectations. Since the ship was refurbished, we expected it to be nicer, unfortunately it was such a disappointment. Cabin: we booked a ... Read More
This is our 1st Celebrity cruise, but it was my 11th overall. Definitely did not live up to my expectations. Since the ship was refurbished, we expected it to be nicer, unfortunately it was such a disappointment. Cabin: we booked a concierge class. heat was broken. it was so cold. We called service desk and no one picked up the phone, so we went down to guest service desk & it took them about 1/2 day to finally send someone to our cabin to fix the heat. Our cabin steward was attentive & polite. Food: very poor menu, less than average food. Prime rib was chewy, seafood was not fresh. Self service buffet served almost same food every day. Food was either cold, too salty or tasteless. There was no service, no smiles, except the last night some of them tried to make conversation with us...then asked us to write good review. What a joke! Public restroom: We were locked in the restroom stalls twice. Thanks goodness that there were someone in the restroom, so they were able to go get the maintenance person to unlock for us. Entertainment: lack of entertainment. There was not much to do on the cruise. Ports & shore excursions: Seoul highlight excursion was OK. Shanghai highlight excursion was below average. I would not recommend Celebrity and will not be back myself. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary although we had been to all of the countries that were on the itinerary as recent as on a river cruise in 2017 to Viet Nam and Cambodia. The embarkation took 2 1/2 hours of which was the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary although we had been to all of the countries that were on the itinerary as recent as on a river cruise in 2017 to Viet Nam and Cambodia. The embarkation took 2 1/2 hours of which was the longest embark that we had to endure after a long flight from US to Hong Kong one day prior. We were tired and hungry, but all of the restaurants were closed by the time we got on board because it was time for Muster. Our package included premium beverage, four specialty dining restaurants, unlimited internet, which was nice although the internet was crawling most of the time, and 120 free phone calls of which we used 55 minutes. We were extremely dissapponted to find out that we had to pay NCL $69 each to get a Viet Nam Visa and $89 each for a Cambodia Visa at embark. Of course, we were not aware of getting visas in advance because we planned not to get off in Cambodia because the ship only port one day there, and because we were in Cambodia 2017. The River Cruise Company advised us in advance that we had to get visa for Nam and Cambodia, but NCL did not. Moreover, Viet Nam charges $25 for its Visa; Cambodia charges $30, and it took us less than 5 weeks to get both visa. NCL charged $69 and $89, 3x the charge??? When several passengers asked the crews at the reception, one said because it was an emergency visas; other said to me because they “are merchant” visas. I pointed to that crew member the Viet Nam visa that was stapled to my passports in 2017 indicating that was a “merchant” visa, too, yet, I didn’t have to pay $69 and I got to keep the visa. I don’t know if that crew member got trained appropriately or he thought he could fool me into believing his feeble infor. On this trip, we had to turn in our Nam Visa on the last port day in Nam. So for those who want to keep it for souvenir are of our luck! The food in the Specialty Dining Restaurants was mediocre and poor in some instances. The restaurants’ staffs seemed trying but the execution was poor. At Cagney’s Steak house, I asked for a medium rare filet mignon, it came out rare. The server took it back, the kitchen recooked the steak that I already cut into instead of giving me a new one. What happened if I were sick with a cold or have some kind of contagious illness? Some thoughts for the management. Another incident at Chin Chin, Asian Fusion Restaurant, a line item on the menu, “Chinese Chicken...” one of the passengers asked the server, “what is Chinese Chicken?” The server responded with a laugh, “may be it’s small...” He then apologized later knowing what he said was inappropriate. Note for NCL management, there should be no Chinese Chickens, no American Chickens, and etc...on the menu. There were many more that we could name. In summary, we have cruised many times on large cruise ships and many more on river cruise ships, our experiences were better than NCL, which was our first time. We are not so sure if we want to give NCL a second chance! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The name of the game here is from embarkation to disembarkation "SELL SELL SELL". Penny pinching and extremely bad value for money. Travelled Aqua Class - very poor experience - services advised in this class did not happen! ... Read More
The name of the game here is from embarkation to disembarkation "SELL SELL SELL". Penny pinching and extremely bad value for money. Travelled Aqua Class - very poor experience - services advised in this class did not happen! AMENITIES: Robe - don't other cabins have robes? Wine Classes - never happened! Hair Dryer - Don't other cabins have Hair driers? STATEROOM FEATURES: Interactive Samsung Flat Screed TV - never worked - most days nothing! Dual Voltage - what does the other staterooms have for power? SERVICES: Priority Check In - Never happened! Kir Royal on arrival - Paper cup of water with orange slices in dispenser - more penny pinching!! AQUA CLASS - List a whole lot of crap - just window dressing. Not worth the extra $ Food in Ocean View cafe (third rate) Very difficult to produce good food from second class produce. Fruit selection in Asia, Honey Dew Melon, Cantaloupe, cut up apples and cut up oranges - extremely poor fruit. What happened to tropical asian fruits - happened once only on 14 days. Very very poor. Food basically slop! Dined in Blu - did not see a shrimp for 10 days - very poor menu. Hardly ever chicken on menu and really only thin steaks. Had a very bad experience then dined in Metropolitan - very average food. Guest Services - a contradiction in terms - On this ship the guest is always wrong. The crew wants to turn every mistake back on the passenger! On embarkation bag lost until 8.30pm - Then abuse from arrogant security staff member. LGBTQI - Conducted in Martini Bar at 7.45pm each evening. Once advertised in daily news then put on notice board. The bar was full of a very mixed group of over ladies and hardly ever with gay guests. Crew not interested - Never happened on any other ship I have been on. The ship is to be dry-docked soon - maybe some of the staff should be dry-docked or given a lesson on how to be polite and helpful towards the guests who are responsible for their wages. Opted out from daily automatic tipping - with 18% service, why the tips. Following opting out of the automatic tips received an envelope in stateroom from Cabin Steward suggesting how much tip to leave him! Unheard of but follows the arrogance of the very unpleased crew. No smiles from anyone! Most issues reported without any explanation and definitely no compensation!! Air condition in cabin was fixed following 3 attempts - very poor! Told by Guest Service complaints had been sent to Head Office. On contacting Head Office no report received! All no service and no smiles. What a disaster Never again on Celebrity - ship a tub - hope the dry dock can perform miracles!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have school reunion in Hong Kong so total 110 of us took the 5 days Vietnam cruise. If you have taken other legit cruise ships such as Princess, Celebrity, you will be solely disappointed. This cruise line just catering to Mainland ... Read More
We have school reunion in Hong Kong so total 110 of us took the 5 days Vietnam cruise. If you have taken other legit cruise ships such as Princess, Celebrity, you will be solely disappointed. This cruise line just catering to Mainland Chinese, who are interested in Gambling and sight seeing. Most of them do not know how a real cruis ship oprates. We were only allowed to go into the eating area once for the 3 meals, or you will get charged extra. But for the foods they serve, no one willl want to go there the 2nd time anyway. For lunch buffet, therre were warning signs about not get burned by the steam, and I amost got burned a few times when trying to get food from the pans which were heated underneath by the steam but leaking around the edges. For dinner, we needed to have 8 people, as they serveed 8 people on each table, and they served 6 Chinese dishes family style meaning everybody digged in with their chopsticks. So you did not want to have dinner with strangers.. The protions were unbelievably small. They had some afternnon snacks, the cookies were worst than the Dollar General store varieties. My friend carried 2 cookies that he did not finish and got stopped by the ship staff that no food could leave the dining area. Had one so so dance and singing show 1 night and the ship staff forced us to stand up, applaud, and applaud, and took up 40 minutes. The show was only 30 minutes. They had music singings right in the middle of casino, with people smoking away. Had 2 levels of Casinos, with VIP rooms where they made most of their money.. Chinese passengers running around in their pajamas. One man sitting next to me during the show, messaging his bard toes. The night before the disembarkment, I asked for the luggage tags. They all gave wrong answers. Finally I got the tags from the Service Desk. They wanted to save the luggage tags also. Took 2 hours to get on the ship for 1500 passengers. And 2 hours again to get off ship. Person in charge of disembarkment admitted his job was to manage a restaurant. And they were not cheap. We paid about US $100/day per person. experience. This cruise line should be rated -1 stars if poosible. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
They prioritize the Mainland China market with focus on loud Mandarin Karaoke, activities and crowded dancing. Nowhere for nice music, dancing, chat or fun places without overly screeching speakers. Best bar evenings reserved for Mandarin ... Read More
They prioritize the Mainland China market with focus on loud Mandarin Karaoke, activities and crowded dancing. Nowhere for nice music, dancing, chat or fun places without overly screeching speakers. Best bar evenings reserved for Mandarin Karaoke. Half the shows were disappointing. Dance classes over crowded. Few Westerners got open dining time. Most 5.30pm or 8.30pm. Changing very difficult. We had booked anytime dining but got told 5.30pm - not possible to change. Cigarette from the casino strong and wafting up and into other areas, making adjoining areas out of scope for non smokers.. Great service from some (sadly not all) restaurant staff and cabin crew and large balcony rooms the positives. Great gym size, but most activities one has to pay for.. like no craft, cake decorating $US35. Queue for a while for rock climbing. $US12 yoga. Shore excursions a hit and miss with Vietnam spa bad English and taking us to the wrong (better) then taking us to a more commercial (disappointing) site. Another Vietnam tour guide was Excellent in comparison. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Your fellow guests - 2000 Chinese so be prepared to be pushed and shoved around. Everything on board those cruise is squarely aimed at the Chinese market, I wouldn’t have minded at all if the food had been first rate but sadly, it was ... Read More
Your fellow guests - 2000 Chinese so be prepared to be pushed and shoved around. Everything on board those cruise is squarely aimed at the Chinese market, I wouldn’t have minded at all if the food had been first rate but sadly, it was not. Food:: substandard with Chinese food done badly, Western food even worse. Cabin: old, needs refurbishing Cabin amenities: generic bulk bought cream, nothing remotely resembling branded products Entertainment: laughable - apparently the 2nd runner up in the 2015 The Voice Phillipines qualifies as “first class entertainment”. What a joke. Thank goodness I took a book. Movies: child friendly, nothing for adults Cable tv - on a loop, watch the same news for 5 days Luggage: got held up in Secuirty for 7 hours, eventually had to get it myself and lug it up 9 decks. There’s a smoking area next to the pool - how healthy. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Compared to our previous 12 cruises and as Gold status members, our overall experience was extremely disappointing. * Food was ordinary to say the least and totally unacceptable everywhere on the the ship except for the specialty ... Read More
Compared to our previous 12 cruises and as Gold status members, our overall experience was extremely disappointing. * Food was ordinary to say the least and totally unacceptable everywhere on the the ship except for the specialty restaurants which we were forced to attend to enjoy some sort of quality food/service. To be served mashed potato, carrots and brocolli with almost every dish served in the main dining room (including Jumbo Prawns on formal night) shows a complete lack of skill and judgement by the catering management. * We experienced extreme rudeness, loud unacceptable crowding from the mostly Chinese passengers on board. * The staff were inadequate to handle this behavior and it was generally accepted. * Royal Caribbean displayed a complete lack of health and comfort or consideration to allow smoking in the casino on board so that their profits were not affected by the loss of the mostly Asian patrons. * Forced to make a formal complaint about our totally incompetent tour guide which we purchased on board for our day trip to Osaka. We would find it difficult to consider another Royal Caribbean cruise in future due to the consistently poor standards and cost saving measures. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This cruise and the two following cruises on June 1 and June 6 were booked as an offering by Cruise 1st on a back to back basis, AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN OFFERED TO UK CUSTOMERS. The whole ship, including the food, and entertainment, ... Read More
This cruise and the two following cruises on June 1 and June 6 were booked as an offering by Cruise 1st on a back to back basis, AND SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN OFFERED TO UK CUSTOMERS. The whole ship, including the food, and entertainment, was designed and set up to cater for Chinese and other Asian guests, NOT US. SIMPLY NOT UP TO STANDARD AND VERY VERY DISAPPOINTING. Noise level on board and in the Windjammer totally unacceptable from the 4000 Chinese guests. We only found out about an english menu being available at HongKong airport on the way home from other miserable UK guests who, like us had to wait for 11 hours minimum to get the flight home. This menu was never offered to us in any of the 4 restaurants and consequently we did not know of its existence. I managed to get a ships wheel chair for my partner who has limited mobility but when we got back to HongKong at the end of the first leg we were refused permission to take it off the ship to re-board in Shenzhen. THREFORE WE REFUSED TO GET OFF. So we stayed on whilst the ship was moved along with another couple. We did not need our Chinese visas at all AND ALL THE BRITISH GUESTS WHO HAD THE TRAUMA OF GETTING OFF AND ON COULD ALL HAVE STAYED ON BOARD AND NOT BE DISTURBED. SOME EVEN HAD TO CHANGE CABIN. We all had to attend three safety assemblies conducted in Chinese, get three boarding passes, and register our credit cards three times, ALL TOTALLY UNNECESSARY WITH GOOD ORGANISATION AND WE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN DISTURBED IN THIS WAY. . The trips off the ship were badly over-priced and I really object to paying USD 14.15 for a single glass of red wine. When we got to Okinawa for an overnight stay on-board the shuttle bus from the ship into the city centre was only advised as running on the evening of arrival AND NO MENTION OF THE NEXT DAY. This would have meant getting off the ship close to darkness. I managed to find out that this was not true and that the shuttle was running the next day and changed my tickets. SOME OF YOUR UK CUSTOMERS WERE REFUSED THIS CHANGE WHEN THEY ASKED TO DO SO. The two theatre performances that we attended were so poor that we walked out both times and never came back. Typical example of the poor food is that when a roast joint was made available there was only gravy, mint jelly and mashed potato available to have with it. No roast potatoes yorkshires, and cooked vegetables, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Most days any chips on offer were stone cold in seconds, and of the type offered by Macdonalds, SIMPLY NOT ACCEPTABLE. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
A terrible experience on ovation of the seas! Not a holiday! EMBARKATION - did an online check in and made an appointment time check in! On arrival, all this arrangement does not arrange by rci! When check with rci staff, they just ... Read More
A terrible experience on ovation of the seas! Not a holiday! EMBARKATION - did an online check in and made an appointment time check in! On arrival, all this arrangement does not arrange by rci! When check with rci staff, they just tell me to line up like others of hundreds with hours of waiting on line. Rci staff said that the online appointment and check in - is just a suggestion! CABIN - small and no toilet amenities such as toothbrush, shaver given! Only shower gel at the shower area and a small soap bar! This is worst than 2 star hotel! - pillow stinks! DISEMBARKATION - no smooth at all, messy! Rci have appointed the venue and time to disembarked, but we are show to walk all over to other venues to disembarked! DINING - horrible quality and taste especially windjammer! The taste is so bad and the presentation was so horrible served especially the cuts fruits. - the night snack offered in windjammer from 22:00 hours was only 3 types from the afternoon lunch left overs and tables arrange was less than 100 seatings! There are more than 200 lining up! - only paid dining are good and fit to eat! ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES - children mini water park supposed to closed at 20:00 hours each day, but the park closed at 19:30 with the reason- water pump faulty! SERVICES The grande waiter served us well (gusti from indonesia) and the silk waitress on a grey jacket (from china) was terrible rude and unhelpful! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Tours very expensive with nothing to be seen Charged 20$ for local transfers when docked and then faced over 1 hour wait to get on a bus both ways Only had anytime dining, no set dining although we had booked for a table of 8. Again ... Read More
Tours very expensive with nothing to be seen Charged 20$ for local transfers when docked and then faced over 1 hour wait to get on a bus both ways Only had anytime dining, no set dining although we had booked for a table of 8. Again long queues to get into dining rooms. Specifically aimed at Asian customers, although the majority non Asian and staff confirmed this was the case. Dining room English menu managed to offer Shepherds Pie and all was lukewarm. Restricted Windjammer opening hours. Closed at 10.30 am had to go to another cafe with much less choice. Entertainment almost non existent No port maps supplied unless queued for ages at Guest Relations to get one. Everyone was complaining about this cruise so the queues were horrendous. TV choices terrible only American Weather Service in English Disembarkation was a joke, the queues went all round the ship to get off they seemed to just get everyone off in one go. Have had several conversations with Royal Caribbean and all they can say is sorry but having done many Royal Caribbean cruises there was just so much wrong with this one and just saying sorry does not quite cut it. One lady I spoke to in Miami said that this cruise was "culturally enriched"her words,and that this is in their description in the brochures and we were sold this cruise as a "miscommunication from the travel agent" again her words, we have spoken to both our travel agent and also others and no one has ever heard of this before.and it is certainly not in any of the brochures. I would advise anyone cruising to the Far East to check this out. We have just had such awful treatment from this Company since our return which is so sad as the previous cruises were such wonderful experiences. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
In 2016, we enjoyed our earlier cruise with NCL Star for 21 days in a Suite and had absolutely no issues. This is what enticed us to take another cruise with Norwegian. This cruise with Jewel was only for 11 days from March 21 to April 1, ... Read More
In 2016, we enjoyed our earlier cruise with NCL Star for 21 days in a Suite and had absolutely no issues. This is what enticed us to take another cruise with Norwegian. This cruise with Jewel was only for 11 days from March 21 to April 1, 2018. The best part of the cruise is the fact that our Mini-Suite was kept immaculately tidy by our steward. The whole ship always looked tidy. Unfortunately, the positives stop there. NCL Jewel is a highly disorganized ship and the reasons are as follows: (1) from the initial port in HK up to disembarkation. People in HK were not even properly identified as NCL staff. They were grabbing the suitcases from our hotel limo as we arrived. (2)Furthermore, NO ONE in the check in counter in HK knew what Latitudes was. Only those in the Suites were assisted even if the Latitudes program supposedly provided for assistance on embarkation for those in Gold upwards (3)Restaurant reservation made online prior to the start of the cruise did not sync with the ship's system. Hence, I just wasted all that time planning the restaurants that we wanted to dine in. (4)The worst part is the staff at Azura ( on the first night) were demanding a print out from me for the proof of my reservation. I obviously do not walk around with hard copies of the reservation when it is supposed to be in their system as per my NCL account. I did not appreciate this because there were other patrons behind and I never expected to be treated in such fashion when the meal in question is an inclusion and not even a specialty restaurant. I later found out that the whole reservation system was not working for the entire length of the cruise(5) Water purchased in advance were not delivered to our room until after 3 follow ups. We were told that it would be delivered the next day which is unacceptable as my husband and I require such for our medication. (6) Shore excursion organizers at the start were not organized with guests even requesting that a line be formed during the process. This is disappointing as the staff should have organized the whole process better. I started wondering if they had trainees organizing these excursions. Also, some guests of the boat were complaining that the ship ran out of shore excursion openings for most of the tours. It is only for 11 days – how can they get it so wrong. (7) Room service did not deliver an order for nearly 3 hours because they supposedly failed to get our room number. We could not have our breakfast at the restaurants that morning as we were dealing with a family emergency over the phones. This was the height of how dysfunctional room service was. To order for beer at around 10 pm would take at least an hour to be delivered. (8) Food in the specialty restaurants are mostly SALTY. The dishes we enjoyed at the NCL Star are also offered at the Jewel but for some reason almost everything is about 3 times saltier. This made most of our dining experiences not enjoyable. Menus in the main dining areas/complimentary do not change at all. Azura and Tsar have near similar menus ( 9) Staff in the Garden Cafe are NOT very helpful and would really rather stand around than assist guests when the place is packed during meal time. The same goes with Azura. The staff members seem to be overwhelmed during peak times. Hence, guests are left waiting to be attended to. We dined there twice and it is sad to see that the main dining area could hardly cope and not get its act together. (10) As we had to leave the ship earlier than scheduled due to a family emergency, we had to disembark by ourselves. We have paid for the cruise until 01 April but had to leave by 30 March. We were supposed to disembark at around 11 am as our flight was at 3:00 pm. By 9:30 am, housekeeping wanted to check if we were still in our rooms. Yes, the very same room that we have paid for in full till April 1 including the unlimited internet charges I have paid for UNTIL April 1. An hour later, someone in guest relations also went to our room to check if we were still around. This was weird because they all knew we were only leaving past 11 am. I could not understand why they were rushing to get us out when the ship will still be docked until 7 or 8 pm in Kobe. Later, the disembarkation officer was VERY VERY rude and even raised her voice infront of everyone when I said that all I wanted was to get out of this ship once and for all. She should not be in hospitality if that is how she treats guests. Prior to our disembarkation and after having raised some of the issues above with customer relations, the Hotel Director Steven even offered to compensate us with US$200 off our bill for all the inconveniences we encountered. We find that insulting as we did not raise our issues to get freebies. We actually look down on people who try to pull that sort of stuff. In the long run, we believe people with legitimate issues suffer when an establishment assumes that people only whinge because they want to get freebies. We declined the offer and told him to use the funds instead towards boosting staff training and morale. He also later on sent a bottle of wine and some chocolates to our Mini- Suite. We also sent that back and politely said thank you BUT no thank you to the messenger. Over-all we regret taking this cruise. It was only for 11 days but I think it stressed us out in the 9 days that we were inside that ship. We were so impressed with NCL Star that we even made 3 CruiseNext deposits in 2016. We are not regretting that decision. Since coming back to Australia, we have read some reviews other passengers have given Jewel and all I can conclude is that we are not alone with our findings. They also are the same with the sentiments of most of the people we interacted with on the boat. Most of them even swearing this would be the final time with NCL. I hope I am wrong to assume that NCL only treats guests from the Suites better than the rest. If someone in a Mini Suite this time cannot get decent satisfaction from a cruise liner then I don’t know what hope the other guests in the lower decks would feel. The ship is running very poorly because of low staff morale and inadequate training. Suffice to say, I will surely think thrice before recommending this vessel for a cruise. The Jewel is destroying the NCL brand and needs an overhaul. It has management and staff issues. We have cruised with both Princess and Celebrity on both levels, Suite and Mini Suite, and had absolutely none of these issues. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We had sailed on Celebrity before but not on the Millennium. We wanted to go to China, Korea and Japan. We were really looking forward to it. As soon as we got on the ship- we were very disappointed to see the outdated and dull decor. ... Read More
We had sailed on Celebrity before but not on the Millennium. We wanted to go to China, Korea and Japan. We were really looking forward to it. As soon as we got on the ship- we were very disappointed to see the outdated and dull decor. It was actually depressing- like a cheap motel. Only four stores on board when we expected more. The interior of the main restaurant was dark and also out dated. My husband ordered steak and fries and got two small slices of steak and four fries- we never went back. Fortunately the cafeteria food was good. The bed was so hard that I had to call them to do something as I could not sleep. Because we had sailed on Celebrity before I was looking forward to sinking into a nice bed and just relaxing. They then provided a mattress pad which helped. Now comes the real problem-because of the fact that the ports were quite distant from where the shore excursions were going-each excursion involved at least 1 to 2 hours to get there. Imagine wasting your time touring a market when you wanted to see sights and do some shopping. Between the markets-food and fish- and the traveling time- the excursions were some of the worse we have encountered in 10 years of cruising. The ports were in deserted areas not near shopping or site seeing so you could not just get off the ship and do an independent trip especially as sights were a good hour away and taxi drivers etc do not speak English in those areas. Now to the most upsetting part- the ports in the area of Shanghai close when there is too much dense fog and we could see why. This is a common problem for this area.The result- all the passengers had to cancel their flights home and reschedule-this cost us $1000- not covered by trip insurance. It was hands down the worst cruise I have ever taken and a good lesson in why you should always read the reviews of each ship-not go by just the reputation of the cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We choose this cruise because of where it was going as is the ship is old 18 years while we where on board they decided to empty the indoor pool and grinder of the resin inside it but still cleaved the doors open to the decks open letting ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of where it was going as is the ship is old 18 years while we where on board they decided to empty the indoor pool and grinder of the resin inside it but still cleaved the doors open to the decks open letting the fumes drift in the main dinning room menu did not change much overthe2 Adweek cruise also the service was poor taking over 2 hours to have your meal the activities centred on how much extra money they could make of you entertainment was mainly poor singers the staff where mainly trying to push drinks packages or specialised restaurants and casinos the excusins in the main where mainly good l could not understand why they did not put a kettle in the room you also had to pay to watch any movies in your room we have been on many cruise before which where very good but celebrity is just about making money of passengers never again Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
For the most part we found service was not a priority throughout this cruise. Have been on many cruises with many different cruise lines. This was the absolute worst experience. We will cruise again but never with Celebrity!! ... Read More
For the most part we found service was not a priority throughout this cruise. Have been on many cruises with many different cruise lines. This was the absolute worst experience. We will cruise again but never with Celebrity!! Celebrity Millennium felt more like being on a cheap and rotting Days Inn on the water rather than a cruise ship. DRINK PACKAGE We had the drink package. Found that we had to run after waiters to get a drink. When sitting at any of the bars, NEVER, not once did anyone come up and ask if we wanted a drink. At the “Cellar Masters” we were told that was a premium bar and our card was not good there. We should have been offered the option to pay the difference for the premium drinks as had been stated to us, and not made to feel like an inferior class. At the “Oceanview Café” waiters would go out of their way not to make eye contact so as to not have to take a drink order. Once they would make eye contact, or we would run after them to ask for a drink, that drink would take nearly 30 minutes to arrive. Unacceptable! We got the distinct impression that Celebrity wants to sell you a drink package, but they sure do their best to make sure you do net get any drinks. INTERNET PACKAGE We had the internet package. After many complaints that we could not get internet in our room, tech support came out to check the wifi strength in our room. They found there was no wifi in our room. We were told if we wanted to use the wifi we would have to go to the public areas. It cannot be that difficult to program room assignments where if a guest has an internet package they should not be assigned to a room with no wifi. LOUNGES We like to sit and talk over a glass of wine. That was impossible on board this ship. Every lounge or bar had some kind of terrible twangy music going on. It would have been nice to have ONE lounge or bar as a quiet place. FOOD Food was basically some type of mashed up or ground UP meats given over and over with different sides. STATEROOM Staterooms have attached hangers which make it very difficult to hang clothes. The room's hair blower has to be held down in order to dry your hair. My hand ended up cramped every time I dried my hair. CANYON RANCH SPA Only bright spot in this miserable cruise. Staff was very professional. We stayed overnight in Bangkok so as to avoid the 3 hours back and forth to the city from the port. Seriously thought of leaving the cruise in Bangkok since it was so nice to finally get some great service. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was not a 14 day cruise it was a 13 day cruise spending the last day and night in Hong Kong harbour.Where we left from. 1 The shows were below standard 2 The food was poor with the exception of 3 meals,which were excellent 3 ... Read More
This was not a 14 day cruise it was a 13 day cruise spending the last day and night in Hong Kong harbour.Where we left from. 1 The shows were below standard 2 The food was poor with the exception of 3 meals,which were excellent 3 The stops were impossible to experience night life or night markets with exception of Hanoi which was a 7.5 hour return trip by taxi or bus,unless you spent the night in a hotel in Hanoi,extra expense. 4 The entertainment on board,should you not wish to leave the ship in port,was non existent 5 You were not given any alternative information re travel should you not wish to take excursions eg Taiwan,there was a train direct. 6 There were no cooking classes re the food of the countrys we visited. 7 The state rooms were excellent. We had a beverage package,and drank cold drinks from the mini bar in our state room,they dont tell you this is not part of the beverage and charge you ,which is foolish,as you can order drinks at any bar and bring it down to your room.I did query this and they reversed the charges. 8 The service was excellent and the staff were excellent 9 Embarkation and Disembarkation excellent 10 The visibility of officers and captain,were unique,the captain was even down stairs in disembarkation wishing us all well. In all with the exception of staff and offices stateroom and captain a very poor cruise,which i would not recommend to any one,the worst cruise ever.We have travelled on Cunnard,Princess,Crystal,MSC,Costa and more,this was the worst. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise as the places and timing were appropriate. We previously sailed twice with Celebrity and had a great time and good value.The food was terrific, the excursions were fine, the ship was lovely, everything was great so we ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the places and timing were appropriate. We previously sailed twice with Celebrity and had a great time and good value.The food was terrific, the excursions were fine, the ship was lovely, everything was great so we came back for a third time. What a mistake!!This time things were at the opposite end of the spectrum. Yes, the staff was great, The room was fine, the balcony was terrific. The food was awful. Really - PLASTIC EGGS!! Cut it with a scissors! It was so bad we told the steward to stop the afternoon snacks as they were sickening, though the fresh fruit was O.K. The complimentary in cabin sparkling wine was so bad it was undrinkable! The bar drinks were terrible. Yes, we had the package that came with the trip. If you do not care what you drink and just need alcohol - great. If you are discerning, then there is nothing to drink. Even Perrier (water) is not included!! Very pedestrian and a shameless way to get you to "upgrade" They tried this with add on specialty meals as well as the drinks, a continual up-sell. Many developed a cough that only quit when we left the ship. Right away we felt better. Maybe the ventilation system needs checking as it could not deal with the pollution of the ports. Ports were crowded and air polluted, everyone wore face masks,but for the first time in Hong Kong, Vietnam etc. it was exciting... for a while. with poor food, so-so entertainment, poor quality drinks Celebrity has really hit rock bottom. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Don't waste your money. I chose this cruise because it started and ended in HK, where my son lives and we were looking forward to a short XMas family holiday together, visiting Vietnam. I had never been on a cruise, but so many ... Read More
Don't waste your money. I chose this cruise because it started and ended in HK, where my son lives and we were looking forward to a short XMas family holiday together, visiting Vietnam. I had never been on a cruise, but so many people told me that it's a great way to see different places, without much extra expense, nor the hassle of moving from hotel to hotel and that the food is always great.....sadly NOT SO ON THIS CRUISE! Everything cost extra, even playing Mahjong and attending stretch or spin class! The food was so poor, even in the restaurants, there was often more fat than muscle on the meat and I barely saw a fresh fruit or vegetable the whole time. If they are hoping to break into the Western market, which I understand they are, they will need to raise the bar a lot, in my opinion. It is a very new ship with some nice features, BUT.... these are some of the areas which led to such frustration and disappointment for me and my family: * before even embarking the ship, we were asked to sign letters to say we were happy to go ahead with the cruise, despite an itinerary change due to poor weather conditions. We were told we would each receive a discount on board and a free cruise to be used by June 2018, but have heard nothing about the cruise since. We were not given copies of what we signed, but should have taken photos, I know! * cabins/balconies were not properly cleaned. On arrival, we found mandarin peel inside and cigarette butts outside and our children found prescription medication in their cabin!! * staff were pleasant but mostly inexperienced and many couldn't speak English. When we asked about the beverage packages, which we'd received info. about on the Dream letterhead before leaving home, the first 3 people had never heard of such a thing! There ended up being only one Premium Package available, which was very limited and could only be used in certain areas. * gratuity fee which was automatically charged in advance (and I understand is quite standard on all cruise lines) could not be reversed, despite being told prior, that it could be, on request. I would have been very happy to pay, if we received good service, but everything felt like it was a challenge. * Restaurants were often booked out in advance and rather than costing a supplement of around AUD $20-40, as we had been advised by our agent, they were all a la carte and full charges applied. Given the quality of the food in the free buffets (especially breakfast which was particularly bad), we kept trying restaurants, hoping for something better. We fine dining Chinese the most. * Karaoke booths were also heavily booked out, but we managed to find just one time slot available, when we enquired. We had to agree to a minimum spend of food and drinks, but could not use the beverage package once we had hit that limit!! * We were told we could arrange visas for Vietnam on board and wouldn't have to take an excursion to leave the ship, but this was not the case. The excursion in Halong Bay (our only port in the end), went for 6.5 excruciating hours, 5 of which was travel time, with a non English speaking guide.We were charged not only for the excursion itself, but also a late fee for processing of the Visas. When my son asked for a second drink, he was told the charge included only one per person. * Shows had to be pre-booked, so we could not get a seat, when we first arrived for a show and were told we could enter only if there was room, once everybody had arrived. * I settled the accounts for 2 of our 3 cabins the night before we were disembarking, hoping to simplify the process on our last day, only to find new unexplained charges, which we spent 4 hours trying to understand, along with the very complicated billing system, before leaving the ship (in tears) to make our flight back to Australia.... The extra charges on board were 20 percent in excess of what I had budgeted for, based on all the information I had been given, when booking the holiday. All in all, a massive disappointment and far from the relaxing family holiday I thought we were signed up for. By the way, I did give the company the opportunity to address these concerns before writing this review, and they acknowledged some of the downfalls I highlighted, but offered me zero in the way of any compensation or true apology. The bad taste this experience has left me with remains..... Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We were really looking forward to this cruise as it seemed to offer everything we wanted to see and experience in the Far East. How wrong we were! The embarkation, immigration and disembarkation used up so much time on many of the days ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this cruise as it seemed to offer everything we wanted to see and experience in the Far East. How wrong we were! The embarkation, immigration and disembarkation used up so much time on many of the days ashore that we were unable to do much of what we had planned. Many of the ports were miles away from the main attractions, for example we docked at Laem Chabang which meant we had a four hour drive to get to Bangkok. This meant eight hours was spent on a coach. At Koh Samui, it was even worse as the ships tenders weren't used (which contradicted the presentation given by the excursions officer) and so we waited for three hours to get ashore. The queue was so bad to return to the ship that the 16:00 departure time was delayed by over two hours to ensure the massive queue (that extended the length of the pier at Nathon) could return. Queues for the restaurants and customer service was also a huge frustration and has resulted in our party of twenty three sending letters of complaint in an effort to seek compensation. Such a shame this effected so much of the amazing countries we had hoped to see more of during our two week cruise. The dining experience in the lounges is excellent and the breakfasts are great as it is always cooked to order. The level of service from the cabin steward and waiters is great, which was more than I could say about the officers who not as helpful and didn't appear to support their staff well enough when issues were raised. We din't take the opportunity to experience the on board activities, other than a photography lecture that was amazing and taught me many new skills to use in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
From the embarkation chaos in the Cruise Terminal to some of the poorly trained staff, this was the absolute worse Princess cruise I have ever experienced it 25 years. No designated queues for check in, such as for “Elite and Platinum ... Read More
From the embarkation chaos in the Cruise Terminal to some of the poorly trained staff, this was the absolute worse Princess cruise I have ever experienced it 25 years. No designated queues for check in, such as for “Elite and Platinum level” were displayed. Discussions with fellow Elite level cruisers support my negative experience with this sailing. In fact, Princess Cruises awarded every guess $100 on-board credit to try and appease the dissatisfied passengers after our disorganized, chaotic embarkation day. This ship should have been refitted after the Summer China cruise season, instead of waiting until next March, 2018,as it has become dated and detoriated. Some of my fellow passengers experienced food-poisoning like myself, in discussions during the final days of our cruise. My illness came from the Trident Grill when an inexperienced Chinese cook, grilled a cheese burger for me. Within 3 hours I was vomiting and experiencing diarrhea. After reporting this occurrence, I was isolated to my room until 24 hours after the diarrhea ceased. Difficulties understanding public address announcements were normal, as the young lady once told me jokingly, that she spoke “Chinglish”. Our table mates quit dining with us in the Dining Room, after their numerous, poorly cooked main courses were returned to the kitchen on the first 4 of 5 evenings. They were totally disgusted with the food and never returned to the Dining Room. The staff overall, tried their best and were to be commended for their attitudes, but Princess Cruises must revise their Dining programs, as well as other areas of the cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We have cruised with Princess many times before and are fully versed with what to expect and the service that Princess supply. Our problems started with embarkation. There was absolutely no organisation to this at all. Outside of the ... Read More
We have cruised with Princess many times before and are fully versed with what to expect and the service that Princess supply. Our problems started with embarkation. There was absolutely no organisation to this at all. Outside of the terminal there was virtually no one around to ask and more by luck we managed to find the right place to leave our luggage. Inside the terminal was much worse. As we are now elite on Princess we should have preferential boarding but the queues were huge and no one managing it we finished up in the wrong queue and the process took about 3 hours before we had our cruise card. Part way into the trip Princess did acknowledge that embarkation was a mess and credited everyone's on board account with $50. Usually on board a Princess ship there is quite a variety of entertainment available. However, every night the main theatre was the only event where there was a show. Club Fusion never hosted a live show throughout the cruise and this is usually busy every night. Sapphire Princess has been in the Chinese market for the past three years. Apparently the staff are only used to this and as a result the normal Princess service was missing. The only exception to this was our cabin steward who did his best to rectify the issues with our room. Sapphire Princess is looking very tired. Her dry dock refit can't come soon enough. In our cabin the shower waste didn't work properly, the first time it was used it flooded the rest of the bathroom fortunately it didn't go any further than that. Other issues we had included the air conditioning not cooling the room at all, rather important in the tropics! The refrigerator didn't really work either Before we left for our trip we had booked a number of shore excursions with Princess and finished up booking more on board. These were badly organised by the shore excursion staff as there was no direction and only by our own initiative did we manage to find the correct vehicle for the trip. All the actually trips were really good until we came to Thailand. The cruise had two days in Bangkok,on the second day we had booked a visit to the Tiger Zoo. This was truly horrendous. The conditions that the tigers are kept in are appalling. There are a number of areas where you can have your picture taken with one of the tigers. The cubs that are used are held within small cages that are around 3 feet cubed. To get them to sit on the tourists knees for the photo they are given milk. The rate at which the cubs drink this milk leads you to believe that they must must be really hungry. The fully grown tiger that is available for photos is extremely docile, too docile for a wild animal....... There were a number of really small tiger cubs, possibly only a few days old. These had all been separated from their mother and most were left on their own in a small pen. One of their advertising ploys is the sow feeding the tiger cub, sure enough this is where one of the cubs was with a sow who had piglets on her own. Only the cub was (presumably) asleep and wasn't moving. In the adjacent room was a tiger (possibly the cubs mother) and she had been given two piglets to feed. Only she didn't want them anywhere near her. Other parts of the park offered you the chance to feed tiger cubs that were again in cages about 3 foot cubed. These cubs also seemed to be starving. The rest of the adult tigers are kept in cages that have concrete floors and nothing to entertain their minds. Many were pacing up and down in repetitive fashion indicating behavioural problems. The zoo also had many other animals pigs, rabbits, goats, donkeys and many crocodiles. None of the conditions for these animals seemed any better. We did finish up watching part of the crocodile show and these consisted of two members of the zoo staff tormenting the crocodiles util they snapped. We didn't stay long in this show. The whole park broke our hearts. We raised our concerns with Princess as soon as we returned from this trip but didn't get any feeling of concern or desire to do anything. The excursion staff confirmed that Princess do check out tours before offering them. We are shocked that Princess, who visited this zoo before offering it, thought that it was acceptable. It is a classic example of animal cruelty and Princess are funding this through providing funds from tours. We were assured that we would be contacted before we disembarked regarding our concerns however a couple of days following disembarkation we have still not heard anything from Princess. We are shocked that this type of trip is condoned by Princess through their provision of it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
My father chose this cruise for our whole extended family to celebrate my maternal grandfather's 92nd birthday. Our party was 21 people. Before I start going into all the inadequacies of this cruise, I have to give a shoutout to ... Read More
My father chose this cruise for our whole extended family to celebrate my maternal grandfather's 92nd birthday. Our party was 21 people. Before I start going into all the inadequacies of this cruise, I have to give a shoutout to the good parts: 1. The Head Waiter Maximino Mondragon was super helpful in securing mutliple tables close to each other for our 21 people at the champagne brunch (extra charge). I went ahead the day before to confirm that we would be coming--it was held during an at-sea day, and Maximino confirmed our tables and promised me he would save us tables. On the actual day, when we showed up, Maximino was not immedaitely available, and his boss and all the other staff basically refused to seat us until ALL 21 of us were there--he was going to make us stand in the hallway to wait! Luckily, when I asked for Maximino, he came and fixed everything. But how we were treated by other staff was typical on the ship--I felt like we were in 1980s Communist China, where they had no clue what customer service was. We had gold card status, and we were herded around like cattle. 2. The Wonderland restaurant food was excellent (extra charge). Everything else about this cruise was terrible. I will never come back to a Royal Caribbean Cruise again (and I will certainly exert my influence to my family not to return.) We have gone on several Crystal Cruises (Symphony and Serenity) and they were a world apart. List of things that were inadequate: 1. The spa experience. My mother and I booked for massages. We showed up 15min early to the spa and were led straight to sit in a waiting area--where the fridge was empty with nothing to drink, nor fruits, nor snacks--unlike any other spa (on land or ship) I have been to. We were never taken to a locker room to change into robes or anything. Our time past and no one came to get us. I finally had to go back out to the check in/out area to tell them no one came for us. Then the lady at the front ran back, and 2 masseuses came to collect my mother and I to the massage room directly where we were directed to take our clothes off and lie on the table. The massages themselves were adequate. However, after our massages, when our bodies were covered in oil, the masseuses asked us to put our own clothes back on and go back out front to check out! So, we asked for bathrobes and slippers and a locker room. As they were leading us (now in bathrobes, grabbing our clothes and shoes and socks) towards the locker room, I mentioned that I was surprised that we weren't led to the locker rooms to put our clothes away and to get bathrobes on first. The masseuses answered that the reason was because we never asked for a locker when we checked in! "we do not advertise the availability of lockers, because we don't have enough of them"--that was the answer! We have subsequently talked to other spa guests and they had similar experiences! Elemis is supposed to run the spa--and I am shocked that it was so poorly managed. Needless to say, I have felt no need to return for any more services. 2. The food: as gold card status members, we had access to this special dining area (Coastal Kitchen) right next to Windjammer--the buffet place. We had to get through throngs of people in line to get to this place, which was uncomfortable enough in and of itself. The food that was served in Coastal Kitchen--the breakfast--was inedible. Bread was cold and hard and the congee tasted like dishwater. Needless to say, I never went back there for another breakfast. 3. My parents were in one of the premier cabins in the rear of the ship with an open loft like floor plan. Every time they have asked their concierge for anything, the answer was no, we can't do that. They were rationed 1 bottle of water per person per day (my sister and I were in the next step down cabin, still gold status, and we were given 1 bottle of water per person the entire cruise). Just as a comparison, my parents had the premium cabin in Crystal, and their concierge gave them a bottle of cristal champagne a day. Obviously, the price point was quite different, and we weren't expecting the same level of service and amenities, but the rationing of water was sad. There was 1 day when my parents' neighbors must have ordered room service. When these guests were done with their meals, they left the trays outside in the hallway (appropriately), and theses trays stayed out in the hallway, not taken away, for HOURS--almost 12 hours. My parents and I were joking we wished we took photographic evidence. 4. Reclaiming our passport: with gold card status, we were told that we could claim our passports in the Concierge Club at a certain time. I went to the Club during that window, and there was no one at the desk in the Club! I waited 20 min and decided to call the concierge using their phone--and it rang right at the desk! At least someone answered the phone. Apparently, they had some difficulties with 1 passenger's passport and they had to go fix the problem--and they're very sorry but they will be back in 10min. I waited another 25min before they showed up again (total wait time: 45min). It is shocking to me that they do not know to either get someone else to cover the desk if one of them had to run off, or leave a notice or something--if I did not call, I wouldn't know if I went to the wrong place, or how I could reclaim my passport! There were multiple other instances where poor management and poor service was the norm. It was SHOCKING. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Off the top of my head - The trip started off badly. We were delayed boarding and taken to a hotel ballroom 'for our comfort', there was not enough seating so we ended up sat on a hotel floor in the corridor for hours. The staff ... Read More
Off the top of my head - The trip started off badly. We were delayed boarding and taken to a hotel ballroom 'for our comfort', there was not enough seating so we ended up sat on a hotel floor in the corridor for hours. The staff brought sandwiches which the passengers desperately grabbed for, we didn't manage to get any, one lady selfishly grabbed a whole tray of sandwiches for her own group leaving many without, lots of people went without (including one elderly Lady who needed food to take her medication, I worried if there were any diabetics) so this was badly organised and stressful. Some of the The activities on the ship we were not impressed with, e.g.1984's Karate Kid on the cinema TV, colouring in and bingo, the food was cold at times and below the standard we had on our last cruise, we saw joints of meat that were undercooked. We paid a lot of money for the excursions and in Manilla on the 2 excursions over two days we visited two destinations that were the same on both days. On the last night of the cruise the hot tub was cordoned off and the pools, the juice bar ran out and we reported this but it was still not filled yet the bar was open. When leaving the ship our room steward stopped us and told us we could leave a tip for him on the bed and he would return for it later. We worked hard all year to save for this break only to be really disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017

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