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805 Hong Kong to Asia Cruise Reviews

The experience first started when we arrived at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. There was a very long line of people waiting to check in and we thought we had to wait in the same line however I noticed a man holding a sign stating "The ... Read More
The experience first started when we arrived at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. There was a very long line of people waiting to check in and we thought we had to wait in the same line however I noticed a man holding a sign stating "The Palace guests" and I approached him. I told him I had booked a room called the Penthouse and without delay he escorted me and my family to a waiting area specially dedicated to The Palace guests. In that waiting area they had very delectable dim sums and an assortment of finger foods, along with fresh juices and water. The food and drinks were a very nice touch while checking in. We waited in that area for about 45 minutes and after that they had made an announcement that Palace guests could board the ship first. Boarding was a breeze as we were the first to board and I had no problems getting on the ship. The room I had booked was called the Penthouse, which is the second largest cabin on World Dream (the biggest being called Villa). I found my room to be very spacious and nice. The linens were very high quality and the bathroom was honestly the best part about the cabin. It was extremely spacious and the decor was very nice. Right after we were settled in our rooms, our butler came and introduced herself and gave us a fruit basket. She explained to us she could help us make reservations and book shore excursions among other things. She then proceeded to help us set up our free internet access on the ship. The Palace guests are entitled two devices for internet connection at standard speeds however if you need faster speeds you can purchase the premium plan. For me, the standard plan was more than enough as I averaged speeds at 15-20 mbps based on my tests. It was sufficient enough to stream Netflix and YouTube at 1080p rates. After helping us with our internet, she proceeded to give us a tour of the facilities that Palace guests could access. The Palace is different in the fact that it uses a concept called a ship within a ship. These facilities are not accessible to other guests who are not Palace guests. Facilities included a pool exclusive for Palace use, a sauna, a steam room and a gym. The pool almost always never had anyone so it was very peaceful. When it comes to dining, normal guests have access to 3 restaurants. The Dream Dining Lower, Dream Dining Upper and The Lido. The Lower is mainly Western food, Upper is mainly Chinese food and The Lido is an international buffet. For the Palace guests, We have access to a restaurant called The Palace restaurant. It serves very good quality food however the main differentiating factor is the service. There are many attentive waiters and waitresses that cater to whatever you want which is the main reason why most Palace guests only come to this restaurant instead of the other 3 included ones. Another reason why most Palace guests avoid the 3 other restaurants is due to the other guests. A lot of times you can struggle to get a table because there are many people eating at the same time which causes long wait times to get a table. In the Palace restaurant, I have never seen more than 30% of the place being filled. On top of the Palace restaurant, Palace guests also get one complimentary meal per day at any specialty restaurants on the ship. Personally my most favourite one had to be Umi Uma and the special pork they served. It was simply the best pork i have ever had, period. Also to note, Palace guests are entitled to a drinks package that covers all juices, soft drinks and a wide variety of beers and wines. Now when it came to the shows, we didn't have to make a reservation. The first five rows of the seats in the theatre was reserved for Palace guests which meant most the time the seats were not really filled. If anyone that was not a Palace guest tried to sit in the Palace area, staff would ask them to leave as they aren't entitled to the seats. I was particularly relieved the staff had asked them to leave as they were talking very loudly and were a nuisance. I couldn't care less if you were a Palace guest but being annoying was not welcome. For the excursions, the Palace guests have free excursions to Naha, where they showed the sights and shopping. when we arrived, there was a huge influx of passengers and it took some time to clear security. However once we entered the ship, the staff had reserved one elevator specifically for Palace guests which in my opinion was a very nice touch as the lines for the elevator were very long. After we came back from our long excursion, we were delighted to see a wide array of chocolates, fruits and biscuits presented beautifully on a multi level tray. It came coupled with a note from our butler which just made this experience even more personal and luxurious. The next day we were supposed to go to Miyakojima however the stop was canceled as the winds were just too strong for the tender boats so we were given on board credit to be spent at the souvenir shop on the ship. For disembarkation, we waited very briefly at the Silk Road restaurant before disembarking. Other passengers had to wait at the Zodiac Theatre and so we were the first ones to disembark. In summary, this was an amazing cruise made even better by the staff I had encountered. I would pay for it again if the quality of service and product was the same. Highly satisfied with everything on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. ... Read More
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. Everyone's cruising style is different, but Viking is perfect for us. Our reasons include what they don't have, no children, no casino, no Vegas style shows, no butlers, and no formal nights, to what they do have - sleek, Scandinavian design with room for everyone, focus on educational lectures, focus on classical music, the most amazing spa and fitness center at sea, fabulous food with no charge speciality restaurants, and wine and beer with lunch and dinner. We had a penthouse veranda and it was wonderful. Maybe a bit more closet space would have been nice. The bathroom was our favorite ever with it's roomy shower and heated floor. I would chose the same cabin when we cruise with them again. As mentioned by others, Viking needs to work on their shore excursions. We were on a new itinerary so maybe that was part of the problem. They definitely need to invest in new listening devices. But overall, we have found our new favorite cruise line and can't wait to sail with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We had AFT suite which had the perfect outlook as a panoramic view including the side. Vibration can take a little getting used to during the night but this only occurred when we were making up time or docking. Steward service was hit ... Read More
We had AFT suite which had the perfect outlook as a panoramic view including the side. Vibration can take a little getting used to during the night but this only occurred when we were making up time or docking. Steward service was hit and miss for a suite as we were surrounded by non suite staterooms and the allocation to each steward would be higher. Rarely did we see a child(I think there were 2 on board), most passengers were American Australian UK then South African average age 65. Loved the free laundry and staff in Neptune lounge were fantastic. Shows were nothing like the big ships so were a bit hit and miss. Pinnacle restaurant was great especially their degustation but MDR food was also great and service perfect. Always hard to compare different ships particularly of different size. Suite benefits vary dramatically in different cruise lines so check what suites you. As a 1900 passenger ship it is less crowded with fast elevators less queuing but the trade off is less shops and activities and shows of a lower standard. Tours in china and Japan were poor value with communication issues with the guides but they were well organised. Internet even on the premium package was hit and miss. Would definitely recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were very happy with this cruise and pleased that we were able to do it on Celebrity because most of their itineraries are pretty boring (that is the only thing they should learn from MSC!). We were lucky that we were on one of the ... Read More
We were very happy with this cruise and pleased that we were able to do it on Celebrity because most of their itineraries are pretty boring (that is the only thing they should learn from MSC!). We were lucky that we were on one of the first cruises after the dry dock "Celebrity Revolution" makeover. The ship - like all M class ships - was in bad need of a renovation and we were overall quite pleased with the results. One exception: the Retreat Lounge had horrible seating and no atmosphere at all. They really have to change the seatbacks of the sofas and the far to uncozy lighting, bring the frosted glass enclosure towards the "Art" Gallery back and kick those ridiculous toddler stools out, not even Kelly Hoppen MBE will be able to get her behind in. Staff was the best we ever had: everyone was greeting and cheerful. Food was good as always. Service at Luminae very personal and top notch. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This cruise was a big treat for our 5 year anniversary and it did not disappoint! This ship just came out of the Celebrity Revolution transformation dry dock and though we had a few technical glitches on the cruise due to working out the ... Read More
This cruise was a big treat for our 5 year anniversary and it did not disappoint! This ship just came out of the Celebrity Revolution transformation dry dock and though we had a few technical glitches on the cruise due to working out the kinks in new technology, any time there was an issue, they upped the service across the ship. This kind of service recovery is a huge win in my book. They anticipated guest needs and created options almost at the speed of light. The destinations were remarkable and extra thought went into planning transportation to and from the cruise docks to major hubs/ transportation to get into the big cities (Seoul, Busan). The Service - WOW! I think Celebrity specifically hires for personality and genuine care and this ship in particular has a senior staff that knows it's people create the experience. Even the captain was approachable and engaged in creating a true customer service experience. Every single employee we met was warm and accommodating and wanted to get to know us. It's easy to train somebody on points of service, but to have someone create a connection is much harder to instill in someone and usually is just a natural trait of a great person. They all had an eye for detail and their service was polished and elevated without feeling stuffy and disconnected. If there was an issue, the employee was ready with options and showed the utmost concern and empathy. The Cabin - AquaClass 1008 The Revolution has added SO MUCH STORAGE to the rooms and created a fresh and timeless look. Our room was our only issue on this cruise. Previously on the Millennium, our cabin didn't exist, it used to be where the Spa locker rooms were located. The room was just steps away from the thermal suite (included in aqua class) and the solarium pool which was IDEAL. The only issue was... 6 of the 13 new rooms are located just under the nightclub and we were one of them. It was fine the 1st two nights when nothing was going on but by the 3rd night, the bass thumping was just too much and really impacted the peace of our cabin making it hard to sleep. The balcony had no shade but also had no impeded view of the water. (Watch out if you have a rainy season cruise, you can't enjoy your balcony like lower decks) The additional spa amenities are nice and the robes are cushy but they took out the SPA shower in the bathroom! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I was so looking forward to all those extra jets. The bed and furnishings were so comfortable and high quality. The cruise staff had already been made aware on the cruise before ours of noise issues in the new rooms on deck 10 and when we went down to notify them, they apologized profusely and understood our concerns as they too, were not keen on those rooms being added in the dry dock knowing their proximity to the nightclub. On the next day, they had us moved to an Aqua Class on deck 9 mid-ship which was just as lovely (plus, it had the overhang from the pool deck on 10 which meant we could still enjoy the balcony on the rainy Korean sea days). They even gave us an additional specialty dining credit and a voucher knowing that we booked the 10th deck as a higher level of Aqua Class. Again, the service recovery and proactive approach was AMAZING. The Dining Our room included the Blu dining room and it was phenomenal! Our servers and sommeliers were so attentive and FUN! They joked and laughed with us while providing and incredible meal from the well-trained culinary team. We also had new friends who did not have access to BLU, so we would dine occasionally with them in the main dining room and they attention to service and detail was at the same level along with the fresh and varied menus for a 14 day cruise. The specialty restaurants were fantastic as well and Tuscan Grille became a quick favorite of ours with the different groups we met always wanting to go back. Celebrity has a knack for delivering varied menus with super fresh ingredients and great flavors. Wine (as always) was in plentiful supply and the variety was amazing. Beer and alcohol had some stocking issues (standards that should be at every bar weren't getting re-stocked) but this was acknowledged by the Beverage director at a wine tasting. Traveling in and out of Asia ports has its limitations of what is available and what actually shows up to the ship. Entertainment For a 14 day cruise, there was not a dull moment on the ship and they had so much variety in specialty acts and the players on board. The musicians that Celebrity hires are some of the best (MSC and Celebrity care about great music in public spaces). The activities were fun and engaging and being one of the only couples under 40 on the ship, I had worries, but they made sure to tailor to all ages. (SILENT DISCO!!!) I was so sad to disembark the Millennium knowing a new standard had been set for service and experience. The employees felt like extended family (because they take the time to connect and get to know you) and it was bittersweet leaving them. I highly recommend you cruise on the Millennium because the captain knows his ship is an extension of himself and will be your home for however many days you are onboard. They will make sure you leave wanting to come back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Went on 5 day cruise from HK to Philippines. Unfortunately, there were some changes to the itinerary prior to sailing ( Borocay closed by the government so went to Subic Bay instead, and Manila docking changed from 8am until 11am which ... Read More
Went on 5 day cruise from HK to Philippines. Unfortunately, there were some changes to the itinerary prior to sailing ( Borocay closed by the government so went to Subic Bay instead, and Manila docking changed from 8am until 11am which was a bit annoying ). Embarkation in HK brilliant - mainly because so few people get on here, so no waiting time and pretty much straight on the ship. The downside to that is that you have a 3-4 hour wait in Nansha both ways to pick up and drop off the majority of the passengers, given this is an Asian ship catering for the Chinese market. We had an inside cabin and it suited us fine. It was spacious enough for 2 single beds, has fridge and safe and TV and kettle and all the things that you require in a cabin, apart from a view. Beds comfortable with nice pillows. Turn down service most nights, but no towel animals. As a vegan I always struggle on cruises. We ate in the Lido each meal and found a wonderful food manager, Burhan, who went out of his way to make sure that we had a hot vegan meal each night. The salads were some of the best I have seen on a cruise, with plenty of variety and although I struggled with breakfast only being able to eat fruit, there was ample choice for those that eat a full diet. The main dining rooms unfortunately offered very little in the way of vegetarian or vegan options. We did not eat at any of the speciality restaurants. Entertainment was once again great, with 3 different shows on our cruise, which you have to book once on board ( no charge ). The only issue we repeatedly find on this cruise line is the passengers come in late, stand in the aisle, talk and then leave before the show ends or the house lights come on. Staff did a good job trying to control this but they are fighting a losing battle. Cruise staff brilliant. Godie and his team on this cruise were fabulous and provided a variety of activities, with lots of fun and smiles. They really know how to make you feel welcome and how to get people involve and enjoying themselves. We did a Behind the Scenes tour, which is run by the cruise staff, and found this well worth doing and very interesting. There was dancing and a real party atmosphere most nights. The ship is lovely, and having also travelled on Genting, I liked this ship more. There are less poker machines and while the casino does spill out a bit, its not as bad as on Genting. The place is spotlessly cleaned, with staff constantly cleaning. Only issue is smoking is allowed on board in the casino, and the smoke does waft through the casino and the area around it. After 30 minutes sitting at a poker machine, which is a non smoking area, my clothes smelt of smoke. Although this is a ship designed and staffed for the Chinese market, we may have stood out but never felt left out as Westerners and everything we went to had both a Chinese and an English speaking staff member. We found all the English speaking staff very friendly and found more of the Chinese speaking staff making an effort on this cruise compared to previous cruises. Overall, we had a fabulous time on this cruise, mainly thanks to the cruise staff and how exceptionally nice they are and the generally nice Asian hospitality. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
By Glyn May The waiter, sensing that our patience was wearing thin, dropped a bowl of hot chips (fries) and a bottle of tomato sauce at our table. “Chef’s compliments”, he said, “ dinner is going to be a bit late”. ... Read More
By Glyn May The waiter, sensing that our patience was wearing thin, dropped a bowl of hot chips (fries) and a bottle of tomato sauce at our table. “Chef’s compliments”, he said, “ dinner is going to be a bit late”. Classy cruising. Not. Two days earlier, a crewmember carrying a sharp-edged tray had accidentally slashed my wife’s arm badly when he bumped into her in the breakfast queue. And, as we approached our homeport, all power failed and the ship narrowly missed drifting into concrete bridge pylons. In 40-plus cruises over more than 35 years before and after that forgettable holiday, my wife and I in recent years have stepped up into the heady world of ultra luxury cruising –- a field that, despite the eye-watering cost, doesn’t always live up to its publicity. Until we joined the Seabourn Ovation on March 2, 2019 for a 14-night cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore. Our wallet took a AUD21,000 (USD15,000) hit, but for the first time on this new (launched in May 2O18) absolutely beautiful mid-sized 600- passenger all-suite ship, it was worth every dollar. Nothing is perfect, so give or take a couple of petty whinges (no self-serve steamed rice and very average congee (Asian soup) while sailing in Southeast Asia, and a frosty reception in The Grill restaurant) Seabourn Ovation went as close as ever we expect to get. As sometimes jaded, increasingly grumpy and always critical travellers, it was a joy for us to start our cruise by first running an eagle eye over suite 726 on our arrival Yes, you can assume that boarding was faultless. Not one photographer on the gangway, or anywhere for the entire cruise. These days we notice things that niggle experienced cruisers on: A wall safe comfortably at chest height (it beats sitting on the floor) in a spacious walk-in robe with three dozen clothes hangers. Plenty of mirrors, a seriously cold fridge stacked with soft drinks, beer and a real bottle of champagne; plus a list of ‘complimentary’ (paid for in the fare) good quality wines. If you can’t find anything to satisfy your taste buds from Chile, California, Australia, Spain or Italy, there’s a lonely bottle of Petrus 1995 Pomeroz Grand vin from Bordeaux waiting for you in the glass-walled wine rack in the elegant main dining room ‘The Restaurant’ for USD4,500.00 (AUD6,348.00). The label is a bit scruffy so maybe the Sommelier might do a deal. In our suite there’s a lounge long enough for a rack-stretched basketballer or a third guest, a generous, glass-topped round table for 24-hour room-service-with-a-flourish (starched linen and folded napkins) and a king-size bed with a choice of six pillows soft, firm, extra firm. The TV set is on a trolley for manoeuvrability and there are plenty of movies on demand. In-suite announcements from the bridge are restricted to an average two a day -- weather and brief entertainment updates, or shore excursion boarding. No electrical engineering degree is required to operate the lights. Just click and press for a range of illumination levels from dimmed romantic to the blinding glare in the interview/confession room down at my local police station. One of Seabourn Ovation’s most remarkable (unique?) assets is its ubiquitous South African Cruise Director Andre Potgieter who recently received the prestigious President’s Award for Leadership from Seabourn Cruise Line president Rick Meadows. Andre, a softy spoken, articulate young man, emerges like a breath of spring each day in a different tailored jacket and slacks and a new spectacular bow tie with matching pocket-handkerchief. Wherever he goes, goggle-eye grandmothers swamp him with cheek kisses and embarrassing hugs. Which probably explains why, when the ship is in port, Andre trains for his favourite sport, marathon running. Of the 575 passengers from 27 nationalities on board -- average age around 60 -- there were 266 from the U.S, 112 the U.K, 46 Autralians, 34 Canadians and 33 Germans. In two weeks they demolished 2,272 bottles of red wine, 1,435 white and 633 bottles of champagne. And although there were no children on board, 390 litres of ice cream. A total of 32,826 breadsticks mopped up 21lbs of caviar. Two popular spots on the ship are the Observation Bar on the deck 11 which features high tea for an hour from 4pm then a friendly circular bar open until midnight; and The Retreat on the top deck (12) an exclusive enclave with 15 private cabanas, lavish amenities and an oversized whirlpool spa. Evening entertainment in the Grand Salon, often starring one of the slickest teams of ships’ dancers and vocalists we have seen on a cruise ship and backed by Seabourn Ovation’s highly professional orchestra, featured a range of top-class acts from a comedian and to an opera singer. A tip: For an unobstructed view, find a seat away from the intrusive supporting pillars. A shore excursion with a difference on Seabourn’s Asian itineraries is the idyllic day spent on the company’s picture-postcard tree-fringed private beach, ‘The Den’ on the exclusive Thai island of Kood. On a clear sunny day more than 400 souls disembarked from Seabourn Ovation tenders to discover rows of deck chairs under shade trees, a feast of lobster, steaks and salads, champagne on ice and a full bar. All of this ferried ashore from daybreak and served by the ship’s crew and a group of local Thais. With only a few days left and most passengers staying on board for the cruise to Dubai, we were wondering whether they still threw stowaways in the brig. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Here is our review of the recent 14 day Hong Kong to Hong Kong segment of the QM2 World Voyage from 19 February to 5th March 2019, plus pre and post cruise information. As background we are in our 50s and 60s, my husband has been ... Read More
Here is our review of the recent 14 day Hong Kong to Hong Kong segment of the QM2 World Voyage from 19 February to 5th March 2019, plus pre and post cruise information. As background we are in our 50s and 60s, my husband has been retired for a year, we are originally from the UK and have lived in Maryland USA for the past 30 years. We have predominantly cruised on Celebrity, but recently have become a bit jaded with them and have started to try out other cruise lines, including Azamara and Oceania, to see if we can find one that’s a “better fit”. So, why pick this cruise? My husband lived in Hong Kong as a child and had wanted to visit again. I wanted to cruise the QM2 for a second time. Cathay Pacific introduced a new 16 hour non-stop flight from Washington DC to Hong Kong (as opposed to 24 hours via anywhere else), and February 17th 2019 would be our 30th wedding anniversary. It seemed like the stars had aligned for us and this trip would be the perfect way to celebrate! How was that non-stop flight? We flew out of Washington Dulles to Hong Kong at 00:15am on the 15th, and I had hoped to get some sleep on board. We had booked Cathay Pacific’s Premium Economy, and enjoyed the hot towel and champagne welcome and the expedited meal service, (served with real cutlery!). The premium seat had a decent recline, a large pillow and nice thick blanket, but I still only managed about an hours sleep. Ugh. I did get to read a lot and watch 3 movies though, and we did arrive about 45 minutes early which was a bonus. The plane took a route north over the USA and Canada, over the pole and down through Russia, Mongolia and China. A 15 hour non-stop flight really takes its toll though, and I was super grumpy when we arrived. How was the hotel? We had booked a harbour view room at the Royal Pacific Hotel, (part of the Sino Hotels chain) in Kowloon for 4 nights, and as our flight was due in at 5am, we reserved the room from the previous night and advised them of our very late arrival, so we could get to bed straight away. We had also asked for hypoallergenic bedding as I am allergic to feathers. Everything was prepared as requested, but grumpy me thought the room looked seedy, and after fighting and losing with the nespresso machine, tripping over the step in the bathroom and giving up on getting the shower to work, I went to bed. What a difference a few hours sleep makes! I woke up, pulled back the curtains to find an amazing view over the harbour to Hong Kong Island and The Peak, and then discovered a huge bathtub as well as a separate shower in the bathroom, and a kettle in the cupboard. Hooray! What did you get up to in Hong Kong? Saturday was sunny and warm so we had lunch at the Satay Inn in the hotel, and then walked through several shopping malls to the Star Ferry, crossed to Hong Kong, took a taxi to The Peak and walked back down to the ferry via the University where my husbands father worked as registrar in the 1960s, and Robinson Road where my husband lived in his teens. The apartment block is still there, but dwarfed by the surrounding tower blocks, and the harbour view has gone. 15,000 steps later we had a quick dinner in the hotel, had a glass of wine in bed and watched the laser light show on the harbour through the window and had an early night. Sunday 17th was our wedding anniversary, and also the Hong Kong Marathon and everywhere was crowded and chaotic and frustrating, so we celebrated with a sulk and a light lunch at the Mandarin Oriental and a relaxing Shanghainese dinner with fizz at Ye Shanghai. The weather took a turn for the worse during the afternoon and we had booked a tour to the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island on Monday. The forecast was for rain and thunderstorms, so we called and rescheduled the tour for post cruise. Monday we were lazy, bought a few supplies (wine!) for the cruise, and decided on a light dinner at the hotel bar. So far the hotel clientele had been predominantly asian, but tonight the bar was full of english people. We walked in and were met with a chorus of “I bet you are going on the QM2 tomorrow”. It seems that the Royal Pacific Hotel was one that Cunard uses for its customers on fly cruise holidays. We chatted with a few soon-to-be fellow passengers, and bizarrely never bumped into any of them again once on board! Boarding Day! How did that go? We had originally booked a guarantee BV sheltered verandah cabin with late seating, and when we got our cabin assignment about 5 week before sailing, we had been upgraded to a BU cabin, midships, deck 6, with a 2:30pm boarding time. Two weeks before the cruise we got another upgrade notice, this time to a BA cabin, Britannia Club deck 12, 1pm boarding. What a nice surprise! The morning of the cruise we checked out of the hotel and took a taxi to the Kai Tak cruise terminal. When I first flew to Hong Kong over 30 years ago, planes landed at Kai Tak airport. It was a scary place to land as final approach was a steep plunge down through the skyscrapers, and if you survived that there was always the chance of ending up in the harbour if the pilots didn’t brake fast enough! Kai Tak airport closed a few years ago and the old airport runway has been turned into a cruise terminal. We dropped our bags and entered the terminal where we were given boarding number 7. We waited and waited, well past 1pm and 2 pm. Boarding groups A, B, C, D were called, then finally they started on numbers. Eventually we got on board around 3pm. I was frazzled. I like to get on board early and get organised. We dropped our bags in the cabin and went to the buffet. There was hardly any food, and what there was looked old and dried up. Not a good start. We did muster drill, unpacked and then headed up on deck for sailaway. There was a Caribbean band playing reggae music, drones flying after us, a lovely sunset and skyscrapers slowly lighting up. Probably one of the best sailaways I’ve ever experienced! How was your Britannia Club Cabin? First of all our cabin was about as far as it could possibly be from the Britannia Club dining room, apart from the Club cabins on deck 13! We got plenty of exercise walking to and from meals! Our cabin was configured with a king size bed, and prepared with hypoallergenic bedding. The bathroom was a decent size and the water pressure in the shower was good. The toiletries were nice. We found two bottles of sparkling wine in the cabin, along with canapes which were a gift from our travel agent. Our tour tickets were waiting for us along with our dining table assignment. Our cabin steward, Chris, kept the cabin clean, changing out the towels and emptying the trash twice a day. How was the Britannia Club restaurant? We enjoyed our time in the Britannia Club restaurant, and were seated at a table for 2 in a row of 4 tables for 2, so effectively a table for 8, as there was less than a foot between each table. Our waiter explained the dinner menu with the selections that changed daily at the front and the a la carte always available items listed in the back. He explained how everything was prepared “a la minute” in Britannia Club, (I think he was fibbing about that), and that if you wanted the a la carte duck you needed to order it the day before. I like eating fish and enjoyed many of their smoked salmon appetisers, and salads. I am not sure that the main course fish dishes were prepared “a la minute”, especially if we went to dinner at 8:30, as the fish seemed dried out, as if it had been hanging around under a heat lamp, or had been grabbed from the main Britannia galley. It was also difficult to get a steak cooked medium. One thing I did notice was that after bringing a course and wielding his pepper grinder, the waiter never came to check on whether the dish was OK. On the whole the food was pretty good. I only had one dud meal, a chicken and corn consomme that was actually more like a very heavily salted thick corn chowder. I couldn’t eat more than a couple of spoonfuls of that. The waiter never enquired as to why I hadn’t eaten it, nor did he offer to bring me something different. That same night I ordered a filet mignon medium. It arrived beyond well done, and was tough and gristly. My husband ate it as he didn’t want me to complain, and I enjoyed part of his chicken tikka masala. The fact that one disappointing meal stands out, is probably a sign that overall the food was really good! Desserts weren’t outstanding, but I loved the variety and quality of the cheeses offered on the cheese trolley. Wine service in the restaurant was OK, although initially the pouring was slow. I did notice that other people tended to only have one glass of wine a night and made a bottle last 2 or 3 nights whereas we prefer to enjoy the entire bottle in one sitting. Once the sommelier realised this, he was very attentive at keeping us topped up! We particularly enjoyed the french rose that came in a shapely bottle, and a very reasonably priced Cava. So that’s dinner taken care of, how about your other meals? We had a couple of breakfasts in Britannia Club, and appreciated it being available on disembarkation morning. However the poached eggs were cold both times I ordered them, and they didn’t have chocolate croissants either time we ate there, so not a great experience. Room service was a better breakfast option, especially as they had an excellent scrambled eggs and smoked salmon which always arrived piping hot, and they had chocolate croissants :) We did enjoy lunches in Britannia Club as it was quiet and relaxing. There was a fish curry for lunch one day that was a real standout dish. After the boarding day lunch we never ventured back into the Kings Court buffet. The Corinthia lounge was a nice place for a specialty coffee and a bite to eat. Breakfast offerings were quite eclectic, ranging from fresh fruit bowls to yoghurt parfaits, from breakfast burritos to shiitake mushroom and scrambled egg croissants, and (my favourite!) quails eggs over peppers, chorizo and potatoes. They offered nice salads for lunch too. Another favourite lunch spot was The Golden Lion Pub. We had excellent fish and chips, cottage pie and bangers and mash there. Another nice coffee spot was Sir Samuels, the Godiva Chocolate cafe. Lots of lovely chocolatey treats there, that we enjoyed looking at but never were hungry enough to sample! What was the bar scene like? I am used to cruising with drinks included, but the drinks package offered by Cunard was an eye-popping $69.99 per person per day, and required both people in the cabin to have the same package, plus there was an $11 price limit on things that were included. It didn’t seem worth it so we opted for paying as we went, and probably ended up spending under $100 dollars a day, including a bottle of wine with dinner, Perrier, tea and coffee, and pre and post dinner drinks. I thought the individual drink prices were quite reasonable. We enjoyed pre and post dinner drinks in the Chart Room. They often had either a harpist, string trio or jazz combo playing there. We tried the Commodore Club one night and while we enjoyed listening to the pianist we found the venue dark and claustrophobic. The Golden Lion also had a really good guitarist in the early evening, and in the late evening he performed as part of a pop duo. I was really impressed with the quality of the live music on board the ship. How did you keep busy on sea days? We felt that Cunard excelled in the quality and variety of activities they offered during the day, compared to other cruise lines we have sailed on. Usually we find very little to interest us so bring books and puzzles to keep ourselves busy. On this cruise we were spoilt for choice for things to do. We enjoyed the talks about QE2, Titanic, The Royal Yacht Britannia, The Apollo Space Programme, The History of Japan, and the music masterclasses on Pink Floyd and Peter Green. We missed the talks on China, the QM2, the talks from the sports commentator Henry Blofeld and the masterclasses on Jimi Hendrix, The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. We never got chance to go to the cooking demonstrations as we were so busy. Chinese language, calligraphy, painting and craft classes were also offered, along with dancing lessons and bridge lessons! Trivia was also a favourite activity, offered 3 or 4 times a day in varying formats and taken very seriously by some passengers. We actually won “Name That Tune 1980’s”, and the prize bottle of white wine was very drinkable! What’s the deal with the dress code? We had 4 “gala” nights (including Black and White, Night in the Orient and Madam Butterfly Balls), where the dress code was tuxedo or dark suit and tie for gentlemen and gown or cocktail dress for ladies, with the remaining evenings designated “smart attire”, jacket but no tie for gentlemen and cocktail dress or pant suit for ladies. My husband fell foul of what we jokingly called the “6pm jeans curfew” one night when he lost track of the time and tried to order a drink in the Chart Room at 6:15pm in polo shirt and chinos. The waiter, who had served us many times discretely came up and asked him if he would be “popping up to his cabin to put on his jacket on”. My husband looked confused, and the waiter added “It’s 6:15 sir, you need to be properly dressed if you are going to have a drink here”. I loved dressing up as I don’t get the chance to at home, my husband not so much, but he went along with it! Any passengers who didn’t want to dress for the evening had the option of dinner in the buffet, and then drinks and entertainment in either the Corinthia Lounge or the Golden Lion Pub, and boogieing the night away in the nightclub, G20. What about the ports? There were six port days on this cruise, with Shanghai and Beijing being the highlights. Both cities were quite a drive from where the ship docked. Usually we book private tours, but we struggled to find fellow passengers on the roll calls to share with, so we ended up with Cunard tours instead. All the visas were taken care of for us by the cruiseline. We noticed that as well as having guides, Cunard tours also have a crew member, (pianist, dance escort and bridge teacher), acting as an escort on their tours. They monitor things, make notes of any problems, and bring up the rear and double check everyone is back on the bus! How was Shanghai? In Shanghai we took one day tours. The first was Best of Shanghai, and the second Shanghai Old and New. The Chinese authorities took longer than expected to clear the ship in Shanghai so our Best of Shanghai tour started and ended late and the order of the sites had to be reorganised as the lunch was at a fixed time. We started with an hour in the Shanghai Museum, then had lunch in the function room on the top floor of the Shanghai Theatre. The Chinese meal, served family style, was really well organised and the food was fresh and tasty. In the afternoon we visited the temple of the two Jade Buddhas, the Yu Gardens and the bazaar, and ended with a stroll on the modern side of The Bund. Day 2 we were surprised to see we had the same guide as the day before! He was very concerned that we would be revisiting a couple of places from the day before, but we didn’t care. We started with a ride to the top of the Shanghai Centre, (the tallest building in China and the second tallest in the world), in the worlds fastest elevator! The view from the top was incredible! Next we walked around the french part of The Bund, had a dim sum lunch (again delicious and well organised by Cunard), visited the Yu Gardens and the bazaar again and ended with a walking tour along the old side of the Bund. Shanghai is a really vibrant city, full of energy and very forward looking. The weather both days was overcast and smoggy and over 200 on the air quality scale which was really unhealthy. What did you do in Beijing? We booked ourselves on Cunards Beijing 2 Day Discovery tour, along with 500 of our closest cruisemates! It was a very popular tour! We started with a 3 hour drive to Beijing, followed by a 20 minute ride in a trishaw. It was a cold day and whizzing round in an open vehicle was absolutely freezing. We noticed that people not on a tour had a leisurely ride wheras tour people were driven at breakneck speed. Our driver probably did the circuit in 10 minutes, jammed his brakes on and said “out!”. We had lunch at a restaurant in a jade shop near the Great Wall, and then visited the wall itself. Wow! What a fantastic sight! I got halfway up the steps, looked back and thought “OMG if I don’t turn round now I’ll never get back down”. The steps were a foot high in places and very uneven, and not for people with vertigo. My husband got all the way up onto the wall and walked past three guardhouses until he was finally able to get a photo with no one else in it! Our overnight accommodation was at the China World Shangri-La Hotel and it was awesome! So awesome in fact, that we decided to forego that evening’s Peking Duck Banquet in favour of a nap, a few drinks and a light meal in the hotel lobby, a long soak in the fabulous hotel bath and an early night! We also took an executive decision to not bother with the 5:30am buffet breakfast, and enjoyed an extra hour in bed, ate the apples we found in our room, and headed downstairs for our 7am start, raring to go! There was a fair bit of whingeing and moaning on the bus about how people only got 5 hours sleep, about how disappointing the food at the banquet was, and how exhausted they were! Glad we passed on that! Day 2 in Beijing had us at Tiananmen Square by 7:30 and The Forbidden City by 8:30. We loved the guided tour of the Forbidden City and were surprised at how big the complex was. We had an early lunch banquet and then took a 40 minute Bullet Train ride to Tianjin. It got up to 215 mph, and was really quiet and smooth. Very impressive! The ship was scheduled to depart at 5pm, but 6pm came and went and at 7 they started calling certain passenger names and asking them to see the purser. We were still in port at 8pm and the Captain announced that there were problems with the Chinese authorities and some of the special tourist visas the ship had obtained for us. By the time the issues were resolved, and a slot in the river traffic had been assigned to us, we finally left around 11pm, six hours late. Next stop Kitakyushu. Where on earth is that? It is on Japan’s Kyushu Island, and it was a maiden port for QM2. We docked in a container port, where a makeshift passenger terminal had been created out of tents for us. We arrived to an incredibly warm welcome, crowds cheering and waving, and brass bands playing. I heard there were fire boats streaming plumes of red, white and blue water as QM2 entered the port! Because of the delay leaving China, and despite making up some time, we finally arrived at 11am instead of 8am, so the tours started later and the itineraries were rearranged. We had booked Best of Kitakyushu, and our first stop was at a local hotel for lunch. We were each presented with a Bento Box with lots of tiny portions of exquisitely flavoured food. It was delicious and a nice change of pace to the Chinese banquets. 

I am not a fan of public loos, but I made an exception here and went to check out the Japanese toilets I’d heard about. These didn’t disappoint and although I did like the heated seat I wimped out of pressing any of the other buttons! Compared to Shanghai and Beijing, there wasn’t a lot to do in Kitakyushu. We visited a museum with a very good robotic dinosaur exhibit, looked at the outside of Kokura Castle, which was closed for renovations, went up the Mojiko Retro Town Observation Tower and a wander around the town.

The locals treated us to a fantastic firework display as we left port. Did you go anywhere else? Yes, our final port was Seogwipo City, on Jeju Island, South Korea. Another new country for me and another maiden port for QM2. We were the first cruise ship to dock at their brand new cruise terminal. We were greeted with music, K Pop bands, speeches and free packs of facemasks, (as in skin care!) for everyone! Todays tour was Seogwipo City Highlights, our bus had disco lights in it, and our guide introduced himself and told us not to look out of the windows. Huh? It turns out that the new cruise terminal and nearby naval base had been a bone of contention for some of the locals, and along with “Welcome QM2” banners, there were some not so welcoming ones that he hadn’t wanted us to see. We walked over the longest pedestrian bridge on Jeju Island, and did a brief walk around Saeseom Island and then over to Cheonjiyeon Falls. Our final stop was to a local food market, which I always find fascinating. How was disembarkation? It was surprisingly easy! Immigration was all done behind the scenes for us by Hong Kong officials who boarded the ship in South Korea. We picked up our passports on the last evening and our Hong Kong visas were already inside. We put our cases out late on the last night, reusing the tags we used for boarding. We had to be out of our stateroom by 8:30am, so had a quick breakfast in Britannia Club, and then headed up to the Carinthia Lounge, where we were scheduled for a 9am departure. Our number was called at 8:50am. Disembarkation was quick, we found our bags, cleared customs and waited about 10 minutes for a taxi. Couldn’t have been better. We checked into the Royal Pacific Hotel again, and after a walk around the shopping centres next door to kill time, managed to be in our room by noon. Hong Kong Part 2, how was that? The miserable weather that had followed us for most of the cruise continued in Hong Kong. It varied from fog to drizzle to torrential rain and put a bit of a downer on our post cruise plans. Our rescheduled tour to Lantau Island and the Giant Buddha took place in awful weather. We visited a beach in the rain. Had a tour of a market and a river boat ride in a thunderstorm and torrential rain. The skies briefly cleared when we visited the Buddha, and then the fog descended for the rest of the day. We visited the Po Lin Monastery for lunch and their vegetarian banquet was fantastic, probably the best “included lunch” we had on any of our tours. Sightseeing was really not possible so our Plan B inevitably was food! Highlights included Jimmy’s Kitchen for a “ Classic British Food From The 1970s” fix, the Pho Boozer for a ridiculously cheap 3 course lunch in either Indian, Malay, Thai or Vietnamese style and Bombay Dreams, with its Michelin Star winning Indian lunch buffet. Our “last hurrah” was at the Intercontinental Hotel, Kowloon, where we went for drinks in their bar overlooking Hong Kong harbour and had front row seats for the 8pm laser light show, which was spectacular. It was pouring with rain so we abandoned plans to find a restaurant for dinner and splurged on a selection of fabulous asian tapas right where we were. How was your journey home? We arranged for late checkout at 1:30pm and used the hotel limo service to the airport as we couldn’t face dragging our bags out in the rain and trying to get a taxi. It was money well spent. We weren’t expecting to find a hotel employee waiting at the curb for us when we arrived at the airport. He took care of our bags and fast tracked us to the Cathay check in desks, oversaw the check in procedure for us and directed us to immigration. He wouldn’t take a tip and said it was all part of the hotel service. What a nice surprise. All flights to the USA have extra security, and we were screened at the gate and again just before we boarded the plane. Our 16 hour flight was scheduled to leave at 5:30pm Hong Kong time and arrive in Washington DC at 8:30pm the same day. I planned to try and get a little sleep mid flight. The meal and drink service was more leisurely flying back. I had an excellent steak for dinner, 3 glasses of wine and watched a couple of movies before sleeping, amazingly, for 6 hours! They served beef sliders about 10 hours into the journey and then, bizarrely, breakfast a couple of hours before we landed in Washington in the evening. The omelet was really good. This time the flightpath skirted China, Japan and Russia, entering the USA over Washington state, then heading east, and we arrived a few minutes early into Washington Dulles. For once the Global Entry machines were empty, and they didn’t reject our passports, so we whizzed through immigration. We had a bit of a wait for our bags, and finally got a Washington Flyer taxi around 9pm and were home by 10pm. We were absolutely shattered. Is it good to be home? Yes! Absolutely! But wow, what an epic trip! I would definitely fly Cathay Pacific again, and I think we have found our new cruise home with Cunard. I can’t wait to sail on Queen Mary 2 again and look forward to trying out Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth too! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We have just returned from a 2 week cruise around Asia. What a beautiful ship and refurbished to a high standard. The selection of food was fantastic , breakfast times are a bit hectic with people hogging seats and not moving on once ... Read More
We have just returned from a 2 week cruise around Asia. What a beautiful ship and refurbished to a high standard. The selection of food was fantastic , breakfast times are a bit hectic with people hogging seats and not moving on once they'd finished. What can I say about the staff, a total credit to the company . Everyone was warm friendly and always there to help you in any way . We had the most beautiful sole serve us every night in the Cafe al Baco bar , Hannah . What a gorgeous person who made us feel so welcome from the first day , thank you Hannah . We would also like to thank Annabelle who kept our cabin lovely at all times and was very king on the days I didn't feel well, thank you Annabelle . Our only grip would be the entertainment , if you liked an act you had to follow them around the ship to watch them , not much choose for the younger cruisers Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Just came off the newly renovated Millenium. A great ship and a great itinerary in Asia. The common areas are beautiful - soothing decor colors and shiny new everything. Qsine and Sushi on 5 wonderful as always. The new areas for ... Read More
Just came off the newly renovated Millenium. A great ship and a great itinerary in Asia. The common areas are beautiful - soothing decor colors and shiny new everything. Qsine and Sushi on 5 wonderful as always. The new areas for suites are beautiful such as the Retreat and Sun Deck. You feel special being in a suite. The service was wonderful - the Captain is so funny and we looked forward to his daily updates. The Officers and crew were very visible and friendly. Some couches are better for decoration than comfort. Signage is not good - no deck plans visible to look up where things are. The listings by the elevators are very confusing and don't tell you where things are but in which direction (aft and forward) you should go to get where you want to go. The redone suites have nice color schemes and more drawer space. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to the Far East, the ports of call were fabulous, the ship and staff were so helpful, they are genuine, and cannot do enough for you, it’s great being on a ship with lots of different ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to the Far East, the ports of call were fabulous, the ship and staff were so helpful, they are genuine, and cannot do enough for you, it’s great being on a ship with lots of different nationalities, as it’s great to talk to people from so many countries, also the ship caters for many different food choices, the food is absolutely great in the buffet, lots to choose from. The shops onboard could be better, not much selection, the shows could have done with more variety, a couple of acts were not great, room for improvement, but overall we would go on millennium again. All our transfers were very good. I must say, the captain was hilarious, he was just so funny when he gave his announments over the tannoy, we did have about 5 shore excursions, which I must say were very informative, and not as expensive as some ships. Great holiday Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Chose this cruise as we had never been to the Asian region by ship. The Ovation was wonderful, the Staff and Crew were the best we have encountered on any cruise line .The food was beautifully presented and top quality. Handre is ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we had never been to the Asian region by ship. The Ovation was wonderful, the Staff and Crew were the best we have encountered on any cruise line .The food was beautifully presented and top quality. Handre is certainly the number 1 Cruise director.The Hotel Manager was Helmut Huber top guy and turned out to be a very funny man, actually hilarious!The Food and Beverage Manager was Ali who we have experienced previously he is just amazing he works very hard to please everyone. Our room attendant again was the best we have experienced Hayley was 1st Class. We have done many cruises on Seabourn and many other lines but Seabourn is outstanding, The special event on Ko Kood island was just an amazing experience we were so thrilled The Band know as Musical Society are fantastic and very personable, The deck parties are again outstanding and the ,say good bye ,to the crew on the deck is an emotional event most of the crew and Staff turn out to wave good bye while we drink and eat and have fun . Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Just did a 6 days Hong Kong Vietnam Cruise, 2 adults with kids 9 and 11. It was our second cruise. Very glad we choose the PALACE SUITE upgrade, and this particular World Dream cruise-ship. The room is fantastic with a huge bathroom, ... Read More
Just did a 6 days Hong Kong Vietnam Cruise, 2 adults with kids 9 and 11. It was our second cruise. Very glad we choose the PALACE SUITE upgrade, and this particular World Dream cruise-ship. The room is fantastic with a huge bathroom, much storage and an easy-to-fold down sleeper for the kids while the ship is less then a year old having cost almost a billion USD (build in Germany). The Palace VIP upgrade comes with many perks, e.g.: • Personal butler for your room available 6 x 15 hours. Can call her/him from anywhere on the ship to sort out small issues/make bookings/a lost bag/etc. • access to the VIP/PALACE area which covers about 1/3rd of the ship in the front. Economy class passengers do not have access to this area. The buffet restaurant (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper till 2am) is fantastic with great views/service/food. No need to queue here (while in economy obtaining a lobster requires strong elbows and immaculate timing Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was along awaited trip to the far east and inparticular first time visits to Hong Kong and Singapore, where my parents lived for 20 years The ship moored ocernight in both Hong Kong and Singapore which along with a few days in ... Read More
This was along awaited trip to the far east and inparticular first time visits to Hong Kong and Singapore, where my parents lived for 20 years The ship moored ocernight in both Hong Kong and Singapore which along with a few days in hotels gave us time to explore Singapore is the most beatiful city and so accessible by road, river and train Whilst the Millenium is clearly in need of a refit, the crew make up for this with service in every are being top class My wife has food allergies and the restaurant staff were brilliant at getting this right each night, this coupled with a very attentive wine waiter and some great company each night made for memorable dining We haven't been on many cruises (5) but the entertainment on this ship was the best! A superb ships company gave stunning shows in the main theater and the cosmos lounge. The guest artist were all top qaulity and very varied West end eat your heart out, where else can you be served a gin and tonic in your seat. Our captain (nicolaos was the ,most visible w ehave seen attending losts of the vents and being available for chats / feedback and I'm sure that helped with the overall culture onboard The only negative is the need to charge so much for wifi on board, nearly $30 a day for access is ridiculous, todays traveller expects to be connected 24/7 - even on holiday Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We initially chose Holland America's 15-Day Far East Discovery because of the itinerary and dates. Having sailed primarily on Princess and Carnival many times, we were able to compare cruise lines. We actually loved Holland America. ... Read More
We initially chose Holland America's 15-Day Far East Discovery because of the itinerary and dates. Having sailed primarily on Princess and Carnival many times, we were able to compare cruise lines. We actually loved Holland America. We flew into Hong Kong four days earlier and stayed in Singapore two days after our cruise. We probably should have extended our stay in Singapore by one or two days because there was so much to see and do. The Ship: The Westerdam is much smaller than other Princess and Carnival ships, but the cabins tend to be larger with a sofa in our ocean view room and sensor floor night lighting for late at night if and when you must get up. The whole atmosphere is one of relaxation. Being a smaller ship means fewer passengers (1,850) which also means that you tend to meet the same people quite often on the ship and on excursions. So there is much more in terms of quality and quantity of personal interactions. And there are almost no children (I counted three!), which helps with the relaxation. You won't find loud music playing on the Lido Deck by the pool areas. There are no crowds on board. It's relaxing. Additionally, the Internet is 100% better than what we have found on other cruise ships. For $170.00 for 15 days, we had Internet 24/7 on board with no limitation to minutes used. It was quick and effective 95 percent of the time. And there were real interesting hour long talks on each country where we stopped and another on the history, geography and culture. If you wanted to know about a particular city that you were going to visit, the knowledgeable staff on Deck #10 give you detailed info on each city to help you explore with the organized tours or on your own. The food and entertainment were perhaps less exciting and scrumptious than on Princess, but it was fine. And the gym was not as modern as other ships I have seen, but it was a gym. They don't have a laundry room on board, but they do have laundry service for $30.00 USD per rather large bag of whatever clothing you can fit in the bag. You are served at the informal buffet style dining area for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There's no scooping up oatmeal by yourself. The HAL shore excursions were O.K., but I would avoid the ones that transport you 3 - 3 1/2 hours one way like the 3 hour ride to Ayuthaya, an ancient capital in Thailand where we saw a replica of Angkor Wat. It was too long for the short visits to each site and definitely not worth it.We got back to the ship around 10:30 pm! We chose to go with another tour company for our Halong Bay cruise. It worked out well, but my guess is that Holland America's excursion might have been more convenient and just as enjoyable. Of course, the staff's professionalism is what I would expect on any cruise ship. The dueling piano musicians were awesome! The captain was one of the best in that he was personable, likable, transparent, decisive and prepared. He kept us safe and went out of his way to make our cruise even more enjoyable, especially in our over night stay and morning sunrise in Halong Bay. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and everyone was pleasant. We did notice that for some reason, many of the public areas were very cold to the extent that we avoided them. There were two pools, one that had a retractable roof top. The pools were never crowded because there were only 1,850 passengers on board. Finally, I should mention that because we traveled through so many visa requiring countries, HAL made it so much easier by helping us with immigration forms and having the individual customs officers on board to facilitate and expedite our entrance to their countries. HAL was really organized on that. The HAL excursion process, especially during tender egress was less smooth than expected because everyone meets in the same MainStage area for their excursion tickets. All in all, we really enjoyed a different and more relaxing cruise on Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
A well organised experience supported by excellent staff made it a great cruise to very different and interesting places. The small tours and experience of travelling around on our own was great fun. We also joined four Cruise Critic ... Read More
A well organised experience supported by excellent staff made it a great cruise to very different and interesting places. The small tours and experience of travelling around on our own was great fun. We also joined four Cruise Critic excursions, which proved as usual to be well organised with great people and good value for money. Embarkation and disembarkation were the easiest that we have ever experienced. Although having to queue in the open for over an hour and a half at one of Japan’s final ports, was not great. We did not use any of the specialty restaurants as we didn’t feel the need, although would suggest that Celebrity should aim to be more adventurous in the main restaurants. More emphasis on local cuisine of the ports visited would be good. Visiting acts for the onboard entertainment were of high quality, there was definitely something to meet all tastes. Although the Millennium is looking a little worn around the edges (refit scheduled for January 2019), it must be said that it was spotlessly clean at all times. All staff presented as being efficient, well trained, helpful and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
What’s Qnot on the Orion. Evertthing from a luxurious stateroom, great food, entertainment and activities. The staff go out of their way to insure every meal, activity and tour are top notch. The ship itself has every acommodation from ... Read More
What’s Qnot on the Orion. Evertthing from a luxurious stateroom, great food, entertainment and activities. The staff go out of their way to insure every meal, activity and tour are top notch. The ship itself has every acommodation from entertainment, shopping, exercise facilities, swimming, spa treatments, great food and spirits as well as a staff that finds no need to great. Your cabin is well equipped with fresh linens and towels on a daily basis. There is so much entertainment you will never be bored including lectures, movies, high tea, availability to an onboard library, a swimming pool, spa treatments, exercise equipment and a sun deck as well as a walking track. The staff will provide 24 hour room service. There are several specialty restaurants as well as the Buffett. The Buffett serves everything from soup To nuts. They even have gelatos. You’ll fell very comfortable with any of the Viking cruises. You will never e bored or hungry on Viking no matter what trip you take. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have sailed on Viking Ocean on three different occasions, and we love the ships. There is plenty of public space and a variety of music venues. The crew is very friendly and efficient. They knew our name at the second meal! We never had ... Read More
We have sailed on Viking Ocean on three different occasions, and we love the ships. There is plenty of public space and a variety of music venues. The crew is very friendly and efficient. They knew our name at the second meal! We never had to wait for a table at any of the dining venues. The food was very good as were the wines (we were on the Silver Spirits package). The spa and fitness center are great. I think the fitness center on Orion is larger than on previous ships. We also enjoyed walking the promenade deck. We like the relaxed atmosphere of Viking Cruises. It encourages interactions with fellow passengers. We met some fun people at trivia! The only disappointment on Orion was the Explorer Lounge bar. The drinks had odd ingredients-for instance lemon juice in the margarita. We didn’t find a cocktail we liked, but the desserts at Mamsens made up for it! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I had never been to Asia before or on Viking Ocean Cruise. Asia is interesting and well worth a trip. The Orion was an amazing ship, truly luxurious and beautiful. All the accommodations were excellent a lot of little extra touches; like ... Read More
I had never been to Asia before or on Viking Ocean Cruise. Asia is interesting and well worth a trip. The Orion was an amazing ship, truly luxurious and beautiful. All the accommodations were excellent a lot of little extra touches; like placement of electrical charging stations, throw blankets, couches. The food was four star and the specialty restaurants were a treat The crew were gracious and attentive. My only negative on the whole trip was the way scheduled tours were handled and notified. Very poorly organized and communication about included tours and optional tours was poor to totally wrong . My wife and I would go again in a minute. In fact we are scheduled for a tour in June. The reservations and communication with Viking was excellent. The Viking web site was very good providing necessary information. The visa expense was a surprise The worst part of the trip was the Airplane trip. Unbelievably rude and just incompetent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Pros: We chose Viking Ocean Cruises for their excellent rating and they did not disappoint. We chose the itinerary from Hong Kong to Bangkok due to the ability to really get to see that part of the world over the course of two weeks. Orion ... Read More
Pros: We chose Viking Ocean Cruises for their excellent rating and they did not disappoint. We chose the itinerary from Hong Kong to Bangkok due to the ability to really get to see that part of the world over the course of two weeks. Orion is a spectacular ship and the shore excursions provided us with an in-depth look at the real cities and real people. A perfect two weeks. Truly, everything was top notch. Rooms were spacious and beautiful and every single staff member was friendly and helpful. We felt very safe and taken care of on the excursions. Cons: Air travel. We used Viking Air to book the flights and mistakenly trusted their advice on connections and connection times. We flew from Newark, NJ to Beijing with a connecting flight to Hong Kong. Just as we feared, our incoming flight times were changed and the flight was late thus we missed the connection to Hong Kong. We were extremely tired and frustrated by the time we actually got on board the ship. Lesson learned. No connections unless absolutely necessary. And arrive 2 days before cruise departure! But would do a Viking Ocean Cruise again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I returned to Silversea after four years (having been unable to travel in that time) and as a solo traveller for the first time - it was like coming home, from the initial warm welcome, the brilliant service, superb food (much improved ... Read More
I returned to Silversea after four years (having been unable to travel in that time) and as a solo traveller for the first time - it was like coming home, from the initial warm welcome, the brilliant service, superb food (much improved since last time), lovely butler service (thank you Gideon), as much champagne as I could drink - yes Silver Shadow is a little tired in places but it is still very much a five star experience. With only once exception the on shore tours were well organised and good value. I didn't bother with the solo travellers get together after the first night as it was so easy to get to know people and I didn't have a single evening where I needed to eat on my own. The joy of small ship cruising! It was good to see some old faces on board like Kirk the Cruise Director and Anita Labs on the shore concierge desk - and lots of passengers were booking future cruises which proves to me that Silversea are still doing things right for their discerning customer base. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Advertising price, itinerary. Being our first cruise we were looking for value inclusions. We accepted the varied reviews but made our decision based on what we were looking for. My Dining Time, quality table settings, sparkling white ... Read More
Advertising price, itinerary. Being our first cruise we were looking for value inclusions. We accepted the varied reviews but made our decision based on what we were looking for. My Dining Time, quality table settings, sparkling white tablecloths and the wait staff so attentive, cheerfull smiling at every sitting. Quality meals, breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Windjammer excellent variety also quality produce. We didn't dine in any of the speciality restaurants, just not our style. A king bed, ocean view with balcony. Our room attendant was very pleasant always smiling, efficient and enthusiastic for our enjoyment. This ship delivered more than we were expecting. Cruise Director Michelle and her team delivered fun, exciting entertainment with such enthusiasm, this made it so easy to meet and create new friendships. Stage shows were professional and so entertaining as was the Ice skating show. Proformers, technicians all involved should be congratulated for their expertise in putting them all together. So impressed with embarkation in Hong Kong, easy stress free, with approximately 3-4 hour time frame. Singapore was not so easy, but remember we were all getting off together in a tighter time frame. So yes we enjoyed our first cruise and look forward to organising another. My advice don't take negative reviews seriously, take out what you consider fair. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
1 embarkation hong kong 20 mins taxi to ship 2 3disembarkation 30 mins cabin to taxi 3 ship signs of rust on hull otherwise very clean and smart 4 cabin js1630 clean smart well appointed kettle bath fantastic storage 5 main dining room ... Read More
1 embarkation hong kong 20 mins taxi to ship 2 3disembarkation 30 mins cabin to taxi 3 ship signs of rust on hull otherwise very clean and smart 4 cabin js1630 clean smart well appointed kettle bath fantastic storage 5 main dining room very good food sometimes a little cool buffet excellent choice last lunch 4 choices of roast meat etc room service excellent speciality Italian well worth surcharge 6 entertainment something for everyone theatre shows good ice show excellent schooner piano bar outstanding.7 sevice excellent across the ship 8 all ports excellent organised visits smooth and enjoyable.3 experienced travellers from uk and south african a memorable holiday fellow cruisers a mix from many countries Australia usa uk China India etc all mixed well chinese university students were brilliant company.cruised often never before with royal c but would again staff always smiled and ensured you had a perfect holiday cruise package was fantastic and bar service always fast and inefficient Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Did 3 short B2B's on Ovation out of Hong Kong And Shenzhen and enjoyed all of them. Loved the mix of different cultures on board. Not our first time on this class of ship so felt like home before we even boarded. The service and ... Read More
Did 3 short B2B's on Ovation out of Hong Kong And Shenzhen and enjoyed all of them. Loved the mix of different cultures on board. Not our first time on this class of ship so felt like home before we even boarded. The service and friendliness from the crew was as good I have seen on any ship. Food was good, mainly geared towards Asian tastes but still plenty of variety. One of the cruises had 4600 passengers on board but it didn't feel like it with many areas like the bars or Solarium often being rather quiet. The cruise from Shenzhen was mainly chartered by a music group from China and we really enjoyed the pool deck parties they put on with great international dj's. The ship was kept very clean and can't wait to sail on Ovation again. Only negative was long lines for Immigration, but that is not the fault of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was our 4th cruise and 1st with RCCL this year. We chose this particular cruise as we’d never been to Japan. Because the ship sailed out of Hong Kong, we were anticipating a large contingent of passengers from Hong Kong and mainland ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise and 1st with RCCL this year. We chose this particular cruise as we’d never been to Japan. Because the ship sailed out of Hong Kong, we were anticipating a large contingent of passengers from Hong Kong and mainland China. While more than half of the passengers were Asian, and some spoke limited English, there was a significant number of passengers from Australia, North America/Canada, the Uk and NZ, so a good mix of interesting people to meet. Consequently, all safety instructions, show introductions, PA messages etc were delivered in English and then again in Mandarin. Sometimes, I got the feeling some information was “lost in translation “ but the crew did their best to keep everyone informed and up-to-date with shipboard activities. I thought Mike and Kitty’s morning update show on TV channel 14 was informative and good fun. This is a very big ship, so yes, there was a bit of bustle and noise at times and yes, sometimes dining room queues were long but it’s not as if you’ve got somewhere else to be! I have to say I was somewhat disappointed with the continual whinging of some of the “international” passengers (particularly a couple of British and US passengers). As early as the first sea day there were a few passengers that others, myself included, were already doing their best to avoid. One very rude woman was observed loudly berating pool bar staff because they couldn’t produce an ice bucket for her water bottle! She turned to me and announced she was having a terrible time, thought the ship was terrible, the staff were hopeless, and that she was “done!” I had to bite my tongue and not suggest we’d all be happier if she jumped overboard and swam back to shore. Others were complaining about the food. Seriously, there was so much variety and choice I just don’t understand what the problem was. Perhaps they lost sight of the fact that feeding 4,000 people at roughly the same time dictates what can be served, how, and how fast. Fine dining was available at the specialty restaurants and take-away style food could be taken to the deck or back to your cabin so there was always a choice if banquet/buffet style was not to their liking. The buffet restaurant and MDRs WERE very busy at peak times but we chose to dine either earlier or later and avoided the melee and had no wait at all. We also booked the Solarium Bistro if we wanted a quieter and more intimate atmosphere for lunch or dinner. We generally had complimentary room service continental breakfast, which was more than sufficient and a pleasant way to start the day. Overall, our experience of this cruise was very positive. The cabins were well appointed with heaps of storage and a very comfortable bed. Cabin stewards were professional but friendly and went out of their way to attend to any special requests. Deck 13 stewards, Kolen and Joela, always acknowledged us by name and with a smile and an enquiry about our day. I thought the headline show, Pixels, was outstanding and enjoyed Live, Love, Legs but to a lesser degree because the vocalists were a bit hit and miss. On sea days, the pool areas were busy but we still managed to secure a deck chair when and where we wanted one. The only annoying thing was the number of selfish people who “reserved” themselves a prime position very early before breakfast by placing a towel on the chair/s, then didn’t return for hours (that’s just rude if you were one of those doing so!) We tried the North Star while in port and the view of the ship and the port was stunning. We didn’t try iFly but plan to next cruise. At the start of the cruise, there was a fee for both North Star and iFly but this charge was dropped or refunded for those who’d prepaid, towards the end of the cruise. We had planned to “wing it” in each port, but ended up booking three shore tours (Fukuoka, Nagasaki and Shimonoseki) once on board, and I’m glad we did. All were very well organised and well worth the money. Our English-speaking Japanese tour guides,Yoko and Mr Morry were fantastic - we learnt so much about Japanese culture, traditions and history, and Morry even taught us some basic Japanese words and did a bit of magic for a few of us (as well as a tour guide, he is also a professional, touring magician). I doubt we would have found our way to some of the tour locations easily on our own. A lovely young couple we met did do their own thing though via locally organised walking and cycling tours and reported that they had a great couple of days. Wherever we went, we found the Japanese people to be very gracious and respectful and from what we saw, Japan has to be one of the cleanest, tidiest places I’ve ever been. Pity one filthy group of smokers from the ship gathered on the street, made a spectacle of themselves being loud and obnoxious and then threw their cigarette butts in the gutter/drain outside a stunning Japanese garden - disgusting behaviour and a poor example of Australian tourists overseas. I felt compelled to write this lengthy tome as I find there seem to be many overly critical reviews on this site. I think many people who are satisfied and have enjoyed themselves just don’t write reviews, so there’s sometimes a biased and unbalanced view from people who are probably never happy about anything. I prefer to see the glass as half full, not half empty. From my observation I believe the ones who complain about poor service or “sullen”, unhelpful crew are rude to crew who work hard and are paid every little. I’ve seen them behave as if they are somehow superior to everyone else. They might find that instead, a little bit of humility, politeness, gratitude and good grace results in friendly, cheerful encounters and excellent service every time. Just a thought ... Anyway, in summary we enjoyed this cruise very much, and met some truly delightful people. So much so that we’ve booked two more cruises on Ovation this year and are looking forward to catching up again with some of the new friends we made onboard this trip. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018

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