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804 Hong Kong to Asia Cruise Reviews

This ship had the WOW factor, ( Why Oh Why ) did I book it… If you have already booked it, it’s worth losing your deposit… This ship is a tired ship and as a few couples said, it’s a boring ship. Celebrity Cruises boast it’s ... Read More
This ship had the WOW factor, ( Why Oh Why ) did I book it… If you have already booked it, it’s worth losing your deposit… This ship is a tired ship and as a few couples said, it’s a boring ship. Celebrity Cruises boast it’s Modern Luxury, well I must have got on the wrong ship, it’s a dated ship, refurbished yes, but only part of it. If this is your first Cruise it will be you last Modern Luxury? on the 11th deck…lots and I mean lots of sunbeds with slats missing ( took pics) Areas where sunbathing or relaxing would depress you as to the surrounding scenery. Modern Luxury in the Ocean Restaurant?…. Cracked tables, where the cracks are filled in with a resin,,, ( got pics) Chairs whose arm rest show the woodgrain sanded and varnished.( got pics) Chairs are a mishmash of different shapes, making it look like a job lot. Modern Luxury?… Toilet wouldn’t flush on 3 different days, on the 2nd occasion water from Washbasin ran brown, scarey to think why it was a brown colour. Other passengers had the same problem Floor 10 Swimming pools deck, gents toilet flooded, ladies toilet one cubicle bunged up. Entertainment is subjective but here’s the a wee snippet?… Video on TV show a Officers and crew night at the Martini Bar, where it shows the steps jammed with officers and crew dancing which in turn gets everyone into the party spirit… in reality …..it was two entertainment crew who danced on the stairs for 5 min then disappeared, you could see everyone was ready to party, big let down. Table Tennis tournament was at 4.15…still waiting to see it happening On deck10 entertainment consisted of 3 or 4 days where line dancing was demonstrated and 2 events in the pool with crew versus cruisers. Met a couple who had booked and told company that one was in a wheelchair, on arrival, the chair wouldn’t fit through the door. Norovirus was evident:- Going for our breakfast only to be diverted another route someone had been sick in corridor. Spoke to an American who spent 2 days confined to his cabin, saline drip etc. The ships next port when we got off, was Bali, a couple at our table were continuing on this trip but on the last night were informed it was not going to Bali but back to Thailand. No one was giving a true explanation, all they heard was that Bali wanted to seize the ship for 3 days.. but it may be the fact that a ship has to declare the amount of people sick, if that was the case, then when the ship docked at Bali it would have to remain in port until the sickness level dropped before letting passengers of. I noticed a high level of cleaning midway through cruise which wasn’t apparent before, pity it may have cut down the number of sicknesses. One previous reviewer said they perfected the art of reaching their cabin from the lifts areas without touching anything an art we quickly adopted.. Concierge class:- We paid £200 each to upgrade to Concierge class, not worth the money, suppose to have priority embarkation and disembarkation, it didn’t happen. Canapés on order to the room if you wanted but you had to pick a time for them to be delivered and you had to be in your room, laughable. Fruit and Champagne in your room on arrival, got the Champagne, fruit was 3 apples laughable again. I’ll end by saying there are lots more negatives than positives and its unbelievable that cruisers can say they enjoyed it when the basics needs were a let down ,i.e sanitation. The ship sells itself as Modern Luxury, if it were a UK company I’d complain under the Trades description Act. And for those who know it, the Rothesay Ferry is a better standard What was Michael’s room all about? ANWERS ON A POSTCARD!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Thanks to posters on Cruise Critic, we found out that embarkation in Hong Kong was delayed as the ship required deep cleaning. This was because some passengers on the previous cruise had Norovirus. It should be noted that despite booking ... Read More
Thanks to posters on Cruise Critic, we found out that embarkation in Hong Kong was delayed as the ship required deep cleaning. This was because some passengers on the previous cruise had Norovirus. It should be noted that despite booking directly with Celebrity, we did not receive an e-mail from them informing us of this delay. I suggest that passengers check Cruise Critic and the roll call for your cruise before you leave for the port. We arrived at the port around 2:30 p.m. and, although it was fairly busy, the line moved quite quickly. However, there was paperwork to be completed for both China and Japan before we could go through security. Initially, this was easy to fill out as there were many seats with tables in the waiting area. Shortly after we began to fill out the forms, an alarm went off. All waiting passengers were told to go through security and not to panic. Once we cleared security, there was not enough counter space and/or chairs for more than a few people and this made filling out the forms more difficult. After the forms were filled out, we quickly finished the rest of the formalities and boarded the ship. Our cabins were ready so we went directly to the cabins. As I had read the reviews on Cruise Critic, I was ready for the older ship. If one did not look too closely, most of the public areas appeared to be in fairly good shape. Our cabin was not. The balcony windows were encrusted with salt and rust. The windows themselves were quite dirty. The balcony was in poor shape with rust, damaged flooring, and furniture that was salt encrusted and dirty. Inside the cabin, the carpet along the balcony needed to be replaced. The sink in our bathroom barely drained and could not be fixed. The Millennium is definitely ready for drydock. Our grandchildren’s adjoining cabin was in better shape. The only issues were the closet door that had a broken hinge and the bathroom door that had to be slammed shut or it would not stay closed. Because of the Norovirus, additional cleaning took place throughout our cruise. Crew were constantly cleaning hand rails, door handles, and most surfaces that people would touch. Sometimes, that meant that surfaces, especially door handles to the cabins, were wet which had some passengers complaining loudly. In my opinion, Celebrity made every effort possible to reduce the chance of passengers getting the Norovirus. To this end, everything in the Oceanview Café had to be served to the passengers and that included drinks, and condiments. At busy times, it was extremely difficult to find a table and some of the passengers were extremely rude to both crew and to other passengers. It made for an unpleasant dining experience. As a result, we typically ate either at the Pool Grill or in the MDR when we were onboard for lunch. Quite a few other passengers must have agreed with us as the Pool Grill was fairly busy. Although the food was very good, the grill was understaffed. The chef not only cooked; he also served all of the condiments. Staffing might not be an issue on cruises that do not have extra precautions in place, but the chef needed more help on our cruise. Drink service was non-existent. Something that I had not experienced on Celebrity before was a sign outside Oceanview Café requesting that guests not take food outside the café. As there were no salads outside, I usually went and got a salad and took it outside. No crew member or staff ever said anything to me. The food in the MDR was much better at lunch than at dinner. Both lunches we ate in the restaurant were very good. However, the service was not . In the evening, the service from our wait staff, Putu and Serdal, was superb and they were the reason we ate dinner in the MDR. The food was usually mediocre, but they made the dining experience enjoyable. I highly recommend that anyone, but especially those who are travelling with children, ask to be seated in their section. We did not eat in any of the specialty restaurants with the exception of Bistro on Five where the service was very good, but the food was also mediocre. We were also charged for wine as the cards were not swiped until the end of the meal and it took multiple trips to Guest Services to get this corrected. It would appear that the computer thinks that you are abusing your drink card when you are billed for all of the drinks at one time and, therefore, charges you for all of the drinks. Before this issue occurred, I had already spent hours at Guest Services. Our printed documents showed our perks, but, somehow, they were not in the Celebrity system. I had to take the documents to guest services where they photocopied them and sent them to Miami. Until approval was given by head office, we were charged for all drinks including water. The only water we could buy onboard was Evian and that was not included in the Classic package. Despite us trying to make arrangements that would allow us to have water that was included in the Classic package, it was not allowed. After Celebrity onshore personnel informed Guest Services that we did indeed have the package, the drinks, with the exception of the water, were credited to our account. It took multiple trips to get the water sorted out. Thank you to Judith for helping us resolve the issue. One issue was never resolved. Our grandchildren did not receive their onboard credit. As all of us signed up for the perk at the same time, and our invoices were dated the same date. It made no sense to either Guest Services or us that Miami refused to provide the credit. Miami was adamant that the children had booked their cabin four months before the rest of us. No wonder their website is such as mess! On a positive note, we took three Celebrity excursions, and two of them were fabulous. In Taipei, we took the Half Day Chiefun Village Tour. The scenery was gorgeous. The tea was a unique experience because of both the location and the snacks. The dried mushrooms were a big hit as was the tea house. The only way it could have been better would have been if we had more time to explore the village. Our tour guide was excellent. We also had a terrific tour in Jeju where we took the Jungmund Full Day Tour. The island is spectacular and it was easy to see why so many people like to vacation on the island. Once again, out guide was excellent. There are many sites that we did not get to see and I would happily sail on a ship that has Jeju as an overnight port. The third tour we took through Celebrity was in Busan. Our guide spent most of his time distressed and worried that someone would get lost. We had a passenger who decided she was going to shop at the fish market. Instead of getting the tour that we should have, our time was spent waiting for our guide. He spent his time searching for the shopper. This was not fun for those of us waiting. However, Busan was a great port to visit. Nagasaki we did on our own and found it easy to find our way around. This is another port where one has to pick and choose what to see as there are more sites than can be visited in a day. One of the surprise highlights was the farewell from students playing in a band and the other citizens who came to wave good-bye. It was very special. We spent two nights off the ship at Raffles Beijing that we booked independently. We set up a private tour for the two days of Beijing and the surrounding area with Jessie Di (toursbyjessie). This was definitely a highlight of our trip. Jessie was outstanding! She has a passion for Beijing and as well as being a tour guide. Her knowledge of both past and present history is excellent. Her animated discussions kept all of us engaged and wanting to learn more. We left Beijing feeling like we were leaving a friend who had just shown us the best of her city. On a negative note, Tianjin (Beijing) was the first port where we had issues with being able to leave the ship. We were told that disembarkation was delayed and that there would be an announcement once the ship had cleared. We decided to wait sitting on the chairs outside the Destination Concierge on Deck 3. Before any announcement was made, we saw groups of people with overnight bags leaving the ship. The people had Celebrity tour stickers on them. I went and asked if the ship had been cleared and was told that it had not. Then, more groups of people with Celebrity tour stickers on them left the ship. We went over to the stairwell and were lined up with other individuals who had independent tours. Shortly after that, we were allowed off the ship. It would not have been an issue if Celebrity personnel and/or information had told us that we would not be able to leave the ship until after specific Celebrity tours left. It would not have been an issue if pre-cruise information explained that individuals on private tours would not be able to disembark until a specific time. Hopefully, someone from Celebrity will read this and my comment card and ensure that accurate information is provided in the future. The second time that we had an issue with disembarkation was at the end of our cruise in Baoshan (Shanghai). At least this time when I asked if there was going to be a long delay, I was told the truth and could telephone my guide so that she would know that we were delayed. The itinerary was fantastic and we were all thrilled that we had the opportunity to take this trip. Despite all of the issues with Celebrity, we had a marvelous time. We won’t, however, be booking another Celebrity cruise until we are sure that we are not going to have the same issues. I hope that Celebrity will step up to the plate.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
My wife and I have cruised on Celebrity three times before and while the Millennium is a step below the Solstice class ships in many ways, we still had a wonderful time on her. We choose this cruise from it's unique itinerary that ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised on Celebrity three times before and while the Millennium is a step below the Solstice class ships in many ways, we still had a wonderful time on her. We choose this cruise from it's unique itinerary that traveled from Hong Kong to Taiwan, Nagasaki, Busan, Jeju, Beijing and Shanghai. Embarkation: We seemed to time our arrival very well and had only a 10 minute wait on the Select/Elite line before getting to the window. However, we saw the monster line for other passengers, many of whom advised us they waiting for an hour or two to get to the desk. This was the last time Celebrity will be using the Ocean Terminal because the new terminal at Kai Tak is opening in June. Cabin - We had an inside cabin which was okay. The storage in the room was not quite as plentiful as on other ships and they could have used an overhead storage area over the bed to make putting clothing away a bit less cramped. Everything worked as it should and the room was quiet and dark at night which is great for sleeping. The room attendant Eddy was outstanding and attended to our every request quickly and enthusiastically. Food - Overall we were pleased with the food in the main dining room. While the quality and temperature of the dishes were not always top notch, by and large our dining experience was enjoyable. Select dining was a bit frustrating early in the voyage with limited reservation times available and walk up wait times of 30 minutes, but that issue seemed to be resolved after a few days and went much smoother afterwards. The Oceanview Cafe had all we needed for breakfast and lunch. The waffles/french toast are a bit hidden at the back (aft) of the cafe so make sure you make a full lap your first day there. We had one remarkable dinner in the Olympic that was well worth the $45pp cover charge. We skipped the other two restaurants (Qsine and Bistro on 5) that we enjoyed on previous cruises because we were content with the main dining room. Entertainment - Steve was the Cruise Director and was the best we've had the pleasure of meeting. He was very personable and generated good will where ever he went and he went from early morning to late night to every venue. The shows were divided between the three production shows (sub par) and the guest performers (very good). They also had a very enjoyable speakers for their enrichment program including Jim Kennedy who wowed the crowed with 4 lectures about the space program and his personal lessons learned from it. Shore Excursions - We did not use any of the ship's excursions. All our tours were arranged via the roll call on Cruise Critic. Port Highlights: Taiwan - We skipped Taipei and arranged with another couple for a driver take us to some nature areas. Most memorable was the food which was both delicious and cheap. Don't miss the night market. Nagasaki - We arranged for a free Goodwill Guide. Tetsuya is a 71 year old guide that we could barely keep up with. He took us all around town, seeing the peace museum, the mountain overlook, some temples and even stopped off at his home to introduce his family. The Peace museum is very moving but is not for the faint at heart. Busan - We did it on our own. There is a city bus a block from the pier that will take you into town. Most memorable was Shinsegae Centum City which is the world's largest department store. It's very upscale including a skating ring, multiplex theater and a four floor golf driving range on the top floors. JeJu - We had a driver with another couple and explored the Tea museum, some nature sites and the mystery road. Most memorable was the Alive Museum which has 3D art that puts you in the painting proving you have a friend with a camera. Beijing - We were with a private group of 115 that did a three day tour including two nights in a hotel in town. Beijing is almost 3 hours from the port and traffic there is always bumper to bumper. There were many memorable sites we saw including the Olympic stadium, Summer Palace, and some temples but clearly you should not miss the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. As for Hong Kong and Shanghai, both are amazing cities. We spent a few days before and after the cruise to explore them and had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Just briefly, this is a hard working vacation to get to see as much as one can when leaving the ship. We used several private tours companies which gave us the advantage of having a smaller van, our own group, guide, driver but at half ... Read More
Just briefly, this is a hard working vacation to get to see as much as one can when leaving the ship. We used several private tours companies which gave us the advantage of having a smaller van, our own group, guide, driver but at half the cost. For Beijing and Shanghai we used Beijing Tours, S. Korea Novaland and Taiwan, Have Fun Travel. All were waiting for us when we got off the ship and came back when we wanted to. The Asian style lunches were fit for emperors although some of our taste buds did not appreciate all choices. It was exciting and an adventure. We were surprised at how much we all said we would revisit S. Korea. The people are great and there is so much to see. As for the Millenium,it is a tired ship, but fine. It's missing the glitz and glamor of the other ships. But something is right on board. First, embarkation in Hong Kong was a nightmare. We were all lined up for 3 hours without a drink, cookie or kind words. This did not put us in a good mood. Next, the waiters did not give us their pampering, like other ships until I complained to the front desk. No one noticed that meals were uneaten or seemed to care if we liked it. At the end, they plates were then carried away. I wonder if by prepaying tips, they know they don't have to try. Anyway, it was a wonderful time with great friends and good memories. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
The Millennium This was our third time on the Millennium. There were some upgrades since our last cruise in 2010 but it is still showing its age. The shows put on by the Celebrity dancers and singers were excellent. They were ... Read More
The Millennium This was our third time on the Millennium. There were some upgrades since our last cruise in 2010 but it is still showing its age. The shows put on by the Celebrity dancers and singers were excellent. They were energetic, lively with great voices on the four lead singers. The guest entertainers were also excellent; especially notable were Tian Jiang, a virtuoso pianist from Beijing and London's West End singer/actress, Lindsay Hamilton. The cruise director, Steve, was very visible and easy to talk to. Our steward, Vazio, was amazing. We would not see him and would leave our cabin for breakfast and when we returned the room was made up and spotless. Whenever we did head to our cabin and might see him in the hallway, he would head to our cabin before us to unlock the door with a smile. We were quite disappointed however with the service in the dining room. We were select dining and had arranged for 6:30 pm dinner each night. Our dining table would be in a different place each night. We noted that when we were seated on the right side of deck 5 our service was slightly better than when we were seated on the left side. That is not to say much as one evening we were almost ignored all night during our meal so that by the time our entrees were finished we walked out before dessert instead of waiting any longer for service. We spoke to the head waiter about the inattentiveness but did not get any satisfactory response. It took us mid cruise to realize that if we asked for a table on deck 4 and it was available, we received more attentive service. We believe it is related to the fact that deck 4 is designated for those diners who eat at the same time and the same table for the whole cruise. The tip expected at the end of the cruise rather than prepaid makes a big difference in your service. Another disappointment with Celebrity was in presentation of activities and excursions. Scrap booking on sea days was offered with a price of $15.00. There were many trivia games and some golf contests but apart from that there were not many offerings during the day. The emphasis seems to be on their Life Activities Highlights of speakers. These were very good but if you did not want to sit through a subject, there was not much else going on unless you paid extra. Two stops on our itinerary were Busan and Jeju Island in South Korea. There was minimal information given for these stops and no handouts in our daily newsletters. Thanks to Cruisecritic.com we had researched both stops and in Busan we were prepared to board the Hop on/Hop off bus that was scheduled to stop at the port. New friends we had met were told by the Excursion desk that there was no transportation from the port and they would have to pay $40 per person for the On Your Own bus provided by Celebrity. When we left the ship we stopped at the Information kiosk set up at the port and asked about the Hop on/Hop off. We were told that although it stops at the port, the best way to meet it would be at the railway station where their route begins. The railway station was easily arrived at by taking Bus 66 just outside the gates of the port for the price of about $2 US. We actually took the bus and stopped in town and decided to walk about on our own using the Busan map we received at information. We visited the Fish Market, Lotte Department store and had a great experience in the town. Meanwhile, our friends were quite upset that they paid $40 each to make the same trip we did. They were dropped off at Lotte Department store and then walked about on their own for 4 hours. This was another rip off by Celebrity. It is one thing if they would tell people you can take a local bus or use our On Your Own bus and give people a choice. They did not do that but led people to believe that the only way they could get away from the pier was to pay for Celebrity's bus. Inexcusable! ITINERARY HONG KONG Our trip began in Hong Kong and the ship stayed docked in Kowloon overnight. So we were able to enjoy two days of sightseeing. There are lots to see in Hong Kong and the surrounding islands. The port in Kowloon is unique in that when you walked off the ship you had to walk through a mall to reach the outside. For embarkation it made it very difficult as there was very little seating for those of us who arrived in Hong Kong very early and had to wait around for the ship to be open for boarding. The weather was rainy and chilly but the first night of our two day stay we were able to walk through Temple St Market and begin the first of our tourist shopping. There can be some great bargains found here. I suggest that you walk through the market before you do any bargaining. There are many stalls with the same items but with different prices. The second day we took the Star Ferry over to Hong Kong and enjoyed a walking tour. Our tour was very manageable by following the local maps. There are many Westerners living in Hong Kong and you will find English spoken almost everywhere. We visited the Man Mo temple, the Legislative Complex, took the escalator up to the Central mid level and finally walked Hollywood Rd to catch the Peak Tram. As we sailed away that evening we were able to view the nightly light and laser show covering the skyline of Hong Kong. That is not to be missed! TAIPEI In Taipei we were part of a tour group arranged through a fellow cruiser. The guide on our bus, Mr. Vincent Wen, was very knowledgeable and anxious to share all the special sites of his country. Our first quick stop for pictures was the Presidential Palace, a large brick structure. We admired the wide avenues and the very clean city as the bus made its way to the Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. This memorial is an imposing white structure with 89 steps (signifying the 89 years Chang Kai Shek lived) up to a bronze statue of Chang Kai-Shek seated inside. To me it was very reminiscent of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. On either side of the vast courtyard are two grand buildings. On the left is the National Concert Hall and on the right the National Theater. The museum below the statue was interesting with many artifacts and pictures of the president's life. Our next stop was at a very busy bakery/shop, Vigor Kobo, where we were given samples to taste and then time to buy the baked goods, tea and popcorn available. This seems to become a must see stop as many tour buses stopped and deposited tourists. The honey cheese bread and teas I brought home were delicious. The Taipei Baoan Temple was our next stop before we moved onto Taipei 101. This building was the tallest building in the world from 2004 to 2010. This was our stop for lunch. Some people took the trip to the top of this 101 floor building but because it was a cloudy day we chose to peruse the basement floor and grab lunch at the food court. It was a very busy place but we had one of our finest meals here. Our last stop was to the Palace Museum. Mr. Wen knowing we did not have much time left before we had to get back to the ship made sure we saw as much as we could by skirting the long lines at some exhibits. The Palace museum holds a permanent collection of 693,507 pieces of ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks. This day proved to be another perfect outing planned by fellow cruisers we found on Cruisecritic. NAGASAKI The people of Nagasaki are very proud to show you their city. We had booked a tour with fellow cruisers that we met through the roll call on Cruisecritic. In Nagasaki we visited Spectacle Bridge, a stone arch bridge built in 1634. We were taken to the Peace Park which was a very moving experience. It is a peaceful place although there were many visitors including Japanese school children. There was a man there who was age 16 at the time of the horrific bombing. He answered questions through our interpreting guide. Following the park we were taken to Chinatown where we had lunch and shopped a little. After lunch we took the Ropeway up Mt. Inasa for a view of the city. A stop at a Confucius shrine for pictures and our last stop was a visit to Glover Garden. Thomas Glover came to Nagasaki in 1859 and established the Glover Trading Company. Glover Garden is a large area with many historic buildings, statues and lovely gardens. SOUTH KOREA Our next two stops were in South Korea. Busan, as mentioned above, was a delightful day with a little shopping at the Lotte Department Store. The best part of this spree was the hourly water fountain show in the middle of the mall; an amazing artistic show of shapes and movement by water. The next wonder was the Fish Market. Just walking through the Jagalchi Market was an eye opener. We had never seen the variety of extraordinary fish and seafood before. It was quiet fascinating and obviously all very fresh fish as there was no fish smell at all even on the streets where women were selling the catches of the day. Our walk through a portion of the town, eating some local snacks, shopping and riding the local bus #66 from and to the port were all a fun experience. On Jeju Island we had made a private tour plan with an English Interpretive driver who showed us some sights of the island. We visited one of the new 7 Wonders of Nature, The Seongsan IIchulbong Tuff Cone. This turned out to be an arduous trek, along with many busloads of tourists, up to the top of a volcanic crater. This was tough with many steps but it turned out to be a great view of Jeju Island. Our next stop was Cheonjiyeon waterfall . This is in a lovely park setting and gave us some nice time to stroll and enjoy the park. Our next stop was a pleasant surprise. Our driver, James, drove us to Seogwipo Port and as we waited for our 2:30 ride on the Seogwipo Pleasure Boat, we walked over the Saeyeongyo Pedestrian Bridge. The boat ride was a joy as we were approached by one woman who knew a little English and helped us communicate with other ladies on the boat. They were on a tour with members of their temple and seemed happy and curious to speak with us. TIANJIAN/BEIJING Our last port stop was Tianjian and we were to stay here for three days. At this stop we connected with a fellow cruiser through cruisecritic who had organized a small group (14 of us) for a trip for two nights in Beijing. Our tour guide was Annie (Pan Xue) from You See China. Annie was outstanding as a guide for the three days. Annie spoke excellent English, made sure we were all together as we visited such memorable places as Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Great Wall at Mutianyu, a hutong and the Summer Palace just to name a few. I cannot say enough about the great service and the charm that Annie possessed. Our requests for the activities we wanted to experience were provided with perfect precision and knowledge of the best that Beijing has to offer. We highly recommend " You See China” when you visit Beijing. After about a 2 hour ride from Tianjin to Beijing, our first stop started with a lunch at Cangsu restaurant located at Lake Shichahai in the western part of Old Beijing. The wait staff were very attentive and smiling and the food was delicious as well as the green tea served with our dishes. The view from the restaurant was delightful as we watched pedal boats and motor boats traversing the lake. Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City were next. It took a few hours for us to walk through the square and the many courtyards within the Forbidden City. We checked in to our hotel and settled a bit before heading out to an amazing acrobat show at the Chaoyang Theatre. Our 2nd day was a much anticipated visit to the Mutianyu Great Wall. Standing on the Great Wall is a once in a lifetime moment. Leaving the Wall was fun as there were many merchants selling t-shirts, tablecloths, silk robes and you name it, all to be bargained for. Our lunch at The Schoolhouse Restaurant was excellent. Once again, Annie provided us with the best venues and restaurants. Our next stop was the Summer Palace. We boarded a dragon boat to walk the corridor, through the gardens and the many buildings on this 2.9 square kilometer park. That evening we opted for shopping in the night market and eating a snack supper while others went to a Tea House. Annie came along with us and we strolled and shopped the Dashilan Shopping and Pedestrian Street. We visited the Neiliansheng shoe store where shoes have been handmade for 150 years. Our stops at a dim sum and then a noodle restaurant filled us up. One of our best experiences was a visit to a tea shop where we sat for a very ceremonial and proper tea tasting. Our 3rd day was short so we could get back to the ship on time however it was a jam packed day. We were back at the Lake Shichahai area for a rickshaw ride and visit to a hutong. We were able to visit a home and the hostess very graciously answered our questions and allowed us to view her home and her husband's art studio. Our next stop was a visit to Tiantan Park and the Temple of Heavenly Peace. The park was filled with many adults on this Monday. There were people exercising, dancing, playing instruments, playing cards, knitting. It was quite a gathering place. The exercise equipment in parks and in many small towns as well as the city of Beijing were very impressive. Finally, our last stop was the Pearl Market (Hongqiao Market) where many of the group purchased jewelry and other items before we headed back to Tianjin and the ship. If you are traveling to Beijing, once again I recommend Annie (Pan Xue) for a terrific guide. She is personable, warm and knows all the best places to go to enjoy your visit to Beijing. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We have been on several cruises including Alaska, Mexico, Panama Canal, Hawaii, and Europe, and this cruise provided the least engaging experience of all. We were in a balcony stateroom which showed substantial wear. ... Read More
We have been on several cruises including Alaska, Mexico, Panama Canal, Hawaii, and Europe, and this cruise provided the least engaging experience of all. We were in a balcony stateroom which showed substantial wear. The drawers were dirty with numerous stains in them and bags left there by previous occupants. The TV, an old Sony Trinitron with traditional picture tube, had a worn yellowing white plastic case and off kilter cover for old style av jacks. In the United States, this would have been retired many years ago. The balcony provided a very good view of aft side of the ship (we were in the far back), and also provided a very good view of large patches of rust on the ship perhaps 50 feet away. Turn down service was lacking. Other cruise lines provide flowers or chocolate in the evening, but here, bedding was not even folded. With other cruise lines, with children in the room, towel animals would be plentiful. This cruise provided the fewest with less than one a day. The evening dining room experience was good with excellent staff, but middling food which was lacking in taste and well below regular cruise average. Soups generally tasted the same whether they were Miso, Mushroom, or other western variety. It appeared that the same broth was used and different variations created simply by adding vegetables. Choices were fewer than usual, and this was the first cruise in memory which did not include a crab or lobster dinner. Portions were "healthy" - probably a good thing, substantially smaller than the usual portions we received on other cruises. The steak consisted of three slices of meat totaling maybe less than 2 ounces. Free drinks offered before the meal included water - No juices, milk, ice tea, hot tea, nor coffee. Coffee and tea were offered prior to dessert though. Staff was excellent and provided lots of attention. This might have been because the dining room appeared half empty (first seating)and were were one of only a few passengers who spoke English. We only had lunch in the dining room once. General staff service was abrupt, bordering on rude, and little variation in entrees was presented. Service was excruciating, being the slowest I can recall. It appeared that staff was woefully insufficient to handle the throngs of people going for lunch. Similarly, we had breakfast in the dining room only once, with slow service and a lack of variety of entrees. Once again, another food I had grown used to on other cruises, eggs benedict, was nowhere to be found. The orange juice was extremely watery and I initially mistook it for watered down Tang. The jumbo eggs were small size by American standards. There were no specialty restaurants, and pizza was served along with hamburgers and hot dogs at limited hours near the pool. The pizza was not gourmet and frozen would have been better. It did not compare with pizza and Italian restaurants on similarly sized ships on NCL and Princess. The best buffet we had was at our hotel (it came with the room) following the cruise. The cruise buffet was much lower in quality than buffets in the United States (eg: Hometown Buffet, Golden Harvest Buffet). Western variety was okay with additional Asian varieties). Desserts were monotonous and we mostly skipped those. Very limited varieties of real ice cream were offered in the dining room only. Bar service was poor with service personnel not really interested in providing soft drinks (we had a drink card). There was no drink service at the buffet except at embarkation. Except for the de rigueur show entertainment in the evenings, most of the activities appeared to be revenue sources for the cruise line (Admittedly, this was our first exposure to Royal Carribean). With regard to ports, other cruise lines provide shuttles to the nearest town for minimal charge or even free. We felt that the charge for a shuttle to the city at one port on this trip was excessive at $39 per person. While I generally hesitate to comment about passenger ethnicities, this cruise was basically a local cruise comprised substantially of Hong Kong Residents, people from mainland China, and Chinese expatriates from Canada, including many young families with young children (There were only 21 Americans). Different regions may have differing levels of comportment. Apparently in this part of the world, children are given free reign, as children were constantly running around up and down the corridors, pool areas and public areas. Also, shouting to each other at opposite ends of hallways or across the atrium or public areas was common. Queuing up in lines was apparently foreign to the adults. For example, waiting in the omelet line at the buffet, two women (unrelated) simply ignored the line and went around it and me to the front to order eggs. I then placed my order, and both women appeared quite miffed when the egg attendant served me first. Similarly, there were mad scrambles for soft-serve (exacerbated by one machine partially broken), shopping, and everything else. During the evening entertainment, at one point, a middle aged couple behind us was engaged in loud conversation, apparently, the only way they could hear each other over the singing and music from the loudspeakers. It was the first time I actually shushed strangers during a show. At another show several people came into the theater engaged in continuing conversation. They finally left when they realised I was staring at them instead of the show. Legend of the Seas appears to be one of the oldest ships in the fleet, and its age is showing. We were told that our sailing was under capacity by around 400 passengers, and as it was, staff was ill equipped to service the people on board. I felt that a reasonable capacity would have been several hundred less than our sailing. Even luggage handling prior to the cruise was disappointing. In Hong Kong, we were used to porters taking our luggage all over (no gratuities requested). Prior to the cruise, we had to go from the second floor of the cruise terminal to the ground floor, outside the terminal to the end, to hand our luggage over, traversing several stairs in the process. This is not typical in Hong Kong (nor Macau nor the mainland either) where porters are provided to perform such duties quickly and efficiently. A better alternative would have been for the cruise line to accept luggage at the embarkation desk and transfer it to shipside. They would have use of freight elevators in the shopping mall/terminal as well. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I have cruised for 2 times on Legend Of The Seas, first on December 2009 Singapore - Phuket - Malaysia, and 2nd time on my honeymoon which is Hong Kong - Sanya - Da Nang - Ha Long Bai1st about the foodThey cook food according to where they ... Read More
I have cruised for 2 times on Legend Of The Seas, first on December 2009 Singapore - Phuket - Malaysia, and 2nd time on my honeymoon which is Hong Kong - Sanya - Da Nang - Ha Long Bai1st about the foodThey cook food according to where they stopped, when its sailing from Singapore, I can get Indian food onboard, and when its from Hong Kong, many chinese foods, and also a table of sushi which I like. The food tastes ok. Windjammer is ok for breakfast and lunch, and for dinner we choose to dine on Romeo and Juliet. Basically the foods are the same between those two its just about the way they serve you.I take a soda package and its ok, the selection does not have a coke zero and it contributes to my 4 kg weight increase.On 2009, Solarium has a Turkey Panini sandwich which I dont find in our honey moon cruise.2nd about the cabinThe balcony is good, give a good view of the ocean, relaxing there is a bliss. The oceanview is fine as well. My wife kept reminiscing how soft the bed are.3rd the tourMake sure you book the tour immediately when you board it as its seat limited and can't get the tour I wanted during our 1st cruise, learning from the mistake I immediately book it on 2nd cruise. The local tour is good, the price is expensive, a friend recommends taking local tour agent which I m considering in using on our next tour. Make sure you talked with the waiters for tips on deciding which local tours you take.When on our honey moon cruise, I regretted not informing them about it, they have a package for honeymooners!I will try another Royal Caribbean ships as I already got in this ship twice Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Having read the previous reviews before departing I was becoming very concerned about this cruise. However it turned out to be really enjoyable. The cruise was 13 nights from Hong Kong to Singapore with multiple stops in Vietnam and 3 days ... Read More
Having read the previous reviews before departing I was becoming very concerned about this cruise. However it turned out to be really enjoyable. The cruise was 13 nights from Hong Kong to Singapore with multiple stops in Vietnam and 3 days in Thailand before arriving in Singapore. Our cabin was a mid ship junior siute on deck 9. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. Previously we have cruised with Cunard and Celebrity. The main reason for choosing this cruise was the itinerary which was amazing. I will try and rate by component: Embarkation - fine. We were given priority boarding due to JS cabin. It was quick and efficient at Hong Kong. Cabin - Junior suite, mid-ship. On first entering I breathed a sigh of relief, it was clean, bright, good sized balcony, reasonable bathroom, plently of wardrobe space, very good bedding, flat screen TV and decent fridge, but noisy aircon. However, soon learned noise was not from aircon but engine room located midship directly above our cabin and machinery room directly opposite. This was not clear on deck plans and should be as mid ship is considered prime location. Part way through voyage I rang maintenance as noise and vibration was becoming too much to sleep and they asked me if I wanted them to switch the engines off! It was bearable overall but should have been made clear when booking. Overall the JS cabins are great, just avoid mid-ship. Dining/Food: Booked My Time dining. This turned out to be Their Time - only 6.00PM or 8.00PM were available every day no matter when booked. Plus food in main dining room was very average and barely warm. So we ate in the buffet each night, which was great! Good choice, hot food, really enjoyed the Indian curries and asian dishes, good seating. This was the first time we have ever avoided the dining room in favour of buffet, but on this cruise it worked. Shore Excursions - really good value and very well organised. Entertainment - variable (as on all ships!) but relaxed and fun. Quizes were good. Did not join in many daytime activities. Music - really good - always a live band playing somewhere (missing on more upscale cruise lines). I enjoyed the music on the pool decks. Bars - good - but limited wine selection and too much focus of pre-mixed cocktails. Beers were good. Prices fairly high. Internet - OK, with variable speed. No more expensive than other lines and good computer room plus WIFI access in certain areas. Dress code - relaxed, but appropriate to the climate. Ship itself - much better than expected. Clean, well decorated, stable. Smaller than previous cruises, but considering size and age, much better than expected. Guest profile - mixed European, Australian, American, mixed Asian - a well balanced mix with no one region dominating. There was a nice atmosphere and we made some good friends. Disembarkation - very well organised in Singapore Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
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

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