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17 Hong Kong to Australia & New Zealand Cruise Reviews

Saw this ship all over the news last year, being the largest cruise ship to ever visit Australia and thought it would be something new and exciting to try. We booked through a local travel agent which made things easier, but there are ... Read More
Saw this ship all over the news last year, being the largest cruise ship to ever visit Australia and thought it would be something new and exciting to try. We booked through a local travel agent which made things easier, but there are caveats first time cruisers need to be aware of (and they don't let you know up front) Firstly, we discovered the cruise was split in half by the agent, this caused many issues we weren't aware of. When we logged into the RCI website to book shows and drinks/internet packages, it showed us travelling for the entire duration of the cruise. This was wrong and prevented us from booking internet/drinks packages in AUD, so we had to pay more once on board as everything is charge in USD. This cost us quite a bit more ultimately. Also shows advertised were booked out quickly as it took forever to get our login, or they weren't showing until after we departed the cruise. All very confusing and not a great start. The other issue we had going via a travel agent was when we checked in at the hotel and the cruise terminal, there were issues that took quite some time to resolve. In Singapore they had 4 people listed as checking in! Obviously the other couple were checking in the day we departed in Fremantle, but their systems can't cope with this arrangement. The hotel was nice, but didn't honour our requests. We also couldn't get exit row seats for the flight thanks to using an agent. Being 197cm tall this was a worry, but it turned out the flight wasn't full and I could find some seats with more legroom. Anyway back to the cruise ship. Once onboard, we were bombarded with people trying to sell us drinks packages. Of course you didn't have to be a genius to work out, even in USD, that this package would pay for itself after only 5 or 6 cocktails. It also included unlimited soft drink refills and a cup with a NFC chip in it you can refill at special dispenser stations (over 100 flavours!) or most bars/restaurants (in very limited flavours). Drinks package includes drinks to the value of $14, after that you pay the difference. Not many drinks were over that price. I signed up for Voom, their excellent internet at sea service. It cost us $18US per day so not cheap but the speed is reasonable (5 Mbps down and about 3 Mbps up), ping times around 200ms which is fine for Skype, FaceTime or WiFi Calling, I made several calls with no noticeable delays which is great for satellite services. The ship also has a mobile base station so your mobile can "roam" if enabled to allow calls/texts although these are at very high rates, around $5/min calling. Stick to Skype, FaceTime or WiFi Calling if you purchase the Voom package it won't cost a cent. I didn't know how to sign up for their internet but you simply connect to "royal-wifi" (no password required) - a browser should open up but it may be in Chinese, simply select English from the top corner near the Earth icon and you can sign up without anyone's help. You should even be able to do this before you get onboard as we could pick up the WifI in the passenger terminal. Also its now a good time to download the Royal IQ from your App Store. This lets you check your statement, book restaurants and check out much more. You don't need to pay for internet to access this onboard, it will work as long as you connect to "royal-wifi". I found the app had some issues, we couldn't book restaurants on it (possibly because our cruise was split in half by the agent?) - but it does keep a track of all drinks and restaurants you get, so its good to see if you are getting value from your drinks / food packages. More tech savvy people may want to invest in a cheap wifi router to create your own wifi network onboard, this means you will only need 1 Voom package but will be able to share it amongst multiple devices (we had 8 between us, including iPads, apple watches etc) - you only get the 5Mbps speeds to share amongst the devices so it isn't abusing the connection, but you may find its frowned upon by crew. It means your devices have an extra layer of protection via WPA. If you don't want to go to this level, you can simply log off and on to devices as you need. Apple's iMessage works without having a Voom subscription which is excellent making it easy to keep in contact with other iPhone users onboard. The ship itself is just majestic, we were in room 6142 on deck 6, a perfect location it was only a deck or two away from 24 hour food, drinks and entertainment. The room was very modern and clean, we had a balcony suite which although we didn't spend as much time as we thought out there, was just so relaxing to watch from the bed. I highly recommend an outside facing room. The bathroom is a little on the small size for someone as big as me, but we coped. The shower head has multiple settings and good water flow. Its detachable so you can wash all your bits with ease! The toilet was fine, although we found it blocked a couple of times (as did our friends staying next door) - looks like if you flush it multiple times it may stop flushing, not sure if this is a fault or a feature, but we learned to just flush once and wait if it needed flushing again. There is a shaver power outlet and plenty of light, a toilet brush (thank you!) and plenty of room to store/hang things considering it size. Our cabin had a king size bed, it felt a little shorter than a regular king and occasionally felt uncomfortable hanging off the edge (bear in mind I'm nearly 2 metres long), I also wish they had fitted sheets because I found in the morning the sheets had ridden up and I was laying on the mattress. There was a US 110v power socket on the right size of the bed under the lamp, I purchased a travel adapter that converted this to two x AU sockets to get around the fact they frown on power boards/strips. My partner uses CPAP so that left one socket for my phone and other USB devices. The bedroom desk has a EU 220V socket, and a couple more US 110V sockets. They suggest you use the 220V power by supplying a EU to AU adapter, which you must pay $25 for if you remove it from the ship. We advised my partner uses a CPAP machine prior to boarding and they supplied an adapter, an extension lead and distilled water, nice touch! There are also a couple of USB ports on the desk but found these to be low powered and a bit loose so you had to make sure not to bump the plug otherwise it wouldn't supply power. There is a flat screen TV which plays safety information when you first enter your room. It's done quite well and is entertaining to watch while you learn at the same time. It has plenty of channels which we didn't really watch, it also has a channel that shows you the ships position and speed, and live feeds from all over the ship. In the cabin there is PLENTY of room to hang and store your stuff, very well thought out, even the bedside tables have shelves to store heaps of stuff. Never felt cramped or like we had to live out of our suitcase. The dining was excellent. Service was far above what I expected. So many staff all smiling and only happy to help. I don't think I came across anyone that wasn't happy to help with our requests. Our cabin attendant was amazing and we left him an extra tip when we left. His towel animals always got us excited to return to our cabin each night. Food at Windjammer was great, so much choice. After eating here every day though tends to get old which is why they have more than a dozen other places to eat. Some free some you pay for. Jamies Italian was great, Wonderland was amazing, you just have to try it! They really look after any food restrictions you might have (mine was no seafood - they were great about that!) The entertainment was great, we had plenty of things to do, I got a bit seasick the day of my ship tour which I was REALLY looking forward to, but I just couldn't finish it. That's the only downside of booking in advance, if you don't you miss out, if you do, you may not be able to do it on the day. I might have been able to try to get a refund but I didn't bother, I got to the bridge and that was my highlight! The shows were fantastic, Pixels was great, those moving screens are incredible and must cost a fortune. The lighting and dancers were great too. So well choreographed. The other show I absolutely loved was called Live Love Legs. This was a show we were going to miss, but it got brought forward to the night before we departed. Just brilliant! So much work gone into this show and it showed. The artwork spread across the ship is just fantastic, it makes you want to walk down 15 flights of stairs instead of taking a lift just to see all the amazing art. I just can't describe the actual beauty when onboard, everywhere you look there was something different and exciting to look at or interact with. We spent some time in the Seaplex, geared towards kids/teenagers, went up in the North Star, and sat in some pools / spas. There is just so much to do, in 7 days we couldn't get around to all of it. We had a few issues with billing, we got a letter on our bed night after night saying our card couldn't be charged, even though they had already taken it off our credit card. This involved several visits to Customer Service but they were quick to fix the issue. I also don't recommend the NFC wrist bands, they cost $5 and we were told we could use them anywhere on the ship, but they didn't always work or were accepted, the band just fit my arm, and I wear a watch, it wasn't very comfortable in the tropics either as it became sweaty quickly. You almost always had to remove it to give it to a bar person. Just use your sea pass in a lanyard (bring your own they charge $9 on board!) It amazed me seeing such a technologically advanced ship still couldn't do everything with NFC, some places had to write down our names/room numbers and get us to sign. The bionic bar wasn't working properly, only one arm was functional, and then we got charged accidentally. Lucky we checked, they had someone there crediting peoples accounts just for that reason. and the app could use some improvement, it was buggy, even using the onboard iPads to try to book restaurants wouldn't work. I came home sick, having caught a cold onboard, and was seasick on the last day or two due to the rough waters coming down the west coast of Australia. There was a warning issued at one stage about gastro, but everyone was obsessed with cleaning hands at the plethora of dispensing machines and sinks it didn't effect us. In summary, I absolutely loved my first cruise, I really miss the ship and the people, the atmosphere (being Christmas may have helped) - but I would most certainly go on this ship again. Was an unforgettable experience! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Food inedible, staff inexperience, condition of ship old and tired. Never been offer so many pasta dishes for dinner. The cheapest food you can provide. Pasta with fake crab, chicken and tilapia. Watery oat meal, for breakfast. Fishy ... Read More
Food inedible, staff inexperience, condition of ship old and tired. Never been offer so many pasta dishes for dinner. The cheapest food you can provide. Pasta with fake crab, chicken and tilapia. Watery oat meal, for breakfast. Fishy smelling fish for lunch, watery orange juice, and milk. For 18 days cruise we never saw lobster, and only once was offer a prime rib, unfortunately, it is so tough that it cannot be cut using a steak knife let alone edible. Why would a cruise line offer such low quality food when food cost is one of the least expansive operating cost. The offering on TV is a joke, there is only very old reruns like big bang theory, and person of interest and only ONE episode of each to be rerun for 18 days and night, really??? Other passenger who have been on this same boat only 10 months ago reported that the good was better. There is a feeling that since the ship is sold, we don't need to try and let just take the money from the passengers and give them the absolute worst and cheapest food the company can buy as the boat will no longer be associated with Royal Caribbean. This is by far the worst cruise I have been on and the worst vacation by a long shot. I feel that Royal Caribbean need to provide full refund plus damages incurred by their passengers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
A mental picture: We never, never ever complain. Having just returned from the HK to Brisbane RCI 18 day cruise we feel totally disillusioned, debarking from a third rate floating craft. There were so many glaring issues on board that ... Read More
A mental picture: We never, never ever complain. Having just returned from the HK to Brisbane RCI 18 day cruise we feel totally disillusioned, debarking from a third rate floating craft. There were so many glaring issues on board that one would not even comprehend where to start to list them plus the fact I have only a certain amount of time atm. This cruise was so unlike previous RCI cruises we have travelled on - the last one only 6 months previous on the same ship. We were 1st sitting every night in the MDR on a table of 10 of which only 4 occupied for the most part, the food choice and quality was non existent, giving us both food poisoning after a few days, it was no better in the Windjammer with the same menu just about every day - the fruit bread pieces were indeed 'fresh' for only the first 2 days of the trip and were hard from thereon. After the first 4 days one was convinced that we had boarded a training ship, for a multitude of reasons! C'mon RCI you surely can do better than this, after all we had paid you the full fare and to be treated as such, really turns you off your product. On a brighter note the main staff went about their duties well and I'm sure everyone loved the antics of Keith and Saini under the command of Captain Kjell Nordmo (who certainly knew his task) and it was also nice to meet new folk (who concurred with the issues) albeit under such circumstances. Russ Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
As the title says was or first Royal Caribbean cruise and as a group of 6 was so disappointed having sailed last year with P&O from Singapore to brisbane was excited to be going with Royal Caribbean but what a waste of time even doing ... Read More
As the title says was or first Royal Caribbean cruise and as a group of 6 was so disappointed having sailed last year with P&O from Singapore to brisbane was excited to be going with Royal Caribbean but what a waste of time even doing any pre cruise planing they just don't even know what's going on From the first afternoon with a lost bag was given the run around then when it came to dining as a group we book 5pm ha ha yer you guessed it 8.30 and all sitting at different tables wasn't until the next night that they tried to sort it ended up at one temperary table that was later made as ours Then well the shore tours one major stuff up again booked the first boat only to be put on three different boats and left at the ferry by the tour guide to find our own way lucky somebody sort of knew a bit about the fact we had to get radios and hard hats at the underground river or we would still be waiting Ext was the major tender stuff up in Benoa standing on the wharf for 40. Minutes in the hot sun nice not Then mmmm about the extra charges on the bill after having pre paid Gratuities then having them removed on the second day because of all the drama getting double charges for specialty dining Overall you would think that they would get it right but no After many long emails and phone calls to get offered wow $50.00 each future credits what a joke Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My wife and I took back-to-back cruises on royal Caribbean from Hong Kong to Sydney. The following is a summary of the problems: Lengthy check in times, messed up visas for China and Viet Nam, lengthy waits for all services, no port ... Read More
My wife and I took back-to-back cruises on royal Caribbean from Hong Kong to Sydney. The following is a summary of the problems: Lengthy check in times, messed up visas for China and Viet Nam, lengthy waits for all services, no port information, average food quality and no premium selections except at extra cost (also my wife got food poisoning on the ship), poor punctuality, poor movie selection, and the tendering process to get off the ship took almost two hours each way at tendering ports. On a bright note, the ice show was spectacular. In summary, this is the worst cruise we have ever been on, and we have sailed with seven other cruise lines. Royal Caribbean cruises have too many passengers and not enough staff. It is like they have never run a cruise before and are using trial and error for their operation. To use an Australian term, they are the bogan cruise line, and will never be first class. This was a three-week cruise that my wife and I were really looking forward to but it turned out to be a nightmare. So much so that we got off early. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We read many negative reviews before depature but our overall experience was good. Yes the ship is old but still looks relatively modern. Overall the ship was attractive ,in very good condition and exceptionally clean. We have done ... Read More
We read many negative reviews before depature but our overall experience was good. Yes the ship is old but still looks relatively modern. Overall the ship was attractive ,in very good condition and exceptionally clean. We have done over 20 cruises so we write reviews that are in the context of what we would expect from in this case Royal Caribbean. The food and dining experience was good in all venues . Lunches in the main dining room were excellent. Breakfasts in the Park Cafe were particularly good. Evening dining in the main dining room was usually very good . A couple of times the fish was over cooked.In the evening we had lovely table companions making every evening something to look forward to. Evening Entertainment was very good with plenty of variety for such a long Cruise. Staff throughout the ship were friendly and helpful. The gym was good . Zumba classes on deck excellent . Port Lectures for independent travellers were very good. Our cabin was 6031. Very comfortable and in very good condition. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
It really is a shame that this boat is what many in Australia may sail and might think other RCCl ships are like. Despite lots of money spent to make pretty staterooms and common areas the fact remains Legend is old and tired and it badly ... Read More
It really is a shame that this boat is what many in Australia may sail and might think other RCCl ships are like. Despite lots of money spent to make pretty staterooms and common areas the fact remains Legend is old and tired and it badly shows. The ship pitches and rolls on a flat sea, room temperature could never be controlled within the cabin (nor in anyone on our deck), no cold water coming from the shower, creeks and shakes happened all day and night, vibrations/sounds consistent with a propeller being dropped would fill the room at points, rust has set in many spots and rotted out holes in exterior features. In case you're reading this and thinking I'm being unfair, trying to compare Legend to a newer offering like Allure that's not the case. I recognize Legend is not in the same class because of her size/age and would be unfair to make any correlation between the two. Legend is a poor showing for Royal for the Australian market and really for any market. Crew are fantastic on the ship and in some ways compensated for the ship's shortcomings. Public areas were still pretty tidy from the recent drydock showing only minor wear in most spots. Think REALLY seriously why you're on the ship. I chose her initially because I'm a devout Royal cruiser and the ports were interesting. In hindsight I would have made a more serious look at other lines. Boarding in Hong Kong was the smoothest and quickest I've experienced. It'll cost you roughly 100HKD to get there from downtown HK. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Where do I start? Over the years I have travelled on 13 cruise ships ranging from the very high end to the more budget and everything in between and the one thing that I can say for sure is that I will never be travelling with Royal ... Read More
Where do I start? Over the years I have travelled on 13 cruise ships ranging from the very high end to the more budget and everything in between and the one thing that I can say for sure is that I will never be travelling with Royal Carribean again. Anyway to continue, suffice to say that I will not bore other readers reiterating what the previous writers, Bron and John, have stated other than to say that I am in firm agreement with all their points but would like to add a few extras of my own. I found the Windjammer restaurant terribly overcrowded and the ultimate insult was when an announcement came over the loud speaker to virtually tell people to vacate their tables as soon as they have finished - the quality of the food and the manner to which guests were treated was more akin to a shopping centre food hall than a cruise holiday which was marketed as a 'holiday of a life-time'. The coffee shop on level five was far too small for 3000 people to have coffees throughout the day and the staff working there were in the main extremely rude and could well do with a course in customer relations. My final point would be that communication with guests was virtually non existent when it came to disembarkation routines in each port of call. This resulted in mass confusion amongst passengers with queues stretching up stairwells and snaking in and around the casino. NEVER AGAIN! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
we were told we had accommodation in Hong Kong which happened to be new years eve which never happened and were lucky to have any accommodation at all. even though we had an email saying we had they would not cover our accommodation. So we ... Read More
we were told we had accommodation in Hong Kong which happened to be new years eve which never happened and were lucky to have any accommodation at all. even though we had an email saying we had they would not cover our accommodation. So we cannot trust what they say. One may have enjoyed the trip if they did not pick up the worst disease for 25 years one has ever had. The Ship is a floating incubator. Poor hygiene on the ship did not. we applied alcohol gel twice every time we ate and still got sick. I was off work for 3 weeks after the cruise thanks very much. The staff were very nice especially in the dinning room. The most enjoyable thing I did on board was the watercolor classes but once I got ill I could not get out of bed to do anything for 3 days. I agree it is the smoothest ship on the ocean but the ship is aging and is looking tired. Entertainment was generally good with some exceptional entertainers and some ok ones. Our second and last trip on this vessel. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We embarked in Hong Kong for the leg to Australia. Our first problem was our cabin which had creaky floors before we even set sail so we asked to be changed. We took the third cabin on offer. We had inadvertently booked a sheltered ... Read More
We embarked in Hong Kong for the leg to Australia. Our first problem was our cabin which had creaky floors before we even set sail so we asked to be changed. We took the third cabin on offer. We had inadvertently booked a sheltered balcony. What a mistake.... no view when sitting down and furnished with two rusty and chipped chairs and a tiny rusty table. Dining. We did find the Britannia dining room very nice. We found the food to be very varied and well cooked and we were lucky to have interesting and friendly dining companions. So no complaints there. BUT, the Kings Court was another matter. Shabby furniture, chipped tables and stained chairs and a poor selection of food compared to other ships, notably the Oceania cruise line. We mostly had salads in this area as the hot food looked uninviting. The Queens room for tea was lovely, with delicious food. However what completely ruined the cruise for us was that my husband became extremely ill a few days out, with the most horrendous cough and muscle weakness. He had to attend the surgery along with many other fellow sufferers. He was laid up in bed for about 4 days and was unwell for at least 8. Many other passengers were also seriously ill. I have never seen him so unwell in all our married life. People were allowed all around the ship and restaurants with their terrible coughs, spreading the virus everywhere. Ship's facilities. Promenade deck. Dirty and stained chair covers. No towels provided for them unless you walked all the way to the pool area to collect them yourself. Boardwalk cafe. Appalling. Looked like a roadside van serving hamburgers. NOT good enough for a line considering itself to be Premier. Very little shade in the back deck pool areas and what there was, was taken up by smokers. Top deck, a totally wasted area. Entertainment. Was good on the whole. Good shows by the show dancers and singers and some very good guests. Planetarium. Very interesting Lectures. Some good, some less so. Excursions,. We only went on two as my husband to ill to go on any more. They were very interesting. We had to miss the Great Barrier Reef. What a disappointment. Service. Good service by room steward, and bar staff and we had very good dining room waiters. The nurse that had to attend my husband in the middle of the night was excellent. As this was part of the world cruise, we found passengers embarking and disembarking at every port of call making the atmosphere of a hop-on hop-off ship. Luggage left around in the corridors at all times. Stewards cleaning materials and buckets were in evidence all day long. To sum up, the QM2 is in need of a complete overhaul, particularly the cabins, Kings Court area and the deck areas. We would not travel on her again, due to the unfortunate experience we had with illness. I have reported in length to the powers that be and have been given numerous apologies, but no real explanations and suggestions on how they could improve their hygiene programme. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We had planned our trip on the Queen Mary 2 well in advance due to recommendations from our travel agent about needing to secure cabins due to popularity of ship (we had a group of 8 friends travelling together) and we had thought that ... Read More
We had planned our trip on the Queen Mary 2 well in advance due to recommendations from our travel agent about needing to secure cabins due to popularity of ship (we had a group of 8 friends travelling together) and we had thought that this cruise would be one of the best, having cruised many times before we just wanted to experience the excitement of the Queen Mary 2. We all paid for up-grades to Princess Grill Suites and thank goodness we did this as our suites turned out to be the best thing about our journey with Cunard. Pity we cannot say good things about the arrogant attitude of some Cunard staff - possibly this was due nationalities who are not comfortable with being in the 'service' industry and believe they are superior to the guests. We can speak highly of the wait staff in the Princess Grill and Todd English restaurants and our Suite Steward but that is as far as it goes. We were disappointed with the selection of food, all very bland and not a lot of variety- even by going to Todd English a-la-cart and paying a nominal fee the food selection was very much the same with no variation to the menu. The buffet(casual dining) was best left alone, however we did eat lunch there a couple of times when were were desperate to find something to possibly give some variety. Outdoor dining....they called it the Boardwalk Cafe...think it was an after thought in the ship's fit out - possibly was open 3 or 4 times in our cruise duration and was a farce as far as outdoor dining. Entertainment was sub standard, unless you wanted to do ball room dancing most nights - the best night being a '50's and 60's dance night - could hardly get a spot on the dance floor which should go to show Cunard that this type of entertainment/dancing is what most of the quests were looking for along with some lively music. On the positive side for the ship, it looks great from the shore and one would certainly feel safe in wild seas..such a pity that it was too big to dock at Hong Kong/Kowloon and passengers had to go through the complications of getting to the ship via taxi or train to Asia World Expo Centre then to back track via coach to the ship docked at a container wharf - then to shift the ship that night to Junk Bay so we endured another long tender trip to Hong Kong Island if one wished to go ashore the next day. Overall....Been there....Done that......Don't go back. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
This was our first cruise with Cunard and it was with high expectations we boarded the ship in Hong Kong after spending an enjoyable, somewhat frenetic week in Honkers during Chinese New Year. EMBARKATION A very convoluted process ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Cunard and it was with high expectations we boarded the ship in Hong Kong after spending an enjoyable, somewhat frenetic week in Honkers during Chinese New Year. EMBARKATION A very convoluted process which I can only assume was necessary due to the large number of people (close to 2000 I understand) who boarded in Hong Kong. We were processed at the airport which s quite a trip from the city and then taken on a half hour coach ride to embarkation. Problem was there was little of no communication during the process. In fairness I should add that disembarkation was the opposite. Very smoothly done and well organised. ACCOMMODATION We were on deck 5 cabin 5181 which has obstructed view due to the balcony being enclosed up to about a metre - i.e. when sitting you could not see outside the ship. Room was your stock standard balcony view stateroom with nothing that would really set it apart from other ships. Plenty of hanging space and storage. The bathroom was slightly larger than we have experienced and it was refreshing that the shower stall itself had more space than those to which we have been accustomed. We did find out during the cruise we may have been able to upgrade for a fee and it was disappointing this had not been offered. FOOD We have been on about 12 cruises and the food on the Queen Mary was the best we have experienced. From full cooked breakfasts in our stateroom to five star quality food in the Britannia Restaurant and the Todd English speciality restaurant we could not fault the food. In fact this was the first time we have been on a cruise that we did not take a meal in the food court because we did not want to forgo the opportunity to have a quality meal with outstanding service. As an example of the food quality, on previous cruises we have steered clear of food such steaks and other like meat dishes because they can be very tricky to prepare. However on the Queen Mary no such problems. Special mention must be made of the beef wellington on day 16 of the cruise which was best I have ever eaten. In general terms the food was varied, servings generous (and you could always have more by request)and you could (as we did) design your own side dishes to have with main courses. One of the highlights for us was the afternoon tea which we took in the Queens Room and I would thoroughly recommend this to future QM2 cruisers. SERVICE As on all previous cruises service was outstanding. I must make particular note of our sommelier Andreas, waiter Baiba and our assistant waiter, Krishna. Their service was seamless, friendly, never obtrusive and very, very efficient. All three I would suggest have great futures in the hospitality industry. Our cabin attendant, Argie, was very attentive and accommodating, nothing was too much trouble. The high level of service throughout the ship, which, like the food, was the best we have experienced, made this a most pleasurable cruise. ENTERTAINMENT If there was a weak spot on the cruise it was entertainment which I could only describe as average. Only a few were of a standard you would expect on such a prestigious ship. After a few disappointments we didn't venture back. SHORE TOURS We only took one shore tour and it was well organised and good value for money. Our tour guide through Shanghai spoke excellent English, was knowledgeable and very experienced. OTHER PASSENGERS Generally in the older bracket. The ship is not really suited to children and teenagers and below thirties would probably find it difficult to keep themselves occupied on a long cruise. THE SHIP The star of the cruise is the ship. It is breathtaking with huge indoor spaces and never feels crowded. All facilities are impeccably maintained and with 2500 passengers on a 150,000 tonne ship there is plenty of space. The theatres are outstanding and the best afloat we have experienced. As a transatlantic liner outdoor areas such as pools are limited but this is more than compensated by the huge interior rooms, bars and other facilities. The library is a joy and a great place to relax and take in the view from the front of the ship. The casino was great fun and a hive of activity, often to the very small hours. Wide open decks complete the picture for this very impressive, well designed ship. SUMMARY Very enjoyable and would recommend. We will take another cruise on this ship when the opportunity arises. Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
OK, first off the good news: Arcadia is a great ship, the crew is excellent, the food is really good, the spa is brilliant, knowledgeable speakers on Asian art & astronomy etc, pretty good comedians/magicians, mediocre dance groups ... Read More
OK, first off the good news: Arcadia is a great ship, the crew is excellent, the food is really good, the spa is brilliant, knowledgeable speakers on Asian art & astronomy etc, pretty good comedians/magicians, mediocre dance groups which seemed to rely on decibels only, destinations were OK but shore excursions were patchy. The major negative is that you could be on a floating nursing home what with Zimmer frames & even self propelled buggies. Furthermore the North of Watford Gap accents seemed to be predominant & started to grate, where do they get the money from? Fortunately our table of 6 included some exiles from London to Norwich & a sprightly couple, mentally at least, from QLD. The major issue was that the combination of South & North hemisphere populous getting together in Hong Kong before the voyage guaranteed a "Contagion" situation & 99% of passengers had no clue about contagious diseases even though there were anti bacterial hand solutions in evidence wherever you went on board. The problem was that most people were totally ignorant regarding methods of contagion, if only they had run that film every day ! Embarcation in HKG was reasonably painless but disembarkation was a total mess in Brisbane,an obvious example of the left not knowing what the right was doing. It meant a total crush to find baggage & ZERO organisation, whoever was responsible for this should be fired, how to ruin a vacation! Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
Taking this cruise was a big mistake as in February both China & Japan are very cold at this time of the year, also there were 6 continuous sea days from Japan to the next port of call and warmer climate. The ship itself is beautiful, ... Read More
Taking this cruise was a big mistake as in February both China & Japan are very cold at this time of the year, also there were 6 continuous sea days from Japan to the next port of call and warmer climate. The ship itself is beautiful, including the balcony cabin, but there is little else to commend. Lots of empty bars, containing bored waiters, and a few sleeping passengers. It was nice to drink some English beers once again instead of the ozzie stuff. Most of the ports of call were a waste of time. Apart from Hong Kong & the 2 Japanese ports which were well located, the remaining ports were in the middle of nowhere and involved long ques for long bus rides to out of the way retail outlets. 3 hours each to Beijing, 1 hour each way to Shanghai. The Shanghai trip dropped us in a side street outside one retail outlet. On the return journey, we saw from the bus windows, what a beautiful city we had missed. The chargeable trips were expensive and badly organised. 10 or more coaches simultaneously at the same point of interest resulted in chaos and long ques yet again. Second sitting dining is only for insomniacs. 8.30pm dinner means first course around 9pm; so we did not frequent this very often. The food was reasonable except for the under cooked vegetables, but this is a feature of cruise dining it would seem. What you expected on your plate was not always what you got. Food in "The Belvedere" self serve restaurant was just disgusting. Same old stuff every day, mostly dubious curry. Nothing fresh, everything over stewed, green potatoes, black bananas, stale ex-frozen bread, and very surly staff. On several days we failed to have an evening meal. Those who cruise will be aware of "THE SHIPS COUGH". On this cruise was of epidemic proportions. This trip was a sector of a world cruise and many people on board had spent a fortune to go "all the way round" on the trip of a lifetime in relative luxury. Many were angry and disappointed and one can hardly blame them. P & O (uk) should be ashamed. The standards have plumbeted, the little things and courtesy's of the past have gone. The best event of our trip was disembarking in Sydney and we felt sorry for those who remained on board with another 50+ days to endure. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
This review is a bit late but as I am recovering from surgery so I thought I would do some cruise reviews. Hong Kong February 13 2010 My wife and I had joined up with my sister and brother in law in Hong Kong and we made our way to the ... Read More
This review is a bit late but as I am recovering from surgery so I thought I would do some cruise reviews. Hong Kong February 13 2010 My wife and I had joined up with my sister and brother in law in Hong Kong and we made our way to the hotel where the coaches pick up and transfer you to the ship, which was berthed someplace deep in the harbour. Right from the start I was feeling pretty special, tea, coffee and pastries served while waiting for our coach, then transferred to the ship for embarkation and room allocation. I can recall the high fives and champagne when we reached our state room 8.088, wow this is living. My brother in-law and I explored the ship from stern to bow, pretty impressive; we watched the sail away band play in the near icy cold weather, and the farewell tribute on the dock and as the QM 2 made her way out of Hong Kong I feeling pretty good. Our ports of call included Shanghai, Nagasaki, Tokyo, Guam, Rabul, Airlie Beach, Auckland, Bay Of Islands then Sydney. Food and Beverage I would give QM 2 about a 7/10. The staff in the dining room were good but not fantastic, the quality of the food and it’s presentation was somewhat disappointing at times, E.G it was hard to get the salmon cooked to your liking and apple pie served with no decoration was a bit average but the steak was always good and we did do the Todd English thing which was nice The formal nights got pretty repetitious and unfortunately the Kings Court was mediocre, but I do recall roast beef, gravy and a roll being one of my favourite snacks. Fish and chips in the pub were a good stand by. A couple of outstanding F&B memories were the afternoon teas in the ball room, and I think a luncheon as well also the pre-dinner drinks in the Commodore Club. Activities Plenty to do, from pub trivia which attracted a huge following, to the sports desk which was always well patronised and organised, anything from golf in the simulator to table tennis, basketball handball out on the deck. The crossing the line ceremony was a hoot, “Kiss the fish, kiss the fish”. The new staff members who hadn't crossed the line got some very special treatment. The activities staff were always polite and gave the impression they loved their jobs. The enrichment program was well attended; one of the speakers was a retired commander of a British Nuclear Submarine. The planetarium only had four displays. Accommodation Our state room was elegant and spacious although we had an obstructed view, but who cares, we were on the QM 2, and it was nice to just chill out on the balcony or just listen to the wave’s crash against the ship. The itinerary was good I enjoyed Nagasaki and Guam; we did one ship board excursion to Tokyo which included a lovely teppanyaki lunch with rice wine, (oh boy does that stuff knock you around.) We made our own arrangements in most the other ports Entertainment. This was mostly good, the shows were well performed and attended, the live music around the ship was professional and friendly, sitting around the piano during the pre-dinner drinks was always a treat and you were welcome to make requests. The shows leaving the ports were decent including a great Maori group in Auckland and a Japanese opera singer in Nagasaki, but somehow the cruise director booked a juggler unseen, poor fellow couldn't juggle. Did I mention the crossing the line party? Fantastic. The staff and ship In general from what I remember the staff presented well. The Captain presented a noon day announcement and at 3pm could be seen strolling the decks always willing to stop for a bit of a chat. The observation window behind the bridge is a great touch. There are so many places that you can just sit and watch, play cards and games, while to ship steams at 22 knots through moderate swells, it was pretty exciting watching the waves crash onto the windows as QM 2 dipped and soared through the ocean. Overall I had an enjoyable time, but the irritation of dress up every dinner was a pain in the backside, and the standard of the F&B could have been better. The highlights far outweighed the low points, I would sail with Cunard again as long as I didn't have to suit up every night   Read Less
Sail Date February 2010

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