44 Hong Kong Entertainment Cruise Reviews

Our holiday was for myself, my husband and my three sons (17, 22 and 25) in two parts booked through cruise.co.uk. The first part was a 10 day, all inclusive tour around China. Our second part of the holiday was a seven day cruise ... Read More
Our holiday was for myself, my husband and my three sons (17, 22 and 25) in two parts booked through cruise.co.uk. The first part was a 10 day, all inclusive tour around China. Our second part of the holiday was a seven day cruise aboard the Voyager of the Seas which we boarded at Hong Kong. I have cruised many times with Royal Caribbean and have, in fact, been on this actual ship. All previous cruises have been excellent and of an equally great standard that I have come to expect from Royal Caribbean. On this part of the holiday we were joined by my parents who had travelled separately to Hong Kong in order to enjoy the cruise with my family. At no time were we informed that this ship was about to go into dry dock for a major refurbishment and serious repairs STATE ROOMS When booking this holiday with cruise.co.uk, we explained that while we were happy for my three sons to share a room, they were adults and, putting it bluntly, quite large! Adam understood our requirements and sold us a balcony grade cabin for myself and my husband and a panoramic suite that could sleep 6 for my three sons to share. At the time of booking Adam explained that he could not get a room number for the panoramic suite although he guided us to the ‘deck plans’ and explained it would either be state room number 1804 or 1814 on deck 12, just a few doors down from our state room. He explained that although room 1814 was officially a disabled cabin, it had much larger floor space so would accommodate my three sons. On our invoice, we were never provided with a room number for this room. We paid more for this room as it was so much larger. Upon arrival on the ship, my sons were allocated room 1852 which while panoramic, was not a suite that slept 6. The staff told me it could sleep 4 although we soon found out that with only two beds and one small sofa that could only be converted into a single bed, it only could sleep 3. The floor space was exactly the same size as our balcony grade cabin. The staff were very unhelpful explaining that there were no other rooms available as the ship was full to capacity. We later found out that there were actually 400 rooms unallocated on that ship that week. We believe we were miss sold this room under the pretence it was bigger than the balcony grade cabin and could sleep 6 people. We most definitely paid more money than our balcony grade cabin which was the same size. We expect to be reimbursed for this. LIFTS We were on the 12th deck so obviously lifts were a necessity. On day one, all of the panoramic central view lifts were suddenly covered in a green netting that stretched from the top deck to the bottom. We were informed that they were being repaired. We established, by talking to the engineers and taking photos and videos that these lifts were NOT under repair but were actually being ripped out in readiness for the ship to go into dry dock in a week’s time. Two of the other lifts didn’t work at all and one of those broke down completely within a couple of days. One lift wouldn’t go passed deck 10. Being on deck 12, I’m sure you can understand the inconvenience this caused not to mention the sight and noise of workmen carrying out a complete rip out right in the middle of your holiday FOOD - Windjammer There are many areas where food can be obtained and the Windjammer Restaurant is the self service restaurant on deck 11. The food looked plentiful and nicely presented however, it was nearly all cold and on occasions, undercooked. We were told that hot plates were no longer working and some of the ovens were soon to be replaced. This response did not help us in any way at all. My husband was continually frustrated to get a plate full of food, find a seat to sit and eat it, only to find it cold and disgusting. It was then that we noticed the lack of staff in the restaurant. Plates were not getting cleared away from tables, spillages were having warning signs placed over them but not getting cleared up and the water/tea station was continually unmanned. FOOD - Johnny Rockets We decided the only way to get a decent hot meal would be to pay the additional price in order to visit one of the 4 speciality restaurants on board. Unfortunately, this was also a disaster! We visited Johnny Rockets - a burger bar restaurant with a $10 surcharge. The place had few customers, the waitress spoke very little English and the chef was busy fussing over one beef burger when we walked in. We sat at the counter and tried to order - the waitress could not understand why we would want our fries WITH our burger - surely we would want them as a starter? We looked around and could see other guests munching on just chips and overheard them all complaining about when their burger was going to be served. This restaurant was advertised as an authentic, American burger joint yet the staff had absolutely no idea how burger and fries were meant to be served and consumed! We waited 25 minutes for the chef to cook the burger - we watched as he used his spatular to scoop up a raw chicken breast, slap it on the griddle next to our burger and then proceed to turn our burger with the same spatular. I don’t think any more needs to be said about Johnny Rockets other than it was a total let down. Again, staffing seemed to be the issue. FOOD - Sapphire Restaurant We had booked my time dining. This means that you can reserve a table the day before. This is a practice that I have often used and has always worked efficiently in the passed. On this cruise however, the queues of guests outside the restaurant all waiting to be taken to their pre-booked table was ridiculous!. You expect queues outside the other restaurants when there are allotted seated times - often a hundred or more guests would be waiting for the 6pm sitting and would then all be let in at once. But you do not expect this in the ‘my time’ dining room. Yet again, lack of staff was the issue. Once shown to our table we again experienced a lack of staff - no wine waiter or water waiter. I got up twice to get my own water. The one waiter we had was very over worked. When food arrived after a long wait it was often cold and inedible. We complained several times and eventually the restaurant manager, Ellen came to our table and listened carefully to our grievances. We told her we would be unable to risk eating in the restaurant again and would have to purchase the food package which enabled us to eat at the speciality restaurants at an additional surcharge. Ellen almost begged us to give her another chance to prove the restaurant was worth another visit so two days later we tried again. Firstly, the seven of us were showed to a table that could only sit five people comfortably yet they had squeezed seven place settings on. We complained and were moved to a table that could comfortably seat 12 guests although was only partially laid up for eight. Again, we had to serve ourselves water and again the wine waiter had to be called and called and when he finally arrived asked US to write what we wanted on his pad as he couldn’t understand English!!! Our meal was late and the starters were cold. We complained again but was told this time there was a severe shortage of staff and that everyone was doing their best. This was really not acceptable and made our complete dining experience on the ship appalling. FOOD - CHOPS GRILLE As the food and service was so appalling on the ship, we had no option other than to pay (at a considerable cost of £380 - invoice enclosed) for a ‘food package’. This entitled us to eat at the three main speciality restaurants over three nights. Unfortunately it appeared that most guests had the same idea so Chops restaurant was so busy we were only able to book the whole family in for one of the nights. We wanted to book for our last night but they had already filled their books by day two of the cruise!. Our experience in Chops was what we would expect from Royal Caribbean - food was beautiful, staff attentive and service fast. What a shame the rest of the ship couldn’t be like this and what a shame they were so booked up that we couldn’t enjoy good food on our last night FOOD - IZUMI Another of the three specialist restaurants was Izumi, a Japanese restaurant. Food here was very good - we noticed most of the staff from the Captain’s Bridge were in there. Unfortunately service was appalling. It took ages to get a drink and even longer to get the food. We wouldn’t have eaten in there at all had we been able to get a table at Chops FOOD - GIOVANNI’S TABLE The last on the list of the three specialist restaurants. Menu seemed limited and again service was far too slow. Our booking was for 8.30pm but we were left standing for 15minutes while the maitre d took someone’s order. Again, short staffed. STAFFING After realising that most problems encountered on our ship were due to staffing, we decided to complain at the main desk. Queues here were always long but after a 30 minute wait we were finally seen. It was established that the ship was seriously understaffed due to another cruise liner enlisting the more experienced staff in order to ensure their maiden voyage did not receive any criticism! We were assured that the staffon board were qualified although some were new to their positions. When we started speaking to staff, it came to light that a large proportion of staff had originally been ‘cleaning staff’ who had been bumped up recently to fill in for the short fall in serving staff. This would account for the amount of staff unable to communicate with us due to their lack of English. It would also account for the poor service being received in every area of the ship. In the spa area there was only one hairdresser working and he informed us that he had originally been contracted to work until December but had only recently been told that the ship was going into dry dock so would be leaving his position then. He said that the other hairdressers and spa consultants (there was only one who could give pedicures) had all left the ship back in Hong Kong SHORE EXCURSIONS One of the most important aspects of a cruise is the shore excursions. These excursions are advertised a few weeks prior to the cruise departing via an online brochure. The information available is fairly minimal. It should be noted that most excursions were marked as ‘booked’ before we even boarded the ship. It was established, once on board, that this wasn’t the case but unfortunately led to unreasonably long queues of guests trying to book tours at the tour desk. As it was unclear which tours would be the best to choose, we decided to attend the one hour meeting held on the first day in the ship’s theatre. This meeting is normally held by the cruise director where they explain in detail the different tours available, show a video of passed tours and generally help sell the excursions. If you are unable to attend this meeting, there is always a video on loop on your state room television. Ufnfortuanlaty, our tv didn’t work at first and once it did there was absolutely no mention of any of the tours on any of the channels - we complained at guest services but they were unsure what we were talking about. I assumed that possibly cruising to Vietnam was quite a new thing for Royal Caribbean and they were yet to produce a promotional video (?). Whilst still unsure what tours to book, we decided to attend the meeting in the theatre - this was a total waste of time as the cruise director was not on board. As a replacement, we were presented on a stage with a gentleman that spoke very little English. He embarrassingly read through the information brochure we had been given and showed some photographs that were also already in the brochure. He could provide no additional information and was unable to sell any tours. We complained to guest services who explained that the main tour manager was not on board the ship. All of the tours were very expensive so we wanted to choose the right ones. There were five of us (seven including my parents) so this could prove to be a costly mistake. We queued at the ‘shore excursions desk’ but was greeted with another member of staff, who while friendly, really didn’t have a clue about the difference between the excursions. It was quite apparent that Royal Caribbean were also using the cheap option when it came to docking the ship and rather than dock at the more expensive ports, were docking at the cheaper more industrial sites. This in turn pushed the price of the tours up as buses had to be taken with at least a two hour journey to get to any destination. To add salt to the wound, on our final day at sea, once we had sailed well away from Vietnam, the tv in our state room started to show videos of the trips we could have gone on! It was such unnecessary incompetence and due totally to a lack of staff CLEANLINESS OF THE SHIP When a ship docks and guests disembark for a day’s tour, it is normal practise to clean the boat and carry out necessary repairs whilst all is fairly quiet on board. This did not happen once during our whole cruise. It became quite obvious that no one gave a damn about the condition the boat was in or the cleanliness of the boat. Windows were left filthy and rust was evident everywhere. The ceilings in the main dining room were damp and stained and gave a general impression of a very unhygienic area to eat. Plates, cups and old food was constantly being left lying around and tables were rarely wiped. As well as the lifts being out of action there was also a problem with the air conditioning and constantly we would be tripping over portable air conditioning units placed around the ship. The outside of the ship was a total mess too and not once was the pully system lowered to clean the outside windows or ship. It was also very noticeable, as a previous guest with Royal Caribbean, that no effort was being made on the ship. No speciality events were on offer or any of the little extras that are normally available to guests. Small things like changing the ‘day of the week’ plate within the lifts was never done - each lift had a different day in it! It was made so very apparent that all the staff just couldn’t wait to get off the ship as they were feeling very overworked and harassed. We frequently heard guests being rude to bar staff simply out of frustration at not getting served. We had purchased the drinks package at a total cost of £1200 but it was useless trying to get a drink within half an hour. Where a bar would normally have at least four or five working, there would be only one. All the above is understandable for a ship about to go into dry dock but totally unacceptable to guests on board who have paid full price and expect the best attention, top quality food and comfortable and beautiful surroundings. What was most certainly not expected nor acceptable was shabby, poorly maintained surroundings, substandard food and poorly trained, inattentive staff. I ensured that I followed the complaints procedure and at every chance made my grievances known. A member of Royal Caribbean staff, on my very last day of cruising, offered to send me and my family a voucher off a future cruise. This offer was declined as I felt it was insufficient compensation. Regardless, the vouchers have been sent through to my email address and I, in turn, have returned the email rejecting these vouchers. I find the offer of the vouchers particularly insulting as one of them was for £1. I believe I did not receive the holiday I paid for so I have made an official complaint. I am seeking full compensation for loss of enjoyment, inconvenience, disappointment, loss of value and out of pocket expenses. I included photographic and video evidence in support of my claim and also some of the receipts for out of pocket expenses. I am hoping they respond within 7 days....we shall see Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary and our last experience with Celebrity. Also the ship had just had a refurbishment (Revolutionised) To be frank we found the ship along with its entertainment rather bland bordering on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary and our last experience with Celebrity. Also the ship had just had a refurbishment (Revolutionised) To be frank we found the ship along with its entertainment rather bland bordering on dull. The refurbishment of the cabins were welcoming, better showers and use of space in the cabin,new flat screen tvs (although poor selection of material, also in the worst resolution i have experienced on a cruise ship,only the ships own hd cameras selling all of their products was properly watchable hmm.) The cabins were kit out in beige and autumn colours,which were fine, unfortunately the whole ship followed this trend (The exception being Al Bacio which is unchanged) which only added to the blandness. I know entertainment can be subjective but in my humble opinion cruise lines have a duty to provide modern and interesting acts not just churning out the same or tired old acts,speakers etc.Celebrity are well behind in this and need to freshen up their talent spotters. Food in the M.D.R. was poor,the menu names sounded good but when the food was served it was not the best presented or tasty, also on the warm side instead of hot.(one stringy steak dinner was served with four (yes 4) chips (french fries for our American cousins). The ocean view provided a better selection, tastier and of course a faster service. We had drink packages (I upgraded to top shelf spirits as i enjoy a makers mark bourbon) After 3-4 days (on a fourteen night cruise) the selection of cider was down to strongbow which is the cheapest, also you had to search the ship for a can of boddingtons ale. Also the pour of drinks with mixers is dreadful you have to tell virtually every bar person how to mix a drink, otherwise your glass would be full to the brim with ice an indiscriminate amount of spirit would be sloshed in and then a mixer (coke,tonic etc) from an open can or bottle would be added, this would normally would be flat from sitting for a long period.Please celebrity invest in mixer machines that keeps your drink lively and train every bar person to pour a 25 ml shot in a single, it is not rocket science. The ship in general is clean and tidy but it is boring and needs a new outlook if it is going to compete in this industry it is not enough to replace carpets and beds and chairs.It has stood still in a market that has moved forward in every aspect and i fear that there is not enough cruisers out there to sustain it. Jazz Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Went on 5 day cruise from HK to Philippines. Unfortunately, there were some changes to the itinerary prior to sailing ( Borocay closed by the government so went to Subic Bay instead, and Manila docking changed from 8am until 11am which ... Read More
Went on 5 day cruise from HK to Philippines. Unfortunately, there were some changes to the itinerary prior to sailing ( Borocay closed by the government so went to Subic Bay instead, and Manila docking changed from 8am until 11am which was a bit annoying ). Embarkation in HK brilliant - mainly because so few people get on here, so no waiting time and pretty much straight on the ship. The downside to that is that you have a 3-4 hour wait in Nansha both ways to pick up and drop off the majority of the passengers, given this is an Asian ship catering for the Chinese market. We had an inside cabin and it suited us fine. It was spacious enough for 2 single beds, has fridge and safe and TV and kettle and all the things that you require in a cabin, apart from a view. Beds comfortable with nice pillows. Turn down service most nights, but no towel animals. As a vegan I always struggle on cruises. We ate in the Lido each meal and found a wonderful food manager, Burhan, who went out of his way to make sure that we had a hot vegan meal each night. The salads were some of the best I have seen on a cruise, with plenty of variety and although I struggled with breakfast only being able to eat fruit, there was ample choice for those that eat a full diet. The main dining rooms unfortunately offered very little in the way of vegetarian or vegan options. We did not eat at any of the speciality restaurants. Entertainment was once again great, with 3 different shows on our cruise, which you have to book once on board ( no charge ). The only issue we repeatedly find on this cruise line is the passengers come in late, stand in the aisle, talk and then leave before the show ends or the house lights come on. Staff did a good job trying to control this but they are fighting a losing battle. Cruise staff brilliant. Godie and his team on this cruise were fabulous and provided a variety of activities, with lots of fun and smiles. They really know how to make you feel welcome and how to get people involve and enjoying themselves. We did a Behind the Scenes tour, which is run by the cruise staff, and found this well worth doing and very interesting. There was dancing and a real party atmosphere most nights. The ship is lovely, and having also travelled on Genting, I liked this ship more. There are less poker machines and while the casino does spill out a bit, its not as bad as on Genting. The place is spotlessly cleaned, with staff constantly cleaning. Only issue is smoking is allowed on board in the casino, and the smoke does waft through the casino and the area around it. After 30 minutes sitting at a poker machine, which is a non smoking area, my clothes smelt of smoke. Although this is a ship designed and staffed for the Chinese market, we may have stood out but never felt left out as Westerners and everything we went to had both a Chinese and an English speaking staff member. We found all the English speaking staff very friendly and found more of the Chinese speaking staff making an effort on this cruise compared to previous cruises. Overall, we had a fabulous time on this cruise, mainly thanks to the cruise staff and how exceptionally nice they are and the generally nice Asian hospitality. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising ... Read More
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising with Grills guests and drinking wine. With the distinct exception of Captain Wells who seems now to do the job of Cruise Director and Hotel Manager as well as his own. In 34 Nights I only saw 4 Shows and 2 bumpers involving the singers and dancers. The rest of the evenings were guest entertainers of which only 3 were of a standard expected of QM2 ,the rest were not even suitable for my local village hall. I suppose not surprising as the whole feel of the entertainment was that of a holiday park. Who is booking this holiday park drivvle. No entertainment outside the sailaway party was more of a wake than a party with the so called band finishing their set before the ship had gone anywhere. The cruise staff who were not even upto holiday park standard spent most of their time chatting to each other and photographers rather than guests.Once again no senior management to be seen ALL SAID THIS IS THE WORST CRUISE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON. This once great elegant liner is now Haven holidays at sea. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Chose this cruise for its itinerary as it was going to all the places we had not visited before. The new refurbished ship looks good and from recent reviews it was overdue for the upgrade. We had just come off the Celebrity Solstice and ... Read More
Chose this cruise for its itinerary as it was going to all the places we had not visited before. The new refurbished ship looks good and from recent reviews it was overdue for the upgrade. We had just come off the Celebrity Solstice and flew into Hong Kong to pick up this Ship. You can see the difference between a Solstice class and a Millenium class but all in all the Celebrity Millennium is very good. The Captain Alex is brilliant with his great sense of humour. The food in the restaurant was not as good as the Solstice even though the menus are identical. The upstairs Buffett is very good with a good variety of food available throughout the day. The highlight I think for us, was the Ships tour to the lantern festival in Taiwan this was a great experience and we were very fortunate to be there at that particular time to participate in this beautiful event. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Just did a 6 days Hong Kong Vietnam Cruise, 2 adults with kids 9 and 11. It was our second cruise. Very glad we choose the PALACE SUITE upgrade, and this particular World Dream cruise-ship. The room is fantastic with a huge bathroom, ... Read More
Just did a 6 days Hong Kong Vietnam Cruise, 2 adults with kids 9 and 11. It was our second cruise. Very glad we choose the PALACE SUITE upgrade, and this particular World Dream cruise-ship. The room is fantastic with a huge bathroom, much storage and an easy-to-fold down sleeper for the kids while the ship is less then a year old having cost almost a billion USD (build in Germany). The Palace VIP upgrade comes with many perks, e.g.: • Personal butler for your room available 6 x 15 hours. Can call her/him from anywhere on the ship to sort out small issues/make bookings/a lost bag/etc. • access to the VIP/PALACE area which covers about 1/3rd of the ship in the front. Economy class passengers do not have access to this area. The buffet restaurant (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper till 2am) is fantastic with great views/service/food. No need to queue here (while in economy obtaining a lobster requires strong elbows and immaculate timing Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted an Asian experience and it fitted the dates we could travel. Overall the ship is tired, but in saying that it is clean and well presented. Before we booked I read that the ship had had a make over ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted an Asian experience and it fitted the dates we could travel. Overall the ship is tired, but in saying that it is clean and well presented. Before we booked I read that the ship had had a make over recently. This is not true. Only one place had been done up and that is what used to be the Crows Nest Bar. It is now a coffee lounge and the EXC tours are run from there. According to the crew (spoke to many) it used to be the best place on the ship. Its now just a boring coffee lounge. The whole ship is badly designed from other cruise ships we have been on. There is lots of wasted space, and the ship is a rabbit warren. It took us until day three to work out our way to navigate around the ship (usually only takes a couple of hours). The Food was really really bad. The Lido was badly organized and unless you walked in there at opening, it really did just look like a pig trough. We had open seating in the dining room, but never got a chance to use it. The reason for this, is that every time we went down to the dining room, there was over an hour wait for a table, so in the end we just gave up and went back to the pig trough. We are fully aware that this was an Asian cruise, but we were not expecting the amount of Chinese that there were to be on board. The ships holds approx 1900 passengers. 1400 were Chinese. HAL is traditionally a cruise line that supports the western market so it was a shock. The cultural divide was immense. Even the crew really really struggled with it. The Chinese don't drink alcohol, so the bars were always empty. So there was no atmosphere at all. The Chinese didn't understand the traditional activities and entertainment on board provided by HAL, so didn't go or would walk out half way through a performance spoiling the show. Also the Chinese do not believe in queues or lining up. It was just barge on through. Probably why the Lido looked like a pig trough most the time. It was also a nightmare getting off the ship. Once again the Chinese would just barge on through. There is a huge cultural divide there. HAL has every right as a company to target the Chinese market, but they should not do it at the expense of their traditional market. The first 4 ports we went to were great, Japan and Taiwan, but Manila was a hell hole. I really cant understand why any cruise ship company would want to go there. On the tour we did, it took us 2 1/2 hours to travel 8 miles through the traffic. There was no toilet on the bus and my partner was seriously considering using a bottle at the back of the bus. The only major positive from the ship was our state room. Though dated, it was comfortable and had all the facilities we needed with our state room attendants being fantastic. Maybe on a different cruise it would have been better, but I do not think I will sail again on HAL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was along awaited trip to the far east and inparticular first time visits to Hong Kong and Singapore, where my parents lived for 20 years The ship moored ocernight in both Hong Kong and Singapore which along with a few days in ... Read More
This was along awaited trip to the far east and inparticular first time visits to Hong Kong and Singapore, where my parents lived for 20 years The ship moored ocernight in both Hong Kong and Singapore which along with a few days in hotels gave us time to explore Singapore is the most beatiful city and so accessible by road, river and train Whilst the Millenium is clearly in need of a refit, the crew make up for this with service in every are being top class My wife has food allergies and the restaurant staff were brilliant at getting this right each night, this coupled with a very attentive wine waiter and some great company each night made for memorable dining We haven't been on many cruises (5) but the entertainment on this ship was the best! A superb ships company gave stunning shows in the main theater and the cosmos lounge. The guest artist were all top qaulity and very varied West end eat your heart out, where else can you be served a gin and tonic in your seat. Our captain (nicolaos was the ,most visible w ehave seen attending losts of the vents and being available for chats / feedback and I'm sure that helped with the overall culture onboard The only negative is the need to charge so much for wifi on board, nearly $30 a day for access is ridiculous, todays traveller expects to be connected 24/7 - even on holiday Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
What’s Qnot on the Orion. Evertthing from a luxurious stateroom, great food, entertainment and activities. The staff go out of their way to insure every meal, activity and tour are top notch. The ship itself has every acommodation from ... Read More
What’s Qnot on the Orion. Evertthing from a luxurious stateroom, great food, entertainment and activities. The staff go out of their way to insure every meal, activity and tour are top notch. The ship itself has every acommodation from entertainment, shopping, exercise facilities, swimming, spa treatments, great food and spirits as well as a staff that finds no need to great. Your cabin is well equipped with fresh linens and towels on a daily basis. There is so much entertainment you will never be bored including lectures, movies, high tea, availability to an onboard library, a swimming pool, spa treatments, exercise equipment and a sun deck as well as a walking track. The staff will provide 24 hour room service. There are several specialty restaurants as well as the Buffett. The Buffett serves everything from soup To nuts. They even have gelatos. You’ll fell very comfortable with any of the Viking cruises. You will never e bored or hungry on Viking no matter what trip you take. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have cruised on the Millennium many times. Yes, it is now an older ship. The experience is great. The crew works hard to make sure everyone has a great vacation. Celebrity policies favor the passenger too. Want to have fun. The ... Read More
We have cruised on the Millennium many times. Yes, it is now an older ship. The experience is great. The crew works hard to make sure everyone has a great vacation. Celebrity policies favor the passenger too. Want to have fun. The Captain was always available to the passengers, walking around greeting passengers and inspecting the activities. The cruise director works tirelessly to make certain the entertainment and activities are top quality. The waiters always check to make certain you are happy with your meal and are ready to exchange it if you are not happy. I was always happy. The room steward tries to adjust his schedule, so your room is always fresh and clean. Crew members always greet you as you pass them. The senior officers were mingling with the passengers and subtly checking your experience. Security was top notch. The ship was clean and comfortable. Choose this ship for a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Ship is now rather tired. Compared to our previous Celebrity cruises the standards are slipping. Bar prices do not represent value for money $9 +18% percent for a warm beer. Wine $32 per bottle +18% at very minimum and the ... Read More
Ship is now rather tired. Compared to our previous Celebrity cruises the standards are slipping. Bar prices do not represent value for money $9 +18% percent for a warm beer. Wine $32 per bottle +18% at very minimum and the Sommeliers are largely clueless about the wines. Several times was given non branded spirits and charged for branded, $3 difference. Food in main restaurant was not hot due to cold plates which spoiled what is excellent food. Entertainment very good except for band called the Mersey Boys who were poor. Upselling of speciality dining at $50 per cover along with photos, shops and tours became very annoying. More time with staff spent getting basics right would be better. General impression is that the staff are poorly led and often 2 or 3 team leads can be seen congregating together. Staff are generally helpful in most cases but some are absolutely clueless. Ship berths, particularly Vietnam, long distances from cities and Bangkok - an container port berth ate Laem Chabang 3 hours from city. Changing the dress code to 'evening chic' is a disappointing move. This devalues the whole experience with men and ladies resorting to designer means and shirts. Many of those we asked felt very disappointed with the relaxed dress code. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I chose this cruise to join a family group. It was my 6th cruise but first on Silversea. It was the best cruise ever. The service,crew and entertainment was outstanding. I loved the smaller venue which allowed us to get to know the other ... Read More
I chose this cruise to join a family group. It was my 6th cruise but first on Silversea. It was the best cruise ever. The service,crew and entertainment was outstanding. I loved the smaller venue which allowed us to get to know the other guests and staff. This made the time on board very friendly and personable. I felt so welcomed and special from the time we boarded until we disembarked. The prepaid tours were excellent giving us an excellent insight at all sites. Sue the excursion director was helpful in last minute changes which allowed us to see the super bowl and not miss a tour that was top on our list. The cruise director Mr Moss went out of his way to advise us on the availability of watching the super bowl. His personal show was one of the best performances. However it should be presented on a night at sea so you can’t miss it. We came in at the end after attending a fabulous on ground evening excursion. Kennan our butler went above and beyond to serve us. I miss him so much!!!! The entertainment had something for everyone. There were activities I missed only because of enjoying the spa or pool or just laughing with new found friends. I can’t wait to sail again on Silversea!!,, Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We did choose this cruise for the ports of call selection (Hong Kong, Halong Bay, Da Nang - for Hue, Nha Trang, Phu My - for Saigon, Shianokville - for the beaches, Laem Chabang - for Bankok, Ko Samui - for temples and the beaches and ... Read More
We did choose this cruise for the ports of call selection (Hong Kong, Halong Bay, Da Nang - for Hue, Nha Trang, Phu My - for Saigon, Shianokville - for the beaches, Laem Chabang - for Bankok, Ko Samui - for temples and the beaches and Singapore. Overall, not too many days "at the sea" and nice ports of call selections. Good start and end ports (where you can come in earlier or stay more at the end - like three days for each) to you can better see and experience both Hong Kong and Singapore. The ship is not in a good shape anymore. The food is about average (the same food choice over and over again, day after day). The Lido on this ship closes at 8 pm (not at 9 pm as on other Holland America ships). The late dining takes way too long (one hour is the minimum - going up to 1.5 or 2 hrs) as they did cut on cooks and waiters as well - so be prepared to wait for your food if you want each night dining experience. We skipped the dining experience for the last couple of days as it was too long for getting the food. As usual, shore excursions as overpriced, but if you do your homework in advance - you can get at least 1/2 price if not even better. These are interesting ports of call - so the cruise is worth although it has all these issues (mentioned above). The late night entertainment was sub par (only 3 good shows in 14 days). Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The Good: Best food I have ever had on a cruise. The cafe buffet was always excellent, wide range of foods and flavors. I dont normally go for the specialty dining, however we did try the Quisine restaurant and where blown away by the ... Read More
The Good: Best food I have ever had on a cruise. The cafe buffet was always excellent, wide range of foods and flavors. I dont normally go for the specialty dining, however we did try the Quisine restaurant and where blown away by the food. Simply A class. We had a porthole room on the port side. Room was large with good storage, well maintained and very well cleaned by the room service team. We had a second room for the kdis. Our eldest loved the X club and made a bunch of good friends there, our youngest, (11) was one year to young for X club and was in the younger kids version. He didnt really like it as much, but I think just wanted to be in the "cool" elder kids room. My only complaint on the trip was the port in Vientnam which was an industrial port two hours away from Danang. Simply put it was to far away to do port tours, and no local attractions. Any of the port tours would have meant a two hour each way trip, to far, to long, to boring. You will also get a lot of pressure to buy the drinks packages, unless you are a really heavy drinker they are just not worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
After reading so many negative reviews about the Tired looking Millenium we did not have high expectations boarding. However embarkation was swift and we were immediatly invited to have lunch in the dining room waiting for luggage and room ... Read More
After reading so many negative reviews about the Tired looking Millenium we did not have high expectations boarding. However embarkation was swift and we were immediatly invited to have lunch in the dining room waiting for luggage and room to be ready. Yes the ship does need upgrading however the food, staff and layout of the ship far exceeded our expectations. We did not run into 1 bad experience and we would say that the entertainment of this 14 day adventure was consistently top notch with standing ovations more that once.Our dining room wait staff Gayhnor, Bundhoo and Menhir were the best and made every night special. Dee Dee in the Rendevous-vous lounge was amazing creating special drinks based on your liquor preference. The on board music was diverse and greatly enjoyed. This was a great way to see Asia and ports of call were diverse and interesting although a bit far from the sites but we were prepared for this. The only negative was the # of people coughing onboard which could be from the pollution in the area and/ air quality system on ship. Overall a great adventure and would do it all over again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our second cruise with Celebrity (the first was New Zealand and Australia). The idea of this cruise was introduce wife and kids (Girl 13, Boy 15) to Asia while retaining the comfort of the cruise ship. Object was achieved and ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Celebrity (the first was New Zealand and Australia). The idea of this cruise was introduce wife and kids (Girl 13, Boy 15) to Asia while retaining the comfort of the cruise ship. Object was achieved and some lessons learnt along the way. We had connecting rooms but could have had a family room without much impact. Recommendations: 1. If you can get on-board internet as part of the booking bundle do it for the kids only. The kids used it a lot. It wasn't always the best but kept them connected. Our only gave them one device at a time but that was enough and gave us a way to look things up when needed. 2. Only do ship planned trips if you don't have a lot of time in port. We only did one on a day which were departing at 5pm. Doing a ship tour means sharing the experience with a lot of people. That "experience" can also mean that you are sharing a single toilet with two bus loads of passengers. This slows the process down and usually means that not all of the planned activities are completed. 3. Where you can, do research and plan your own on-shore excursions. When in doubt just organise a car for the day. Very reasonable in Thailand and Vietnam. In Hong Kong and Singapore, the taxi network works well and they both have an amazing public transport system. Just pick a couple of sights that you want to see and lock in an agenda that works for your family. We did one excursion in Thailand with a couple from Canada which meant there was six of us in a mini bus with your own driver. Worked great. The trick is to book in a price before getting port, which is why the kids wifi helped so much. 4. Where you can book something before you travel independently. We booked an excursion from this company below and it was our highlight in Vietnam. http://besttoursinvungtau.weebly.com 5. Encourage the kids to get involved in the kids club. On Celebrity there aren't as many kids but that actually works well as they form a small but tight group. Usually we didn't see the kids for lunch and about 50% of dinners. The kids love the buffet whist we enjoyed the Main Restaurant. 6. Local currency. Do change currency for any port that you are visiting. Don't expect that the local ATMs will work as more often than not, they don't. At the end of the trip and if you are not planning on returning, tip the cruise staff in the left over currency. Hope that helps. Enjoy Asia, my family did. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Our 15 days cruise started in Hong Kong; we made a tour along Vietnam (3 ports) and around Taiwan (3 ports) and then back to Hong Kong. Celebrity Millenium is a very nice ship (°2002), but it's well maintained, and very stable. ... Read More
Our 15 days cruise started in Hong Kong; we made a tour along Vietnam (3 ports) and around Taiwan (3 ports) and then back to Hong Kong. Celebrity Millenium is a very nice ship (°2002), but it's well maintained, and very stable. Even in heavier weather with 5m waves, the ship cuts clean through the waves. Oceanview cabins are agreable. Our room attendant gave a very nice service. The captain showed up regularly, gave some presentations in the theatre, and was very accessible and sympathetic. But for people like us, who like French cuisine, the food was a disaster. For other people it was maybe mediocre (never 'delicious', sometimes looking good, mostly tasting bad, chewy steaks, greenish scrambled eggs, ...). Often it sounded right on the menu card, but sometimes it turned out to be something entirely different; they used a nice french name, and then they felt free to create a dish that does not even smell right. For example, when words like 'bisque' are used, you cannot throw in some fish in the soup, it should be prepared the french way. We wanted to 'celebrate' the new years evening countdown to 2018. What did we expect? - A deliceous dinner in the Metropolitan Restaurant - A big Sylvester Show in the Theatre - A nice dance evening in the Rendez-Vous lounge What did we get? - The delicious dinner was a disaster (several people had to send their plates back because of almost uneatable, like the lobster bisque, the salmon mousse and the orange duck). - There was no big New-Year's Show, instead the show was a female singer (although very good) but nothing like the big broadway shows that they dis on some other days (with the Celebrity Singers & Dancers). Bad timing regarding what show to bring when. - Later, while we were dancing in the Rendez-Vous lounge, suddenly the band stopped playing from 11:50 until 12:05, so we missed the whole countdown experience, the kissing and the wishing. Explanation was that the 'official' countdown was at the foyer, and that all the rest was secondary (and therefore aborted). At 12:30 a DJ would then continue in the ugly Cosmos lounge on deck 11. Thanks, but no thanks. Overall the staff was very friendly, and they offered a very nice service. Only the Cruise Director (responsible for entertainment) had no feeling for how and what to organise on which day: Chrismas went by unnoticed. On some days he organised 'silent dancing' where people were 'dancing' with headphones (choice of 3 channels), unable to communicate to each other while doing so, and not on a dance floor but on the carpet of the foyer. Celebrity maybe again, but surely not for Sylvester. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We took this cruise as we wanted to away for Christmas and New Year, cannot understand the bad reviews, must be very unhappy people and miserable in their lives. We had a great time and especially on Sea Day, I was running from one to ... Read More
We took this cruise as we wanted to away for Christmas and New Year, cannot understand the bad reviews, must be very unhappy people and miserable in their lives. We had a great time and especially on Sea Day, I was running from one to event to another. Ate most nights in the Main Dining, and sometimes for lunch and Breakfast rather than the buffet, you eat better and have less on your place rather than the buffet, plus better relaxed atmosphere, rather than searching for a table and the waiter to bring you your drinks. We did select dining and met amazing people every night. The shows were very good quality Uk West End or New York Broadway quality. Most of the shore excursions were good, perhaps I did not do enough research to the finer details, but they were as described, just I perhaps was not so interested, next time I will do my research. All in all we found the staff very good, our cabin boy was great and we have no complaints Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
My wife really enjoyed the shows performed by the Italian / western artists and paid extra to watch the late night show. My boy liked the play group. There were 136 children in the group and the staff appeared overwhelmed. All later ... Read More
My wife really enjoyed the shows performed by the Italian / western artists and paid extra to watch the late night show. My boy liked the play group. There were 136 children in the group and the staff appeared overwhelmed. All later activities required the participation of a parent. The cruise should have allocated more staff to take care of the children so the parents could go and play, even for an hour. I liked the ship tour. The cruise app worked very well on my Android phone. I could use the app to call the phone of my room. But it didn't work on my wife's iPhone. The cruise appeared to provide free data occasionally. I did subscribe to the cruise data plan, however. The sea between Naha and Taiwan was very rough and once the lift I rode stopped abruptly for a few seconds because the ship tilted too much. Luckily the ship crossed the sea at night but I still felt the ship went up and down 10 feet when lying on my bed for a few hours. On the first day in Naha we disembarked at 12 noon. We went to Shuri Castle, Urasoe Dai Park, and Kokusai Doori. I wanted to go to Hacksaw Ridge, which is 30 mins hike from the Urasoe Dai Park, but we spent too much time in the playground and it was getting dark so we skipped the Ridge. On the second day we disembarked at 10am and went to Omoromachi. We briefly visited Okinawa Prefectural Museum, and went to the supermarket to purchase some food and cookies. The ship would leave at 12:30 noon so we were in a hurry. The plug of the bathroom sink stuck. I called the operator at 2am and a repairman arrived in 10 minutes to fix it We were fortunate to have this Italian cruise experience. I have heard the Fortuna is heading back to Europe in 2019. We live in Hong Kong and boarded the ship heading to Naha at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. The ship stopped at Naha for two days then sailed back to Hong Kong. We spent our 2017 Christmas Day on the ship. See my pictures. They worth thousands words I guess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Having only been on 1 cruise prior a short 3 day one, we chose this cruise purely for the ship. The location was then selected and as it had a number of stops to break up the trip and went for this one with stops in Vietnam and Thailand ... Read More
Having only been on 1 cruise prior a short 3 day one, we chose this cruise purely for the ship. The location was then selected and as it had a number of stops to break up the trip and went for this one with stops in Vietnam and Thailand before arriving in Singapore. We also had not visited HK before so that was an added bonus to fly in a few days prior to look around. Despite the stops, we could have done with more days at sea as there was so much to do on the ship. The ocean was flat all the way and was perfect. The weather had a few overcast days but only rained once or twice. We expected for the size of the ship it would be overcrowded and embarkation and disembarkation at the Ports and pre/post cruise would be a nightmaree but it was a painless experience. Some of the prior reviews rated this negatively and I guess they have put more focus on this as the wait times were minimal and we got on and off the boat easily. For the number of people (around 4300 guests) it did not feel crowded at all, there was always plenty of space. We had an interior stateroom with a virtual balcony (9185) and it was excellent. We have stayed in a balcony room before so wasn't sure what to expect but I was more than happy with the room. Friends stayed in a balcony room and the size and layout was exactly the same except for the balcony. The virtual screen provided a good look at what was going on outside the ship but we hardly noticed as we were never in our room. Once we left in the morning we didn't return until night before getting ready for dinner or to go out. We did the most of the activities on board, Eye in the Sky, I-Fly (sky diving), roller staking, bumper cars, rock climbing, basketball, ping pong etc. There was a lot to keep you occupied. All of which was great fun. I travelled with a group of 10 (5 couples, no children). There were not many young kids on board that we saw, and same for teenagers. However, there were specific kid and teenage activities arranged and the sporting area (ping pong, roller skating, basketball, volleyball, bumper cars, xbox lounges, foozball etc.) as well as the arcade would be awesome for them, it was pretty impressive. My teenage son was a bit envious he didn't come! We saw the Love Legs show (may have the name wrong) which was excellent. Great singers and performers. Entertainment was generally high quality. The ship has a huge lounge called the 270 which has screens that cover all windows. One of the shows Pixels that you had to book for showcased the facility with moving screens, light show etc. The show was a bit out there but it was good to see the full capability of the facility which is pretty amazing. The food was excellent in most of the facilities. Fine Dining was a bit disappointing and the standard was ok, but not great. We had better meals in the Windjammer (buffet) and ate there on most occasions. I think this was consistent with most travellers as we tried fine dining again on day 4 or so and there was hardly anyone there and they were so grateful we went back. Again, meal was ok and we didn't return again. The buffet at Windjammer was very good quality, could not fault it. So much variety and suffice to say we ate a lot! We also pre-booked Jamie Oliver and Chops Steakhouse both of which were very good as well. The food was unlimited and we paid around $35-40 pp pre-booked and it was well worth it. Plenty of other places to eat but we did not try them all. Also did room service breakfast before tours in Port and this was also good. A few in our group smoked and there was a good area on the pool deck with nice lounges and you could open the windows. A few commented this was a lot better than other cruises where you can be stuck in a tiny, crappy area. We booked our own tours rather than go with the boats which was perfect for a group. We used a Company called "Shore Excursions" in both Vietnam and Thailand. It was much better as we did not have to wait for other people and could adjust the itinerary on the day. The itineraries and tour guides were great and would highly recommend this as well. As you can see by my novel - we loved our time on Ovation!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This ship is in serious need of a refreshment. It is very tired and worn. The art work looks like something from a second hand shop and is drab and dull. The food was mediocre at best. The La Dame restaurant was a total waste. The ... Read More
This ship is in serious need of a refreshment. It is very tired and worn. The art work looks like something from a second hand shop and is drab and dull. The food was mediocre at best. The La Dame restaurant was a total waste. The tours on the two back to back cruises we took (Hong Kong to Singapore and Singapore to Sydney) were not well vetted and the itinerary on the second cruise was poorly chosen. No overnights in the major ports and stops at very small remote towns. We will not sail on Silver Sea again as most of the guests on our cruise that we socialized with. The Italian influence here is so out of touch with what people want. The formal nights inflicted on the guests is so ridiculous, only a few people wanted to dress in their kilts or high school dinner jackets. There should be an alternative besides dining in you room. People are on vacation so don't be so worried about shorts in common areas after 6 PM! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
My cousin, Alec Graham, had cruised several times with Silversea, and he asked us to accompany him and his wife on the cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore, which we did. It was a terrific experience, as my cousin and other friends of ... Read More
My cousin, Alec Graham, had cruised several times with Silversea, and he asked us to accompany him and his wife on the cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore, which we did. It was a terrific experience, as my cousin and other friends of ours predicted. The ship was perfect in comfort and seaworthiness, the cabin comfortable and lacking nothing at all, the steward well-trained and very affable, the food very good in all the restaurants. On the sailing and entertainment side, the crew was always accessible and helpful, the entertainment program top quality with crew members doing a super job singing and dancing, and outside talents first rate, and the theater is very good in layout and acoustics. Finally, the shore excursions support group was definitely up to the challenges they faced on a daily basis, transportation vehicles and Immigration paperwork were no problem, and the restaurants chosen were very good as well. We're already looking for another cruise for this year! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this for the destination ports. This was our first trip with Celebrity but not our first cruise. The logistical arrangements were virtually flawless. Flights, transfers, pre and post cruise hotels very good, shore excursions ... Read More
We chose this for the destination ports. This was our first trip with Celebrity but not our first cruise. The logistical arrangements were virtually flawless. Flights, transfers, pre and post cruise hotels very good, shore excursions mostly excellent, staff and officers on board very good and the entertainment was varied and impressive (mostly). The good;- . Cabin nice and roomy considering it was in the lower price range. The room steward, Lydia, was friendly and did a very good job. I heard some comment that the ship was "tired" but it looked ok to me. The facilities were good. We used the gym, the sports deck, the Cosmos Lounge (during the day), the Thalassotherapy area and the Ocean view Café for all meals. We did not use any of the other restaurants - and we didn't really use any bars as we didn't drink alcohol. The Captain was visible and kept us all informed regarding the weather and route. We had a typhoon on route, and the captain devised a revised schedule which put us a day behind but kept the ports of call intact - and at all times the decisions, and the reasons for them, were clearly explained and communicated (and seemed eminently logical and sensible). The evening entertainment in the celebrity theatre was first class (mostly - just one black spot - see below). The variety of the shows and performers was fantastic - and when artistes were seen off stage around the boat they were approachable and chatty. The food was good (just one bad point - see below) but we confirmed ourselves to the Ocean view café (due to my gluten issue - which I explain more below). The range of food on offer was good and varied and included some local themed meals. The shore excursions were good and I have no complaints about the variety of these or the assistance we received from time to time by the shore excursions team. One minor quibble - see below. The bad;- The entertainment was excellent throughout - we had singers, a trapeze act, a concert pianist, a Stevie Wonder tribute act, a modern violinist and an excellent illusionist. The resident troupe of singers and dancers were very strong and put on three great shows. The black spot was a truly awful "action comedian" called Steve Carte. he purported to be a juggler but dropped so much I would not have been much worse - and his humour was simply not funny and included jokes taken from episodes of Only Fools and Horses - so that must mean they are at least 20 years old. I did think it may be just lost in translation (we are English and American humour passes us by) but there was very little reaction from the audience so I think it must just have been a bad act. Food was generally good - however I am wheat intolerant so I stick to a gluten free diet. We had Celebrity Select anytime dining - but the range of suitable food on the menu in the Metropolitan Restaurant was so limited that I was finding I didn't fancy it - so we ate constantly in the Ocean view cafe. However it wasn't clear what was gluten free in there so for the first few days we were guessing and hoping for the best (and when we asked the catering staff didn't seem to have much idea). Then the dishes began to be labelled indicating which were gluten free, vegetarian and so on. I think perhaps someone may have complained? Anyway, once this had been labelled life became much easier and there was a good range of stuff available which I could eat - and it was good stuff. There was a "Gluten free" station - but that only ever had puddings - gluten free mains were dotted about with "normal" food - so it was a case of lapping to see what was there. I would have been easier for me had the gluten free fayre been clustered in one station - and may have reduced some of the crowding in the café (which became a bit tiresome at times as people milled and dithered about). The excursions were good and well organised. On occasion however the disembarkation for this (where we were all gathered in the celebrity theatre waiting to be called) was a little tiresome and on one occasion we waited for about an hour (although to be fair I cant really see how else this could be sensibly managed). The travel arrangements were good - however one minor gripe was at the very end of the holiday where we were booked into a hotel after disembarkation awaiting our transfer to the airport. the hotel room had to be vacated by 6pm, but the transfer was not scheduled until 8.15pm - so we had to hang around with cases in the lobby of the hotel for over two hours with suitcases. There were a lot of Brits booked on a 23.15pm flight - and the hotel lobby had only about 6 seats - so it was a long wait. There was an outbreak of disease on board and may went down with bad stomachs. There was cleaning and disinfecting on an industrial scale towards the end of the trip and everything became a bit sticky to the touch. We religiously washed our hands as recommended throughout - but we saw many who did not. We were both ill but managed our own illness responsibly with drugs we had brought with us. There was messaging in both English and Spanish regarding cleanliness - I would suggest that this should perhaps also be given in French - as we saw a number of French speakers not taking care of hygiene - although I am not suggesting they were the cause. On the French point, we had a number of excursions where French speakers were present - but the trips were in English. As a consequence the French tended to talk loudly over the guides having their own conversations between themselves - thus rather spoiling it for others (and partly as some of the guides English was a little difficult to tune into). I wonder if French based versions of some of the trips could be considered - or at least a disclaimer making it clear that French will not be catered for on the excursions? . Overall we enjoyed the trip and would certainly use Celebrity again (but we pick our trips based on ports of call rather than brand). Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was our first cruise and we are British (late 40's) I think we don't like to moan so much as others judging by some of the comments I read before we went. I can't fault this experience, after reading some of the ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we are British (late 40's) I think we don't like to moan so much as others judging by some of the comments I read before we went. I can't fault this experience, after reading some of the reviews I confess to be a bit worried but alas no need. Food - This ship caters for everyone and anyone no matter what you like, how much of it you like ad what dietary requirements your have. In the Restaurant you can have as many starters/mains as you like and we found the service amazing. We didn't have set times for dinner, just rocked up and got a seat either for two or as the cruise went on with new friends. You have to be a bit organised there is no point turning up at 8pm after show time. The Cafe on floor 10 has multiple culinary delights again to suit all palettes, it's mostly serve yourself but very good, with puddings galore if that's your thing. We used it mostly at lunch as it was close to the pool. (not as close as the burger stop!) Pizza's and other things go on till midnight. Food is endless. One thing you are surely to get is bigger! Drinks - We did the Classic package others upgraded but we found the Classic held it's own and if you fancy something more fancy you just pay the difference and it's all recorded on your account on the room TV. Staff were more than helpful and we got great service including Sun bed service a bit of a luxury. The Martini bar is a great pre and post dinner bar (you don't have to have martini's). The Cosmos good later for partying! Some people were moaning however if you are going to be rude and throw your toys out of the pram because you were next and have to wait a nano second to get another of the drinks you already have in front of you then serves you right. treat as you find is my motto. Entertainment - just too much to pack in as well as sun bathing and trips. The pool party and silent disco were two of our favourites. Cosmos is great once you have met some peeps. Trips - we did our own, much cheaper and usually a slightly better itinerary but if you are a worrier best book with the boat. Really liked Halong Bay as it was close to the Port - didn't like the Tender business as it took ages, with limited info being distributed. Between Halong Bay and the rest of the trips we had the added extra of a Typhoon so we were a day delayed - note get flexible bookings on your hotels if staying away overnight an expect to have to fret a bit - the Cruise ship did help those of us with Third party trips but it was hard unless you had internet which was expensive. Most of the Ports are a long way from the attractions and there isn't much going on at the Ports. So just be careful. We didn't of Hanoi as I didn't want to spend 6 hours on a bus. Vietnam was an experience - ticked it off the list won't go back. We went to Pattaya for the day (see Typhoon comment above we were going to stay overnight but Hotel wouldn't honour the change of date). I quite like Bangkok but we've been before. We went by pre arranged taxi to Pattaya onto the boat across to Koh Lann on the way back we went to Walking street. Neither were really our cup of tea but each to their own. Again nice to have a day off the boat but that's that one. Cabin - on 2nd floor with a window - expertly cleaned and homely. Not massive but did us proud for 2 weeks. Soap, shampoo and conditioner and skin cream (no shower gel) but it's all good stuff. Clothes - worried I hadn't packed right but Chic is really anything goes as long as you are tidy. Nice to have some dresser dresses (not ball gowns) or trousers but sun dresses worked. Boat - they were constantly painting and varnishing and when a stomach bug broke out (which is really passengers not washing their hands) the whole boat was on disinfectant frenzy they couldn't do enough. Loved the pool and all the outside facilities, towels and sun beds galore no reserving going on which was good after a hard evening partying. Gym was bigger than expected and the run/walk track was used quite a bit. Clientelle - Average age there were some youngster (20's) and a good range between 40 - 50. And some oldies. We got on with everyone but found the 40 - 60 year olds great fun and made some fantastic new friends. Do go on Cruise Critic to join groups etc. I did think an added extra would have been a notice board by reception as not many people paid for internet so once you are on the boat that's your contact gone. Or make sure you pre - arrange before you get on the boat. Think that's it. Loved it! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
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

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