138 Hong Kong Family Cruise Reviews

The one star goes to the staff - very pleasant , and always try to address all issues , another star does to the entertainers. Restaurants- we mostly dined in the buffet and main restaurant- food is like a 3 star hotel buffet. Is a ... Read More
The one star goes to the staff - very pleasant , and always try to address all issues , another star does to the entertainers. Restaurants- we mostly dined in the buffet and main restaurant- food is like a 3 star hotel buffet. Is a cruise to Vietnam and there is no Vietnamese food . Even fast food items like hamburgers and grilled Panini are Poorly made . We also tried the paid teppanyaki restaurant which is another mistake ! Quality of food is not up to standard . Gym and Pool- it is a big ship but the pool and gym are both small and congested . logistics - even with reservations the waiting time can be 20 minutes ; and tables were assigned after the staff checked us in Which takes extra time . We are also concerned about security , Sea passes were left outside the room instead of giving to us in person during check in. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Spent 2 days in Hong Kong at the Park hotel. Used the Big Bus to get around great value if you have not been to the area before. Getting onboard was easy no issues, very straight forward. Few things different seapass cards were are you ... Read More
Spent 2 days in Hong Kong at the Park hotel. Used the Big Bus to get around great value if you have not been to the area before. Getting onboard was easy no issues, very straight forward. Few things different seapass cards were are you room waiting for you. Seemed a little strange. Spectrum of the Seas not sure what I expected but did not seem as flash or exciting as other ships I have been on. Definitely has an Asian twist in the interior design. Lots of seating every where and no one trying to sell you packages as you board. I did not see a dining special on specialty restaurants which was a shame, I probably would have taken up that offer. The centrum was the smallest I have ever seen and the shops were spaced out all over the ship. We had a balcony room with large balcony it was better designed than most I have stayed in with 2 wardrobes and fridge and tea and coffee available in room. USB ports to charge phones and devices was a great addition. Was a little disappointed with main dining room options I would have expected the Asian food to be of better quality I was not a fan. But normal menu items were as good as always. Crew were fantastic we were travelling with family and young children and there were well taken care of. Kids club was a hit with the 6 years old and baby nursery was also great value though the ship did not have nappies for children under 2. Activities were good a good variety with the cruise director Fang also around and ready to stop for a chat. Trivia with a twist as presenter was Chinese and had problems pronouncing some English words which made these sessions more fun. Casino was a smoking venue this was not pleasant experience. Bionic bar, bumper cars. Archery and rock climbing were fun but I did miss putt putt. Okinawa was probably the worst place to get off with customs taking hours to get through the whole group. Causing tours to be rushed. Stop in Ilocos was not great as it was rendered so it took ages to get off and first in first served to get transport from the port. It was so hot and very poor where we stopped and really nothing to do. Subic bay on their other hand had plenty of cabs about 3200 pesos for 4 hours was good value driver would take you anywhere you wanted to go. Getting off at Hong kong was a breeze. No Line ups. Then we headed off to Singapore for a couple of rest days. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This review is only our opinion and in no way reflects the crew on the Spectrum of The Seas who were all fantastic and definitely had their work cut out. If you have ever been on a Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Oasis-class ship, I ... Read More
This review is only our opinion and in no way reflects the crew on the Spectrum of The Seas who were all fantastic and definitely had their work cut out. If you have ever been on a Royal Caribbean International (RCI) Oasis-class ship, I think you will be very disappointed with Spectrum of the Seas. We have been on many cruises and this was our third cruise with RCI so we thought we knew what to expect. We knew the cruise would have a lot of Asian passengers and we were actually looking forward to this new experience, what we didn’t expect was the cruise to be totally focused at the Asian and ‘Upper’ class market (my bad for not doing my research). Embarkation on RCI has always been busy but I found this occasion to be just organised chaos at its best to the point I was getting stressed out before even getting on the ship (first time I have ever felt like this). Once on the ship, we were informed our cabin wouldn’t be ready for another hour, unfortunately, we weren’t able to enjoy our drinks package until we received our key cards and we couldn’t get them until the room was ready. As we wandered around the ship, we soon realised that parts of the ship were only accessible to the ‘upper class’ passengers. This included the solarium which is usually an adult only area and where we would normally spend our time. This was also the case when we went to watch a show in the Two70 lounge, all the front lower seating areas were cordoned off and reserved for the ‘Upper class’ passengers. It reminded us of the Titanic which somebody else on these comments has also referred to. Mealtimes in the Windjammer restaurant was like feeding time at the zoo. If you were lucky enough to find a table you had to guard it with your life. The food choices were mainly Asian food with a very small poor selection of western food and regardless if you thought that you are at the front of the queue, you weren’t. We decided to use the Dining Room for the majority of our evening meals and booked tables for set times, unfortunately, these times often slipped resulting in queuing for around 30 minutes. Although this was very frustrating, we understood that these issues were caused by other passengers and was not down to the dining room staff. We were also shocked by the number of things that were not included within the cruise package such as activities and snacks. If we fancied a mid-afternoon cookie or piece of cake we had to pay for it or we could have had a free ice cream if we were able to find an open ice-cream machine. Unfortunately, we could not use the North Star when we planned to due to weather conditions and I was unable to have a go at the I Fly due to previously dislocating my shoulder. The bumper cars were only on set times resulting in large queues and we never even saw the laser quest which you also had to book for. Our biggest problem on this cruise was boredom and the obvious cruise ‘class’ discrimination, we know that there are ‘Upper class’ areas and advantages on the Oasis Class ships but they are not (or never used to be) shoved in your face. Another point is, beware that everything on board is charged in US Dollars. I clocked on to this quite early and stopped my AUS credit card as the exchange rates were ‘quite’ poor, luckily, I managed to use my TransferWise card instead. Disembarking the ship was another story. We managed to get straight off the ship but then ended up in a queue for about 1 ½ hours waiting to get out of the terminal. We thought this was due to Customs & Immigration but it appeared to be just a taxi/bus queue (we think). This was definitely the worst cruise we have been on which has resulted in us reconsidering our Caribbean cruise plans for next year. It was such a disappointment as we knew this was a new cruise ship and looked forward to the cruise so much. We could not fault the crew on the Spectrum Of The Seas who bent over backward to help and please the passengers. This is one area that we have never faulted RCI for. The ship is brand new and looks it, but sometimes it just felt like a cross channel ferry. Unfortunately, I think that once you have been on an RCI, Oasis-Class ship nothing will ever compare. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
i must admit that the Spectrum is a marvelous ship. Well designed and beautiful. However, the management is disappointing. I have tried to contact the Guest Relations team via the official website and email. Not a ripple of response ... Read More
i must admit that the Spectrum is a marvelous ship. Well designed and beautiful. However, the management is disappointing. I have tried to contact the Guest Relations team via the official website and email. Not a ripple of response in 2 months. Here is my email which will tell my frustrations with the Cruise Line. "I am astounded to notice that you charge my credit card in Hong Kong Dollar while I had explicitly chosen the opposite during my online check in procedures. The exchange rate of you is unfavorable and my bank charge me a handling fee for billing from overseas in HK dollar! Although the amount is not too big, but it appears to me that your cruise company pay not much attention in caring your customers preferences. In addition, I do like to complain a few issues. We enquired repeatedly about the dining time and we are told 2nd dining is 7:30 pm. After boarding, we find that it is 8 pm instead. Again, no big deal, but irritates your customers. Before we board, I find no way to inform the ship that it is my Wedding Anniversary, Birthday of my sister in law etc. I want to purchase flowers for the ladies, but I think the service is not provided. After boarding, we have tried to inform the ship about the important dates, but we found no hospitality, no cards, no decorations and just nothing. It is not that in other cruise lines, including your sister line, the Celebrity. For the theater show every evening, they are scheduled 7:30pm and 9:30pm. First dining is at 5:30pm and guests have 2 hours to finish their meal. But, for 2nd dining at 8pm, we have only 90min. to rush our dinner if we want to go for the show. So, no matter how we rush with our food and how hard our waiters are rushing, we never arrive the theater on time. For the shows, many, if not the majority, guests are reserving seats for their family. It is so ridiculous for 2 to 3 kids to reserve a whole row of more than 12 seats. One evening, I went for the 7:30pm show before our specialty restaurant booking at 8:30. I and my wife attempted 4 to 5 places and just to be scolded by other guests because they RESERVED those seats. Of course, it ended in quarrels and spoiling the mood of the vacation. I really like to know the policy of your cruise line or the ship. Most important, are you enforcing your policy in any way? About the 'Silk Road', we try to book before we board. But only the paid 'VIP' version can be booked. OK! we do it on board. But, every show is FULL. Fine, other guests do their booking before us. What upsets me is my enquiry at the guest relations, after queuing up for a long while. They said that only the paid version has seats. The show is for the guests. Everyone guest should have a chance to view it. Either you add more sessions to fulfill the demand, or you make every guest to pay for the show. At least, you should arrange a waiting list that unsold seats will be released for some other guests. There are lot of other issues that are unsatisfactory, but I don't want to spend my time on them. As a customer, I don't like your cruising company. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have taken quite a few cruises - Princess for the Scandinavian cruise, Carnival for the Alaskan cruise, etc and this is by far the worst cruise we have taken. And it was a pity because Spectrum is probably the best equipped ship we ... Read More
We have taken quite a few cruises - Princess for the Scandinavian cruise, Carnival for the Alaskan cruise, etc and this is by far the worst cruise we have taken. And it was a pity because Spectrum is probably the best equipped ship we have sailed with (hardware is very very good - lots of facilities, large rooms, etc.) BUT the software is horrible to say the least. 1) the wait for first dinner was totally unacceptable - it appeared someone miscalculated the crowd? How could that happen for a professional organization when you have the number of confirmed passengers on the cruise days ahead??? 2) The Best of Okinawa excursion was a mis-selling. You did not know the main building of Shuri Castle was burned down a few months ago? Yet, your people sold it as a visit to the old palace??? And the tour guide you hire rushed us through the itinerary so we could have lunch at about 3PM? This is the way a professional is supposed to plan a trip??? 3) The 6-hour Vigan City Highlight took around 1.5 hours to get to the town and back leaving us around 4.5 hours. And of the 4.5 hours, the tour guide left us shopping at a cobblestone street for 1.5 hours with all the shop pretty much selling the same merchandise and if you add 1 hour lunch time (where a disappointing lunch was provided), we really did not do much for the USD119/pax we paid!!! 4) The Subic Bay & Ocean Adventure Combo Tour was probably the worst mis-selling I have ever seen so far in my life. For a 5-hour excursion, we arrived at 10:29am and we only managed to get through the gate at 11:10 (wasting 40/300 = 13% of our time standing in line to try and get in) to watch the 11:30 Dolphin show followed by the 12:30 Sea Lion Show followed by 1:10pm "Runner up to Philippines have talent" Acrobat Show. We paid USD119/pax for something costing USD16/pax with no lunch time planned - we had to grab a hot dog ourselves during the Acrobat Show). We left for the "just as US Navy Seals and Special Forces Units, you'll learn how to mountaineer, identify wildlife, find portable water sources and build a fire using only dried bamboo" to watch the building fire bit only!!!!! The organizer may blamed it on the rain that day but the reality was, there was no time allocated for anything else except to watch the building fire bit! Again, we paid USD119/pax essentially for a Dolphin show, a Sea Lion show, an so-so Acrobat show and to witness how to start a fire using dry bamboo!!! 5) And the attitude of the employees on board the Spectrum was just incredible - with the exception of some of the employees during dinner on main dinning room on Deck 4, the rest of the employees seemed to have forgotten they were in the service industry??? Their attitude towards their passengers leave much room for improvement!!! This is the first time we have taken a cruise onboard a Royal Caribbean and I find it very strange that a brand name like Royal Caribbean allowed such poor standard to exist amongst your fleet. Totally disappointed!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Cabin: poorly working A/C, dripping with water on bedding. Moisture running of walls. Overhead bed hinges broken, bed leaning forward/downward. Bathtub would backup off and on. First couple days toilet didn’t work. Used washroom off ... Read More
Cabin: poorly working A/C, dripping with water on bedding. Moisture running of walls. Overhead bed hinges broken, bed leaning forward/downward. Bathtub would backup off and on. First couple days toilet didn’t work. Used washroom off exploration cafe, only to have urinal contents flush on pants and shoes. Staff knew of problem, but didn’t correct. Didn’t offer immediate help with clothes and shoes.... 2 days later !!!!! After having complained nothing happened!! Ports: what a joke! You wake up to the smells of container harbours, thousands of containers, cranes and trucks, not exactly a luxury holiday stop, but worse... what’s not advertised is the huge amounts you have to spend to actual go to the port of call, as in at least at couple of ports we were 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hrs away. What a disappointment. Decor: there was very little Christmas decor, they couldn’t have done any less, pathetic. Entertainment: what entertainment!! It was pretty much nonexistent, and whatever little they had was so terrible. New Year’s Eve was the biggest disappointment - after a so so dinner - nothing happened... there was not one single thing going on. No entertainment in any one corner of the ship. How terrible is that. Shame on you Holland America!! Food: boring and repetitive. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have always dreamed of an aft cabin got one one the ship. At first glance we were very disappointed because if was so small, old, and dreary but at least we had an aft view but the veranda was filthy, covered in soot. I asked the cabin ... Read More
We have always dreamed of an aft cabin got one one the ship. At first glance we were very disappointed because if was so small, old, and dreary but at least we had an aft view but the veranda was filthy, covered in soot. I asked the cabin attendant if it could be swept at least but he said they don't clean it. Although the view was beautiful I could not sit there because of the filth. I would have bought a broom myself had I known they don't sweep the verandas. We ate in the dining room one time. at the the waiter threw the tiny amount of food down and ran away. Couldn't ask for anything. The rest we ate the Lido. Much better. The whole immigration procedures from Hal were chaotic. I was told multiple times that I needed to get my own visas only to find out they were available through the ship. The busiest places on the ship were the medical unit and customer service. That tells you a lot. I have been on other HAL cruises but this one seemed like everyone was in training. You had to explain everything to them. I'm done with HAL. No recognition of Mariner status at embarkation. Hot tubs were ice cold. Dont book any overnight packages. They change them and then tell you sorry they're nonrefundable,\. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have been to Bangkok, Viet Nam and Hong Kong before but we wanted a chance to visit Singapore. Celebrity has always been good for us so we decided to use Celebrity for this cruise. It did not start well, as the Hong Kong hotel ... Read More
We have been to Bangkok, Viet Nam and Hong Kong before but we wanted a chance to visit Singapore. Celebrity has always been good for us so we decided to use Celebrity for this cruise. It did not start well, as the Hong Kong hotel provided by Celebrity was close to the HK cruise terminal, but it was located in a very plain neighborhood that was basically a large local area of small store, cafes but nothing very attractive. It was a good 15 minute cab or shuttle to the main shopping areas and luckily the hotel provided a shuttle bus that ran regularly. The hotel itself was very plain but clean. It would be a place for a one-night stay before a cruise but a two-day stay would have been painful. We had a Concierge class cabin that was large and very comfortable. There was plenty of storage space and the bath room was plenty large. The room was very nice and we had plenty of space to spread out our papers, computers, etc. The food on the first two or three days of the cruise in the buffet was good but repetitive. By the fourth day or so more variety was added and things got better. We ate in the Metropolitan about four times for dinner and the staff was wonderful and we want to give Chiang (spelling?) and her crew were terrific and the food was just fine. Entertainment in the main theater was excellent with a very good line up of entertainers and an excellent shipboard musical company of a very good house band and some great dancers and singers. The cruise director, Steve, was the best we have ever had on any ship on our 30+ cruises. There were not enough exercise activities like workout classes although the gym was very nice. There was a port lecturer but perhaps one more would have made things more interesting especially if it was one relating to the local economies, history and biology of the regions we visited. I thought they should have put the main theater to use by running movies in that room rather in a more distant venue. Service was uniformly excellent everywhere from the room stewards, restaurants, passenger services and excursions and things were planned very well for the excursions and pre-excursions and boarding and exiting the ship when on excursions. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
1) Background Info We chose this cruise for the itinerary and timing as this was a major-milestone birthday celebration. 2) Travel to Port / Embarkation "Our flight out of our originating city was delayed so we missed our ... Read More
1) Background Info We chose this cruise for the itinerary and timing as this was a major-milestone birthday celebration. 2) Travel to Port / Embarkation "Our flight out of our originating city was delayed so we missed our connecting flight. We had pre-arranged and pre-paid for an airport transfer to the cruise port through Celebrity. Since we arrived so late, we missed the last transfer. Therefore, we needed to exchange money to local currency at the airport and take a taxi to the cruise port. That process was easily done and our cab driver did a great job getting us to the cruise port in a very timely manner. We arrived at the cruise port at approximately 11:00 p.m. the evening of the first Hong Kong day. There was virtually no one around the cruise port. The gangway was open 24 hrs and there were folks there to check us in with no problems. Again, since it was so late, we had to take our own luggage through the cruise port and to our cabin (no porters this time of night). The cruise port is quite large, so it was a long trek working our way through the port and finally to our cabin. Since we did miss the airport transfer (which we pre-paid to Celebrity) and had to pay for a taxi ride to port upon our arrival, I notified the front desk of our situation. She verified that we did indeed not use our transfer so she refunded our money for the pre-paid airport transfer. I'm not sure if we were refunded the money because we had booked Celebrity Air and they could see that we missed our connection - hence the missed airport transfer. In any event, I was pleasantly surprised and happy to receive the refund hassle-free." 3) Muster Drill (General Emergency Drill) The Muster Drill (or General Emergency Drill) for our cruise was actually done on the second day we were in Hong Kong.  The drill was as follows:  All Aboard on Sun. 12/8/19 at 5:00 p.m., Muster Drill at 7:30 p.m. and Departure at 8:00 p.m. So no need to worry about missing Drill on day one since it is held on day two. The drill was not held outside and life vests were not required.  We just needed to meet at our Assembly Station as indicated on our stateroom door - which is also listed on the SeaPass cards.   4) Ship Information "The Millennium was recently refurbished, and we were quite pleased with the facelift. The décor was bright and airy and the ship never felt crowded. We could always manage to find space to ourselves somewhere on the ship. We liked the outdoor rooftop movie area. However, during the day it was quite hot there. Later in the day on beautiful days it can be quite lovely. I would like to see more hand sanitizer stations set up around the ship, especially in the back of the Oceanview Cafe. When sitting Aft outside of the Oceanview Cafe, if you want to wash your hands, you have to walk through the Cafe again and to the front of the Cafe. 5) Activities The ship had the typical activities such as pool volleyball, bean bag toss, ping pong, basketball, trivia games, etc. You could do as much or as little as you desired. 6) Service All of the employees were extremely helpful, pleasant and courteous - from our room steward, dining room waiters, Guest Relations, Shorex Desk - everyone was great to work with. On the day of the milestone birthday, we received a bottle of champagne in our cabin from the ship. I thought that was very nice and unexpected." 7) Visas for Vietnam There was a lot of confusion pre-cruise about obtaining a Vietnam Visa. As soon as I got on board, I asked Guest Relations if there was any paperwork that we needed to fill out for Vietnam as we did not have a Vietnam visa. She stated that as long as we weren't spending the night in Vietnam (i.e. for example spending the night in Hanoi) or we weren't leaving the country (i.e. flying over to Cambodia) there was nothing we needed to do - the ship would take care of the paperwork. Since neither of those scenarios applied to us, the ship took care of the paperwork to obtain a Vietnam landing card for us and charged our shipboard account a one-time fee of $6.00 per person. Those folks spending the night off of the ship were charged $28.00 per person - but I'm not sure what process they had to go through. I heard there were a few folks that did the Cambodia trip from our cruise, so most folks didn't spend the night off the ship in Vietnam. 8) Port & Shore Excursions Hong Kong - We took a Celebrity Shorex via motorcoach. We took the tram to Victoria Peak for truly beautiful views of the city, visited the fishing village of Aberdeen for a sampan cruise ride and lastly visited Stanley Market. We still had some Hong Kong dollars from our taxi trip to the cruise port, so we used that for a little souvenir as US dollars aren't widely accepted. At sail away, go to the top decks and just take in the harbor views. Everything is lit up and is really pretty. We were docked at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminals, which is the former runway of the Hong Kong airport. There is a laser light show at 8 p.m. nightly. However, it is located at the foot of the Kowloon Peninsula and is better seen from the Ocean terminal. You won't be able to see much of the laser light show from Kai Tak, but the harbor views are beautiful nonetheless." "Hanoi / Halong Bay Day 1 - We did an all-day Halong Bay Excursion with Authenticasia. We put down a deposit of $25 USD. Dong was our guide and did a great job. He was very knowledgeable and personable. This was a very, very enjoyable day. The weather and scenery were gorgeous and loved that we went to a part of the bay away from tourist crowds. Loved the rustic row-boat ride rowed by a local - the area was very quiet and peaceful. Lunch was delicious and there was plenty of it. There were 16 of us on the junk boat so there was plenty of room to move around. USD is widely accepted throughout Vietnam, so we paid for the tour in USD at the beginning of the tour. This tour was very well organized, the company sent very good and detailed instructions and I would highly recommend. Day 2 - Did a Panoramic Halong Bay by bus through Celebrity Shorex. Visited Quang Ninh Museum, visited Long Tien Pagoda then stopped at Hon Gai market. Did not really care for this shorex. Although the museum was ok, the Pagoda was not really worth it and I didn't care for this market. I wouldn't recommend it. "Hue / DaNang (Chan May) A group we met on the cruise invited us to join their group. No deposit was required. Payment was required at beginning of the tour. The highlights of the tour included Hai Van Pass which is claimed to be the most scenic hillside roads in Vietnam, a stop at Marble Mountain and Monkey Mountain and Hoi An Old Town. The town was approximately 1.5 hours from the cruise port. The tour van was not very comfortable, and I felt very unsafe with this driver. He drove very, very fast, was always over the center yellow line, passing traffic in no-passing zones on these wet mountain roads. I was not impressed with the tour guide either. She did not keep the group together and just didn't take command of the group. She took us to some local shops (I'm sure for commissions) keeping us there for an inordinately long amount of time until someone in the group got on her to get our tour moving. Lunch was included in this tour but was so anemic we all left hungry. We didn't want to order add'l food as we had already spent too much time on lunch. When talking to the guide to ensure we got back to port in time, she made a comment that it wasn't really up to her, it was up to the driver to get us back in time. That was an inappropriate comment and not reassuring. We really enjoyed Hoi An and would have liked to spend more time there. I was so glad when this tour ended and we were safely back on ship. If I had this port to do over again, I would book the Celebrity Shorex Hoi An On Your Own where Celebrity provides transportation to/from Hoi An and you can explore the town on your own." "Ho Chi Minh / Saigon (Phu My) We did a Saigon Highlights Tour with Smile Tours. This too was a very enjoyable and organized tour. No deposit was required. Payment due day of tour. There were 16 of us on the tour that contacted the tour operator individually. This tour was very well organized, the company sent very good and detailed instructions. The provided bus was very comfortable, the driver was very safe, the tour guide Tam was very knowledgeable and organized. He did a good job facilitating our tour and giving us precise instructions throughout the tour. He kept the group moving and kept us on time and according to the itinerary. We visited China Town and participated in a Trishaw ride through the hustle and bustle of the city. That was a hoot! We all loved this! We visited the Reunification Hall, Notre Dame Cathedral, Old Post Office and City Hall. Lunch (not included) was at Pho 2000. It is a very small and busy restaurant but the food was good and we left stuffed. I would highly recommend this tour company." "Bangkok We used Thai Tour Guide for a private tour of Bangkok for both days for just the two of us. No deposit was required. They did an outstanding job for our two-days. This was a very well organized tour. Tour operator Mr. Chob was great to work with in setting up the tour details prior to the cruise and provided great detail of the tour. Tour must be paid in Thai Baht at the end of each tour day. USD is not widely accepted. The van was very clean and very comfortable. Our tour guide was Ms. Pookie who was excellent at keeping us informed, comfortable and kept our needs first. She held her umbrella over me to keep the sun off of me, and would use the umbrella to shield my camera from the sun when taking pictures. The driver was "Mr. Happy" who did a great job driving safely through the hectic Bangkok traffic. They were very prompt both days in picking us up at the Laem Chabang port and again at our hotel on Day 2. We requested a change to our itinerary and they were very accommodating in our request and went out of their way to accommodate us. It was very hot and they kept plenty of water on hand and each time we visited a location and returned to the van, Mr. Happy always had clean wet towelettes for us which was much appreciated. Ms. Pookie knew all of the spots for great pictures as well as knew where to stand for pics and keeping us safe at the railway track. The ship cleared immigration and we disembarked at 8:35 a.m. Ms. Pookie was waiting for us when we exited the cruise terminal, we were off to Bangkok at 8:40 a.m. and arrived in Bangkok at 10:55 a.m. (2 hrs 15 mins). We visited the Royal Grand Palace & Royal Temple, and Wat Pho (Reclining Buddha) in the morning. In the afternoon, we had a Private long tail boat canal tour (Chao Phraya River) which was really something to experience. We passed on the Flowers & Vegetable Market and instead went to Siam Paragon mall which was all high-end shops and interesting to experience. We were dropped at our hotel at 5:00 p.m. We stayed at the LeMeridien hotel which was quite lovely and elegant. Ms. Pookie and Mr. Happy were very prompt on day 2 in picking us up at the hotel at 7:00 a.m. We arrived at the Maeklong Railway market at 8:20 a.m. (which is even further from the cruise port than Bangkok). From Maeklong, we experienced the Damnern Saduak Floating Market which was very interesting to experience. Since we were so far from port and the traffic is so heavy, we headed back to port at 11:15 a.m. and arrived safely back at port at 2:40 p.m. (3.5 hours). When staying overnight at a Bangkok hotel on your own, you must have your original passport with you or you will not be able to check in to your hotel. One last nice touch was when we pulled into the cruise port on our return, Ms. Pookie and Mr. Happy stopped and brought out birthday cake and a candle from the back of the van and sang happy birthday to our milestone birthday. I suppose after hearing us talk about the birthday, they went out and got the cake and candle which we felt was so sweet and thoughtful. Ms. Pookie and Mr. Happy did an outstanding job of facilitating our tour, keeping us comfortable and safe, and getting us back to port on time. I would highly recommend this company and wouldn't hesitate to use their services again if ever in Bangkok. "Singapore We booked the Celebrity Ultimate Singapore and Airport Drop-off. Water was not provided on this tour. Since it was an all day tour, it would have been nice if water had been provided since it was quite warm. Fortunately, though, we did have water on us. Lunch was not included which we felt probably should have been included for the price. We visited the Botanical Gardens, drove by Little India and colonial-style buildings, ate lunch in China Town, took a bumboat ride on the Singapore River and spent time at the Marina Bay Sands complex which was interesting to see in and of itself. Take the elevator to level 2 of the Casino to overlook the Casino floor - HUGE. Overall, a way to spend the day sightseeing instead of sitting at the airport for 10 hours. On our last overnight stay on the ship in Singapore, from the top deck we watched the light show at the Gardens by the Bay about 7:45 p.m. If you're on the ship at that time and not out and about, you might enjoy it. Although you can see the light show, it is a little ways away. 9) Cabin "We were in an outside cabin on Deck 2 Forward. We were a little apprehensive initially about noise and motion due to our location on the ship. However, it was unbelievably quiet and smooth. Granted we did have smooth seas during our trip, but I still expected to hear ship noises and hear the waves pound the bow. There were numerous times throughout the cruise that I looked out the window to ensure we were still moving because it was that quiet and smooth. Our cabin was brightly decorated with plenty of storage for us. The bathroom was very nicely done with a nice sink and shower. Liked the automatic night light in the bathroom - really helped in the middle of the night. The provided shower gel seemed watered down and we didn't really care for it. We used the hand soap in the shower as it seemed to do a better job at cleaning. The provided shampoo seemed watered down as well. The cabin had a nice flat-screen TV in our room. However, there were times at sea (due to the location of the ship) that there was no signal. So catching the news was a hit and miss at times between Vietnam and Bangkok. We had a great room steward who took really good care of us and helped with all of our needs. 10) Dining "We liked the open concept layout of the Oceanview Café and really liked the bar seating at some of the Café windows. It gives more people a chance to sit at a window. We always went to breakfast early so we didn't have any problems with seating. Findng seats at lunch time from approx 12 noon to 1 p.m. could sometimes be challenging. I felt the service staff kept the tables cleared in a very timely manner. Lights are dimmed in several areas of the Cafe at dinner time, which I thought was a nice touch if you want more of an intimate atmosphere in the Cafe for dinner. Although we ate most of our meals at the Oceanview Cafe, there weren't as many vegetables as I was expecting, and it seemed like a lot of the food was fried. The soups were mostly broths as opposed to hearty soups. Loved their breads in the Bakery and they had a nice selection of ice creams - sometimes offering sorbets and frozen yogurt along with the ice cream. Although I didn't eat any of the desserts, they did look really good. Hamburgers at the Pool Grill were just ok. We've been on other cruises where the burgers at the pool were made to order. These burger patties were pre-made and the servers just put the patties/cheese on the bun. There were condiments that you could add yourself to your burger (i.e. lettuce, tomato, onion, etc). These burgers just didn't have the same flavor as made to order burgers. We did eat at the Tuscan Grille, and my dinner was delicious. Ordered the filet with plenty of vegetables and the lobster pasta and enjoyed it immensely. The meat was very tender and cooked to perfection, and the service was excellent." 11) Dress Code / Formal Wear (Evening Chic) "The dress code per night for our cruise was as follows::  1=Smart Casual; 2=Smart Casual; 3=Evening Chic (day at Sea); 4=Smart Casual; 5=Smart Casual; 6=Smart Casual; 7=Evening Chic (day at Sea); 8=Smart Casual; 9=Smart Casual; 10=Smart Casual; 11=Smart Casual; 12=Evening Chic (day at Sea); 13=Smart Casual; 14=Smart Casual Below are the dress code guidelines per Celebrity: The Code: Celebrity's website states that you'll need two types of evening clothes for a cruise. Most nights are "Smart Casual and Above," meaning sport shirts and slacks for men, while women will be comfortable in skirts or pants and blouses, or casual dresses. On "evening chic" nights, both men and women may prefer more dressy attire, though it is not required. Nor are jackets and ties required for men. Number of Evening Chic nights: Cruises of four to six nights have one evening chic night, those of seven- to 11-night cruises have two, and those with 12 or more nights have three. Written Restrictions and Jeans: T-shirts, swimsuits, robes, tank tops, caps and pool wear are not allowed in the main or specialty restaurants. Shorts and flip-flops are not allowed during evening hours. As long as jeans don't have holes, rips or tears, they are permitted in the main dining room. 12) Entertainment The entertainment was average. There wasn't really any one performance that wowed us. But we do appreciate the effort put forth to provide the entertainment. 13) Disembarkation "We took an all day Singapore tour with airport drop-off Shorex through Celebrity. We got our envelope with disembarkation instructions a couple of days prior to disembarkation. The envelope had a letter with disembarkation instructions but did not include our tickets. I went to Guest Relations right away (since the Shorex Desk wasn't open at that time) and they provided me with tickets with no issues. I'm just glad I caught this prior to disembarkation so that we wouldn't have any potential issues and/or delays at disembarkation. Day of disembarkation went smooth and we had no issues. We found our luggage in the terminal immediately and got to our assigned bus in plenty of time. " 14) Summary Overall, we had a safe and fun cruise. Everything turned out great and we had a very enjoyable journey with many amazing memories. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My son and I took the Celebrity Cruise to Southeast Asia on Dec 7th. I would like to share my horrible experience with everyone, hoping it will not happen to anyone anymore. After I came back, I literally had nightmares about ... Read More
My son and I took the Celebrity Cruise to Southeast Asia on Dec 7th. I would like to share my horrible experience with everyone, hoping it will not happen to anyone anymore. After I came back, I literally had nightmares about Celebrity's deceptive behavior and dishonest business practices. Excursions All of my friends who took cruises to Southeast Asia from other cruise ship companies informed me that I did not need to schedule any tours in advance because there would be plenty of taxis  and tour buses at the port looking for business and they would be happy to drive anyone to their destination. Therefore, I did not book any tours in advance. After we got on the ship, they kept announcing everyday that there were not going to be any taxis or tour buses at any of the ports we stopped at, so we would be stuck on the ship if we did not book any excursions with them. After hearing this alarming announcement, a lot of people  started to schedule an excursion. Though, we found out it was not true and there were in fact plenty of taxis and tour buses waiting for us at each port. Luckily, we overheard this information from some other guests who signed up for an excursion which they scheduled through Trip Advisor's recommendation to Ho Chi Minh City , Bangkok and Pattaya and we later joined the same tour and we were very happy with those tour companies' service. A lot of people on our cruise were not happy with  their shore excursions from Celebrity because they were charged five times more than if they were to plan their own excursion and they went to fewer places. Since, I did not find any guests who already booked a tour at the Chiang Mai port, so afterward I was scared by their announcement in the morning. I rushed to purchase an excursion because I did not want to be stuck on the ship for the whole day. I had originally wanted to visit Da Nang or Hue, but the bus had already left . For that reason, I paid $69.00 to book the tour" Hoi Ann on our own". Unfortunately, we missed the bus, and the check-in lady said that we could not get refund, but she could book another tour for us since we missed the last bus even though we did not want to go to that place, and I did not want to waste $69, so we got on that bus with another couple who also missed the original bus. The only activities we did from that tour was to take a 15 minutes cable car ride to a small village to eat a self-paid buffet. After I came back, the other guests told me that they wanted to take a risk to walk out from the port even they heard that threatening announcement again. After they walked one minute from the port, they found a lot of tour buses there. The bus they took even came with a tour guide, which took them( five people) to the two main cities, where I had intended to go for that day and each person was only charged $30. I felt horrible that I missed the chance to visit the two main cities which I wanted to go to just because I fell for celebrity’s misleading announcement. Moreover, I found out that instead of charging the tour price we paid of $69, they charged us $159 ( the total price for two of us was $318). I told the shore excursions department that we were not told that tour will cost $159 for each person and we would  be charged the additional difference, otherwise, we would rather give up the $69. We requested that they refund us for the additional charge ($159 - $69 = $90); even though they knew that they did not inform us of any additional charges. Instead, they insisted that we should be charged the full amount of $159 because we agreed to get on that bus.  Afterwards, I argued with them several times, but there was no result, so I almost gave up.The short excursion manager finally agreed to refund the additional charge but with a very unhappy attitude. I don’t think I should have to go through such an unpleasant process in order to get my refund.  Hidden charges for water bottles Another issue I had was with the room service attendant who put two water bottles on our table almost everyday and I did not know that we would be charged for those two water bottles, so I even said thanks to the attendant for providing us two water bottles everyday, but she did not tell us that we would be charged $13.20 for the two water bottles. That was, until I requested the bill from guest relationships on the last day, that I found out that I was charged $13.20 for two water bottles each day. I asked our room service attendant about it. She apologized that she did not tell us that we would be charged for two bottles ( even though we met her everyday and said thanks to her for her kindness by giving us the two water bottles). Then she showed us that there was a small slip against the back of the wall with the itemized prices. We did not see it since the paper was put out of view and we did not bother to look for that paper since we did not plan to drink any wine or coke from the refrigerator. On the last day, even though we read through the list, we could not find the price for the water bottles. We only noticed Evian on the bottom of the list, and we had no clue what Evian meant. Then we suddenly recalled Evian is the brand name of the water company.  Even if we had seen the price slip on the first day,  we would have not realized Evian was the water bottle. Why they did not write “water bottle” on the price list, but wrote “Evian” instead? All in all,  I think Celebrity intentionally meant to mislead us, so we could pay $13.20  for two water bottles each time. I requested the refund because of this deception, but my request was denied. How are people who are not familiar with that brand of water, supposed to know that they were going to be charged for water in their room? In addition, when my son was in the buffet area, a waitress  came by and asked my son if he wanted to order any drinks and my son asked her if he could have water. He asked if it was free; and she said it was. Although, after she brought the water to my son, she presented him with the bill, and he found out the water was in fact not free.  This is unethical and unacceptable business practice. Shortchanged when exchanging currency Upon arriving in Singapore, I exchanged 58.20 USD in cash for 70 Singaporean dollars at the guest relations counter. Instead of counting the money out to us, the representative gave us the money altogether. I trusted that the amount was correct, but right afterwards when I purchased the MRT ticket, I found out that I only had 40 Singaporean dollars. I am willing to let it go and not question it. But to top it all off, I found that they charged my credit card $58.20 for the currency exchange, even though I had already given them the $58.20 USD in cash!( I have the printed summary) They also charged me $70 USD which matched the amount of the Singaporean Dollar I was supposed to get in full. I really could not believe my eyes when I saw I was charged $58.20 and $70 on my credit card after I came home.  Spurious credit card charges Besides that, I also found that they charged many other unknown items to my credit card besides of charging me the total amount from the invoice they emailed to me.  Even though the mandatory daily gratuity was already included in the overall invoice, they charged the gratuity again to my card, thereby double-counting the gratuity. I cannot tolerate people who are deceptive and who only think of themselves and not others. I do not blame the employees personally for their behavior, since I believe they were told by the company to act in such a way. I hope they will not deny that they engaged in these business practices, and in writing this review, I hope others can see this and be forewarned about Celebrity's dishonest behavior. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
After cruising with Royal Caribbean for several years to obtain Platinum level and after enjoying our last cruise on the Harmony of the Sea, we were excited to explore Vietnam with Royal Caribbean. Keep in mind that my wife and I have ... Read More
After cruising with Royal Caribbean for several years to obtain Platinum level and after enjoying our last cruise on the Harmony of the Sea, we were excited to explore Vietnam with Royal Caribbean. Keep in mind that my wife and I have cruised over 840 days at sea and now made cruising a family affair as we cruise with our minor and adult children and their families. On this 3 week holiday we had a great experience beginning at the Ocean Park Marriott Resort in Hong Kong before boarding Voyager of the Seas and was very excited to sail. However, we are sick with disappoint on our most recent Royal Caribbean sailing. We expected the smaller class ship would not have all the amenities we enjoyed on the Harmony, but we did expect the same level of food quality and service. In 30 years having cruised budget to exclusive lines we have never seen food prepared so poorly. Much of the food served on Voyager was very tasteless and served cold in both the main dining room and the buffet. When we payed for meals at Johnny Rockets and Chops the food was flavorful and served at an edible temperature. My husband began eating burgers in the hope of getting a quality tasty meal. He changed to ordering a hamburger from the main dining room as they were better than the burgers served in the Windjammer which appeared to contain filler and certainly not the quality of Johnny Rockets burgers. We tried being the first in line for the buffet, but the pork chop and pancakes were cold even at the start of the mealtime. We were also disappointed that the Windjammer buffet closed so early in the evening leaving only 1 after 9pm dining option which only had complimentary water, coffee, hot tea and milk. Being a non coffee drinker and lactose intolerance water and or basic hot tea was my only choice. In addition small things like sweeteners and the selection of tea flavors was half of what was offered on the Harmony. As for complimentary beverages, we don't believe fruit punch beverages which mimic Koolaid is acceptable. There often was debris clinging to our glass after consuming the drink. Our cabin steward provided wonderful service, as did Mr. XXXXX at the front desk. However, the rest of the staff provided substandard service and we found most staff were focused and commenting on what they would be doing once the guest were off the boat and the renovation of the ship begins. The children's activity center discouraged us from dropping our 8 year old son off. We did not understand why they would not take a child during published open hours even if other children would not be there. When we have someone watch our son at home when we are out, there are not other children present. Entertaining a ward when the parents are at the shows or casino should be the goal of the activity center, instead we had to limited our casino and bar experiences as those are not family friendly activities. Our first excursion was Halong Bay by Boat. The bay and caverns were beautiful; however, the guide provided limited or virtually no details of what we were seeing. He was very personable, but unable to answer several of our questions regarding the formation of the caverns. The Shore Excursion team tried to address our dissatisfaction of the tour of Halong Bay, but that too was several hoops to go through. The initial Shore desk agent we expressed our disappointment to made us feel like the inept guide was our fault as no one else had complained. She implied by her comments that we were lying. She was supposed to get the manager to talk to us, but it took following up with the front desk twice before we received a call back from the Shore Desk manager 36 hours later who was unfamiliar with what happened even after we had filed a complaint. We had to relive the experience again. Eventually Ms. XXXX refunded 50% of the tour cost. Great news but we were saddened that the tour did provide the learning content required of his school needed to complete his trip report. In all it did not provide a learning experience for us or our son. Although the cruise was not going well our goal was to book another with the onboarding Next travel team. This attempted booking was also a new disappointing experience. Even though we were not excited to be on the Voyager, we thought we would plan our 2020 cruise. Wow, booking early offered little incentive and the Next Cruise booking manager did not seem very concerned that we will be expanding our travel search to competitive cruise providers. Basically he was of little service and did not live up to the hype that we experienced during the frequent cruiser reception. Once aboard we understood from the crew that the Voyager would be going out of service for renovations and modernization after this cruise. However for this cruise we had to endure elevators which were non functional and some partially functional contributing to my husband discomfort as he is under the care of a sports medicine physician and was advised to avoid stairs during the trip. Modernization is definitely needed for this ship as many baseboard tiles were falling off the wall, water for hand washing was unavailable in some washrooms, and stairwell tiles/lighting leading to the casino were broken. Casino display lights were partially functional. As we have stated we encountered numerous other maintenance issues we do not normally encounter on a cruise ship. Tiles were missing or loose, the bed shade was cracked but taped together and the exterior seemed to have rust stains everywhere. RC cruises have always raised the bar for food, entertainment and experiences. However this cruise has recalibrated our RC experience to the level of experience similar to more budget cruises but for a higher price. And end the end not only were gratuities automatically added to our shipboard account now envelopes are being left for additional gratuities for cabin/dining staff. Leaving additional gratuities is a good thing but for first time cruisers they may not understand that the envelopes are not mandatory. In addition, we found that some tours had a $100.00 per person markup when compared to walking 100 yards off the ship and getting the same tour from the local provider. Right now we'd not recommend RC mid level ships for a family cruise nor do we believe our last experience lived up to RC's reputation of service, support, and guest appreciation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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 booked in March for this cruise. My father and mother-in-laws have poor walking abilities and they do not enjoy flying. But they do want to see Vietnam so we booked this cruise which visit two Vietnam ports. First of all, embarkation ... Read More
We booked in March for this cruise. My father and mother-in-laws have poor walking abilities and they do not enjoy flying. But they do want to see Vietnam so we booked this cruise which visit two Vietnam ports. First of all, embarkation in Hong Kong is not great. Kai Tak Terminal is very busy because this ship and Dream Cruises are both embarking on the same day. The queues are very long. Fortunately because we have two elderly people among us we could join the special elderly queue for check-in. Then the worst thing was the zig-zag bridge that connect the terminal with the ship. I completely fail to understand why this winding zig-zag bridge is necessary when a direct birdge (airport jet bridge) can do the same job! The ship is in good condition. It does not immediately feel like it is in need of dry dock work. (But it is going to dry dock in September.) The staterooms were not yet ready and we were told we could take lunch in the Sapphire Dining Room, so we made our way there. Lunch was buffet style and it was fine. After lunch we went to our rooms. We had a promenade view room and it was rather roomy for a cruise ship with two sofas. Our stateroom attendant was Iwayan, he was very good and he opened the connecting door between our room and my in-laws room for us as soon as we requested. The dining on the ship is okay. It is nothing to write about. Some of the food in the dining room can be found again in the Windjammer at late night snack time. The ship is consisted of a majority Hong Kong and China people and some of them seemed determined to eat back their cruise fare. Well, given the food served I think they had a hard time achieving that goal. For the ports, Chan May is really far away from Da Nang. We hired a driver for a day trip to Hoi An but he could not come into the port because our tour company is not "sponsored" by RCCL. We had to pay another driver to drive us out of the port gates to meet him. But he was not a very good driver as he could not speak much English and he took us back from Hoi An 1.5 hours earlier than agreed. The worst thing was he would not enter the gates of the port as promised. So we did not tip him and made a complaint to his company. Many RCCL "sponsored" tours came back late from their tours and the ship did not sail until 17:40, as opposed to 17:00. We were still approaching Nha Trang when we took our breakfasts. As this is a tender port we had to wait for our tender time. RCCL "sponsored" tours and group tours all went ashore before us. We only got ashore at 11am. Our tour guide and bus took us to the sights and lunch. Then we requested to visit a supermarket for souvenirs like coffees and dried mango. We got back at about 4:15pm and were back on board quite quickly. After all both ports were not great. Chan May is still under construction and very far from town while Nha Trang is a tender port which is very time consuming. Avoid. am. Our tour guide and bus took us to the sights and lunch. Then we requested to visit a supermarket for souvenirs like coffees and dried mango. We got back at about 4:15pm and were back on board quite quickly. After all both ports were not great. Chan May is still under construction and very far from town while Nha Trang is a tender port which is very time consuming. Avoid. The entertainment on board were only so-so. One night we had an American singer who performed as many Chinese songs as English songs. He was okay but I saw a Caucasian family of four looking rather bored as we boarded the lift outside the theater. The Ice Skating show Ice Odyssey was fantastic. We watched it and then strongly recommended my mother-in-law to go. She went and she was amazed as well. We had a plain sailing back to Hong Kong after Nha Trang. Nothing to report. We also got back before the Dream Cruises ship so we got away okay. Some of the things we really couldn't get our heads around were the lack of technology on the ship. I could not believe they had to write a number on our Sea Pass cards to indicate we had watched Ice Odyssey. Also in the dining room we had a waiter come to us to write down our room number every night. I mean, aren't we in the 21st century? Can you not just scan my Sea Pass card for that? Also, the in-room television had so little choice of channels. When I was on Quantum of the Seas it could receive a TVB J2 channel but here there is only one Chinese channel which recurred the same content all through the cruise. There are loads of Chinese satellite channels in the region and that's the best they can tune their tv sets to? Once again RCCL, we are in the 21st century! I wish I had downloaded a Samsung remote control app to my phone so I can plug in my mobile hard disk to the tv and watch the movies I have in it. The service provided by all the waiters, servers and room attendants were very good. They worked really hard to keep the ship clean and the service going. I applaud them because with 3,000+ guests (many are children and elderly people) on board it was no easy thing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This cruise is aimed at the Chinese market. Facilities on offer including food menu reflects this fact. Very limited choices and the menu’s all have pictures much like MacDonald’s. Baseball caps, shorts and general weekend wear is ... Read More
This cruise is aimed at the Chinese market. Facilities on offer including food menu reflects this fact. Very limited choices and the menu’s all have pictures much like MacDonald’s. Baseball caps, shorts and general weekend wear is accepted in the dining restaurants therefore no need to pack jacket, ties or evening gowns. Splash pools on deck are used by swimmers determined to do many lengths as possible leaving little room for those who wish to relax. Extremely difficult to find a seat in the windjammer as whole families occupy tables for hours on end, despite announcements by staff. The same applies to the casino. Disembarkation is restricted if you do not book one of the organise excursions. On the plus side the places, beaches & people in Vietnam are amazing. Unable to get into the Ice show having tried at every opportunity Overall very disappointed with this cruise. We are currently Emerald members. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The experience first started when we arrived at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. There was a very long line of people waiting to check in and we thought we had to wait in the same line however I noticed a man holding a sign stating "The ... Read More
The experience first started when we arrived at Kai Tak Cruise Terminal. There was a very long line of people waiting to check in and we thought we had to wait in the same line however I noticed a man holding a sign stating "The Palace guests" and I approached him. I told him I had booked a room called the Penthouse and without delay he escorted me and my family to a waiting area specially dedicated to The Palace guests. In that waiting area they had very delectable dim sums and an assortment of finger foods, along with fresh juices and water. The food and drinks were a very nice touch while checking in. We waited in that area for about 45 minutes and after that they had made an announcement that Palace guests could board the ship first. Boarding was a breeze as we were the first to board and I had no problems getting on the ship. The room I had booked was called the Penthouse, which is the second largest cabin on World Dream (the biggest being called Villa). I found my room to be very spacious and nice. The linens were very high quality and the bathroom was honestly the best part about the cabin. It was extremely spacious and the decor was very nice. Right after we were settled in our rooms, our butler came and introduced herself and gave us a fruit basket. She explained to us she could help us make reservations and book shore excursions among other things. She then proceeded to help us set up our free internet access on the ship. The Palace guests are entitled two devices for internet connection at standard speeds however if you need faster speeds you can purchase the premium plan. For me, the standard plan was more than enough as I averaged speeds at 15-20 mbps based on my tests. It was sufficient enough to stream Netflix and YouTube at 1080p rates. After helping us with our internet, she proceeded to give us a tour of the facilities that Palace guests could access. The Palace is different in the fact that it uses a concept called a ship within a ship. These facilities are not accessible to other guests who are not Palace guests. Facilities included a pool exclusive for Palace use, a sauna, a steam room and a gym. The pool almost always never had anyone so it was very peaceful. When it comes to dining, normal guests have access to 3 restaurants. The Dream Dining Lower, Dream Dining Upper and The Lido. The Lower is mainly Western food, Upper is mainly Chinese food and The Lido is an international buffet. For the Palace guests, We have access to a restaurant called The Palace restaurant. It serves very good quality food however the main differentiating factor is the service. There are many attentive waiters and waitresses that cater to whatever you want which is the main reason why most Palace guests only come to this restaurant instead of the other 3 included ones. Another reason why most Palace guests avoid the 3 other restaurants is due to the other guests. A lot of times you can struggle to get a table because there are many people eating at the same time which causes long wait times to get a table. In the Palace restaurant, I have never seen more than 30% of the place being filled. On top of the Palace restaurant, Palace guests also get one complimentary meal per day at any specialty restaurants on the ship. Personally my most favourite one had to be Umi Uma and the special pork they served. It was simply the best pork i have ever had, period. Also to note, Palace guests are entitled to a drinks package that covers all juices, soft drinks and a wide variety of beers and wines. Now when it came to the shows, we didn't have to make a reservation. The first five rows of the seats in the theatre was reserved for Palace guests which meant most the time the seats were not really filled. If anyone that was not a Palace guest tried to sit in the Palace area, staff would ask them to leave as they aren't entitled to the seats. I was particularly relieved the staff had asked them to leave as they were talking very loudly and were a nuisance. I couldn't care less if you were a Palace guest but being annoying was not welcome. For the excursions, the Palace guests have free excursions to Naha, where they showed the sights and shopping. when we arrived, there was a huge influx of passengers and it took some time to clear security. However once we entered the ship, the staff had reserved one elevator specifically for Palace guests which in my opinion was a very nice touch as the lines for the elevator were very long. After we came back from our long excursion, we were delighted to see a wide array of chocolates, fruits and biscuits presented beautifully on a multi level tray. It came coupled with a note from our butler which just made this experience even more personal and luxurious. The next day we were supposed to go to Miyakojima however the stop was canceled as the winds were just too strong for the tender boats so we were given on board credit to be spent at the souvenir shop on the ship. For disembarkation, we waited very briefly at the Silk Road restaurant before disembarking. Other passengers had to wait at the Zodiac Theatre and so we were the first ones to disembark. In summary, this was an amazing cruise made even better by the staff I had encountered. I would pay for it again if the quality of service and product was the same. Highly satisfied with everything on the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The ship itself is very nice. Most of the staff are great with the exception of the sales and customer service group. I have never seen such a lack of care or give a damn. I went to the front desk and asked to speak to the ship customer ... Read More
The ship itself is very nice. Most of the staff are great with the exception of the sales and customer service group. I have never seen such a lack of care or give a damn. I went to the front desk and asked to speak to the ship customer service officer, Ms Wu who was the shift manager stated he was off duty and he would get back to me. 2 days later I returned to the desk and was told he was too busy with mainland guests and I could scan a QR code and leave any comments. This cruise is not for anyone but mainland China customers. I was shown by the staff they spend the money on the cruise casino n tours so they take first priority. Foreigners and HK people BEWARE... Several HK people I talked with said the same thing. The guests are severly rude and noisy. Which is to be expected; however, the lack of care by the staff was not and was unbelievable. The Nepal n Philippines cabin cleaning crew were amazing. I had one staff member selling items on the 7th floor push me out of the way to sell something to another guest. Find another cruise line like Star or Royal. When trying to talk to the customer service officer I was told he would see me after 2 days of waiting I went to the office and was told he (Mr XU) was too busy and I could go online with a QR code and leave comments. Unbelievable the guest is too insignificant to get 5 minutes of a customer service officers time. BEWARE DREAM CRUISE LINE or you will regret it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I have sailed forty-nine nights now on Royal Caribbean ships over the past 7 years. I guess you could say we are ‘experienced cruisers’. This past cruise was our first trip to Asia- sailing from Hong Kong to Singapore. We sailed ... Read More
I have sailed forty-nine nights now on Royal Caribbean ships over the past 7 years. I guess you could say we are ‘experienced cruisers’. This past cruise was our first trip to Asia- sailing from Hong Kong to Singapore. We sailed aboard the Voyager of the Seas. Normally we have thought Royal Caribbean lines to be a slightly better cruise line than Princess and certainly heads above Norwegian Cruise Lines. After this cruise I believe Royal Caribbean may be showing signs of a major decline. Possibly this is just a worn-out ship with poor leadership. Specifically on the Voyager this cruise, I would say there is not one specific thing, but death by 100 paper cuts. ⁃ Ship is dirty. Look at the ledges or the the hanging decorations in the main centrum. They are beyond dusty. Room service was pretty good. It is specifically the public areas that are filthy. ⁃ Ship is old and desperately needs an update; many broken items. Fridge in our room did not work. We asked them to fix but they could not. Lights out on art in stairways. Ice cream refrigerator quit working at Ben and Jerry’s resulting in soupy ice cream. Ceiling canvas in pool areas rotting. Rust on balcony of our room. On and on…. ⁃ Dining staff is way over-tasked. We waited an hour+ each night between appetizer and main course. Food is fine but not as good as other ships. What is with not passing out bread anymore or taking order of desert with the main meal and the cheesy one page menu? Or what about the sales pitch on the bottom of this cheesy menu for a steak from Chops? Seems like Corporate is looking to squeeze every bit of revenue out of everything they can. ⁃ Captain is a slug. We went to the Captain’s appreciation event. The Captain spoke and recognized the crew. One crew member in specific had five years dedicated service. The Captain attempted to pronounce her name and when he could not pronounce the name, he said, “Whatever. It does not matter” and she came to the front to have her picture taken and looked very humiliated. What kind of leader does this in front of 150 people? Why not practice the name beforehand? How would he like this public humiliation for his years of service? ⁃ Shore tender was the biggest joke I have ever seen. They promised the first tender at 9:30 AM; it did not leave until 11:00 - no announcement- just make people stand in line for 2 hours in a hot-as-hell hallway. ⁃ Windjammer sucks on this ship. NEVER were there enough seats! Not on the first day, nor subsequent cruise days. WHY? Do you want to know why??? Because the hacks at Corporate decided that since this old hulk-of-a-ship made in the 1990s did not have a “Chops” restaurant, they would take 25% of the Windjammer space and put a Chops there in it’s place. More revenue, after all. So it sits empty while we stand with a plate of food. ⁃ The staff seemed unhappy, distant (in attitude) and some I got the feeling were resentful. One man I observed appeared as if he could ‘snap’ any moment. We had a good time in Asia despite these hurdles and really, anyone who can even go on a cruise ship is a lucky dog in this world. However, at the same time, Royal Caribbean (on this trip) did not meet a high standard at all. I would give this ship at the most 2 out of 5 stars. Maybe one star. I would not book a cruise on this ship. I wonder if my days of sailing with Royal Caribbean is coming to an end. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was my 7th cruise with RC and up to this point I was very loyal to them and had always enjoyed my cruises. I was traveling with my parents and wife on this cruise and they are all very experienced cruisers too. All of us couldn't ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise with RC and up to this point I was very loyal to them and had always enjoyed my cruises. I was traveling with my parents and wife on this cruise and they are all very experienced cruisers too. All of us couldn't believe how bad this ship, staff and ports were and the amazing corners that RC is cutting to save costs. First, the service was awful. It seems that staff has been cut by 40% versus other cruises. Bars are packed, the windjammer is always packed and crew members just seemed overall annoyed with passengers. One of the funniest (in an awful way) anecdotes to capture how bad it is was that they don't allow you to pour your own water or coffee at the Windjammer. The problem is, half the coffee machines and ice machines are broken, so there are only ever 2 stations that are fully functioning. So this creates long lines at every station, just to get a cup of water. At times 15 people would be queued up, snaking between tables waiting for water. The staff had no urgency or worries about this. At one point I was standing there for 3-5 minutes while a crew member was watching individual cubes of ice fall into a bucket from a dis-functioning machine. So finally I went behind the station to pour my own coffee. Comically bad. The ship itself is tired and worn out. Rust everywhere, stains on the carpets and a general musty smell. Our hallway on floor 7 had a roof leak so there were buckets of water dotting the halls catching drips and huge fans running all day to try and remove the growing mold. The internet almost never worked even though we paid for the "streaming" package. One day it was down the entire day and didn't work at all. The pool chairs are nasty and outside decks have dirt and stains all over them. It just looked tired and worn out everywhere. The Vietnam ports of call were nightmares. Large container ports and if you didn't make your own plans you would be completely out of luck. The tender process was comically mismanaged. It was supposed to begin at 9am and didn't start till 11am. So there were scores of people lined up on the stairs, angry and hot. Finally they just started loading people onto the lifeboats regardless of their ticket number so people who had been waiting for 2.5 hours were passed by people who showed up 15 minutes earlier. Tempers were beyond hot. Overall, this cruise ruined RC for me. I brought a list of concerns to the Guest Service deck and the exact response was: "thank you for your concerns. Unfortunately we've heard these things from hundreds of others and there isn't anything we can do. Thank you though for not shouting at me like most other people have been. Hopefully this ship is dry docked soon because there is nothing we can do." My last comment is about the leadership. I think there is a serious concern with the Captain of this ship. It doesn't get this bad without poor leadership at the top. I was actually sad when I attended the exclusive crown and anchor night and he was giving out years of service recognition. An employee was getting their 5 year award and he butchered the pronunciation of their name. He just laughed and said "oh well, it doesn't really matter anyway." How awful....inhuman and embarrassing. I felt so sad for this crew member who had given 5 years of their life to RC and was then laughed at in front of the entire room because the Captain not only didn't know their name, but didn't even care what it was. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We had AFT suite which had the perfect outlook as a panoramic view including the side. Vibration can take a little getting used to during the night but this only occurred when we were making up time or docking. Steward service was hit ... Read More
We had AFT suite which had the perfect outlook as a panoramic view including the side. Vibration can take a little getting used to during the night but this only occurred when we were making up time or docking. Steward service was hit and miss for a suite as we were surrounded by non suite staterooms and the allocation to each steward would be higher. Rarely did we see a child(I think there were 2 on board), most passengers were American Australian UK then South African average age 65. Loved the free laundry and staff in Neptune lounge were fantastic. Shows were nothing like the big ships so were a bit hit and miss. Pinnacle restaurant was great especially their degustation but MDR food was also great and service perfect. Always hard to compare different ships particularly of different size. Suite benefits vary dramatically in different cruise lines so check what suites you. As a 1900 passenger ship it is less crowded with fast elevators less queuing but the trade off is less shops and activities and shows of a lower standard. Tours in china and Japan were poor value with communication issues with the guides but they were well organised. Internet even on the premium package was hit and miss. Would definitely recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise based primarily on the itinerary. In summary we had a good vacation despite a few notable shortcomings with Norwegian. We found the ship to be very relaxing with a good mix of entertainment options, public spaces like ... Read More
We chose this cruise based primarily on the itinerary. In summary we had a good vacation despite a few notable shortcomings with Norwegian. We found the ship to be very relaxing with a good mix of entertainment options, public spaces like casino, bars, pool, etc; and nice private spaces - our stateroom was the perfect size for our family of 3 (larger than the Celebrity cruise we took a few years back). Service onboard was generally adequate. Many guest facing folks were nice, and enthusiastic. However, there was a higher proportion of staff on this cruise who simply weren't as friendly as they should have been. Specialty restaurant waitstaff were generally underwhelming. Front desk / reception was a challenge (they were not able to help on really the only 2 issues that came up for us). Not only could they not help, but they definitely did not display empathy nor the desire to go out of their way to come up with creative solutions. Check-in in Hong Kong was not as described - we arrived around 12:30 and were issued a queue number, ended up waiting about 2 hours to get checked in and onboard. Once we were called to check in, the process was quick and efficient. I was surprised and uncomfortable with the fact that they collected our passports (and kept them) at the boarding door. I don't think this was communicated ahead of time, and in general was not something I felt good about. When I asked why this was happening, the woman literally laughed at me - perhaps a language/culture barrier problem but off-putting nonetheless. Food - was OK, definitely a mixed bag. Leathery bacon at the buffet - consistently. Ice cream machines that couldn't keep up with demand (serving liquidy soft serve). Chin Chin's was in general not tasty (we ordered 5 different entrees among 4 adults) and the only one that tasted good was the sweet/sour pork. Cagney's steak was supremely disappointing - meat quality was mid-market grocery store level (think safeway or albertson's "choice" cuts). The silver lining in this cloud was the notion that since the food wasn't great, we didn't overeat. Ever. I overheard other adults making similar statements. With about 3 days remaining onboard, we found there were some things they were running out of. No pineapple at the buffet. No lemons for iced tea. No sprinkles for ice cream. These seem like small things, but they are the little things that make a vacation great or less-than-great. Excursions - the selection was a bit thin. Too many similar outings to temples across the various ports. Would have been nice to have a few more cultural viewpoints that were more diversified. Also, our experience in Cambodia was not good - a beach with no amenities and a market with no amenities. Other tours were too limited in availability and we did not get our reservation in on time. The brightest shining stars on this cruise: 1) The cabin was large (we had a mini suite balcony - essentially one room with a curtain divider between the bed and the pull-out sofabed). Much nicer than our previous experience on Celebrity. The fact that it has recently been renewed I think helped. 2) Our 6-year old absolutely loved the Kids Club. We literally couldn't pull her away. The staff were all amazing, engaging, fun. Lots of great activities. This was our first Norwegian cruise and while we didn't hate it, they also didn't make a good enough impression on us to convince us to stop trying new cruise lines. Our next cruise likely won't be with Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
CABIN (see below) DINING The Metropolitan Dining Room looked gorgeous, and for the most part, the food matched its elegance to such an extent that we didn't have to contemplate paying extra for specialty dining. Still, when I saw ... Read More
CABIN (see below) DINING The Metropolitan Dining Room looked gorgeous, and for the most part, the food matched its elegance to such an extent that we didn't have to contemplate paying extra for specialty dining. Still, when I saw the menu the first night, I felt it was not as high-brow as I had hoped. Thankfully, the impression improved, but when they had something really decent, they put EVERYTHING I was looking forward to into that one evening (lobster tail, rack of lamb, beef Wellington). There were other blemishes: not knowing what "English cut" was for the prime rib, for example, the Béarnaise not having any tarragon in it, subbing sea bream for the advertised cod without first telling diners (only owning up to it when challenged, and thereby looking like they were passing off one fish for another), and the soup course being weak almost all around, hot or cold... For the most part, though, the food was fresh and tasty, and the service at most seatings, exquisite. It was a marvel that they kept so much food going around so hot, and that one night when a Grand Marnier soufflé was offered for dessert took the cake, so to speak. I was also amazed and thankful that our wine steward Jelena remembered my name on the second night, and even more thankful that she gave us (and everyone else?) a 20% discount off all bottled wines, making the choosing of any of the packages quite unnecessary. The mark-up was your usual restaurant-type (before the discount kicked in) - I would not recommend lugging your own and paying the $25 corkage unless you're talking about 3-figure fine wines. The buffet at the Oceanview café, too, was impressive - LOTS of variety, fresh, and most of it well-prepared (those Indian dishes!!!), intruded upon occasionally by a lack of authenticity that ranged from frustrating (cannoli not made with mascarpone, and tiramisu with no actual lady fingers in it) to ROTFL ridiculous (at the "Indian Favorites" carving station, they featured - you guessed it - roast BEEF!) But there's a dire dearth in seating to handle a ship of this size, a situation not helped by inconsiderate fellow cruisers (a couple sitting opposite each other in a square table for four...) ENRICHMENT / ENTERTAINMENT Listening to Dr. Gary Kramer talk about everything from whales to stars, as well as hold court in a wide-ranging QnA, was a pleasure - dude and wife are accomplished dancers too! Most of the entertainment was good - musical guests included an accomplished Chinese pianist/composer Jiang Tian and various great singers; the revue had its moments, with a fine young female singer leading the way, but the first show was confusing, and just average when it came to singing/dancing (the final night was a little better). EXCURSIONS & PORTS OF CALL Ship excursions were by and large pricey and not worth the money. Just by way of an example, the excursion to Beijing from the ship at the port in Tianjin comprises a bus ride there and back (3 hours each way): cost, $119 for this "self-guided tour" per person. With a little bit of planning, a couple can take a taxi to the Binhai train station ($12 each way) and take the high speed train right into Beijing ($10 per person each way), saving not only a boatload of money ($65 vs. $258) but trimming 2 hours of travel time. We loved all 3 places in South Korea - heck, all the ports of call, but felt we could easily have spent more time on land than cruising in the ocean at a slow speed. MISCELLANEOUS As mentioned, the Celebrity Millenium experience exceeded my expectations, as did "staying cooped up for 14 nights" - cuz we didn't, as we went ashore to explore at every port, and it was a great adventure. Some touches of "luxury" are appreciated (most waiters helping you place the napkin in your lap), while others are unnecessary (cloths to dry your hands in every public bathroom - in addition to paper towels). The gym is just too small for a ship this size: can't quite picture what would happen when it's not an older crowd like ours. The damn TVs did not work 95% of the time on 90% of the channels. The Solarium is beautiful, but the water in the hot tub is way not hot enough, and the number of hot tubs, inadequate. Read Less
Sail Date March 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
Christmas and New Years Cruise in Asia. My son and I went on this 14 day Cruise, we loved the food and the staff 95% were incredible. Unfortunately our cabin Steward was not one of them her cleaning especially the Bathroom being very ... Read More
Christmas and New Years Cruise in Asia. My son and I went on this 14 day Cruise, we loved the food and the staff 95% were incredible. Unfortunately our cabin Steward was not one of them her cleaning especially the Bathroom being very inadequate. The entertainment was very average and there was a distinct lack of things to do on Sea Days. The production shows especially Broadway were quite good just not the impersonators and hypnotist. The Martini Bar was the place to be with the boys making wonderful cocktails and entertaining us with there show of tossing the bottles and containers. Overall the staff and service well made up for any shortcomings and we had a great time, cant wait to get back on her in May after the renovations. Anyone onboard look out for a sommelier Jelena she was wonderful, and Gaynor & Kadak in the MDR anytime dining and delphante in the Rendezvous all fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had travelled as a family with HAL on 4 previous occasions. Always loving it however HAL lost some of their shine for us with this cruise. There appear to have been service / facility reductions compared to previous cruises. I am not ... Read More
We had travelled as a family with HAL on 4 previous occasions. Always loving it however HAL lost some of their shine for us with this cruise. There appear to have been service / facility reductions compared to previous cruises. I am not sure if this is peculiar to the Westerdam or a trend for HAL. 1) No self service laundry any more - only valet service. 2) No separate disco anymore; has been converted into a games / TV area. 3) New Years Eve celebrations had been confined to Lido instead of multiple options across the ship. 4) The number of hand sanitizers around the ship were far fewer. 5) No prizes anymore for daily activities. 6) Trivia and happy hour no longer located on Observation Deck. No reason to go there any more. 7) Entertainers had far less interaction with the guests than previous cruises. I still rated the service aspect very highly for our cabin staff and waiters in the Main Dining Room. The food was excellent too. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient. The Visa costs for Vietnam and Cambodia added a lot to the cost of our trip. This was handled well by HAL but guests need to be aware of these charges before booking the cruise. On previous HAL cruises we have felt like Royalty. On this one, we felt like a number. I hope these reductions are only on the Westerdam but I fear it might be across the fleet? Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
4 of us took a family trip on the Westerdam from Hong Kong to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Singapore. Excellent value for money -- the food and service was great and we enjoyed all the ports. There was a good mix of people on the ... Read More
4 of us took a family trip on the Westerdam from Hong Kong to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Singapore. Excellent value for money -- the food and service was great and we enjoyed all the ports. There was a good mix of people on the cruise and it was a nice change to experience Christmas and New Years on a ship. Our rooms were between mid-ship and aft on deck 4, and we didn't have any issues at all. On shorter port days we took some of the excursions organized by Holland America, which worked out well. And on the overnight stay in Laem Chabang we organized a round-trip taxi at the cruise terminal and stayed the night in Bangkok. For many of the ports, you can find reasonable taxis and tours when you get off the ship, if you're willing and able to negotiate. Looking forward to another cruise with Holland America! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click