11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I was on a private charter of the Jewel from Hong Kong to Tokyo for a 10 night adventure. I had a balcony room to myself for the holiday. Boarding went smoothly but when it was announced that all the staterooms were ready, mine was still ... Read More
I was on a private charter of the Jewel from Hong Kong to Tokyo for a 10 night adventure. I had a balcony room to myself for the holiday. Boarding went smoothly but when it was announced that all the staterooms were ready, mine was still not. Even after I was allowed in, I had to call back the room attendant there was still dirt on the glass shelves in the bathroom. Not having a clean bathroom from the start was only the begining of a poorly run ship. I gave 3 stars because my state room was great and the entertainment was very good. One of our biggest complaints was the overt and racist "Washy, washy, happy, happy" in a mocking Asian accent, that were were greeted with when entering the cafeteria at every meal. How insensitive! Our Asian friends, and this cruise originated in Hong Kong so many were on board. Were horrified as we were to find out that this is a NCL saying and the crew are required to say it. I reached out to NCL on Facebook messenger and I could see they read my concerns but never responded! After a 12 million dollar restoration you expect things to work. There were so many things broken and not fixed it became was a joke. We asked every day for the lockers in the spa to work. Were told that no one had complained and they all worked, but the attendant who came to help us could not use them either because they were broken. We were told every day that no one had complained even though they took my room number every day when I said something. In the cafeteria the coffee and expresso machines were out of order most every day and when we said something were were told to go to the end of the ship for the one working machine(it did not work either). Mexican food day, there was no tortillas and asking for guacamole was like pulling teeth.. Seriously, Mexican group was very angry.. as were we..They were so stingy with tortillas we were only allowed 2 each and one teaspoon of guacamole. I made the girl angry by demanding more.. I wanted some for my tortilla chips and salsa.. which had no spice or heat. We tried the main dining rooms, but the service was so bad and the food either over cooked or just cold(cold french fries with a cold not edible steak) That was after the fish I ordered was so dry it was not edible. We had a table of 8 one night and the food came out so slow for some of us that many of our friends had finished dinner and desert by the time we were getting our main meal. It was inexcusable. We finally had a good meal at Le Bistro after the Restaurant's manager personally took us there and paid for our meal and wine as he was so embarrassed! The Brazilian restaurant was also very good, But you had to pay for that. We ate at Tapanyaki the first night and it was a joke! The "chef" did a song and dance and tapped spatulas, many of which he dropped! The rice was not edible as it was so salty and the meat was tasteless. We had to ask for salt for that! We were rushed through the meal that should have been a show. I wasn't even able to finish my food as they wanted to move on.. The entertainment was good but the drinks were a joke. They upcharged and seemed to forget what the price was inconsistent from each server and each bar. They poured premium even if you asked not and still charged your room. You asked for well drinks and they poured premium! The shore excursions were poorly run and often the guides level of English was not understandable. Mostly a waste. My bed was comfortable and the water pressure in my shower was impressive, but you could not pay me to get on another NCL ship. My whole group lost weight as often the food was terrible. We would head to get chocolate ice cream soft serve 4 times a day to keep the weight on. But even those machines didn't always work and it was not easy getting anyone to pay attention to take care of simple things. We thought the ship was a floating Denny's. Even that food would have been preferable. I paid over $5000 for my own balcony on a 10 night cruise. That works out to $500 a day, for that money we should have had good food! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Saw this ship all over the news last year, being the largest cruise ship to ever visit Australia and thought it would be something new and exciting to try. We booked through a local travel agent which made things easier, but there are ... Read More
Saw this ship all over the news last year, being the largest cruise ship to ever visit Australia and thought it would be something new and exciting to try. We booked through a local travel agent which made things easier, but there are caveats first time cruisers need to be aware of (and they don't let you know up front) Firstly, we discovered the cruise was split in half by the agent, this caused many issues we weren't aware of. When we logged into the RCI website to book shows and drinks/internet packages, it showed us travelling for the entire duration of the cruise. This was wrong and prevented us from booking internet/drinks packages in AUD, so we had to pay more once on board as everything is charge in USD. This cost us quite a bit more ultimately. Also shows advertised were booked out quickly as it took forever to get our login, or they weren't showing until after we departed the cruise. All very confusing and not a great start. The other issue we had going via a travel agent was when we checked in at the hotel and the cruise terminal, there were issues that took quite some time to resolve. In Singapore they had 4 people listed as checking in! Obviously the other couple were checking in the day we departed in Fremantle, but their systems can't cope with this arrangement. The hotel was nice, but didn't honour our requests. We also couldn't get exit row seats for the flight thanks to using an agent. Being 197cm tall this was a worry, but it turned out the flight wasn't full and I could find some seats with more legroom. Anyway back to the cruise ship. Once onboard, we were bombarded with people trying to sell us drinks packages. Of course you didn't have to be a genius to work out, even in USD, that this package would pay for itself after only 5 or 6 cocktails. It also included unlimited soft drink refills and a cup with a NFC chip in it you can refill at special dispenser stations (over 100 flavours!) or most bars/restaurants (in very limited flavours). Drinks package includes drinks to the value of $14, after that you pay the difference. Not many drinks were over that price. I signed up for Voom, their excellent internet at sea service. It cost us $18US per day so not cheap but the speed is reasonable (5 Mbps down and about 3 Mbps up), ping times around 200ms which is fine for Skype, FaceTime or WiFi Calling, I made several calls with no noticeable delays which is great for satellite services. The ship also has a mobile base station so your mobile can "roam" if enabled to allow calls/texts although these are at very high rates, around $5/min calling. Stick to Skype, FaceTime or WiFi Calling if you purchase the Voom package it won't cost a cent. I didn't know how to sign up for their internet but you simply connect to "royal-wifi" (no password required) - a browser should open up but it may be in Chinese, simply select English from the top corner near the Earth icon and you can sign up without anyone's help. You should even be able to do this before you get onboard as we could pick up the WifI in the passenger terminal. Also its now a good time to download the Royal IQ from your App Store. This lets you check your statement, book restaurants and check out much more. You don't need to pay for internet to access this onboard, it will work as long as you connect to "royal-wifi". I found the app had some issues, we couldn't book restaurants on it (possibly because our cruise was split in half by the agent?) - but it does keep a track of all drinks and restaurants you get, so its good to see if you are getting value from your drinks / food packages. More tech savvy people may want to invest in a cheap wifi router to create your own wifi network onboard, this means you will only need 1 Voom package but will be able to share it amongst multiple devices (we had 8 between us, including iPads, apple watches etc) - you only get the 5Mbps speeds to share amongst the devices so it isn't abusing the connection, but you may find its frowned upon by crew. It means your devices have an extra layer of protection via WPA. If you don't want to go to this level, you can simply log off and on to devices as you need. Apple's iMessage works without having a Voom subscription which is excellent making it easy to keep in contact with other iPhone users onboard. The ship itself is just majestic, we were in room 6142 on deck 6, a perfect location it was only a deck or two away from 24 hour food, drinks and entertainment. The room was very modern and clean, we had a balcony suite which although we didn't spend as much time as we thought out there, was just so relaxing to watch from the bed. I highly recommend an outside facing room. The bathroom is a little on the small size for someone as big as me, but we coped. The shower head has multiple settings and good water flow. Its detachable so you can wash all your bits with ease! The toilet was fine, although we found it blocked a couple of times (as did our friends staying next door) - looks like if you flush it multiple times it may stop flushing, not sure if this is a fault or a feature, but we learned to just flush once and wait if it needed flushing again. There is a shaver power outlet and plenty of light, a toilet brush (thank you!) and plenty of room to store/hang things considering it size. Our cabin had a king size bed, it felt a little shorter than a regular king and occasionally felt uncomfortable hanging off the edge (bear in mind I'm nearly 2 metres long), I also wish they had fitted sheets because I found in the morning the sheets had ridden up and I was laying on the mattress. There was a US 110v power socket on the right size of the bed under the lamp, I purchased a travel adapter that converted this to two x AU sockets to get around the fact they frown on power boards/strips. My partner uses CPAP so that left one socket for my phone and other USB devices. The bedroom desk has a EU 220V socket, and a couple more US 110V sockets. They suggest you use the 220V power by supplying a EU to AU adapter, which you must pay $25 for if you remove it from the ship. We advised my partner uses a CPAP machine prior to boarding and they supplied an adapter, an extension lead and distilled water, nice touch! There are also a couple of USB ports on the desk but found these to be low powered and a bit loose so you had to make sure not to bump the plug otherwise it wouldn't supply power. There is a flat screen TV which plays safety information when you first enter your room. It's done quite well and is entertaining to watch while you learn at the same time. It has plenty of channels which we didn't really watch, it also has a channel that shows you the ships position and speed, and live feeds from all over the ship. In the cabin there is PLENTY of room to hang and store your stuff, very well thought out, even the bedside tables have shelves to store heaps of stuff. Never felt cramped or like we had to live out of our suitcase. The dining was excellent. Service was far above what I expected. So many staff all smiling and only happy to help. I don't think I came across anyone that wasn't happy to help with our requests. Our cabin attendant was amazing and we left him an extra tip when we left. His towel animals always got us excited to return to our cabin each night. Food at Windjammer was great, so much choice. After eating here every day though tends to get old which is why they have more than a dozen other places to eat. Some free some you pay for. Jamies Italian was great, Wonderland was amazing, you just have to try it! They really look after any food restrictions you might have (mine was no seafood - they were great about that!) The entertainment was great, we had plenty of things to do, I got a bit seasick the day of my ship tour which I was REALLY looking forward to, but I just couldn't finish it. That's the only downside of booking in advance, if you don't you miss out, if you do, you may not be able to do it on the day. I might have been able to try to get a refund but I didn't bother, I got to the bridge and that was my highlight! The shows were fantastic, Pixels was great, those moving screens are incredible and must cost a fortune. The lighting and dancers were great too. So well choreographed. The other show I absolutely loved was called Live Love Legs. This was a show we were going to miss, but it got brought forward to the night before we departed. Just brilliant! So much work gone into this show and it showed. The artwork spread across the ship is just fantastic, it makes you want to walk down 15 flights of stairs instead of taking a lift just to see all the amazing art. I just can't describe the actual beauty when onboard, everywhere you look there was something different and exciting to look at or interact with. We spent some time in the Seaplex, geared towards kids/teenagers, went up in the North Star, and sat in some pools / spas. There is just so much to do, in 7 days we couldn't get around to all of it. We had a few issues with billing, we got a letter on our bed night after night saying our card couldn't be charged, even though they had already taken it off our credit card. This involved several visits to Customer Service but they were quick to fix the issue. I also don't recommend the NFC wrist bands, they cost $5 and we were told we could use them anywhere on the ship, but they didn't always work or were accepted, the band just fit my arm, and I wear a watch, it wasn't very comfortable in the tropics either as it became sweaty quickly. You almost always had to remove it to give it to a bar person. Just use your sea pass in a lanyard (bring your own they charge $9 on board!) It amazed me seeing such a technologically advanced ship still couldn't do everything with NFC, some places had to write down our names/room numbers and get us to sign. The bionic bar wasn't working properly, only one arm was functional, and then we got charged accidentally. Lucky we checked, they had someone there crediting peoples accounts just for that reason. and the app could use some improvement, it was buggy, even using the onboard iPads to try to book restaurants wouldn't work. I came home sick, having caught a cold onboard, and was seasick on the last day or two due to the rough waters coming down the west coast of Australia. There was a warning issued at one stage about gastro, but everyone was obsessed with cleaning hands at the plethora of dispensing machines and sinks it didn't effect us. In summary, I absolutely loved my first cruise, I really miss the ship and the people, the atmosphere (being Christmas may have helped) - but I would most certainly go on this ship again. Was an unforgettable experience! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
We have sailed on many cruise lines over the years and last year travelled on this same ship when she departed from Singapore. We chose to sail again on her as she is the only Star Cruise line ship with a balcony and felt that leaving from ... Read More
We have sailed on many cruise lines over the years and last year travelled on this same ship when she departed from Singapore. We chose to sail again on her as she is the only Star Cruise line ship with a balcony and felt that leaving from Hong Kong for different waters would give us a similar experience with different destinations. I booked this online direct with the cruise line from Australia in Australian dollars (about $600 per night average for 2 people on deck 11 balcony BA class) so assumed it would be good for that amount of expense. The ship has been completely redesigned now with very regimented dining options at limited set times and the meals are very little better than the quality you would buy for $5 on any roadside diner, certainly not the 4 or 5 star options offered by other cruise liners. Meals are designed entirely around the Chinese market they are marketing to and indeed, the number of English speaking staff has greatly reduced. Not 1 of the TV channels is in English. A great let down on our previous experience with this cruise company. I would personally not recommend non Chinese speaking/eating people, especially Australians used to better treatment and standards to use this liner while it sails from Hong Kong to Taiwan as this cruise did as there is far better value and courtesy to be had elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
We boarded in Hong Kong for a 14-day cruise to Singapore via Viet Nam and Thailand. This was our first time on Celebrity, although we had been on 12 other cruises on 8 other lines. We were pleased with the experience overall, but have some ... Read More
We boarded in Hong Kong for a 14-day cruise to Singapore via Viet Nam and Thailand. This was our first time on Celebrity, although we had been on 12 other cruises on 8 other lines. We were pleased with the experience overall, but have some suggestions for improvement. The Ship: The Millenium is aging and shows it. Most of the indoor areas are in good condition, although the interior design is dated. The deck areas, however, are in need of maintenance. Much of the ship seems designed to maximize on-board charge revenue. There had been an outbreak of intestinal virus prior to our boarding, so the crew were constantly busy disinfecting. At times this was disconcerting, but the precautions were welcome. Indeed, the ship reported that some passengers on our cruise got sick. Fellow Passengers: A very international set with native English speakers making up only about 60% Lots of people from Asia and South America. Mostly adults, although quite a few younger than retirement age. About 5% under age 20, very few families. Stateroom: We were very lucky to stay in a Royal Suite, and I would be quite spoiled to find fault. We were very happy there, especially with the extraordinary service provided by our butler. Service: Perfunctory, adequate, at times a bit friendly. Comparable to other mass market lines. Food and Beverage: Main dining room was always at least adequate, with some great successes. Comparable to other mass market lines. We had dinner in Blu 3 times and were very happy with the bistro-quality food there. The Olympic provided steakhouse quality food on par with premium restaurants on other lines. Qsine was a bit bizarre with an Ipad menu gimmick. We thought we were ordering from the pads, but in reality a server took our order verbally, and then brought out way too much food. This was not clearly explained. The Oceanview buffet was a bit of a free-for-all with too much pushing and shoving, with food of a very mediocre quality. Celebrity charges for beverages and pushes beverage packages, which seemed a good buy only if you drink a lot, or if your travel agent gets you a discount on the package. Fitness Center: Terrific. Lots of equipment and machines. While it is intensely used, the large scale made it very easy to access the equipment I needed. I was very happy with this feature. Entertainment: Very cruise ship. We saw 2 shows in the impressive big theater, and both were entertaining, although neither had any edge. The band and singer who performed in the clubs were very, very good. Other performers were forgettable. Enrichment: Poor quality. One lecturer and an improv class. That's all, other than the usual previews of excursions. An appalling art auction with many pieces of questionable value. Excursions: We took 3, all adequate. There were problems with the English language skills of two of the guides, and I think a fact check for one of them would have turned up lots of made-up data. Still we had a very quick review of some exotic places, giving us a taste for whether we might return. The smartest thing we did was splurge on the 3-day overnight excursion to Siem Reap in Cambodia to see Angkor Wat. As extraordinary experience. Who Are We: Two retired gents in our 60s with extensive world travel under our belts. Generally we prefer land-based travel and the chance to get to know a place in depth. We love ships, traveling on the sea, and prefer crossings with at-sea days to port-intensive cruises. We have taken 13 cruises on 9 different lines with no loyalty to any line in particular. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
We booked this cruise for the destinations and not the ship, thank the lord! Our 25th anniversary was spent with several friend who were going for the destinations as well. After boarding the ship,we noticed there were no robes in the ... Read More
We booked this cruise for the destinations and not the ship, thank the lord! Our 25th anniversary was spent with several friend who were going for the destinations as well. After boarding the ship,we noticed there were no robes in the cabin so we made a call to customer service. We quickly showered and changed to go to dinner in Hong Kong for our friends 65th birthday. When we got back to the ship one of our bags was sitting in the hallway all by itself and the robs that were place in the room looked like they were used to mop the kitchen floors! Yes, I was pissed! I called the room attendant and asked for clean robs which were provided. This cabin is what Celebrity calls a C3 concierge, the bed skirt was tattered and torn, shower curtain moldy, shower head broken and the vanity chair heavily stained not to mention balcony floor covered with trash and debris. We tried Olympic specialty restaurant on two occasions, the first time the food was so salty we could not eat most of the meal, the last time just eatable. Celebrity, please instruct your chefs to lay off the salt please, that is what salt shakers are for. Qsine was outstanding and Predrag and his staff made our 25th anniversary dinner very special, we ate there twice! After we filled out a customer service questioner stating all the problems with this cruise, we returned to the ship after an overnight in Saigon to find all item listed had been remedied.New shower fixture, bed skirt and vanity chair had been replaced. Also we were given credit for one of the Olympic dinners. Stateroom attendant Abdul was very good at his job, thank you. At the pool bars some of the bartenders acted like it would kill them to answer a question about the daily drink specials, how hard can this be? Next cruise will be on another line unless Celebrity gets its act together. Read Less

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