13 Hong Kong Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

A terrible experience on ovation of the seas! Not a holiday! EMBARKATION - did an online check in and made an appointment time check in! On arrival, all this arrangement does not arrange by rci! When check with rci staff, they just ... Read More
A terrible experience on ovation of the seas! Not a holiday! EMBARKATION - did an online check in and made an appointment time check in! On arrival, all this arrangement does not arrange by rci! When check with rci staff, they just tell me to line up like others of hundreds with hours of waiting on line. Rci staff said that the online appointment and check in - is just a suggestion! CABIN - small and no toilet amenities such as toothbrush, shaver given! Only shower gel at the shower area and a small soap bar! This is worst than 2 star hotel! - pillow stinks! DISEMBARKATION - no smooth at all, messy! Rci have appointed the venue and time to disembarked, but we are show to walk all over to other venues to disembarked! DINING - horrible quality and taste especially windjammer! The taste is so bad and the presentation was so horrible served especially the cuts fruits. - the night snack offered in windjammer from 22:00 hours was only 3 types from the afternoon lunch left overs and tables arrange was less than 100 seatings! There are more than 200 lining up! - only paid dining are good and fit to eat! ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES - children mini water park supposed to closed at 20:00 hours each day, but the park closed at 19:30 with the reason- water pump faulty! SERVICES The grande waiter served us well (gusti from indonesia) and the silk waitress on a grey jacket (from china) was terrible rude and unhelpful! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This tops any previous cruise. Aqua Class has us spoiled for any other level - from the flowers, wine, fruit, evening treats and use of the Persian Garden to the food in Blu. Their service was exceptional - from our waiters to the wine ... Read More
This tops any previous cruise. Aqua Class has us spoiled for any other level - from the flowers, wine, fruit, evening treats and use of the Persian Garden to the food in Blu. Their service was exceptional - from our waiters to the wine steward...even the front desk knew our names on the second day. Each port was unique and provided enough time to get a perspective of life at each stop. Only wish is that the ports were closer to areas of interest. Having a sea day between ports to relax was helpful as tours required full, long days. Our small group planned our sightseeing through Tours By Locals and was never disappointed. Easy pickup; english speaking guides; delicious local restaurants; cost effective; outlined to meet our requests...even the tailor shop in Hoi An...we felt we saw twice the sights compared to a normal cruise tour. It was also nice to have large vans to relax on the longer trips into town. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was not a 14 day cruise it was a 13 day cruise spending the last day and night in Hong Kong harbour.Where we left from. 1 The shows were below standard 2 The food was poor with the exception of 3 meals,which were excellent 3 ... Read More
This was not a 14 day cruise it was a 13 day cruise spending the last day and night in Hong Kong harbour.Where we left from. 1 The shows were below standard 2 The food was poor with the exception of 3 meals,which were excellent 3 The stops were impossible to experience night life or night markets with exception of Hanoi which was a 7.5 hour return trip by taxi or bus,unless you spent the night in a hotel in Hanoi,extra expense. 4 The entertainment on board,should you not wish to leave the ship in port,was non existent 5 You were not given any alternative information re travel should you not wish to take excursions eg Taiwan,there was a train direct. 6 There were no cooking classes re the food of the countrys we visited. 7 The state rooms were excellent. We had a beverage package,and drank cold drinks from the mini bar in our state room,they dont tell you this is not part of the beverage and charge you ,which is foolish,as you can order drinks at any bar and bring it down to your room.I did query this and they reversed the charges. 8 The service was excellent and the staff were excellent 9 Embarkation and Disembarkation excellent 10 The visibility of officers and captain,were unique,the captain was even down stairs in disembarkation wishing us all well. In all with the exception of staff and offices stateroom and captain a very poor cruise,which i would not recommend to any one,the worst cruise ever.We have travelled on Cunnard,Princess,Crystal,MSC,Costa and more,this was the worst. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Having only been on 1 cruise prior a short 3 day one, we chose this cruise purely for the ship. The location was then selected and as it had a number of stops to break up the trip and went for this one with stops in Vietnam and Thailand ... Read More
Having only been on 1 cruise prior a short 3 day one, we chose this cruise purely for the ship. The location was then selected and as it had a number of stops to break up the trip and went for this one with stops in Vietnam and Thailand before arriving in Singapore. We also had not visited HK before so that was an added bonus to fly in a few days prior to look around. Despite the stops, we could have done with more days at sea as there was so much to do on the ship. The ocean was flat all the way and was perfect. The weather had a few overcast days but only rained once or twice. We expected for the size of the ship it would be overcrowded and embarkation and disembarkation at the Ports and pre/post cruise would be a nightmaree but it was a painless experience. Some of the prior reviews rated this negatively and I guess they have put more focus on this as the wait times were minimal and we got on and off the boat easily. For the number of people (around 4300 guests) it did not feel crowded at all, there was always plenty of space. We had an interior stateroom with a virtual balcony (9185) and it was excellent. We have stayed in a balcony room before so wasn't sure what to expect but I was more than happy with the room. Friends stayed in a balcony room and the size and layout was exactly the same except for the balcony. The virtual screen provided a good look at what was going on outside the ship but we hardly noticed as we were never in our room. Once we left in the morning we didn't return until night before getting ready for dinner or to go out. We did the most of the activities on board, Eye in the Sky, I-Fly (sky diving), roller staking, bumper cars, rock climbing, basketball, ping pong etc. There was a lot to keep you occupied. All of which was great fun. I travelled with a group of 10 (5 couples, no children). There were not many young kids on board that we saw, and same for teenagers. However, there were specific kid and teenage activities arranged and the sporting area (ping pong, roller skating, basketball, volleyball, bumper cars, xbox lounges, foozball etc.) as well as the arcade would be awesome for them, it was pretty impressive. My teenage son was a bit envious he didn't come! We saw the Love Legs show (may have the name wrong) which was excellent. Great singers and performers. Entertainment was generally high quality. The ship has a huge lounge called the 270 which has screens that cover all windows. One of the shows Pixels that you had to book for showcased the facility with moving screens, light show etc. The show was a bit out there but it was good to see the full capability of the facility which is pretty amazing. The food was excellent in most of the facilities. Fine Dining was a bit disappointing and the standard was ok, but not great. We had better meals in the Windjammer (buffet) and ate there on most occasions. I think this was consistent with most travellers as we tried fine dining again on day 4 or so and there was hardly anyone there and they were so grateful we went back. Again, meal was ok and we didn't return again. The buffet at Windjammer was very good quality, could not fault it. So much variety and suffice to say we ate a lot! We also pre-booked Jamie Oliver and Chops Steakhouse both of which were very good as well. The food was unlimited and we paid around $35-40 pp pre-booked and it was well worth it. Plenty of other places to eat but we did not try them all. Also did room service breakfast before tours in Port and this was also good. A few in our group smoked and there was a good area on the pool deck with nice lounges and you could open the windows. A few commented this was a lot better than other cruises where you can be stuck in a tiny, crappy area. We booked our own tours rather than go with the boats which was perfect for a group. We used a Company called "Shore Excursions" in both Vietnam and Thailand. It was much better as we did not have to wait for other people and could adjust the itinerary on the day. The itineraries and tour guides were great and would highly recommend this as well. As you can see by my novel - we loved our time on Ovation!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We always wanted to see Japan, have been all thru' China & Thailand before , the rest of the cruise was a very pleasant Bonus, especially Vietnam, loved the food and the people there. I tell you that having Dr. Kam's lectures ... Read More
We always wanted to see Japan, have been all thru' China & Thailand before , the rest of the cruise was a very pleasant Bonus, especially Vietnam, loved the food and the people there. I tell you that having Dr. Kam's lectures was so amazing, what a wonderful man he is, a real bonus for HA. I also would like to comment on Markus who gave the Gem-stone talks this boy knows his work, so fun. I journal for every cruise so I take notes on every lecture and presentation. I always want to learn. Josh and Phil were great too, took their notes as well. The entertainment was awesome, loved the Volendam dancers and singers, good variety. Movies pretty good. The cruise director never could spell her name, was awesome so fun at the trivia contests. The Captain too was great, he hd a lot to deal with, especially in Shanghai. All of the crew were superb going the extra mile for all of us. I heard some of the beef was tough but on the night we had surf and turf it was excellent. In general the food was good, could be a little hotter but it is hard to do for so many people, soup always hot and delicious, and the bread pudding, to die for. I just want to say some of the comments I have read were not pleasant, not all people are pleasant, you can please some of the people etc. It was a busy tour, but we made it and what a great place to end it but in Singapore---Wow what a beautiful place!!!!!!!!! Evelyn and Russell Green Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Saw this ship all over the news last year, being the largest cruise ship to ever visit Australia and thought it would be something new and exciting to try. We booked through a local travel agent which made things easier, but there are ... Read More
Saw this ship all over the news last year, being the largest cruise ship to ever visit Australia and thought it would be something new and exciting to try. We booked through a local travel agent which made things easier, but there are caveats first time cruisers need to be aware of (and they don't let you know up front) Firstly, we discovered the cruise was split in half by the agent, this caused many issues we weren't aware of. When we logged into the RCI website to book shows and drinks/internet packages, it showed us travelling for the entire duration of the cruise. This was wrong and prevented us from booking internet/drinks packages in AUD, so we had to pay more once on board as everything is charge in USD. This cost us quite a bit more ultimately. Also shows advertised were booked out quickly as it took forever to get our login, or they weren't showing until after we departed the cruise. All very confusing and not a great start. The other issue we had going via a travel agent was when we checked in at the hotel and the cruise terminal, there were issues that took quite some time to resolve. In Singapore they had 4 people listed as checking in! Obviously the other couple were checking in the day we departed in Fremantle, but their systems can't cope with this arrangement. The hotel was nice, but didn't honour our requests. We also couldn't get exit row seats for the flight thanks to using an agent. Being 197cm tall this was a worry, but it turned out the flight wasn't full and I could find some seats with more legroom. Anyway back to the cruise ship. Once onboard, we were bombarded with people trying to sell us drinks packages. Of course you didn't have to be a genius to work out, even in USD, that this package would pay for itself after only 5 or 6 cocktails. It also included unlimited soft drink refills and a cup with a NFC chip in it you can refill at special dispenser stations (over 100 flavours!) or most bars/restaurants (in very limited flavours). Drinks package includes drinks to the value of $14, after that you pay the difference. Not many drinks were over that price. I signed up for Voom, their excellent internet at sea service. It cost us $18US per day so not cheap but the speed is reasonable (5 Mbps down and about 3 Mbps up), ping times around 200ms which is fine for Skype, FaceTime or WiFi Calling, I made several calls with no noticeable delays which is great for satellite services. The ship also has a mobile base station so your mobile can "roam" if enabled to allow calls/texts although these are at very high rates, around $5/min calling. Stick to Skype, FaceTime or WiFi Calling if you purchase the Voom package it won't cost a cent. I didn't know how to sign up for their internet but you simply connect to "royal-wifi" (no password required) - a browser should open up but it may be in Chinese, simply select English from the top corner near the Earth icon and you can sign up without anyone's help. You should even be able to do this before you get onboard as we could pick up the WifI in the passenger terminal. Also its now a good time to download the Royal IQ from your App Store. This lets you check your statement, book restaurants and check out much more. You don't need to pay for internet to access this onboard, it will work as long as you connect to "royal-wifi". I found the app had some issues, we couldn't book restaurants on it (possibly because our cruise was split in half by the agent?) - but it does keep a track of all drinks and restaurants you get, so its good to see if you are getting value from your drinks / food packages. More tech savvy people may want to invest in a cheap wifi router to create your own wifi network onboard, this means you will only need 1 Voom package but will be able to share it amongst multiple devices (we had 8 between us, including iPads, apple watches etc) - you only get the 5Mbps speeds to share amongst the devices so it isn't abusing the connection, but you may find its frowned upon by crew. It means your devices have an extra layer of protection via WPA. If you don't want to go to this level, you can simply log off and on to devices as you need. Apple's iMessage works without having a Voom subscription which is excellent making it easy to keep in contact with other iPhone users onboard. The ship itself is just majestic, we were in room 6142 on deck 6, a perfect location it was only a deck or two away from 24 hour food, drinks and entertainment. The room was very modern and clean, we had a balcony suite which although we didn't spend as much time as we thought out there, was just so relaxing to watch from the bed. I highly recommend an outside facing room. The bathroom is a little on the small size for someone as big as me, but we coped. The shower head has multiple settings and good water flow. Its detachable so you can wash all your bits with ease! The toilet was fine, although we found it blocked a couple of times (as did our friends staying next door) - looks like if you flush it multiple times it may stop flushing, not sure if this is a fault or a feature, but we learned to just flush once and wait if it needed flushing again. There is a shaver power outlet and plenty of light, a toilet brush (thank you!) and plenty of room to store/hang things considering it size. Our cabin had a king size bed, it felt a little shorter than a regular king and occasionally felt uncomfortable hanging off the edge (bear in mind I'm nearly 2 metres long), I also wish they had fitted sheets because I found in the morning the sheets had ridden up and I was laying on the mattress. There was a US 110v power socket on the right size of the bed under the lamp, I purchased a travel adapter that converted this to two x AU sockets to get around the fact they frown on power boards/strips. My partner uses CPAP so that left one socket for my phone and other USB devices. The bedroom desk has a EU 220V socket, and a couple more US 110V sockets. They suggest you use the 220V power by supplying a EU to AU adapter, which you must pay $25 for if you remove it from the ship. We advised my partner uses a CPAP machine prior to boarding and they supplied an adapter, an extension lead and distilled water, nice touch! There are also a couple of USB ports on the desk but found these to be low powered and a bit loose so you had to make sure not to bump the plug otherwise it wouldn't supply power. There is a flat screen TV which plays safety information when you first enter your room. It's done quite well and is entertaining to watch while you learn at the same time. It has plenty of channels which we didn't really watch, it also has a channel that shows you the ships position and speed, and live feeds from all over the ship. In the cabin there is PLENTY of room to hang and store your stuff, very well thought out, even the bedside tables have shelves to store heaps of stuff. Never felt cramped or like we had to live out of our suitcase. The dining was excellent. Service was far above what I expected. So many staff all smiling and only happy to help. I don't think I came across anyone that wasn't happy to help with our requests. Our cabin attendant was amazing and we left him an extra tip when we left. His towel animals always got us excited to return to our cabin each night. Food at Windjammer was great, so much choice. After eating here every day though tends to get old which is why they have more than a dozen other places to eat. Some free some you pay for. Jamies Italian was great, Wonderland was amazing, you just have to try it! They really look after any food restrictions you might have (mine was no seafood - they were great about that!) The entertainment was great, we had plenty of things to do, I got a bit seasick the day of my ship tour which I was REALLY looking forward to, but I just couldn't finish it. That's the only downside of booking in advance, if you don't you miss out, if you do, you may not be able to do it on the day. I might have been able to try to get a refund but I didn't bother, I got to the bridge and that was my highlight! The shows were fantastic, Pixels was great, those moving screens are incredible and must cost a fortune. The lighting and dancers were great too. So well choreographed. The other show I absolutely loved was called Live Love Legs. This was a show we were going to miss, but it got brought forward to the night before we departed. Just brilliant! So much work gone into this show and it showed. The artwork spread across the ship is just fantastic, it makes you want to walk down 15 flights of stairs instead of taking a lift just to see all the amazing art. I just can't describe the actual beauty when onboard, everywhere you look there was something different and exciting to look at or interact with. We spent some time in the Seaplex, geared towards kids/teenagers, went up in the North Star, and sat in some pools / spas. There is just so much to do, in 7 days we couldn't get around to all of it. We had a few issues with billing, we got a letter on our bed night after night saying our card couldn't be charged, even though they had already taken it off our credit card. This involved several visits to Customer Service but they were quick to fix the issue. I also don't recommend the NFC wrist bands, they cost $5 and we were told we could use them anywhere on the ship, but they didn't always work or were accepted, the band just fit my arm, and I wear a watch, it wasn't very comfortable in the tropics either as it became sweaty quickly. You almost always had to remove it to give it to a bar person. Just use your sea pass in a lanyard (bring your own they charge $9 on board!) It amazed me seeing such a technologically advanced ship still couldn't do everything with NFC, some places had to write down our names/room numbers and get us to sign. The bionic bar wasn't working properly, only one arm was functional, and then we got charged accidentally. Lucky we checked, they had someone there crediting peoples accounts just for that reason. and the app could use some improvement, it was buggy, even using the onboard iPads to try to book restaurants wouldn't work. I came home sick, having caught a cold onboard, and was seasick on the last day or two due to the rough waters coming down the west coast of Australia. There was a warning issued at one stage about gastro, but everyone was obsessed with cleaning hands at the plethora of dispensing machines and sinks it didn't effect us. In summary, I absolutely loved my first cruise, I really miss the ship and the people, the atmosphere (being Christmas may have helped) - but I would most certainly go on this ship again. Was an unforgettable experience! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We sailed from Hong Kong and as being less able than a lot of the passengers enjoyed the embarkation process as it was very quick and efficient. The cabins were great size with balconies for 2 out of the 3 couples who sailed in our ... Read More
We sailed from Hong Kong and as being less able than a lot of the passengers enjoyed the embarkation process as it was very quick and efficient. The cabins were great size with balconies for 2 out of the 3 couples who sailed in our group; all agreed no problems at all. Food was good and the dining room staff excellent right from reserving a table as we had freedom dining to our table staff Arman, Manauba and Pandian the wine water all excellent and good fun. Itinerary was great that's why we booked and wasn't disappointed with Vietnam probably the highlight for us. We did not use the ship excursion programme but pre-booked our own with reputable companies at all the ports of call. This is by no means a slnt on the ship's tours it's just we like to do our own thing Overall great holiday for us as we met some great people and befriended quite a few, visited some wonderful places and the weather was great right through apart from day in Singapore, however because we had booked several more days there it was not a problem. Dave, Sandra, John, Maureen, Kathy and Billy from Liverpool UK Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We had planned on a large family reunion and had focused our search in the south-east Asia region. Living in Canada, none of us had ever travelled to this part of the world due to the very lengthy flight to get there. NCL had advertised ... Read More
We had planned on a large family reunion and had focused our search in the south-east Asia region. Living in Canada, none of us had ever travelled to this part of the world due to the very lengthy flight to get there. NCL had advertised an itinerary that was quite frankly exceptional, as it would be touching upon nine ports. Based on this itinerary, we booked the cruise more than a year in advance. Also based on the itinerary and dates, we had booked all the flights and several independent shore excursions. People had booked off vacation time. Our sense of anticipation grew as the travel date got closer. However, just four days prior to our departure, we were informed that the ship has some mechanical issues, specifically one of the azipods was disabled. In order to offset the ship's reduced speed, they deleted four ports and we would have to spend many more days at sea. This was extremely short notice, especially since the azipod issue was known to NCL several weeks in advance. They offered a compensation of 50% refund and a 50% credit for a future cruise (as long as it was taken within a year). This may have been fine for someone who hadn't booked so far in advance was travelling in a small group. However, the logistics of a family reunion are difficult to try and redo again and they didn't recognize the degree to which they compromised our travel plans. I understand that mechanical problems can happen to any ship, regardless of cruise line. My bigger frustration with NCL is their customer service (or lack of). I have been diligently trying to talk to management on the ship as well as reach senior customer management personnel at their head office. However, they continue to exploit their bureaucracy and hide behind front-line telephone operators. They haven't answered any of my questions, but submit vague statements such as "we understand your concern and we can't do anything for you". A true service oriented company would have had their senior management reach out to me and better understand my concerns and try to address them in a more individual manner. At least they would have better articulated their reasons for reaching certain conclusions. I have lost all trust with NCL as they have lost what it means to empathize and properly deal with customers. As a result, it is unlikely that I will ever travel with them again, regardless of the 50% discount they are providing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We picked the cruise on the Norwegian Star from Hong Kong to Singapore on the 22nd December because it included both Christmas and New Year. We arrived in Hong Kong a few days prior to this and then a day before embarking found out the ... Read More
We picked the cruise on the Norwegian Star from Hong Kong to Singapore on the 22nd December because it included both Christmas and New Year. We arrived in Hong Kong a few days prior to this and then a day before embarking found out the ship had mechanical problems and the itineray had been changed cutting out 4 ports. These I may add where the ones We wanted to visit..We had the option to cancel and get "full refund" or go ahead and get a full 50% off and both options included 50% off another cruise. Well there seems to be a big mix up here. Some People had money in Their account only to have most taken out. Some nothing and up to now and We only have 1/2 off it.. No crew seemed to know what was happening as They hadn't been informed.. A lot of People lost money booking and cancelling overnight accommodation for overnight stays. We also expected to have Christmas day at sea but not so, on an 8 hour excursion Vietnam. New Year mixed up too. As for the rest. Crew were great. Food in the specialty restaurants fantastic. We got the package and the alcohol one too. . Ship could do with a face lift and move the kiddies pool away from the back of the ship an d make it a bar/atrium area. Kids do not care about the view. On saying all of this We were lucky enough to win the second Bingo on day 4 and got upgraded from Our 5th deck window cabin to a suite on deck 12. It was well worth My only ever feeling a bit nausous that high up. I would not sail on that particular ship again. Not because of the problems but of the way it was handled. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
HAL is one of my favorite lines. . I like long cruises of 30 day and have already booked next year's HAL Cruise to S. AMERICA why? 1.dining room service w/ yudi was as good as the pinnacle and i tipped xtra. my roomie was gluten ... Read More
HAL is one of my favorite lines. . I like long cruises of 30 day and have already booked next year's HAL Cruise to S. AMERICA why? 1.dining room service w/ yudi was as good as the pinnacle and i tipped xtra. my roomie was gluten free and i am vegetarian.and diebetic yudi was told once and after that always asked what i wanted for my evening snack when a table became available he moved us to a window table. hal now offers a full vegetarian menu - very nice! of course, there was surf and turf on a night; lobster on another and gigantic steaks any time.the saladsandchilled fruit soups were to die for and the desserts were decedant w/ a non-sugar choice the female the female wine stewart. instead of asking again and again when we said :no" to wine .like the male stewart. instead she came every nite and enquired about our day..low key -- no pressure -- polite and friendly i only had dinner in the dining room because lunch interfered w/ my trivia game. the lido buffet was boring the chef thinks vegetarians eat pasta. luckily i like mac and cheese. but daily. once i had asian noodles and korean/japanese pickles -- yes! i am from vancouver and prefer asian food. the sushi was ho hum. a gala asian buffet held on the deck andmost enjoyed it hal decorated w/ chinese lanterns and served food in street stalls. unfortunately, no vegetarian fare. strange. many chinese. korean and japanese folk r buddhist hence vegetarian. they tried. but thy r dutch. the specialty dutch tea was british interpreted by americans. (myfather's a brit) -- the indonesian hi tea was also british altho the actual indonesian tea was terrific the server let me take some back to my cabin.great service the only disappointment is the 24 hr. room service. if u order continental all is well. tricks of trade. if u r having ci=offee for tow write "large" beside coffee. if you risk a poachd egg -- write 'soft' beside egg. the coffee was not starbucks. but drinkable the vegetarian thai wrap is delicious. but only available til 10 pm. after that vegetarians starve. cabin cleaning on par w/ other cruises -- minimal. lectures: mr. terry greenburg lectured on the history of china. japan and alaska. terrific. factural w. human elements. cultural info regarding japan wee fascinating. dr. helen ayers lectured on geology incl. ice burgs the talk on oil mining was an eye opener and really clarified the conflict regarding fraking. wonderful. pARK Rngers came on board when we entered glacier bay. i've been to alaska twice so i skipped it. down side -- cruised for 6 days over date line and changed time 1 hr fwd each day so i was in constant jet lag (time lag) then changed 2 hrs fwd just b4 vancouver. activities - mixed -- steve was a phenomenal bridge teacher for two wks, then katherine took over and she sucked windows 10 couraes helpful. dynamic and patient teacher. trivial always fun. library/wifi area the best of any line. jazzy shore manager a dud, but available to hand out maps and provide tips for those going ashore on their own did not take hal shore ex. cruised w/ craig travel and took their tours and cruise critic hal tours too expensive. cabin inside as good as an inside can be. better than ncl. carnival and princess. boarding and disembarkation smooth Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I am finally getting to write my review of our cruise. We traveled with the large group of 40 along with our travel agent, which was very nice because all our tours were preplanned and prepaid. Below you will find the brief description by ... Read More
I am finally getting to write my review of our cruise. We traveled with the large group of 40 along with our travel agent, which was very nice because all our tours were preplanned and prepaid. Below you will find the brief description by category, which might or might not help future cruisers because everyone's feedback is different and can vary significantly. Here is our's: Destination / ports of call: we sailed from Hong Kong to Shanghai. Loved every port, enjoyed the tours, lot's of walking. Amazing sights. Cruise Ship: this is our second time on Celebrity and we were not very impressed. Everyone were saying that it is better than Princess but we didn't think so. Embarkation in Hong Kong: very disorganized, took a long time. Cabin: we were in Aqua Class and it was great. The cabin was nice, our room steward was very attentive, can't be better. Food: average to say the least. Lunch buffet was terrible, dinner was so-so even in Blue, menu not interesting. Service was poor both in the dining room and in the Blue, extremely slow, although, personnel was friendly. Spa area: very good, enjoyed it a lot. Overall the ship did not look renovated. The main atrium was not very impressive. They could do much better on the refurbishing. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
The Voyage to Antiquity cruise/tour was a 31 day, 22 night cruise trip of a lifetime. The ports of call included Hong Kong - 3 nights, Manila Philippines, Sandakan Borneo, Pare Pare Indonesia, Ujung Indonesia, Lombok Indonesia and Bali ... Read More
The Voyage to Antiquity cruise/tour was a 31 day, 22 night cruise trip of a lifetime. The ports of call included Hong Kong - 3 nights, Manila Philippines, Sandakan Borneo, Pare Pare Indonesia, Ujung Indonesia, Lombok Indonesia and Bali Indonesia. Some of the passengers left at Bali and a new group came on board for the trip to Bangkok. The next port of call was Semerang Indonesia, Singapore, overnight at Ho chi Minh Vietnam, Sihanoukville Cambodia - Koh Samui Thailand was substituted because of the Cambodian King's funeral, and finally Bangkok. The trip included 2 nights in Bangkok, an overnight trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia, one more overnight in Bangkok and then back home. This was our first experience on a small cruise ship and we were extremely satisfied with a smaller group of passengers. The ship can accommodate 370 passengers, however, I believe that the first leg had about 340 and the second about 320. There always were deck chairs available, seating in the dining rooms was never an issue as well as attending the lectures etc. - always adequate space. The small ship had the ability to sail into ports of call that is not available to larger ships. The line up of guest speakers was varied and entertaining, many topics pertinent to the upcoming tours. The lectures provided us with insight into these island countries, their development with the spice trade, the strategic development of the towns and cities as well as the cultures and religions that were brought to these parts of the world by these traders - India, China, Britain, Holland, Portugal and the United States all played an important part in the development of these islands. There were 13 ports of call featured in this trip including Hong Kong, Bangkok and Siem Reap. These were beautiful and diverse places with stunning temples and palaces, fascinating local markets, fishing villages, local cultures, drive to the volcano with its diverse landscape and the modern city of Singapore. The ship's entertainment included the "Fantasy Trio", a Romanian orchestra group playing the piano, violin and bass. These guys were excellent in their selection of music and formats - formal concerts, classical, jazz etc. Nicki was a soloist pianist/singer, who had a terrific range of music that would please any age. She lined up with the Fantasy Trio on many occasions making for a memorable after dinning evening. Our Belvedere outside cabin was excellent - it exceeded our expectations. We had a wardrobe, two night stands and a dresser with a mini bar fridge. This allowed us to store our clothes in a manageable fashion. The bathroom was spacious, good shower, hair dryer etc. The Marco Polo lounge was the more formal dining area; however, you could order the Marco Polo menu a la carte in the Terrace Cafe dining room. The Terrace Dining room had more choices and a more relaxed atmosphere, so it became out dining room of choice. It also allowed us to mingle with other passengers in a more relaxed setting. The food selections and variety were excellent throughout the complete journey. The Philippine/Indonesian crew were outstanding - they were always smiling, friendly, efficient, professional and willing to take the time to talk about their lives and families. They continued to smile even in the 5 days of adverse conditions with no air conditioning - the cooks continued to make outstanding meals in what appeared to be unbearable conditions. Were there problems - yes, the first 2 days out to sea were rough and with a smaller ship, many passengers, crew and staff suffered from sea sickness. The weather was relatively cool in the first couple of days (we had the A/C shut-off in our cabin ) and with the air conditioning working, the cabins were home to many of the passengers. Then the A/C failed as the temperatures and humidity climbed to the mid 30 C and 100% humidity. It rained almost every night in the first week or so, making the day time weather very humid. It appeared that the ship's Chief Engineer and his crew were unable to diagnose the problem and obtain the needed parts. Once in Bali. they were finally able to bring in the parts and the experienced manpower to solve the problem. The ship has a steam boiler which requires nightly soot blows (not allowed when in port) to minimize any soot during the day. However, depending on wind direction, soot did accumulate on deck chairs and the Terrace Cafe outside dinning chairs. A wipe with the towel ensured that you did not encounter the soot on your cloths or body. The water on board was considered drinkable however; each time we turned on the cabin tap, the first flow of water had a brown colour - we resorted to bottled water for drinking which we had to purchase. The new passengers who embarked in Bali brought along a virus that quickly spread amongst the passengers and crew. The Doctor on board was outstanding in dealing with this onslaught of clientele. Our biggest disappointment was the continuous late arrival at the various ports of call. This became a significant issue when the tour was a half day tour - usually limited to 4 hours because of daylight, so with an hour or more of tardiness, these tours became a rushed encounter barely allowing time for photographs and absorption of the surroundings. This needs to be addressed so that more time is available for these tours. The smaller number of passengers allowed large tour groups a controlling interest in the overall ability to function on the ship. They had their own private sessions, lectures, functions, tours and bridge playing that would occupy the lounges on the ship. They also would have a larger say in the scheduled activities. The A/C failure showed the arrogant side of many of the passengers. These passengers were typically from an educated professional background and their screaming and display of poor behaviour toward the the staff was an embarrassment. In summary we have booked two more future cruises on the Aegean Odyssey, the small cruise ship, its crew, the food selections, atmosphere, lectures etc. far outweigh the issues that were encountered on this trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
Booked Through: AHI Pearls of Southeast Asia: Hong Kong to Bali - Jan 12, 2013 to Jan 29, 2013 'Cruise Ship': Aegean Odyssey Voyages to Antiquity There were two parts to our "trip" -- starting with ~2 days ... Read More
Booked Through: AHI Pearls of Southeast Asia: Hong Kong to Bali - Jan 12, 2013 to Jan 29, 2013 'Cruise Ship': Aegean Odyssey Voyages to Antiquity There were two parts to our "trip" -- starting with ~2 days in Hong Kong, ending with ~2 days in Bali and the 10 day "cruise" part in the middle. The land based parts of the trip were quite good, organized by AHI and generally up to the expectations we have experienced in the past for AHI Trips endorsed by UW Alumni Travel. However, the 10 days "cruise" between Hong Kong and Bali was extremely disappointing and definitely NOT up to AHI promotions or similar endorsement from Wisconsin Alumni Association travel. Background: On this cruise portion of the trip, there were 5 "excursion" stops (Manila, Philippines; Borneo, Malaysia; Pare Pare, Lombok and Bali, Indonesia) and 5 days "at sea". At this time of the year darkness starts around 6:00 PM. However, 3 of the 5 excursions had port arrival times at 1:00 or 2:00 PM -- which strategically makes the time for excursion kind of tight (i.e.: delay arriving into port or delay getting onto the buses, cuts into time for excursion). Overall comments on the Aegean Odyssey part of the trip: - This ship is promoted as having recently been refitted for "small ship cruising" in the Mediterranean and Southeast Asia. I would instead think of this ship as "lipstick on a pig", the cosmetics of the ship have been redone attractively, but the inner workings are still those of a Black Sea/Aegean overnight ferry. o This was the FIRST venture of the Aegean Odyssey into Southeast Asia and the crew seemed to be feeling their way along with slow entries into ports and long delays with local customs clearance. o The ships engines seemed out of balance and caused a continuous "shudder" throughout the ship when running at full 14.5 kts. o The engines belched black smoke and black particulates all over the "Terrace Cafe" white canvas seats. Black stripes on the seats and on the passengers rears could be seen throughout. NOTE: all the canvas seats were washed the last evening before arrival into Bali for the next group of passengers. o The Air conditioning was obviously ill equipped to handle the humidity and temperatures of SE Asia. After leaving Manila, the AC FAILED, leaving the passengers to the mercy of 85-90 F heat and similar levels of humidity. Yes 8 days of NO AC on the cruise -- the closed cabins were, in some cases, unbearable with passengers seeking sleep on the decks or lounge areas. The Observation lounge on the top deck was like the 4th level of hell. The Ambassador lounge (lecture hall and general meeting area) was similarly uncomfortable, which detracted from the lecture series (AHI and V to A lectures). Worse yet: the Greek Captain made daily announcements that the engineers are working on the AC and will have it operating shortly (delusional). Also, announcements that parts have been flown into the next port (but they were the wrong ones) and that when we returned from excursion, it would be "frigid". o Comparably minor inconveniences: the Wi-Fi service on board was non-existent or spotty except for the last couple days -- fixed long distance via the UK home base; there was no TV signal for the entire cruise and the daily movies were "hits" from the 60's (e.g.: Around the World in 80 Days -- David Niven version, Bridge over the River Kwai etc.). - Unbelievably, this Greek Captain arrived in every port (YES every port) at least 1 hour late. This late arrival, in addition to the "amateurish and sometimes snotty" actions of the Shore Excursion director and her novice team led to the excursions being rushed or cut short (sites eliminated from the itinerary). On the last evening aboard, the Captain announced that we would leave Lombok for Bali at 23:00 and that the AC would be running again by 22:00, with arrival into Bali (only 4 hours away) at 05:00. Pathetically, there was no AC and the ship arrived into Bali at 06:15 with disembarkation started at 09:30 instead of the scheduled 08:00. - ON THE GOOD SIDE: The British Hotel Manager and the staff of cabin stewards and the dining room servers were outstanding despite the trying conditions. Many of the passengers sympathized with the wait staff and tipped generously before leaving. The food was generally quite palatable and of consistently good quality. The lectures were interesting, but the closed-in lecture hall was very uncomfortable with NO AC. Free drinks were started after the AC failed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013

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