51 Hong Kong Romantic Cruise Reviews

We had cabin 7238, Silver Junior Suite. It was beautiful, the ship is only six months old so our cabin was rather immaculate. Bathroom with full size bath, sink plus separate walk in shower. Opposite was a separate toilet and full size ... Read More
We had cabin 7238, Silver Junior Suite. It was beautiful, the ship is only six months old so our cabin was rather immaculate. Bathroom with full size bath, sink plus separate walk in shower. Opposite was a separate toilet and full size sink. One large double wardrobe plus another stand alone wardrobe with hanging space plus drawers. Lots of storage space. We had unused hangers and empty drawers, there was so much space. Comfortable bed, great lighting, fabulous large flat screen TV, and large desk. Balcony was large, and had the most comfortable balcony furniture I have ever had (this was my 46th cruise). Our room steward Cheng was very helpful and super friendly. We are not very demanding people but he was keen to help in any way he could. We bought a water pack of 12 bottles, which cost AUD$63, and they were in the room when we arrived. Dining - we ate lunch in the MDR on day one, it was fine, good service. We also ate one dinner in the MDR and the food quality was good. But the MDR was very busy, we had anytime dining but they took us downstairs to the traditional dining section as there was no space. As we had a Silver Junior Suite we were entitled to eat in the Silver Dining Room on deck 14. This was a great space, mainly buffet but you can also order from a small fixed menu which they bring to you. We ate here breakfast, lunch and dinner most days. Service was excellent, no wait for a table. Others told us of the huge queues for the MDR and even the buffet. The problem was we had a lot of large family groups on board who were eating together and not wanting to move on, hence no table turnover. Our friends had a booking for My Time dining and when they arrived for their table they were advised to join the long queue. They said 'we have a booking' and were advised that everyone on that huge queue had a booking as well. No tables were available. We had Diamond drinks in the Silver Lounge every evening, you go to the bar yourself, there was no table service. The bar staff were good though, it was fairly quiet most evenings, and they had a large choice of drinks. The Silver Concierge Sylvia was lovely, very friendly and helpful. We had a great time there most evenings. Shows - we saw The Silk Road in TWO70 lounge, don't miss it, it was spectacular. Really fabulous show. We also saw the production show Showgirls in the theatre, also really good. We missed a couple of special acts that we had seen on an earlier cruise. The theatre is large but get there early for a good seat. We are Diamond, embarkation around 12 noon was easy, and disembarkation at 8am was an easy walk off. We hopped into a taxi to the airport (around HKD320) and there was a huge line up of cabs waiting to take the passengers. We did a ship tour Okinawa which went to Okinawa World (a cave system, and traditional buildings/shops), the ruins of Shuri Castle and a shopping street. It was great! We had a great tour leader. In Subic Bay we did the Subic Bay Naval Base and Oceanworld tour. This was USD119 and did not deliver what was described. I complained the next day back on the ship and the shore excursion people were very apologetic and offered a 20% refund which I agreed to. It was the first time the ship had been to this port and lots of tours didn't go to plan. We did a private tour for Illocos, which took us to Vigan. Service was really good everywhere, with friendly staff. The Cruise Director Fang was fantastic! Such a great guy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our first Viking Ocean cruise — we’d done Viking River Cruises and they were always terrific. This cruise interested us because it called on ports in Japan and China as well as Hong Kong. We were completely satisfied with ... Read More
This was our first Viking Ocean cruise — we’d done Viking River Cruises and they were always terrific. This cruise interested us because it called on ports in Japan and China as well as Hong Kong. We were completely satisfied with the cruise, including the room, dining and shipboard experience. We were a little disappointed with the shore excursions, not because they were bad, they just weren’t as good as they were on their European river cruises. We were told it was because Viking controls the tours on European river cruises but contracts them out on ocean cruises. Getting on and off the ship was easy because there were less than 800 passengers aboard, even with the Chinese immigration officials making it difficult. Passing through immigration in Japan was a piece of cake. The ship had scheduled entertainment nightly in the theater and other areas of the ship as well as dancing in the lounge. Viking’ ships are a great size, not too big and impersonal, but big enough to have the amenities and entertainment to make it fun. Hong Kong and Shanghai were wonderful places to spend time and snorkeling on Ishigaki Island was memorable. We could have given up The smaller ports for more time in the larger. Dining was first rate at the Restaurant, the Chef’s Table and Manfrettis’ and very good at the World Cafe. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We recently sailed with Royal Caribbean from Hong Kong to Singapore. We have 25 cruises under our belt and my wife is a Crown & Anchor platinum member. I have read other reviews regarding this sailing and concur with all of the ... Read More
We recently sailed with Royal Caribbean from Hong Kong to Singapore. We have 25 cruises under our belt and my wife is a Crown & Anchor platinum member. I have read other reviews regarding this sailing and concur with all of the comments made. I have waited to post this review because I wanted to give Royal Caribbean the chance to respond to my letter of complaint. Below I have inserted the final part of the letter to give readers the gist of my complaint as the diary I kept of the cruise and issues encountered are protracted. After several emails back and forth Royal Caribbean have stated that they are unprepared to discuss company policy, have contacted the ships management team to address some of the issues and have refunded our laundry bill in full. Laundry returned to us smelly with two white linen items dyed blue, the complaints team also suggested that we dye the linen items a different colour so that my wife can still use them! Royal Caribbean have also offered $75 off our next cruise and a birthday experience voucher for my wife. I have replied that this is unsatisfactory and that speaking to other guests on the same cruise inconsistent with offers made to them. Royal Caribbeans response was that they consider the mater resolved and will not respond further, including the request to escalate the complaint further. If you are thinking of taking a cruise with Royal Caribbean find out if the ship is going into refit afterwards, if so ask if the staffing levels will be reduced and that basic services like lifts are functioning. If they are reducing staff for the cruise ask for a huge discount and be prepared for long queues and poor service. You have been warned!!! Insert of complaint summary. "The only thing preventing this, our 30th wedding anniversary celebration vacation being one of the most disappointing vacations we have ever experienced was the long stays in Hong Kong and later Singapore that we had organised before and after the cruise and the visits to Vietnam ports. We were shocked at the service received and by the number of guests we met who were on their first cruise who informed us that they would not cruise again with Royal Caribbean, if they cruised again at all. We told them that in all the cruises we had enjoyed with Royal Caribbean we had never experienced anything like it and that this was a one off and that they should give you another chance. For a company such as Royal Caribbean to put their staff in such a position was in my opinion as an ex senior manager with a large national company shameful. Your staff despite the position they were put in by Head Office performed admirably under the circumstances. I understand that Royal Caribbean’s Vision is : (Extract from Royal Caribbean web site) To empower and enable our EMPLOYEES to deliver the best vacation experience to our GUESTS, thereby generating superior returns to our STAKEHOLDERS and enhancing the well being of our COMMUNITIES ANCHORED IN EXCELLENCE •We always provide service with a friendly greeting and a smile. •We anticipate the needs of our customers. •We make all efforts to exceed our customers' expectations. •We take ownership of any problem that is brought to our attention. •We engage in conduct that enhances our corporate reputation and employee morale. •We are committed to act in the highest ethical manner and respect the rights and dignity of others. •We are loyal to Royal Caribbean and strive for continuous improvement in everything we do. It’s interesting that the points I have made in this email are at odds with you vision and that in this instance Royal Caribbean have performed woefully below that expected and experienced; •You have certainly not empowered your crew to deliver the best vacation experience, instead you have put them under unnecessary pressure by releasing staff before the cruise as observed by us and other guests and confirmed by one of your managers. Some of your staff have had training issues with processes and systems and suffered a lack of supervision and guidance which would have been difficult shorthanded. •You have not anticipated the needs of your customers; I don’t mind queuing occasionally whilst on a cruise but not as routinely or for as long as we did. What I wanted was to enjoy each aspect of the cruise and relaxation that a cruise normally affords you and not dread the evenings or dining, •You have failed to meet ours and other guest expectations. I expect to be relaxed, enjoy good entertainment and enjoy excellent dining opportunities and service. I do not expect to feel guilty seeing your crew working flat out, perspiring heavily and looking pale despite the smiles fixed to their faces, obviously overwhelmed with the demand. •Given the chance of ownership of our problems you failed on each occasion to address them. •Given the opportunity to engage with me I was left in my stateroom for one and a half hours when I had offered to meet a manager at his or her convenience. This was organised by the customer relations desk and booked. •I would like to think that taking the crew off before this ship sailed was just a gross misjudgement on some one’s part and not a conscious decision to save money which in my view would constitute the unethical treatment of your staff and guests. To say that we are disappointed with our cruise would be an understatement, my wife still insists that Royal Caribbean are her number one cruise line choice and had before this cruise suggested her 60th Birthday in the Caribbean would be an ideal way of spending it. I on the other hand take a more pragmatic view and go with the evidence. In my opinion Royal Caribbean and the decisions made for this cruise show that guests and staff are not the priority. Royal Caribbean have refused to discuss my issues further, they have stated that they are not prepared to discuss internal policies and have refused to respond when I have requested escalating the complaint further up the chain. In Royal Caribbean's view the complaint is resolved and their is nothing further to discuss, a fair level of compensation being offered, despite the offer being significantly less than other guests sat at the same dinner seating. Overall I would say that the ship was dirtier than others I had sailed, the serviceability of the lifts was appalling. The time taken to be served at breakfast with fresh juice and speciality coffee meant that we only attempted this a couple of times, think twice about any drinks package!!! Breakfast was okay plenty of choice of cereals. Hot counters were hit and miss hot was a hit cold a definite miss! Lunch stuck to salads generally good choice. Dinner, table for six, two guests could not stand the delays and opted for dining elsewhere. We and the other couple stuck it out although delays each evening, getting the wrong orders, not getting the correct drinks not being offered tea or coffee at the end or water during then finding out the next day that we had been billed incorrectly was painful. Thank god for chops! We ended up there a couple of times because the service was so poor in the main dining room. Bars were crowded no where near enough staff, I have never been on a cruise and waited so long to get a drink or where I have lost weight! In a nutshell overall experience of the cruise POOR. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. ... Read More
We have cruised on numerous ocean cruises over the past ten years including Princess, Regent, Oceania, and National Geographic. Viking Ocean will now be our "go to" cruise line unless we are seeking an expedition cruise. Everyone's cruising style is different, but Viking is perfect for us. Our reasons include what they don't have, no children, no casino, no Vegas style shows, no butlers, and no formal nights, to what they do have - sleek, Scandinavian design with room for everyone, focus on educational lectures, focus on classical music, the most amazing spa and fitness center at sea, fabulous food with no charge speciality restaurants, and wine and beer with lunch and dinner. We had a penthouse veranda and it was wonderful. Maybe a bit more closet space would have been nice. The bathroom was our favorite ever with it's roomy shower and heated floor. I would chose the same cabin when we cruise with them again. As mentioned by others, Viking needs to work on their shore excursions. We were on a new itinerary so maybe that was part of the problem. They definitely need to invest in new listening devices. But overall, we have found our new favorite cruise line and can't wait to sail with Viking again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise based on its itinerary and it was very enjoyable. It was a first cruise for us (well, I had been on a cruise 28 years ago with a girlfriend but that was a long time ago) so we were not sure how we would enjoy this type ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on its itinerary and it was very enjoyable. It was a first cruise for us (well, I had been on a cruise 28 years ago with a girlfriend but that was a long time ago) so we were not sure how we would enjoy this type of travel. We did a lot of research and it paid off (mostly). FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO SEEMED SURPRISED BY ADDITIONAL COSTS, TENDERS AND OTHER MATTERS, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE SPEND SOME TIME ON RESEARCH! For example, by reading other reviews of cruisers, we knew that getting to Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) and back in time would be difficult because of traffic and the timing of the ship's arrival and departure, so we took the NCL excursion. We were Haven Guests and were very grateful for the extra service (such as embarkation and disembarkation priority along with a reserved area for meals at breakfast and lunch) making our trip experience much better than many others, I am sure. What we didn't fully understand, though, was that being on deck 9 instead of 14 meant that we sometimes missed the true benefits of the Haven experience (such as having a butler and concierge ready to make things easier for us). Our butler and concierge were generally MIA unless we called and they both seem surprised that we hadn't asked to have something when we thought it would just be done (they only discovered that we were first time cruisers at the end of the trip and things might have been easier if we had volunteered that up front). There were a few other blips but we figured out what we needed to do in the first few days (and I did express my concerns to them) and we did get in tune with them after that. However, if you want to experience the full benefits of the Haven, I would recommend that you find a cabin/suite on Deck 14. Our cabin was right up front and the benefits of two balconies was wonderful, allowing us to have the best of both views and, while the noise of the anchor going up and down was clearly evident, it really didn't disturb us. Also, I am very prone to motion sickness and didn't feel the least bit queasy for the entire trip. We took mostly independent tours and they were, overall, excellent. There was one dud excursion which had more to do with the lack of English by the tour guide but we did hit all the sights. The tour into Bangkok using NCL was excellent, given that the guide was herding 32 people around but I cannot recommend the tour at the end of our trip into Singapore. We took the 4 hour tour ending at the airport and it was very expensive and certainly unimpressive. Dining was very hit and miss; Chin Chin was dreadful and La Cucina wasn't far behind. I would certainly not waste my money on La Cucina! Both service and the food was way below average. The first week seemed generally off for most of the entire dining areas - it was as if the waiters did not know what they were doing or where they should be at any one time. We were left waiting for several minutes without so much as a glass of water on a number of occasions and sometimes the food was not very warm when it arrived. A couple of very nice meals were had at Cagney's and Teppanyaki (go for the show, although the food was very good) but none of the meals made me feel that I had to go back. I admit I had expected better prepared food and the quality of the raw ingredients seemed lacking sometimes. The meal at Azura was very good and I would highly recommend going to the free sit down venues over the buffet (where a couple of times when we ventured in, we were horrified by the noise and people eating right beside the food - presumably so they could go back for more immediately. The fitness facility was good although I'm sure that it would have benefitted from some extra space. The free classes were generally well attended (or, on sea days, over attended) but the paid classes were almost empty. Internet was very poor but the guy at the Internet cafe was very helpful to get the most out of it. I must admit that I didn't pay enough attention to the small print and it was annoying that the service we had only applied to one device at a time! We had one unlimited service and two 250 minute services (that came as part of our package) so it was okay but I saved any big work on my computer for our days on shore when we could get 4G wifi service. Overall, we were very happy with our first cruise with Norwegian. They do seem to have worked out most of the problems with embarkation and disembarkation and tendering (at Koh Samui, for example, the ship was using commercial tender operations along with its own lifeboats) on this particular routing. This allowed for at least triple the numbers to get on the tender and the lineups were greatly reduced. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This cruise was a big treat for our 5 year anniversary and it did not disappoint! This ship just came out of the Celebrity Revolution transformation dry dock and though we had a few technical glitches on the cruise due to working out the ... Read More
This cruise was a big treat for our 5 year anniversary and it did not disappoint! This ship just came out of the Celebrity Revolution transformation dry dock and though we had a few technical glitches on the cruise due to working out the kinks in new technology, any time there was an issue, they upped the service across the ship. This kind of service recovery is a huge win in my book. They anticipated guest needs and created options almost at the speed of light. The destinations were remarkable and extra thought went into planning transportation to and from the cruise docks to major hubs/ transportation to get into the big cities (Seoul, Busan). The Service - WOW! I think Celebrity specifically hires for personality and genuine care and this ship in particular has a senior staff that knows it's people create the experience. Even the captain was approachable and engaged in creating a true customer service experience. Every single employee we met was warm and accommodating and wanted to get to know us. It's easy to train somebody on points of service, but to have someone create a connection is much harder to instill in someone and usually is just a natural trait of a great person. They all had an eye for detail and their service was polished and elevated without feeling stuffy and disconnected. If there was an issue, the employee was ready with options and showed the utmost concern and empathy. The Cabin - AquaClass 1008 The Revolution has added SO MUCH STORAGE to the rooms and created a fresh and timeless look. Our room was our only issue on this cruise. Previously on the Millennium, our cabin didn't exist, it used to be where the Spa locker rooms were located. The room was just steps away from the thermal suite (included in aqua class) and the solarium pool which was IDEAL. The only issue was... 6 of the 13 new rooms are located just under the nightclub and we were one of them. It was fine the 1st two nights when nothing was going on but by the 3rd night, the bass thumping was just too much and really impacted the peace of our cabin making it hard to sleep. The balcony had no shade but also had no impeded view of the water. (Watch out if you have a rainy season cruise, you can't enjoy your balcony like lower decks) The additional spa amenities are nice and the robes are cushy but they took out the SPA shower in the bathroom! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I was so looking forward to all those extra jets. The bed and furnishings were so comfortable and high quality. The cruise staff had already been made aware on the cruise before ours of noise issues in the new rooms on deck 10 and when we went down to notify them, they apologized profusely and understood our concerns as they too, were not keen on those rooms being added in the dry dock knowing their proximity to the nightclub. On the next day, they had us moved to an Aqua Class on deck 9 mid-ship which was just as lovely (plus, it had the overhang from the pool deck on 10 which meant we could still enjoy the balcony on the rainy Korean sea days). They even gave us an additional specialty dining credit and a voucher knowing that we booked the 10th deck as a higher level of Aqua Class. Again, the service recovery and proactive approach was AMAZING. The Dining Our room included the Blu dining room and it was phenomenal! Our servers and sommeliers were so attentive and FUN! They joked and laughed with us while providing and incredible meal from the well-trained culinary team. We also had new friends who did not have access to BLU, so we would dine occasionally with them in the main dining room and they attention to service and detail was at the same level along with the fresh and varied menus for a 14 day cruise. The specialty restaurants were fantastic as well and Tuscan Grille became a quick favorite of ours with the different groups we met always wanting to go back. Celebrity has a knack for delivering varied menus with super fresh ingredients and great flavors. Wine (as always) was in plentiful supply and the variety was amazing. Beer and alcohol had some stocking issues (standards that should be at every bar weren't getting re-stocked) but this was acknowledged by the Beverage director at a wine tasting. Traveling in and out of Asia ports has its limitations of what is available and what actually shows up to the ship. Entertainment For a 14 day cruise, there was not a dull moment on the ship and they had so much variety in specialty acts and the players on board. The musicians that Celebrity hires are some of the best (MSC and Celebrity care about great music in public spaces). The activities were fun and engaging and being one of the only couples under 40 on the ship, I had worries, but they made sure to tailor to all ages. (SILENT DISCO!!!) I was so sad to disembark the Millennium knowing a new standard had been set for service and experience. The employees felt like extended family (because they take the time to connect and get to know you) and it was bittersweet leaving them. I highly recommend you cruise on the Millennium because the captain knows his ship is an extension of himself and will be your home for however many days you are onboard. They will make sure you leave wanting to come back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising ... Read More
We started as a cruise of a lifetime and ended as a demotivated disaster. This once great international liner is now a British floating holiday park, There is a ghost like senior management team only ever to be seen fraternising with Grills guests and drinking wine. With the distinct exception of Captain Wells who seems now to do the job of Cruise Director and Hotel Manager as well as his own. In 34 Nights I only saw 4 Shows and 2 bumpers involving the singers and dancers. The rest of the evenings were guest entertainers of which only 3 were of a standard expected of QM2 ,the rest were not even suitable for my local village hall. I suppose not surprising as the whole feel of the entertainment was that of a holiday park. Who is booking this holiday park drivvle. No entertainment outside the sailaway party was more of a wake than a party with the so called band finishing their set before the ship had gone anywhere. The cruise staff who were not even upto holiday park standard spent most of their time chatting to each other and photographers rather than guests.Once again no senior management to be seen ALL SAID THIS IS THE WORST CRUISE I HAVE EVER BEEN ON. This once great elegant liner is now Haven holidays at sea. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Chose this cruise for its itinerary as it was going to all the places we had not visited before. The new refurbished ship looks good and from recent reviews it was overdue for the upgrade. We had just come off the Celebrity Solstice and ... Read More
Chose this cruise for its itinerary as it was going to all the places we had not visited before. The new refurbished ship looks good and from recent reviews it was overdue for the upgrade. We had just come off the Celebrity Solstice and flew into Hong Kong to pick up this Ship. You can see the difference between a Solstice class and a Millenium class but all in all the Celebrity Millennium is very good. The Captain Alex is brilliant with his great sense of humour. The food in the restaurant was not as good as the Solstice even though the menus are identical. The upstairs Buffett is very good with a good variety of food available throughout the day. The highlight I think for us, was the Ships tour to the lantern festival in Taiwan this was a great experience and we were very fortunate to be there at that particular time to participate in this beautiful event. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The good A very nice new vessel with a very good navigation crew. Our room care (stewardess) was exceptional. The bad The food on board was boring, repetitive, bland, of high-salt content, and medioce in preparation. The Japanese ... Read More
The good A very nice new vessel with a very good navigation crew. Our room care (stewardess) was exceptional. The bad The food on board was boring, repetitive, bland, of high-salt content, and medioce in preparation. The Japanese cuisine was notably poor, e.g. old proteins. The vessels hotel staff was often overwhelmed during high service intervals, e.g. luncheon. The ratio of hotel staff to guest seems too low for proper service. We were disappointed with Seabourn’s handling of their booking credit and AMEX credit, Seabourn only allowed the higher value. The ugly Seabourn shore tours are expensive, the vessel was often ported far away from salient activities (long commutes) and in the case of the Vietnam north unsafe junk tours, e.g. our junk was literally lost in the fog without proper safety procedures. The Cambodia shore excursion was terrible. Seabourn and Silver Sea could have coordinated debark at Singapore much better, both simultaneously. The pool was small and poorly maintained, e.g. corrosion and detritus. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted an Asian experience and it fitted the dates we could travel. Overall the ship is tired, but in saying that it is clean and well presented. Before we booked I read that the ship had had a make over ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted an Asian experience and it fitted the dates we could travel. Overall the ship is tired, but in saying that it is clean and well presented. Before we booked I read that the ship had had a make over recently. This is not true. Only one place had been done up and that is what used to be the Crows Nest Bar. It is now a coffee lounge and the EXC tours are run from there. According to the crew (spoke to many) it used to be the best place on the ship. Its now just a boring coffee lounge. The whole ship is badly designed from other cruise ships we have been on. There is lots of wasted space, and the ship is a rabbit warren. It took us until day three to work out our way to navigate around the ship (usually only takes a couple of hours). The Food was really really bad. The Lido was badly organized and unless you walked in there at opening, it really did just look like a pig trough. We had open seating in the dining room, but never got a chance to use it. The reason for this, is that every time we went down to the dining room, there was over an hour wait for a table, so in the end we just gave up and went back to the pig trough. We are fully aware that this was an Asian cruise, but we were not expecting the amount of Chinese that there were to be on board. The ships holds approx 1900 passengers. 1400 were Chinese. HAL is traditionally a cruise line that supports the western market so it was a shock. The cultural divide was immense. Even the crew really really struggled with it. The Chinese don't drink alcohol, so the bars were always empty. So there was no atmosphere at all. The Chinese didn't understand the traditional activities and entertainment on board provided by HAL, so didn't go or would walk out half way through a performance spoiling the show. Also the Chinese do not believe in queues or lining up. It was just barge on through. Probably why the Lido looked like a pig trough most the time. It was also a nightmare getting off the ship. Once again the Chinese would just barge on through. There is a huge cultural divide there. HAL has every right as a company to target the Chinese market, but they should not do it at the expense of their traditional market. The first 4 ports we went to were great, Japan and Taiwan, but Manila was a hell hole. I really cant understand why any cruise ship company would want to go there. On the tour we did, it took us 2 1/2 hours to travel 8 miles through the traffic. There was no toilet on the bus and my partner was seriously considering using a bottle at the back of the bus. The only major positive from the ship was our state room. Though dated, it was comfortable and had all the facilities we needed with our state room attendants being fantastic. Maybe on a different cruise it would have been better, but I do not think I will sail again on HAL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
They prioritize the Mainland China market with focus on loud Mandarin Karaoke, activities and crowded dancing. Nowhere for nice music, dancing, chat or fun places without overly screeching speakers. Best bar evenings reserved for Mandarin ... Read More
They prioritize the Mainland China market with focus on loud Mandarin Karaoke, activities and crowded dancing. Nowhere for nice music, dancing, chat or fun places without overly screeching speakers. Best bar evenings reserved for Mandarin Karaoke. Half the shows were disappointing. Dance classes over crowded. Few Westerners got open dining time. Most 5.30pm or 8.30pm. Changing very difficult. We had booked anytime dining but got told 5.30pm - not possible to change. Cigarette from the casino strong and wafting up and into other areas, making adjoining areas out of scope for non smokers.. Great service from some (sadly not all) restaurant staff and cabin crew and large balcony rooms the positives. Great gym size, but most activities one has to pay for.. like no craft, cake decorating $US35. Queue for a while for rock climbing. $US12 yoga. Shore excursions a hit and miss with Vietnam spa bad English and taking us to the wrong (better) then taking us to a more commercial (disappointing) site. Another Vietnam tour guide was Excellent in comparison. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Most of the crew members have a bad attitude. Felt like they just wanted to complete their jobs and get out of there. It's 6 days of nightmare but we tried to stay calm and minimize any need to request for a service after several bad ... Read More
Most of the crew members have a bad attitude. Felt like they just wanted to complete their jobs and get out of there. It's 6 days of nightmare but we tried to stay calm and minimize any need to request for a service after several bad experiences on the first day itself. We took the cruise from Hong Kong to Japan. Most stops in Okinawa are very brief and shore excursions were mostly filled with shopping trips at local pharmacies or tourist gift shops! Food at the main dinning were average at best so we resorted to dinning mostly at speciality restaurants. We also tried late breakfast and lunches to avoid the crowd and lack of proper arrangements to help guests get a table. The ship is pretty new and very well designed. It's unfortunate the service didn't made the experience rather poor. For the prices paid, it's not worth it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our 5th Royal Caribbean Cruise and our first to Asia. The positives, lovely ship, cleanliness and balcony cabin was comfortably spacious apart from the bed which for us was way too firm. The poor and frankly shocking aspects. ... Read More
This was our 5th Royal Caribbean Cruise and our first to Asia. The positives, lovely ship, cleanliness and balcony cabin was comfortably spacious apart from the bed which for us was way too firm. The poor and frankly shocking aspects. Meal service poor with menu aimed predominantly at the asian clientele.Meals were often of poor quality and there were a number of occasions when the food served was cold and poorly presented. Restaurants only open for limited times which added to the chaos on the ship.Long waits for entry to restaurants, the meal service was often poor with pressure evident on the service staff who appeared to be understaffed and having to serve a number of tables.Organisation poor throughout by royal caribbean including port itineraries which were poorly planned with long waits for disembarkation overall so disappointing and not up to expectations.Our experiences were shared by many who were complaining throughout the cruise due to the poor standards Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We did a back to back to back Sydney to Yokohama so this review is for the last leg, Hong Kong to Yokohama. The Jewel is now quite old and in need of a refit but provides a good cruising experience with lounges and restaurants to suit all ... Read More
We did a back to back to back Sydney to Yokohama so this review is for the last leg, Hong Kong to Yokohama. The Jewel is now quite old and in need of a refit but provides a good cruising experience with lounges and restaurants to suit all tastes. Our inside cabin was adequate and our cabin steward did his best. Dining was generally good. The two main restaurants were fine, the buffet (Market cafe) often a scrum but the food was good. The speciality restaurants were good. Service was generally good, some outstanding, some poor. Entertainment became a bit samey but we were on the ship for 40 nights so that was to be expected. Ports on this leg of the cruise were great. We did not take any NCL excursions but seldom heard anything good from those who did take them so this is an area on this ship that NCL should look carefully at. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Disappointing Weather Beleaguered Odyssey to the China Seas This was out tenth cruise with Celebrity plus a further three more with the RCCL Group, and overall, this was by far our worst cruise experience yet. It is difficult to ... Read More
Disappointing Weather Beleaguered Odyssey to the China Seas This was out tenth cruise with Celebrity plus a further three more with the RCCL Group, and overall, this was by far our worst cruise experience yet. It is difficult to pinpoint precisely why we came away so disappointed but there was something distinctly odd about this cruise. We are relatively experience travellers and fully accept that one must accept the rough with the smooth while traversing our glorious planet and as such find it somewhat churlish to complain when things do not always go to plan, but from the get go the cruise lacked any atmosphere. Perhaps this was due to the scheduled 20h00 departure time when most guests were either at dinner or in the grand theatre, so the usual sail away party that encourages guests to get into a party mood never effectively happened. A further contributing factor could well have been the highly diverse demographic on this cruise where passengers of the various distinct nationalities tended to stick to themselves. Of course, the strange weather we experienced on the trip did not help sailing through a major storm on the second day of the cruise and then effectively losing two days anchored either in a harbour or out at sea due to dense fog that restricted access to or egress from a couple of the ports we were scheduled to visit during the cruise. The general feeling of discontent that permeated the ship, shared by many other passengers whom we interacted with throughout the cruise, inevitably had a dampening effect on the overall cruise experience. Yet the cruise ship management team seemed to be quite blissfully unaware of the obvious malaise developing among their passengers. Based on this cruise, we can only infer that the standards of the Celebrity brand generally are slipping. In virtually all aspects a clear deterioration of their product offering was notably detected. Some random observations in this regard include: Entertainment: Apart from the ship’s hard working orchestra, a really top notch card magician and an energetic female singer who really knew how to work a crowd, the quality of entertainment offered was very poor. Indeed how some of the acts could possibly ever have been contracted frankly beggars belief and suggest Celebrity is scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to attracting cruise ship performers. Food: The quality of food in the main dining room was always well presented but generally somewhat bland. The same could be said of the buffet dining option in the Ocean View Café which was in the main uninspiring and very much of the sameness day after day. However, in the defence of the F&B team, it must have been extremely difficult to cater for the tastes of the multicultural demographic on board. The obvious conclusion the typical passenger must come to is that the notable decline in the “for free” restaurants is but a not too subtle way of persuading guests to use the speciality restaurants, most of which did not seem to be that well patronised. We object paying what we consider to be an excessively exorbitant couvert charge for the speciality options, the Tuscan Grill and QSine, a sentiment that is shared by most other passengers as neither of these two venues seemed to be that well utilised. In the event, we did sample the fare of Sushi on 5, the speciality Japanese venue and were well satisfied with the meal which was well presented, tasty and good value. Guest Speakers: We usually enjoy the “On the Podium” enrichment lectures of the guest speakers on board. On this occasion however, the talks namely a series on Buddhism and another on oriental art were clearly not of much interest to the rank and file passenger and were extremely poorly attended. Apart from the first lecture in these series which were held in the Cosmos Lounge, subsequent lectures of both series were offered in the huge main Celebrity Theatre. On one occasion the art history lecturer had an attendance of less than ten in the Celebrity Theatre venue, while on the occasions we attended either of the speaker’s offerings, we never counted more than thirty to forty people in attendance. Surely seeing these enrichment talks were being so poorly patronised, The Cruise Director should have offered the speakers a more intimate venue? Cruise ship management: As mentioned previously, the cruise ship management did not seem to be able to gauge the level of non-satisfaction that enveloped the ship. Ship officers were seldom seen around the ship, and the Cruise Director did not seem to understand that the poor attendance at organised activities on board could mean that passengers were not all that happy with what was being offered, and communication with passengers (especially during times when the ship lay anchored off shore or in port – on two occasions for almost a full 24 day) was woefully inadequate. Even the affable Captain Alex, whose humorous daily admonitions of peace and love often did provide sound food for thought, was found wanting in this regard when passengers were kept completely in the dark for almost 24 hours while the ship was anchored at the port of Incheon which was closed due to excessively reduced visibility. Communication from the Cruise Director did improve when the ship was again anchored off shore outside Shanghai for a further extended period, so perhaps the ship’s management did learn from their previous shabby performance after all. Itinerary: We chose this cruise because of the itinerary as a visit to Beijing, in particular, had long been on our bucket list. While completely out of Celebrity’s control, the delayed arrival in Incheon, the full day lost while the ship was anchored in Incheon because of the port’s closure and the further delay while Shanghai port remained closed, all had the effect of severely constricting the limited time available to see the attractions in Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai . Specifically, we had booked a three day two night ship excursion to Beijing which was to be the highlight of our trip. Unfortunately because of the weather, this excursion had to be reduced to a two day, one night offering which meant that the attractions and sites to be visited had to be concertinaed into two not three days resulting in minimal time being spent at some key attractions such as the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square, or to some attractions such as the Summer Place not being visited at all. Most disappointing. Similarly we had a half day hotel drop off ship excursion in Shanghai at the end of the cruise. This too had to be curtailed as the excursion which was scheduled to be completed by about 13h00, only started at 16h45 because of the ship’s late docking. However, all’s well that ends well as the excursion enabled us the see the Bund in Shanghai at night. Awesome! The ship: The Millennium was ostensibly refurbished only two years ago. Clearly this refurbishment was focused primarily on upgrading the experience of suite class passengers as the refurbishment seems to have been restricted to reconfiguring the speciality and suite class restaurants and to upgrading suite class staterooms. Very little attention was paid to the more frequently used public areas such as the Ocean View Café and surrounds which are in a particularly bad state, or to the standard staterooms. Our Concierge class stateroom while clean and adequately equipped was drab and in dire need of upgrading. However, while ageing and in urgent need of a complete makeover, the Millennium was always kept clean and well maintained. Service: The one enduring positive of the cruise was the generally good to excellent service we received from most of the service staff with whom we interacted be they stateroom attendants, barmen, waiters or stewards. It is really one area where the RCCL Group have got it right and staff invariably are attentive, well trained, obliging and cheerful, always seemingly willing to go the extra mile and undertake their duties with a smile. By contrast, we found some of the more professional staff in Guest Relations and particularly Shore Excursions to be surly and off-hand. Perhaps this was because a lot of extra work was thrust on them to amend or rearrange a number of excursions that were affected by the weather issues. But they should acknowledge that the passengers were also significantly inconvenienced during this cruise. It is after all, their job! Despite these obvious shortcomings, the cruise nevertheless presented us with opportunity to exploring some unique parts of the East and to view many iconic sites first hand. Some highlights included: • Exploring the beautiful temple and gardens of Zhongheng Park in Keelung (the port city for visits to the capital Taipei), site of the majestic 25 metre high statue of the Goddess of Mercy – the biggest such statue in SE Asia • Visiting Peace Memorial Park and Atomic Bomb museum in Nagasaki, a most moving experience and a timely reminder that we have to keep the nuclear weapons out of the hands of hardliners wherever they may exist • Traversing the ultra modern city of Busan by hop on – hop off bus. Unfortunately a rushed visit so we did not have the time to see the famous fish market, apparently one of Busan’s main attractions • Viewing an ancient volcanic crater site followed by a close up view of centuries old village life on Jeju Island • Visiting, albeit in a somewhat hectic fashion in view of the delay in arriving in Tianjin, most of the major iconic attractions of the city of Beijing including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven • Staying for one night in the glorious China World luxury hotel (as part of the included Beijing experience). Certainly one of the best hotels we have yet stayed at • Viewing the lights of Shanghai at night • A most interesting post cruise a private day long tour of the ancient village of Su Zhou and the unique 900 year old water village of Zhou Zhuang. We have been loyal Celebrity cruise passengers for over ten years where we have been privileged to enjoy many wonderful experiences. This only further serves to heighten our concerns at the apparent (but notable) decline in the quality of the Celebrity product. Had we not already have booked and fully paid for a further Celebrity cruise of Canada and New England this coming September (which we seriously considered cancelling), the Millennium cruise of China and South Korea would probably have been our last with Celebrity. Hopefully, our experience on the Summit in September will restore our faith in the Celebrity brand. However, whatever the outcome we feel the time has now come for us to explore the products offered by competitor cruise lines so, in all probability, we shall be bidding a fond but sad farewell to the Celebrity brand after our Canada/New England cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We had sailed on Celebrity before but not on the Millennium. We wanted to go to China, Korea and Japan. We were really looking forward to it. As soon as we got on the ship- we were very disappointed to see the outdated and dull decor. ... Read More
We had sailed on Celebrity before but not on the Millennium. We wanted to go to China, Korea and Japan. We were really looking forward to it. As soon as we got on the ship- we were very disappointed to see the outdated and dull decor. It was actually depressing- like a cheap motel. Only four stores on board when we expected more. The interior of the main restaurant was dark and also out dated. My husband ordered steak and fries and got two small slices of steak and four fries- we never went back. Fortunately the cafeteria food was good. The bed was so hard that I had to call them to do something as I could not sleep. Because we had sailed on Celebrity before I was looking forward to sinking into a nice bed and just relaxing. They then provided a mattress pad which helped. Now comes the real problem-because of the fact that the ports were quite distant from where the shore excursions were going-each excursion involved at least 1 to 2 hours to get there. Imagine wasting your time touring a market when you wanted to see sights and do some shopping. Between the markets-food and fish- and the traveling time- the excursions were some of the worse we have encountered in 10 years of cruising. The ports were in deserted areas not near shopping or site seeing so you could not just get off the ship and do an independent trip especially as sights were a good hour away and taxi drivers etc do not speak English in those areas. Now to the most upsetting part- the ports in the area of Shanghai close when there is too much dense fog and we could see why. This is a common problem for this area.The result- all the passengers had to cancel their flights home and reschedule-this cost us $1000- not covered by trip insurance. It was hands down the worst cruise I have ever taken and a good lesson in why you should always read the reviews of each ship-not go by just the reputation of the cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My husband is from Hong Kong and we visit all the time. This time I wanted to go somewhere and not just stay there for 3 weeks. We found this cruise and we booked kind of last minute and got a great deal on an Inside Stateroom. Loved ... Read More
My husband is from Hong Kong and we visit all the time. This time I wanted to go somewhere and not just stay there for 3 weeks. We found this cruise and we booked kind of last minute and got a great deal on an Inside Stateroom. Loved the itinerary and chose this cruise over Princess because of the overnight stays and fewer ports. Plus we had sailed Celebrity before and was impressed by the higher quality than RCCL. Once booked I did a lot of research. Was surprised by the number of negative reviews about the Millie being old and rundown. And also that the food was not up to Celebrity's normal standard. Well I totally disagree. We had a GREAT CRUISE. Embarkation in Hong Kong was fast and easy. We arrived at 11am and got to board about 5 minutes after completing a very fast check-in. We headed to the buffet for lunch and then they announced around 1pm that all cabins were ready. The food was excellent. Choices were wonderful in the MDR and our wonderful waiter would advise when something wasn't to his standard and suggest something else. He was always spot on. After dinner we would always drop by the buffet to see if there was anything there we missed. The night the waiter said not to order the lamb, we found amazing lamb chops at the aft grill. We also had Select Dining which meant we could go whenever we wanted to between 5:30-9:30pm. We never had to wait plus we always got a table for two. Yes there were two tables right next to each other. Very close but you could choose to have a conversation with them or not. We met some very lovely people this way. We had an inside cabin on Deck 2 Forward. I usually get sea sick but this was fine for both motion and noise. Everything we wanted was either on Deck 4 or Deck 10 and we easily used the three sets of elevators (Aft, Mid and Forward). (Note: We normally always walk the stairs on cruise but I had just had knee surgery and couldn't walk very far without a cane. And the Millennium is a very long ship. Seemed that way. :) I can't comment on the entertainment as we didn't go to one nightly show. I did attend two talks and they were very informative. I LOVED that the Millie had a Solarium with a heated swimming pool. This was awesome because Hong Kong, Halong Bay & Chan May were cold. I think future cruises should always have this too. Only negative was that some people can't read. Family times was only between 3pm-7pm and kids can only go in the pool IF they are toilet trained; not with swim diapers. Our CC Roll Call for this cruise was large. 89 people I believe and we had a fabulous turnout for the CC Meet & Greet where we met the Captain himself plus other top staff. This was our chance to meet all the wonderful people on our Roll Call who had set up private shore excursions; me included. Thanks to John (Snowy Boy) from the UK who did an amazing job creating a spreadsheet to keep track of everything. As others have said before; the staff and service provided on the Millennium is top rated. Our cabin steward Edi was amazing. I'm not even sure how he sometimes cleaned our cabin when we were only gone for a short time. Also even though we were on Select Dining as I mentioned before; we were usually at table 101-106 which were always serviced by our waiter whose name I can't remember (sorry) and our assistant waiter Sumit. We did lunch in the MDR a few times and only on one day we had a waiter that was not very friendly OR efficient but he was the only one we had anything negative to say about. So glad we didn't have him for dinner. Shout out to Elana the MDR hostess. She always remembered our table preference and sat us in the same section. Shore excursions: Only did one with X and that was the Hoi An on your own. Only did it because we were only in port for one day and the ride was over 1.5 hours each way and we didn't want to miss the boat. Our tour of Halong Bay was a Roll Call excursion set-up by John. Whereas the ship piles on the people; our junk was cut-off at 16 people. We had a longer trip plus a fabulous seafood lunch on the boat for less money than X's excursion. Plus one person I spoke to said they had 38 people on their boat and NO lunch. And it cost more. For Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), we walked outside the port gates and ran into 4 people we had met the previous day at breakfast. We asked if we could join them and off we went for 8 hrs for just $30 US/person. Even had another couple join us and then found out once we started driving that they weren't even on the Millennium. They were on the Sapphire Princess which sailed an hour before us. No problem though and we got them back in plenty of time. For Thailand we didn't want to go to Bangkok so I had arranged a van that could hold 10 people and opened it up to our Roll Call. Ended up with 3 other couples; surprisingly all fellow Canadians. We split the cost among the 8 of us and it was just $13 per person for a return trip. We had a transfer only to Pattaya where we then did our own thing. They all followed me on a ferry over to Ko Larn (a small island about 35 minutes away) that had much better beaches . In this port they charged us a few dollars more to get inside the gates and we gladly paid it as it would have been a long walk otherwise. On the second days at both Halong Bay/Hanoi and Bangkok, we stayed on the ship when it was noticeably much quieter. Both times we spent the whole day (10+ hrs) in the Solarium on a nice L-shaped couch. Lunch those days were buffets. The heathy spa buffet for my husband and the burger & fries buffet on the other side of the outdoor pool for me. Loved the overnight in Singapore but also booked an extra night at a great hotel just around the corner from Chinatown. We bought the tourist EZ Pass for "unlimited rides" on the buses and MRT for just $30 for 3 days. Also took the MRT to the airport and turned in the card for a $10 refund. Definitely worth the $20. (Tip: Can only buy a certain stations and stupidly IMHO not at the Marina South Pier station which is right next to the cruise terminal.) This was a great cruise and we got it for such a steal. Talked to a sales rep about booking a future cruise but the cost for an inside cabin was 3x what we paid for this one so we passed. We still want to do another cruise in 2019 to celebrate our 25th anniversary but will keep looking for a similar sale. Not restricted to just Celebrity either. This is a great way to get a small taste of Vietnam and Thailand but the big cities are very far away (2-4 hrs ONE WAY). We didn't do Hanoi or Bangkok and were okay with that. For others it made for some extremely long days. Disembarkation in Singapore was easy. We were staying overnight so didn't need to rush off the ship. We said we could leave in the last group at 10am. We were given a 9:45am time slot but ended up being called a 9:15am. Walked right off and immigration and customs was easy. (Maybe because I had my cane and they sent us to special lines.) I highly recommend the Celebrity Millennium and even this cruise if you've never been to Asia before. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Our 15 days cruise started in Hong Kong; we made a tour along Vietnam (3 ports) and around Taiwan (3 ports) and then back to Hong Kong. Celebrity Millenium is a very nice ship (°2002), but it's well maintained, and very stable. ... Read More
Our 15 days cruise started in Hong Kong; we made a tour along Vietnam (3 ports) and around Taiwan (3 ports) and then back to Hong Kong. Celebrity Millenium is a very nice ship (°2002), but it's well maintained, and very stable. Even in heavier weather with 5m waves, the ship cuts clean through the waves. Oceanview cabins are agreable. Our room attendant gave a very nice service. The captain showed up regularly, gave some presentations in the theatre, and was very accessible and sympathetic. But for people like us, who like French cuisine, the food was a disaster. For other people it was maybe mediocre (never 'delicious', sometimes looking good, mostly tasting bad, chewy steaks, greenish scrambled eggs, ...). Often it sounded right on the menu card, but sometimes it turned out to be something entirely different; they used a nice french name, and then they felt free to create a dish that does not even smell right. For example, when words like 'bisque' are used, you cannot throw in some fish in the soup, it should be prepared the french way. We wanted to 'celebrate' the new years evening countdown to 2018. What did we expect? - A deliceous dinner in the Metropolitan Restaurant - A big Sylvester Show in the Theatre - A nice dance evening in the Rendez-Vous lounge What did we get? - The delicious dinner was a disaster (several people had to send their plates back because of almost uneatable, like the lobster bisque, the salmon mousse and the orange duck). - There was no big New-Year's Show, instead the show was a female singer (although very good) but nothing like the big broadway shows that they dis on some other days (with the Celebrity Singers & Dancers). Bad timing regarding what show to bring when. - Later, while we were dancing in the Rendez-Vous lounge, suddenly the band stopped playing from 11:50 until 12:05, so we missed the whole countdown experience, the kissing and the wishing. Explanation was that the 'official' countdown was at the foyer, and that all the rest was secondary (and therefore aborted). At 12:30 a DJ would then continue in the ugly Cosmos lounge on deck 11. Thanks, but no thanks. Overall the staff was very friendly, and they offered a very nice service. Only the Cruise Director (responsible for entertainment) had no feeling for how and what to organise on which day: Chrismas went by unnoticed. On some days he organised 'silent dancing' where people were 'dancing' with headphones (choice of 3 channels), unable to communicate to each other while doing so, and not on a dance floor but on the carpet of the foyer. Celebrity maybe again, but surely not for Sylvester. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We took this cruise as we wanted to away for Christmas and New Year, cannot understand the bad reviews, must be very unhappy people and miserable in their lives. We had a great time and especially on Sea Day, I was running from one to ... Read More
We took this cruise as we wanted to away for Christmas and New Year, cannot understand the bad reviews, must be very unhappy people and miserable in their lives. We had a great time and especially on Sea Day, I was running from one to event to another. Ate most nights in the Main Dining, and sometimes for lunch and Breakfast rather than the buffet, you eat better and have less on your place rather than the buffet, plus better relaxed atmosphere, rather than searching for a table and the waiter to bring you your drinks. We did select dining and met amazing people every night. The shows were very good quality Uk West End or New York Broadway quality. Most of the shore excursions were good, perhaps I did not do enough research to the finer details, but they were as described, just I perhaps was not so interested, next time I will do my research. All in all we found the staff very good, our cabin boy was great and we have no complaints Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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
This was my first cruise on the Voyager of the Seas ,I cruised in the past with RC mainly on their Oasis class so I did not know what to expect , the reviews here did not helped much to reduce my worries. I want to say my worries were ... Read More
This was my first cruise on the Voyager of the Seas ,I cruised in the past with RC mainly on their Oasis class so I did not know what to expect , the reviews here did not helped much to reduce my worries. I want to say my worries were for nothing , this is a big ship well maintained , I did a lot of tours over the ship and could not find many places that the ship "show its age" even comparing to the new RC ships (my last cruise was on the Harmony of the seas). So we really enjoyed this ship and for shore the ports it brought us to. There are also some downsides for sure : On the first two days there were many queues mainly to the shore excursions and guess services, I guess people did not planned ahead and book them online , Regarding the guest services , they could have done better job by adding more people to the desk (there was a long line and not all the station where manned). I heard some people at the beginning of the cruise saying the name of the ship should changed to "Queues Of the Seas). but after the first two days the queues gone. The food was good , although we mainly were eaten at the buffet we went to Giovanni table once and it was excellent. The port we went to were very interesting. The entertainment was good but disappointing comparing to the previous ships I was cruising with , but again I was cruising mainly with the Oasis class that had Broadway productions and the aqua show. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
My husband I wished to combine our leisure time and visit parts of the world together we would not otherwise have an opportunity of reaching and this, my first ocean cruise seemed the ideal way for us doing just that......but sadly despite ... Read More
My husband I wished to combine our leisure time and visit parts of the world together we would not otherwise have an opportunity of reaching and this, my first ocean cruise seemed the ideal way for us doing just that......but sadly despite investing a large amount of our hard earned finances and holiday time this proved not to be the special trip we had looked forward to for so long........all Hughly disappointing and time/money wasted we will not get back. Upon reading this review you will realise that things just got worse as the trip went on starting in the terminal where we arrived via arranged transfers bringing us there 6+ hours ahead of when the ship arrived so this meant we were summarily deposited at a shopping mall for the intervening time and apparently like many other passengers acquired Middle Eastern Respirstory Syndrome (a version of Hong Kong flu) for our troubles. upon return to the terminal the boarding process of ~ 3000 people was chaotic to say the least and disorganised at best having a likening to a rugby scrum at times rather than an orderly boarding procedures. Once on the ship we were sent to dinner and this turned out to be the sole time our evening meal in the dining room actually had us sharing with any other guests as our designated table of an evening ( with 6 places only had us at it and we were made to feel like the spare parts at a wedding as waiting staff continually came and went from our table picking up missing cutlery, glasses, etc. - all not very pleasant). The food in the dinning room was never better than Luke warm and the optimum disregard for culinary care was exhibited the evening Luke warm scallops were served to everyone as a starter! Interestingly the following morning the captain announced a coincidental outbreak of a second notifiable disease , this time a gastrointestinal one (Nora virus) and reminded everyone to minimise spread by washing their hands and using the hand sanitising stations which were strategically placed throughout the eating establishments onboard. To be fair if we had not invested at additional expense in the dine around package for the specialty restaurants ( which we eat in x3 times each) we would had an even worse experience. I am not going to say much about the room service but suffice to say cold porridge is not my idea of a suitable quality of sustenance to start a busy day’s site seeing with.....as for the a la carte breakfast ...where do I start; chipped glass and congealed uncooked food I would not have fed to the dog that took more than and hour to reach us on one occasion and nearing 2 hours on another...the buffet was marginally better although you were always “herded” together with others. This ship was at sea for 6 of the 10 day voyage and despite this being the case the cleanliness of the open spaces on decks 11 and 12 left a lot to be desired (hairs and grime visible in many places). I actually spent 2 days in the cabin due to flu and my husband is still coughing and spluttering a month on from our holiday. We had hoped to celebrate his birthday whilst on the cruise but the evening of his birthday we were both feeling poorly due to the flu and ostensibly were unable to enjoy ourselves wholeheartedly because of this ailment managing to take in only 2 of the shows. In addition we had booked 4 nights beach location layover in Fuirajiah, in Abu Dhabi on the way back to UK do I could go diving ( As I’m an experienced Scuba diver with >200 dives) but this also was curtailed as due to the flu I was not fit to dive and ostensibly courtesy of our unecessary sojourn to the HongKong shopping mall this part of the holiday proved to be a waste of time, or at the very least not fit for purpose. All in all we feel cheated and very disappointed on a better note the steward for our state room was great and the ladies in the spa did themselves proud as did the tour guides in Taiwan and Vietnam but we will never be going another voyage on the seas with this Royal ramshackle outfit and nor do we recommend you do either! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
21 cruises and 19 years after we first set sail on Radisson's "Song of Flower", which soon became Ponant's "Le Diamant", we at last experienced L'Austral and French hospitality. In the meantime we have ... Read More
21 cruises and 19 years after we first set sail on Radisson's "Song of Flower", which soon became Ponant's "Le Diamant", we at last experienced L'Austral and French hospitality. In the meantime we have sailed on many Seabourn cruises, some Radisson/Paul Gauguin, several Silversea, and a memorable trans-Atlantic trip on Cunard's QM2. We should have joined Ponant years earlier. As we made our way south along the coast of Vietnam, eventually to reach Brunei and Kota Kinabalu, we were delighted to find we again were back in the golden days of cruising; before the vessels were overrun with some of the grumpy non-travellers who have written some of these reviews. First, we were at last free of the structured, dress coded, regimented approach of Seabourn and (to a lesser extent) Silversea. From captain to repair mechanic, nothing was a problem. The elegant French ladies of reception, the restaurant maitre d's, the superb guest relations staff - all were faultless. Now its true that, with delightful Gallic insouciance, some who thought themselves important and could only converse in demands were put down in that delightful French way - service slowed down for example. With half our passengers French for a start, such delicate responses did not happen to many! The food was exceptional. The chef had the pride and the courage to simply offer his best- none of the "branded" marketing which has in the past been pushed at us that the menu is by some American chef unknown to us but apparently revered in his country. Ponant does not splash out on vast ranges of menu items, but instead provides what you would get in a family hotel in France. Good food, well cooked and presented. The sous chef who spent his night on the baguettes, brioches, pain du chocolate, and croissants made breakfast a delight. For the first time ever, the coffee was always equal to the best in Italy (or New Zealand). The tours were fascinating and left on time. They were excellent value, taking us to parts of Vietnam we could not have experienced by simply going ashore. Disembarkation was the smoothest we have ever experienced. Don't go on Ponant if you want a casino, trivia quiz sessions, or the intrusion on your holiday of attempts at mass jollity. Don't go if you think your cabin should be the size of an American hotel room and you intend to spend your time inside it. The compact cabin suites are, like many European hotel rooms, practical bases from which to have your holiday outside them not in them. Intelligent engaged older children would learn much - on this cruise there were none of any kind. Do go if you want quality entertainment like a ballet group of five, a classical pianist, and a singing duo of ability. A captain and crew tuned to your needs, an entertainment director who is a true professional, and a vision of cruising which seeks to provide what you want, not impose their ideas on your holiday. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I chose this cruise purely because it was good value for money. Never been with Celebrity cruises before and was shocked. The ship was tired and needs an upgrade it was evident but it had all the facilities required so the ship was ... Read More
I chose this cruise purely because it was good value for money. Never been with Celebrity cruises before and was shocked. The ship was tired and needs an upgrade it was evident but it had all the facilities required so the ship was average. The cabin was well apointed and the cabin boy was simply brilliant. Dining was terrible we opted for sharing and the first night ended up on a table for two and that was when they could find the table they all used maps and no one was familiar with the dining room layout it was very amateurish. The breakfast was very prejudiced towards the Americans English breakfast was cordoned off after 9.a.m and only American food available after that so I hated breakfast every day and it had all the markings of pure cost cutting keeping only a quarter of the breakfast counter open needing few staff to operate the meals, and often run out of food. The entertainment was poor quite often the theater started to empty early.The service was just about OK but again the staff on the coffee station and bars quite often let the Que become disorderly so people got served before others who were there first again I put this down to a lack of the proper training. I did tell the main that the friendliness of the staff had been indoctrinated into them so all the staff were unbelievably friendly but poorly trained, it felt like this ship was still finding its feet and not one that was run poorly and professionally. I may consider travelling with Celebrity cruise but it would not be my first choice. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017

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