102 Hong Kong Senior Cruise Reviews

We booked in March for this cruise. My father and mother-in-laws have poor walking abilities and they do not enjoy flying. But they do want to see Vietnam so we booked this cruise which visit two Vietnam ports. First of all, embarkation ... Read More
We booked in March for this cruise. My father and mother-in-laws have poor walking abilities and they do not enjoy flying. But they do want to see Vietnam so we booked this cruise which visit two Vietnam ports. First of all, embarkation in Hong Kong is not great. Kai Tak Terminal is very busy because this ship and Dream Cruises are both embarking on the same day. The queues are very long. Fortunately because we have two elderly people among us we could join the special elderly queue for check-in. Then the worst thing was the zig-zag bridge that connect the terminal with the ship. I completely fail to understand why this winding zig-zag bridge is necessary when a direct birdge (airport jet bridge) can do the same job! The ship is in good condition. It does not immediately feel like it is in need of dry dock work. (But it is going to dry dock in September.) The staterooms were not yet ready and we were told we could take lunch in the Sapphire Dining Room, so we made our way there. Lunch was buffet style and it was fine. After lunch we went to our rooms. We had a promenade view room and it was rather roomy for a cruise ship with two sofas. Our stateroom attendant was Iwayan, he was very good and he opened the connecting door between our room and my in-laws room for us as soon as we requested. The dining on the ship is okay. It is nothing to write about. Some of the food in the dining room can be found again in the Windjammer at late night snack time. The ship is consisted of a majority Hong Kong and China people and some of them seemed determined to eat back their cruise fare. Well, given the food served I think they had a hard time achieving that goal. For the ports, Chan May is really far away from Da Nang. We hired a driver for a day trip to Hoi An but he could not come into the port because our tour company is not "sponsored" by RCCL. We had to pay another driver to drive us out of the port gates to meet him. But he was not a very good driver as he could not speak much English and he took us back from Hoi An 1.5 hours earlier than agreed. The worst thing was he would not enter the gates of the port as promised. So we did not tip him and made a complaint to his company. Many RCCL "sponsored" tours came back late from their tours and the ship did not sail until 17:40, as opposed to 17:00. We were still approaching Nha Trang when we took our breakfasts. As this is a tender port we had to wait for our tender time. RCCL "sponsored" tours and group tours all went ashore before us. We only got ashore at 11am. Our tour guide and bus took us to the sights and lunch. Then we requested to visit a supermarket for souvenirs like coffees and dried mango. We got back at about 4:15pm and were back on board quite quickly. After all both ports were not great. Chan May is still under construction and very far from town while Nha Trang is a tender port which is very time consuming. Avoid. am. Our tour guide and bus took us to the sights and lunch. Then we requested to visit a supermarket for souvenirs like coffees and dried mango. We got back at about 4:15pm and were back on board quite quickly. After all both ports were not great. Chan May is still under construction and very far from town while Nha Trang is a tender port which is very time consuming. Avoid. The entertainment on board were only so-so. One night we had an American singer who performed as many Chinese songs as English songs. He was okay but I saw a Caucasian family of four looking rather bored as we boarded the lift outside the theater. The Ice Skating show Ice Odyssey was fantastic. We watched it and then strongly recommended my mother-in-law to go. She went and she was amazed as well. We had a plain sailing back to Hong Kong after Nha Trang. Nothing to report. We also got back before the Dream Cruises ship so we got away okay. Some of the things we really couldn't get our heads around were the lack of technology on the ship. I could not believe they had to write a number on our Sea Pass cards to indicate we had watched Ice Odyssey. Also in the dining room we had a waiter come to us to write down our room number every night. I mean, aren't we in the 21st century? Can you not just scan my Sea Pass card for that? Also, the in-room television had so little choice of channels. When I was on Quantum of the Seas it could receive a TVB J2 channel but here there is only one Chinese channel which recurred the same content all through the cruise. There are loads of Chinese satellite channels in the region and that's the best they can tune their tv sets to? Once again RCCL, we are in the 21st century! I wish I had downloaded a Samsung remote control app to my phone so I can plug in my mobile hard disk to the tv and watch the movies I have in it. The service provided by all the waiters, servers and room attendants were very good. They worked really hard to keep the ship clean and the service going. I applaud them because with 3,000+ guests (many are children and elderly people) on board it was no easy thing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Talked in short. We have group of 20 people including 4 elderly 1) Minimize trip period from 3 nights to 2 nights with short notification 2) Bad arrangement on room distribution (we have total 7 rooms original in 2 different ... Read More
Talked in short. We have group of 20 people including 4 elderly 1) Minimize trip period from 3 nights to 2 nights with short notification 2) Bad arrangement on room distribution (we have total 7 rooms original in 2 different floors even we requested to be on same floor)....due to trip period was being changed. They relocated all 7 rooms into 4 different floors & the worst things was 2 rooms on each floor - either in the front of cruise ship or in the back of cruise ship 3) Need to line up for almost 2 hours to get on-board & told to get wheelchair after onboard (actually wheelchair can be collected when check-in) - we requested wheelchair from the beginning. 4) Room #11292 - whole night with engine running sound loudly and was told this couldn't be fixed....shouldn't inform to guest in advance ????? 5) Cruise set a party on 16/F until mid-light at 1:30am....from 13/F to 15/F we could hear clearly...such a bad time setting for party ?? 6) Buffet breakfast/Lunch/Dinner - always crowded & have to go early to get table...otherwise you have to wait long time......because everybody is having their meal at the same time... Never, ever go to Dream Cruise !!! High recommend NOT GOING ... Read Less
Sail Date June 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 because of the 2 day stop in Shanghai and Beijing and ending in Japan. This was our first time cruising on HAL. It was just the 2 of us cruising and we stayed in a balcony cabin, which was very nice. We arrived at ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the 2 day stop in Shanghai and Beijing and ending in Japan. This was our first time cruising on HAL. It was just the 2 of us cruising and we stayed in a balcony cabin, which was very nice. We arrived at embarkation to find out we needed copies of our Passports and Visas on separate sheets of paper. We waiting in a line for 15 minutes + to have this done. If we knew prior to arriving, everyone would have these copies available. There were numerous agents to check us in and was quick. Unlike other cruise lines we've been on, the ship does not have a bright center atrium. It's quite small and dark. The ship as a whole in the interior is dark, the evening entertainment is just so-so, MANY people walk around with their bathrobes on visiting the pool/spa/buffet which we found strange and their were limited activities on sea days, All our tours were private with 8 people so can't comment on the ship's tours. We did attend several information sessions about ports, culture and various topics and found them well done and interesting. The service and food options in the Lido Marketplace, buffet, was very good. We ate our meals here for the variety and did not participate in the formal nights. We met friendly people since most times you share a table in the Lido Marketplace. For the first time ever, we took our luggage off by ourselves since we had reserved tickets for the bullet train. This worked well since we each only had 1 suitcase. Depending on the ports/cost, we would consider going again on HAL. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary although we had been to all of the countries that were on the itinerary as recent as on a river cruise in 2017 to Viet Nam and Cambodia. The embarkation took 2 1/2 hours of which was the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary although we had been to all of the countries that were on the itinerary as recent as on a river cruise in 2017 to Viet Nam and Cambodia. The embarkation took 2 1/2 hours of which was the longest embark that we had to endure after a long flight from US to Hong Kong one day prior. We were tired and hungry, but all of the restaurants were closed by the time we got on board because it was time for Muster. Our package included premium beverage, four specialty dining restaurants, unlimited internet, which was nice although the internet was crawling most of the time, and 120 free phone calls of which we used 55 minutes. We were extremely dissapponted to find out that we had to pay NCL $69 each to get a Viet Nam Visa and $89 each for a Cambodia Visa at embark. Of course, we were not aware of getting visas in advance because we planned not to get off in Cambodia because the ship only port one day there, and because we were in Cambodia 2017. The River Cruise Company advised us in advance that we had to get visa for Nam and Cambodia, but NCL did not. Moreover, Viet Nam charges $25 for its Visa; Cambodia charges $30, and it took us less than 5 weeks to get both visa. NCL charged $69 and $89, 3x the charge??? When several passengers asked the crews at the reception, one said because it was an emergency visas; other said to me because they “are merchant” visas. I pointed to that crew member the Viet Nam visa that was stapled to my passports in 2017 indicating that was a “merchant” visa, too, yet, I didn’t have to pay $69 and I got to keep the visa. I don’t know if that crew member got trained appropriately or he thought he could fool me into believing his feeble infor. On this trip, we had to turn in our Nam Visa on the last port day in Nam. So for those who want to keep it for souvenir are of our luck! The food in the Specialty Dining Restaurants was mediocre and poor in some instances. The restaurants’ staffs seemed trying but the execution was poor. At Cagney’s Steak house, I asked for a medium rare filet mignon, it came out rare. The server took it back, the kitchen recooked the steak that I already cut into instead of giving me a new one. What happened if I were sick with a cold or have some kind of contagious illness? Some thoughts for the management. Another incident at Chin Chin, Asian Fusion Restaurant, a line item on the menu, “Chinese Chicken...” one of the passengers asked the server, “what is Chinese Chicken?” The server responded with a laugh, “may be it’s small...” He then apologized later knowing what he said was inappropriate. Note for NCL management, there should be no Chinese Chickens, no American Chickens, and etc...on the menu. There were many more that we could name. In summary, we have cruised many times on large cruise ships and many more on river cruise ships, our experiences were better than NCL, which was our first time. We are not so sure if we want to give NCL a second chance! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this cruise because it sailed to countries that I had not visited before and also went to South Korea, a place I had visited 20 years ago. Celebrity Millennium cruise ship Check in experience at Hongkong Celebrity omitted ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it sailed to countries that I had not visited before and also went to South Korea, a place I had visited 20 years ago. Celebrity Millennium cruise ship Check in experience at Hongkong Celebrity omitted to inform the prospective passengers that they would need two copies of their passport, when they checked in at the Hong Kong international cruise terminal. This caused hundreds of passengers to line up to have their passport, copied to meet the criteria.. Then when we finally made it to the check in counter, we were requested to have a visa to visit china for three days. We had already contacted the Chinese embassy prior to travelling to Hongkong to confirm if a visa was necessary. Their information was, that if we were staying less than 144 hours, we would not require a visa. We had a confirmation email from the Chinese Embassy so, after long deliberation, they let us onboard. We had only just boarded the ship when we were required to line up again and hand over our passports for the Taiwan immigration. This could easily have been done as we were boarding the ship, as we had to walk about a kilometre back and forth through the Hong Kong international terminal. They could have set up a passport station along this route, where the passengers would hand over their passport, and receive a receipt. This would have saved a lot of time and the unnecessary lining up, but they didn’t. We were supposed to be concierge passengers, which meant, we payed an additional $400aud per person for express check in and other privileges on the ship. We feel cheated as we had no special treatment other than a tray of canapés that were no larger than a twenty cent piece. When quizzed about our special privileges, we were given a bottle of Champaign. I am not convinced that the canapés and bottle of Champaign would have cost $800 Aud First stop Tiapei (Taiwan) Following a day at sea, travelling from hongkong to Tiapei, we arrived at 7.00am to a foggy morning and lots of Taiwan warships lined up along the docks. The immigration inspection went smoothly, and passengers who had not booked on the cruise ships tours, made their way 500m down the dock to the railway station where the train took us into Taipei. The station was directly under the Taipei101 building the highest building in Asia and the world, until 2012. The ships tour groups, along with the passengers doing their own thing, all travelled to the top of this building in the fastest lift in the world .Taipei 101 has 2 lifts that only takes 37 seconds to travel from the 5th floor to the 89th floor of the skyscraper. The train trip cost around $12Aud return and the building entry fee was $ 27 AUD. The tour organised by the ship was $175US to visit the same location. Admittedly, the ship tour was on a bus, and took a different route to the building, and included a lunch. Speaking to other passengers who took the ships tour, they informed us that they spent a couple of hours looking for 4 passengers who got separated from the tour, and held everybody up so their day was ruined. Next stop Busan Following another day at sea during which time the ship had some electrical equipment problems between Taiwan and Busan South Korea, which meant that they lost power to most of the ship. The ship limped along at about 2 knots and we were 4hours late arriving at Busan. There were major problems for the crew, who tried to arrange shore excursions and get passengers through the Korean immigration system. The ship blamed the immigration dept, but when we went through the system, it was working like clockwork, and there were no hold ups at all. Most passengers had been held up waiting to get off the ship for over 90 minutes only to find the immigration dept officers, waiting for passengers to come through. The ship was the hold up, not the immigration dept. During the power shortage, the kitchens were unable to cook meals, wash dishes, provide air-conditioning to the dining rooms, or boil water in the urns for tea and coffee. The staff did the best they could, but it was a major problem across the whole ship. There wasn’t any compensation offered to the passengers who had less than 2 hours of daylight to look around the city, and had endured long waiting times trying to get off the ship. Some free drinks would have gone a long way to compensate the passengers, but nothing was offered. The ship was only designated to be at Busan for 6 hours but when it did not arrive until 4 pm in the afternoon this became 2 hours to have a look around during daylight hours. I admit the electrical breakdown could not have been foreseen, but given that passengers had paid good money for the cruise, some compensation should have been offered. The ship delayed its departure until 11pm to allow the tour groups to complete their tours.This was the only concession made by the cruise line. Next stop Incheon Korea The port at Incheon is about 1.5 hours from Seoul (the advertised port of call on the itinerary) and the train stops at all stations along the way. The town of Incheon is 30 minutes from the dock. There were no money exchange establishments at the dock and as the ship only changed passengers money into US dollars, passengers ,were forced to find banks that were open ,and would change foreign currency, into Korean won.. There were no arrangements made for the passengers who found the shore excursions too expensive. The cruise line arranged a shuttle bus into Incheon and that was it. The shuttle bus dropped passengers off in the street in Incheon, and with no guide or Korean speaking interpreter available, passengers were once again left to their own devices trying to negotiate with Korean Taxi drivers, who struggled with the English language. The ship could have had a Korean interpreter available to help people, but chose to leave them all to their struggle by themselves. The ships attitude was that, if you wanted organised tours, then pay the exorbitant fees for their tours, or fend for yourself. The ship had no money changing facilities for passengers to change money for any of the countries that we were visiting. All tours arranged by the ship were charged in US dollars which were meant that Australian passengers were out of pocket by 30%, before they started. All tours were in excess of $250 US per person. Entry into china During the days at sea between Busan and Incheon the ship informed all passengers that, if you don’t have a Visa to enter china, then you won’t be allowed to leave the ship. This left over 200 passengers at the mercy of the ship, who demanded $350us for a visa that could be purchased in Australia for $169. There were passengers from Germany, Switzerland, Canada, and America as well as the Australians who had all been informed that they did not require a Visa. Following lengthy and heated discussions with all of these nationalities the guest relations Leader was called in to explain the exact meaning of the transit visa. The Guest relation leader was able to explain the Visa requirements that the Chinese embassy could not. In simple terms, to be eligible for the 144 hr visa, you must be a transit passenger, travelling from one country into China, and leaving to a third country, which cannot be the same country, that you entered from. For example when we left Jeju island, which is part of Korea and entered China at Shanghai, we had an airline ticket to a third country, being Thailand, which meant that the 144hr visa would cover this visit The visit to Beijing china coming from Incheon Korea and then returning to Jeju island Korea, meant that we did not meet the transit passenger criteria. If the Chinese embassy had have explained this rule, and passed this information on, then the 200 passengers who thought that they had checked out the visa requirements, would not have been put in this position. For many, the massive fee being charged was too much, and they chose to stay on the ship for the 3 days that we were in port. The Port of Tainjin is 1.5 hrs from the town of Tainjin which is 1.5 hrs from Beijing. Once again the ship had made no arrangements to transport passengers from the port to available public transport and they were left to negotiate with Chinese taxi drivers who had upped their fees because there were two ships in port at the same time. In contrast, the other ship, from Holland America, had 10 shuttle busses available for their passengers waiting on the dock. The ship organised tours to Beijing, visiting the great wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and Chairmen Mao’s house. These tours started at $275us per person and depending on the tour selected, the price went upwards from there ,so when converted into Australian dollars, a family of three would be up for over a thousand dollars to take the cheapest tour being offered. The tours took over twelve hours and included 8 hours of travel on a tour bus. The Port of Tainjin is too far away from Beijing making tours expensive and tiresome. If China intends for this to be their main Beijing Port for all visiting cruise ships, it will need to extend the bullet train tracks to the Port. Currently the bullet train runs from Tainjin and takes 40 minutes to reach Beijing. The battle is getting from the Tainjin port to the Tainjin station which is 1.5hrs away. Next port of call was Jeju South Korea Because the ship chose to go from Busan to Incheon, and then Beijing , passing Jeju island, along the way, and then back to Jeju island, they caused 2500 passengers to pay for a visa, that would not have been required if they had called in at Jeju island on the way to Incheon. They also have used twice as much fuel crossing the East China Sea, three times instead of once. The island of Jeju was a little bit more organised with a hop on hop off bus provided at the port to take passengers around the island. The ship had its tours available as well, but passengers were able to see most of the island for a very modest price of $16 AUD on the hop on hop off bus, instead of the $175US charged by the ship. There were many cherry blossom trees out in flower around the island and they made a great display. The bus took passengers past the international airport and around the coast rd to the far side of the island. There were 16 stops where passengers could get off or on the bus. Final port of call, back across the east China sea again, to Shanghai. The ship arrived at Shanghai at 6.00am and passengers disembarked in groups as designated by the ship. Shanghai was about an hour’s drive from the port and the taxi drivers were a much better group to deal with. There were booking agents, who organised limousine van drivers, to take passengers and their luggage to their hotels at reasonable prices. This of course was not organised by the cruise line. Entertainment The ship provided nightly shows in their theatre, many of which were very good. One group calling themselves the Aussie boys were excellent, singing songs from the 70’s 80’s and 90’s. The soul singers were also quite good and the mime duo was excellent. There ship had 6 days at sea during which time passengers had to amuse themselves. Other cruises that I have been on have had nonstop Karaoke, cooking classes for women and interested men, shuttle board courts, golf driving ranges, rock climbing walls and basket ball courts. Celebrity has very little to offer, and use art auctions, and Jewellery sales trying to make up for their lack of foresight. Conclusion Celebrity cruises appear to have one major objective. Once they have enticed you onto one of their cruises, by offering a reasonable price for your fare to get you onto their ship, then they do everything in their power, to up sell you to spend more and more money, on beverage packages, soft drink packages, tours that have hugely inflated prices, and are all charged in US dollars, photograph packages, art auctions, watch sales, jewellery sales, and the list goes on. One lady bought a painting at one of their auctions for $50us and when she went to pick it up, was told that they only had a copy for sale purposes, and that her copy would need to be posted to her, at a cost of $65us . They take your photo when you get on the ship and then want to take your photo as many times as possible at every port, charging $25US per photo. They even offer to put it in a small frame for an additional $75US. The ship has 5 additional restaurants that are not included in the price for the cruise. The crew spend every available minute during meal times in the buffet café, trying to entice you to visit these other restaurants, which cost $125US per head to eat at them. Celebrity could make their cruises much more enjoyable for their passengers, if they provided options for them to access public transport. They could have an interpreter at each Port, who would be one of their crew members, that could help passengers to negotiate with the foreign taxi drivers, overcome language barriers, and show them how to get to public transport. They could provide shuttle busses at every port to get passengers to the nearest public transport. Passengers would not mind paying a small fee for the shuttle bus, if it took them to the train stations etc. Celebrity cruises need to provide money changing services at their concierge desk, so that passengers can change money into the currency of the country that they are about to visit. Most passengers would not mind receiving a little less than the going rate for the convenience of being able to do this, in a calm organised way while the ship is at sea . The rooms on the ship were comfortable and the cabin stewards do a wonderful job. Our steward was excellent and nothing was too much trouble for him. The stateroom that I was in had an adjoining door between my room and the one next door, for a family. This door was kept locked, but the wind whistled in through the gap around the door and kept me awake at night until the cabin steward had it repaired. This is the first cruise that I have been on, that didn’t supply free bottled water in the stateroom. It was available, but at $5US per bottle. Ships such as Holland America and Royal Caribbean supply two bottles per day to each cabin, free of charge. There was no kettle, cup and saucers, or tea and coffee supplied in the room. This was provided, after requesting it from the cabin steward. We managed to have our stateroom steward arrange a jug of ice water, delivered to our stateroom each day ,to have clean, cool, drinking water available. One of the biggest complaints that I have, is the lack of security for your passport, on Celebrity cruises. The guest assistance desk made many bad mistakes regarding passports, sending messages to our room, requesting us to deliver our passports to them, while all the while they were holding our passports, in their office. They had even issued us with a receipt when we handed over our passport but they were unable to understand their own system. It was a clear that the right hand did not know, what the left hand was doing The Visa that we have paid $750US for was taken by the ship and we had nothing to show that we even had a Visa. We threatened to have our bank stop payment on the credit card if they didn’t provide us with copies of the expensive visas Celebrity appear to go out of their way to make it as hard as possible for passengers to go their own way, trying to force you to use their tours, which do not suit everybody, as they may not want to look at temples in every port. The activities on the boat leave a lot to be desired as they only have a few trivia quizzes and a few board games, plus the occasional skill completion with bow and arrow. There is the Casino when the ship is in open waters, but it is not everybody’s cup of tea. The intercom system only broadcasts into the corridors, unless there is an emergency. Most of the announcements are more than half over, by the time passengers can get their door open and get out into the corridor. The ship should have a switch in each cabin so the passengers can decide if they want the messages broadcast into their cabin or not. The emergency messages would come through, regardless of whether the switch is on or off. There is also no communication phone in the bathrooms on the ship, and should a passenger take a turn or a fall, they have no way of obtaining assistance, until the steward comes in to make their room up for the night. The ocean view café staff were excellent, and I could not speak highly enough of them. They worked long hours, always with a smile on their face, even though some passengers would have been very hard to deal with. The food was excellent, and there was plenty of variety, from Pizza and hot dogs through to roast lamb, roast beef, steak sausages, chops and a variety of vegetables. There was a salad bar and a seafood section, there was an Indian food section, and there was an Asian food section. There was fresh fruit and sweets including icecream and soft serve. The ala carte dining room was well utilised but most passengers then came down to the ocean view café, to make up for the tiny portions offered in ala carte. The beauty of the oceanview café was you had no time restrictions placed on you, and you had all the food you could eat, and all the variety you could wish for. I did not enjoy the problems endured on this cruise and would not cruise on Celebrity cruises again Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This is our third time on the Millennium and the ship was getting old. The new cabins and the buffet are really great. As usual, that staff were great and always smiled when they meet you. This cruise was not port intensive so there ... Read More
This is our third time on the Millennium and the ship was getting old. The new cabins and the buffet are really great. As usual, that staff were great and always smiled when they meet you. This cruise was not port intensive so there was time to relax between ports and enjoy the refurbished Millennium. The passengers were a real mix of people, I think they said there were passengers from 52 nations with a large contingent from Canada, Australia and Germany along with the USA. We did not eat in the specialty restaurants since we think they are over priced. The food in the Main Dinning Room was good with enough selections to please anyone. The portion sizes were adequate, I heard some say they were on the small size, but you could always ask for more. I would highly recommend that Celebrity expand their enrichment classes and focus more on history of the places we were going to visit. They should also consider offering hands on computer classes like Holland America at no cost to the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I am writing this review after a 3 day pre-cruise itinerary in Hong Kong and first full day, while fresh in my mind. I will add further updates. The airport pickup and transfer well, even though they were not prepared for 4 people with ... Read More
I am writing this review after a 3 day pre-cruise itinerary in Hong Kong and first full day, while fresh in my mind. I will add further updates. The airport pickup and transfer well, even though they were not prepared for 4 people with 2 pieces of luggage with carryons each (although that is what we told them we would have). The Langham Hotel was excellent in all aspects - location, rooms, breakfast provided. The first day tour was just hotel transfer to the hotel, but we booked our own private tour which was great. Day 2 with Regent was really sub-par, made worse by rainy, cloudy weather. Nevertheless, we stuck to the itinerary of a train trip to the top of Victoria Peak for the (non)view (we went to the top to re-board our bus and spent no time there). Then on to our lunch at Stanley Market (which was a pretty poor example of a street market compared to the center of Kowloon). We ate at an authentic buffet lunch of —— German food in Hong Kong! Day 3 was a long trip to Po Lin Monastery (of course the cable car was closed) , a better than expected vegetarian lunch, then a visit to tourist trap Ngong Ping village. Pretty lame day - definitely best to explore on your own and set up private tours. The mid-cruise feedback form was filled with issues. We have not heard back from the crew - do not believe the “commitment to excellence.” They are committed to apologizing and being empathetic, as they have much practice from what I have heard from many other cruisers. More specifics: 1] The towels placed on the poolside chairs are changed once a day. If someone is lying on the towel and leaves, the towels are reused for the unsuspecting next poolside guest. 2] First day of the cruise (we paid plenty extra for alcohol included, but no Riesling wine (they did find one bottle for the 12 day cruise) and no Pina Colada mix ( after 9 days they did get off the ship to get more mix, but ran out after 1 day). 3] Salad poolside is served warm - not kept on ice or refrigerated. The salad plates are hot, also not kept in a cooler. Who really wants warm salad? 4] Same for the sodas. Warm Coke cans are opened - so they are not carbonated well. Poured over ice results in flat, diluted soda. I’ll stick to water, but it is warm if you want it from a bottle (or boxed water) - only water from the ship is cold (gee - wasn’t it brown water in my room)? Even refrigerator in room barely kept drinks cool. 5] Although I had expected great service due to a smaller ship with a high staff:passenger ratio, I felt that the service was really poor compared to Oceana. At the buffets, people were leaning over food and mis-handling the serving utensils (not very hygienic) similar to any Golden Corral in the U.S.)- as opposed to being served by gloved staff. It frequently took my asking servers multiple times to bring me drinks, bread, etc. Sometimes I just got up to do it myself. 6] The food menu is pretty extensive - which is good. The food is generally good (although I personally did not think it was uniformly good, but I did have alternative choices) - not as good as the restaurants I had experienced on Oceana but much better than Royal Carribean. Prime 7 is very good. The staff in the Italian buffet are understaffed and running around making it a hectic, not relaxing dinner, but better the second night. 7] When going on tours, only warm water is handed out when leaving the ship. Cold water is not routinely given out on the buses. Generally, the tour buses are good, the tours are pretty average to sub-par. 8] Now at day 10 after completing Bangkok “2 day“ visit. Rather than dock in Bangkok as was in the original itinerary, we docked 2.5 hours away in Laem Chabang. The excuse was low tide (we found out after boarding, others found out 1 week before). I am sure the real reason was it cheaper, as there were no other cruise ships in our port and other cruise ships were docked in Bangkok at the same time. The times of our docking did not change, so there was no way to reasonably go to Bangkok on day 1, with the “alternative offered was to go to Bangkok on day 1 (and at my own expense) book a hotel room and book my own tours to return on day 2 at 1:30 PM. On day 2 we left at 6 AM to have a very rushed visit to the Grand Palace, canal ride on the Chao Phraya river and a buffet lunch at a Sheraton hotel before returning at 1:30 PM - spent more time driving than touring - 2 days wasted in Thailand. I need to come back another time to actually visit the sites and see Bangkok! The entertainment has been better than expected. Staff are pleasant and very apologetic. When we explained our concerns personally to the ship General Manager, she was understanding and apologetic, offering a laughable $750 credit toward a future cruise, with no adjustment to the top dollar price of this cruise. With more protests, we were offered $750 each current cruise credit or $1500 eachfuture cruise credit. 9] The regular internet is very spotty, which I have found. To be fairly typical at sea. I paid for the upgrade to streaming internet, but became good friends with the internet guru with my daily visits due to inability to access the internet, and inability to stream (I tried to video stream a Peloton 45 minute exercise program, which worked for 12 minutes during my 45 minute exercise period). Other sites would not stream at all. Finally, I was told I would not be charged the $120 for the fast internet access I was not receiving). The good parts of this cruise: 1] The staff are friendly and try to be helpful, but are poorly trained (not their fault) and are limited with the ability to fix issues with a ship that should be taken out of service. The 10 day dry dock is not going to repair all the issues with the ship. They did try hard to address the many issues. 2] Bed is comfortable. The suite is comfortable (excluding the smell, toilet and brown sink water). High beds had plenty of storage underneath for big luggage. 3] Good quality entertainment. 4] Very good food and food choices. 5] We received a credit in order to book our own air travel, and were met in a timely fashion at the airport. Luggage transfers were seamless and done well. 6] Itinerary was good (better than the ports actually docked or the time allotted for touring). 7] Although it took great effort, we did receive $ credit. It did not make up for the lost time and aggravation of our vacation, but at least it was a token acknowledgement that there are major issues with the ship that were known beforehand but not publicized. We paid for a Ritz Carlton , and got a Motel 6 (sorry to Motel 6- as I am sure they have clean water in the bathroom Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The crew were for the most part pleasant and accommodating. Food was above average and the pastry chef was particularly good. Themed dinners were okay but too much Thai. Food not always available but 24 room service was pretty good. The ... Read More
The crew were for the most part pleasant and accommodating. Food was above average and the pastry chef was particularly good. Themed dinners were okay but too much Thai. Food not always available but 24 room service was pretty good. The tours were conducted by good English speaking instructors (Dalian to Lushun prison and Beijing to Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square). Internet was spotty. Room 6004 was a good size, beds comfortable with lovely sheets but the whole ship needs renovation. Do not reserve this cabin if you have any issue with motion sickness. It is in the forward part of the ship and it was awful in rough seas. It was also very noisy when the entertainment in the lounge was going on. Overall a good trip. The port agent in Kobe did a good job helping us to get back to the ship on time on one precarious occasion. The age range though really is 65-80. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Just did a 6 days Hong Kong Vietnam Cruise, 2 adults with kids 9 and 11. It was our second cruise. Very glad we choose the PALACE SUITE upgrade, and this particular World Dream cruise-ship. The room is fantastic with a huge bathroom, ... Read More
Just did a 6 days Hong Kong Vietnam Cruise, 2 adults with kids 9 and 11. It was our second cruise. Very glad we choose the PALACE SUITE upgrade, and this particular World Dream cruise-ship. The room is fantastic with a huge bathroom, much storage and an easy-to-fold down sleeper for the kids while the ship is less then a year old having cost almost a billion USD (build in Germany). The Palace VIP upgrade comes with many perks, e.g.: • Personal butler for your room available 6 x 15 hours. Can call her/him from anywhere on the ship to sort out small issues/make bookings/a lost bag/etc. • access to the VIP/PALACE area which covers about 1/3rd of the ship in the front. Economy class passengers do not have access to this area. The buffet restaurant (breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and supper till 2am) is fantastic with great views/service/food. No need to queue here (while in economy obtaining a lobster requires strong elbows and immaculate timing Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was along awaited trip to the far east and inparticular first time visits to Hong Kong and Singapore, where my parents lived for 20 years The ship moored ocernight in both Hong Kong and Singapore which along with a few days in ... Read More
This was along awaited trip to the far east and inparticular first time visits to Hong Kong and Singapore, where my parents lived for 20 years The ship moored ocernight in both Hong Kong and Singapore which along with a few days in hotels gave us time to explore Singapore is the most beatiful city and so accessible by road, river and train Whilst the Millenium is clearly in need of a refit, the crew make up for this with service in every are being top class My wife has food allergies and the restaurant staff were brilliant at getting this right each night, this coupled with a very attentive wine waiter and some great company each night made for memorable dining We haven't been on many cruises (5) but the entertainment on this ship was the best! A superb ships company gave stunning shows in the main theater and the cosmos lounge. The guest artist were all top qaulity and very varied West end eat your heart out, where else can you be served a gin and tonic in your seat. Our captain (nicolaos was the ,most visible w ehave seen attending losts of the vents and being available for chats / feedback and I'm sure that helped with the overall culture onboard The only negative is the need to charge so much for wifi on board, nearly $30 a day for access is ridiculous, todays traveller expects to be connected 24/7 - even on holiday Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Just got off the wind star legend....wow...good thing they are taking this ship into reparations... It has seen better days... No thermostats work in the suites, 1 ply toilet tissue, main dining room a/c stuck on coldest setting, so low ... Read More
Just got off the wind star legend....wow...good thing they are taking this ship into reparations... It has seen better days... No thermostats work in the suites, 1 ply toilet tissue, main dining room a/c stuck on coldest setting, so low , a large % of passengers got a cold in the first 3 days and passed it around for a week. Outdoor seating on upper deck fine dining area had incredibly uncomfortable chairs, the skinny legs of the cheap seating kept getting stuck in the grates of the floor tipping them sideways. The 'Candles' experience was 'filled" with reservations and when you got one ,you noticed very few people there because they were so understaffed... Fillet mignonette was precut to 6 ounces , served medium to medium well no matter what you requested. Service was spotty, some nights good, some you had to ask for water. Servers would often approach table interrupting guests in middle of a sentence.. Dining hours reflected the understaffing, very limited hours it became necessary to plan around so as not to run out of certain selections. Room service menu was a set menu devoid of nightly specials... Seldom could you make a selection where to eat... Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
What’s Qnot on the Orion. Evertthing from a luxurious stateroom, great food, entertainment and activities. The staff go out of their way to insure every meal, activity and tour are top notch. The ship itself has every acommodation from ... Read More
What’s Qnot on the Orion. Evertthing from a luxurious stateroom, great food, entertainment and activities. The staff go out of their way to insure every meal, activity and tour are top notch. The ship itself has every acommodation from entertainment, shopping, exercise facilities, swimming, spa treatments, great food and spirits as well as a staff that finds no need to great. Your cabin is well equipped with fresh linens and towels on a daily basis. There is so much entertainment you will never be bored including lectures, movies, high tea, availability to an onboard library, a swimming pool, spa treatments, exercise equipment and a sun deck as well as a walking track. The staff will provide 24 hour room service. There are several specialty restaurants as well as the Buffett. The Buffett serves everything from soup To nuts. They even have gelatos. You’ll fell very comfortable with any of the Viking cruises. You will never e bored or hungry on Viking no matter what trip you take. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our third Viking experience, previously a 15 day river and 15 day ocean. I guess I should start out by saying the the Viking ships are beautiful, well laid out it never feels congested. The cabin attendants are first class and ... Read More
This was our third Viking experience, previously a 15 day river and 15 day ocean. I guess I should start out by saying the the Viking ships are beautiful, well laid out it never feels congested. The cabin attendants are first class and the dining is excellent. Entertainment is limited but, we already new that. The singers and dancers on board did a very good job with what they were given. The cruises director and staff seemed to only work about half the time. Compared with our previous Viking cruise, the entertainment was almost non-existent. The guest services group ranged from very good to just another body filling up space. My wife and I flew into Hong Kong from LA two days early. it was a tough 15 HR flight and my wife experienced some issues. The Viking host at our hotel was very helpful but, it was evident that many staffers were not adequately trained to Viking standards. This would turn out to to be the overriding theme for the rest of our trip. Transportation to the Orion was uneventful and embarkation was smooth. Our luggage was delivered to our cabin within a half hour followed by the attendants. We enjoyed the ship for two days but upon arriving in Xiamen my wife was still not feeling well so we visited the medical center. Before I proceed, I just want to say that the doctor and med staff were caring, thorough and extremely professional. They had a doctor and two nurses with quite a lot of equipment. After much testing the doctor decided to send her to the hospital for further tests. We were advised to take it easy for the rest of the cruise. We cancelled our post cruise extension and were advised that we would need to file a claim with the trip insurance company(we are still working on that). Three days before disembarkation, we received the details for our four day extension for the first time(the one that we cancelled). It included baggage restrictions...we had four bags and each one was over sized according to their list. We also had medical equipment which was not allowed. For the morning flight returning to Beijing we had to leave our hotel in the early am. Bus rides and planes made up most of the time during the four day trip. The day before our final port my wife was feeling worse. We went to the med center and they kept her over night. The next morning she was transported to the hospital in Tianjin where she stayed for five days before flying back home. The reason for this long story is that the cruise had many high points and of course many lows. In the future, I would definitely travel with Viking again. I will always find out who the cruise director is before booking, and will not travel with this one. I will purchase travel insurance on my own and not use TripMate. If traveling to Asia I will fly, train, drive, book hotels on my own and hire my own guides. It is difficult to separate our personal problems with our feelings about THIS Viking cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We wanted a taste of Vietnam and this cruise after returning from London to Hong Kong was a good way to break up the trip to Adelaide. The good First of all the ship itself is gorgeous, the cabin was excellent and I had the best ... Read More
We wanted a taste of Vietnam and this cruise after returning from London to Hong Kong was a good way to break up the trip to Adelaide. The good First of all the ship itself is gorgeous, the cabin was excellent and I had the best night's sleep. Their care and attention in preventing any outbreaks of norovirus was excellent with being guided to the wash basins outside the main buffet dining room Windjammer. Children will enjoy this ship but many of the things are extra cost. The staff were excellent and tried to assist with the things that were horrendous. The entertainment Pixels was excellent and very professional. The Bad The crowds were unbelievable and very off putting. This went hand in hand with the noise, the pushing and the shoving. And I am horrified to say- the spitting! The ship left from Hong Kong and probably 95% of the passengers were Chinese. The menus catered for these passengers. The programs on the TV catered mainly for Chinese. Anytime it was necessary to queue this was forgotten or just not adhered to - the crew tried their best but giving announcements in English to a crowd of Chinese is just not going to work. I don't know why it is so hard to have the tenders available to take passengers back to the ship. Coming back from Nha Trang - after the bus ride there was a wait in the very hot sun and humidity of over an hour to get on a tender. The food was not great and all of the complimentary restaurants had the same menu. The speciality restaurants had a charge of US$41 per head. The shops on board are all designer labels and not an option for most travellers that actually save for a holiday. The Spa on board - so,so - not particularly professional. If you wanted to watch a movie in your cabin it cost US$15.95 Disembarkation from the ship was OK but after this point getting into Hong Kong was a nightmare. 100's waiting for taxis. If I were travelling with a younger family I might consider the ship again but certainly not from an Asian port. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The shows every night were average or below standards and guests have to queued up a long line to get in. Not too many entertainments spots within the ship liked we experiences with Voyager of the Seas or Navigator of the Seas before. A la ... Read More
The shows every night were average or below standards and guests have to queued up a long line to get in. Not too many entertainments spots within the ship liked we experiences with Voyager of the Seas or Navigator of the Seas before. A la cart foods in the restaurant were quite simple and repeated the same every 2 nights. Big chaos in the restaurant in the first few days, guests had to queue up a long line to get in and in the same table some guests already finished dessert and another still waiting for appetizers and finally they forgot to serve tea or coffee after meals. Very disappointed experience so a lot of guests have chosen to go to the Buffet areas instead. We did book 5 Balcony rooms but ended up with 4 Balcony rooms ( 8 completely new to Royal Caribbean) in deck 9 and we had to stay in Interior state room in deck 12 ( we are Gold member of Royal Caribbean). We did complained about this several times but nothing happened. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Retired couple with 20 + cruises many different cruise lines: Second time on the Jewel. Just OK. Food all restaurants greatly improved over last Jewel cruise (2014). Garden Buffet expanded in more and better entree selections. Le ... Read More
Retired couple with 20 + cruises many different cruise lines: Second time on the Jewel. Just OK. Food all restaurants greatly improved over last Jewel cruise (2014). Garden Buffet expanded in more and better entree selections. Le Bistro still our favorite. Proper cleanliness throughout the ship - male thermal suite always maintained well. Entertainment fair to poor. Same shows as 4 years ago. Music way to loud all venues. (When asked to pipe down upon port arrival [so we could enjoy Japan's Pier Greeting Performance by musicians and dancers] the topside pool musicians said no because its in our contract. Ruined the arrival for many.) This being an Orient cruise only 1 local entertainment brought on board although we ported at 8 different piers. Most disappointing. Cabin bedding terrible -- Norwegian changed mattresses for us and still could see the slump in the beds. Felt like sleeping in a hammock. Service charges are non-stop. Though our service charges were paid up front, still hit up with charges every time we orderrd a drink, food, or activity. These are a major rip off for all cruisers. Unusually long waits for NCL sponsored Destination Tours, and long lines on-board to book these tours. Do so before sailing. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Beginning on a positive note, Celebrity Milleneum gets special praise for: If you're staying in a suite, and you're lucky enough to have Robert as your suite butler, you can expect especially friendly and helpful service. ... Read More
Beginning on a positive note, Celebrity Milleneum gets special praise for: If you're staying in a suite, and you're lucky enough to have Robert as your suite butler, you can expect especially friendly and helpful service. Service and food at the Tuscan Grill, the costly but fine Italian specialty restaurant, were excellent; waiter Alex was a gem. Qusine is an innovative and very enjoyable specialty restaurant. You will get friendly and helpful sommelier service in Luminae, the suite level restaurant, from Mila. Milleneum is pretty good at: Food and service at Luminae, the suite level restaurant; Alessio is a charming, friendly and efficient dining room manager and deserves lots of credit for pulling things together. The crew did a creditable job most of the time greeting and dispatching guests in the theater en route to shore excursions. Milleneum fails as no other cruise lines in our experience have failed so badly at: There were absolutely no enlightenment lectures on in-room tv, maybe because there in fact are no enlightenment lectures.  This was a cruises with stops in Vietnam and Taiwan without a single speaker on the history, food, religion, geography, culture . . . .  Shameful. There never was a shore services desk at any destination; no one to provide maps and local information for independent travelers.  Nor were there any arranged shuttles or transfer services, even at a fee, from ports to nearby towns. Internet service is quite pricey.  Celebrity claims it is "available throughout the ship", which actually translates in reality to a few places scattered throughout the ship -- like next to the front door of our suite but not in the sitting area or on the veranda, and nowhere near an outlet to plug in your device.  This was a complaint echoed by many suite guests and acknowledged by staff, but only after multiple phone calls and visits by one of the computer center people to make sure we weren't making it up.  Their answer: leave the door of the suite open and maybe get a stronger signal!  (No, that didn't work either.)  They ultimately acknowledged that this was not a problem of weak satellite reception; it was fine at the computer center, some places on deck, and in some of the restaurant areas.  It's a problem of using cheap equipment without enough signal boosters throughout the ship.  The closet in the "Royal Suite" was incredibly tiny.  No room for suitcases and barely enough room to hang our clothes.  And yet the suite was full of cupboards with shelves for some mysterious reason -- probably thirty or more running feet of unusable shelf space. In the Royal Suit, there's a weird living room layout: a huge sofa against the wall next to the large dining table and (only) two chairs, but no possible way to sit on the sofa and dine (or sleep, or see anything -- just wasted furniture). Bathroom in the suite has shower doors so close to the toilet you have to step sideways or around toilet to get in and out -- yet a seven foot bath tub that (we wonder) probably no one uses. Like to go to one of the bars for a drink before dinner and hear some pleasant pre-dinner music?  Maybe a pianist or quiet ensemble?  Sorry.  There's an amazing shortage of pre-dinner music in the bars.  All told, on any given evening there were two or three duos, one solo pop singer (who, in our opinion, would be compared unfavorably to Florence Foster Jenkins) and sometimes a DJ -- for over 2000 people.  And the bar music was scheduled for such irrational times as 4;45 TO 5:30, or 7:00 to 7:45, so of little value as pre-dinner amusement. So plan to drink in relative quiet. The in-room  movies are all priced at $15 and none really first run at all. There's not even an in-room tv channel showing dinner menus in the various restaurants.   In the suites, there's a so-called hot tub on the veranda, but it really is a large Jacuzzi bath tub, and the stains look like no one has used it and it hasn't been scrubbed for quite awhile -- we didn't bother to ask. Milleneum is poor, but probably no poorer than some comparable cruise lines, at: Overly large group excursions, yet still pricey.  Tour providers were poorly vetted tour providers with very weak English language skills. A ginormous buffet cafeteria with mediocre food and insufficient seating for crowds on sea days (actually probably should be rated below average, but not so bad as to be put in the "fail as no other" category) Uninspired evening entertainment in the theater The suite veranda isn't truly private; suites on higher floors and crew from the flying bridge can look down on you (and wave to you), so keep your clothes on -- or not. Milleneum is due to be pulled out of service next year for a complete overhaul.  Maybe they'll fix these problems, but since they seem to be mostly corporate shortcomings, I wouldn't hold my breath. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was our first Celebrity Cruise but we have cruised with other cruise companies in the past. If I’m being honest I have to say that I expected a bit more from a 5* company especially with regards to the food in the main dining room. ... Read More
This was our first Celebrity Cruise but we have cruised with other cruise companies in the past. If I’m being honest I have to say that I expected a bit more from a 5* company especially with regards to the food in the main dining room. The positives were definitely the places we visited in Vietnam and Taiwan (which we loved) and also Hong Kong. I see that Captain Alex gets lots of comments about being seen around the ship but my husband didn’t see him once and I only saw him once at the opening of the sale in the shop. He wasn’t there when we disembarked but we were one of the last. His announcements are very amusing. Ourselves and most of the other guests we chatted to or dined with were disappointed with the food in the MDR. It was often cold and not worthy of a 5* ship. The starters were very poor most nights and we weren’t impressed with the desserts and mostly chose from the standard choices were were offered every night. The size of the portion of vegetables was tiny but we did find out that you could ask for extra veg and when someone on our table did it was always broccoli and green beans. Food in the Oceanview buffet was excellent. Lots of choice at breakfast and lunch. We ate there one evening towards the end of the cruise and wished we had done it more often as we enjoyed our meal more than most of the meals we’d had in the MDR. Cafe Bacchio served great coffee and cakes and was a lovely place to go in the afternoon when you returned from a trip or for a nice coffee after dinner. ( coffee in MDR wasn’t nice ) The crew everywhere from your cabin steward to the little girl on the hand gel going into the buffet and those on the public desks were all brilliant and very helpful. We saw some amazing places met some lovely people and overall had a brilliant time but not sure that we would pay Celebrity prices in the future. Being from the UK we have had better food and entertainment on the smaller ships like Thomson and Fred Olsen. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise because of the destinations. We have travelled before to Asia in February. It is interesting as it’s the Chinese New Year celebrations. Halong bay is awesome. The weather in all destinations was pleasantly hot ho chi ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destinations. We have travelled before to Asia in February. It is interesting as it’s the Chinese New Year celebrations. Halong bay is awesome. The weather in all destinations was pleasantly hot ho chi min was the hottest at 33 degrees. The millennium is a lovely ship the food was lovely and the theatre very comfortable with excellent shows. Cafe el bacio served speciality coffees and cakes. Often musicians played there in the evenings. Our outside cabin was spacious and the bed and pillows very comfortable. We took two of the ships excursions which seemed good value for money, the outdoor pool seemed to be salt water and quite warm. They had an indoor sanctuary pool very warm with massage jets and jacuzzis. The staff and cabin stewards was so pleasant and helpful nothing was too much trouble. The ship was very clean and the dining rooms very pleasant and appealing. This is our third celebrity cruise and each time we have had their classic drinks package. It covers most good quality wines and spirits as well as bottled water and speciality coffees. Our embarkation and when we disembarked went smoothly. We waited 15 minutes initially to board and when we left walked straight out to pick our cases up. There are always plenty of staff around to help with questions and queries. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary plus our experience on a previous cruise on Riviera. A big plus was that Nautica, being a small ship, was able to dock close to several of the city centres rather than at the more distant ports. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary plus our experience on a previous cruise on Riviera. A big plus was that Nautica, being a small ship, was able to dock close to several of the city centres rather than at the more distant ports. Sailing out of Hong Kong harbour from Ocean Terminal after dark was a an amazing sight and a cruise highlight. Several overnights in port made it possible to take two shore trips per port. As anticipated, the food was great in all dining venues, especially at the Polo Grill. We appreciated room service breakfast on days when we had an early start for shore excursions. We like open dining times, being able to dine whatever time we feel like, and enjoyed sharing tables sometimes. The wine prices were very high, but we made good use of happy hour pre dinner drinks. The enrichment lectures we went to (4) we very good. Attended only 2 evening shows, but both were very good given the small number of the entertainment crew. Embarkation didn’t go as expected. We arrived 15 mins after embarkation began but found everything at a standstill, with nowhere to sit while we waited for action, around 30 mins. Were told later that we were kept inside for warmth, as it was unusually cold outside. Once the line started moving all went well. Disembarkation was seamless. Service in all areas of the ship was excellent, and courtesy was shown by everyone from the Captain down. We didn’t do any ship’s excursions, partly because they were so expensive, and partly because we prefer small group excursions. We organised our own trips or joined some organised by others via Cruise Critic. A little disappointed with the lack of a Concierge lounge on this smaller ship. Otherwise this was a great cruise, and if we cruise again we are likely to choose Oceana. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I chose this cruise to join a family group. It was my 6th cruise but first on Silversea. It was the best cruise ever. The service,crew and entertainment was outstanding. I loved the smaller venue which allowed us to get to know the other ... Read More
I chose this cruise to join a family group. It was my 6th cruise but first on Silversea. It was the best cruise ever. The service,crew and entertainment was outstanding. I loved the smaller venue which allowed us to get to know the other guests and staff. This made the time on board very friendly and personable. I felt so welcomed and special from the time we boarded until we disembarked. The prepaid tours were excellent giving us an excellent insight at all sites. Sue the excursion director was helpful in last minute changes which allowed us to see the super bowl and not miss a tour that was top on our list. The cruise director Mr Moss went out of his way to advise us on the availability of watching the super bowl. His personal show was one of the best performances. However it should be presented on a night at sea so you can’t miss it. We came in at the end after attending a fabulous on ground evening excursion. Kennan our butler went above and beyond to serve us. I miss him so much!!!! The entertainment had something for everyone. There were activities I missed only because of enjoying the spa or pool or just laughing with new found friends. I can’t wait to sail again on Silversea!!,, Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was my first time on the Volendam, but not my last. The captain skillfully maneuvered this medium size cruise ship through high waves at the port of Nha Trang, Vietnam, and kept all the guests well informed. This my first HAL cruise ... Read More
This was my first time on the Volendam, but not my last. The captain skillfully maneuvered this medium size cruise ship through high waves at the port of Nha Trang, Vietnam, and kept all the guests well informed. This my first HAL cruise with in depth cultural sessions, such as feng shui, temple etiquette, or coffee culture, in addition to the regular tips for touring various ports. One minor quibble is that only maps of some ports/cities were readily available at the front desk. Major disappointment was the wait to disembark in Singapore due to long lines at immigration/customs. Although customs at Changi Airport experienced over the last 20 years is efficient, this disembarkation wasn't. However, the cruise itself was outstanding with a good food (loved the tropical fruits at the Lido Market daily -- guava, lychee, mango), flawless dinner service, and a variety of entertainment choices. Our compact cabin on the walking deck was comfortable and cozy with our own added décor; the steward furnished a vase for flowers acquired and used a bed runner also purchased in Vietnam. I was completely satisfied with 3 of the 4 tours, and highly recommend the My Son, an UNESCO World Heritage site, in Da Nang, Vietnam. The escort on the HCMC city transfer only provided general information on Vietnam and nothing city specific; he didn't even recognize that the street of the meeting point was the same where we were meeting our friends for lunch. We took shuttles (one paid & one free) in 2 cities and were able to explore on our own. Despite its location in a large, busy commercial port Terminal 1A in Laem Chabang Thailand has WiFi ($3.00 for 3 hours), an indoor souvenir market, and a small massage corner. Whether or not this is your first trip to Southeast Asia, you are in good hands sailing on the Volendam. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We did choose this cruise for the ports of call selection (Hong Kong, Halong Bay, Da Nang - for Hue, Nha Trang, Phu My - for Saigon, Shianokville - for the beaches, Laem Chabang - for Bankok, Ko Samui - for temples and the beaches and ... Read More
We did choose this cruise for the ports of call selection (Hong Kong, Halong Bay, Da Nang - for Hue, Nha Trang, Phu My - for Saigon, Shianokville - for the beaches, Laem Chabang - for Bankok, Ko Samui - for temples and the beaches and Singapore. Overall, not too many days "at the sea" and nice ports of call selections. Good start and end ports (where you can come in earlier or stay more at the end - like three days for each) to you can better see and experience both Hong Kong and Singapore. The ship is not in a good shape anymore. The food is about average (the same food choice over and over again, day after day). The Lido on this ship closes at 8 pm (not at 9 pm as on other Holland America ships). The late dining takes way too long (one hour is the minimum - going up to 1.5 or 2 hrs) as they did cut on cooks and waiters as well - so be prepared to wait for your food if you want each night dining experience. We skipped the dining experience for the last couple of days as it was too long for getting the food. As usual, shore excursions as overpriced, but if you do your homework in advance - you can get at least 1/2 price if not even better. These are interesting ports of call - so the cruise is worth although it has all these issues (mentioned above). The late night entertainment was sub par (only 3 good shows in 14 days). Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I wanted to go to Hong Kong, been to Vietnam before and Singapore,I wanted to return, the cruise it self was 5 star, all the way, we also receive an upgrade to a balcony, which was brilliant, the staff was amazing, the young girl in the ... Read More
I wanted to go to Hong Kong, been to Vietnam before and Singapore,I wanted to return, the cruise it self was 5 star, all the way, we also receive an upgrade to a balcony, which was brilliant, the staff was amazing, the young girl in the coffee shop Victoria, was a delight, always knew what I wanted, thenon,y down side was the weather, it was so cold, but the amenities on board was great, would I go with celebrity again yes I would, thanks for a brilliant holiday, The excursions was very well priced, and enjoyed them all, Food was just amazing to much choice Entertainment was good always something going on, Embarkation and disembarkation was all good. The captains announcement was something to look forward to he always had a bit of humour, like keeping the ship upright. Can’t wait to to travel with you again in the very near future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018

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