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18 Hong Kong to World Cruise Reviews

This was our fifth cruise on Oceania and our second on the Nautica. It is beginning to look a little worn, but that should be addressed with the scheduled makeover. The service and food remain impeccable. In every restaurant and bar you ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise on Oceania and our second on the Nautica. It is beginning to look a little worn, but that should be addressed with the scheduled makeover. The service and food remain impeccable. In every restaurant and bar you are greeted cordially and made to feel special. We never had a bad meal. Our cabin attendant and her assistant took great care of us. The cabins provide plenty of storage space and are well laid out. If the bed frame were just an inch higher it would make storage of suitcases much easier. The bathroom in anything but the suites, to put it mildly, is compact but functional. The shower is especially tiny and is our only major complaint. The guest lecturer was excellent giving insight into the history and attractions of the area and the ports we were visiting. We were disappointed that Nagasaki was substituted for Incheon on our itinerary but understand that this was something beyond the control of Oceania. 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
It was a short 4-sea day transit from Hong Kong to Singapore rather than a proper cruise, a short segment of the World Cruise. It falls on the Easter long weekend, and several hundred people embark from Hong Kong for the short ride without ... Read More
It was a short 4-sea day transit from Hong Kong to Singapore rather than a proper cruise, a short segment of the World Cruise. It falls on the Easter long weekend, and several hundred people embark from Hong Kong for the short ride without a shore day. Cunard operates the most formal type of cruise, of all cruise lines. Every dinner is dressy, one night formal and three nights informal (jacket required) without a casual night. This appeals to some cruisers, as the experience is akin to Titanic days. Cunard aims to provide the old 'white star' service and on Cunard if this is not perfectly achieved it does convey the good old time atmosphere. This is the first time I cruised on Queen Elizabeth (having cruise twice and 33 days on QM2 the last two years) and I like the ship almost as much. It is a beautiful ship in Art Deco style. The simple Britannia cabin was not bad, having tea making facility not found on most ships. The dinner service is formal and the food is good for a big ship (though Cunard price is higher than other big ships). Restaurant service is professional. The buffet is very good and there was a great display of Easter eggs on the Sunday night. The buffet lasts until 2am. If not luxury (if not on Grill) it is premium. Activities include the acclaimed Queens Room high tea in the traditional manner, and its ballroom dances...all these you do not find in other ships. It is a very civilized ship that even has a book shop on it. It was a good short transit, and while I took only a small segment, it gives me the impression that if I were to take a full world cruise Cunard would be my choice. The ship somewhat achieve a combination of big ship facility with an air of intimacy. Staff courtesy was good except my chamber maid evicted me from my cabin at exactly 8:30, and I note that she evicted everyone in my row of cabins while not working on the rooms...the next embarkation is the next day. Another hiccup was that it took 2 hours to embark a mere few hundred from Hong Kong, probably due to the land agent. Overall I was happy on this shortest cruise I have ever taken. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this ship for a very special holiday. It was our 55 wedding anniversary and my wife birthday and my 80th. We paid top money for a good kabin.We paid £16.500.00 For the trip. Flying to Hong Kong and sailing back to Southampton.The ... Read More
We chose this ship for a very special holiday. It was our 55 wedding anniversary and my wife birthday and my 80th. We paid top money for a good kabin.We paid £16.500.00 For the trip. Flying to Hong Kong and sailing back to Southampton.The facilities on the ship where all overcrowded. The buffet in the day was good that is when you could find a table. The evening meals were very poor. All the excursions where expensive The drinks were.The was an outbreak of the novo virus which I unfortunately court. We also spoke to many other passengers who had paid a lot less than We paid.0verall we did not like this ship at all. We would not recommend this ship to anyone. When we wrote to Cunard they never even had the decency to reply.This was a waste of time and money and we will never use Cunard again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This 7 night cruise was our 4th time aboard Mary, and our 5th week in terms of days. We were keen to see the changes made during the refit last year as we had spent 16 nights on her just prior (BNE/HKG) Boarding at HKG was great, we ... Read More
This 7 night cruise was our 4th time aboard Mary, and our 5th week in terms of days. We were keen to see the changes made during the refit last year as we had spent 16 nights on her just prior (BNE/HKG) Boarding at HKG was great, we were in the 4th group called and were on board by 1pm and by 2pm we had squared all our clothes away and were enjoying the complementary sparkling wine on our balcony. Refit Changes - As mentioned by many others, the carpet is a little odd, not the design (I think the starburst design is good) but mainly the faded aspect of one side of the passageways. The Carinthia lounge is much better than the Wintergarden but alas, we liked it before because it was so quiet and now it is very popular, so that is a success for the ship, we still spent a fair bit of time there for lunch. The new deck 13 cabins provided a "deck 14" viewing option which is awesome (see photos), gives a really good aspect without detracting from Mary's overall look.We talked to one lady who was in the new single cabins and she offered us a look, these (as expected) were fantastic, lovely marble bathroom, king single bed and a chaise lounger to look out the large window, the wife and I wish we could book one of these for us as a couple - so roomy! Food possibly was not quite as good as previous voyages, we dined at the Veranda and that was top notch quality, ambiance still poor as there were only a few diners, Cunard need to reduce the price to get more people dining, last year it was USD50 for us both in Todd English, now the V charges USD50 each and I dont think we would go back again unless it was bustling. Smoker's still occupy a small area on the main pool deck 8 as well as deck 7, I think they should be confined to deck 7 as aft as possible. Our cabin being balcony deck 11 was terrific, bed just as relaxing as ever, loved the balcony, hopefully the next refit will see the bathroom improved which is now a little dated, especially seeing the new single stateroom bathrooms. Our only port stop was Laem Chabang and we did not feel like a long bus trip to Bangkok and wanted to maximise our time on the ship.Overall another great trip on Mary, shame it was so short but this was a great value trip for us and looking to book our next trip to continue our round the world trip on her, one sector each year..... Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My first cruise as a solo traveller but part of an escorted tour. As a result, I cannot compare with other cruises. However, I am a seasoned luxury solo traveller (mainly SE Asia). I have to say that QE generally does not compare with ... Read More
My first cruise as a solo traveller but part of an escorted tour. As a result, I cannot compare with other cruises. However, I am a seasoned luxury solo traveller (mainly SE Asia). I have to say that QE generally does not compare with the 5 star hotels I have stayed in. It was more 4 star. Everything you need but not "plush". Embarkation was initially a bit of a disappointment after walking up the gang way and greeting by a empty deck, with no directions as to where to go. However, one passing staff member felt sorry for us and pointed us in the right direction. Not a great start. Once we were greeted you were pretty much left to your own devices. I wasn't sure what to do but I headed to my cabin (more on the cabin later). I am very independent but as it was my first cruise, Cunard should have had someone proactively greeting and helping passengers. There were a lot of crew there mainly promoting the spa and beauty services. This promoting continued through the cruise every time I entered the Lido deck and go very annoying after a while. I was very interested to do some enrichment lectures and selected a session in Acupunture. A complete waste of time because it was another promotion where the practitioner wouldn't answer questions without you making an appointment. Truly awful! After that I didn't attempt anymore enrichment. I liked the shows on board a comedian and a group of guy singers from the UK. Both very good, though the shows were short. The singers seemed to have a limited rehearsed list of songs as some were repeated the second time I saw them. In saying this I think the entertainment was pretty good. Food was generally good in the Brittania restaurant but lunch there on one day was lacklustre. The pub was fun for a meal. I did not like The Lido at all. I don't like buffets and I don't like the lack of hygiene factor. Cunard really try but so many passengers are not conscious of practising good hygiene. Consequently, people got sick and then there was some kind of red alert resulting in cling film being plastered over the serving areas and staff serving resulting in big queues. Looked like a large cafeteria in a 1960's department store. I was advised before boarding that we had to buy our drinking water on board. That is so not ok with me...this is Cunard, this was water (a basic to live) it should be free of at least very inexpensive. It was not! Wine was obscenely expensive. I bought two bottles of wine and they were $90 Aud each. I am not a cheapskate but I am not wealthy and I think that was an absolute rip-off. I paid it because I like a glass of wine with dinner but I detest being ripped off. I may be painting a bleaker picture than the reality, it was a good cruise and I really enjoyed myself but I guess I had loftier expectations than the actual reality. I have found a new interest in cruising and would still consider Cunard except they are not going to the destinations I am considering for my next trip. I think I am going to try Crystal next time as it might suit me more and they are going where I am interested. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
To put this review in perspective, here is some background. We cruise this segment almost every year at the same time for our wedding anniversary, using Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Cunard from Hong Kong back to Singapore. We also love ... Read More
To put this review in perspective, here is some background. We cruise this segment almost every year at the same time for our wedding anniversary, using Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Cunard from Hong Kong back to Singapore. We also love dancing and spend most of each evening on the dance floor. So the starting and ending ports are all that matter and the ports in between, we have been to more times than we care too. We went with pretty high expectations after wonderful experiences on the Queen Victoria and the Queen Mary, we were quite disappointed with the Queen Elizabeth. Embarkation in Hong Kong was a breeze, we arrived a few hours before the sated embarkation time ( at 1pm instead of 3:30pm) and encountered no queues anywhere. Our complaint was that the staff posted around the terminal building to direct people were not very proactive and maybe a bit racist. A couple dragging a carryon bag with Cunard tags and a sheaf of documents would obviously be looking for the Cunard check-in desk, no? They did not smile or point the way out to us but were quick to greet and direct any Caucasian walking past, even if they did not have a suitcase! We were able to go straight to our cabin which was ready, with a bottle of champagne chilling on the table. Our cabin was quite large(see cabin review) and close to all the things we wanted to get to however, very noisy on the last night as it was next to all the crew working areas. We booked early and so had early seating with a quiet table for 2, much in demand I heard, which was set well away from other tables- unlike another cruise where it was separated from the next table by 10cm. Our waiter was the 2nd worst we have had on any cruise. He was unsmiling, distracted and constantly facing away from his tables, fiddling with the silverware over and over instead of looking at his tables to see if we needed anything. He did not try to make any conversation not even to greet us on arrival! He never tried to make any food recommendations, never asked the standard " how is everything?", did not remember simple requests from the previous night (I asked for a slice of lemon in my water, the next night there was a small plate of sliced lemons on his service table but he never brought it to us). We had excellent service from other wait staff at lunch and breakfast so perhaps it was just the one person. Unfortunately the MDR waiter is the person we interact with the most on a cruise and so this gave a poor impression of the service levels. We had informed Cunard that we were celebrating our anniversary. We got a card in the room but not a whisper in the dining room. Food was disappointing but beautifully plated. All the fish was dry and over cooked. The only edible poultry was the duck and even that was just passable. Only the red meats were good. The side dishes did not complement the mains well. We went for the afternoon tea on the first day, white gloved service wasn't too happy we asked for Earl Grey instead of the generic tea they were serving. Sandwiches were dry and fillings were miserly. They only had dry raisin scones that were COLD! Cakes were poor quality ( we later found that they use Cadbury's cooking chocolate now - so brownies and chocolate cake did not taste of chocolate!).We did not bother to make it for subsequent teas. In previous cruises, this was one of the highlights of the afternoons. The best part of the cruise was the dance lessons - Sergey and Olga were amazing. They were able to teach more than 60 people, mostly beginners, in 45 minutes to dance quite complicated steps with good technique. Although we already dance well, we were still able to learn a thing or two from them. We spent most evenings on the dance floor in the Queens Room. It was large and a beautiful space to dance in when there was recorded music. The band spoilt it a little as they were not open to requests and there was a lot of down time between songs. They said they had a set of songs to play ( hence not keen to allow requests and yet did not seem to know which song it was they were going to play next and there was a lot of discussion between members before playing each song). The vocalist really ruined it. Everytime he appeared, you could almost hear the groans from the serious dancers. He was full of himself and used the same lame jokes every night that were very insulting and disrescpectful of his several ex-wives. Lots of talk before each song, called out the wrong dance ( could not tell the difference between a Viennese waltz and a Slow waltz) and switched tempos ( a big no-no in dance music) midway and always ended with a sudden stop which gave no time for any nice end to our dancing. The dance hosts on this cruise were all good dancers and all the single ladies seemed well catered to. We enjoyed having a matinee show in the Royal Theatre called La Danza - put up by the ships singers and dancers. They were not very good but certainly helped pass the time nicely. The magician/comedian on one of the nights was very entertaining. The rest of the programming was quite boring with hardly anything of interest to do in the afternoons. We did not join in the ship excursions as we had already visited both ports ( Nha Trang and Phu My) several times. Instead we took the free shuttle to Cho Dam ( market and bought lots of fish sauce - a specialty of Nha Trang and vietnamese coffee, followed by a very cheap and excellent massage at Sen Spa. We took a small group tour ( just 4 of us) with " Best Tours in Vung Tau" to visit the Long Phouc tunnels, local market and a fruit farm with an excellent home cooked lunch and accompanied by a very hospitable guide-owner. Both activities are highly recommended for people who have already done the usual tours in the 2 ports. Nha Trang was a tender port and it was a nightmare. While I totally understand the extra caution that QE was taking ( after the tragic incident they had on the same sector 2 years ago). Only 3 tenders were running and the waiting time to board one was almost 2 hours. We witnessed a poor family of 8 given tickets for tender number 22 who were told to go away for a coffee and come back in 45 minutes as the Queens Room was too full ( we were told the same thing as we were behind them and given the a number for 2 boats later). We remained in the Queens Room. No annoucements were made in the ship when the tender numbers were called, only in the Queens Room. When that family came back 35 minutes later, they were told they had missed their boat and given new tickets for 32! which meant another 1 and a half hour wait. Amazingly they remained cool! Perhaps there were safety constraints that prevented putting on more tenders so the wait may have been unavoidable BUT there were many ways they could have improved the experience like providing pastries and coffee while people waited, making ship wide annoucements if tender numbers came up before the expected time etc which they did not do. I was not impressed. As Gold members we had 2 hours of free internet each which was a nice perk. The connection was slow but good enough for confirming tours and quick checkins home. Part of the thing about cruising is getting away from computers anyway. It was the shortest cruise we had on Cunard ( previous ones were 8 and 9 days) but we were actually quite glad to get home in Singapore as the overall experience was not great. We did self help disembarkation in Singapore at 7am and it was quick and efficient as usual. There was a little glitch at immigration as they had not put up the guide ropes to allow Singaporean passengers to use the automated passports gates, soon rectified. Lots of taxis were waiting so we did not have to use Uber. We will probably cruise Cunard again but we will take the Queen Mary and never Queen Elizabeth. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Sydney to Hong Kong 28 days on the ship.First stop Brisbane in a container terminal.shuttle bus into the city, next stop Cairns then PNG then it was good by to sunshine until we reached Hong Kong .We had a lot of See days on this cruise ... Read More
Sydney to Hong Kong 28 days on the ship.First stop Brisbane in a container terminal.shuttle bus into the city, next stop Cairns then PNG then it was good by to sunshine until we reached Hong Kong .We had a lot of See days on this cruise with limited activities due to bad weather.Accommodation and food was good ,free 24 hour room service,or ongoing food in the Lido deck up to 2am each day.This ship has a wonderful theatre with a different show each night that we really enjoyed .The ship has a very good ball room if you like to dance and for any single women wanting to travel they have several dance hosts that will dance every dance.On our cruse they had eight formal nights I found this two many due to the amount of luggage you needed but you have to remember you still have a luggage allowance when you fly home so you need to be creative with your outfits.There are free washing machine and dryers on each floor and washing powder is provided free. Shore days getting of the ship especially if you went by tender could take up to three hours to get of then going through customs in each country also took up a lot of time we were often late getting on our tours so we were often very rushed to get back on time.My favourite place was Japan they made us very welcome I would definitely go back there one day.The culture on the ship was like upstairs downstairs the staff didn't engage in conversation if you asked a question they would answer with no further discussion all the staff did there job well but they didn't look happy.I loved the ship and would love to go on it again in better weather Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose QE because l had heard that Cunard was 'upscale". After cruising a couple of other lines l thought l'd give them a try. l was disappointed about the following aspects of the cruise: - Hot tub was seldom HOT ... Read More
I chose QE because l had heard that Cunard was 'upscale". After cruising a couple of other lines l thought l'd give them a try. l was disappointed about the following aspects of the cruise: - Hot tub was seldom HOT - Food was too British - No gala performance as on other cruises - only a single act each night: like it or leave - not much group activity - the men's restroom near the dinning room was out of order for 3 days The staff was very polite and helpful - except the head of the dinning area spoke very derogatorily about passengers. Overall, the ship was lovely, more conservative than RCL. Meals were beautifully presented, but lacked variety and great flavor. My fiance was disappointed in the entree selections. lt is unlikely that we would cruise Cunard again. Thanks to the great company, we still had a memorable time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
To enjoy a leisurely time visiting various far east ports we had looked forward to this cruise for months, unfortunately the reality proved to be a disappointment. The embarkation was a slow process, which we christened FTS,( ie.. first ... Read More
To enjoy a leisurely time visiting various far east ports we had looked forward to this cruise for months, unfortunately the reality proved to be a disappointment. The embarkation was a slow process, which we christened FTS,( ie.. first time syndrome - perhaps they had never done this before!) This FTS continued throughout the cruise with poor organisation apparently emanating from the purser's office. The daily info.sheets had many mistakes or lack of necessary detail. Now for the criticism. The shows were disappointing and walked out of 4 of those went to. They were even made laughing stock by subsequent comedians.The films were poor , walked out of 3. Some of the lectures were very good, special mention must be made of Park Sim, an American who lectured on the Oceans, Tidal Power, Heat Pumps, Lasers and the USAF in UK. He had a lovely style and made each lecture a pleasure. The price of drinks, which I had complained about to Cunard before even joining the ship ( I had already booked) was extortionate. Cunard in their reply was bragging about being on a par with 5 star London hotels and other cruise lines. They must realise that a) not everyone uses London hotels and b) they have to include 20%VAT and a large percentage of alcohol duty.For Cunard to then add a further15% gratuity (tax) on each and every drink alcoholic or otherwise is just extortionate. I have never seen so little alcohol consumed at lunch or dinner. One goes on a cruise to enjoy dining and to have it complimented with a glass of wine or two, especially when there is no driving home after the meal to be considered. We went on one Cunard tour. This was because we were virtually blackmailed into it in order to avoid ridiculous visa payments to China. The one tour was a bus trip in a two and a half hour traffic jam to a multi storey tower block in order to go up to the 88th floor in 45 seconds for a view of a fog shrouded Shanghai!. Back on the bus for a further two hours drive in a traffic jam back to the QM2. All for $154 for two. Two days prior to arriving at Colombo,Cunard sort fit to ask for $30 each for a visa for Sri Lanka. We had been told before cruise that there was no visa requirement for Sri Lanka. After many complaints Cunard changed their minds saying that their agent had given them the wrong information. We joined the ship on the first visit to Hong Kong just after 1200 Australians had disembarked.It was only the next day that I discovered that they had drunk the draught ale on the ship dry! No one had the foresight to have replenished the stock. Never got to Kuala Lumpur, Seoul or Bangkok because of distance from ship and cost of tour and subsequent long journey required. Used shore excursions by shuttle bus to local areas in some cases. Not very exciting especially so in Colombo where the organisation was so chaotic and the quality of the bus so poor. This is an American owned (Carnival) ship pretending to be a British ship and passing it off as though it was still in the glory years of cruising of the 1930's - similar to a lot of the decor.We live in an entirely different age now. The class system for the decks is also an antiquated fashion. No free wi-fi on ship - $47 for 120 minutes. You could just about get emails but the reception was poor. As entitled altogether DISAPPOINTMENT. First and last time on Cunard. Many other passengers, even frequent Cunarders were expressing the same feeling. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We hadn't cruised before but the idea of the Asia cruise with a tour of the Golden Triangle really appealed to us. We weren't disappointed with any part of the holiday, we saw so many places we would probably never visit on a ... Read More
We hadn't cruised before but the idea of the Asia cruise with a tour of the Golden Triangle really appealed to us. We weren't disappointed with any part of the holiday, we saw so many places we would probably never visit on a holiday, Vietnam in particular. The Arcadia was a lovely ship, not too big, we had always dreaded being on a huge "block of flats" type ship and this was perfect. The entertainment provided was in general excellent with a couple of shows which didn't appeal to us but as the saying goes "you can't please all the people all the time" :) The the entertainment staff were lovely, friendly and multi talented, one of them even led the Spanish lessons. We opted for Freedom dining as we didn't want to be regimented by what time we were to dine and it was a wise choice as there were days we didn't get back on board till close to the first sitting and the later sitting was too late for us. The food was always outstanding and the service was good without being overbearing. Our cabin, a deluxe balcony, was great and our cabin Steward was so hardworking and helpful, even giving us tips for time ashore and where to eat and shop. Some people (long seasoned cruisers) complained about the ship saying it was due a refit but apart from some cosmetic wear and tear we thought she was in good shape. Overall this was a great trip and as we said rounded off by the week in India, we would definitely book a P&O cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and one of the stops was Israel and wanted to see Jerusalem. I have sailed this similar cruise 2 years ago starting in Hong Kong but this time the embarkation was a nightmare. it was ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and one of the stops was Israel and wanted to see Jerusalem. I have sailed this similar cruise 2 years ago starting in Hong Kong but this time the embarkation was a nightmare. it was difficult to know who was in line for what. I think many of the 1,500 people thought the ship was going to leave without them the way they pushed and shoved to get in line to embark. Anyway we finally got on. Our cabin was ready and our stewardess, which was a pleasant change from having a man, was wonderful. She was like having a personal maid all to ourselves. The cabin although spotless was showing signs of wear and tear. The ship is going into dry dock this spring for a refit. It looks like they are making major changes for the better. The food in the main dining room was excellent as always. I think I only had one main course that was not up to par. Ditto the food in the Upstairs cafeteria, it was much improved, except for these darn steam table vegies. The waiters and waitresses all deserve a gold medal for putting up with some of the "Guests" . As I said to someone who was berating his steward for some minor detail," they are stewards not slaves". The entertainment, well what can I say, it was the same review shows I have seen several times on this ship. The first timers I am sure enjoyed the shows. Too many comedians for my taste but again that is a personal thing.. The ship set sail from New York at the beginning of January and everything was fine till we got to Dubai. A large contingent about 1, 500 got off and 1,500 new people got on and brought Nora virus with them. The people who were sick knew they had it before they got on but lied on the form you fill in before embarking hence it went through the ship like wild fire. This disrupted the whole itinerary as Oman would not allow us to dock nor would Jordan. My daughter who especially wanted and booked to go to Petra did not get there. There we are floating at sea waiting for our turn to go through the Suez canal, we were too early due to not stopping in Oman then too early again for the next port because we did not stop in Jordan. I think it was a good thing they did not say who the first people were that got sick as there might have been a massacre at sea. The tours in Vietnam were interesting and fun and the shopping is great at the large market in Ho Chi Minh , Ben Thanh market. If you don't like bargaining stay in the outer ring of the market where the prices are fixed. Then move in if you think you can bargain for a cheaper price. Bangkok is a must see as the palace is beautiful, but hope it is not too hot as there is not much shade. Cambodia, I did not take a tour just the Cunard bus into the town. It was interesting but the people although very friendly were living in poor conditions. The roads were unpaved in many places, the market although indoors lacked tables. Most of the goods were laid out on the floor. I think the area that the bus took us to was planned so that we would be forced to take a "TUK TUK" as we were inundated with them the minute the bus stopped. The drivers were so insistent to the point it was so unpleasant we got back on the bus to return to the ship. Malaysia is a shoppers paradise and Kuala Lumpur is easy to get around. Langkawi Island is beautiful. That is the island that the movie THE KING AND I was filmed.I did not take a tour this time as I had been there before but stayed at resort and enjoyed the day ashore. Colombo, Sri Lanka well what can I say. If you take the Cunard bus you will only be taken to three different tourist shopping traps with the same overpriced trinkets as all other tourist shops that are part of any tour be it Hong Kong, Bangkok, Israel, India, Egypt, or wherever you are. If the tour shows shopping you can bet it will be in a warehouse that is only for to sell to tourists. Locals do not shop there. The standard line of the tour guide will be that they know the best places and the other will only rip you off. As this was an extended tour with numerous stops I could go on but I am sure by now you will be bored reading this. I travelled with my adult daughter who had not been on a cruise before and she had a great time. We each did our own thing. In the evening we preferred the G37 nightclub rather than the staid Queens room where the dance floor was taken up with more professional type dancers rather than couples enjoying a twirl or shuffle around the dancefloor. There was lots of entertainment, small bands and piano players and singers in the evening, interesting lectures and speakers on numerous topics during the day. The ship was geared to a more mature group, I would say age 45 up to 95. Very few children on board although they have a very good children's programme. We disembarked in New York and almost everyone got off. There was the odd few that were returning to Southampton. It is a slow process as all the luggage has to be off first then we can go. A tip- if you are disembarking in New York, first, get in line for a porter and have him get your luggage. They have a fast track line through customs and immigration otherwise you will be struggling with you luggage in a very long line of people to clear immigration. It is ten dollars well spent. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We chose this cruise for ports and because there was bridge. Embarkation was easy; disembarkation was chaos. We were given times to disembark in groups. Repeated announcements said Indian officials were not ready, but did not tell later ... Read More
We chose this cruise for ports and because there was bridge. Embarkation was easy; disembarkation was chaos. We were given times to disembark in groups. Repeated announcements said Indian officials were not ready, but did not tell later groups to wait. Group after group added to the crowd. The ship was lovely, the cabin spacious, though we had a penthouse suite, which was actually a room with a sitting area, not a suite. The food was mostly above average, desserts were excellent, service was wonderful. Service in general was extraordinary, from wait staff to cleaning staff to butlers. Ports were interesting. Entertainment was poor in general. The cruise director, "Julie," I think, was friendly, but awful. Once she announced that she had nothing planned and ship's personnel saved her life by doing a show. Another time she announced the entertainment only cost a few hundred dollars. A local show was awful. A passenger talent show was low end--and not good. The comedian/magician was very good. The female singer was very good with a dated repertoire. The orchestra's repertoire was also dated. Before shows the orchestra played for dancing. Two couples, both with probably an average of 1000 dance lessons, were the only people dancing. Everyone else was intimidated. I know because I tried to get people to get up and dance. Where was Julie? Why didn't she ask people to dance, turn them over to spouses and get more people on the floor? She made TV announcements and appeared to have no clue what she was talking about. The list of daily activities is deceiving since virtually no one showed up for anything--beside bridge. Even bridge was disappointing because a normal session is 3 1/2 hours. These sessions were two hours, though there was more than enough time to extend them, and only on afternoons at sea, never on port days and never in the evenings. Clearly, Julie knows nothing about bridge. That said, the bridge director was very good. Mah jongg at 11 a.m.? Not a single soul showed up, which I know because I was in the game room playing with friends at 10:30. Julie never even stopped in. There were sets, but no cards, indicating that Julie hadn't taken the time to find out about the game. Bingo? We were lucky to get the minimum of 12 players. Ping pong, etc.? Virtually no one showed up. There were many days at sea and without bridge we would have been bored. I did not go to hear the speaker, who spoke on topics unrelated to the cruise, but was reportedly good. We had no health issues, but those that did were ripped off by the doctor--$185 to wash off a skinned knee and apply a band aid plus another $185 for the same the next day. A woman had a stomach ache, was given 5 kinds of pills and charged $2000. A woman felt ill during the G.I. epidemic after we left the ship--and was charged. We were advised in advance that Oceania's tours were 2 to 3 times the cost of privately arranged tours, and mostly arranged our own, all of which we enjoyed. The three we took with Oceania were terrible. The Cochin guide couldn't really be a licensed guide. She had nothing to say and half the trip was riding to and from a boat to cruise and watch people bathe, wash pots and do laundry. The Phuket Thailand trip was a disgrace. We took this because we were supposed to ride elephants. We weren't told until on board that we could not ride and it was too late to make other plans. Instead we got ox cart rides. Yes, climb up, ride a block, see nothing, do nothing, turn around, ride a block, get off. This day was a waste. The Singapore tour could have been so much and yet was so little. And yet, we were able to find excellent guides on our own with no knowledge of the areas whatsoever. One thing that struck me was that, in contrast to a Regent cruise we took, there was constant conversation about money. People felt nickeled and dimed because alcohol was not included (drinks were costly), and tours were not included (and were costly). I don't know if we would return. We might if there were more bridge to keep us occupied and a very appealing itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Chose for itinerary, time of year and previous Oceania Experience. Oceania however changed itinerary dropping disembarkation port of Istanbul and day in Ephesus. Added Rhodes, Santorini and disembark in Athens, areas we have previously ... Read More
Chose for itinerary, time of year and previous Oceania Experience. Oceania however changed itinerary dropping disembarkation port of Istanbul and day in Ephesus. Added Rhodes, Santorini and disembark in Athens, areas we have previously explored for weeks. Oceania made no attempt to offer compensation for our already privately booked Istanbul expenses such as business class air tickets, 5 nights of hotel reservations, Turkish visa's and tour guides. Just offered cruise tickets to cover cancelation expenses for cruise to be used by 12/30/16. Wouldn't even pay for our flights from Athens to Istanbul, which was really our only viable option. Our Expedia Cruise Center travel agent bought flight tickets out of her own pocket. Found ship poorly managed, crude embarkation in Hong Kong, shoddy deck furniture, small bland veranda room with out any art; the bed, linens and black out curtain were however good. GI out break which was handled extremely incompetently and with out any compassion for healthy guests or ill ones. Grand Dinning room atmosphere, staff and food was great as was Polo Grill. Entertainment poor, though the crew act really tried hard to preform. Shore excursions way too expensive, you could get a quality private car tour for half of an Oceania bus excursion. Enrichment Lecturer Dr Teo Ruiz was great; extremely knowledgeable, passionate, and entertaining. We will not be considering Oceania for any of our future cruise plans. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We wanted to visit many of the ports offered on this leg of the World cruise. Embarkation was poorly organised as there was little room at HongKong terminal. Our cabin was fine and what we expected ie Queen size bed,balcony and good ... Read More
We wanted to visit many of the ports offered on this leg of the World cruise. Embarkation was poorly organised as there was little room at HongKong terminal. Our cabin was fine and what we expected ie Queen size bed,balcony and good bathroom with bath and tea making facility.There was poor hanging space in the wardrobe but we managed. Meals we found a bit dull,do not go on PO expecting food to wow you,they are often very ordinary,it was sometimes dried out or overcooked in the Belvedere which is similar to a works canteen.Salads are ok and you can get tea or coffee anytime,deserts were also so,so. Evening meals we took freedom dining option which we liked as you are able to choose time to eat and not be stuck with people you may not get on with.These meals are also hit and miss,we always found soups were best part,meat was sometimes very fatty or tough,othertimes they were fine,very inconsistent. Entertainment was first class with great singers,dancers,modern and classical shows we thoroughly enjoyed.A special mention to the young people of the Headliners show team,magnificent The ports especially in the Far East were all we expected,loved Japan.Crossed the Pacific visiting Hawaii,San Francisco,San Diego and Mexico. Transversing the Panama Canal was another highlight we would not have missed. Caribbean isles of Aruba and St Martin were to follow ending at the Azores in Punta del Gardaga before home again.Disembarkation went smoothly. We did get the notorious Arcadia cough (hoped it was a myth)My husband was so bad he went to the doctor and could not leave the cabin for several days which was a pity as there were lots of hobbies and activities to join in,name it and there was something for everyone. Public areas were lovely,enjoyed the piano bar after dinner,praise to Natalie,John and the saxophonist. Swimming pools were ok,heated but the jaquzzis were a joke,never bubbly (excuse given that they were only spa baths) why then were there dials etc to make the tubs active? Drinks on board were affordable and the staff in all areas were well trained,polite and very friendly. Being such a long cruise laundry areas are small and cramped and difficult to get a wash done but we managed ok.Also very small and cramped was the Cinema with only 30 seats. We loved our time except when not well,were disappointed with the cuisine(too many curries)enjoyed activities we joined but will probably not use Arcadia again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I have held back from posting the following critique of Arcadia for almost 9 months . After writing it I thought ; Well P&O is just like this now and you can take it or leave it. However, I am currently on the Aurora and many of my ... Read More
I have held back from posting the following critique of Arcadia for almost 9 months . After writing it I thought ; Well P&O is just like this now and you can take it or leave it. However, I am currently on the Aurora and many of my critiscisms of Arcadia, simply do not apply. For example, I have seen the Captain almost every day and exchanged pleasantries on numerous occasions. The jacuzzis are hot and, yes, the water jets work. The pool is warm..ish and therefore passengers actually swim in it!! Etc etc I have friends who concurred with my original views and who also travelled on the Aurora recently and, like me, feel that it is managed better than the Arcadia. Finally, yesterday, I was talking to some fellow passengers who commented, without prompting, that the Arcadia has issues. To my mind, the Arcadia, which was a ship originally built for the more up-market Cunard brand, should be the pride and joy of the P&O fleet but, unfortunately, it is not. Sad really as run well, they could charge a premium. What is therefore clear to me is that P&O give a great amount of freedom to the management team on each ship. This means that the brand offering can be different on each ship and better or worse, depending on your viewpoint of course. This therefore begs the question...What value the P&O branding? I have to ask, therefore, whether their marketing department is keeping tabs on the feed back and whether their reports are read by a Senior management team who take action. To my mind, when something small goes wrong, it is often symptomatic of a larger problem. In my experience of business, most customer experience enhancements cost little, or nothing, to implement. So here is my post and if anyone feels that it is factually incorrect then I hope you will let me know and I will tell you my exact experience. Arcadia is great if you… Are happy with good to very good general service Like to spend time in a well equipped modern gym with spinning bikes and treadmills etc , where most of the equipment functions correctly. Like a good size cabin with a very large and comfortable bed. Like a cabin with a half bath as well as a shower. Want your cabin to be always well cleaned and tidied and to have good quality linen. Don't mind waiting 45 minutes to an hour for room service. Like to have a cabin with a modern and large TV which connects to your own storage devices (USB) and plays almost every film and audio format available as well as photo files. Aren't too bothered by a poor quality (Fuzzy) picture on said TV when watching all of the ships channels. Like swimming in unheated swimming pools that are cold unless they have been warmed by the sun in a tropical location. Are happy to sit in a tepid jacuzzi that doesn't have jets or bubbles as they have been purposefully disconnected, for "health and safety reasons" Don't want to eat high quality or Gourmet food. Like onions, mustard, pesto and an odd assortment of other additions, being added to all and every one of their pre prepared sandwiches. Like odd food combinations. Eg pineapple slice and Edam cheese toasties, fresh prawns always in Pesto sauce or with some other weird addition , Mackerel curry?? Like eating food that can have different ingredients than described on the menu. Understand that the quality of the ingredients in the Marco Pierre White restaurant is substantially lower than you might expect in his UK restaurants. Like poor quality Sirloin or Rib-Eye steak that is pre cut and only served 1/3 inch thick. Don't mind having to ask the occasional member of staff to repeat themselves two or three times because you don't understand them. Are happy to watch a film in the wrong Aspect Ratio where James Bond is 7ft tall and his Aston Martin looks like a bus. Are tone deaf and can't tell that some of the bar singers are occasionally out of tune or are just not very good. Want to enjoy some of the best production shows you are ever likely to see on a ship. Don't mind seeing the same shows repeated on long voyages. Love watching some great guest singers perform to a very high standard. Like watching great shows in a beautiful theatre. Like a wide variety of entertaining guest speakers who make presentations on a multitude of interesting topics. Like to watch recent release films in a purpose built cinema with comfy chairs and great viewing positions and don't mind the poor quality of the picture projected onto the screen by the out of date projector. Like to learn ballroom dancing and to have the chance to practice every night with professional and entertaining dance coaches. Like to play table tennis. Like to play Bridge. Like to buy Original Art at sea. Like to spend an evening down at the local pub with a good choice of beers and music and quizzes etc. Like to gamble in a Casino. Want to be able to have your own spirits in your cabin and don't mind paying £6 a litre for the mixers. Eg Tonic or ginger ale etc . Always take your own thick cushions with you so that you can enjoy sitting on the very uncomfortable reclining beds by the indoor pool. ( they have an iron rail in an odd position that sticks into your buttock ) Understand that the crew are much too busy to respond to your complaints and have to keep a straight face when they pass on what their senior mangers tells them, even though they know it is total rubbish. Understand that there will be times when there are no cups available in the buffet or that the tea box will not always have the one tea you prefer. Understand that the buffet will not always have the one dish from the menu that you want, unless you ask for it. Want WIFI and don't mind paying a premium rate for a very slow connection. Don't think that the huge rust patches on the outside of the ship are symptomatic of the crews attitude. Don't mind not seeing the Captain around the ship very often and don't expect him to personally attend the Captains Cocktail Party or make the daily announcements. Don't mind paying the doctors fee of £60 plus, when that is the only way the pharmacy will give you a "non prescription" cream. (which they have dozens of on the shelf in the pharmacy.) Like a ship with a modern and well thought out interior. Enjoy using a hydropherapy pool with strong water jets and don't mind paying extra for the privilege of using it or that it is occasionally closed with no explanation of why. Don't mind going to occasional ports of call that have little to offer but are probably cheap to Park at. Notes: My wife and I have been cruising for over 25 years and have cruised on P&O, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Cruise and Maritime, NCL, Costa, Cunard and Fred Olsen. We believe that almost every cruise ship and itinerary combination has a price at which it is good value providing you are happy to accept any known limitations. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We choose this cruise as previous passengers always spoke highly of Arcadia and the itinerary was very attractive. Unfortunately, excursions were poorly planned and organised: black tie events and smart jacket events were changed I.e. ... Read More
We choose this cruise as previous passengers always spoke highly of Arcadia and the itinerary was very attractive. Unfortunately, excursions were poorly planned and organised: black tie events and smart jacket events were changed I.e. reduced and cancelled, from the original itinerary; the only (very small) dance floor is taken over by the dance club so no where to party in the evening wearing the evening outfits bought for the cruise; liveliest bar in the evening for a drink and everything stops at 10:30 for (another) quiz; no quiet reading area as all are in bar areas where you are expected to order drinks by constant bar staff. There is more but no point as P&O not interested. Many passengers as disappointed as us and had said used to be lovely cruise ship but experiences had been changing over last couple years. Excursions were poor and none allowed for special opportunities to make most of local traditions such as cherry blossom time in Japan, church procession in the Azores port, poorly planned trips to Great Wall and Forbidden City. immigration arrangements ate into our limited port time which meant we could not explore independently as committed to poor excursion departure times. Very expensive holiday when add in 50 X daily drinks, tips, spa treatments as everything is chargeable and promoted deals are not honoured. Real shame as the staff are so lovely and 50 days together does create a working bond with them. Needless to say, husband says never again :- Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
P and O offer a satisfactory standard but are confused about who their customers are. Cheap deals do mean that there are times when the ship becomes a 'booze cruise ' ( we had some lovely but boisterous Aussie's for ... Read More
P and O offer a satisfactory standard but are confused about who their customers are. Cheap deals do mean that there are times when the ship becomes a 'booze cruise ' ( we had some lovely but boisterous Aussie's for about a week, it was a similar story after CapeTown). We like the formal nights but they are frequent and supposedly optional and here lies the problem. The entertainments manager clearly disagrees with P and O policy that formal is optional which creates unpleasant friction in the theatres and other parts of the ship when both formal and casual come together. We witnessed sneers and abuse which we felt extremely uncomfortable with, it spoils everything. P and O need to take customer feedback more seriously. Their policy of filling empty cabins cheaply requires a more enlightened entertainment''s manager and team who adhere to company policy and treat all customers with the same respect. Would I sail with P and O again? Not before looking elsewhere. It's a great time to travel and there are so many wonderful options when it comes to cruising. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016

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