4 Melbourne Holiday Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise as it was one of the few that left from Melbourne, so we didn't have the hassle of planes/trains etc prior to the trip. We enjoyed the ports of call, and some of the staff couldn't have been better. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was one of the few that left from Melbourne, so we didn't have the hassle of planes/trains etc prior to the trip. We enjoyed the ports of call, and some of the staff couldn't have been better. However, the overall food and restaurant experience were appalling. Bad organisation, cheap food, no change of menu, no flexibility with dining times, having to queue for breakfast, upstairs pantry - don't even go there .... you had to pay for a lot of the food, and which cruise line does not put food on after 9 pm on New Year's Eve, for heaven's sake? THIS ONE!!! We would hang out to be on shore just so we could find something decent to eat. The biggest problem with P&O is that even though they get you to complete a survey on your experience, they don't seem to give a toss at how bad the review is. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We are a family of 3. This was our 3rd cruise with Princess. Previously we cruised with Dawn to Brisbane and Sun to Melbourne, one way. Both the Dawn and the Sun catered to all types and we had a good time. I wanted to try the Diamond ... Read More
We are a family of 3. This was our 3rd cruise with Princess. Previously we cruised with Dawn to Brisbane and Sun to Melbourne, one way. Both the Dawn and the Sun catered to all types and we had a good time. I wanted to try the Diamond Princess for its size. The ship is big and at times you wonder where everyone is, but on this cruise it was full - 2823 paying passengers. Embarkment and disembarkment went smoothly. We planned to get on board early, like 1.30pm, but when we boarded there were 100 people boarded already. We dropped our carry ons and our suitcase was already there in our stateroom. Also we booked the last room on this cruise. We headed to the Horizon buffet and stopped by to purchase the Soda package. After lunch we walked around the whole ship to get an idea where things are. On this cruise there was no drinks package and it was credited to our account. You buy as you go. The food in the buffet is always good. From housekeeping to dining, all staff were attentive and professional. We encountered a little problem with fine dining. On the first night the lines were massive and when we reached to be served we were told to go to reception and from there to see maitre D. At the end we got to International buffet and we stayed a few nights to be waited on. If you have food intolerances let them know in advance or note it in your bookings. We ordered many of the dishes. Lunch in fine dining was not good - ordinary. Best to eat at the buffet. Dinner excellent. We did see a few people in casual clothes on semi formal nights and also on the other cruises. I guess it's not a policy. Hmm thinking of wearing shorts on my next cruise just to see what reactions. Staff at the restaurants will try to get you to purchase drinks, be strong and simply say no. Wines are very expensive with the gratuity fee. If you intend to buy wines check out the buffet where it can be purchase at a discount price and you can take it to any of the 4 free fine dining restaurants and also if you don't finish the bottle they will store it for you for the next night. We didn't dine at any of the paying restaurants and on some nights it was empty. Activities were good as well as entertainment - this depends on what you like. Karaoke was bad, you have to search for song on an iPad and when you do find it try to remember the number so the staff can retrieve the song. There weren't that many songs and most people left which you can't blame them. There were too many excuses. We did our research on this cruise and we brought emergencies items e.g sunburnt spray and cream, medications, highlighters for bingo and to mark activities on Princess Patter. On 2nd day we told reception we don't want to pay for the gratuity fee and I signed a form and it was automatically credited, no problems. This cruise suited for the oldies and families, not so much for the 18-20s, but they manage to find others and party on. 18 years old were allowed to purchase alcohol on this cruise, but they don't tell you when you book. A lot of the oldies hung out at the piano, Croonies bar and they know how to party. Can't wait to get to Ruby status. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
EMBARKATION Embarkation was at Princess Pier, Melbourne after flying in fom Adelaide that Morning  And bussing to pier from airport Booking in took about 45 mins and we were on board in no time After dropping our hand luggage to our ... Read More
EMBARKATION Embarkation was at Princess Pier, Melbourne after flying in fom Adelaide that Morning  And bussing to pier from airport Booking in took about 45 mins and we were on board in no time After dropping our hand luggage to our cabin (deck 8, Dolphin 344) we were surprised to find our cases already delivered to our cabin. We then went to the buffet for a latel lunch CABIN We had cabin 344 on Dolphin deck, an obstructed view which was not too badly obstructed at all It was very small with a cramped bathroom so much so that when I sat on the toilet the bathroom door had to be open for my feet to hang out through the door. Access to the wardrobes was not possible with the bathroom door open. There was a fridge in the room. An Australian type power point (one only) was in the room above the fridge. We had a double adaptor which met our charging requirements adequately. I am not sure if power boards are allowed to be brought on board. A small safe was also in the room. No tea making facilities were supplied and the only water available was from the hand bowl in the bathroom. The shower space was adequate and I am a big bloke and did not have any difficulty showering. The shower was very good with plenty of pressure and hot water. A retractable clothes line was in the showe space. Liquid soap and shampoo were supplied on the wall in the shower and a cake of soap appeared every couple of days for the hand bowl. The was more than adequate clothes hanging space in the wardrobes and coat hangers were in plentiful supply There were also plenty of drawers in the cupboard between the singles beds. We asked for twin beds as if they were made up into a queen size bed there was barely enough space to get around each side of the bed. Two very soft pillows were supplied for each bed and the mattresses were very comfortable and soft. Suit cases when unpacked fitted easily under each bed out of the way. A hair dryer ws supplied but we did not use it so cannot comment on it's usefulness Fresh towels appeared at least twice a day. We requested a jug of ice each day and Roberto our steward made sure it was there daily. We hardly saw our steward as he knew when we were at breakfast or not in the cabin and it was always cleaned and made up unobtrusely when we were not there. Likewise at night when we were at dinner the room was turned down for the night withe the choccies on the pillows It was noisy outside our cabin as a crew entrance to and from the service areas of the ship was opposite our cabin door but the noise didn't bother us too much DINING we had first sitting dining in the Florentine dining room on a table of eight. Our table companions were a good bunch and we all got along fine. There were three Americans on the table (not too many of them on the ship at all) and the rest of us were Australians Our table and drink waiters were excellent and nothing was too much trouble for them. The food was of the usual Princess high standard and was served exquisitely the menu choices were extensive and if something you wanted wasn't on the menu the waiters usually found something to your liking The Lido buffet we found to be good with a good variety of food and we had no trouble finding seats The food was always hot and the buffet waiters were always very helpful especially getting you hot drinks We did not try out the specialty Stirling steak house. We had several pizzas from the pizzeria and they were very good with good service. Pasta and salad dishes were also available. We did not try the grill bar on deck 12 ENTERTAINMENT A mixed bag with most of the live shows,especially the ship's orchestra and dancers very good A "pop violinist" was the highlight of the visiting performers as was a NZ comediaThe string quartet were also good mainly playing in the atrium but they did do a stage performance in the theatre one night which was excellent. The was a bloke on the piano on deck 7 in the Atrium who sang popular songs to his own accompiament but he was a woeful singer It would have been much better if he just played the piano and shut up The two singers in the Wheelhouse bar were very good and popular with the passengers Trivia was held twice a day and some days three times and was popular and well attended NOROVIRUS The cruise immediately before ours had an outbreak of norovirus with reports of 400 plus being affected by it. Our embarkation in Melbourne was held up while the crew disinfected the whole ship for the first couple of days passengers were not allowed to serve themselves in the buffet with waiters handing out whatever portions onto your plate. In the main dining rooms bread rolls and butter portions were not placed on he tables but were served to you by the waiters After two or three days things returned to normal but not before my wife became very ill before we reached our first port at Auckland and me coming down 2 days later. We experienced violent vomiting and dihoearrea for 24 hours.We were both quarantined to our cabin for 24 hours each time with the nurse checking on us periodically and giving me an injection The "Hit Squad "came in 3 times a day and disinfected the whole cabin. Strangely enough, our diagnosis was ACUTE GASTROENTERITIS AND NOT NOROVIRUS. I think by this time norovirus had become a dirty word on the ship and no one wanted to hear anymore about it. I cannot speak highly enough about the medical staff and the "hit squads" who did the disinfecting. The only thing I am upset about was that I was of my tucker for over 2 days THE LIFTS This turned out to be a major annoyance to most passengers. The lifts were totally inadequate to service the requirements of passengers. On the forward lifts one lift was out of service for practically the whole cruise. The other lifts ere out of synchronisation with three lifts being at the same decks at the same time to be more than a coincidence. This needs to be attended to urgently bt Princess DISEMBARKATION Went very smoothly with us being off the ship when called and on the airport bus within 25 minutes. No complaints her SUMMARY All in all despite my grizzles and our bout of sickness, we had a good cruise Princess lived up to their high standards despite "Dawn" showing her age with rust being continuously being painted over, carpets being replaced while we were aboard, furniture in public areas showing obvious wear and tear and other fittings looking tired. I believe she is due for a refit about May so those things should be attended to We will be back JOCELYN &JOHN Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My wife and myself decided to leave all of the work of Christmas and new year and let somebody else do all of the work to somebody else. Finding this cruise was by accident whilst surfing the net for particular travel destinations rather ... Read More
My wife and myself decided to leave all of the work of Christmas and new year and let somebody else do all of the work to somebody else. Finding this cruise was by accident whilst surfing the net for particular travel destinations rather than seeking out Costa as a cruise of choice. Having never been on a Costa ship and the deal being ever so good, we took the plunge and booked the cruise thinking that an Australian-New Zealand cruise would see many other English speaking guests embark at Melbourne and enjoy a Christmas and New Year break at sea. That was not so as the total passenger numbers totalled approximately only 800 (can carry approx 1800), the majority being made up of Italian (it is an Italian cruise liner after all), French, German and Russian passengers. A significant number of these passengers could not speak or did not try or want to speak English. This was a bit disappointing. Still trying to be positive just after sailing and trying to engage with other passengers with our limited Italian or French speaking skills, we soon formed the opinion that we were a hindrance to some passengers who perhaps wished us not to be on board. An Italian speaking Australian passenger, travelling with her husband and friends advised us she was mortified by some of the comments made by some Italian passengers in their language that were very derogative to non European travellers. I suppose that is the risk you take when taking a cruise on a ship with full prior knowledge of English not being the primary language. Our cruise commenced in Melbourne, Australia and believe it or not the compulsory lifeboat training drill was at 1.00am in the morning of the first day of departure. Absolutely ridiculous and these sentiments where echoed by all and sundry who presented their required attendance card to staff who marked you off as attending. Those that did not attend promptly were identified and found in their cabins and marched to their stations. There certainly was an assortment of clothing attire ranging from bedtime wear to suits. Quite amazing picking that time to do a drill. It was an unusual cruise atmosphere for us and apart from the ability to veg out for 21 days reading or sleeping, their was very little else to do on board. This ship has no theatre having been removed during the recent refit and replaced with a lavish day spa type area where you apparently can pamper yourself silly for an exorbitant fee. Over all our experience of the Costa Line and this ship was quite poor. The meals in the dining room were good to average. The cafeteria meals were poor to average. The staff though were attentive and tried their best. Smoking on board the ship is woeful and it was very unusual to see Senior and Junior ships staff, smoking, drinking coffee and cool drink (hopefully) in lounges in full view of paying passengers. This is the first time we have seen this done. Personally, we do not think that is professional. To the ships credit, the costly refit has been done well, but again the rocking and rolling of the ship with associated creaking sounds is a bit disconcerting and irritating. Not having free tea and coffee and cold/hot water available 24hrs a day is also something new to us and although the coffee costs throughout the ship were 2 to 3 euro per tiny cup it just was not worth it. In summary, you pay for what you get but if I had paid a full fare to be on this cruise instead of the heavily discounted fare we got I would have been banging on someones door demanding my money back. My advice to English only speaking passengers intending to travel with Costa, think again or take language lessons prior to the cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012

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