63 Dream Cruise Line Explorer Dream Cruise Reviews

We got a twin ocean view cabin for about $98/nite pp which was cheap for a 7 night Tasmania cruise from Sydney. Embarkation was relatively smooth - much better than P&O's amateurish efforts. Dream Cruises come from Asia and are ... Read More
We got a twin ocean view cabin for about $98/nite pp which was cheap for a 7 night Tasmania cruise from Sydney. Embarkation was relatively smooth - much better than P&O's amateurish efforts. Dream Cruises come from Asia and are basically geared to cater for the Asian market. This could explain some of the issues we encountered. About half of the passengers were asian. The ship was a bit "quirky" but quite OK. I'm not sure what the Ancient Greek theme on the pool deck & the main restaurant was about, but was no big deal. The big cathedral rear windows in the main restaurant were great, and the theatre was nice, but a bit small for the size of the ship & number of passengers, and was located at the stern rather than up the bow like all other ships. The cabin was OK size-wise, not as tiny as Sun class ships (Sun Princess, Sea Princess & Pacific Explorer) but not as roomy as Voyager of the Seas or Pacific Jewel/Dawn. Not much hanging space and no drawers in the bed-side units made things a little difficult. The en suite was small as per most cabins. The sliding door on the toilet didn't - it was jammed open but would have been fairly non-functional if it was closed so we left it as it was. Shower was OK, vanity basin about normal. The bed was some cobbled-together-thing that was probably smaller than a double (yes smaller!) that was very high and hard. It also had a bow in the middle that felt like you were going to slide or roll off it either side if you let go of your death grip on the sheets. It was uncomfortable and the sole cause of poor sleep for the trip. A queen size probably wouldn't have fit very well in the cabin but I would have thought a queen was a basic minimum for a cruise? Dining! This is where we take a bit of a slide down hill. If you didn't get yourself there at their specified narrow times you literally missed out - not joking. Breakfast finished at 9.30 but they started pushing you out at 9.00 am by cutting off things like the "juices". Lunch finished at 1.30. Bad luck if you are a late luncher, they weren't interested. Dinner finished at 9.30 but they made no secret of being annoyed if you turned up around 9.00 pm. You should have seen them starting to take away the trays in the buffet, and shoveling the plates in front of you in the restaurant to get you to eat quicker. A really poor show I thought - eating to the cruiseline's imposed timetable? There were "snacks" provided at other times during the day but for the "whole ship" there were 4 small trays of ... uhm ... crap. Tasteless squares of pizza, tasteless oily triangles of something, and rum balls that were tasteless, oily and warm cake that were covered by half melted chocolate substitute. Yuk. The quality of the food in the main restaurant was OK. We had some nice meals there. Nothing special and the quantity was meagre but OK (so long as you didn't turn up late that is!). The buffet was, well, a bit of a joke most of the cruise. One side of the buffet was never opened for the whole cruise. The other side was generally half opened (that's 1/4 of capacity) except for a couple of big nights when almost all of the one side was opened. It was broken up into different sections that didn't seem to have any particular theme or food type. You just lined up and took your chances. For the first few times we went in the wrong way (each section seemed to have a different direction of entry & exit. Never mind, it wasn't a hanging offence but some of the asian passengers seemed to be annoyed by these non-compliant Aussies going in & out in the wrong directions. The food in the buffet was average to poor and the choice was limited to say the least. Enough said there. There were plenty of "pay" restaurants all over the ship where there seemed to be much more attention to detail, quality & choice. Fancy that! The entertainment was largely of world class standard. They really did put time & resources into the shows & music, but many missed out on the shows in the theatre because it was too small for the ship numbers and they didn't have a second session. Also, if you did go to the show, you missed out on dinner unless you ate around 5.00 pm. Amazing. The casino reminded me of an old country RSL in the 80's, but you could smoke at the pokies or the tables if you wanted if that's your thing (to cater for the asian customers basically). The tender service to Port Arthur was OK, not the amateur show that P&O often is. All of the scheduled ports were visited. Would we go with Dream Cruises again? It would have to be bloody cheap to get us back on board, all things considered, unless they get their service principles reset to serving their cruisers, not their ordered routines (and better food too!) (and a better bed too!). Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Our trip to Tasmaina and Eden through Explorer Dream was amazing, would definitely do another trip with them again! From the moment we step onboard with complementary drinks and friendly faces, we felt welcomed. Checked into our ... Read More
Our trip to Tasmaina and Eden through Explorer Dream was amazing, would definitely do another trip with them again! From the moment we step onboard with complementary drinks and friendly faces, we felt welcomed. Checked into our cabins, very well presented, we were delighted to find out that we had an upgrade to level 11, mid ship. Every thing was accessible and convenient. Housekeeping had every minor detail down to a tee, with top ups of bottle water and complementary tea and coffee. With choices of 3 complementary dinning options as well as 11 paid eateries, we were spoiled for choice. We both enjoyed Dream dinning the best as the food and services was top notch, would have happily dinned there every day on this cruise breakfast , lunch and dinner. We both agree that the entertainment provided was enjoyable a mix for all ages, from the magic show with Vince Vignaud through to the staged productions like Rhythm Divine and Love Around the world they were all enthralling. Bands and music by Pianist Raz , Gold Dream duo, Major Impact Band and the Crossover Band were super entertaining. Must check October itinerary as Explorer Dream is coming back to Sydney then! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
first time cruise - last time now this company. Welcome aboard - had to argue that we had pre-purchased a drinks package! Food was only ok - most days stale bread was delivered to the table. albeit the waiting staff were very ... Read More
first time cruise - last time now this company. Welcome aboard - had to argue that we had pre-purchased a drinks package! Food was only ok - most days stale bread was delivered to the table. albeit the waiting staff were very pleasant and attentive. Spirits (drinks) watered down. Which i proved to the staff. The surcharges and additional fees are a total rip! Whilst I embrace a multicultural world and appreciate that English is not the native language of the Nightly MC - it would have been to understand what he was saying not having to second guess every other word. The evening activities are extremely limited and only one entertainment bar open - which (my opinion) allows children to run around the dance floor till the early hours - why? The casino, both time i visited - closed???? The cruise director - i really didn't need to hear ''i love you all'' every-time you spoke. When departing the ship we got hit with unexpected charge of nz$480.00 fees and charges we couldn't understand.... leaving the ship was similar to boarding, we felt ripped. Congrats Carnival you sure understand customer service - not! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this company solely on the price & sailed with them last November from Sydney to Gladstone, Mooloolaba, Brisbane back to Sydney. This time we sailed Sydney, Port Arthur, Hobart, Melbourne, Burnie back to Sydney. (Sydney Port ... Read More
We chose this company solely on the price & sailed with them last November from Sydney to Gladstone, Mooloolaba, Brisbane back to Sydney. This time we sailed Sydney, Port Arthur, Hobart, Melbourne, Burnie back to Sydney. (Sydney Port Authority did not allow us to leave the harbour till the following evening due to VERY rough seas & bad storms, some passengers complained but I didn't, as a seasoned cruiser I appreciated it! We had smooth sailing from then on, the shows exceptional, it was our birthdays & they went above & beyond making us feel special! The staff remembered us from previous cruise & continued to give excellent service! We definitely will be back cruising with this company. We get to one port so they reimbursed us a considerable sum!! Never had this previously with ANYONE! Their cruise ship is amazing & staff fantastic, food was excellent too! We were inside cabin & found the room very clean, bathroom excellent, shower had A LOT of room. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We had never been on a cruise and it came up on email and the travel agent highly recommended it even though I subsequently discovered she had never been on the ship. Amenities and cabin were good. Staff good but difficult to ... Read More
We had never been on a cruise and it came up on email and the travel agent highly recommended it even though I subsequently discovered she had never been on the ship. Amenities and cabin were good. Staff good but difficult to communicate with . Mostly Filipinos and Indonesians . Got hassled as soon as I boarded to purchase vouchers for alcohol- “today only very cheap price - bought the 5 bottles of wine package and 2 of the $70,00 individual drink packages. Drink packages are okay but the wine is almost undrinkable. Had to have a few spirits each day before attempting to tackle the horrible wine. On the last day we asked to settle the bill and we were each charged AUD140.00 for gratuity. I said but I have paid already 18% gratuity tax on everything I purchased and was told it was for cleaning the room.i refused to pay it and they immediately removed the $280.00 from the invoice . It was a try one and how many of the few thousand on board didn’t query it. The other complaint was the lack of entertainment. Their is virtually nothing to do except read and drink or play bingo if u are into that. Their was a handful of bored children on the cruise but most of the movies were children’s movies - mostly cartoons. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I chose this cruise, number 4 cruise for us, as we had never been with Dream Cruises. I read the reviews and thought they were a mixed bag, so I booked this cruise for my husbands 60th b/day. Embarkation was very quick and disembarkation ... Read More
I chose this cruise, number 4 cruise for us, as we had never been with Dream Cruises. I read the reviews and thought they were a mixed bag, so I booked this cruise for my husbands 60th b/day. Embarkation was very quick and disembarkation (although there was no time for breakfast) went very smooth and quickly. The ship itself was beautiful. Most of the staff spoke very little English so it was hard to have a conversation. The entertainment and activities were very limited and undesirable. On our other 3 cruises, there weren’t enough hours in the day for us to do all the activities and go to all the theatre shows. They had so many more choices of activities. The food was very Asian inspired, very ordinary compared to P&O & Royal Caribbean, no variety of fruit, just the basic. Dining experience again was very Asian, not enough choices for Aussie cuisine. 2 family members are vegans, poor food choices, they ate hash browns and bread for 3 days until we complained, then an alternate menu was given, again, extremely poor food choices eg..fruit for dessert for 3 days straight. We paid extra to eat different food restaurants and we ate offshore at every opportunity. Only one option per port for off shore tours, a bus drive city highlight tour. Nothing else was available. There were 6 of us, and it was my son in laws first ever cruise. After telling him all the wonderful things on our past 3 cruises, he was very excited to go but we were all very disappointed and unfortunately would not travel with Dream Cruises again. Dream cruise staff should experience a P&O or Royal Caribbean cruise to see the difference between them. I usually never write reviews about trips and we are a family that loves cruising. We are very casual and enjoy most things, but this cruise was very disappointing, I’m sorry to say. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Choose this cruise line as first time down to Australia and needed to explore. We have been on many cruises in the mid range but this one was well below our expectations. Chinese line. Need a lot to learn about what Western passengers ... Read More
Choose this cruise line as first time down to Australia and needed to explore. We have been on many cruises in the mid range but this one was well below our expectations. Chinese line. Need a lot to learn about what Western passengers expect. Apparently this is normally a gambling ship out of Singapore and HongKong. Rooms were clean. Single beds which we did not expect. Staff were very polite. Wines were fine and well priced. Food up in the LIdo was mostly cold to warm. Food in main restaurant was just OK. Bread always stale. Set menu in Chinese restaurant no choices. Cordial as juice for breakfast. Last day was for excited as on the menu was eggs with smoked salmon. When it arrived asked where was the smoked salmon.Answer it was minced into the scramble eggs. Not what was expected. Could only have Lipton tea. Any other types like decaf or peppermint etc needed to pay for. Free coffee was terrible. Coffee from cafe bar was Ok but you needed to buy it. Port days times of arrival and departure very poor. For example arrived Melbourne 3pm left 12 midnight. So by the time disembarked which was very very slow all attractions closed. Captains communication was none existent. Only heard from him once and that was when we couldn’t leave Sydney because of bad weather. No communication when we could disembark just had to watch other people making moves. Never again. Not cheap compared to say mid priced R.C. Or H.A. Or Celebrity. Stay with them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Where should I Start? This was THE worst experience ever. The entertainment was excellent and thoroughly enjoyed, that is all that is good on this ship. The food throughout only catered for asian customers. Even the Western ... Read More
Where should I Start? This was THE worst experience ever. The entertainment was excellent and thoroughly enjoyed, that is all that is good on this ship. The food throughout only catered for asian customers. Even the Western Restaurant was western food with asian flavours? asian spices, weird food pairing? we were served steak on a bed of noodles? unbelievable, plating combinations never before seen not to mention we were served stale bread every single evening. Drink orders took in excess of 30 mins every single time in every single venue, most drink orders would come back wrong. The staff are not across the english language therefore the entire cruise was very frustrating. We tried the coffee in every single cafe/restaurant/eatery, no-body on board could make a proper cup of coffee. We were in a group of 7 and we all purchased drinks and coffee vouchers on arrival to find we cannot have a cup of tea instead of a coffee as it was terrible. The staff refused us tea which is cheaper than a cup of coffee, therefore we did not use our vouchers. No customer service and no effort to make customers happy in any way. Staff smiled and greeted us constantly all through the ship but could not show any compassion or accommodate any reasonable request. We collectively will never recommend this cruise to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This cruise was our 1st cruise and reasonably short, but long enough to know if we would enjoy cruising. Being a Chinese owned ship, it was mostly Chinese workers where 1/2 of them would wear face masks (which made it very hard to ... Read More
This cruise was our 1st cruise and reasonably short, but long enough to know if we would enjoy cruising. Being a Chinese owned ship, it was mostly Chinese workers where 1/2 of them would wear face masks (which made it very hard to understand someone with an accent let alone wearing mask also). Two of the three free restaurant were often full as they didn't sit people together!!!! We had a table for 6 more than once with just the 2 of us. The pavilion did a banquet which was all brought out together and never kept hot. The dream dining room had the same seating arrangements and a choice of 3 meals from set menu. These guys were so busy that the plate was taken out from under you and next course given when you hadn't finish last mouthful. The food in all restaurants was Luke warm. GST +18% SURCHARGES were placed on all non inclusive items. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I was actually looking for a 12+ night cruise and I chose this cruise as it was going around New Zealand. I have travelled a fair bit of New Zealand by land and thought it would be nice to see some of the hard to get to places from the sea ... Read More
I was actually looking for a 12+ night cruise and I chose this cruise as it was going around New Zealand. I have travelled a fair bit of New Zealand by land and thought it would be nice to see some of the hard to get to places from the sea i.e. Gisborne, Dunedin, Milford. This was a re positioning cruise to Sydney. It was a 7 night cruise and I saw the following cruise went around Tasmania, so I booked that as well. This gave us a 14 night cruise. We booked an Oceanview cabin on deck 5 mid. This was a good location as there was minimal roll and very handy for disembarking at ports. We made a point of always using the stairs (mostly), this was a good way to offset all the good food we were consuming. Speaking of food, we mostly ate in the Dream Dining room where the food was great! A good selection with choices to satisfy choosy palates. OMG the entertainment was amazing! We had heard the entertainment was a must see and we weren't disappointed. We made sure we saw a show every night! Explorer Dream is a nice clean ship. The crew are always cleaning and polishing. The crew were possibly what topped the whole experience. Very friendly and always willing to help. no request was too small or too hard. Anything you want, they will get it for you if they can. A must see for me was the Captains Bridge. This is a gem. This is a room accessed from deck 12 front lounge via a spiral stair case. This gives anyone a 24 x 7 view into the Bridge! I did a Bridge tour for more detail too. A would definitely sail with Explorer Dream again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise as it was a new company to New Zealand. What made our trip was the entertainment, which was world class. Also the piano player Ronaldo Raz, just made our days as we listened to him playing and singing, just ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a new company to New Zealand. What made our trip was the entertainment, which was world class. Also the piano player Ronaldo Raz, just made our days as we listened to him playing and singing, just fabulous. We got to as many of his gigs as we could as It was so enjoyable, also it was world class. Food mediocre, beds very hard, which made them uncomfortable., we all had painful backs each night to contend with. Why put folk that ask for a wheelchair to come onto the ship and disembark in the cabin we got, we had to walk to the lift to deck seven, then walk the length of the ship to go down to deck 6 for our meals. This does not show on the deck plan at all,we were the last cabin on deck 6 which showed that we could walk straight into the restaurant , or so we thought. We did go to the quiz days, which we have loved on other ships, but sorry to say could not understand what they were saying to join in, a language problem. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
As promised, here I come with my detailed review of the Explorer Dream. On 2 Feb, we boarded the cruise at Auckland. We thoroughly enjoyed right from the time we checked in our luggage. Contrary to my doubts that there would be a long ... Read More
As promised, here I come with my detailed review of the Explorer Dream. On 2 Feb, we boarded the cruise at Auckland. We thoroughly enjoyed right from the time we checked in our luggage. Contrary to my doubts that there would be a long queue waiting for baggage drop, I was pleasantly surprised that there was hardly any que and the helpers were too quick to take my luggage from me. Then came the boarding part and what a smooth boarding was it. Once again, due to concerns of Corona virus, I was thinking about long wait. Dream cruises had devised plans not to cause inconvenience to low risk passengers. We were already on deck 7 Grand Piaza within a few minutes. Welcome soft drink was offered but I am not a fan so let that go. I was approached for a drink’s package and found $75 package for 10 drinks irresistible. Why wouldn’t I when premium beer was on offer. We then made our way to the Lido for afternoon tea. We were impressed with all the precautions and cleanliness. As I am not a big eater, I enjoyed small portions, but could see several people digging on hard on the delicious food. I was impressed. As were several friends with partners, we headed to our cabins. What a treat? I was impressed with my Ocean View State Room on Deck 9. Several power socket options, USB charging options, fridge, cleanliness of the bed and bath room and the views from our balcony. I thoroughly enjoyed the sunrise from balcony every morning with a hot cup of tea. We had our first dinner at the Lido. With good spread of food, I could not complain as I am not a big eater. Some people did find the spread a bit too limited as compared to some cruises. Our second dinner was at the Dream Dinning Restaurant (inclusive with the cruise fare). The staff that greeted us at the entrance of the restaurant and those who served food were all very pleasant. I was highly impressed the way they tried very hard to ensure that we were treated well. There was no need for advance booking. Just queue up. Although, it was a very popular dinner venue so sometimes we had to postpone our meal until the time there was space for our whole gang. We enjoyed the shows every night. The quality was amazing. We visited, Gisborn, Wellington, and Dunedin and enjoyed the outing including arrangements for shuttle and sightseeing. I can provide more info if required. Here I will not elaborate that as the review is for the cruise not for sightseeing. There were several on board activities and I personally loved the trivia, Pingpong and dancing. It was an amazing bonus when lovely Russian dance instructor picked me to be her partner in demonstrating the dance moves. She is beautiful, graceful and of course skilful. Every morning I enjoyed the gym and burnt few calories as lovely food and drinks would have otherwise added extra kilos around my waist. There was lots of food, programs, activities and not enough time at hand. I would love to take Explorer Dream again and enjoy the lovely cruise and company of amazing staff and activities. I hope I can get my old cabin every time I cruise in future. All the best all cruisers and enjoy cruising. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We found the cruise prefect for our extended family of 9. We ranged in age from 10 to 80 and everyone found the cruise very enjoyable.The helpfulness and good humor of the onboard staff cannot be over emphasised. They were very friendly ... Read More
We found the cruise prefect for our extended family of 9. We ranged in age from 10 to 80 and everyone found the cruise very enjoyable.The helpfulness and good humor of the onboard staff cannot be over emphasised. They were very friendly and never too busy to help out. The general mood on the cruise was very pleasant until we arrived in Auckland and a whole bunch of very complainy older Australians came onboard. Nothing the crew did seemed to be good enough for them and we were repeatedly embarrassed by their que jumping and general rudeness toward the onboard staff who continued to try to cater to thier needs. The variety of food onboard was very good and at all times, well prepared. We tried all of the onboard restaurants and found the food very nice in each. The quality of the onboard shows was extremely high and the performers were as good as any that can be seen anywhere in the world, most impressive. Generally a most enjoyable experience that we will be looking forward to repeating in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our second 7 night cruise on board as we did the Sydney to Auckland 7 night cruise late last year. We are dismayed at some of the reviews in here , but each o their own I guess. Both cruises we enjoyed and we are seasoned ... Read More
This was our second 7 night cruise on board as we did the Sydney to Auckland 7 night cruise late last year. We are dismayed at some of the reviews in here , but each o their own I guess. Both cruises we enjoyed and we are seasoned cruisers and cruised all over the world. Some some degree you get what you pay for , but people need to remember this is not a standard western ship . It was built for the Asian market and is a ex Star Cruise ship (which is one of the many cruise lines we have sailed with in the past). Built also for very short cruises , hence small cabins. Given the above we found it worth every cent (and it does not cost many), The entertainment some of the best at sea any where in the world. We found the "included" restaurants gave us all we wanted and staff tried hard to please , yes we have had better , but we have had a lot worse. Great value for what we paid . Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Cruise was around NZ. Excellent shows however not much else to say anything good about.Although while i think about it, the shower was good and the bed comfortable. Here are just a few random issues, not every complaint as I ... Read More
Cruise was around NZ. Excellent shows however not much else to say anything good about.Although while i think about it, the shower was good and the bed comfortable. Here are just a few random issues, not every complaint as I don't want to bore you just warn you. We (2 women) shared a cabin and had issues with the room attendant coming in to the room 2-3 times a day (that we knew about) DESPITE not putting card out on door saying room needing attention. Talked to him and said did not want him to come in but he still did even the same evening after I spoke to him. He understood clearly as he said "I just want to make you happy"... Both of us found it very creepy and felt uncomfortable. Complaint emailed to cruise line today. Plenty of food available but not much variety. We got drink of warm water when asked for water no ice. Bread in the 'posh' restaurant was stale, didn't try it in the casual one. Trips ashore too short but the worst bit about going ashore was trying to get back to the ship.The buses that were supposed to pick up didn't show at Dunedin, fortunately 2 staff members and a man from the bus Co were there so they phoned the ship and bus co. Buses FINALLY arrived but last one got back to ship after the curfew. Another wait at the Wellington stop but fortunately not so long although buses still not regular as we had been advised they would be. Trip to Gisborne was via tender boats and there was extreme difficulty getting on and off those especially for those elderly or with mobility issues. Again last load got back to ship after curfew time. Extremely stressful for all. Balcony door heavy glass one.As you closed it, it dropped in the track which jolted you if holding on to handle with both hands trying to close it. This was a common fault as we asked others. Jarred my back. Heard muffled announcements coming from hallway while in cabin but by time got out to corridor to listen the english version had finished and they were doing the chinese translation so no idea what was said. Only heard one broadcast into our room and that was by captain telling us we were going to have rough weather. This was a DAY late as we had been experiencing it since the previous afternoon, possibly it was a recording from day before?? As i said, just some of the things i wanted to mention Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Got what we thought was a good deal & really liked the itinerary. Unfortunately the times in port were very restricting for example we didn’t get ashore in Napier until 5.30 pm when most everything was closed & only had 90 ... Read More
Got what we thought was a good deal & really liked the itinerary. Unfortunately the times in port were very restricting for example we didn’t get ashore in Napier until 5.30 pm when most everything was closed & only had 90 minutes there. Dunedin & Wellington had to be back on ship really early. Complimentary food in MDR & Lido was just awful - stale bread, little choice, lukewarm or cold food, meat often really tough, minimal breakfast cereal choice & the same fresh fruit apples, orange, pineapple & melon every day - no berries or soft stone fruit, which given the season is ridiculous. No juice only cordial & water was not particularly cold. Extremely small portions in the MDR. The Pavillion was slightly better. The best meals we had were the barbecue on the first night (included in fare) & meals in the Blue Lagoon & the Italian pizza/pasta place which we had to pay for. Our original cabin was dreadful, small, smelly & dark - meant to be an oceanview stateroom, but only had a tiny porthole which had to be closed in rough seas! However guest services were very responsive & we were transferred to a better cabin. Bathroom was good, nice to have a roomy shower. Bedding also good, comfy & clean. Unfortunately we had rough seas for 3 nights & the wardrobe doors kept crashing open & closed - eventually we rammed open with life jackets! Most of the staff we had direct dealings with were wonderful - friendly & helpful. Communication was poor & not clear - very difficult to understand announcements. Guest services were right next to the Piazza, where a lot of activities took place, making it difficult for people to hear or be understood. Apart from the shows, the entertainment was cringeworthy & the spaces where activities took place not the best. Would be good to see more & smaller public spaces. There should be a separate swimming pool/water area for the children as the only pool was small & deep. Waterslide good. There were not enough loungers out around the pool or on Deck 13. We loved the area at the back of the ship off the Lido grill & spent a lot of time their reading & talking with other guests. It was nice to cruise with lots of kiwis! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We wanted a short cruise before summer and thought we'd try this new cruise line. WE paid quite a lot for a balcony cabin but there was not much space in there. Embarkation etc was very quick, no problems at all. Staff were very ... Read More
We wanted a short cruise before summer and thought we'd try this new cruise line. WE paid quite a lot for a balcony cabin but there was not much space in there. Embarkation etc was very quick, no problems at all. Staff were very friendly and plenty of staff available. Food was a definite weak spot. Most food was Asian, not to our taste, but the so called Western food was not good at all, in fact we called this out Jenny Craig cruise as I am sure we lost weight !! The entertainment however was another matter, and it was the best entertainment we have seen on 13 cruises. The shows were spectacular without exception and the day time quizzes etc quite good too. If this cruise line comes back to New ZEaland next season I hope it rectifies a few things. One thing, is the gratuities,. which have to be paid before they would give a cabin confirmation. Visiting ports was disappointing as often we only had 2 or 3 hours ashore. WE arrived at Napier for instance late afternoon when all the shops were closed. . I wouldn't choose this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The stateroom was awful. The bed was as hard as a rock, and the bathroom too small for me at 6'4". The TV didn't work. The soap dispenser is a tube you have to squeeze, which was painful with my arthritic thumbs. The ... Read More
The stateroom was awful. The bed was as hard as a rock, and the bathroom too small for me at 6'4". The TV didn't work. The soap dispenser is a tube you have to squeeze, which was painful with my arthritic thumbs. The wi-fi is not free and costs A$30 for the week. Even a grubby motel will give you free wi-fi. There are three restaurants included in the fare. The Pavilion Chinese restaurant served the worst chinese food the 4 of us have eaten. The Dream Restaurant is a western restaurant where the food was bland and not well prepared. The only bright spot was that the food was served by waiters and waitresses, except at breakfast. The Lido is a self serve buffet with equally bland food which we avoided most of the time. There are other specialty restaurants which apparently charge restaurant prices, although we hardly saw anyone in them. Alcohol is extra and not included. There is one lounge bar Palm Court, with entertainment which we were evicted from so they could hold a private function one night. Totally unacceptable. It has very uncomfortable chairs, and can accommodate about 250 on a ship which can carry 2,800. There is no quiet space to sit and read except your stateroom on a very uncomfortable chair. The outside Lido area by the pool has awful music blaring out all the time. Going ashore was a nightmare. We arrived in Napier on day 2 and by the time we got ashore and were bused into town it was shut. We found a pub and were charged $25 for a beer and glass of wine. In Gisborne on our second last day we waited in a queue 100 metres long in hot sun for over 30 minutes for a tender to take us back to the ship. They only have 4 tenders and didn't expect everyone to wait so long to return. The tour of Milford and Doubtful Sounds was good, but there was no commentary about what we were looking at or how the sounds were formed. Cruising was always out of sight of land which was a real shame, as we had no idea where we were. All in all a disappointing first and I have to say, last cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Took this cruise to tour round the coast of New Zealand. Barely saw the coast except when going in to port. Food was great. Staff were great. Would like to see more flexibility for breakfast. Cut off was way to early at 9-30 (clearing at ... Read More
Took this cruise to tour round the coast of New Zealand. Barely saw the coast except when going in to port. Food was great. Staff were great. Would like to see more flexibility for breakfast. Cut off was way to early at 9-30 (clearing at 9-15) especially if you have a young family or you are at sea for 2 days. 10 would be far better clearing at 10 not 9-45! Expect fruit juice to be freely available also free beverages all day. Lack flexibility. Wine selection was very limited a total of 5. Totally inadequate for the western palate. Shows and parties were way to short at 45 minutes, just getting started. More films required and in the Zodiac theatre which was way underutilised most of the time. Especially when you are at sea for the day. Films in the Piazza were very distracting with people walking through. Account for the room should be set up prior to cruise on a credit card which is then automatically deducted. Hassle settling the account at the end of the cruise. Excursions ashore well organised. Description of the sounds disappointing obviously did not know very much about them and did not last for long. Again commentary on previous cruises taken was excellent. Need to employ some western management to meet western expectations. Unless I knew they had upped their game I wouldn't go again with this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have cruised the world many times but sadly never around NZ and the opportunity to sail around nz on Explorer Dream and visit the magnificent Milford and Doubtful sounds at a very good price for a balcony cabin seemed a good deal. ... Read More
We have cruised the world many times but sadly never around NZ and the opportunity to sail around nz on Explorer Dream and visit the magnificent Milford and Doubtful sounds at a very good price for a balcony cabin seemed a good deal. Sadly the rooms are quite congested compared to say Princess cabins, the food - not bad in the sit down dining rooms but the Lido buffet area really congested and a very limited and ordinary food selection once again compared to other lines. Then the extra charges on board like believe or not English Breakfast tea , all cakes and pastries apart from one or two basic types air the meal times, Ice Creams etc. The ports of call where fine if the arrival times allowed time to do something. An example was arriving in Napier at 2.30 pm until 11pm but the shops all close at 5pm so nothing to do so returned to ship. Dream Cruises at fault as they knew this not the port of call. Other ports had problems as well. The staff are really quite good though and the Entertainment on board is absolutely outstanding (apart from the cruise director being below standard) and far superior to anything we have seen on multiple voyages before. This made the cruise somewhat memorable despite the other faults. Would not sail with again sadly. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and I booked this cruise on impulse on a one day special. This ship normally operates in the Asian market The Ship had been recently upgraded and was overall good. Lacked a quiet lounge for reading, relaxing.and ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise on impulse on a one day special. This ship normally operates in the Asian market The Ship had been recently upgraded and was overall good. Lacked a quiet lounge for reading, relaxing.and conversation. The ship has upmarket palace rooms, they have there own exclusive restaurants and pool area. The other cruises we've been on have the expensive rooms but don't rope off parts of the ship. Has an us and them vibe. The included food was in three dining areas, European, Chinese, and the buffet. The food ranged from very good to very average. We generally avoided the buffet, I'm sure passengers made use of the specialty restaurants, but quite expensive. I guess they can't make the included food too good, else why would you go there. I would say the included food was better on all the other cruises we have been on. The entertainment was some of the best we've seen. Don't be late, or you won't get a seat. The crew were great for there helpfulness and attitude. Language was an issue at times. The main thing that made this cruise enjoyable for us was the weather and the ports. we really hit it lucky with beautiful hot clear blue skies. We did one ship excursion.( Wildlife Dunedin)It was a fascinating and fun day with knowledgeable tour guides. we looked after ourselves for the other ports. Mid cruise questionnaires would help the Management learn our market faster and fix niggling problems on the fly. In conclusion, this ship isn't that far off the mark. They will need to improve more in the australasian market. There is a lot of competition. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was my first ever cruise at the age of 48 with my 2 girls, aged 10 & 18. Being from NZ it was nice to do a 7 night cruise around NZ. Stopping at Bay of Islands, Akaroa, Picton & Napier was nice. While I have been to most of ... Read More
This was my first ever cruise at the age of 48 with my 2 girls, aged 10 & 18. Being from NZ it was nice to do a 7 night cruise around NZ. Stopping at Bay of Islands, Akaroa, Picton & Napier was nice. While I have been to most of these places with the exception of Akaroa it was nice to go there again as it has been some years to certain places and it was great to catch up with some family members in Picton & Napier that we don't get to see often. The ship was amazing, heaps of entertainment and activities so you could do as much or as little as you wanted. Food was amazing & I can honestly say that, myself and 1 of my daughters are Coeliac and we sure did not go hungry. The main place we ate at was The Lido and Min who was the Restaurant Manager was just amazing. The crew were just amazing and my 10 year old got lost on the 2nd day on board and she was looked after amazingly by the crew and the reception area, I was so thankful and appreciative of the way they cared for her and made her feel comfortable. Cabins while small have all that is needed. Having a balcony cabin was fantastic as it was nice to just relax in our room with the door open & be able to watch the water and have the fresh air. The biggest problem was the going into Port and having to get Tender boats, you would collect a ticket for the time that you wanted to go on the tender but those time tickets were never checked and it would often take over an hour from your chosen time to actually get to Port. I think people were ignoring the time they had selected and just going when they were ready so we started doing the same. There was also often a long wait to get from Port back to the Ship as everyone was heading back at the same sort of time. Along with this I do have to say that the crew getting you on and off the tender boat were amazing at safety and helping you on and off the boat, very reassuring. All in all my girls and myself had an amazing holiday and thank the crew on board for their wonderful service and help. The always available food and the fresh fruit was just incredible and I would go back again just for the food to be honest. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
To be honest, we chose this ship for the price of the cruise (circumnavigating NZ) and the beautiful decor shown in photos. We were not disappointed! The decor is top quality - everything on the ship is the very best. Some may complain ... Read More
To be honest, we chose this ship for the price of the cruise (circumnavigating NZ) and the beautiful decor shown in photos. We were not disappointed! The decor is top quality - everything on the ship is the very best. Some may complain that some carpets were not replaced in the recent refurbishment but then some people have to find fault with everything! Best cruise we have ever experienced. Loved every minute and would go again tomorrow! We ate in the 'Dream Dining' room for every meal. Great food and the waiters very professional. All staff were great. There was a big choice of restaurants . The Zodiac theatre - huge! The entertainment, as good as any in Las Vegas. Huge casino! Embarkation and disembarkation quick and flawless. Fire drill well organized as was the organization of everything on the ship. Many spa pools and plus the large ones and a decent sized water slide. Bars and BBQ close by. We were able to walk around the entire outside of the ship - good for photos, especially in the 'Sounds'. I would give the cruise 91/2 out of 10. The other half taken off because of the lack of NZ news on the TV - all Australian (as is the currency used). Also, broadcasts were difficult to understand re the accents and sound volume. Daily newspapers were very informative. **If you have a bad back - take an inflatable support cushion as not one seat on the ship has anything but a straight back - with no support. The ship is fast at 25 knots full speed - to get around NZ in 7 nights, a lot of the shore excursions were necessarily quite short. For example if you can catch the first tender off at 9am (need to buy tender tickets the day before) the last tender leaves the shore at 12.30pm. It wasn't possible - apart from Bay of Islands stop to have time for a worthwhile paid excursion. People complain about the price of the drinks package. BYO - we did in our luggage - which was not checked at any stage! :) Strangely - being school holidays, there were very few children to be seen anywhere. We are two sisters on the wrong side of 50! Treat yourself to cruise on this beautiful ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
They promise 'luxury' but the reality is very different. Last year the ship was refurbished and to be fair some areas of the ship are stunning. The pros: * Relatively good value * The dining room areas are beautifully ... Read More
They promise 'luxury' but the reality is very different. Last year the ship was refurbished and to be fair some areas of the ship are stunning. The pros: * Relatively good value * The dining room areas are beautifully designed * The cabins are well laid out * Everywhere is kept spotless The cons: * We didn't get the cabin type we paid for - big let down * The best meal was on the last day in the European restaurant * The buffet 'restaurant' was like a school canteen. Lots of pushing and shoving, best avoided. Not much choice * The beds are rock hard consisting of a very thin mattress. Bring a mattress topper! This was one of the biggest complaints - the quality of the mattresses. * The gym is terrible. A great space but very limited equipment. You pay for all the fitness classes * Even though the ship is based in NZ for the summer season all prices are quoted in Australian dollars + gst + service charge = everything is expensive * Wine choice is minimal * Constant upselling * Poor retail choices All in all, we had a reasonably average cruise let down by attention to detail. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had high expectations as the ship is marketed as a 'luxury' refitted ship, but we didn't see much luxury about this ship. Though the cabins were okay, the beds were rock hard, and I mean really uncomfortable. I barely ... Read More
We had high expectations as the ship is marketed as a 'luxury' refitted ship, but we didn't see much luxury about this ship. Though the cabins were okay, the beds were rock hard, and I mean really uncomfortable. I barely slept for the whole seven nights. Though many people complained about the bland food, we enjoyed one decent meal in the Chinese restaurant on the last night! The rest of the time it was very standard. I lost my appetite by day three. The ship is geared to Asian tastes and this is reflected in the entertainment and food. The Lido is a buffet-style eatery. It had the atmosphere of a factory canteen. The food looked bland and unappetizing. Remember all costs are charged in Australian dollars and come with a hefty service charge. One other bugbear is that staff are constantly trying to upsell. As soon as you sit down a juice menu is thrust into your face. This got very tiring by day two! We tried out the spa but felt the treatments were rushed and over priced. I would avoid this cruise line and go with more reliable brands that understand New Zealander's tastes. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Explorer Dream Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.5 N/A
Dining 3.5 2.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 3.0
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 3.5 2.8
Shore Excursions 3.5 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 3.0 3.1
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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