26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Take lots of antibiotics and cold and flu medicine with you. The cruise from Perth to Tilbury was full of sick people. They go to the card room, the bars, the dining areas and the lounge. They were taken on a tour of the kitchen. I ... Read More
Take lots of antibiotics and cold and flu medicine with you. The cruise from Perth to Tilbury was full of sick people. They go to the card room, the bars, the dining areas and the lounge. They were taken on a tour of the kitchen. I stopped going to the fitness classes, the entertainment and group activities because of the risk of infection. We ate outside. The well people were.becoming hostile to the sick people. Some well people would not use the pool. The bread and deserts are uncovered. Infection spreads. The gym has equipment that dores not work. It is like the rehabilition room in a rundown old person's home. The equipment in the crew gym is great but you are not allowed to use it. Forget this cruise if you have special dietory requirements. You either eat high cholestorol or salad for 39 days. The salad becomes boring. The white coat staff cannot fix things and they can hide behind limited English. The internet does not work. On the plus side you get to a lot of places. The excursion coordinator, Elizabeth, was excellent. It is cheap. The bar and waiting staff are great. They should be paid a living wage and not depend on tips. Tip those you like. Who knows where the $8 a day goes. If you like bus tours with lots of sick people this is for you. Not recommended for anyone who is or thinks under the age of 85 and who does not remember the war. Read Less
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I chose this cruise for it's itinerary, timing and value for money. It was also a way to get from Melbourne to London without jet lag and swollen ankles. It is an old ship and fairly small but I prefer the small ship atmosphere and ... Read More
I chose this cruise for it's itinerary, timing and value for money. It was also a way to get from Melbourne to London without jet lag and swollen ankles. It is an old ship and fairly small but I prefer the small ship atmosphere and friendliness. Overall the ship exceeded my expectations with a super friendly crew who went out of their way to make it an enjoyable voyage. Being small it moves around a bit in a swell and the stabilisers do not seem very effective but if you want a smoother ride you should stick to floating apartment blocks. The cabin was good for its type with the most comfortable beds I have had on my many cruises with various cruise lines. The in cabin entertainment was lacking with few movies that were repeated on a loop throughout each day. The show lounge entertainment was excellent with no shows repeated in the 6 weeks aboard. The dancers were great but the singers ranged from exceptional (Angelina) through to good with one who shall remain nameless who was painful. Pre dinner entertainment in the Captains Club was very good with a pianist and either a singer or violinist accompanying her. A nice way to start the evening. The cruise director Tony and assistant cruise director Katy ensured the entertainment flowed freely with a performance in the show lounge twice nightly and various sail away parties on the outside decks as we left ports. The second show was always less crowded and it was easy to find a good seat. The daytime entertainment was sparse but included 2 lectures each sea day which I found to be very interesting. The food was adequate but not great. Too much fish and chicken for my taste but the head waiter Tojo was fantastic in trying to accommodate me and would arrange extra steamed vegies or grilled meat and chips if all else failed. The bread rolls were excellent but the afternoon teas were not good as the cakes were dry, the scones like hard biscuits and the sandwiches boring ham and cheese every day. One big disappointment was the breakfast eggs. It is against Astor's policy to serve eggs either fried, poached or boiled, with a runny yolk. Every egg was hard in the centre. Health and safety was the excuse but I haven't seen this on other cruise ships and six weeks of overcooked eggs was an irritation to most passengers I spoke to. They need to consider passenger tastes rather than covering their own backs. Liz, the shore excursion organiser was very good. She went out of her way to help even if you were enquiring about a non ship tour. We had major health concerns on board culminating in a shoreside hospital visit in Capetown and 2 subsequent ships hospital visits. The ships doctor (Dmitri) and his staff gave us confidence to continue our voyage and ensured we had the appropriate care till we arrived in London to the point of offering to arrange specialist care on shore when we docked. Ships medical assistance is not cheap so good travel insurance is vital. The internet costs were very cheap ($5 Australian per hour) but totally unreliable. On the occasions where I had to seek help from the reception staff for internet and other problems they were great. Service with a smile always. The ship displayed some meanness in small ways. Like no shampoo and conditioner in the cabin, just a body wash in the shower which could have been dishwashing liquid. They gave us a lovely tray of chocolate goodies for Easter but we only received a chocolate on the pillow on the formal nights. Room service was limited and not complimentary. Other reviewers have said the crew are surly but we found everyone from the Captain down to be cheerful and friendly. The one exception was our cabin steward. She was a miserable soul who obviously didn't like her job. She kept the cabin clean but whether it was a language problem or a personality trait, her face could not form a smile. Would I travel on Astor again, yes I would, the good far outweighed the bad, a sentiment widely felt by fellow passengers, many of which had cruised with her multiple times. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose to sail on The Astor purely because of her itinerary. We thought is would be a great way to visit South Africa, instead of flying there. Our ports of call were, embarkation at Fremantle, Mauritius, La Reunion, Durban, Mossel Bay ... Read More
We chose to sail on The Astor purely because of her itinerary. We thought is would be a great way to visit South Africa, instead of flying there. Our ports of call were, embarkation at Fremantle, Mauritius, La Reunion, Durban, Mossel Bay and disembarking in Capetown. She then continued up the African Coast and onto Tilbury, London. We took the ship's tours in all the ports and would give them 5 stars for their organization and tour destinations. We were very lucky to have the opportunity to stay in The Astor Suite. It was superb with a very large Bedroom with ample wardrobe and cupboard space. A lovely bathroom with a large shower and bath with double hand basins and a separate toilet. The Living room was well appointed with a 3 seater lounge and 2 lounge chairs, plus an office desk. A small fridge and coffee machine was also supplied, and it was so lovely to return to the cabin and enjoy the views from 2 huge, double, floor to ceiling windows. Each evening they delivered hors d'œuvres to our cabin to enjoy before dinner. Because of the small number of passengers, it was so easy to meet others. The public areas were quite spacious, although the Astor Lounge was large, the layout in places made it difficult to view the shows, or guest speakers. We enjoyed the activities and loved being able to walk fully around the deck each morning for our exercise. By the end of our cruise, the food was beginning to be the same. It was a shame that we couldn't order eggs to order for our breakfast. The chefs wouldn't cook poached or soft fried eggs. The only option was a 10 minute, hard boiled egg or a hard yolk fried egg. We do not know the reason for this, because on other cruise lines this hasn't been an issue. I ordered ice-cream each evening and by the time I received it, it was mostly melted into a mess, so I did have some issues with the food. Cleanliness on the ship was impeccable; there are no complaints. Our Cabin Stewardess, Inna was wonderful. She looked after our needs without being in your face. The ship didn't handle the rough sea too well. On three occasions we were quite ill with sea sickness, so I would make sure you have 2 packets of sea sickness tablets with you, because it cost $3.75 for 2 tablets, and we needed many more. Captain was wonderful as were all the crew members. I would especially thank The Tour Director, Elizabeth (Liz), for her service. She did a magnificent job and worked with us in trying to take a tour of Capetown (which was our disembarkation port). She organized for our bags to be safely stored, and we were allowed back on board in the afternoon to collect them. Thank you again, Astor. You are a little gem of a ship. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Ship has been updated and so very well presented. My friend and I chose the trip because it was from our local port and returned to the same port. Advertised as four days but really a short cruise of 2 full days at sea to unwind from ... Read More
Ship has been updated and so very well presented. My friend and I chose the trip because it was from our local port and returned to the same port. Advertised as four days but really a short cruise of 2 full days at sea to unwind from life. We chose to stay on board one day and enjoy the benefits at the wellness centre. As usual the costs of services were a bit on the high side but well worth it. A feature of the wellness centre was heated lounges near the indoor swimming pool (there was an outside pool). Dining in the restaurant was a pleasure. Food choices was of a high standard and the staff very attentive. My only disappointment was that the food and wines offered did not showcase the local cuisine which is certainly world class (NCL does this extremely well). Embarkation was held up by having to register your credit card before you boarded. This could have been avoided if available when going online to provide details for the trip e.g. travel insurance. Online experience did not mention that it was English power points so unless you read the reviews you may not have realized you needed a power adaptor. Entertainment on 2nd night was an ABBA tribute show. Fast paced and world class. WOW! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Thoroughly enjoyed the trip leaving from our home town. We went to KI first and then to Port Lincoln. Have been to both of these places before so did not go on any optionals. The food in the Waldorf Restaurant at teatime was very good and ... Read More
Thoroughly enjoyed the trip leaving from our home town. We went to KI first and then to Port Lincoln. Have been to both of these places before so did not go on any optionals. The food in the Waldorf Restaurant at teatime was very good and we chose to dine there for the whole 3 nights. Sat at a table for 6 and enjoyed other peoples company and talked to them various times throughout the voyage. Had buffet lunches in Ubersee and afternoon tea there. Good choices available. Had a nice paddle and relax in the pool down in the Wellness centre and enjoyed the sauna and the heated loungers. Had an inside cabin on Atlantic deck and we were both very happy with that. Plenty of room for us. All very clean and all that you need.for a short trip. Maybe not so if you were doing a long voyage. The entertainment was fabulous and they were all very talented. You would probably get different crew each season so we were lucky to have a very good array of entertainment. Every one of the crew were friendly and welcoming. People of all ages were on board but more older than younger. We hope to go again next year when the ship docks in Adelaide again and would be happy doing the same trip again. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Chose this cruise for the experience and to visit places in southern WA not seen before. After cruises on the QM2, was a bit concerned that I might not like this smaller vessel. Happy to say I liked it a lot. Seemed more a real naval ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the experience and to visit places in southern WA not seen before. After cruises on the QM2, was a bit concerned that I might not like this smaller vessel. Happy to say I liked it a lot. Seemed more a real naval vessel than larger ships. The lack of glamour was no problem - no space wasted on grand atriums, sweeping staircases and wide passageways. Not that such luxuries as these are not enjoyable - they are - but the Astor is such value for money, and everything necessary was provided, and more. Scrupulously clean everywhere. Excellent dining facilities and food. Comfy bed, with the best pillows. Contained within the cabin is a cupboard holding extra pillows, blankets and pool towels, - nice to not have to ask for these. Liked the fact that dining companions were seen about the ship, and greetings exchanged. Disappointing that a number of shore excursions were cancelled, due to lack of bookings. Prices were at the top end, so this could perhaps be reviewed to attract more passengers. Nothing is perfect: it was impossible to understand the tannoy....including during lifeboat drill. The library was seldom open, including during advertised hours. The 'quiet zone' in the Wellness centre is not quiet: during a massage, lots of noise from a crew room on one side and noisy children in the pool on the other. School holidays added to the pool noise, but perhaps a larger notice advising that only accompanied children may use this pool would help. Users of this centre should be confident that the 'quiet' part is honoured. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Dont expect Mega Liner inside, its clean and mostly comfortable in most areas, but Hans Bar could do with new more comfortable cushions on lounge chairs, there is no Casino on this ship only Deck Games pool and bars, there is a indoor ... Read More
Dont expect Mega Liner inside, its clean and mostly comfortable in most areas, but Hans Bar could do with new more comfortable cushions on lounge chairs, there is no Casino on this ship only Deck Games pool and bars, there is a indoor pool for if you are in cold weather. it has a small entertainment lounge that requires two sittings to see the show. There is no laundry but there is a Ironing room if you can wash you clothes in your Cabin Sink or Shower. It has a payed Laundry if you can afford it.This is the second half would Cruise we have done on this Ship, this time Westward Bound. Food was much better this time thanks to a Indian Head Chef, it was a very good selection of dishes on offer, but one small point was, Two many stew type dishes but his pork Belly was to die for, i give him a 3 star.I am sorry to say the entertainment was below average, they had three very good girl singers and three guys with with very soft voices all except two of the girls were frequently drowned out by a over enthusiastic Clarinet playing band leader who always had a microphone up the end of ever instrument he played, he did not need this in a small lounge,The Assistant Cruise Director would have been better as Director as he was only seen introducing the acts apart from small appearance in Sail A ways. he never tried to find out what peoples thoughts were about anything going on board, I.E. Dancers or entertainment. The main problem we had was in Hans Bar Deck was the German minority of people who smoked, there is a smoking area to the left of the bar having ashtrays on the tables, they insisted,( some of them but not all,) picking up the ashtrays and sitting in the middle of the Deck, We had to on several occasions get the Management to move them, they had great Bar staff and Hotel Staff, Just a pity about Entertainment, not like Last Cruise East Bound witch had Great Entertainment. We were in a suite, it was very good but bed was very hard, very good Cabin Staff. Will not be back on this ship as it is based in Perth Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Sailed to Auckland from Tilbury in October 2016. I had initial fears that I would be travelling on a floating old people’s home for 6 weeks and although I was 10 years below the average age on board they were a great bunch and many were ... Read More
Sailed to Auckland from Tilbury in October 2016. I had initial fears that I would be travelling on a floating old people’s home for 6 weeks and although I was 10 years below the average age on board they were a great bunch and many were repeating the trip. Some amazing and interesting people on board. Definitely not luxury cruising but extremely comfortable. I loved the breakfasts and still miss them. My wife just doesn’t do quite the omelette that they do on board. I also loved the fact that breakfast frequently lasted from 06.30 hrs to 10.00 hrs. Lovely wee ship and great experience. I may go again next year but am thinking of Columbus in January 2019 but am worried she might not be as friendly as Astor as she is about three times the size. . I also loved the informality of Astor and the way the crew could socialise with us at night. Prior to the trip I had not been on a liner since 1966 but I thoroughly enjoyed my trip. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We had a great relaxing and enjoyable cruise, from Tilbury uk to Perth, Australia. The staff througout the ship; that we had direct service from, were exceptional, very curious and always served with a smile. The highlights and most ... Read More
We had a great relaxing and enjoyable cruise, from Tilbury uk to Perth, Australia. The staff througout the ship; that we had direct service from, were exceptional, very curious and always served with a smile. The highlights and most memorable time's for my wife and I, were, being invited by the captain onto the wing of the bridge, going through the 2 upper locks of the Panama Canal, what an experiance and on her birthday!! The second was being invited to the caprains table for dinner on galore night, in 15 plus cruise's, this was a first, and boy, what a lovely finish to our voyage. The evening shows in the theatre were fantastic and we were quite suprised, for such a small stage company, how they never repeated thier performances, the variety was unbelievable and well performed every time. My only criticism here is, the main performer was always, the star roll, that was very unfortunate, as there were others that were as good , if not better, that we and other passengers would have liked to have enjoyed seeing and listening to, I did mention it to the cruise director, he didn't take opinion or suggestions very well, saying pick on me day is it !!! Ah well , they to have off days!!! All bar drinks throughout the ship were very expensive, they offered various deals and offers, even that came out OT, so we chose not to drink on board that much, our budget wouldn't stretch to their outrageous prices, plus the range of beers were very small and not that enjoyable at all. There was a problem having working TV in the cabin, it's awfull, a real lack of cabin entertaint here!!! Overall, we had a great voyage and enjoyed all that the cruise offered to the full, that we participate in. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Itinary we want to go to st Helena and ascension we got to st Helena but not ascension Due to rough seas for a tender .think in five years a tender has not got ashore .we felt the ships food was not as good as other ships we have been ... Read More
Itinary we want to go to st Helena and ascension we got to st Helena but not ascension Due to rough seas for a tender .think in five years a tender has not got ashore .we felt the ships food was not as good as other ships we have been on but at no point did we ever go hungry . Entertainment as good as any London shows one of the singers called Roland Carr had fantastic stage presence t and I hope he gets picked up . Also wonderful polish singer opera again should be in opera house infact told her that. Staff excellent nonthing too much trouble reception who also speak German first class . Captain was very visible every morning as close to 11Am spoke to every one. A lot of the bigger ships could take a lesson . The ship has every thing that the larger ships have bridge, quizzes , shuffle deck, didn't Play . We had village fair which was very good captain again visible also wonderful weather. We didn't do any tours as we had been to most places .very good shuttle bus as Walvis bay got ripped off by taxi May be in the on board news paper would be good idea to put local fares in if there is no Shuttle bus. Felt shopping for presents unless you did it ashore ship,is missing out teddy bears things for grandchildren .also needs a shop where things you might have for gotten .i relize ship is that much smaller but feel shopping could have been better. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Astor suite great, spacious and beautifully equipped lovely steward. Staff did their best. Rest of the ship could do with a lot ofTLC. Embarkation was a nightmare, the three premium suites supposedly offered leisurely disembarkation, it ... Read More
Astor suite great, spacious and beautifully equipped lovely steward. Staff did their best. Rest of the ship could do with a lot ofTLC. Embarkation was a nightmare, the three premium suites supposedly offered leisurely disembarkation, it was a rugby scrum, every one called together before they were ready. Even a couple who had to go to the hospital were caught up in this. They just wanted every one of as soon as possible because the coaches of embarking passengers had arrivef We chose this ad only ship that was going from cape town to southhampton at a time we wanted, Queen Victoria was nesrly a month later, should hsve waiteda month food was ok but nothing to write home about , gym not up to much, as a wsy of getting from A to B rather thsn flying back from cape town was ok, as a holiday very very very very very very very very very very very very very disappointing. My advice is this a a budgetcruise line and it shows Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise based on value for money. We were not seeking a "party" boat. I must admit I was expecting it to be boring, but had a wonderful time. The activities were well planned and the food was excellent the entire ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on value for money. We were not seeking a "party" boat. I must admit I was expecting it to be boring, but had a wonderful time. The activities were well planned and the food was excellent the entire trip. Crew were very professional. Despite being on the boat for 38 days, we did not want to get off when we arrived in England. Has definitely turned me on to cruising. The stops along the way included Mauritius, various locations around South Africa and Namibia. Loved Cape Town and St Helens. Then Morroco and Portugal. Loved the ambiance of the entire trip. Met many wonderful people. My wife got gastro on the boat, however I believe this is an occupational hazard of cruising. Whilst I was not sick, we were in lockdown in our cabin for 76 hours. However all the way through the Doctor, crew and officers ensured that we were well looked after. They were very professional and ensured that the illness was not spread to others. I cannot speak highly enough. Read Less
35 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise for its ports of call, destination and cost. Embarkation could have been handled better. We seemed to spend a lot of time lining up and by the time we got on it was time for drill. Astor is an older and smaller ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its ports of call, destination and cost. Embarkation could have been handled better. We seemed to spend a lot of time lining up and by the time we got on it was time for drill. Astor is an older and smaller ship and consequently does not have the facilities and amenities of the bigger ships. However, we found that less passengers meant we got to know each other and everyone was friendly and happy to chat. The morning quiz was so popular that not everyone could get into the bar. We sat outside and answered the questions ourselves. The guest speakers were popular and very informative, especially the astronomer. The evening shows were good on the whole. Especially the rock n roll show (Jordan stole the show) and the Rocky horror show. Jordan was great in that too. As the stage and seating were all on the same level everyone wanted to sit at the front. The food was good although we are not used to so much fish. We preferred the Waldorf dining room. Get waited on and don't have the push and shove of the buffet. And get plenty to eat without over eating. The shore tours are reasonably priced and a variety of options. Some people say the tours are expensive but you are picked up from the ship, returned, have an English speaking guide and any admissions are included. It is much easier in an unfamiliar place where English may not be widely spoken. Swakupmund Namibia was great. Nothing like I expected for a town surrounded by desert. That was an enjoyable day out with a man who lived there as a child and had seen it change from a small town to a thriving metropolis. Clean and modern. The sand dunes and carpet weaving factory were great. Our cabin and the ship in general was kept clean. Warning that a young man was cleaning the ladies toilets might have been useful. My only gripe would be why is Ascension Island on the itinerary when they really have no intention of stoping there. In 5 passes of the island they have only gone ashore once. They say the water is too rough but the island is a strategic place for the British and Americans which makes me wonder. Despite not going there we were 3 hours late arriving at Casablanca. How late would we have been if we had stopped at Ascension Island. This cruise was value for money. May not have the glitz and glamour of the bigger more expensive cruises but was more relaxed. And as I said to my husband it is the first time we have been on first name terms with the crew. And the captain is a good singer. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Did an overnight 'port party' on the Astor before she headed back to the UK. Boarding was a bit of a joke. Stood around waiting for a long time with nothing happening until a couple of minutes after boarding was supposed to ... Read More
Did an overnight 'port party' on the Astor before she headed back to the UK. Boarding was a bit of a joke. Stood around waiting for a long time with nothing happening until a couple of minutes after boarding was supposed to start. Then everyone enters en masse and ushered down to the restaurant, but it was full, so we were told to wait in the bar. Went to the bar, told to go sit down, then waited for over 20 minutes and no one came to take a drink order. We finally went to see what was happening with lunch, and found a long line waiting to get into the restaurant. Lunch was a bad experience - although talking to other passengers, advised that this was not the norm. It was a buffet, and while the waiters were very good, the quality of lunch left a lot to be desired. As a vegetarian, had some limp salad and some very unappetising pasta, although got a free glass a champagne and the table settings were nice. We expected some afternoon entertainment, but there was nothing on offer, so we explored the ship. The cabins are a really good size and nice and spacious. They are old style and key operated, not swipe, and they don't lock on closing, but require key locking. The ship is not big but there are beautiful sitting areas along the corridors and plenty of nice bars and places to sit. The gym was small and not that well equipped. The pool was empty while in port. Dinner was a more formal event with a meat and vegetarian option. We got there early and were seated at a table for two, but the restaurant was not big enough for everyone on the ship and there were long lines waiting to get in ( again, this is apparently not the norm, and usually two restaurants open so the lines would not be an issue ). Waiters were delightful and very polished and the food for dinner was superb. Could not fault it. Some nice evening entertainment. Classical musicians and some live music. The evening show was in the lounge - nice venue, but unless you were at the front, you could not really see the performance that well. Some beautiful voices of the performers. Then the party out the back of the ship - live music, great atmosphere, and really good entertainment. Drink prices reasonable. And the party went til late for those that wanted to dance the night away. Breakfast once again had long lines to get in, and then huge lines for the hot food, although variety and quality of the food was nice. Staff around the ship were all pleasant and helpful. As we only did the overnight event, its probably not a true reflection of how the ship normally operates and the fact that there was a norovirus outbreak prior to boarding also made things more difficult. I thought it a nice old ship with lots of charm and would be perfect if you were happy to sit around and watch the world go by, but there was not enough entertainment / activities during the day for my liking so I would not sail on her again. Read Less
38 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was a spur of the moment cruise for us (our 3rd cruise over 40 years). Convenient because it sailed from Fremantle and returned there, and 6 nights was enough time away during summer & the risk of bushfires. Our friends were ... Read More
This was a spur of the moment cruise for us (our 3rd cruise over 40 years). Convenient because it sailed from Fremantle and returned there, and 6 nights was enough time away during summer & the risk of bushfires. Our friends were onboard too on their second trip on the Astor. We had an inside cabin on Baltic deck in a forward position and honestly it was a great position. No noise whatsoever from engines, something to think about with future bookings. Our cabin was very adequate with two wardrobes, a full length mirror, desk with mirror, small fridge, tv, radio and two single beds which were a little too firm, but were reasonably comfortable. The bathroom was big enough and bright in white. The shower was fantastic, very good water pressure and really hot water. The whole cabin was kept spotlessly clean. We used the stairs the whole trip and they provided very good exercise. Food was mostly well presented. We preferred to dine in the Waldorf rather than the buffet of the Ubersee. Wine was $4.50 a half glass and from $25 a bottle. Tried a couple of cocktails but didn't enjoy most of them as they tasted weak and watered down. Did enjoy the coffee and tea that was available all day. Entertainment on board varied. The quiz was popular, and the Perth band they had for the trip was very good. Night time shows were interesting and a lot of effort went into them. We only went to two. Nice smaller ship without the big crowds which we enjoyed, as we wanted to be able to chill out and do our own thing. Astor handles rougher seas very well, and staff on board are on the whole, friendly and helpful, even where language can be a barrier. We enjoyed our trip immensely to Esperance and Albany and would travel again on the Astor. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We chose Astor for convenience as we could embark and disembark in Fremantle, which is close to home. We are happy to travel mid ship, in an inside cabin, and our 13 square metre cabin surprised us with its excellent design and ample ... Read More
We chose Astor for convenience as we could embark and disembark in Fremantle, which is close to home. We are happy to travel mid ship, in an inside cabin, and our 13 square metre cabin surprised us with its excellent design and ample storage. Just make sure your case isn't deeper than 9" (22cm) or you could be struggling to store it under the bed. The ship is spotlessly clean, staff friendly and polite (although with many European staff on board there can be some infrequent and very minor language issues). Food was good and we had many melt in the mouth offerings. Ask for more vegetables, if required, and they are happy to oblige. The bakers on board are to be complemented on their skills, including bread/rolls, pastries cakes and slices. Entertainment was first class and Astor has many very skilled musicians and dancers. During the day, at sea, scheduled activities are not as numerous as on a larger ship, but we found there was always plenty for us to do. Captain Psarrakis is very proud of his ship and staff and on one occasion he personally found a chair for me when he noticed that I was standing at a busy time in the Captains Table Bar. Captain Psarrakis also used his skills to expertly manoeuvre the ship into a safe position in Esperance, when a rolling swell meant we would not have been able to disembark at the usual anchorage site and may have missed out on going ashore. We appreciated his efforts. A voyage down the Western Australian south coast saw us within sight of the mainland all of the way and it was often pleasant to sit out on deck and watch the changing scenery. We would have no hesitation in recommending Astor to those who are keen to experience a smaller ship experience (approx. 600 passengers). Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
On-board Management makes good money by promoting packages. Value for money is poor. Especially staff are not friendly & does awkward drinks. Cabins sometimes smells likes a fish. Entertainment is always the same excellent. Pool ... Read More
On-board Management makes good money by promoting packages. Value for money is poor. Especially staff are not friendly & does awkward drinks. Cabins sometimes smells likes a fish. Entertainment is always the same excellent. Pool area service is very poor. No towels after get wet. Food in Buffet restaurant is not as per the taste & crew working in that areas is disgusting, they eat & drink from the buffet. The Shops are most of time closed & the staff working in the premises is look like sleepy moods. The shop have no such a variety of products & too expensive. The Excursion where they take us & how the staff take care of us is very touchable to our hearts. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our first cruise and we loved it Very clean room and common areas constantly being cleaned This was a short cruise but a great introduction whilst the Astor is small compared to others I see why many love her it's not ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we loved it Very clean room and common areas constantly being cleaned This was a short cruise but a great introduction whilst the Astor is small compared to others I see why many love her it's not shiny new and modern but warm and welcoming The crew were happy and very helpful maybe more signage on the ship would have been helpful This trip had a good mix of people but this is clearly not a ship for children limited activities The food was ok we dined in the Waldof resturant and the meals did become repetitive and average more choice in the Buffett and better desserts enjoyed afternoon tea there several times The drinks package was good value but the water package is not The nighttime shows did not meet expectations they need a lot of work I feel high school students could provide a better standard Lots of room around the ship for quite reflective time or if you prefer bars and music that's available also The use of the tender in Esperance was fast and professional and the volunteers in the towns were lovely and appreciated No tender required in Albany and a wonderful day was had I found the twin rooms very spacious the double rooms have less room to move about great storage in the rooms Highly recommend not sure I would like the modern ships will have to contemplate this Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
As first-time cruisers we weren't sure what to expect, or how a small ship like Astor compares with a 4,000 passenger monster. We were attracted by the bargain rate of $900 for two people for five nights. If the cruise had cost two or ... Read More
As first-time cruisers we weren't sure what to expect, or how a small ship like Astor compares with a 4,000 passenger monster. We were attracted by the bargain rate of $900 for two people for five nights. If the cruise had cost two or three times as much our post-voyage opinions might have been sterner. The ship was excellently maintained and operated. If there were grumpy crew members we didn't see them. I suspect that reviewers who harshly criticise crew are types who like confrontation and making complaints. The interior cabin was small but as described on the website. The only failing was an erratic vacuum toilet that sometimes left solid and liquid offerings unflushed, then later whisked them away at a time of its own choosing. Food was generally good. Some of it looked better than it tasted but the chef deserved more bouquets than brickbats. Unlike another reviewer we had no stale rolls or hard scones. Quite the opposite, both were excellent. The entertainers merited top marks for trying even though their cheesy dancing, cheesy singing and cheesy costumes weren't to our taste. A different show was presented each night. We excused ourselves from afternoon bingo, morning quizzes and other activities that would appeal to some. Life on board would have been cost-free if we'd been teetotal and hadn't bought one souvenir photo. For what we paid the cruise was extraordinarily good value for money. We began to feel a bit 'stir crazy' after three days. The cruise taught us that more of the same wouldn't be our next holiday choice, but that's the way we are and not a criticism of the Astor. Overall, a highly satisfactory and memorable trip. Near to top marks to the Cap'n and his capable, cheerful crew. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Having cruised several times in the past and liking the atmosphere of smaller vessels we chose Astor for this cruise to Esperence and Albany. Being an elderly lady of the seas "Astor" despite a recent refurbishment still appears ... Read More
Having cruised several times in the past and liking the atmosphere of smaller vessels we chose Astor for this cruise to Esperence and Albany. Being an elderly lady of the seas "Astor" despite a recent refurbishment still appears outdated with drab decoration and claustrophobic cabins. The cabin air conditioning worked at one level only and was insufficient to supply a good quality air flow. The small ocean view window was encrusted with salt and provided no view. The food provided was plentiful but mediocre in quality and variety howvevr the dining staff were friendly and attentive to their duties.The price of drinks is excessive and the alcoholic beverage package is a rip as all members of the cabin must agree to pay before it is valid e.g. Currently $29.00 each per day!) The shore excursions offered (although a little pricey) met expectations and the organisation of landing and boarding ran smoothly. Disembarkation was little more that organised chaos with crowds of people thronging around the gangway to disembark as early as they could. Overall though not a total DIS ASTOR I think we will stick with the tried and tested Princess Cruises. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our fourth cruise on Astor in three years. We have always enjoyed the trips, but each time seems even better than the last. What I can say is: - Life is never perfect, so a big part of really enjoying your cruise is to ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise on Astor in three years. We have always enjoyed the trips, but each time seems even better than the last. What I can say is: - Life is never perfect, so a big part of really enjoying your cruise is to accept that a lot depends on you!! Participate in onboard activities and talk and interact with the crew and your fellow passengers when the opportunity arises. - Food on the Astor is to a very high standard and plentiful! I did my best to eat my way through the menu! - drink prices are very reasonable and bar service is excellent. - The CMV website is great. If possible, book early online to choose a cabin near the middle of the ship and then any movement due to choppy seas will be minimised; We always do this, not that the Astor rolls much in rough weather; quite the opposite! - The crew, from the Captain and Cruise Director down to the waiters and cleaners, are very friendly, hard working and very efficient. This is reflected in: - the absolute cleanliness and well maintained condition of the ship. Cabin stewards do a great job, cleaning and tidying your cabin at least twice a day, with fresh towels as required. - the comprehensive entertainment program each day. Sometimes you can become worn out just trying to keep up. Musicians were to a very high standard and the Show Team were excellent. - great quality food with excellent variety of choices. - CMV do a great job of marketing the Astor. Cruise prices and deals offered are very competitive. Both via the website and by phone, I have found CMV to be very helpful and responsive. If you are a repeat passenger, numbers of the crew will remember you and when you travelled, which is amazing! - Travelling on this size ship is far more personal than on one of the "floating blocks of flats". - We came back from our latest cruise a week ago and have just booked our next one on Astor; 10 nights to Bali next January 2017!! I thoroughly recommend travelling on the Astor!! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was our first cruise on the Astor, but our second cruise in three years. Our first cruise was on RCL Voyager of the Seas, so absolutely cannot compare these two vessels. The Astor is an old girl, as reflected in the decor and ... Read More
This was our first cruise on the Astor, but our second cruise in three years. Our first cruise was on RCL Voyager of the Seas, so absolutely cannot compare these two vessels. The Astor is an old girl, as reflected in the decor and furnishings, and also she's quite noisy. Lots of creaks and groans but she's well kept and maintained at least on the surface. Although the carpets are well worn and stained in parts, she's kept VERY clean. The Cabin: we were in cabin 480 on Baltic deck. Had a small window view. Yes the cabin is small, but it has plenty of storage for the two of us. No coffee/tea facilities which was disappointing but had a bar fridge. Small TV with limited channels. Bed was two singles put together against one wall left not a lot of room for moving about, but we requested a double bed and that's what was available. There was a constant noise from vibrations, rattles and the like due to the age of he ship, and that was annoying, especially when trying to sleep. But our biggest complaint was with cigarette smoke. Somehow cigarette smoke made its way into our cabin an a daily basis. And it was particularly strong in the hallway. I complained twice but it kept happening. Food: we ate like kings every night and put on 3 kg! So not complaining about that. Like every good restaurant, there were good and bad days, but in general food was great. Service: our cabin steward Agus, was a delightful man that cared very well for us and the cabin. Nothing to complain about. As for the rest of the crew, they are all very hard workers from other parts of the world. Yes their way of speaking is different to us Aussies, but they do their best to accomodate every request. Some of you may take offence at their tone and briskness, but it's just a different culture and they are not speaking in their native tongue. Entertainment: BRILLIANT! The singers and dancers rehearse several times a day and it shows with very professional shows. The Ship: An oldie but a goodie, but having said that, there are a lot of trip hazards due to the build of the ship. You constantly have to step over a lip to enter the toilets, and access the decks. Ok if you are fit and able, but not if you use a wheelchair or Zimmer frame. The lifts.....only fit 4-6 people (at a squeeze) at a time and there are only 3 on the whole ship. Thats a real pain! Cigarette smoke: if you are a smoker you'll love his cruise ship as it seems you can smoke anywhere and get away with it. If you hate cigarette smoke (like me) then pick a cruise line that is smoke free, or at least has very limited and isolated smoking areas. We got sick on this cruise, a head cold, but had to stay n cabin for 2 days, But all in all we enjoyed it. Probably wouldn't sail on the Astor again, because we were spoilt on Voyager of the seas for size etc. Astor is great value for money, if you enjoy good food, great entertainment and excellent service. If you want a luxury cruise with plenty of onboard activities for kids and teens then look elsewhere. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Just back from the Christmas in Bali cruise on the MS Astor. This was our first cruise and we took a bit of a risk as we weren't sure cruising is really for us, but very glad we gave it a go. All I needed out of it an extended period ... Read More
Just back from the Christmas in Bali cruise on the MS Astor. This was our first cruise and we took a bit of a risk as we weren't sure cruising is really for us, but very glad we gave it a go. All I needed out of it an extended period of downtime with a good book and a deck chair, and that was delivered immediately and in spades. Yay! The cruise was basically a day and a half in Bali, and four sea days either side - more about the journey than the destination. Given you've done enough research to find this review you'll know by now the ship is small and a bit old-school style, it also does not directly cater to young children, I would not recommend this ship to young families unless the kids are abnormally self-sufficient. So this adds up to "an older crowd", even taking the cruise passenger stereotype into account. Which is certainly no criticism - consider honestly whether you'd rather share a confined space with a bunch of understimulated children and Gen-Y party animals? Yeah, me neither. There is a drip-feed of activities & entertainment, since that wasn't really what I was there for I can't offer much insight (other than that Bingo is an extremely serious business). Also: if television is critical to your emotional well-being you may wish to look beyond this ship. The food was not Michelin standard but if one were to actually take a moment to properly consider the logistics involved, what they did achieve was pretty spectacular. There were always plenty of options, there was nice fresh fruit available with every meal, and tea & coffee available all day. The staff were all amazing - every staff member I encountered appeared naturally cheerful and obliging, which is hopefully a sign that they're treated well. Many I saw appeared to work from pre-dawn well into the evening and still keep smiling, even when most were literally oceans away from their families at Christmas. Bless their socks, one and all. If I was really hard pressed to find something to complain about (as seems to be the fashion with this style of travel) I'd say the bar service was a little on the slow side; but you could easily look upon it as a sensible risk-management point when you have a few hundred elderly people on a multi-level moving surface with tripping hazards everywhere. (A word of warning to those with a delicate constitution, this ship has stabilisers but you very definitely do still notice it moving, and we had a couple of fairly rough nights.) Really the only off-notes of the 10 days for us was overhearing a couple of instances of embarrassingly rude and entitled behaviour from other passengers towards food service staff on totally spurious grounds (eg, availability of marmite and not vegemite, or possibly vice versa, as though this makes a difference to a person's life, good lord). Once we'd found the out-of-the-way spots on the ship, and learned the optimum times to avoid the rugby scrums at the buffet we were set. A fantastic chilled-out escape, time went niiiice and slow. Ace keen :) Read Less
Astor Ratings
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