5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I have always wanted to visit Tasmania and this cruise was advertised at a reasonable rate in the Sunday Mail. As this is the final voyage from Australia of the Astor I was not expecting much. We were surprised pleasantly by the ... Read More
I have always wanted to visit Tasmania and this cruise was advertised at a reasonable rate in the Sunday Mail. As this is the final voyage from Australia of the Astor I was not expecting much. We were surprised pleasantly by the cabin size and ample storage. The water pressure and hot water availability was faultless. The waste system operated faultlessly unlike other cruises we have completed. The food was incredible. The bar staff were knowledgeable and hospitable. A special mention for the entertainment staff and in particular the extremely hard working dancers. The shows kept getting better. The Captain was a true gentleman and exceptional host. Housekeeping and general cleanliness was to a very high standard. The spa was a pleasure to visit. The sauna and co located internal swimming pool were immaculately clean and attended by staff. I wasn’t expecting much from an aged ship on a relatively minor shipping line but I was constantly surprised and delighted from start to finish. Thank you CMV. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Booked this cruise from Fremantle to Fremantle for 5 nights. My husband and I had never been on a cruise before. We both loved it! A great first experience on a grand old lady. Our room was bigger than expected with an ocean view room ... Read More
Booked this cruise from Fremantle to Fremantle for 5 nights. My husband and I had never been on a cruise before. We both loved it! A great first experience on a grand old lady. Our room was bigger than expected with an ocean view room with a double bed. Very clean room which was cleaned twice a day by Augustine. A lovely man who placed balloons on our door and organised an anniversary card for us. Hot and strong water pressure in the shower. Never used the fridge. Plenty of storage. We were on the baltic deck, room 417. A bit rough the first night, but I got used to the movement of the boat in consecutive days. We ordered the CMV Premium drinks package at $48 per person per room per day. I kept all drink receipts and we ending up drinking $110 more than the drinks package. Glasses of white and red wine, sparkling, most spirits, cocktails, mocktails included in the price. Gede the barman was a great asset to the ship. Food in the Waldorf restaurant was very good, however I did not find a good dessert. The afternoon tea in the Ubersee club was ok, but the cakes, scones etc tasted stale. Breakfast in the Waldorf was help yourself with lunch and dinner served to you. We ate at the Mediterranean and Asian fusion restaurants as well, and the food was spectacular. An extra $15 per person which was well worth it. 6 courses and they were all good. Some staff in the restaurant were friendlier than others, thank you Anastasia who gave outstanding service in the Waldorf. Activities weren't that exciting, we did enjoy the quizzes which were on twice a day. Karaoke and the disco was also fun. Activities were centred around the older clientele (70 years plus), we are in our 40's. This did not cause too much of a problem though, we just had another drink! Lol. Did not try the pools or spa/ beauty salon. On our wedding anniversary we received an anniversary cake with sparklers and had our photo taken. The company has just sent me an email of this photo, thank you very much. This ship is lovely, a pity it will finish cruising off Fremantle this season. A bigger ship is coming in its place so it will be interesting to compare them. My husband and I definitely would love to go on another cruise again. Thank you to all staff on board for a wonderful trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We joined the Astoria in Portsmouth, Hampshire. We have just returned from a Norwegian Fjord Cruise. Unfortunately the weather was dire and we were unable to go to Eidfjord and Geirangerfjord. No fault of the company or Captain, we had two ... Read More
We joined the Astoria in Portsmouth, Hampshire. We have just returned from a Norwegian Fjord Cruise. Unfortunately the weather was dire and we were unable to go to Eidfjord and Geirangerfjord. No fault of the company or Captain, we had two hurricanes! We put into Stavanger instead of Eidfjord and it's a beautiful little town, well worth a visit and delighted that we went there. We also went to Amsterdam (fabulous) and loved the organised river cruise with superb guide. We then went to Bergen (more rain) and Rotterdam (it stopped raining there for a little while!). Both interesting cities. The architecture in Rotterdam is fantastic while Bergen is a very beautiful old city with lots of character. The Astoria was built in the 1940s and I would describe it as very slightly faded grandeur but it is still certainly grand. There's a cinema and concert 'hall' with a lovely atmosphere. The entertainment was a really good standard and most enjoyable. Meals: I was taken aback by the small portions at lunch and dinner in the restaurant on board but in fact there were many, many courses, all very tasty and enjoyable. Great variety of food including veggie options and gluten free. You can also eat at the Grill on board. It's not as cosy as the restaurant where you sit at a table with other guests. We met the most lovely couple (and many others too through tours, bridge, concerts etc., ) and that made our trip especially fun. Cabins good. We had an outside cabin and last night as we came into the UK we left the curtains open to enjoy the moonlight on the calm sea. We were just above the water line on Mediterannean Deck and no one can see in! We had a bath/shower room. Everything was spotless. Crew - very friendly and helpful. Yes, it was a shame that we didn't get to the fjords but it would have been foolhardy to risk over 750 lives onboard (500 guests and over 250 crew). I have previously cruised on another line with large vessels and a thousand or so guests. I did not enjoy them but I love the Astoria. She's a brave little ship and got us through terrible weather safely. We are already planning the next cruise with Cruise Maritime Voyages. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
The main reason that my husband and I chose this cruise was the itinerary. We enjoy long cruises and sailing 39 nights from Fremantle to Tilbury(London) appealed to us. Stops included Mauritius, various South African stops, St Helena, ... Read More
The main reason that my husband and I chose this cruise was the itinerary. We enjoy long cruises and sailing 39 nights from Fremantle to Tilbury(London) appealed to us. Stops included Mauritius, various South African stops, St Helena, Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Casablanca and Lisbon. We went on many excursions but the visit to a private game reserve in Mossel Bay, South Africa and Marrakech was the most enjoyable The entertainment was superb thanks to the cruise director Katie with something different each of the 39 nights. The caliber of the singers and dancers far exceeded any other cruise that I have been on and the costumes were outstanding. Kudos to Captain Andrey for his friendliness and exceptional capability when required. There was something about the ambience of this cruise. The helpful, friendly staff always ready with a smile, the delicious food and the sea day activities made this cruise something special. This cruise was magical. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Low priced cruising 'English style' small ship. Thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Instead of the usual gorgeous balcony cabin on a 5 or 6 star ship it was a totally budgeted choice. I can tell you the food on this ship is 6 ... Read More
Low priced cruising 'English style' small ship. Thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. Instead of the usual gorgeous balcony cabin on a 5 or 6 star ship it was a totally budgeted choice. I can tell you the food on this ship is 6 star and so beautifully presented in their version of a grand dining room that I can't make one single criticism. It was superb in every way from the white linen tablecloths to the service from the sommelier / drinks waiter to the absolutely beautifully presented food which was always tasty and delicious. The drinks package which I decided to purchase allowed for easy ordering of cocktails, wine and so on and the drinks again were always beautifully presented and tasty. I found the house wines to be quite palatable and I highly recommend the cocktails, especially the pina coladas! Breakfast could be taken as casual affair in the buffet and again was always delicious. If you are after a multitude of activities the ship is not for you. Its a scaled down basic style of cruising but there is still entertainment on the decks on fine sea days and the evening cabaret style entertainment is a feature of most evenings - lots of song and dance whilst you sip on an after dinner beverage. The entertainment lounge is not tiered so sometimes you need to find just the right seat to see in between others heads. Shopping on board is minimal but adequate with a couple of small shops selling candies and chocolates, handbags, clothing and so on and the walkways were never filled with tables of bargain like I have experienced on other ships. There is no casino on board. There are photographers wandering around at dinner for example and you have the opportunity to order photos if you wish but there is no pressure to do so. The swimming pool outdoors is not heated and is adequate. I only saw two people swim in it the entire journey and it was February in Australia. The lifts are small. I like the way sofas are placed nearby to the lifts on various levels so people can sit and wait - I have wished for this on other ships but never seen it before. Embarkation was smooth and friendly. Disembarkation was lengthy - you are required to exit the room by 7am. We did not get off the boat until about 10am. It was a long wait and a long breakfast but survivable as we were quite comfortable. Would I do it again? YES Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise as we wanted a short one (Perth to Albany) and we were very happy by the level of service. The cabins though small were always very clean. Entertainment on board was great - every night was a great show Food was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted a short one (Perth to Albany) and we were very happy by the level of service. The cabins though small were always very clean. Entertainment on board was great - every night was a great show Food was good and drinks were plenty and as we were in a group we had a lot of fun. The maintenance team were also very helpful when we needed them I want to thank wholeheartedly the housekeeping team in particular for their honesty. On the last day I lost my diamond ring and I reported this to the Astor while back home. I knew the ring was in my cabin as I dropped it on the floor there. The housekeeping team had a thorough look in my cabin and the day after reported that they had found my ring back (lying on the carpet). A big thank you for having been so thorough in your search for my ring. It means a lot to me Marie S G Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was a getaway for a group of friends. It was a marvellous time, going to Albany and back. The food was amazing every night, could not be faulted. I definitely recommend the Astor for people looking for a wonderful relaxing time. ... Read More
This was a getaway for a group of friends. It was a marvellous time, going to Albany and back. The food was amazing every night, could not be faulted. I definitely recommend the Astor for people looking for a wonderful relaxing time. We were lucky enough to have an upgrade and got a small suite on the Atlantic deck, which was an unexpected surprise. The shows in the Astor lounge were fantastic, I really enjoyed the ABBA show, and throughout the day there were quizzes, bingo, and in the afternoon music from various members of the entertainment group. One of the members of our group had a significant birthday and the crew provided her with a cake and a number of staff singing happy birthday to her. Which was a huge surprise to her, however she really appreciated the moment. This is not a cruise ship with casino, huge pools etc, which is not something I was looking for, but if that is what you want, the Astor is not for you. This was my second time on the Astor and I will be back again, thank you very much Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise for the interest in the WW1 theme and visiting Albany. Embarkation was advertised for 2 pm but many people were already there. The process began just after 2 pm and groups were called depending upon arrival, thus ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the interest in the WW1 theme and visiting Albany. Embarkation was advertised for 2 pm but many people were already there. The process began just after 2 pm and groups were called depending upon arrival, thus leaving us near last, around 3pm. After that, we were checked in and went to our cabin, a Premium suite on Atlantic deck. This was a very spacious cabin, with 2 large floor to ceiling windows, a great amount of cupboards, drawers and surface spaces, a very comfortable bed and probably the best sized bathroom and shower we have experienced on a cruise ship. The decor was nice, navy blue carpet and wood. We were very pleased with this cabin and it was exceptionally clean and well maintained. The food throughout was good. We ate mainly in the buffet and enjoyed all our meals. Each day had different offerings and we had no problem at all finding a table. Service was great and efficient. The main dining room was the same. We have no complaints at all. The entertainment was fantastic. The resident singers, dancers and musicians were all great and were well received. The shows were varied and very suitable to all age groups. The most outstanding part of the cruise was the Dawn Service on board in the bay, visit to the incredible National ANZAC Centre, the dusk service up on the monument overlooking the town and the wonderful show that night, singing songs from the war era and listening to rousing renditions put on by the singers and dancers. Throughout the days we enjoyed outside activities, shows, deck games and organised activities as well as the entertaining presenter telling stories about the two wars. Sitting in the two bars was very pleasant, with both providing varied entertainers at different times. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed this short cruise and would happily cruise with CMV again. With reference to the previous reviewer, you COULD put your suitcases out the night before and you DIDN'T strictly have to be out of your cabin by 7am. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our first cruise and a test to see if we liked it. Rough seas the first night meant we felt a little queasy despite taking seasickness tablets, however after that we were fine. Seasoned travellers told us bigger ships handled the ... Read More
This was our first cruise and a test to see if we liked it. Rough seas the first night meant we felt a little queasy despite taking seasickness tablets, however after that we were fine. Seasoned travellers told us bigger ships handled the seas better. The experience for us was amazing. Our twin inner cabin was plenty big enough with a good amount of storage. A very clean ship with very friendly staff. Great food and great entertainment. The activities were fun and varied.There was nothing we weren't happy with. The cruise had a WW1 theme and the passengers were mostly over 60s which suited us as we are too! If we had to make a complaint it would be the constant smell of cigarette smoke on our deck (Baltic Deck). Also some passengers were smoking right under the 'no smoking' signs! We hadn't even arrived home before we started talking about our next cruise! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I joined my wife on this cruise as she had wanted for some time to go on a Scndinavian cruise. It was my first time in the wonderful coty of Amsterdam and I was glad I had waited. A-dam is a city for adults and it exudes dignity and ... Read More
I joined my wife on this cruise as she had wanted for some time to go on a Scndinavian cruise. It was my first time in the wonderful coty of Amsterdam and I was glad I had waited. A-dam is a city for adults and it exudes dignity and maritime freedom befitting of a European freeport with a history both glorious and inglorious. I enjoyed just being there on a beautiful early Spring morning. Indeed early to bed and early to rise was the mantra of the seebord travel to the majestic fjords around Bergen in Western Norway. Nothing disappoints in Scandinavia and the spectacular weather meant that life onboard was next to perfect. Food was excellent, and staff were endlessly than gracious and helpful, with few exceptions. Entertainment was good and co-passengers were pleasant. All told, it was a marvellous experience and a credit to the cruise company Cruise & Maritime, the captain and staff of the whole vessel. Wonderful from start to finish. 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
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
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
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
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
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
MV Astor 19 December to 30 December 2015 Fremantle – Bali – Fremantle Christmas in Bali Cruise Our family group of 8 (our ages 7, 11, 19, 41, 44, 64, 70 and 77) have travelled together for many years… This is a review of ... Read More
MV Astor 19 December to 30 December 2015 Fremantle – Bali – Fremantle Christmas in Bali Cruise Our family group of 8 (our ages 7, 11, 19, 41, 44, 64, 70 and 77) have travelled together for many years… This is a review of the latest cruise we undertook aboard CMV’s Astor. Having previously cruised aboard the more modern mega cruise ships, this was our first trip on a smaller ocean liner and approaching the Fremantle Cruise Terminal, it was quite an exciting novelty to be greeted by the Astor’s smoke stacks peeking above the building in an elegant fashion, rather than a towering 15 story high floating city dwarfing the terminal below. This does not mean however that we found the Astor’s dimensions to be undersized. In fact, for the most part, we were greeted with plenty of space. The embarkation process was a little haphazard, but quite speedy. Though there were a few issues with our birth dates and particulars having been mixed up amongst our group. I for one quite enjoyed being 19 for the trip, though my eldest was a bit disgruntled at being labelled as 64 yrs old, and hubby being classed as 7 years old was amusing for all concerned. This card printing error caused no issues at all, and was easily fixed in the onboard system at check in. No new cards were required and the novelty was enjoyed. Once onboard we were guided towards the rear of the vessel. This is where the two restaurants Ubersee – casual buffet, and Waldorf – main dining room, are located, as well as the pool deck and the late night, intimate Hanse Bar. This is one of three relaxation zones onboard. The others being the large comfortable Astor (show) lounge, and the main bar – the centrally located Captains Club with its flanking corridor seating areas. Upon boarding we enjoyed a casual lunch in the Ubersee. The food is a main topic of conversation amongst our family group and other guests onboard, and is one of the things that you should consider if you are considering booking a cruise aboard the Astor. Food Compared to larger ships the options are limited, but certainly adequate and do vary enough to keep you satisfied. All meals are served in both the buffet and main dining room, with strict opening hours. While the presentation changes, for the most part the same food is served in both venues. As a general guide, in the Ubersee all meal times offer the following… A choice of cheeses and cold meats, 3 ready-made salads. 3-4 salad vegetables and accompaniments in a DIY section, a good selection of bread and rolls and always two choices of soup (hot or cold). Hot selections for breakfast are always bacon, eggs 3 to 4 ways, sausages, fried tomatoes, potato of some type, and an omelette station… A few other offerings alter daily. Lunch and dinner usually feature 2-3 meat/fish options, a vegetarian option and pasta, rice, mixed vegetables and potato. Dessert is approx. 3 options plus fruit salad. Fruit salad is always available, with ice cream offered at lunch time. Made to order, and pre-made Sub Sandwiches are available at lunch time. The Waldorf offers a very similar buffet style breakfast as that in the Ubersee, though definitely more stylish. This is a good option to consider to avoid the crowds. Lunch in the Waldorf is a different affair. There is a small salad/cheese/cold meat buffet on offer, but this is just for a light snack as you wait. You are instead offered a 5 course menu similar to that offered at dinner time. You can then pick and choose which course’s you wish to order… though this can cause some delays if your table mates order more courses than you. Dinner in the Waldorf is a fancy affair. Absolutely no shorts, no flip-flops, no bathers. While they are relatively casual (with an open seating policy), there is a standard to be maintained. On a normal night your menu consists of 5 courses, which are as follows: Appetiser – two choices. These are small tasting portions. Soup – two choices. Salad – one choice only which changes daily. Main – three choices. Meat, Fish and Vegetarian. Dessert – three choices. Cheese, Fruit Salad, and one other option. Please note that there is the option for grilled chicken, steamed vegetables and the Curry of the Day, offered in small print at the bottom of the menu if none of the offerings suit. The menu is listed outside the dining room each afternoon. We found it to be a good policy to check the menu early on, to ensure that the menu suited all of our party. A couple of our group, being more the meat and three vegetable types, chose on a couple of occasions to eat in the Ubersee, where they could focus on the more standard fare offered for the evening. It also bears mentioning that seating a large group is all but impossible in either the Ubersee or the Waldorf. Both restaurants cater for smaller numbers 2, 4, & 6, and we inevitably had to split between tables. Arriving early at Waldorf ensured we were well situated, however Ubersee was always very very busy during the breakfast and lunch meal times, and we often resorted to sending our party down in groups of two or three, holding the table for each subsequent group. It was normal for any spare seats to be snatched up by others hunting for somewhere to eat. This is great if you want to meet new people. This was however one of the only failings by the Astor team… they should have either made a greater effort towards encouraging use of the Waldorf for breakfast and lunch, or had the Ubersee open for a longer period to cater for the circling crowd. Beverage Package One of the most impressive features offered by the Astor team is the all inclusive drinks package. Offered at $29 per day per adult, this package well and truly pays for itself and is MUCH cheaper than other similar packages offered by other cruise lines. The drawback for us being that all people in a cabin need to purchase a drinks package including children ($19 per day). Master 7 thoroughly enjoyed the mocktail menu, and his 11 year old cousin was quite the knowledgeable party, learning the mocktail ‘drink of the day’ listed in each evenings Ship Newsletter. Normal consumption of soft and hard drinks comfortably covered the cost for adults, while some of our party far more than covered their (and everyone else’s) costs… and their livers will be punishing them for some time to come! There are three bars on the ship. The Captains Club, the main central bar.. the Hanse Bar, located on the 8th deck overlooking the pool deck, with a comfortable outdoor lounge area, and intimate booths inside… and the Pool Bar, which was only open during daylight hours. The restaurants do not offer bar service, but we found the waiters and waitresses were happy to supply cocktails/mocktails/spirits upon request which were sourced from the Captains Club. Occasionally, during peak periods, this lead to lengthy delays. The Cabins We booked this cruise only 8 weeks out, and as such did not get choice of cabins, but were still quite happy with what we ended up with. Located on Deck 5 (Atlantic), we were situated in cabin numbers 201, 204, 205 and 206. Of these, 206 was definitely smaller, with the angle of the ship culminating in less floor and storage space. All others were of a decent size and matched the pictures supplied on the CMV website. Be aware… most of the cabins aboard feature fixed TWIN beds only. Quite frankly, I doubt you could get around with a single Queen sized bed in the room. We were on the Christmas cruise… with children…. So had extra luggage for toys, decorations, and the usual. We ended up with three full sized suitcases in our cabin, none of which fit in the storage space under the single bed. We ended up pulling down the Pullman bed and using this as extra storage space. It worked well, but I do suggest that you measure the depth of your cases to ensure they will fit. The measurements are provided in the paperwork. In our searches prior to the cruise, we found no descriptions or photo’s of the standard cabin bathrooms, which led me to think the worst. I was pleasantly surprised. While not large, they were comfortably apportioned, a good sized rectangular shower cubicle with brilliant shower head/wand, great water pressure, a well-lit vanity mirror and a number of open shelves for storing all your various toiletries. The toilet button is on the wall above the vanity… a number of our party were left searching for some time to find the ‘hiding in plain sight’ button. Towels are white, and pretty standard. Not flash, but serviceable. Each room was supplied with white terry cloth robes for use by each guest. It was too warm for most, but my aunty did make use of hers on occasion and seemed quite happy with it. The biggest comment to make is about how incredibly spotless the cabins (and the rest of the ship for that matter) were… absolutely top notch! When we boarded, a good portion of the almost entirely European crew were finishing up their term of service, and the ship reeked of German precision and attention to detail. Amazing to see and enjoy! The ship dynamic did change somewhat after our sojourn in Bali, where I would estimate at least a quarter of the staff were replaced with their Asian and Indian counterparts, all staff continued to be friendly and accommodating, and if there were a few delays as new staff learnt the ropes, we weren’t in any rush, and happily excused the delays. We did have the opportunity to spend some time in the Astor Suite, and found the amenities to be fantastic. Well worth the extra cost if you can afford it. The massive balcony area would easily fit 50 people, and a party for 15 were comfortable in the lounge area, though seating was limited. Once again, all is very much as displayed on the CMV website. Our family of 8 would have been quite happy in the one suite! Entertainment There are three entertainment teams onboard. The main show team featuring, singers and dancers, plus the fabulous ship band, who provide a different cabaret performance most evenings at around 21:15. And two duo’s who perform throughout the ship. A singer and pianist, and a pianist and violinist duo. The violinist is outstanding… definitely make a point to attend at least one of her performances. In addition, the show team host various trivia, bingo, and game activities throughout the day. Not a massive schedule, and the second half of the cruise was quite limited, but if you bring a few books, head to the sports areas, or find yourself a comfy position on a deck chair, then you will be well situated. Please be aware that both pools, the indoor and outdoor are both only accessed via ladder. This restricted access for most of the elderly passengers, leaving the pool for the use of the younger element onboard. I suggest that anyone intending to cruise aboard the Astor should give serious thought to bringing a book or two to read, some cards, a board game, or some other form of entertainment suitable for your cruising group. This is a relaxing ship, and quiet entertainment prevails. That being said, it is also a very, very friendly ship, and you are sure to form a few friendships. Other stuff The onboard shopping is limited, and shops are only open for select hours. Cabins are accessed via a normal key, rather than electronic card slot. Your in room safe also requires an actual key… which you can get from Reception on Deck 5. If you are a smoker, there is only one area designated for your use. A section on the rear pool deck, starboard side, with a few tables, and chairs. This area was always well populated, and the smoking crowd seemed to have a great time getting to know one another. Children – there were less than a dozen children under 15yrs on our cruise, so there were no activities planned exclusively for them. However, as long as you came prepared with toys, games etc, (luckily Santa planned ahead for our two!), then they will be fine. There were always a few activities each day that were suitable for our pair to join in on (Quoits, Darts, Shuffleboard, craft sessions etc.) We noted two young (under 5yrs) children onboard… the parents were on-hand 24/7 with these two. Not a relaxed cruise for this family unfortunately. Be prepared for the chance of a lot of ship movement, with the smaller ship bobbing a lot more than the larger heavier vessels. The front of the ship had a good amount of vertical movement, whereas the rear of the ship wallowed into the swells at times, with some of the elderly passengers requiring a goodly amount of assistance to get around. This ship is NOT wheelchair friendly. You can get around if you are injured and have no choice.. but avoid this ship if you are in a chair permanently, it’s just not worth the struggle to get around. This should also be a consideration for people with heavy mobility issues. If you rely heavily on a cane or walker to get around, this ship with its heavy movement, and high door thresholds that need to be stepped over were quite dangerous for some less steady passengers. In summary... Astor is a lovely lady of the seas. Maintained to impeccable standards of cleanliness and functionality. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, the ship is elegant and refined, and anyone looking for a quiet, relaxing cruise should definitely consider booking a vacation aboard the Astor. While we enjoyed our cruise with children, and our kids did have fun, I agree that the Astor does not cater for families, and is most definitely geared towards those aged between 60 and a healthy 90 years of age. Overall a wonderful cruise, on a beautiful ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2015
This was our first cruise "a test" to see if we would enjoy cruising prior to booking overseas. We sailed from Fremantle to Esperance, Albany return. This is a four star ship but our whole experience was five star plus !! The ... Read More
This was our first cruise "a test" to see if we would enjoy cruising prior to booking overseas. We sailed from Fremantle to Esperance, Albany return. This is a four star ship but our whole experience was five star plus !! The staff, food, cabins, activities, cabaret shows were all first class. Nothing was too much to ask. The selection of food in all restaurants was amazing. The whole ship and cabins were spotlessly clean. The staff were very friendly and helpful. They had a variety of activities each day that catered for the majority - quizzes, crafts, quest speakers, sports and games. The majority of our passengers were older than us (average age 65+) but this wasn't an issue as they knew how to party like 20 year olds :-). There were a few families on board and although the cruise didn't really cater for families with activities - the families we spoke with didn't have an issue with this as they knew in advance that it catered for older age groups. The evening entertainment was great - the variety of shows in the Astor lounge were terrific and the musicians in the Captain's lounge and on the deck were fabulous. We didn't go on any shore excursions but chose to arrange a hire car in Esperance and Albany and do our own thing. We used the cheaper hire car companies (not the Avis and Budgets) and had a car for $45 / day which was perfect. Embarking and disembarking was very quick and easy. It seems that most people only put negative reviews but honestly we cannot think of one negative thing to say about our whole experience. We will definitely recommend Astor to family and friends and in particular this cruise is perfect for people being "first time cruisers". We would cruise with Astor again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
Tilbury London Checkin was quick and efficient. Wonderful surprise on check in to be advised I had been upgraded to a suite. The suite was huge, King size bed, large bathroom and more wardrobe and cupboard space than I could ever want. ... Read More
Tilbury London Checkin was quick and efficient. Wonderful surprise on check in to be advised I had been upgraded to a suite. The suite was huge, King size bed, large bathroom and more wardrobe and cupboard space than I could ever want. The suite had a 3 piece lounge setting and was large enough to entertain a small nation! All for little me! Travelling alone I welcomed the solo traveller functions which quickly enabled acquaintances to be made. The entertainment staff went out of their way to provide a wide range of activities including art classes, crafts, card games, yoga, choir etc all good for a cruise with lots of sea days. The naturist guest lecturer, Michael Scott was particularly informative and his talks well attended. Much information on the sea and bird life as well as the flora and fauna on the shore tours. Dining was an exceptionally high standard. the dining room provided superb cuisine and service. Smaller portions enabled all 5 courses to be enjoyed. Iced water was always topped up and special requests met without issue. A minor dissatisfaction arose early in the cruise in that that we solo diners were expected to find somewhere to sit as the dining room which was all open seating for dinner. This meant scanning the room for a table who were not too far advanced into their meal. I noted my difficulty with this to the Maitre D , Marijan who thereafter took it upon himself to escort me to a suitable table. After a few days special arrangements were made such that a group table was available for those solo travellers who wished to sit there. The high (afternoon) teas served in the show room with music were delightful. I rarely ate in the buffet, preferring the elegance of the dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner but noted the buffet offered a good range of fresh foods. The breakfast smoothies after gym were a great find. The gym was small and occasionally required a short wait for a machine to become available. Delightful that all fitness classes, stretch, yoga etc were free. The shows were entertaining, if perhaps a little less professional than the larger ships. The spelling and grammatical errors on the daily bulletin offered much amusement. Too much enjoyment was being had to worry about the use of their/there/they're or the apostrophe'd plurals! The overall service was personal and the crew soon anticipated our individual requirements. A very special thanks to my cabin attendant, Lubica who was faultless. We sailed with fewer than half the capacity of pax. This made us a small group who got to know each other and friendships were made. I can only echo John and Judy's comments that people of all nations, together on the high seas for up to 6 weeks can indeed reflect peace, harmony and tolerance. I was not expecting this high a standard of service and excellence on the Astor given her very reasonable price. I could not fault this cruise, received exceptional value for money paid. I enjoyed the ports, service and overall experience so much on the Astor that I have booked again for March 2016 and encouraged 3 friends to join me. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2014
my wife sailed to Oz as a ten pound Pom with her Mum and Dad and big sister in 1952, from Tilbury. I saw the advert for the Astor sailing to Freemantle, and so I booked for us both to relive the journey! Well the apprehension I had was ... Read More
my wife sailed to Oz as a ten pound Pom with her Mum and Dad and big sister in 1952, from Tilbury. I saw the advert for the Astor sailing to Freemantle, and so I booked for us both to relive the journey! Well the apprehension I had was soon dispelledl by the Ship and its crew and staff! I can honestly say the experience was amazing. The staff from the first day were superb, and the quality of food in all restaurants was superb! We will never forget this journey and I now understand how hard it must have been for the thousands of Europeans who made the journey back in those days, to an unknown country. How strong they were and when you are in the middle of these massive oceans we passed through, with no land or ships for a 1000 miles or more in any direction, the it puts into perspective why all of us insignificant little people fight and kill over some sort of"religion"! why can't we just live our short lives in peace and harmony????? Best regards to one and all! John and Judy Page   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
I had been tempted when I saw the offer of a one night Gala Cruise on the Astor as I was curious to look around that ship, but my wife was working and unable to go. However, just one week before the cruise, I received an email that told me ... Read More
I had been tempted when I saw the offer of a one night Gala Cruise on the Astor as I was curious to look around that ship, but my wife was working and unable to go. However, just one week before the cruise, I received an email that told me the price was now £99 with "no single supplement"! That clinched it for me, so I rang and booked it straight away. I agreed to pay an additional £15 for the coach transfer from Stansted, since that is where the included flight returned to, and where I left my car. Approximately 30 passengers were on the coach from Stansted to Harwich. Embarkation was smooth, we carried our own bags to our cabins and I was unpacked by 11am. I was very pleased to find that I had been allocated cabin 122 (a premium cabin up on the boat deck) in which the second berth had been made into a settee and had a picture window with clear views out to sea. I went to the Waldorf restaurant for lunch and only three tables were occupied. I was asked if I wanted a table on my own, but I said that I would rather share. One couple, on a table for four, immediately asked me to join them. Shortly afterwards, another solo traveller also joined our table and the buffet lunch was most enjoyable. We sailed at 12.30 and I joined a group of passengers who were being given a tour of the ship. I had never been on a ship with so few passengers and, when I asked how many were on board, I was told that there were less than 70 passengers ! I was very impressed with the cleanliness, the layout and the decor and the hip had a feeling of calmness and serenity. There were several groups of passengers who had boarded in Freemantle and were staying on board. Indeed, I met one Norwegian couple who had stayed on for three consecutive back-to-back cruises and were planning to disembark in Stavanger after being on board for almost 90 days!! They told me that they enjoyed the cruise very much. I then joined two other passengers for a complementary bingo session, in which some twenty others took part so the chances of winning were high. We attended the captain's cocktail party, which was less formal than usual. It was more like a family gathering and, instead of introducing all of the senior officers to us, Captain Emmanouil Psarrakis sang to us in italian. Five of us, who had met earlier, sat together for the gala dinner and had a great time. The food and the service could not be faulted. We attended the show in the Astor Lounge (popular Abba songs plus dance routines) and this was followed by a female singer and piano accompaniest. She sang german songs in recognition that the summer cruises out of Bremerhaven would commence the following day. The next morning we had be out of our cabins by 9.30am (which is the latest that I have known on any day of disembarkation). We docked and left the ship at 11.30am and were taken by coach to Bremen, where we had the day to ourselves. We were picked up by the coach in the evening for our Ryanair flight back to Stansted. In my opinion, this was fantastic value for £99. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2014
Having read a negative comment I felt I must write and give our experience of our 40 nights on board ASTOR. We have done many cruises on ships from 10,000 tonne " Funchal" to the larger " Independence of the Seas " and ... Read More
Having read a negative comment I felt I must write and give our experience of our 40 nights on board ASTOR. We have done many cruises on ships from 10,000 tonne " Funchal" to the larger " Independence of the Seas " and our cruise on Astor was one of the best, we thought the ship very stable, my husband is not a great sailor and had no problem on our 10 days at sea. We were very impressed with all aspects of the ship the crew were very pleasant and helpful, food excellent, a very nice choice at the buffet, and main restaurants, we did go to the Asian restaurant and the Mediterranean the presentation and food was excellent. Activities were amazing every exercise you could wish for, there was craft and Art classes on every sea day, you could have piano lessons, learn to read music, join the actors or choral groups, play cards or do jigsaw puzzles, quizzes etc. Helen the cruise director and all the entertainment crew were wonderful. Helen was always doing extra things to make the voyage enjoyable, Saturday afternoon tea dance, and special buffet lunch on Sundays with free champagne. As we celebrated Anzac Day and Easter during our cruise these events were given special attention, Anzac Day dawn service was a truly memorable experience. The general atmosphere on board was very friendly, we met some wonderful people and still keep in touch, one chap was on the return trip, he came to Australia on Astor spent 6 months here and was doing the return journey, and enjoyed every minute. I know you can't please everyone but we had a wonderful trip, met some beautiful people and had great fun so for us it was a wonderful experience and yes we would do it again.   Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2013
We have recently returned to Australia on a 35 day cruise which began in Rome and concluded in Fremantle. The ship on which we travelled was the M.S.Astor which was on a relocation cruise to spend the summer season sailing out of ... Read More
We have recently returned to Australia on a 35 day cruise which began in Rome and concluded in Fremantle. The ship on which we travelled was the M.S.Astor which was on a relocation cruise to spend the summer season sailing out of Fremantle. There were 10 ports of call at some interesting and very different locations, namely, Rome, Livorno, Sicily, Malta, Athens, Aqaba, Salalah, Columbo, Phuket, Singapore, Bali and Fremantle. I would not hesitate to recommend the Astor to anyone contemplating a cruise. The food quality and variety was consistently great, including the waiters, to whom, nothing was too much trouble. The on board entertainment was exceptional, particularly for a small ship and the array of costumes was amazing. The entertainment in the Captains lounge each night before dinner by two young ladies on the piano and violin was exceptional. The quizzes for the more sedentary like me, although I did my 15 laps around the ship on the walking path most days, were a hit whereas my wife enjoyed the more physical offerings such as Zumba, water aerobics, line dancing and stretch and tone to name but a few. The guest lecturer, archaeologist Mike Stone and Artist Noel with his art classes were both well patronised and engaging. The shore cruises were all of interest and we visited many places which certainly broadened our knowledge of some unusual and fascinating countries. Our stateroom (cabin) on the Atlantic deck was quite adequate with the more expensive suites of course being quite a bit larger. The cruise director Gary, did a great job, making everyone seem a bit special, taking time to chat or seek comment as he roamed the ship. He excelled also as an MC, quizmaster and story teller. We were fortunate with the weather as most of the cruise was in calm weather, but off the coast of Western Australia with the sea given at 7 the Astor was remarkably stable. Very few people suffered seriously from mal de mare. The only negatives were the 20 to 30% increase in drink prices since its last cruise in the Mediterranean area, a fact attested to by a couple who had been on a recent cruise. The tap beer was seldom cold enough and of inferior taste but on recommendation of the many Australians on board this problem may be addressed by the time the Australian cruises begin. The concern over prices was addressed when, for a fee of twenty dollars (?) we were given a 20% discount on all bar purchases. We experienced another problem when settling our on board account. Because Astor’s bank account is in Europe, our bank charged a 3% conversion fee, which in our case amounted to around $130. The best alternative is to settle your on board account in cash. We learned that unless you absolutely must book early to ensure you get what you want, people who booked in the last 2 or 3 weeks received a substantially better deal than we did, for instance an inside cabin and air fare for $3300 and we paid $6200 for an outside cabin, no airfare   Read Less
Astor Ratings
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