We boarded easily and very quickly (20mins) with no queues in Singapore on Feb 29th for our 14 night Trade Routes of the Orient. With our welcome champers in hand we stored our hand luggage with the crew (what a fabulous idea, take note other lines) so could wander unhindered to explore the ship. The cabins were not ready, but this time between boarding and lunch gave us time to explore and take pictures up on deck with many others who were on board. Apart from the Hurtigruten last year, this was our first small ship experience and at first it did seem a bit squishy for our taste, but oh, how that feeling disipated over the next few days. Our cruise was not full and took on another 150 passengers in Hong Kong, so it did not feel at all full and was easy to find space at dinner and lunch in Windows Cafe or the Discoveries dining room.
As we had a Club Continent suite we enjoyed the perks of 3 bottles of free liquor (gin, vodka, rum, whisky, brandy choices) with mixers and had a large and comfortable cabin and bathroom. Our butler Eyup was wonderful and couldnt do enough for us. We had breakfasts most days on our balcony or in our cabin, which he set up for us with tablecloth and napkins, but it was the afternoon canapes for our before dinner drinks that were really wonderful. We could let him know when we had returned from shore or they would be in our cabin waiting for us once he knew our tastes better. Really wonderful service and care, thank you Eyup. Our cabin attendants, Ramesh and Vilaria kept the room and bathroom spotless as well.
We can honestly say we have never met such a genuinely happy crew, whereever we went, nothing was too much trouble. From bringing out tea/coffee to your table at breakfast or lunch, organising dinner tables at the last moment for groups of 8 or more or finding tables when things got a bit hectic at peak meal times.
cabin 8044 midships port side.
quiet cabin unless it was white nights party night, but that finished at 11.30. a little noise from deck chairs being set up in the morning but not every day.
Large roomy cabin with bed near bathroom, but lots of room to move around anyway. Long balcony with chairs and table and deck chair with stool.
Lots of wardrobe space and very good size bathroom, which easily fitted in two people if necessary. Could do with an area of the mirror that has been treated so that it does not steam up when someone is in the shower.