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 cabin was adequate as in fact little time is spent in it. The day lounge which converts to a bed each night ( done by the room attendant) is a very firm bed. The shower is quite spacious for a ship, the only complaint would be the poor location of the personal handle in the shower alcove. The windows have an extra layer of perspex, creating the effect of double glazing, making it much quieter. The small fridge is also handy.