Sailed 18th July Freemantle to Singapore.
Boarded with an open mind and was not disappointed.We really loved this ship; it's size it's ambience and overall easy running was to our liking.All the people we met were great and most of these were in the Waterfront where we make a point of sitting with different people each night
Even though the ship left late'this was not a real problem once on board.The decor of the bars was really soft and appealing;knowing this ship had a makeover from it's previous HAL days.All the lounges were decorated in the same soft tones.
We got to like a couple of bars in particular that were quieter .I think the Blu room where there was one of the best jazz bands i have ever come across on a ship.Also the Dome up the top deck which retained a quite atmosphere.
I do want to add that this ship was better maintained than many of the younger ships we had been on; something which really surprised us.No visible rust on the open decks!
Getting to the food.We came to like the Waterfront after a few days.Even though you could not complain about the food quality in any part of the ship.The Waterfront was appealing to us as it was less hurried;no queuing (which was not really an issue) The coffee was great in the waterfront but the self service machine in Pantry was not for us
We were both lucky not to put on any weight on this cruise as the portions in the Waterfront are small but you can always ask for more or doubles so never an issue with food.As usual you have the element of overweight people that stuff their faces as if there was going to be a food shortage .Having said that they are on most cruises
I will make one comment on the service even though i consider ourselves privileged to be served when most of the countries in Indonesia we stopped at; people would give their eye teeth to experience what most Aussies take for granted
Sometimes the service was very slow ;other nights it was spot on.A minor detail overall.We got the impression that many of the staff in the dining room were undergoing training of some sort
We did not get off at all the ports of call as this voyage was a means to an end for us as our son lives in Singapore.I must be honest and say i do not feel completely at ease with Indonesia in general;so the sea voyage was more important to us
Most of the crew work pretty hard and long hours and we rewarded a few of them and they were worth it
I guess my only gripe would be that they did not have any organised Bridge on board and i had to organise a group of about 12 of us.Once again not a major issue on a lovely ship
Most of the entertainment was good;some shows better than others
Was surprised there was no bar fridge in our outside cabin;but as we had a drinks package it was of no real concern.This was the first time we had no balcony but did not feel closed in for it as the windows are large
The one island we did enjoy was Komodo island and the once in a lifetime experience to see the Dragons.Awesome to say the least
Embarkation was not as smooth as normally expected because of the ships late arrival and turnaround.Getting off was very well organised and easy at Singapore
I think that pretty well covers it.One last point the Adults only area at back of ship was delightful and the rule of no children was enforced.There were 115 children on board but mostly well behaved from what we could see