We chose this cruise because of its itinerary and becasue, as a repositoning cruise, it offered good value. There were many positives about this cruise - 1. Our junior suite was very roomy, well set out, with lots of storage space. The balcony was also a good size, ideal for drying laundry. The bathroom included a bath, and had good lighting - a rarity in so many hotel bathrooms these days. 2. The food and service in the dining room were both excellent. 3. There was plenty of entertainment, although much of its was pretty standard pub entertainment. 4. A choice of bars and lounges gave options for socialising. 5. Our waiters and stateroom attendant were all brilliant. They work so hard! 6. Speciality restaurants such as the Chops Grille offer very good quality meals at a reasonable price.
However, there were many negatives, and some of these were significant. 1. We only booked one shore excursion, mainly because the prices were so high. The Manilla city historic tour was very interesting, but terribly rushed! They tried to pack far too much in, and our guide,poor woman, was determined to squeeze all the sites in, even though bad traffic meant we were running late. We had about 25minutes in the National Museum, and I was so frustrated. There were many interesting exhibits, but she kept herding us through like cattle. The size of the group (40) meant that only the few standing right near her could hear the commentary - that is such bad organisation. What about a microphone? 2. A major problem lay in the huge delays and inefficiency when it came to transporting people off the ship on tenders. The groups who had booked cruise excursions always had first preference - that's fine, but what about all those who want to free range? At Bali we waited nearly 3 hours for our numbered ticket to be called. Given the traffic problems in Bali, that meant we could not possibly get to Ubud, the main cultural site. It was a totally wasted day. At Airllie Beach, similar chaos prevailed. The ship management really needs to get this right. 3. The prices at the beauty spa were exorbitant, especially given that 18 % gratuity on top of everything.
4. Oh those dreadful art auctions! Who dreams up this kind of thing? The standard of art made Ikea productions look like Renaissance art. It just seemed that at every possible opportunity, the management was trying to squeeze money out of passengers.
We were happy with our stateroom on the 8th floor. The room was quiet, and bed very comfortable.
We only had one night in Hong Kong before embarking. We have been to HOng Kong before and always enjoyed the city.
There was plenty to see in the city, but everything was so rushed. I would have liked to spend a lot of tome in the National Museum.
What can I say? The ship's tender system was so appalling that we could not even get ashore in time to do anything worthwhile.
The terminal is very handy in terms of access to the city. The waterfront area is newly renovated. Another plus for passengers are the shops and stalls set up in the terminal building.
The port here is wonderful - right next to the cbd.