Well, this 27 night back to back cruise was part of adventure which started in Singapore and ended 39 days later in Dubai. 5 ports tendered, 6 ports docked and what an amazing trip we had with somegreat memories
Embarkation in Singapore was a little delayed due to the ship not arriving at the terminal as scheduled following its partial refit. Celebrity’s best laid plans of allocating embarkation time slots based on the deck of your stateroom was well intentioned but it ended up not quite so well executed as a result of the delay. Never mind, we were getting on board for 27 nights so what was a couple of hours!
1C balcony cabin deck 8 absolutely fine, kept very clean by Cabin steward and bedding and towels changed regularly - no complaints whatsoever.
Main Dining room
Select dining, same group of tables each night (455/456) meant same waiter (Jesso) and his assistant (Singh) who looked after us admirably every evening meal time. Aleksander our wine waiter was also brilliant. He knew exactly what wines we liked (three different types of wines across the four of us!) and glasses were poured as soon as we sat down. When it looked as if the supply of one was running out he quickly found us a very suitable alternative. All three of them were very pleasant, chatty and efficient. It was a pleasure to be served by them, nothing was too much trouble. I often read complaints that the portion sizes have been reduced, steaks are thinner etc as cruise ships seek to reduce overheads. Well there is always enough to eat one way or another in any number of places 24 hours a day!
Oceanview cafe dining
Always busy no matter when you picked to go for breakfast or lunch so occasionally on a sea day when we were not in any rush we went to the main dining room for breakfast. Excellent choice of food as usual. If you can’t find something here to satisfy your hunger then you are very hard to please. Whilst cafe was always busy it was not often that you stood for more than a couple of minutes waiting either to be served by the crew or to find a seat.
Cafe al Bacco
Maurita one of the staff was a star here. Always knew what we wanted to drink (we are creatures of habit!) and looked after us really well. If I have a criticism here it is that the cafe is not big enough and often it was hard to find a seat which was why it was often the case that the Sushi restaurant had many coffee drinkers encroaching into the area when it was closed just to get a seat for a coffee.
The Sushi restaurant was never ever full on any evening and the ship could do with the cafe area expanding and the Sushi restaurant contracting to meet demand better as there were always certainly more coffee drinkers than Sushi diners!
A very mixed bag as far as the four aged 60+ Brits in our group were concerned. It’s very much our opinion as some people loved every show; we just felt that some of the shows would be better suited to an audience where the average age is much lower than was on this 27 night voyage. Ben Powey, Cruise Director was very good, excellent sense of humour and gave an excellent talk on his working relationship with the late Steve Irwin.
Felt we always got good service from Guy Brundrett and his team. They are always pleasant, keen to help despite some long queues at times.
I know that on our trip there were an unusually high number of back to back cruisers, over 900 I was told, so a third of the passengers were staying on board to do the second cruise. The arrangements made specifically for us by Guy and his team in respect of complying with Australian immigration requirements as a result of this was first class. (All passengers were required by Australian immigration to leave the ship for a minimum of three hours). We attended a presentation in the theatre two days before arriving in Sydney at the end of the first cruise, were talked through the process step by step and received detailed documentation and instructions in our stateroom. As a result our one day stop in Sydney was managed extremely well and both disembarkation in the morning and embarkation later in the day went very smoothly, a breeze in fact!
Do the maths!- 2,700 passengers, 4 of the ships tenders ferrying 120 people at a time, 25 minute crossing to shore plus return trip and “loading and unloading” time. I understand that it is the Port Authority that dictates how this operates so where Celebrity had to use local operators with bigger tenders (250+ passengers) then further delays are often inevitable. Unfortunately tendering is one of the factors we have to live with on some cruises more than others.
We only did three Celebrity excursions (all on the first cruise – Bali, Darwin and Yorkey’s Knob). All three were well organised and we were happy with them.
Captain Tasos was first class and did his morning briefing with nice touch of humour.
Stateroom clean and spacious, more than adequate for the gear needed for 27 nights on board.
Laundry service was very good and efficient, albeit not particularly cheap.
Dining experience in main dining room excellent.
Guest relations teams work on immigration issues/paperwork etc was worthy of mention as I often think this team gets all the flak from guests and little praise.
Ship starting to show it is ready for some further refurbishment – carpets get hammered by 2,700 guests and 1,300 crew members. I think some need replacing, particularly around the Oceanview cafe area.
Enough storage space for the 27 night. Kept very clean by steward.
bedding and towels regularly changed
Ok.View All 20 Jumping Crocodiles Reviews
Local guide with wealth of knowledge, keen to show us what we needed to see. Walked us round the Lone Pine Koala sanctuary so we didn't miss anything. Highly recomendedView All 3 Private Tour Reviews
Excellent day out. Railway great experience
Great experience, first time on an elephant- really enjoyed it.View All 10 Elephant Safari Reviews