BACKGROUND: Took my mom on this cruise. It was #1 on her bucket list to travel to Australia. I’m 50 , she’s 71. We chose this 12 day cruise based on itinerary, not cruise line. It covered South Australia including Tasmania and was round trip from Sydney. I normally cruise on Silversea but have also cruised one time each on RCCL, Paul Gauguin, Celebrity and Azamara.
HOTEL: We stayed for 3 days pre cruise at Hotel Intercontinental which is a fantastic location and beautiful hotel. I have been to Sydney 4 times and this was by the best location. Circular Quay really is the heart of Sydney and is the easiest location to venture to other parts of the city. Definitely will stay here again or Marriott which is also right there as well.
EMBARKATION: very easy. Porters met us as soon as we exited limo. We went inside, filled out health questionnaire and proceeded to desk to check in., No lines, very nice staff. In a matter of minutes we were on board.
We had a corner aft suite on deck 6. It was nice sized and the wraparound veranda is fantastic! It was the best part of the ship I think. That being said, like the rest of the ship, it is very dated and things are quite worn. The outdoor furniture was coming apart, worn , dirty. The bed was very comfortable and the a/c worked great and some days were very hot. Mom loved that there was a makeup area that she could claim as her own; however the lighting was terrible as in most of the ship. Light is sort of yellowish and not very bright. Aside from the ugly decor, it was a great room. We did experience terrible vibration and shaking on 2 nights. I’m assuming it was the engines. One night it happened at about 4am and went on for well over an hour...impossible to sleep. The last night it happened in the evening and couldn’t get to sleep til after 1am. Still not sure why it happens...my guess is that seas were rough and we seemed to be steaming ahead at nearly full speed and so a combination of the 2 maybe ? It s loud and terribly annoying. We did have soot on our veranda on 2 mornings...seemed to be if it were really damp and foggy during the night. But I never experienced it during the day while sitting out there. The steward always vacuumed out there so once the soot dried, it got vacuumed up and wasn’t an issue for us.