Astor is an older, smaller ship, our preferred style of cruising. This trip was from Adelaide to Melbourne and Tasmania, an itinerary that suited our requirements. It all seemed perfect. Then we embarked. The Portside experience was quite efficient with queues managed well. However, once we embarked we were greeted by surly, non interactive security. The usual procedures of hand luggage X-ray and metal detector entrance was fine, but then, without any apparent cause and no request, my husband was body searched. This has never happened to either of us on any previous of around thirty cruises. Additionally, the search was well beyond the bounds of propriety. My husband immediately complained to management, including the captain and staff captain. No effective remedy was offered or action taken. It is apparently company policy. When we discussed the incident with numerous other passengers we found this was a common experience. Both men and women were regularly frisked on embarkation and on reboarding at every port. It was embarrassing to watch and must have been humiliating for the victims. The average age of passengers would have been over 70, the only items likely to be secreted on their bodies were artificial knees or hips. Clearly no effective risk assessment had been undertaken prior to implementing this policy. Our attitude to other elements of the cruise was coloured by this initial experience. For the price other aspects of the cruise were quite acceptable, and the overall crew service and food were relatively good. We enjoyed our port experiences and the one ship organised shore excursion we undertook was impacted by the weather, not the standard of the process. As the ship was fully booked and we had booked late we had a standard twin inside cabin. It was typical of ships of this age and had adequate storage and facilities. There was no body lotion provided, with the drying effect of ship air conditioning that would have been appreciated. Everything was very basic. Food was of a good average, although variety at the buffet for lunch was limited. Skim milk was not provided at tea and coffee stations or with cereal for breakfast. I believe it was available on request. Our favourite pastime on board, other than reading, is trivia. The quiz questions were good, not too hard with some teasers. There were no guidelines set down before the quiz, such as use of phones or numbers in teams, and question sheets were not exchanged prior to marking, not satisfying for serious trivia buffs. The library was quite good, better than some recent cruises I have been on. All in all, I will not use this company again, or any other line that has a similar approach to customer privacy and respect.

Overbearing security and poor passenger relations

Astor Cruise Review by Rondypondy

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Astor is an older, smaller ship, our preferred style of cruising. This trip was from Adelaide to Melbourne and Tasmania, an itinerary that suited our requirements. It all seemed perfect.

Then we embarked. The Portside experience was quite efficient with queues managed well. However, once we embarked we were greeted by surly, non interactive security. The usual procedures of hand luggage X-ray and metal detector entrance was fine, but then, without any apparent cause and no request, my husband was body searched. This has never happened to either of us on any previous of around thirty cruises. Additionally, the search was well beyond the bounds of propriety.

My husband immediately complained to management, including the captain and staff captain. No effective remedy was offered or action taken. It is apparently company policy.

When we discussed the incident with numerous other passengers we found this was a common experience. Both men and women were regularly frisked on embarkation and on reboarding at every port. It was embarrassing to watch and must have been humiliating for the victims.

The average age of passengers would have been over 70, the only items likely to be secreted on their bodies were artificial knees or hips. Clearly no effective risk assessment had been undertaken prior to implementing this policy.

Our attitude to other elements of the cruise was coloured by this initial experience. For the price other aspects of the cruise were quite acceptable, and the overall crew service and food were relatively good. We enjoyed our port experiences and the one ship organised shore excursion we undertook was impacted by the weather, not the standard of the process.

As the ship was fully booked and we had booked late we had a standard twin inside cabin. It was typical of ships of this age and had adequate storage and facilities. There was no body lotion provided, with the drying effect of ship air conditioning that would have been appreciated. Everything was very basic.

Food was of a good average, although variety at the buffet for lunch was limited. Skim milk was not provided at tea and coffee stations or with cereal for breakfast. I believe it was available on request.

Our favourite pastime on board, other than reading, is trivia. The quiz questions were good, not too hard with some teasers. There were no guidelines set down before the quiz, such as use of phones or numbers in teams, and question sheets were not exchanged prior to marking, not satisfying for serious trivia buffs. The library was quite good, better than some recent cruises I have been on.

All in all, I will not use this company again, or any other line that has a similar approach to customer privacy and respect.
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