I rated the cruise good because it took us where we wanted to go; the ship itself is good; the public areas, including the pool areas not at all crowded; the restaurants and staff were good and friendly BUT all this is let down by the most abysmal administration and organisation.
From first boarding nothing that required any kind of intelligent organisation was done well. Some examples follow:-
1. The staff in the Pursers Office were unable to answer any questions on any subject. When information was finally given eg on immigration arrangements, it proved incorrect.
2. Immigration arrangements were dreadful. On our trip they had three opportunities to get it right and failed each time resulting in long queues blocking corridors, disabled people standing in line for long periods of time and passengers shouting at each other for queue jumping because some had been given incorrect advice.
3. Disembarkation was a disgrace. Hundreds of people, with hand luggage, were told to present to a tiered theatre to wait. Has the ship’s management ever tried to get into a theatre seat with hand luggage? It isn’t possible. Consequently most passengers were standing in the aisles. The purpose of this mass assembly was simply to be told which deck could leave the ship. Passengers then had to leave the theatre to disembark. Those leaving earliest were asked to arrive earlier and therefore filled the front of the theatre. They had to exit via the back, through the throngs - with luggage - advised to arrive later and therefore standing at the back. A simple arrangement asking people to wait in any public area and announce decks for departure over the PA system would have worked SO MUCH BETTER.
4. A cruise with lots of sea days and some poor weather requires reasonable in cabin entertainment. This cruise offered the poorest and worst organised. The information left in the staterooms on TV films and entertainment was incorrect and became more incorrect as the journey progressed because whoever compiled it was clearly unaware of the regular time changes.
The cruise - Southampton to Perth - was almost 100% English speaking so why did they dedicate four tv channels to showing English and American films dubbed in French German and Spanish but didn’t show the same films in English?
Similarly a cruise mainly with elderly passengers hardly needed a dedicated children’s channel.
The sound on the only English speaking film channel was too low to hear.
Brenda Blethyn May be good in ‘Vera’ but to have the same episode repeated almost daily for over a month was a bit too much to bear.
5. Gin and tonic $14.38. Drinks costs were a rip off. All included an automatic 15% service charge (non optional) and a gratuity was expected as well.
OK. Not better than any other ship we have experienced. Showers only unless you book a suite.