After booking 6 months in advance and thinking we were booking a dream holiday we not prepared for this! It was supposed to be a wonderful trip from Shanghai to Sydney with wonderful excursions, fun and entertainment! Spent a great 3 days in Shanghai before the cruise during the 70 year anniversary in China.
3 hours to board the ship, due to the Chinese authorities was bad enough but then to get to your room to find it in a filthy condition was just too much. Got it cleaned but had to call them back to clean again what they missed. The toilet area was unsanitary and the shower recess dirty.
The reception desk is opposite an entertainment area known as the Piazza, so when music or entertainers are performing talking to staff whose first language is not English is extremely difficult and one had to feel sorry for the staff as conversations became heated.
The sound system on the ship is not ideal, You can’t hear announcements in your cabin and in some areas the sound is so loud it is distorted.
The ships staff struggled with understanding the needs and dietary habits of westerners.
The ship caters for Asian tourists and will find it hard to satisfy the Australian market.
The 3 main eating areas the Dream Dining (semi-formal), The Lido (Buffett) and the Pavillion (Chinese food) are reasonable and toward the end of the trip there were signs of improvement in the food being offered. The Pavillion is strictly Chinese food and is traditional Chinese.
The other eating places on the ship are very nice but a little on the expensive side, especially when this 18% surcharge is applied.
Yes even a $7 bottle of beer or wine attracts a 18% surcharge. Factor this into every thing you buy on board because it adds up.
The entertainment is very very good, but does repeat, and in saying that is worth seeing several times. The only draw back was that after every entertainers comments in English we have to pause whilst it is relayed in Chinese. Understand them doing that but it ruined the moment, especially with the magic show.
Service is both good and bad. You can get good service one day and the next is a lottery.
There are few areas where you can sit down and relax as there are no deck chairs on the level 7 and if you go up to the pool or Palm court areas you get annoyed by staff wanting sell you drinks.
Shore excursions are good but poorly organised and someone at the top of the management tree needs to step up and do something. Communication is lacking and when problems arise you can only find junior staff as all the managers disappear.
If you get sick on the ship, as my wife did and spent 10 hours on a drip, the doctor and nurses on this ship are excellent and probably better than your local medical centre.
All in all you make the most of your trip and we still had some good times but as to the value it leaves a lot to be desired.
Well laid out and comfortable but needed a clean.