We traveled with our family which consisted of 13 adults, 1 child & 1 infant. We took a shuttle Limo from Cheektowaga NY to Toronto. We flew 22 hours from Toronto to Sydney. We had a 1 hour layover in Vancouver at 2:30am, which was awful. When we got to Sydney we only had that day to explore, so we checked in at The Holiday Inn at The Rocks and then spent the day walking around. Though we were jet lagged, we were going on adrenal from the excitement of being there. We saw the Opera House, walked across the Harbor bridge and ate and shopped at The Rocks. We even found a Starbucks! The next day we had a shuttle to the cruise pier, at 11:00 am, which was across the street, but we had to much luggage to walk there. We had priority boarding and curbside luggage. Which really wasn’t curbside. We had to drag our suitcases 100 feet to drop it all off. We went to the front of the line to check in. The building didn’t seem to have AC, because we, as well as the staff, were all sweating in there.
Once on board we were given a glass of champagne and had our family picture taken. We were then escorted to Luminae, a restaurant for all Suite quests. By 1:00 our cabins were ready. We received flowers, sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries. We received our suitcases by 5:00, which was wonderful. The food in Luminae was very good and the service was superb. We also ate at Tuscan Grill and Sushi on 5, which were 2 specialty restaurants. The food was very good there as well. We mostly ate at the Buffet for breakfast. It had a lot of varieties and once you found what you liked, you could enjoy it every morning. A lot of our group ordered room service, which came within half hour. That was a treat in itself. Our Royal Suite was a good size. A few times we had 12 people visiting us comfortably. Though the furniture needed an upgrade and the TV only had 10 channels. None of which I liked. There were free movies and pay per view. I saw most of them already. I am known as a movie bug. The internet was awful. You could never stay connected. It took long to open apps and search the web. I would get text messages hours later, when I would remember to reconnect to WiFi.
The Ship was very nice considering it’s scheduled to be remodeled in 2021. There were some shops, but mostly high end designers, that you wouldn’t normally buy from. The souvenirs were limited and they didn’t have a store that sold any staples, should you need any. A major disappointing thing was all the Senior Citizens that were the majority of people. Our group ranged from 14 years to 56 years old. So a lot of the entertainment was geared towards 65 plus years old. There wasn’t much going on past 10:00pm. The elevators took a long time to come when we had to use it. Most times it was full with wheelchairs, walkers or both.
Large, comfortable. Furniture needs to be upgraded. Lots of closet space. Daily fully stocked bar with pop, water, juices, beer, wine, etc. Everyday we’d receive a plate of fruit or chocolate covered strawberries. No towel animals though :( Free laundry service was helpful on this 12 day cruise.