We cruised on the Spectrum on three consecutive itineraries: January 2, 9 and 14, 2020. Boarding in Hong Kong was well organized. Each subsequent voyage was well orchestrated for back to back passengers. We would leave and return to the ship through the crew line so we didn’t have to line up with the boarding passengers.
Each voyage was different due to the numbers of non-mainland Chinese onboard. On January 2, they described the passengers as international. There were over 700 Australians, next came Russians and then Canadians/Americans/other but the majority were Chinese from HK and mainland China. The January 9 cruise had a lot fewer Australians, few Russians and few others. The January 14 4-day cruise from HK to its home port of Shanghai had over 5,000 mainland Chinese onboard and few others. This cruise was dramatically different from the first two cruises. There were long lines to get into the Windjammer. There were lines for the entertainment. People would talk during the entertainment or be on their cell phones checking emails, etc. People would cut in line and carry on conversations during the entertainment and let their children run down the aisle upstairs in the theater and stand at the balcony at the end of the stairs to watch the performance. It tried one’s patience.
But, the staff were excellent and service was great. If we were ever to return to this ship, it would be because of the staff—however, we realize that staff move from ship to ship.
We thought the Chinese food was very good, whether served in the Windjammer or the main dining room. I enjoyed the noodle bar where I had a choice of noodles and vegetables, etc. to have the cook heat up. This was a very popular destination in the Windjammer.
We booked a variety of cabins on our three cruises. We started out with a balcony cabin on deck 13. Then, we moved to a Grand Suite on deck 13. On our third cruise, we were in a Golden Junior Suite on deck 15. Because we are Diamond Plus, we were able to have happy hour and dine in the Silver Lounge/Dining Room while in a balcony cabin. When we were in a (Golden) Grand Suite and a Golden Junior Suite, we were able to have happy hour and dine in the Silver Lounge/Dining Room or the Golden Lounge/Dining Room. The Gold dining room was very nice because the tables were far apart and the service was top notch. The concierge was situated in the dining room during happy hour and meal times. We also got an included North Star experience. There was a cost for everyone else.
The entertainment was very, very good. The guest entertainers were wonderful.
The gym was small. Maybe 6 treadmills with one out of service during our three cruises. A few bikes. But, if you were determined to get a workout in, you’d be able to do it.
All in all, we enjoyed our cruises. We enjoyed the ports and the ship’s excursions. The staff were excellent. The cabins were very nice. The food was good, especially the Chinese offerings. The only negative—maybe—was the behavior of the mainland Chinese customers. They are not used to cruising and traveling with westerners. And, we are not accustomed to traveling with people who don’t understand or abide by lines, who talk loudly and even during performances. But, we were all there to enjoy ourselves—and I think that was accomplished by most.
Golden suite cabins were excellent and came with great amenities.