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My husband and I wanted to try another ship from Fremantle rather than fly over east or to Singapore for a short cruise, as we sail about 6 times a year. This was a one night in port celebration when we booked, but later converted to part of the Perth Fringe festival. We went on the Astor in 2018 for 1 night (which we hated!) but thought the Vasco da Gama might be a better option as it was ex P&O and larger than Astor. We have been on more than 50 cruises, mostly with Royal Caribbean, and knew it would not be of the same standard, given the age and size of the ship, but the online pics looked good. Embarkation was excellent - 10 mins from entering the building to boarding the ship. Many crew welcomed us on-board and the cabin was ready which was great as it meant we could off-load our bags immediately. On entering the room, we were hit by a revolting odour that seemed to be a mix of stale smoke, moldy carpet and god knows what else. The beds had not been put together, as requested, and when we tried to move the side tables ourselves, there were used plasters behind it, making us wonder when the area had last been cleaned... We decided to have some lunch in the Bistro (which was lukewarm and the veg was still semi-frozen) and wanted to get off there and then - smelly room and horrible food in the first half an hour!! We went to the customer service desk to see what could be done. Her attitude was not great and she initially told us the ship was full so we couldn't move. The best they could offer was air freshener. We said this wasn't good enough as the smell was so bad. After waiting for several minutes, we learnt that our room had been visited and suddenly another cabin was available for us to move to. We were told to keep it a secret in case other passengers found out and wanted too move also!! The new room was much better so we went off to explore the ship. The Waterfront Dining Room and bars were well fitted out, but when you look online, these are simply the legacy of the Pacific Eden and have not been changed at all. The mattresses at the adults only pool were filthy and some of the chairs and tables were also badly stained too and didn't leave a good impression. It was such a contrast to the pleasant centre pool and inside areas, and really needs attention. We had drinks in the Oceanic bar and were very pleased with the prices as they are much cheaper than the large american lines. We met a lovely older couple who loved CMV but as they hadn't tried any other lines, their expectation levels were not the same as ours. Only a couple of the bars were open but it looked like they were very short staffed as only 2 people were serving the entire area. Dinner in the Waterfront was much better than we thought it would be and the surroundings are very 'homely' and comfortable. Service was fine. The ship was being used as part of the Perth Fringe Festival and everyone was encouraged to see the headline act, YUCK circus, which had won many awards at the Adelaide fringe. We battled to find a seat where we could see the stage, thanks to a large group of people who decided add a row of chairs in front of us, because, I quote "we are suite guests and someone is sitting in our dedicated row". The show itself was unbearable and in places, quite disgusting. We are not prudes but who wants to hear about menstruation and masturbation in great detail?? Where is the humour in that? We walked out just before the end and the limited applause spoke volumes. Beds were comfortable and it was annoying to be kicked out the room by 7am (8.00-8.30am is the norm on other ships). Breakfast was in the Bistro with long queues for a mediocre cooked breakfast. On departure, other guests were complaining about the YUCK circus and we all felt that CMV had a duty of care to know what they were putting on, especially was it had a PG rating... In sum: - Old and tired but spacious room (avoid 6158) but good to have a bath and shower - Lukewarm and mediocre food in the Bistro - Understaffed - Good furnishings in the main public areas (except the adult pool area) - Limited choice but excellent bar prices - Very expensive for one night at $260 per person - only $3 less than on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth which is in a completely different league - Appear to be operating the cruises on a shoestring budget - less food choice and not enough staff Would we travel with CMV again? After our experiences on the Astor and now Vasco da Gama, no we wouldn't, which is a shame. The larger resort ships are not for everyone, but we will stick with what we know and what we love. We are all different :-)

Over-priced for what you get

Vasco da Gama (Cruise & Maritime Voyages) Cruise Review by RCI Veteran

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My husband and I wanted to try another ship from Fremantle rather than fly over east or to Singapore for a short cruise, as we sail about 6 times a year. This was a one night in port celebration when we booked, but later converted to part of the Perth Fringe festival.

We went on the Astor in 2018 for 1 night (which we hated!) but thought the Vasco da Gama might be a better option as it was ex P&O and larger than Astor. We have been on more than 50 cruises, mostly with Royal Caribbean, and knew it would not be of the same standard, given the age and size of the ship, but the online pics looked good.

Embarkation was excellent - 10 mins from entering the building to boarding the ship. Many crew welcomed us on-board and the cabin was ready which was great as it meant we could off-load our bags immediately.

On entering the room, we were hit by a revolting odour that seemed to be a mix of stale smoke, moldy carpet and god knows what else. The beds had not been put together, as requested, and when we tried to move the side tables ourselves, there were used plasters behind it, making us wonder when the area had last been cleaned...

We decided to have some lunch in the Bistro (which was lukewarm and the veg was still semi-frozen) and wanted to get off there and then - smelly room and horrible food in the first half an hour!!

We went to the customer service desk to see what could be done. Her attitude was not great and she initially told us the ship was full so we couldn't move. The best they could offer was air freshener. We said this wasn't good enough as the smell was so bad. After waiting for several minutes, we learnt that our room had been visited and suddenly another cabin was available for us to move to. We were told to keep it a secret in case other passengers found out and wanted too move also!! The new room was much better so we went off to explore the ship.

The Waterfront Dining Room and bars were well fitted out, but when you look online, these are simply the legacy of the Pacific Eden and have not been changed at all. The mattresses at the adults only pool were filthy and some of the chairs and tables were also badly stained too and didn't leave a good impression. It was such a contrast to the pleasant centre pool and inside areas, and really needs attention.

We had drinks in the Oceanic bar and were very pleased with the prices as they are much cheaper than the large american lines. We met a lovely older couple who loved CMV but as they hadn't tried any other lines, their expectation levels were not the same as ours. Only a couple of the bars were open but it looked like they were very short staffed as only 2 people were serving the entire area.

Dinner in the Waterfront was much better than we thought it would be and the surroundings are very 'homely' and comfortable. Service was fine.

The ship was being used as part of the Perth Fringe Festival and everyone was encouraged to see the headline act, YUCK circus, which had won many awards at the Adelaide fringe. We battled to find a seat where we could see the stage, thanks to a large group of people who decided add a row of chairs in front of us, because, I quote "we are suite guests and someone is sitting in our dedicated row". The show itself was unbearable and in places, quite disgusting. We are not prudes but who wants to hear about menstruation and masturbation in great detail?? Where is the humour in that? We walked out just before the end and the limited applause spoke volumes.

Beds were comfortable and it was annoying to be kicked out the room by 7am (8.00-8.30am is the norm on other ships). Breakfast was in the Bistro with long queues for a mediocre cooked breakfast.

On departure, other guests were complaining about the YUCK circus and we all felt that CMV had a duty of care to know what they were putting on, especially was it had a PG rating...

In sum:

- Old and tired but spacious room (avoid 6158) but good to have a bath and shower

- Lukewarm and mediocre food in the Bistro

- Understaffed

- Good furnishings in the main public areas (except the adult pool area)

- Limited choice but excellent bar prices

- Very expensive for one night at $260 per person - only $3 less than on Cunard's Queen

Elizabeth which is in a completely different league

- Appear to be operating the cruises on a shoestring budget - less food choice and not enough staff

Would we travel with CMV again? After our experiences on the Astor and now Vasco da Gama, no we wouldn't, which is a shame. The larger resort ships are not for everyone, but we will stick with what we know and what we love. We are all different :-)
RCI Veteran’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin
Spacious compared to new ships
Have a bath and shower
Lots of storage space
No tea/coffee facilities
No fridge
Comfortable beds and pillows
Beds set as singles but can be converted to a queen size