The advantage of this cruise for Perth is it leaves and returns to Fremantle (with a free shuttle to get you to the train station, if you, like us are taking the train to your home).
Each day there would be an announcement of where we were (by latitude and longitude)-I think it would have been good to say something like "If we were on land now, we would be in Busselton", or something similar.
The service was very friendly by the large crew (684 of varying nationalities-but no Aussies). I only had one hiccup, and that was in the Club Bistro buffet when I pointed at and asked for dried apricots with my cereal-and was given Rice Bubbles! Perhaps the food service staff need "recognition lessons", especially with the different English accents on board? This does not include the room staff, who were happy and courteous throughout (we actually had our gratuities removed at the Reception Desk, so we could give the money directly to the room staff). One night we ate at the Waterfront restaurant, and the menu is posted out front in the afternoon if you want to go down and make your choices (3 each course) then. There is also a Eurasian and Mediterranean version to be enjoyed.
The ship was full of nooks and crannies that you could sit in to have a quiet drink, chat to others or just read and relax. (You will have to get your Jacobs coffee/tea from the machines in the Club Bistro if you want a free one to enjoy, though-otherwise you pay for it), The main pool deck is another matter. Forget going in the 2 spas, unless you are prepared to keep company with heaps of kids. The main pool was always cold, and contrary to what it said on the CMV information given to us in advance, were kept filled both port days. I didn't go in the "adults only" pool at the rear of the ship; but did sit on the lounges in the sun there several times.
Our 2 berth cabin was roomy enough-the bathroom has an "Over bath shower" with US fittings-the shower is operated by a pull up button on the bath tap). The TV had 3 movies running just about 24hrs, but no cable.
Our 2 port stops couldn't have been more different. First Esperance, where although the day started out cloudy, it got to 24, and humid. The bus tours were quite similar, but we got let off in town, and it was only a short walk to the tender boats taking us back to the main ship. If you are looking forward to Pink Lake-it's no longer pink, due to overharvesting of the salt.
Albany started out drizzling, continuing to a full on downpour. Take the shuttle bus to York St (if you hear on the morning message that its for those of "Low Mobility", disregard it). Once the bus drops you in York Street, there are docents (Volunteers) all over the place in bright aqua parkas to help you find your way. If, however, you get a bad day; I recommend the souvenir shop "Wombat Lodge" for all your purchases, with the excellent "York St Cafe" right next door (coffee&cake, $11).Make your umbrella a sturdy one-its always windy!
The nightly shows were entertaining, and the twice-daily quizzes fun (but get there early!) The bingo was left till the last sail day, and talk about pricey-ONE game on ONE page cost $10.....not the whole page, or 2 games (we didn't play, but it was a "one line, two lines, full house game, $300,$600, $1000 prizes). Two ladies we sat with a lot were disappointed with their drinks package, saying the Diet Coke was watered down, and had ice as well, the other said her cocktail had crushed ice at the bottom.
We had to assemble at various points on the ship prior to disembarkation-and there was express disembarkation (you take your luggage off the ship yourself). We were given a time to disembark; however once the express disembarkation was finished, we went straight down-no crowds!
As I said above, the cabin was roomy, and the beds comfortable. If you like a soft pillow, yo will be happy (there are 2).
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