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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I and my family were on a vacation to Penang and Phuket. It was afternoon when we embarked. The exterior of the ship was patchy, rusty and old. Barnacles lined the bottom. When we entered the ship, we were immediately directed to ... Read More
I and my family were on a vacation to Penang and Phuket. It was afternoon when we embarked. The exterior of the ship was patchy, rusty and old. Barnacles lined the bottom. When we entered the ship, we were immediately directed to WINDJAMMER after checking in. As we had priority boarding, it was very empty then so we got our food and table within 10 minutes. The carpeted floor was littered with dirt and scraps of food from the previous voyage. The food was horrible and the Char Siew(Cantonese toasted meat) was unprofessionally bathed in ketchup, contrary to the food award certificates that were proudly hung in dusty photo frames outside the buffet style restaurant. When we finished our food, windjammer was already full to the brim and there were people pushing and shoving. People were reserving tables with tissue paper packets and loud and disgusting music was being blasted through the PA system. Meanwhile, my father was having a splitting headache and my mother was complaining. We quickly exited Windjammer to go to our staterooms. However, our rooms were not ready till 1.30 p.m. so we had to wait 45 minutes. We then decided to walk around the ship. The pool was small like the regular ones you have in a backyard and full of people and the place was rusty and old, especially signboards. The elevators smelt like rotten eggs and the buttons were worn and polished by years of use. The library was appalling. There were little books, and the remaining books were arranged in a disorderly manner. The computers had unauthentic copies of Windows on them and had no ethernet or wireless connection, hence rendering them unusable. Games were all in a mess and had lost parts. Our rooms were soon ready. Doors to the corridors were opened. We went to our rooms, the junior suites which were very far. Entering it with our Sea pass, the rustic cabin of 1998 greeted me. The ceiling panels were falling out and dents were covered with stickers. Carpet was dirty as well. The toilet had a cheap and lousy shower head. The soap they provided was watery and did little to cleanse my body. There was no toothbrush provided and drainage pipes for the sink were corroded, exposed and leaks patched with rubber seals. The hair dryer was very unsafe as it spewed out the smell of burnt plastic every time I turned it on. The balcony had rust on the ceiling due to leaks. Lack of Universal Serial Bus ports for charging electronic devices and instead we were give two American ports. We did not bring travel adapters and since our charging adapters were UK ones, we were forced to buy overpriced travel adapters found in the store in deck 5. Speaking of the promenade deck, the indoor cabins without sea view had windows along there. The loud and annoying singing and dancing at night would disturb the residents from sleeping, hence the lights to their rooms on and their bloodshot eyes staring out from the glass windows. Crowds of people were dancing to the beat of the music and the promenade cafe full to the brim. The bar and lounge were empty as people who could not stand the music(like my parents) were repelled from the promenade. The lobbies of 8 lifts on each side of the promenade are full 24/7 either because people are going back to the rooms as they cannot find a table to dine or because they are escaping from the horrible 80s music blasted in the promenade. As we squeezed into the lift, a baby started crying and a boy watched cartoons on his phone. The smell of cheap perfume and perspiration fills the air as I struggle to breathe. The lift stops at almost every floor, once in a while someone stepping on my foot or someone wanting to get in but unable to. After an eternity the lift reaches the deck our staterooms are on. That is all I have to complain about. Now, about the pros. Despite the poor leadership in the team, on the bright side, the captain knows how to pilot the cruise properly, which is something we must be thankful for. The staff, especially the room keepers are polite, greeting us every time we see each other. Although we didn’t get to swim, the Phuket shore excursion and ice odyssey skating show were indeed entertaining. Despite internet connection speeds being slow, there was still internet. The beds were comfy and I did not suffer from sleepless nights. The rustic ship, despite its worn and torn look, is nostalgic and definitely brings back memories from the 90’s. Room service was good and fast. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see more of Japan, we like cruising (especially with Princess) and the timing fitted our schedule. Spent a week in Shinjuku before we boarded, so had re-acclimatised to Japanese food and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see more of Japan, we like cruising (especially with Princess) and the timing fitted our schedule. Spent a week in Shinjuku before we boarded, so had re-acclimatised to Japanese food and culture before we arrived to board the Diamond Princess. We were in our stateroom within 30 minutes of arriving at the dock. Everything was clean, ordered and minor changes we asked of our Room Steward were done without question or fuss, while we were at lunch. Because we had done our research we knew that we had signed up for two, seven day cruises, beginning at Kobe, stopping again at Kobe mid way and disembarking again at Kobe but with a different itinerary of ports for each week. The Diamond Princess has been based in Japan for the season, so we knew that the cruise would cater mainly for the Japanese market and so expected that the majority of the passengers would be Japanese and that was the case. Of 2800 passengers, some 1500 were Japanese, about 800 were from the US and Canada and about 500 from Australia and elsewhere. Announcements were made first in English, then in Japanese. Written correspondence was available in both languages. Evening shows and entertainment were in English. We had four ports the first week, including Taipei in Taiwan and then back to Kobe for a day and five ports the second week which included Busan in South Korea. We did our own thing in half the ports, working out where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see and then doing it. The Princess excursions were expensive, but well organised and guided. We were glad of a sea day as our final day, just to rest up a bit before we disembarked. The dinner menu in the dinning rooms catered for both Japanese and western tastes with enough variety for all but the unadventurous or very fussy. Serves are small, but we always go to late sitting (7:45pm) and when you're sitting down to a five course meal with wine and good conversation, you don't need huge plates of food. Our table waiters were excellent, bringing extras to the table when we asked and with their recommendations of dishes and wine. Horizon Court is what it is . . a buffet, catering for a multitude of tastes. The quality of the food is of a good standard again catering to both Japanese and western passengers. We went to the Sterling Steak House for one dinner. The restaurant is set up in a partitioned off section of the Horizon Court but it's well done. The tables are set and the waiting staff are of the same caliber as you would expect in a restaurant. The meal was excellent and well worth the cover charge. All in all a great three weeks away and another enjoyable Princess Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose this cruise because we wanted to explore Japan and these dates suited work commitments. Diamond shone, food was fabulous in the MDR and the ship was sparkling clean. Entertainment was the usual Princess offering with the need ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we wanted to explore Japan and these dates suited work commitments. Diamond shone, food was fabulous in the MDR and the ship was sparkling clean. Entertainment was the usual Princess offering with the need to grab a seat in the theatre 30 minutes early for the first show. We were disappointed to have a couple of excursions cancelled due to lack of interest (we were told) but went ashore on our own and had great personal walking tours regardless. Second time we booked an oceanview cabin, and on Diamond both the size and location on Plaza deck proved great. Same deck as our dining room, the International cafe and just under the casino. What more could you want? The lack of little snacks at the IC on Diamond is just a touch irritating if you want to have a morning cup of tea though? Find this all together odd ........ All in all a lovely cruise to Japan but we have now ‘been there’. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Spectrum of the Seas met our expectations in every way. The ship and the interior designs are perfect for the market the ship is designed for, which is mainland China, and the surrounding Asian markets. Before anyone gets on this ship, ... Read More
Spectrum of the Seas met our expectations in every way. The ship and the interior designs are perfect for the market the ship is designed for, which is mainland China, and the surrounding Asian markets. Before anyone gets on this ship, you need to be aware that the ship has several design and interior differences than the normal Royal Caribbean ship. First, this ship has an all-suite complex, which includes private swimming pool, restaurants, elevators, and a balcony. The area houses the “Golden Suites”. The ship has signage in Mandarin, as well as English. There are new restaurants such as Hot Pot, and Szechuan Red. The casino, is redesigned, and has some exclusive rooms dedicated for the High Rollers. Retail space on the ship, is dedicated to the market it is serving, with high-end designer products, and a Japanese Pharmacy for products that are not easily obtained in China. The Golden Suite complex has the cluster of suites at the front of the ship, in which you need a key card to enter the area. Within this area, you have the Golden Dining room and lounge, the silver dining and lounge (which the lounge area replaces the diamond lounge for those that are at that level). The Solarium is no longer a part of the general ship, but only for the Golden area. A special balcony area is on top of the solarium, and a private shopping/consulting area is in the complex. Overall, the area was designed for the high revenue staterooms and so the design of these areas, as well as the size was made to be exclusive. Although I thought the area was nice, I would not want to pay the premium price they are asking for it. Sichuan Red was a Chinese themed restaurant and had a very good menu. It is a la carte. Note this is a very spicy menu, and if you do not like spice, than I would not recommend it. You can ask them to cut down on the spice, but it takes away from the flavor of the style restaurant this is. Personally, I loved it. Teppanyaki is a Japanese restaurant (separate from Izumi) that was fun and entertaining. I think the upcharge price is too much considering the prices of local restaurants. If you use it in a package, than the cost would be lower, and worth it. Hot Pot is unique that you basically make your own food in a hot pot of soup broth. It was good, and had a huge selection of meat and seafood, plus a full salad bar, and veggies to cook with it. Overall, it was fun. The coffee and Tea shop, is in the space normally reserved for a pub. I preferred the pub, but considering the market this ship is in, I think this was a good choice. However, I think the selection of Teas should be increased. For entertainment, I was on the final leg of the trip to China. The new production shows were extremely high tech and entertaining. The headliners will be different now once it begins the regular sailings in China. The same goes for the lounge singers and bands. They should be geared to the Chinese market so I cannot really say what it will be like. Shopping is not my thing, and I really do not care the kind of stores they have. My only complaint was that the logo store lacked the variety of products. Sports included the normal activities with Ifly, bumper cars, flow rider, North Star, arcade, and rock climbing. They also had some archery, and fencing activities. I visited the gym, that gets so many complaints, and I never really saw it crowded. It is not a revenue producing area, and as far as I can tell, it is about the right size. I was satisfied with it. Overall, the ship was great. The seven specialty restaurants were all good, and the other free eating areas were good, with my favorite breakfast nook being the 270 café. Before selecting this ship, make sure you understand that the ship is different, and will have food, and entertainment that you are not accustomed to, if you are a regular Royal Caribbean Cruiser. That is what makes this ship so great. It is different, and will be sailing to exciting ports that most people would never even think of going to. I highly recommend this ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Fantastic ship ,best ship I've seen , The food for me very average and nothing more , the drinks are very expensive, need to drink a lot to get value out of the drinks package. Yes I know its all new to the ship's crew , but they ... Read More
Fantastic ship ,best ship I've seen , The food for me very average and nothing more , the drinks are very expensive, need to drink a lot to get value out of the drinks package. Yes I know its all new to the ship's crew , but they have crew who dont want to be there. Evening meal at the main restaurant was very poor (food and service ) when there where formal night's passengers where let in with shorts. Dress code zero. There are no laundry rooms , irons will be confiscated. . The cabin we had was beautiful and quite large , entertainment very good , if you want internet which we didn't expect to pay roughly 22 dollars a day . We paid a lot of money for this cruise and expected that little more . Me personally and spoke to others will give royal Caribbean shipsca miss Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise as it covered a lot of ports that we had not preciously visited, plus it was a good price. However we found the number of passengers was more than comfortable for us. The ship is huge and would be ideal for families ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it covered a lot of ports that we had not preciously visited, plus it was a good price. However we found the number of passengers was more than comfortable for us. The ship is huge and would be ideal for families travelling with children and teens as there are lots of activities that would appeal, like the rock climbing wall wave pool etc. We did a land package of China before the cruise, so possibly were a bit past finding Chinese foods exciting. The food in the whole was not great, and was seldom hot enough. I chose from the classic menu a couple of times be found that more to my taste, but found it was still not very good, or hot. The Windjammer was always jammed and not always hygienic with that many people, to my way of thinking anyway. We had done one other RCI cruise that was in Explorer and that was a little better. But this will be our last cruise with this company. I think we are better suited to the smaller ships. The majority of Australian/NZ passengers were touting it as their worst cruise on record, so I don’t think it was only us. We have cruised on Celebrity, NCL, and Carnival (which I previously rated the worst) now I am deciding which is the worst! Celebrity and NCL are a lot better in my opinion. Possibly having over 4000 Chinese passengers on one ship was part of the problem, the noise (even in the elevators) was too much, plus the long queues for dining rooms horrendous. The stateroom was good. We had a balcony room and there was heaps of drawer and storage space. Bathroom was small but similar to others in past cruises, The crew and staff were all friendly and helpful, but still will not encourage us to try again with RCI. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
My girlfriend and I booked a 4-night "Tour of Malaysia"--which in reality, was a day in Penang, sandwiched by a day at sea on either side. The primary drivers for booking this cruise were to check out RC's brand new ship, ... Read More
My girlfriend and I booked a 4-night "Tour of Malaysia"--which in reality, was a day in Penang, sandwiched by a day at sea on either side. The primary drivers for booking this cruise were to check out RC's brand new ship, and to enjoy the convenience of taking a cruise out of the city I live in for the first time ever (growing up in the north-eastern US, I always had to fly somewhere in order to board a ship). Although it was challenging to research the cruise ahead of time given it was a brand new ship, I had come across this wording on multiple websites: “Please note that this cruise is focusing on the Asian market and the service, on-board activities as well as the entertainment on-board will be adapted accordingly.” It made me a bit nervous, but figured it was worth a shot, and worst case scenario, my girlfriend and I spend our sea days relaxing by the pool and enjoying the time away from work. On embarkation day, we jumped in a taxi from our condo and were at the port in 20 minutes. It was a unique experience for me, but such a relief to not have to worry about flights, possible delays, pre-cruise hotels, Ubers, etc. We had printed our luggage tags in advance and immediately handed our suitcases over curb side. The security line was short, and once through, we were immediately at a check-in desk with a very friendly young man helping us sort everything out. After that was probably the lengthiest part of the check-in process: immigration. But even immigration took only 15 minutes from start to finish. Soon after, we handed over our passports (which felt wrong, but we knew in advance this was the system. We received it all back on day 4 with no issues whatsoever) and were walking towards the ship. We were on-board by about 1:30pm, and immediately headed for our balcony stateroom on deck 8 to drop off our bags (see below for cabin review). For me, one of the most important parts of any cruise is the food. The Main Dining Room was mostly full every night, but we had no trouble getting a table immediately under the “My Time” dining plan. We were unsure what to expect in terms of cuisine, but the menu was almost entirely western food each night—exactly as I am used to seeing on Caribbean cruises. However, it is very important to point out that we did the “All Access Tour” later on in the trip, and the chef explained that once the ship relocates to Shanghai, the Main Dining Room menu will change over to primarily Asian food. He showed us the wok in the kitchen, stating it is the only RC ship with a wok in the main galley. The service we received each night was good, but nothing exceptional. One evening my girlfriend found a very large piece of plastic in her mashed potatoes. The chef came out to apologize, explaining that they use plastic to cover the mashed potatoes. He took down our stateroom number, but nothing further ever came of it. Possibly our worst experience on the entire ship was in the Windjammer. I had read online that the Windjammer was purposely made larger on Spectrum…but it needed to be made much, much larger. On day 1, my girlfriend and I had lunch at the Windjammer. After throwing elbows with our fellow cruisers and getting cut off at every turn, we had our plates full of food. We walked around and around for nearly 10 minutes looking for a table before finally giving up and eating standing up on a counter-top in the Hot Pot area. Eventually a member of the staff saw us and led us to a large table he had just cleared off. I chalked this up to hopefully be a “day 1-only issue”, since no other venues were open. Unfortunately, it was not a day 1-only issue—it was an everyday issue. No matter the time we went to the Windjammer, it was always crowded, and tables were hard to come by. I had heard in advance that cruise ship buffets on Asia-based cruises can be a nightmare, but I figured attending during off-peak times might make this point irrelevant. Sadly, I was wrong, and by day 3 and 4, we did everything we could to avoid the Windjammer. For those who are curious: Sorrento’s Pizzeria and the poolside snack bar are great alternatives when you need a quick bite. We did not attend any of the specialty up-charge restaurants, which were all Asian, except for Jamie’s Italian (which did not seem well attended throughout our cruise, by the way. I wonder if this was the right move by RC for an Asia-based ship). Perhaps the biggest difference I observed on this cruise as compared to every other cruise I have been on was the drinking culture (or lack thereof). RC specifically designed Spectrum to have fewer bars, knowing that Asians do not drink as heavily as their American clientele. Well, they were certainly right, and if anything could have removed a few more bars. Any time I wanted a drink, I could walk straight up to a waiting bartender and place my order. It was a nice luxury, but makes me wonder how RC will compensate for the lost alcohol revenue they typically rely on to turn a profit. On this particular sailing though, they were lucky that the passengers were not heavy drinkers. All the bars were out of most ingredients, and they were even out of Tiger beer from day 1…on a sailing FROM Singapore! A bartender explained to us that a beverage shipment the ship had ordered did not arrive in time. This was incredibly frustrating as most frozen drinks, cocktails, and mocktails were not available. RC had heavily discounted drinks packages before the cruise, and we were very close to pulling trigger on it. Thankfully we decided against it in the end. We would have been very frustrated having paid for an “unlimited drinks” package that actually entitled you to about half of what the ship normally has to offer. The Bionic Bar is a must attend, however. We had drinks from here twice, and not only is a neat experience to watch a robot make your drink, but the drinks are fantastic. On the entertainment side of things, RC did very well overall, although there is insufficient seating in the Royal Theatre for a ship this size. The first night was a Beatle’s tribute band, and while they were OK, I felt bad (for the performers) about the number of people who stood up and walked out in the middle of the performance. The main show however, “Showgirls”, was standing room only and no one moved until it was over. Really well done by the performers, though I do wonder how the show will be received by the Chinese market as it was entirely western songs from different decades. In the 270 venue, we were very fortunate to grab one of the last spots for the day 4 performance of Silk Road. Again this performance was very well done, both by the performers and everyone involved behind the scenes to make the technical aspects work flawlessly. As far as activities on the ship, we were largely disappointed and very frustrated. We went to guest services at around 6pm on the first day—just hours after boarding—and were told that North Star and iFly were fully booked for the entire cruise. This seemed implausible to me, but apparently some people were able to book these activities in advance of the cruise. I tried to make reservations in advance but could not. I later found out that due to technical issues, some cruisers could not make reservations in advance. In my view, this is completely unacceptable for RC, and robbed me of 2 experiences that had attracted me to this ship in the first place. For the non-reservation activities, such as the Flow Rider, Sky Pad, and Bumper Cars, the queues were consistently very long. We only had the patience to wait for Sky Pad, which took about an hour, but was very much worth it (recommend taking the Virtual Reality option for a unique experience. The only downside is they do not permit you to do flips when you opt for VR). Oddly, the rock-climbing wall was often empty, and my girlfriend was able to climb it twice without any wait. The casino was a massive disappointment. It is the largest casino I have ever seen on a cruise ship (again, specially designed for the Asian market), but smoking was permitted. Given the low ceilings, the smell of cigarette smoke was worse than you could ever imagine. This was the first cruise I have ever been on (except for my first ever cruise, when I was 13!) that I did not gamble once. On day 4, we had signed up for the All Access Tour. We had received a notice the day before that the Engine Control Room would not be accessible, but we would receive $20 per person in on-board credit as a refund. I will not go into every last detail of the tour, but if you are a cruise ship nerd at all (like me), it is absolutely worth the time and money! On the final day, we were assigned 9:30am as our departure time, and told to meet in the Main Dining Room. We showed up on schedule to the MDR—and there was no one around. Everyone was lined up outside 270, and interestingly most people kept all of their suitcases with them, completely ignoring the usual system. The process looked chaotic, but it only took us about 10 minutes to debark. Overall, I cannot fault anything about the ship itself. It is brand new and in my opinion, very impressive. There are some key design differences as compared to ships based in other parts of the world, but it still mostly has the look and feel of a Royal Caribbean cruise. It will be interesting to how Spectrum does in the Chinese market, but I would not recommend this ship for Westerners--I think you will be frustrated by your fellow passengers! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
20th May Singapore- Ko Samui-Pulau Redang- Singapore Hi Genting Dream, FrequentCruiserDominic here at your service. 1. Being a recurring cruiser for numerous ships on many cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Princess, ... Read More
20th May Singapore- Ko Samui-Pulau Redang- Singapore Hi Genting Dream, FrequentCruiserDominic here at your service. 1. Being a recurring cruiser for numerous ships on many cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean, Princess, Celebrity, and Costa. I must say it was a huge leap for me to try out Genting Dream which I have researched it being a home port for Singapore. Thus, I embarked on a 8hour flight all the way from Melbourne, determined to experience and try out Genting Dream experience, with hopes of have the dream experience of course. My Itinerary was as follow, Singapore- Ko Samui-Pulau Redang- Singapore. 3 NIGHT Asian luxury cruise with big colourful ship sailing on the high seas as seen within my brochure. 2. Upon arrival at the Marina Bay Cruise Centre of Singapore, I was greeted by havoc and chaos with almost no walking space. Noting that it was a Public Holiday in Singapore & with Voyager of the Seas docked in the terminal as well, I rendered it as a norms for the crowd for the cruise line or even the terminal and thus did not take it to heart a lot as I was looking ahead to better services and experience ahead. Reviews Reader let me guide you through the process and my experience of your Genting Dream Experience! 3. There was much confusion as I noted 6 different type of uniform don by the staff at pier but the most assuring part was seeing the well known Intercruises uniform code of White and Blue, but it surprises me on why they wore green with white here at Singapore. I was rendered no assistance when I approach the security personnel in black for assistance probably so as it wasn’t included within their job scope of security presence and crowd control, Oh well! 4. Kiosk self-check in was organised and swift which were definitely delightful! I was issued with a boarding card #9 which I had no idea what was it for? Boarding in sequence? But anyway, I senselessly followed the surge of crowd into the security counters whereby scanning of bags and belongings were in process. 5. Yet again, senselessly, I was ushered to the waiting area as of 1535hours as the staff mentioned immigration will only start boarding at 1600hours? I took it with a pinch of salt as it was probably a norm for the terminal and cruise line again. 6. Here comes the slight dramatization part. Being the Dominic in me, ( I do that at every port), I spoke to the Intercruises embarkation staff named Gerald and Ben? which were extremely helpful and attentive to my numerous numbers of questions regarding the flow of guest. Managed to understand more of the flow and operation flow of Genting Dream which I must say is very differing indeed to other cruise lines as Genting only offers short turnaround time from what I researched which is CRAZY! Kudos indeed to the embarkation team from Intercruises. You go, Boys! 7. Engulfed within the crowd with languages I do not understand, I had no alternatives but to look around and observe the staff and other cruisers. What surprises me was the constant shouting and noise transmitted from walkies talkies held by Ben even though he tried to reduce the disturbance at times as observed by me. Shouldn’t they be having earpieces for their walkie talkies or even have amiable tone within their communication systems? Once again, being the Dominic in me, I managed to track the sources to 2 individual personnel in blazer which was standing at the railing of Level 3. Seem to be the supervisor or overall in charge, I must say, they are capable of giving instructions to the staff on ground very well, pointing and directing staffs just from one origin but it would definitely be better that cruisers are not exposed to the noise transmitted or the ground staff are not exhausted by them just pointing and giving instructions! 8. Fast forwarding, I managed to board the ship at 1625hours even though the crowd was crazy, I must say, Intercruises embarkation team that facilitates boarding at Singapore is really superb, their capabilities to handle such massive crowd with that lacking amount of seating capacity. Thank you Gerald and Ben for the service rendered. I promised a commendation and I will deliver it for sure because, I am Dominic Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose Star Clipper on recommendation of our independent travel agent as being a great ship to go on for a first voyage. It surpassed our expectations and we shall certainly do another one. We chose this route because we wanted to ... Read More
We chose Star Clipper on recommendation of our independent travel agent as being a great ship to go on for a first voyage. It surpassed our expectations and we shall certainly do another one. We chose this route because we wanted to sample the Borneo wildlife and we saw orangutans, sun bears, many monkeys and crocodiles. The ship exuded class and comfort, the service was excellent and the staff both above and below deck were personable and helpful. The Captain and officers were professional and friendly and we always felt safe. Our cabin was 330 and was really comfortable with a shower room and toilet , air conditioning and lots of well-planned storage space. There was just the hum of the engine all the time which was needed for the generators even when we were under sail which was most of the time. It did not keep us awake and after a day or two we didn't even notice it. This was Star Clippers maiden voyage from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu and it took 10 days with several stops, mainly in ports but also at anchor and using the safety boats to disembark. There was no formal entertainment but there was no need for it. Several evenings resulted in impromptu events such as a crew/customer talent show which was great fun. There were lots of informal talks from the crew and also star-gazing and engine room and bridge visits as well as making cocktails etc This was not a ship for those wanting to be entertained. Go to a big cruise ship for that! Dress was smart casual in the evenings but men were required to wear long trousers and shirts in the restaurant. Most ladies dressed up in a casual way and wore cocktail dresses or smart trousers etc. Certainly there was no pressure at all. This was not a ship for children as there were no facilities and people enjoyed an adult-only experience. Excursions to Kuching, Brunei and Sepilok were really great and well-organised. We booked once on board and there was plenty of opportunity to learn more and no pressure. We absolutely loved it and can't wait to go again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We arrived in Kobe the day before the cruise and spent the night at the Okura Kobe hotel down by the waterfront area. An excellent hotel with unusually large rooms for Japan and a mixed Japanese/International breakfast. Our room had a view ... Read More
We arrived in Kobe the day before the cruise and spent the night at the Okura Kobe hotel down by the waterfront area. An excellent hotel with unusually large rooms for Japan and a mixed Japanese/International breakfast. Our room had a view of the port and the cruise terminal from the 26th floor and also the exceptional Japanese toilet, which we wanted to take home! There was also a Starbucks on the waterfront next to the hotel which was handy for my wife’s coffee fix at midday before we set off for the ship. A 10 minute taxi ride had us at the terminal and we were processed fairly quickly and onboard in approx. 30 minutes, so off to a good start. The ship overall was well cared for despite its age with only minor signs of wear and tear, but nothing that would put anyone off. I particularly like the grand class for the internal layout and the large full walk- around promenade deck. We had a club class mini suite on the starboard side mid ship, having had the same on the Crown on our last Princess cruise. Lots of space, large balcony and decent sized bath. Also, probably, the only larger cruise ship with Japanese toilets! The main benefit of the c.c. for us is the dining experience. The Diamond does not do anytime dining in the main dining rooms unless you are c.c. in the Santa Fe dining room on deck 6. The dining experience was very good although the food maybe wasn’t always as good as on previous cruises. The head waiter, Raj, prepared an “off menu” choice each night within the dining area and on one night {after a little persuasion} he also cooked a selection of Indian foods from his homeland which was much appreciated. Due to the jet lag and some early rises we only made 2 of the shows but thoroughly enjoyed “The secret silk” and the high quality singing show on the last night. {sorry, forgot it’s name} The passenger demographic on this cruise was probably 60% Japanese with also a large number of people with Japanese heritage from the States etc. and a much smaller number of Australian/brits/Canadians. The atmosphere on board was probably the most courteous we have seen. On one cultural themed event my wife got to try on a kimono helped by volunteer passengers and the entertainment staff, many of whom spoke Japanese, which she loved. Most of the ports of call on this port intensive cruise were unknown to us beforehand but that was part of the appeal. Our first stop was Kochi. The Princess tours did nothing for us and were very expensive for what you got so we arranged a local volunteer guide along with some fellow passengers in advance and she met us off the shuttle bus in town. We spent several hours with her showing us the castle and the temple/botanical gardens on the hill outside town. We also had a traditional Japanese meal kneeling/sitting on the floor. Everything was in Japanese so we took pot luck! Probably saw more through the eyes of a local than on an organised tour. Onto Hiroshima the next day and we booked a Princess tour called “tram and foot” which, although we got to see the main sights in the centre of the city, was not what we had expected. The 2 ladies who ran it were polite and well meaning but I don’t know if a previous passenger had wandered off because we were herded around like an infant school class who had never crossed a road before! It started raining heavily towards our last stop at the beautiful Japanese gardens so we were glad of the bus nearby. Onto day 3 and Matsuyama. This was the first time the ship has called at this port. The ship arrived at the dock at approx. 530 in the morning to a large group of people singing, a band playing and children waving flags! This was happening a short distance from our balcony and certainly gave us {and most others} an earlier wakeup call than we had planned! We saw the funny and, well intentioned side of it, and hope the others who had been loudly wakened did too! As is tradition the Captain received a plaque from the city to be displayed onboard. We took the ship shuttle the short distance to the train station and then the train into the centre of the city. The locals had really put out the welcome mat for us all with lots of English speaking staff to give directions or helpful advice. We wandered about on foot and used the trams to explore and had a great day climbing up to the castle and seeing the old buildings around the city. They also offered a free trip on the Big wheel on top of the Station building when buying the train/tram tickets for the day. On getting back the port, again the locals had gone out of their way to welcome the passengers with shows and local crafts, tea ceremony demonstrations etc. which lasted even after we pulled away from the dockside. In addition they opened the port to the curious locals to come along and hundreds did to enjoy the entertainment and wave us off. A truly moving and memorable experience. Day 4 and the port of Aburatsu for the Miyazaki area. We chose another Princess tour covering both the castle and a small Island with a temple on it. The main reason for a Princess tour was the shorter time in port and the distances involved to get to the main sights. The weather was better and the tour guide treated us like the adults we all were. The castle was nothing special but we enjoyed the Japanese lunch at the Holiday Inn and the Island nearby that was linked via bridge. Final port day and a lunchtime arrival in Busan, South Korea. We booked an independent tour along with a few other passengers and had a great guide, Beth {not her real name which was too hard to pronounce}. She had lived in England and Edinburgh {our area!} for several months whilst studying and her English was very good as was her delivery of information. We were driven about the main sights including the cultural village which some say reminds them of Santorini {only if you’ve been drinking and never been to Santorini!} and had a Korean barbecue meal with the locals. Passed under the neon lit up bridge as we left port. An enjoyable day. A day at sea where we passed through the Kanmon Straits in the morning and under another bridge before hitting the open sea and some relaxation and a try on the totally useless putting green. Easy disembarkation and taxi back to the same hotel we had started from followed by a few days in Kyoto with family and another few days stop over in Dubai on the way home to adjust to the time difference {and enjoy the 40 degree heat}. Overall a good cruise made all the better by the amazing people of this country. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I've been on 9 cruises so far and this was my first cruise to Japan. I travel alone since everyone else is working and I am retired. This was my 5th Princess Cruise. The ship was clean and beautiful with all the woodwork and marble ... Read More
I've been on 9 cruises so far and this was my first cruise to Japan. I travel alone since everyone else is working and I am retired. This was my 5th Princess Cruise. The ship was clean and beautiful with all the woodwork and marble in great condition. However my dining experience was another matter. I ate lunch and dinner aboard Diamond Princess 18 May 2019. My set dinner time was at 5:30 pm. I got some bad sour cream on the bake potato at dinner. I threw up around 3-4am the following morning. I threw up several times in 4 sessions. I went to medical the next day and was then quarantined for 2 days and missed 2 days of my cruise due to the food poisoning. I missed the most important excursion at Hiroshima. I was also given a bill from medical for $191. I spoke to Princess about this insult to injury and was called by an arrogant woman who was the food and beverage director. She denied any and all responsibility for my food poisoning saying that no one else got sick so it wasn't her food and Princess would not cover my medical bills. I told her did this food poisoning just magically happen??? Also, a lot of passengers would never report it because they do not want to be quarantined. She did not want to hear it. I wonder if she did any investigation. How long did that serving dish with the sour cream sit out prior to 5:30 pm? How many people in my section were served from that serving dish of sour cream before it was dumped or changed? I know of two people who got sick from the food during the cruise. The food and beverage director did not have a clue!! After being cleared by medical I was so upset about the arrogance of Princess food and beverage director that I immediately went to the future cruise desk to cancel my next Princess cruise to Alaska in July. I was told I would incur penalties so I said forget cancelling it but I would never sail on Princess again!! I was a Platinum Member but this complete deniability by any wrong doing by Princess is disgusting!! It is a reflection of their attitude toward a lot of issues, one which is in the news today about polluting the oceans then arrogantly advertising how they care so much about the environment!!! Really your company pollutes the Oceans and you say you care for the environment!! Just my experience aboard the Diamond Princess which is the exact opposite of my wonderful dining experience aboard Grand Princess in March. Thank You Diamond Princess for letting me see how bad things really can be!! The entertainment and activities were average cruise productions, nothing to jump up and down about. Also, there were only 3 major shows which repeat every week so for me it was disappointing since my cruise was 2 weeks. The excursions were interesting but expensive, but it's Japan so you will be paying more. Also, expect a lot of walking on most excursions since a lot of the sites are on hills. Another point is expect going through immigration several times during your trip since you enter and leave Japan throughout the cruise. I would not come back to Japan again because there are a lot of places I still want to go to. Japan is crowded with a lot of pushing and shoving, think of Disneyland and that is what it is like. It is a one time visit place for me. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
1. Would like to thank Crew staff (did not know his name) for carrying my 84 yr old mum down the stairs as the elevator for the 13th floor was out of order. Noted at least 1 lift shaft was down. 2. Would like to feedback a very bad ... Read More
1. Would like to thank Crew staff (did not know his name) for carrying my 84 yr old mum down the stairs as the elevator for the 13th floor was out of order. Noted at least 1 lift shaft was down. 2. Would like to feedback a very bad behavior from the Flow Rider staff. Risk of causing accident by intentionally spraying water into my face to get me out of the pool due to miscommunication & a safety risk for me. He is a Caucasian staff. Date/Time of event is 19May, about 5pm. Pls check security camera. Pls reprimand him for potentially risking an accident. 3. Would like to comment of inconsistencies for the Flow Rider. The staff from Philippines is the best, ensuring whenever possible, to have customer knelt on the board for a memorable photo shoot & the PRC staff is encouraging. Others could not care less. 4. Poor organizational skills, in particularly the ice skating. Long snaking queues without any knowledge that all the slots have been taken. 5. Nightly performance was a drag! Only a single performer per night. A violinist for 1 night and an acrobat couple the final night. No variety. 6. Finale Night was a total let down. Small crowd, very poor attendance by the crew and staff themselves. Did not recall seeing the Cruise Entertainment Director. And only 1 performer! 7. Dining staff are extremely short handed. Tables not cleared on time. Food all over the floor. Staff expressionless face tells many stories. 8. It seems like an old ship sent to asia for retirement. Worn and rusty. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Most disappointed Princess Cruise after previous Sapphire, Royal, Regal and Diamond. We found the ship crowded with long queues, Bellinis and Vine became waiting area with tour guides and passengers, everyone rushing here and there, ... Read More
Most disappointed Princess Cruise after previous Sapphire, Royal, Regal and Diamond. We found the ship crowded with long queues, Bellinis and Vine became waiting area with tour guides and passengers, everyone rushing here and there, talking, burping and sneezing loudly. It was really chaotic and people took pictures everywhere including climbing up and down the equipment at the gym, and that there was this occasion where two ladies around their 60s and 80s were taking pictures in front of a backdrop and wouldn't stop posing and laughing until they lose balance and fell down with the backdrop and the Princess photographer was dumbfound. If you skipped the traditional and anytime dining queues, you'll also find long queue at the buffet lines strangely, we had to queue for buffet including waiting in front of sections that we were not picking up any food. Hand sanitizing was not policed after day two. Worse was World Marketplace buffet line was not open for the first (Nagasaki) and second (Yeosu) port day lunch, only the bistro was opened and at Yeosu, they had not enough food and we had long queue for nothing! Three pots of soup finished, empty sandwiches counter, and gone everything with the chef busy scolding and poor older cruisers who had problem walking, waiting, queuing, and surviving till their turn left with no food! Speaking of staffs, most of them were poorly trained, at times you feel like you're in Prison Break or Orange is the New Black, like our cabin steward, International Cafe, Alfredo, Crown Grill and LaMer, we had very bad experiences. But of course, not to mention some very nice staffs like Harmony, Internet service, Photography team, Spa, Gongcha and Noodle Station. The first day we entered our cabin, we already found bread crumbs on the floor. Hot water (shower)was gone on our floor 12 and the customer service had problems understand and paying attention to our call for help due to the same problem with many staffs on this ship, they assumed none can speak English so they were not paying attention to what you're saying! So we waited for 3-4 hours and called 5 times to highlight to them the problem, help only came after so many hours of wait. Same like the buffet staffs, if you say "May I have warm water please?" I got a reply "ah! Water! Hot or cold?". I interpret as "Ah!(you can speak English!" So "Hot or cold?(am not listening!!!)" And I replied "Just now I asked you-may I have warm water please" So after a few rounds of struggle, my friend suggested that I must do what they do, be rude and shout loudly what you want, for example "COKE! ONE!" And I learn not to be polite and speak in full sentences never mind they are from the Phillipines or wherever countries that should be familiar with English. The manager was most rude when we approached to make a reservation, he was speaking to his staffs and he gave us a hand gesture to wait and fiercely told us that he will be attending us in a bit. Dirty public toilets, smelly, clogged most of the time, soap finished. Shows at theatre were exactly like what other cruisers mentioned, they repeated the same shows. Well, no members lounge for disembarkation. And Keelung port was really bad and chaotic as well. So, no more Majestic for us, maybe will stop cruising with Princess for a while. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which was great and have travelled with princess a few times before.This cruise came up to our expectations which was good. The cruise was a back to Back cruise so the second weeks ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary which was great and have travelled with princess a few times before.This cruise came up to our expectations which was good. The cruise was a back to Back cruise so the second weeks entertainment was virtually a repeat of the first week but this was not a problem as we saw the shows when it suited us which was good. The ports of call were great. The staff on Diamond princess were terrific. Could not want for better . They were always cheerful and helpful , which is what we have come to expect from Princess. We had one little hick up with our dining which was rectified before the second night on board by the dining room staff which was much appreciated. Great ship and facilities. The embarkation and Disembarkation was smooth and fast. We were on board and in our stateroom within half an hour of arriving at the port. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Chose this ship because it sailed to ports in and around Japan that I wanted to visit. Getting around in Japan is easy, we traveled from Kyoto on the day of the cruise by rail, you can take the shinkansen directly to Kobe or take a ... Read More
Chose this ship because it sailed to ports in and around Japan that I wanted to visit. Getting around in Japan is easy, we traveled from Kyoto on the day of the cruise by rail, you can take the shinkansen directly to Kobe or take a slightly slower train via Osaka which is what we did. Get of the train one station before Kobe and there is a tram which takes you directly to the ship, the tram cost about 200 yen, easy as. The ship is in good condition, but not as nice as some we have been on. Don't expect a party boat though, the Japanese are very conservative and most bars were as quite as the grave. Dining was a mixed bag, but mainly good. Breakfast as usual was plentiful with a good variety of western and Japanese food, The bacon was all american, wafer thin usually cold and cooked to cardboard, most mornings the eggs were luke warm, but you could order a hot omelette. Free ice cream Pizza and burgers all day to 10 pm. No such thing as a spicy curry on this or any other ship for that matter. Entertainment was very good but repeated itself after 7 days. Some entertainment was provided in the atrium but space was very limited and not up to the standard of other ships. As usual all staff were excellent, happy and glad to be of service. Shore excursions. Very very expensive if you team up with another couple, you can do it for yourselves in a taxi, by train or by bus for much less. Over all great ship, great ports and We enjoyed the cruise. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I liked the look of the itinerary. However, there was no porter service at embarkation. The two Korean ports were a first for this ship, and nearly no one spoke English in the ports. All onboard activities, including entertainers ... Read More
I liked the look of the itinerary. However, there was no porter service at embarkation. The two Korean ports were a first for this ship, and nearly no one spoke English in the ports. All onboard activities, including entertainers and cruise activities were conducted in Chinese. And there were no onboard acknowledgments for Elite Captains Circle members. The ships signage is predominantly in Chinese, and the ships map we were given was also in Chinese. Of the 4,000 + passengers aboard, less than 200 spoke English. Service was an issue, as not enough of the staff spoke Chinese, so language barriers slowed service throughout the ship. The room are nice, and the stewards were helpful. But make no mistake...this a "charter" cruise. Princess was the operator, but not running the ship. All menus, tours, dining and entertainment are geared to Chinese tour guests. If you're expecting a Princess Cruise, you will be severely disappointed and feel cheated. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose Crystal this time as it was the choice of my sister in law who had sailed with them before. Unfortunately she had not sailed with any other cruise line so thought they were fabulous without comparison. We had a balcony cabin on ... Read More
We chose Crystal this time as it was the choice of my sister in law who had sailed with them before. Unfortunately she had not sailed with any other cruise line so thought they were fabulous without comparison. We had a balcony cabin on Deck 8 and it was tiny. This was our first disappointment of the cruise. I am not sure how some of the larger passengers on the ship maneuvered themselves around the bathroom or managed to use the toilet as the bathroom was so small. The decor on the ship is quite boring and uninviting in many areas and there is a lack of artwork around the ship. However there is plenty of space on the ship and you never feel crowded anywhere. The boutiques on the ship were outrageously priced and lacked choice. What happened to passing on tax and duty free savings to the passengers? The pool area should have been a hive of activity but there is no pool bar and this area was underutilised. Seabourn and Oceania do fabulous sail away parties with drinks and entertainment. Not so on Crystal! The weather was perfect and not a drink or band in sight. The food was not fabulous and became very boring. The dining room needs a bigger menu and the market place at the back of the ship, usually one of our favourite places to eat on other ships was closed at night and replaced with a Brazilian restaurant that lacked variety. The Marketplace needs a wider range and themed offerings to relieve boredom. Yes, there are two speciality restaurants on board,but they are difficult to get into so don't rely on them as alternative choice. The Chinese was alright but not fabulous. The enrichment program was excellent and we enjoyed the speakers very much. We are not big on night time entertainment so I really can't comment on that area. Tours were only average and could have been improved. The staff were excellent and we could not fault their service and attitude at all. They were friendly and efficient so we were very happy with this aspect of the cruise. Would we sail with Crystal again? Probably not unless there was a great deal available as at this stage we do not believe value meets the current price point. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The six day river trip on the Yangtze River was part of aa eighteen day adventure in China. From the modern high-rise and lights of Shanghai to the mountain village of Lijiang, this was an exciting and educational experience. The travel ... Read More
The six day river trip on the Yangtze River was part of aa eighteen day adventure in China. From the modern high-rise and lights of Shanghai to the mountain village of Lijiang, this was an exciting and educational experience. The travel through the Three Gorges Dam, the magnificent countryside ad bustling cities, the Panda Reserve experience, the Terra Cotta soldiers, the Forbidden City to the Great Wall made this an adventure of a lifetime. Each day will filled with interesting places to visit and experience along with the local cuisine in each location. Some of the food was very tasty and and although it was similar in content the spices made it different as we traveled from the south of China to the north ending in Beijing. Most of the beer was very mild but was refreshing. The Peking (Beijing) Duck was the best of all the meals, as we as the excellent food served on the Viking Emerald. the accommodations at the various hotels was over the top and the Wanda on the Bund in Shanghai is the nicest hotel we have ever experienced. Don't miss this trip and remember to bring your best walking shoes. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this based on the advice of friend, its price point and the destinations in Japan. It was a back to back cruise, therefore two cruises, not made clear to me before we sailed. Not sure yet if it qualifies me for two cruises for ... Read More
We chose this based on the advice of friend, its price point and the destinations in Japan. It was a back to back cruise, therefore two cruises, not made clear to me before we sailed. Not sure yet if it qualifies me for two cruises for the purpose of obtaining points to upgrade my Princess premium status, or one. We were in cabin B710 with a balcony, nicely appointed. Cabin staff was excellent, thanks Hector. They were attentive, thorough and available, even when I locked myself out of my room. Since our friends were in the next cabin the opening of the door between us allowed us extra space on the balcony. But the ship, although clean, had a dated drab living room appearance, similar to what my grandma might have had (though I am myself elderly now 71). One of the bars, the Wake (did I name it correctly?) below the aft decks, was closed the entire voyage and not announced at any time. There were three onboard additional choices besides the dining rooms and the buffets, of which we tried two of which neither were very good. One, the Crab Shack, was only open one night of the 12 we were onboard and consisted of tables sectioned off at the tail end of the buffet. Food was just plain awful, too salty and not tender. Lack of taste to the shrimp. the touted "king crab" was not from Alaska and we were later informed it came frozen from Maine. They baked it with cheese - ouch! The other was Sabatini's, an Italian cafe. Veal was less than tender and overcooked. The lobster wasn't fresh either and my wife left it on her plate. Princess would do better than to charge the $29 per plate in these "specialty" restaurants rather than promote them separately. I'd frankly like the money back. Food in the buffet and dining room was just average, the too often roast beef either undercooked or overcooked, looking too raw to be appetizing. Some of the fruit wasn't fresh, most of it out of season or tasteless. Only one main choice though many extra stews, etc. Bread was fresh. In the dining room the portions were small, perhaps to cater to the Japanese tastes of which there were more than enough on the boat, the cruise originating in Japan, moving south toward Japanese ports, then Miyakajima, Okinawa and Taiwan. Dining staff also excellent and one night we asked for Southern Fried Chicken which was arranged for a lunch - the best meal on the trip, a thanks to Mark the maitre'd. Entertainment was lacking for anyone under 30. The shows were repeated such that of twelve nights we only saw four shows. A pretty lady opera virtuoso from the Phillipines was starring and no fault can be attributed to her opera choices. But as a pop star or when belting out standards she left something to be desired. Other shows were just average, the dancing OK and lead singers the same. Boat's orchestra, however, was one of the best I've heard aboard a cruise ship. Last night's entertainment was the Craigs, a duo of a strongman and former Olympian doing gymnastic gyrations and comedic oratory. Just plain amateurish, including an almost ten minute intro where nothing occurred onstage. I felt that they lacked sufficient material for a forty minute show. Not to mention that the local high schoolers could do more and better at that. Sorry Craigs, after 5000 performances and an appearance on Ellen it's time to retire. Why the boat docked in Miyakajima for six or eight hours (I forget) is still a mystery to me. Nothing exotic or different there except . . . maybe . .. the snorkeling. Taxiing to the supposedly best beach on the island I did snorkel for about forty minutes. The fish were good and it was better than average, water warm with a $15 charge for the gear. Still we waited almost an hour to board a tender to the dock (insufficient number of boats for the passengers) and another 40 minutes for a taxi (not enough of those on the island either - no busses as they run only every four hours) in front of the local dockside hotel which posted a "no cruise passenger" sign. I mean really, Miyakajima? Other ports of call were worth the visit - we sailed to see Japan and we did see it. But of twelve days at sea only nine were on land, including three coming and going ( we embarked, stopped and re-embarked from Kobe before returning there). An extra day in Keelung might have been a better choice. So only three ports the second leg and three the first, again wishing I had known it was back to back departures. Last there was the ocean itself. We were told (by bridge officers) that the ride south was a rarity, great warm weather and calm seas. But the ride back (and I'm a deep water sailor since boyhood) was quite rough; 40+ knot winds with high seas with 7 - 10 foot swells shaking the boat for two days and one night. Overall Princess has fallen down: older ship (built in 2004), food off the mark and Miyakajima do not make for a luxury cruise. I was pleased that the highlight of this voyage was a private tour of the bridge, occasioned by Third Officer Brandon, so thanks again for that. But would I take this boat again? I'd say that since Princess was acquired by Caravan that they have fallen down ( we are premium members after six or eight cruises with them since 1992). Too much emphasis on profit and not enough on the passengers. If you want to see Japan, try a land trip and go by rail. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because it included a lot of the places we wanted to go. It started in Tokyo, and ended in Vancouver. All the ports were wonderful. But the ship is what it is all about. Viking have the same layout with all their ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it included a lot of the places we wanted to go. It started in Tokyo, and ended in Vancouver. All the ports were wonderful. But the ship is what it is all about. Viking have the same layout with all their ships so this was a second cruise with them and we felt instantly at home. Checkin is always quick and very friendly and happy. A glass of bubbles as soon as you step onto the ship. Up to the buffet for lunch, then to your balcony stateroom. Our stateroom was a Penthouse Verandah, about the second from the bottom in their categories. It was very big with heated bathroom floors and mirrors. Plenty of storage space, wardrobes, drawers etc. room for our cases under the bed. Plus included mini bar, refilled daily, alcohol was included in our category. A pod coffee machine. All the crew were exceptional, remembering and using our names every day. The food was second to none. The specialty restaurants are included at no extra cost. The entertainment was very good with a few international performers and their own performers. We were very well entertained throughout the whole cruise. The best part is, there are no kids, no casino, and no pesky photographers taking your pic with every move you make. A free shore tour in every Port. Plus the thermal spa is complimentary, with its big thermal pool, saunas, ice bucket, snow grotto. Complimentary laundrette on all decks. Washer, dryer, laundry detergent, irons and ironing boards. Viking are very classy ships. We have been spoilt for any other cruise line. We have tried several others. But it will be Viking for us from now on. I can't say a bad word about Viking. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The ship itself is very nice. Most of the staff are great with the exception of the sales and customer service group. I have never seen such a lack of care or give a damn. I went to the front desk and asked to speak to the ship customer ... Read More
The ship itself is very nice. Most of the staff are great with the exception of the sales and customer service group. I have never seen such a lack of care or give a damn. I went to the front desk and asked to speak to the ship customer service officer, Ms Wu who was the shift manager stated he was off duty and he would get back to me. 2 days later I returned to the desk and was told he was too busy with mainland guests and I could scan a QR code and leave any comments. This cruise is not for anyone but mainland China customers. I was shown by the staff they spend the money on the cruise casino n tours so they take first priority. Foreigners and HK people BEWARE... Several HK people I talked with said the same thing. The guests are severly rude and noisy. Which is to be expected; however, the lack of care by the staff was not and was unbelievable. The Nepal n Philippines cabin cleaning crew were amazing. I had one staff member selling items on the 7th floor push me out of the way to sell something to another guest. Find another cruise line like Star or Royal. When trying to talk to the customer service officer I was told he would see me after 2 days of waiting I went to the office and was told he (Mr XU) was too busy and I could go online with a QR code and leave comments. Unbelievable the guest is too insignificant to get 5 minutes of a customer service officers time. BEWARE DREAM CRUISE LINE or you will regret it. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Getting on the new ship in Dubai was very exciting and it certainly does look amazing. Staff onboard were very organised and friendly and everything ran very smoothly for all of our excursions. Our stateroom with balcony was great, ... Read More
Getting on the new ship in Dubai was very exciting and it certainly does look amazing. Staff onboard were very organised and friendly and everything ran very smoothly for all of our excursions. Our stateroom with balcony was great, quite spacious and the stateroom attendant was very good as well. I like the origami animal towels! Breakfast delivered to the room was a lovely touch also. We mostly ate at the windjammer as we preferred the more casual atmosphere to the main dining hall. The food here was great, lots of choice. Healthy fish and salads for me and not so healthy chips etc for my husband! Unfortunately we got quite sick the last week of the cruise with some sort of bug and could not enjoy the food then - there are sinks and hand sanitiser outside the windjammer buffet but we saw many guests ignore this and not wash their hands :( The entertainment onboard was mixed, some great shows like gold art duo and some not so great shows like showgirl and the main production show Silk Road - they just lacked any real story and I thought there would have been more of a complete theatre show at some point with an actual plot. Silkroad felt like they took more time showing off what could be done with the stage and the tech, there was just too much going on to enjoy the very talented performers - I didn’t know where to look half the time! The Royal Theatre layout wasn’t great, we could only see half the stage as we were in seats in the 2nd level. Lots of seats with limited views so had to go very early to make the shows worth watching. My main disappointment with the ship was the gym. We had seen other ships of the same class with massive gyms and we were really excited about this. The gym on Spectrum of the seas felt like an after thought. It was like it had been completely forgotten about and then crammed into a few small spa rooms at the end. It was very hard to find any free equipment, there were only two weights benches, limited floor space and no barbells. It was also frustrating that crew were in fact using the gym as well - it would have been hard enough to find a space nevermind not being able to use a facility because a crew member is using it. I would have expected them to have their own gym onboard and if the customer gym is busy to be using this. The gym was also uncomfortably hot, I think they were trying to put people off using it! All in in I felt like Royal Caribbean just wanted more and more money from us constantly and it felt like a bit of an insult. We booked this trip for our honeymoon and spent thousands of pounds on it and more again on excursions. It felt like taking advantage of customer who have already paid a lot to be there, extortionately priced drinks, overpriced and slow WiFi, high gratituty charges etc. When we got our final bill it was in dollars and when it came out of my account it came out in sterling at a very poor exchange rate.. £150 more than the going rate! Not impressed by royal Caribbean with regards to their constant fleecing and upselling. However the vast majority of staff we dealt with on the ship were lovely and this is more an issue with company policy than the Spectrum or its team. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I hardly know where to start as I found the whole experience very disappointing. It seems one third of the ship is given over to the silver/gold suites and areas, one third to Seaplex (which I'll tell you about) and the last third ... Read More
I hardly know where to start as I found the whole experience very disappointing. It seems one third of the ship is given over to the silver/gold suites and areas, one third to Seaplex (which I'll tell you about) and the last third was for everyone else to squeeze into. There were 3 x swimming pools (2 of which were indoors!) and each had a capacity limit of 26 persons!!! Obviously the limits were exceeded constantly, people cramming into the outdoor one to cool down making it an unpleasant experience which I avoided. There were hundreds and hundreds of sunbeds, all roped together without any gap in between them meaning you had to physically launch yourself onto them, ridiculous. There was little shade available on the pool decks and it was unbearable to sit in the heat; I did not go on holiday to spend time in an indoor pool. The running/walking track was also on the main pool deck, (without any shade) and it was impossible to do any real exercise as it was the main thoroughfare. There was large children's water/play area on the pool deck which was greatly underused as, again, there was no shaded area. Seaplex had some great novelty rides but to give a huge area over to bumper/dodgem cars when there is not even a space for yoga etc. is ludicrous. The casino is also huge, apparently for the Eastern guests - smoking was also allowed inside which I found shocking. The choice of food was wide but of poor quality - without going into huge detail the meat and fish were mainly over-cooked and generally speaking most food was simply bland and often inedible. I purchased the Deluxe drinks package at approx £600 and they ran out of Sauvignon Blanc and quite a few other wines on day 9 of our 14 night cruise. On a positive note the cabins were very spacious and the beds/pillows were particularly comfortable. The decor and artwork around the ship is simply stunning. The entertainment was mixed, some good shows and some really poor. The lectures were uninspiring, the most exciting classes available were origami or napkin folding?? Really! One decent adult bar for an evening with the same pianist playing dire old fashioned tunes, really boring. From talking to other guests, I understand that this was not a typical Royal Caribbean experience - I would not recommend Spectrum of the Seas. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was my 1st cruise and probably last. Entertainment and lectures uninspiring. Woman who gave lecture of forensics looks like just fell out of bed. 1 night had singer in Schooner bar competing with Spectrum big band because lack of ... Read More
This was my 1st cruise and probably last. Entertainment and lectures uninspiring. Woman who gave lecture of forensics looks like just fell out of bed. 1 night had singer in Schooner bar competing with Spectrum big band because lack of theatre space as shows were practising. Food from Winjammer plentiful, repetative but constantly cold. Breakfast line for cooked eggs 6 deep every day. Drink prices not too bad. All cost on board charged by American dollars. I noticed when in port a lot of people racing for free wi-fi, why do you need to charge $23.00 per day for this service. NOW for the CASINO WHAT A FOUL SMELLING AREA THIS IS WITH PEOPLE SMOKING IN THE SO CALLED SMOKING AREA!! Really Royal Carribean where is you non smoking policy in the Casino. Seems you have limited areas outside for smokers but in the Casino it is allowed. We can see where this ship is heading. Went to so called Gym bit of a joke, I asked why it is so small and was told Chinese people did not exercise much. The restaurants where the same old same old very limited and why can they not advertise prices. One good thing was Silk Road performance 3/4 hour so limited. Beatles show according to my partner fantastic but they bolted at the next prot. Jamacian band near pool same music different day. I am sorry Royal Carribean but this ship was definately built for a certain market and we are not part of that market and to assume people would be impressed by the size of this floating casino if a bit of a joke. You asked you got. A no so happy 1st time cruiser. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the incredible places it visited. The ports of call and most excursions were awesome and well worth the time and money. However, the ship was a completely disgusting place to have to spend time on. Our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the incredible places it visited. The ports of call and most excursions were awesome and well worth the time and money. However, the ship was a completely disgusting place to have to spend time on. Our first cabin constantly filled with smoke fumes from the exhaust stacks above. For some reason, the exhaust found its way into our cabin via the air conditioning unit as well as from the balcony door while it was open. Not only did we endure exhaust fumes day and night, but we also had to deal with the smell of sewage coming in the door when we tried to clear out the polluted air from our cabin. We also smelled sewage gas fumes while out on our balcony and around the ship. As a result of the exhaust fumes, my asthma/bronchitis flared up and I was (and still am) in dire distress throughout the cruise. Paid over $300 to see the doctor on board only to be told that I needed a cough suppressant. Waited over 2 hours with multiple other passengers who were suffering various forms of breathing distress. We reported the exhaust fumes that filled our cabin to customer service. They had a young lady come to the door of the cabin to ask us what our problem was. She said she'd let maintenance know. Maintenance came to the door and asked us, once again, what our problem was. They said they'd let their supervisor know. That was the last time anyone on the ship responded to our breathing issues. When we mentioned it to one of the head waiters, she asked about it for us. She was informed that the maintenance staff considered us to be liers. She was upset on our behalf, but there was nothing she could do. So, the management of Royal Caribbean, Spectrum of the Seas determined without further investigation that WE were LIERS and there were no exhaust fumes in our cabin! The entertainment was hit and miss. Some of the shows were amazing, others were so-so. Most of the so-so shows were repeated throughout the cruise. The ship's band was excellent, however, it always played so loudly that earplugs were necessary. The gymnasium was small with limited equipment. Lots of entertainment for younger passengers - bumper cars, climbing wall, surfing, etc. Quite amazing, actually. The food was great during the first half of the cruise and went downhill as the second half of the cruise progressed. We found that we ate very little of what was served to us. Coughing, loud, tortured, and constant by well over three-quarters of the passengers was heard throughout the ship. Lots of sick people to spend time with while living on the ship. The many people we spoke with also complained about exhaust-like fumes throughout the ship. Staff were absolutely AMAZING! Courteous, friendly, helpful (except maintenance, of course). Can't write enough good things about each of the staff members. They did an incredible job doing what they could to cheer up all of the passengers. EVERYTHING was expensive on the ship. There were charges for everything. Nowhere to purchase toiletries except at the Japanese Pharmacy. One had to purchase three large containers of a product at exorbitant prices. Nowhere could we find simple products like cold suppressant supplies, toothpaste, hairspray, etc. ALL of the shops were high-end and extremely expensive. Nowhere to purchase simple, inexpensive souvenirs to bring home. We were personally aware of three elevator incidents. Two times where people were trapped in the elevator and couldn't get out. Ten people suffered multiple injuries when the elevator they were in fell three floors. I overhead the meeting those people had with management and I was appalled at how rudely they were treated! No compensation was given other than a discount off their next cruise with Royal Caribbean. They were even told that they were lying about what took place. One woman that I had come to know started crying and one of the ship's management people told her to "settle down'. No empathy whatsoever. Even when they were removed from the elevator it was done in an unsafe manner. If the elevator had fallen (it was slowly going down at the time) they would have been severed - beheaded. All in all, we will not be travelling with Royal Caribean again. Mostly because of the lack of follow up with so many disasters and health-compromising issues. Read Less

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