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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Previous trip on HAL Westerdam was so nice that we made a special effort to get the same cabin on this trip. Partially obstructed view, but twofold panels of glass kept the room bright even on the cloudiest day (and we had about 5 of ... Read More
Previous trip on HAL Westerdam was so nice that we made a special effort to get the same cabin on this trip. Partially obstructed view, but twofold panels of glass kept the room bright even on the cloudiest day (and we had about 5 of them). Cheerful, gracious crew always seemed to be looking for a way to improve the experience. They were available without being intrusive. In various lounges and bars, if you declined a drink, they just leave a napkin there so that you won't be approached by every last server. Great idea. As I said, 5 rainy, windy days across the north Pacific, and the crew were resolutely cheerful at all times. Captain Mark took us a bit out of the way to avoid the worst weather, which was so very thoughtful. We stopped at Kushiro in Japan, and the rain was blowing, but many us took the free shuttle to a kind of mall which gave us an insight into some of the Japanese culture. Stops in Alaska were fortunately sunny, and Icy Straits is one of the most hauntingly beautiful place I've seen. We were sorry to leave, and we learned how difficult it had been to dock due to winds and nearby reefs. We saw a couple of whales, which for most of us was a first. Overall, a serenely beautiful cruise with the most amazingly gracious staff ever. Once again, Denny and Theo, thanks for taking such good care of us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Choose the cruise to get some sun after the European winter and because of a recommendation from cruising friends. Star Clipper herself is becoming tired and in some areas is looking her age but you very quickly forget this as the ... Read More
Choose the cruise to get some sun after the European winter and because of a recommendation from cruising friends. Star Clipper herself is becoming tired and in some areas is looking her age but you very quickly forget this as the experience gets better and better by the day. We boarded in Phuket and cruised the Thai islands and Penang. The crew generally were tireless in making things work. The food on board was good to excellent given the limited opportunities that they have to stock the galleys. Drinks prices were realistic particularly as a reasonable bottle of house wine was only €16. The excursions were good particularly the Orang Utan island near Penang (but was there really nothing other than a charcoal factory to show us in Malaysia?). The trip to James Bond island is perhaps mistitled as the better parts were the local islands (similar to Ha Lang bay in Vietnam), the floating village and the mangrove areas. Beach and snorkelling opportunities were many and well organised with good locations and an excellent beach bbc on one day - the bread and butter pudding being an excellent treat. The cruise director Peter was extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. The musician Jerby was a very special part of making the trip so good. It is perhaps unfair to pick out individual as all the crew from the captain to the sports team to the pursers, nurse, cabin staff, waiters etc. were brilliant. You can always find faults but we simply had an excellent holiday Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We wanted a cruise around Japan but had no specific ports in mind. This one came up in an email from Princess so we booked it. After we visited a Buddhist temple and the famous fish market in Busan, South Korea, we stopped at 3 smaller ... Read More
We wanted a cruise around Japan but had no specific ports in mind. This one came up in an email from Princess so we booked it. After we visited a Buddhist temple and the famous fish market in Busan, South Korea, we stopped at 3 smaller cities. First was Sakata and the people of the town welcomed us with open arms - they did performances on the pier and waved goodbye as we left. So touching. Aomore had lots to offer - we went to see the famous four-story paper mache floats and a pottery place that was about an hour outside of the city. Miyako was the area decimated by the 2011 tsunami and this was the first time Princess stopped at this port so there was a big celebration. School children and residents all came out on this very windy day to bear witness to this special day. As part of the entertainment, the ship hosted a special drumming group from South Korea and the show was excellent. I was adjusting to the time change so I missed most of the other shows but I heard from other cruise guests that they were very good. From my point of view, this cruise was perfect and up to the top-notch standards I always expect and receive from Princess - my favourite cruise line. Staff is always friendly, helpful and personable. The balcony cabin I had was the perfect size (and believe it or not, even bigger than the hotel room I had in Tokyo). Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We have predominately sailed with Cunard but after our fantastic experience with Celebrity we are moving to this cruise line from now on.Every aspect with Celebrity was amazing from the service to the food to the cabin it was faultless.We ... Read More
We have predominately sailed with Cunard but after our fantastic experience with Celebrity we are moving to this cruise line from now on.Every aspect with Celebrity was amazing from the service to the food to the cabin it was faultless.We have cruised with Cunard (Carnival 30 times and the quality and service as plummeted across the entire carnival fleet) This cruise was Fabulous from the ports of call to the attention to detail aboard ship. The entertainment was second to none so was the attentive staff and crew.The quality of the food was also excellent and the service in the restaurants was just wonderful. there is absolutely nothing i can complain about.The internet is amazing but expensive at $320 for 15 nights but compared with $180 for 8 hours on Cunard its worth every cent and at least you can use it . Book soon as you get on in order to get the best deal. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
As Millennium was the first ship to be part of the comprehensive fleet wide Celebrity refurbishment programme (February) I hope the following observations will be of interest. So, welcome to the Kelly Hoppen land of grey and brown. I ... Read More
As Millennium was the first ship to be part of the comprehensive fleet wide Celebrity refurbishment programme (February) I hope the following observations will be of interest. So, welcome to the Kelly Hoppen land of grey and brown. I didn’t think I would like it but it is ok for a couple of weeks. Whether this currently trendy combination of colours will stand the test of time does, of course, remain to be seen. It is smart but a touch boring for my tastes and I hated the wish-washy “art” in the cabin behind the bed. Anyway, the cabin ( Aqua, deck 9) was fine. The large round illuminated mirror was lovely. It added to the sophistication of the room. Comfortable bed, plenty of storage space and functional bathroom. No complaints (a small plumbing problem was quickly resolved). The food in Blu was mainly very good (a lot more hits than misses) and we enjoyed the environment. Service was good but the additional Aqua cabins do seem to have created congestion at peak times which is hardly surprising when Blu is still the same size. It is an issue which Celebrity need to address. The changes to the buffet were my favourite alteration to the ship. Great layout with use of counters and stools which were an efficient use of space and, also provided viewing places. The use of white tiles and logos worked well. The food maintained a good standard. The Sunset bar area at the back of the ship has received some criticism, although we thought it looked good and did provide enough shade. However, it was Japan in April and not the Mediterranean in July. All the lounges looked good with mainly perfectly sensible and comfortable seating. Sun loungers were all new and we enjoyed regular use of the Persian Garden. Musical offerings are important to us and I do appreciate that this is a subjective topic. The Cruise Director, Steve, was excellent. Lovely chap. The programming of music was perfect. Great use of the lounges at the right times. Bryan James, singer and acoustic guitarist, was a highlight. His sessions in Cafe al Bacio were particularly memorable. The house band, Bristol Fashion were very good and nice to talk to. The instrumental duo were also outstanding with a guitar providing so much more variety than the usually ubiquitous cello. The theatre was mainly used for music and comedy. We didn’t go to everything but those we did attend were good. Celebrity seem to be phasing out the costume singing and dancing extravaganzas which, personally, I welcome. The one we did see was incomprehensible and, for me, unbelievably tedious. Quizzes were run by one very good girl and two pretty awful chaps. I am sure they have talents but not in the quiz arena. This was the poorest aspect of the cruise. Fellow cruisers were lovely. It was one of the most sociable cruises we have taken and their company was much appreciated. Staff were outstanding. As helpful and friendly in all areas of the ship as one could ever wish to encounter. As mentioned CD Steve was really good, as was Captain’s Club host, Graeme, from Zimbabwe, who was never lost for a good story. Japan was a surprise. Amazing country, amazing people. We look forward to returning. The one ship’s tour (Mt. Fuji) we took was very good with an excellent guide. Everywhere else we made our own arrangements. It is difficult to rank cruises but of our 14 (9 Celebrity) this was as good as it gets. The combination of itinerary, the management of the ship by the amusing Captain Alex (and Captain Theo) and all their staff and the fact that Millennium was like a new ship contributed to our enjoyment of the cruise and our sadness that it had to end. In summary, the successful refurbishment was critical to the pleasure we experienced on Millennium. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We're long time Seabourn cruisers who hadn't totally enjoyed our trip on Encore summer of 2018, finding the new larger ships lovely, but lacking the Seabourn service we'd come to love. This trip was on Sojourn, the only ... Read More
We're long time Seabourn cruisers who hadn't totally enjoyed our trip on Encore summer of 2018, finding the new larger ships lovely, but lacking the Seabourn service we'd come to love. This trip was on Sojourn, the only one of the Odyssey ships we hadn't sailed before. The ship is in fine condition, 450 people roam around it daily but it's constantly maintained and that keeps it looking fresh. Embarkation was the usual smooth process, met at the aircon end of the gangway by the cruise director Ross Roberts, we've sailed with him before, we knew entertainment was going to be .. entertaining. Ross is a Seabourn asset and we were very happy to sail with him again. Our Seabourn highlight has always been the service and they didn't disappoint on this cruise. Staff learned your name and your preferences within a day or two and literally nothing was too much trouble. Food is important on a cruise, the food on this one was top notch. The head chef, Lindsay, really had the kitchen humming and it didn't matter whether you ate at the main dining room, the colonnade or the new Earth and Ocean outdoor concept restaurant, which was superb; it was hard to pick a dining venue sometimes, they were all excellent. We're not great fans of the Thomas Keller tie-up and feel Seabourn's chef's offerings are just as good, if not better. We went to the TK grill twice, it was great service and wonderful ingredients, quite rich, and twice was enough. Our favourite venue was probably Earth and Ocean which served up a varied menu on deck each night. For a hot weather cruise as this it was nice to sit outside. Entertainment was fun. You're not getting a cast of 50 on a Seabourn ship but the singers and dancers were excellent. We've seen a lot of the shows before, however this time "An Evening With Tim Rice" actually had .. Sir Tim Rice who was on board and also performed in another show about his music. That was just luck and Sir Tim is a very nice man whom I wish had been on our trivia team. Best ports on this trip were Ho Chi Minh and Hong Kong, each of which were overnights. The small Seabourn ships can dock in the centre of HCM and at Ocean Terminal in HK and that was huge in terms of just getting off and getting around. There were other good ports on the itinerary, but those two made the whole trip. There were also a couple of .. hmm .. ports. Sianoukville was really a dropping off point for people taking two overland days to visit Ankor Wat, Sanya may be a lovely place to holiday but the cruise terminal abuts nothing exciting. Cruises in Asia tend to have a mixture of good and not-quite-so-good ports. We did no ship excursions on this trip. The places we really wanted to do something, either the ship wasn't doing it or it was very easy to fix ourselves. It seems Seabourn is trying to attract a younger crowd but the excursions still tend towards 'church,ruin,UNESCO'; they have started to add cooking and cycling tours but they're still mostly pitching the type of tours where you get on a bus at 9am and return at 4pm having seen a lot of not much. And the tours tend to be expensive, variety and cost of tours is something Seabourn could perhaps look at. We passed 100 days on Seabourn this trip, if they keep these standards up we'll pass another 100, although it may take us another 12 years to do it. Seabourn is still our favourite line, the Odyssey class still our favourite ships, this cruise it was very hard to find a fault with, we loved it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
If you want spectacular scenery and attractions you will need to book the land package that includes Angkor Wat and Harlong Bay. The cruise down the Mekong is more a cultural expose and explanation of historical events in the region. The ... Read More
If you want spectacular scenery and attractions you will need to book the land package that includes Angkor Wat and Harlong Bay. The cruise down the Mekong is more a cultural expose and explanation of historical events in the region. The boat and scenery on the river are still interesting but not spectacular. The cabins are excellent with a small balcony and French doors and the bathroom is clean and of good size with a glass shower screen. Food on the cruise was varied, both western and Asian selections with several selections for every meal. Drinks were available all day with beer and spirits included although they were of limited types , wine was only served with meals in the dining room. I have included photos of the wine list and drink list to give an idea of the extra charges if you wanted to purchase premium wine or spirits. The passengers are mainly older Americans, Canadians, British or Australians who are able to walk reasonable distances for the excursions. Excursions were interesting and varied and the guides were well organised. The staff were a highlight and attentive, friendly and well trained. Overall an excellent cruise by a professional company with great staff. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise as we wanted to travel to India, but were unsure about what that destination would be like, so we saw cruising as a safe and easier option (with the benefit of returning to our version of normality at the end of each ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to travel to India, but were unsure about what that destination would be like, so we saw cruising as a safe and easier option (with the benefit of returning to our version of normality at the end of each day). It was a good choice. We could experience the manic chaos of India and enjoy the sensory overload that it is, and then retreat each afternoon/evening to our cabin for a hot shower, on deck for a drink, and to the air conditioned comfort we are accustomed to. Overnight in Mumbai was fantastic, as we got to experience the never ending energy that the city offers by going out to a restaurant for dinner then exploring night markets before retreating back to the ship. The other ports were also interesting, but India was our real reason for this trip. The ship and staff were great. We were lucky enough to score an aqua class cabin which meant we could dine for breakfast and dinner in the Blu restaurant. Very good service and lovely well balanced meals made it overall the best dining experience we've had on a ship. We went to the Qsine restaurant twice and that was outstanding. Usually we enjoy nightlife and music in the evenings, but we were so tired after each port day, we didn't bother this time, it was early nights most of the time. The shows we went to were very good and a good variation of acts. Our cabin was pretty standard balcony, which was more than adequate. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that ... Read More
" Slow boat " to Japan for the Sakura or Cherry Blossom, and a bit of sightseeing, fine dining and some dancing in between, that was the idea and why not, take 19 nights instead of 9 hours fly direct. It is the journey that matters and something to reminisce in future. See photos. In Nov 2017, we travelled the shinkansen or bullet train around Japan for the autumn foliage and kind of felled in love with the beautiful people, place and views. So this time, we wanted to see the sakura. We experienced sakura in Hirosaki Castle Park in North Honshu. Aomori is the closest big town. ( see photos and separate review on the Diamond Princess ) We sailed QE, Melb to Yokohama for the first leg and switched over to the Diamond Princess to sail around Japan for the 2nd leg for another 9 nights. Thanks Cunard staff for the cabin upgrade. Hundreds of us, had to do the switch over and gladly give the Japanese a chance to enjoy what we did in the last 3 weeks on the QE. The rumour was, 1700 Japanese were getting onboard the QE for the Golden Week ( 4-5 public holidays ). In my past reviews on Cunard voyages, I have commented their excellent ambience, decore, service, food, entertainment and varied activities. Breakfast room service and dining service were excellent, everyday. These high standards continued, in my humble view. Thanks Reynaldo and Alvin for your serving of pistachio souffle which I enjoyed watching more than eating ( I am not a dessert person ). Thank you to our Brissie realtors table companions and making everyone laugh, sometimes in tears, each night. And to Ron and Angela for the many many happy times we had while onboard. On sea days and there were many, Zumba exercises at 9am and line dancing at 10am, ballroom dancing at 11am and in the afternoon, different type of dance lessons and from 7.45pm onwards, ballroom and latin dancing in the Queens Room till midnight and in the Yatch Club, with more pop and disco until the wee morning hours. In QE, you can literally DANCE TILL YOU DROP DEAD. As they say, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Survive I did with a trick, get some rest and catch a nap. We enjoyed dancing but not as dedicated as some others who wake up at the crack of dawn, to practice in the Queens Room. Thanks to the many people we met while dancing like Des and Pauline, Ron n Barb, Arthur n Betty, and Tim n Tima, Mark n Annie, etc.... Life on board the QE includes the pool activities, mahjong, fencing, table tennis, darts, trivia, interesting talks, shows and of course, drinking and fine dining and late night suppers in the Lido after dancing. Following an interesting presentation on the social culture and food aspects of Japan, there was an interesting ceremony on breaking of the sake or wine barrel. The Japanese vintage sake was free flowing and was limitless. It was not a good idea, on an empty stomache and before lunch but life goes on.... Neil, the entertainment director and zumba instructor, was easy, funny and encouraging to many newcomers to zumba. He got my table companions, Steve and Donna, converted. Lesley, did a great job hosting and was ably assisted by the dance hosts like Brian and Sheila, Richard, etc. Much credit is due to our 4 dance instructors who patiently taught many of us, several useful dance moves and techniques to improve ourselves. Recorded music used for dancing was in manyways better than live music on some occassions ( see review on QE to Tasmania and Port Arthur) As for the ports, we were lucky to get some magical views of sunrise over the Sydney Opera House and the ferries darting in and out of Circular Quay ferry terminal. I have lived and worked in Sydney before and this experience is still a treasure. A tip, get the portside cabin when coming into Sydney. We enjoyed strolling along the Royal Botanical Gardens and the views from Mrs Macquaire Chair of QE, Opera Housre and the Harbour Bridge. This must be one of the most beautiful harbour in the world, in my view. In Brisbane, we enjoyed the free shuttle to town centre, free City Hopper ( red coloured ) ferry ride around Southbank and wandered and shop inthe high street. We dropped in a big Commonwealth Bank to do some banking and got free wi-fi and an excellent coffee, on the house. Thank you customer service. That is why banked with you. We skipped visiting Alotaul in PNG as it was so bloody hot and humid but we did our own shore excursion ( aud 45pp for a 2 hour air cond bus tour ) in Rabaul to the Hotsprings, Mt Tavurvur ( pronounced TaVOORvoor) volcano that last erupted 5 years ago in Sep 2014, the Japanese general Yamamoto bunkers, and the Volcano Observatory station. The scientist staff showed us in and explained all the seismological monitoring. You can get some beautiful views of QE in the harbour below and the volcano, too. In Manila, we got a free shuttle to a big shopping complex. We got some currencies and went shopping. I booked and got a nice hair trim by a gorgeous hairdresser and my wife got a manicure done at the same time. You can walk out of QE or port to see Josef Rizal Memorial and Fort Santiago without having to catch the free shuttle. Do that later. Otherwise, it was a 30 min hike back and it can be very sweaty due to its humidity and the pathways are not always clear and smooth. In Nagasaki, we took a tram ride to the nearest station and walked 5 min to the Peace Park and another 5 min walk to centre of the atomic bomb blast. The English tourist brochure on how to ride and pay the tram fare and the direction to the stations is very simple and clear to understand. Remember to change tram at the main station for the next tram and get a transfer ticket from the tram driver before disembaring. This is used for the 2nd and final tram when you exit. Just follow the cruise crowd as nearly all will head in the same direction. It is 50% cheaper to pay on the tram as you exit instead of buying the day pass. You may not have much time visting other places. We window shopping when we return and walked up to the Church which was first used by Portugese inthe 13th-15th century. BTW, you can see the small mountan scenic top from the QE ship portside andyou can catch your own ropeway or cable car up there for a small fee as compared to shore excursion. Yokohama, has a lot ot offer which we will do the next time. This time, we caught the city free shuttle to Sakuragicho station. We have a Suica card from previous visit and we avoided the very long queue to buy a train ticket to Central Tokyo or Shinjuku or Akihabara in our case. We caught the unreserved seating JR Keihin- Tohuku for Omiya direction express train direct to Akihabara for under 600 yen or usd 6 or aud 9. Incredibly cheap and quite fast if you know how and do your homework. Use hyperdia.com website. Otherwise, Cunard transfer will be aud 100 plus. Hopefully, my table companions took up my suggestion,if not for the money, at least, just for the experience. In conclusion, we were very happy overall with the voyage and the many people we met, dined and danced with and highly recommend this ship and voyage especially for the Pollywogs who have never crossed the Equator. You get a big colorful Cunard map of the world certificate with your name on it for crossing the Equator. Nice surprise. Looking forward to the next Med cruise in Sept. Hopefully, you enjoyed reading the review and got something out of it in some little ways. Well, at least enjoy the photos. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first Azamara cruise and we chose it because of the itinerary. We loved everything, the crew, the service and the food. As a bonus, we met some wonderful people. The included Amazing Evening was just that, a really nice ... Read More
This was our first Azamara cruise and we chose it because of the itinerary. We loved everything, the crew, the service and the food. As a bonus, we met some wonderful people. The included Amazing Evening was just that, a really nice amenity on this cruise line. The ship had been in dry dock for a week prior to our cruise which resulted in a few glitches in the beginning of the cruise. Azamara corrected the issues as quickly as possible and compensated everyone for the issues. Our second Azamara cruise is already on the calendar! Good to know: The cabin bathroom is quite small. Laundry facility is a nice amenity on the 7th deck and it is heavily used. Detergent is provided. The Mosaic Café offers coffee and great snacks throughout the day. The casino has been removed and replaced with a very nice piano bar called The Den. Read Less

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