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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: April 2019
This year 3 members of my family are celebrating a “Big 0” Birthday. To celebrate these milestones we decided to have a weekend together. What better way to spend time together than on a cruise. Having previously cruised with Princess, ... Read More
This year 3 members of my family are celebrating a “Big 0” Birthday. To celebrate these milestones we decided to have a weekend together. What better way to spend time together than on a cruise. Having previously cruised with Princess, I suggested a short cruise. The Golden Princess had a 3 night cruise from Melbourne to Sydney. Perfect! With 13 passengers and an age range from 3 to 69 we boarded in Melbourne for what proved to be an amazing way to be together. With so much to see and do, everyone was treated to some activity they really enjoyed. Kid’s Club provided magical experiences for the little ones whilst Wine Tasting and night life were enjoyed by the adults. The live shows and movies were enjoyed by all. The gym junkies in the group were pumping in the early morning at the very well appointed Fitness Centre. The food was sensational. So many choices and every meal was delicious and beautifully presented. There was something for everyone. Half time pies at the AFL footy telecast, pizza and icecream at the pool, High Tea and late night snacks after Dancing the night away. We also got together for Buffet breakfast and fine dining in the evenings. The staff were excellent and so attentive to all our needs. In every area of the ship our requests were cheerfully attended. Each member of the group gave our trip a 10/10 rating and we are already planning our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Many time travellers had recommended the princess ships to me,thought it was time to try. The quality and type of food was excellent,the restaurants so good the waiters and the staff were so friendly and their choice of the menu was ... Read More
Many time travellers had recommended the princess ships to me,thought it was time to try. The quality and type of food was excellent,the restaurants so good the waiters and the staff were so friendly and their choice of the menu was incredible. The ship is a dream so much to see and do it is hard to get around to every thing ,the movies under the stars is a knockout. The cabin crew were so good and obliging helped in every manner that was possible. The staff at DONATELLOS are the best that I have experienced you have to experience to appreciate fully. The embarkment and disembarkment were so smooth took no time at all. My wife and I are in the process of booking several tours with princess at this time,much longer cruises are now in order. Coffee and wines were the best could not have asked for better. All in all I did not want to get off the ship it was that good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Before traveling we read many negative reviews about this ship so our expectations were quite realistic. It was a taster cruise to see if I could handle the seasickness and being on board for days in a row. We had an amazing time and ... Read More
Before traveling we read many negative reviews about this ship so our expectations were quite realistic. It was a taster cruise to see if I could handle the seasickness and being on board for days in a row. We had an amazing time and could find little fault. For the price we paid, we didn't expect the highest quality food or the most luxurious accommodation but our meals in the specialty restaurants were fine. Yes the serves were small, but extra dishes could be ordered. I loved the smaller serves, compared to the huge meals served in most restaurants everywhere these days. The staff were amazing. Nothing is too much trouble. We found the entertainment to be excellent with something for everyone. I am sure there are more glamorous ships on offer but we went with an open mind and a positive attitude and enjoyed the whole experience. On this comedy cruise we laughed our way across the Tasman. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise over a Sydney to Melbourne one as had the need to go one way or the other (function in Melbourne). Unfortunately this ship is getting very old & has some challenging issues. The toilet wasn't working upon ... Read More
I chose this cruise over a Sydney to Melbourne one as had the need to go one way or the other (function in Melbourne). Unfortunately this ship is getting very old & has some challenging issues. The toilet wasn't working upon arrival to our cabin & also several times throughout the cruise causing me to have to visit a public toilet on multiple occasions, unfortunately for Princess many of these were also out of order. The lack of Happy Hour means that many people no longer mingle in the bars & we'd be happy for princess to bring this back, even if it was at an inflated price. There was a guy at the bag drop in Melbourne who was very odd, all I wanted to do was use his stapler to staple my bag tag on to my luggage, instead when another passenger handed me the stapler, snatched it & put it in his pocket & made me wait over 20 minutes for 2 staples (sarcastically thanking me for waiting after stapling my tags for me). Unfortunately we noticed the limitation of nip sizes when pouring drinks, whereas in the past they used & filled the large size of the jigger now they use the small side & only half fill it. If the alcohol is so much more expensive now, put the prices up, don't rip your passengers off. On the plus side the cabin was the largest we've had to date (6 previous cruises) and the TV was huge, shame it didbn't have the movies on demand like on the Diamond. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We went on the Astoria in March 2019 and firstly the really good aspects: It went from our home port in Poole so no distance to travel. It is a nice size with not too far to walk to the restaurants and lounges, it is quite stable so ... Read More
We went on the Astoria in March 2019 and firstly the really good aspects: It went from our home port in Poole so no distance to travel. It is a nice size with not too far to walk to the restaurants and lounges, it is quite stable so although quite rough seas it didn't roll too much so no sea sickness. It had a cinema with recent releases being shown. They had a good speaker on board who shared his Vulcan experiences so being into aviation this was a nice surprise. The cabins were very well appointed with plenty of space for clothes etc. The staff were very friendly and we received good service. They provided shuttle buses at all the ports for independent travellers not going on the excursions so there weren’t the long walks that we have had on other cruise providers Next the not so good aspects The cabins were noisy and vibration from the engines could be felt all night long. We couldn't work out whether this was the location of our cabin - deck 4 mid ship but I suspect that it was throughout the ship but the beds were very comfortable so didn't affect our sleep. The general consensus was 'the more you pay the more you sway' .The service in the Olissipo restaurant was quite slow and the food average. We did treat ourselves to the steak bar and had an excellent 8 course meal although one of the steaks was too tough and went back. The schedules weren't kept to due to rough weather (not their fault) so we only ended up with 4 full days ashore and 4 half days. Our trip to the Scillies was cancelled which was disappointing. We felt that the information provided by the excursion team was poor for independent travellers. For instance when we went to Invergordon we were told that it was difficult to get the public transport into Inverness and that we should take the £25 ship transfer. In fact there was a bus that went straight into Inverness and cost only £12 return. Clearly they were more interested in selling the excursions. There were 2 sizes of wine on offer a large and small glass but despite repeated requests for a small glass, large ones (187ml) always arrived. So we ended up buying a bottle which was cheaper. Overall it is a good value boat and CMV are recommended as good organisers. We would go on Astoria again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our second cruise on the Ovation. We had upgraded to the Grand suite and definitely worth it with all the inclusions of specialty restaurants, butler, vip dining etc and the room was amazing and spacious. Great storage for us both ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Ovation. We had upgraded to the Grand suite and definitely worth it with all the inclusions of specialty restaurants, butler, vip dining etc and the room was amazing and spacious. Great storage for us both and the view of the sounds as we sat on the balcony was wonderful. Your room receives a daily planner of activities and I wish they would update over the speakers throughout the day as a reminder as there is so many things on and spread out across the ship I found it difficult sometimes to plan properly. The food in the coastal kitchen and solarium was outstanding and recommend booking the Chefs table early as it sells out quickly. With 5 courses matched with wines including the chef who explains all about each dish and why the wine was chosen is a great experience. The only con is the constant up selling from staff, but say no once they tend to leave you alone. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
4th cruise, 3rd with Celebrity, 2 others on smaller Constellation & Millenium. Value of cruise good but inclusions very expensive. Had balcony midships level 8, excellent. Internet usage $55US per day, Drink Packages ridiculous ... Read More
4th cruise, 3rd with Celebrity, 2 others on smaller Constellation & Millenium. Value of cruise good but inclusions very expensive. Had balcony midships level 8, excellent. Internet usage $55US per day, Drink Packages ridiculous prices as well. $25US corkage if you bought your own wine to dinner. (1 bottle per person allowed onboard first day). Food in main dining ok except for 2 nights when the choice was inedible. Ocean View cafe ok but again some of the meat dishes were a bit dry & unappetizing. Trying to find a seat at breakfast was a challenge. Solstice is getting a bit tired & needs a refit which is happening next year I think. Captain Tasos is THE best & he & his staff of many could not be faulted. Dining room staff were exceptional & really looked after you. Ports of Call on this itinerary were great, especially our sail through The Sounds. Much prefer to cruise on smaller ships. 2200 pax & 1200 staff just not as personal. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I am on board this ship attending a genealogy conference. Thank goodness I AM attending a conference because the overall options for things to do on this ship are terrible. Everything is aimed at young families - the ones where the parents ... Read More
I am on board this ship attending a genealogy conference. Thank goodness I AM attending a conference because the overall options for things to do on this ship are terrible. Everything is aimed at young families - the ones where the parents traipse off and have a good time but leave their brats to run amok and annoy fellow guests. Then there is the food - the Windjammer is terrible, all food is well overcooked and what is not eaten is served up the next day in a variety of stir fry's and casserole-type dishes. The Sapphire Dining Room is just as bad. The only decent meals are to be had in the speciality restaurants which leads me to think they make the general food so bad you will naturally take up the specialities! It would also appear that the shore excursion staff are not kept informed about any changes to excursions until the very last minute and are not able to get the message out to its passengers. For one excursion I was booked on, I was complaining about the change of date at such late notice (the evening before) when several other passengers advised they had had 4 date changes to the same excursion. Was also booked on the Tour of the Ship only to be told while waiting for the tour to commence that it would not be happening because we were sailing through the Torres Straits and no one is allowed to enter the bridge or engine room on this day. HELLO why was the day available for the booking in the first place when the organisers would have known we would be travelling through those Straits on that day. Arrived in Darwin to be told our collected tour group (who had to meet at the fore theatre room on Deck 3 had to walk up to Deck 4, across to the aft elevators and go down to Deck 1. We get down there having had to wait many minutes for elevators (they only take so many people) to be told, no you are exiting from Deck 4. Up we go again to find we have to disembark down the steepest, wet, gangway I have every seen. Our group consisted of many elderly persons with mobility problems including a totally blind woman with a stick. Surely this is a health and safety risk just waiting for a passenger to have a fall and sue the pants off of Royal Caribbean. I have done several cruises with their sister company Celebrity and the difference between the two is staggering. Royal Caribbean - Explorer of the Seas - no longer supplies fresh water jugs to your cabin; no longer gives you that little chocolate on your bed making you feel special; instead of two cabin stewards there is only one very overworked steward; the conference room in the fore of the ship has only 1 toilet for up to a hundred people. Then there is the state of the elevators, one of which kept breaking down - to be honest it was the one you could rely on because it wasn't working with the others continually whizzing past your floor or staying on each deck for around 4 or 5 minutes minimum. Much quicker to take the stairs but not suitable for the elderly or those with mobility problems. I could go on but then I'd only be seen as a whinger - along with at least half of the passengers on this cruise. My advice - pay the extra and go with Celebrity or its ilk. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
After cruising for many years with Princess my partner and I were disappointed with the lay out of this ship, their seemed to be not enough staff for the amount of passengers on board, most places we visited on board did not have enough ... Read More
After cruising for many years with Princess my partner and I were disappointed with the lay out of this ship, their seemed to be not enough staff for the amount of passengers on board, most places we visited on board did not have enough seating, the ship was designed the Chinees market and it shows with the conversions of the public such as the vista lounge once part of the casino and another now bar also was the high rollers as you will see by the amount of surveillance cameras in the rooms, far to much Chinees writing hard to know were you are in the lift with the English/Chinese writing, we had the opportunity to have dinner in the French restaurant the food and service was good, the location of this restaurant was not good in a walk way I sat looking at a till, was told they were booked out so had to eat at 18:30! this was not the case only two couples in when we arrived, the walk way running along side was very busy and noisy, would not recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
A lovely ship with so much to explore. Dining rooms are lovely as is the adults only Hollywood retreat. Its a Easy ship to get around if you are a seasoned princess cruiser. Excellent entertainment from the comedy show to soul music show. ... Read More
A lovely ship with so much to explore. Dining rooms are lovely as is the adults only Hollywood retreat. Its a Easy ship to get around if you are a seasoned princess cruiser. Excellent entertainment from the comedy show to soul music show. The big screen for movies etc is hugh and provides a great backdrop against the sky . The rooms are very comfortable and spacious for a interior room. The marketplace food area is good but lacks tea and cofffee making stations they need more of these as on the other princess ships . There is plenty of seating in and out of the ship but missed the deck 7 promodene deck for walking but being only a 2 day cruise would need to explore more options on a longer cruise. Only problems were lack of seating in Vista lounge for triva and the lack of dress code standards in mdr some people allowed in with shorts and t shirts not a good look. Read Less

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