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369 Trans-Ocean Cruise Reviews

Primarily I chose this cruise because it was a way of returning to Australia after holidaying in the UK. However it was a wonderful experience. We visited ports of great interest and met many lovely people. We enjoyed all of the on board ... Read More
Primarily I chose this cruise because it was a way of returning to Australia after holidaying in the UK. However it was a wonderful experience. We visited ports of great interest and met many lovely people. We enjoyed all of the on board activities and felt that for 23 days we were living a life of luxury - which we were! The ship was comfortable and large. The only thing I missed was a dedicated promenade deck. Usually Deck 7 but on this ship it wasn't possible to do a full uninterrupted circuit of the ship. The entertainment was great, the day time activities covered lots of areas althoughI would have liked more enrichment lectures, or lectures on special subjects and special interest groups. The cruise staff were involved in so many activities and impressed us with their friendliness and patience. This was my third Princess cruise and I wont hesitate to book with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We recently completed an 18-day voyage from Dubai to Athens on the Seabourn Encore. This was our 6th Seabourn cruise; all previous ones were on the Quest and Odyssey. Having read many comments about the size of the Encore (many people ... Read More
We recently completed an 18-day voyage from Dubai to Athens on the Seabourn Encore. This was our 6th Seabourn cruise; all previous ones were on the Quest and Odyssey. Having read many comments about the size of the Encore (many people calling them “megaships” which we found amusing having sailed on ships carrying 3500 passengers vs. 600) we were interested to see how she compared to the smaller ships. We were very pleased with our experience. We sailed in a Wintergarden Suite which we have done on the smaller ships. There were a couple of minor glitches upon boarding (things not in the suite which should have been). These were quickly remedied and from that point on we had no other issues. The WG suite on the Encore is superior to the ones on the smaller ships in our opinion. The bathroom is greatly improved particularly with a much-improved shower. On the smaller ships it’s a circular one open on one side and we always had problems with water running everywhere. The one on Encore is larger and completely enclosed. The furniture is more comfortable as well. We loved the larger Observation Bar, also with more comfortable seating. The Thomas Keller Grill is a great space and the Colonnade is greatly improved with more seating outside and improved serving space. Seabourn Square was also larger and we enjoyed the space. There have been comments about the crowds on the larger ship. We never experienced that. We were always able to get a seat. In the restaurant we never had to wait for a table and we always choose a table for two. Service was always prompt with no delays between courses. We had two reservations at the TK Grill but we were able to walk in on two other evenings. At the Observation Bar we were always promptly served and after the first couple of nights the server knew what our choice of beverage was. We don’t go to shows so I can’t comment on them. The entertainment in the Observation Bar and the pianist in the TK Grill were very good. There were several lecturers on board and we enjoyed them very much. This was a cruise with many sea days and there were plenty of activities available, including art classes, bridge, photography and cooking demonstrations. We took several Seabourn excursions and enjoyed them. We did an overnight trip in Israel and thought it was very good despite the heat. In conclusion, we loved our cruise on the Seabourn Encore. We are booked on her sister the Ovation for our next cruise and look forward to that one. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
5 weeks before sailing the cruise was on offer at a good price.Got off to a great start when allocated our outside cabin which was huge! (9006) After that things went downhill a bit. First let me say the ship itself was hit and miss. Great ... Read More
5 weeks before sailing the cruise was on offer at a good price.Got off to a great start when allocated our outside cabin which was huge! (9006) After that things went downhill a bit. First let me say the ship itself was hit and miss. Great theatre with good sight lines. A decent sized cinema.But as a cruise experience did not live up to the standard we have become accustomed to with P@O. On sea days the main pool area was a no go for us,with its loud music,that was not even catered to the average age group of around 65 (it was an adults only cruise).Felt like we were back at Butlins.For anyone who likes to dance the Indigo disco with its small dance floor and no seats was a waste of time.What would on other ships be known as the crows nest was a strange layout and doubled as the casino.It was difficult to get a seat in the squid and anchor pub which was incredibly noisy and consisted of mainly childish game shows.And finally the food.Again hit and miss.as was the service.We finally cottoned on to two excellent waiters Maiko and Benjie one in the vista and one in the latitude restaurants. Service in the tapas and pizza restaurants was good.The staff were more multicultural than on any of our 18 or so other cruises.Some of the entertainment in the evening was good some not so good.Very little in the way of entertainment during the day,no lectures or talks just films in the cinema that tended to repeat.Spoke to people who had cruised on Discovery and much preferred it.All in all,in my opinion a long way to go to match P@O. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Price and itinerary was the drawcard, but the cruise was just awful. Cold food with no flavour. No entertainment except for dancing and pool games. No movies or tv except if you paid for them. Treated like cattle on embarking took 2 hrs. ... Read More
Price and itinerary was the drawcard, but the cruise was just awful. Cold food with no flavour. No entertainment except for dancing and pool games. No movies or tv except if you paid for them. Treated like cattle on embarking took 2 hrs. Bistro closed at 2oc. Didnt get on till then. Room was dirty when we finally got in. Service at night in dining room was terrible took nearly 2 hrs and food was cold. The whole ship got sick with a cold virus. No news from outside world. Only cruise information was at midday from captain that was so quiet you couldnt hear it. Theatre shows were really bad, except for one the Witches show. Three tenors were amazing as well. Crew cast female singer was really bad. Same entertainment in same bars at same times every night. One female singer in piano bar was worse than me and thats bad. Need i go on....if you were to ask anyone who was on this cruise i know they would be of the same opinion not many happy travellers on this cruise. Italians dont have any idea on organisation of any activity. Shower would scald you one minuite then freeze you the next. I had a bad experience with a loose chair seat b4 this cruise only to find more tgan 50% of the chairs in bistro were loose. Upon complaining i was told yes we know madam but if we took them all out to fix them ee wouldn't have any chairs left and our saftey officer is not around. So they were prepared to be sued for an injury. Go figure.... Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We choose this cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The ship was old and tired and leaked. Our cabin carpet was wet the whole cruise and I was sick the whole cruise. It was only when we disembarked that I got over the virus I ... Read More
We choose this cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. The ship was old and tired and leaked. Our cabin carpet was wet the whole cruise and I was sick the whole cruise. It was only when we disembarked that I got over the virus I had the whole cruise. The ship needs a full refurbishment so that the hallways/rooms are not full of dryers trying to dry the smelly carpets the whole time. The dining experience was not good to start with but as it was a maiden voyage the staff needed time to find their way around the ship too. By the end of the cruise the meals were fine, all except the grill restaurant where you had to pay an additional charge. We went there twice thinking it might improve but it didn't. Don't waste your money there. The steaks were tough and dry. The entertainment was not good, the person who got the biggest crowds was the lecturer who outlined the ports and the history of where we were. The staff, all except the front desk, did their best but they seemed to have been thrown in the deep end with little support from their head office. Also the hand sanitizing on the ship was not enforced and I think this must also have had something to do with the very large number of sick people on this cruise. I would never cruise with CMV again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our very first cruise so had nothing to compare it with. Overall the ship was beautiful, our cabins were great. The food got to be very boring on the second leg as the variety never changed in the Windjammer. The dining room food ... Read More
This was our very first cruise so had nothing to compare it with. Overall the ship was beautiful, our cabins were great. The food got to be very boring on the second leg as the variety never changed in the Windjammer. The dining room food was very good at night and we couldn’t complain about the service. Entertainment was hit and miss and we waited so long for the big productions to come on. The Silk Road didn’t appear till near the end of the second cruise. They had 3 different boy acts which were fabulous. We mainly went to the Two70 bar which was a lot quieter and we had one bar staff who knew our names and what we had. Couldn’t afford anything in the high end shops and like $US 9 for a bar of chocolate REALLY. Room for improvement in many areas. We tried all the bars and were very annoyed that no nibbles were available and they ran out of Lavender syrup. Drinks were also pricey. The coffee shops were very good would have liked to see some pastries on offer. Overall we enjoyed the cruise and meeting some interesting people. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This cruise completed around the world cruising for my husband and I. It had a similar itinerary as one we booked in 2017 with 2 other couples. Unfortunately, serious illnesses in the other couples forced us to cancel that cruise. All ... Read More
This cruise completed around the world cruising for my husband and I. It had a similar itinerary as one we booked in 2017 with 2 other couples. Unfortunately, serious illnesses in the other couples forced us to cancel that cruise. All are now healthy and we tried again. Very excited about being the first to sleep in the bed, eat at that table, see a show in the theatre etc. We sailed from Barcelona to Singapore. That constituted 2 cruises by RCCL. We soon found out maiden voyages are not without many issues. But first they many positive things: We loved our Silver Jr. Suite. This was cruise #27 for us and this was our favorite cabin. It came with perks we didn't expect like access to Silver lounge which we thoroughly enjoyed. We were told that the silver lounge and the gold lounge would be taken out once the ship reached Shanghai its home port. The 2 lounges will be made into VIP gambling lounges instead. We loved trying new things: (1) North Star which we did twice. Once taking lots of pictures and once just for the enjoyment of being 300 feet above the ocean and seeing the sides and top of the ship from a whole new view. (2) I-Fly the skydiving simulator. It was fun and really didn't warrant the nerves that led up to entering cylinder. (3) Bumper cars at sea. Have not been on bumper cars in 20 maybe 30 years. Much nicer than any from past. The ship has many whimsical decorations i.e. pandas and food truck sculptures on outside deck. There was also 3 pools: outside, inside and solarium. The solarium had 2 small decks off each side. I don't think many people knew they were there because hardly anyone was out there. When we told our friends about them I don't think they believed us because they had been in the solarium and didn't see them. Food was ok in dining room. Our friends insisted on eating every night in dining room. We chose anytime dining but made reservations for a certain table at the same time each night. There were many mix ups and the table was often filled when we arrived. After speaking with several people who were suppose to be in charge, it finally got straightened out. Enjoyed breakfast and some lunches in silver lounge. It was quiet and more relaxed. The entertainment was very good for the most part. I think they brought on some top acts for the maiden voyage. We greatly enjoyed the production show (there was only one in theatre) Showgirls. We saw it twice. There was a production show in the Two70 lounge called Silk Road. It wasn't ready until after Dubai so anyone getting off Barcelona-Dubai didn't get to see it. The costumes, dancing and special effects were amazing, but I still have no idea what the story line was. Neither did anyone I talked to. Ports: Did ship shore excursions except for last port in Penang. That was the only port after Dubai you could get off and walk around on your own. Checked many bucket list places: Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Acropolis, Petra, Suez Canal, Dubai, Amalfi Coast. Stops in India would be classified as one and done. It was as expected, dirty and noisy. Not the highlight. Singapore is one of my favorite cities in the world. It gave me great pleasure to introduce it to our friends traveling with us. Gardens by the bay night light show as well as daytime visit, Marina Bay Sands light show over the water can not be missed. One of the reviews talked about the RCCL app for the phone. Not to be disrespectful, but he could not possible have used it. Yes it was suppose to do all the things he claimed but they didn't work. Dinner reservations made were suppose to show up on calendar and never did - at least not all of them. We went through activities on the app first day and put things on our calendar. The problem was those events never happened on the ship. The activities in the Cruise Compass and the app often didn't agree. You could look up your folio. That was the only reliable thing on the app. We talked to staff members and learned it wasn't a Spectrum of the Seas issue but a RCCL issue. My husband marked it low on our mid-cruise survey and received a call from IT. They couldn't disagree with anything he told them and thanked him for his input. Nothing changed however. There were a lot of little things that I attribute to the fact the ship was made for the Asian market and when the ship reached Shanghai it would operate differently. There were only extremely high end stores on board. You rarely saw anyone in any of them. Those will stay. People complained about no bingo but Asian market doesn't support bingo so too expensive for short trip. Different bars had different things. It was a real complaint of our traveling companions that there were no bitters on board until after Dubai. Olives & cherries for their drinks were often none existent at the Schooner bar. Since I don't drink anything that requires those items it wasn't a big deal to me. There were other things but honestly I believe the screwups or lack of supplies was simply because they would not be used in China market. Even the cruise director staff will be exiting in June when arriving in Shanghai and speaking Mandarin is the new requirement for staff. Since I do not plan to take a cruise in the Asian market I am glad I got to take the 30 day maiden voyage and enjoy this beautiful ship even with all the hiccups. I could tell more but it won't matter because there will not be another cruise like this one. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We were in Silver Suit #9236: a balcony by the mid ship elevator. I thought it was a great location near the Stabilizers. We hardly felt any motion from Barcelona to Dubai. We ate Br, Lu and Dn in the Silver Dining Room every day from ... Read More
We were in Silver Suit #9236: a balcony by the mid ship elevator. I thought it was a great location near the Stabilizers. We hardly felt any motion from Barcelona to Dubai. We ate Br, Lu and Dn in the Silver Dining Room every day from Day 2 onward. We could have had Lu the first day, but we didn’t know the Silver Dining Room was open till we got to our cabin. I called about Dn the first night, but was confused by their answer. We went to the Windjammer Buffet on Deck 14 and got a Noodle Bowl. Br was the usual assortment on Eggs, Pancakes, fruits, Oatmeal, Yogurt, Juices, etc. They have a Latte, Cappuccino, Hot Chocolate, etc. machine so you don’t need a coffee card. Sometimes you can get the Waiters to make the drinks for you. They use real plates and silverware + glass drinking glasses. Lu was a big spread with multiple Meats and Seafoods, lots of salads and vegs, and desserts like Tiramisu & Cheesecake. Dn was Appetizers. They always had 4 hot appetizers like small Chicken Legs, Shrimp, Spring Rolls, Onion Balls and Sausage Rolls. They always had 4 cold appetizers plus Cheeses and Wafer Bread. Small desserts, but you can have free alcoholic and soft drinks from 5:30pm till 8pm (and lots of people do). We never saw the need to go to the Dining Room! We had reserved a Transfer Tour from the Barcelona Airport to the Port. But, the Immigration line took over 1 hour and we missed the bus (they don’t wait). Fortunately, a RCCL rep was there that got us on a direct transfer bus from the airport to the ship at less cost. Great!!! NOTE: You have to reserve the direct transfers from the Reservation people (they are not shown in the on-line Shore Trips). Check-in was very fast. The rooms were ready early at 12:15pm. We had reserved the 10.5 hr The Best of Rome shore trip, but my wife wasn’t feeling good after the long flight from the US. A Shore Excursion rep refunded our money. We had a pleasant walk in Civitavecchia, the Port for Rome. We had Lu in town overlooking the MedMer. We walked around the Port area in Naples, and had a Pizza Lu. We walked a mile from the Port in Athens @ (37 56.23N 23 37.46E) to the spectacular Church of the Holy Trinity @ (37.943651° 23.644060°). NOTE: It is a 2.5 mile walk one-way from the Port large ships must use to the Subway Station to go to the Acropolis. We took the 10 hr ship tour to Petra. We walked the 3 Kms thru the Siq to the Treasury façade and back in 2.3 Hrs. I took 400 pictures. The light is really good for pictures in the Siq in the morning. You could rent horse-drawn carts for a fast ride to the Treasury. Our ticket included a ride down and back on a slow horse led by a local tribesman. You could also rent Golf Carts with a driver for a moderately paced ride. We passed on all of them because we wanted to look for birds and take pictures. In my view, if you took the horse carts, you would largely miss the beautiful views in the Siq. NOTE: The main trail goes on for another 3-miles (5Km) to the 4000-seat ancient Amphi-Theater carved into the rock, the Colonnaded Street (where ancient shops had been located), and the 135,000 sq ft Great Temple. There were mobs of People coming downhill to the Treasury at Noon as we were walking back to the entrance. I’m glad we got here earlier. Our only delay was where a woman had fallen at a narrow place in the Siq. This created a real bottle neck for the horse carts. There seemed to be Park Staff caring for her already. Petra is not Handicap accessible. Our tour included a Buffet Lu at the MovenPick 5-Star Hotel next to the entrance to the Petra Park: Hummus, Zucchini Hummus, Tomato slices, Mint sauce, Olives, 3-Peppers w Cheese Sauce + Pulled Pork w Rice + Pita Bread ++ Chocolate Tart, and Chocolate Mousse. Beautiful!!! The bus ride to and from Petra was interesting as well. I took 170 pictures on these drives. Part of the drive was on the Kings Highway mentioned in Numbers Chapter 20. We didn’t get off the ship in Dubai till time to go to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We boarded Silver Shadow on 17th April 2019 in Mumbai for a 9 day cruise visiting ports in India, Oman and UAE. We chose Silver Shadow as we had sailed on her in 2016 in Alaska. In 2016 the ship truly lived up to its 6 star rating in all ... Read More
We boarded Silver Shadow on 17th April 2019 in Mumbai for a 9 day cruise visiting ports in India, Oman and UAE. We chose Silver Shadow as we had sailed on her in 2016 in Alaska. In 2016 the ship truly lived up to its 6 star rating in all respects. Comparing the latest trip with the 2016 trip I am sorry to say that Silversea has lost much of its reputation. The only standards that haven't changed since 2016 are the quality of the cabin staff, waiters, reception and shore concierge staff. They were all charming , helpful and a credit to the ship. The variety of the A La Carte Menus was not as extensive and mostly repetitive. Some areas ran out of selected wines and on one occasion there was no orange juice anywhere on the ship. Wine selection was limited and the cheapest of everything was offered as the main choices. The ship is tired and in need of attention as were the management on board. The Italian Captain made one announcement per day which was sailing information we think. I say ‘we think’ as it was impossible to understand what he was saying. There was a general air of disinterest at officer level. Apparently on 2 occasions some passengers reported seeing schools of dolphins bow riding for 20 or so minutes. A sight no-one should miss. No announcement was made by the ships staff to alert passengers to this so that all passengers could see this amazing sight. The 'entertainment' was amateurish and awful to watch and listen to. We left within 10 minutes of arriving on each performance , hoping in vain that it would improve. One port of call was Fujairah. The stop here seemed to be more for the convenience of Silversea than the experience for the passengers. The ship was refuelled there which took most of the day. Even some of the guides/experts stated that it was a mystery why we had stopped there as there was nothing of interest for tourists. Refuelling would seem to be the primary reason for stopping. On leaving Fujairah we sailed to Abu Dhabi. The wind was about force 5 , sometimes gusting but with stabilisers the ship was gently rolling and nothing to concern most of the passengers. Everything carried on as normal with restaurants full etc. no restrctions about going onto deck , just wind warning notices on doors. We arrived in Abu Dhabi, went off for day excursions and returned to be told that the ship was staying there an extra day as the Captain had decided not to sail on to Doha for the comfort and safety of passengers. All passengers we spoke to were at best very disappointed, and some extremely angry with this decision as we had sailed from Fujairah in similar conditions which were not exceptional - just a mild rolling. It was exacerbated by a much smaller passenger vessel leaving the port. The weather did not seem to be of concern to their Captain. So one port and a different country was missed out on the trip.. It seems that since being taken over by Royal Caribbean, corners are being cut to the detriment of the all round experience. We and many of our fellow passenger were very disappointed with the drop in standards. In a competitive world where the choice in cruising is extensive, if I was asked by a anyone whether Silversea was a shipping line of choice I would say "not any more....overpriced and now over-rated. there are far better cruising companies to sail with. Sad but true.' Look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Everything about this cruise was fantastic. From the ports we visited, to the length of the cruise, the onboard entertainment, the exercise class choices, the gym facilities, the games and competitions not to mention the food, all exceeded ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was fantastic. From the ports we visited, to the length of the cruise, the onboard entertainment, the exercise class choices, the gym facilities, the games and competitions not to mention the food, all exceeded our expectations! The restaurants were impeccable and the food was first class. The décor is exemplary and let's not forget the compliment the cruise staff. The cruise director and his assistant were very high achievers, always at the ready to assist with entertainment and of course anything that a passenger might request. The production entertainers put 110% into all of their performances. The cabins were well appointed and always well maintained by the cabin staff. We were even fortunate to have the weather in our favour with only 1 rainy day and 1 overcast day at sea. Most shore excursions were value for money and the arrangements for departing the ship were co-ordinated with great precision. Well done Princess Cruises!!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise due to the itenery around india, dubai, oman, abu dhabi and bharain. Firstly most of the ports were no where near the towns and the towns that were accessible by foot or free transfer were baron. When we arrived at ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the itenery around india, dubai, oman, abu dhabi and bharain. Firstly most of the ports were no where near the towns and the towns that were accessible by foot or free transfer were baron. When we arrived at Cochin port, we waited almost an hour in a queue to get on the ship. This was through no fault of TUI, but the visa requirements being as they are in India. We arranged most of our tours independently due to the cost of the TUI excurions. For example in Dubai, the excursion to the top of the Burj Khalifa was £134 per person. We paid £12 for a taxi between 4 people and around £40 per person to go up the Burj saving about £90 per person! We also did a dhow cruise in Khasab for £20 per person, the same dhow booked through TUI was £54 per person. Overall the boat is ok, the food was average in both islands and 47/47 italian. We visited Kora La twice in the 2 weeks and we really loved the food here which was around £17 supplement per person. The entertainment on the boat was great, with so much to do all day round especially on sea days. Although we travelled as a group of 4 you could easily get to know other passengers by attending the entertainment/activities organised on board. The boat is staffed to perfection, but this means there is no personal touch (like there is on some other boats). The only people to really speak to us was the cabin housekeeping, who were lovely. The rest of the staff are so overworked they have no time to chat. We love cruises so we will definitely be back, but i think there are some small improvements with big benefits that TUI could take in to account. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise for the itinerary which included all the countries and ports I would like to visit. The night stop in the major ports enabled you to visit everything you needed in the time available. Better than expected For a ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary which included all the countries and ports I would like to visit. The night stop in the major ports enabled you to visit everything you needed in the time available. Better than expected For a ship with nearly 4000 passengers, there were few times int he 4 weeks when the public rooms were crowded, and with a slight adjustment in your plans you could easily avoid the crowds. It was easy to get around, with 4 sets of lifts and numerous staircases. The variety of food served, once you realized you could ordered what you wanted - if you liked 4 entrees and only one main course- just order it! The embarkation and disembark was quick and efficient. Within 20 minutes of arriving at embarkation I was in my cabin and bags arrived within 15 minutes. Faster than most business class flights! Good points The service was excellent, and any request was quickly dealt with. Our cruise included extra lectures on art and history which for the age profile of the passengers was well received. Things which needed to change to get 5 stars Strangely for an Italian ship the pasta dishes were poor, sauces were watered down. To counter that the pizzas were excellent and freshly baked. There is a gap between travel agent and MSC with regard to visas to enter the countries visited. It did not affect me (as I searched the internet before boarding) but others were stopped visiting India as a result. Not sure why ice cream was not available in buffet - did not affect my scoring, but this was important to other passengers Suggestions to people thinking about booking Consider which excursion you would like before boarding. This lets you plan your trip more efficiency If you book well in advance you may received the drinks package complimentary - one of my better decisions (says my wife) Pre-book the laundry - at only £1 per item, it is well priced and efficient (and I did not use my full quota up!!) Overall very enjoyable experience which was enhanced by the MSC staff - would definitely re-book Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Looked inviting good price and places we had not been before To start with the best parts throughly enjoyed the cruise ship,and decor outstanding,crew,staff excellent food very good and overall 6/10 1/ But as we arrived on the ... Read More
Looked inviting good price and places we had not been before To start with the best parts throughly enjoyed the cruise ship,and decor outstanding,crew,staff excellent food very good and overall 6/10 1/ But as we arrived on the morning at 9 am and had a taxi to the ship for 9.30 and then discovered we couldn’t board until 8pm what nonsense then they gave us lottery tickets to board in order which would have taken for ever eventually it was a free for all and boarded 4 pm however didn’t do the safety drill that night and a day later they informed us of the drill time and was away on a trip so never did it contrary to Sea going Legislation 2/ At dinner time was then informed of the need to buy water at the dinner table which is a No No when you could bathe in it up in the Buffett. 3/ the cleanness in the upstairs dining area is compromised by hundreds of people filling up unclean water bottles and flasks because of the no water policy in the dining room it’s a disaster waiting to happen. 4/ I have the need to use the disabled toilet but 70% of them did not work or the doors were turned off 5/ on the night of the Buffett only one ordinary toilet was working with all those hundreds of people on that deck 3 times I waited outside the locked sit down toilet only to find they had been locked due to blockages 6/ we were charged €20 a day service charge which we were told could not be removed but none of the crew gets any of this amount it goes directly as profits and decided this wasn’t fair so gave payments to persons accordingly 7/ we had our passports confiscated on day one and didn’t have them until the morning we left the ship in Kula Lampur,we should have been given them the night before and signed a release form so we wouldn’t have to worry about missing our flight 8/ None of the discounts available on board were accounted for in the inroom TV screens and when I was told about the 25% discount on a bottle of Prosecco which wasn’t on my bill you said it did not apply to this particular cruise what a con and you still owe me €3.25 for this discount 9/ At the theatre shows which were fabulous to get a good seat you had to be there 20 minutes early and were then subjected to continuous advertising which after a while became intolerable 10/ No English on any of the TV channels but plenty of other languages available 11/ Chaos when we docked on deck One/Two because of amateur persons performing the landing exercise 12/ would have like a Italian Pizza on deck 13 but every time we went there it was just dry Foccacia bread with no sauce or taste. 13/ And sadly always felt like a second class citizen over the Chinese persons on board 14/ And most of all it was a disaster for Costa Cruises in public relations as hundreds of people I spoke to would never book with Costa Cruises again Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Cost good for a repositioning cruise...Ship was generally good as it is quite new. BUT cabins are small as are the bathrooms and balconies. The pillows are awful felt like I was sleeping on a marshmallow and when I requested a better ... Read More
Cost good for a repositioning cruise...Ship was generally good as it is quite new. BUT cabins are small as are the bathrooms and balconies. The pillows are awful felt like I was sleeping on a marshmallow and when I requested a better pillow was given 2 pillows squashed into one pillow case. The mattress is ordinary. The ship's PIAZZA is ok at first.... BUT is very noisy and if you want to watch some thing you have to get there early in morning as the same people monopolise the seating 24/7. The same can be said of the Cabanas and seating around the pools. The ship is set up for the Chinese market with too many areas for gaming ie the 16th and 17th decks. There are not enough interesting activities such as Wine and other Alcohol courses or food demos and tasting times , or even interesting craft courses...there is too much emphasis on the Art shows and Bingo. The long days at sea need more activities. The LIBRARY was a disgrace it effectively did not have any books from day 1...it needs to be bigger and have staff looking after it. The so called SALES in the shops are ridiculous the same stuff, that is mostly junk is put out daily. There could be more interesting food stalls around the pools that could change regularly...the ice cream was the same flavour every day. The off shore tours were boring and not particularly well run. not really good value for money Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My hubby and I are not seasoned cruisers and the only previous cruises we’d done were only 4 days each, 25 years ago. We booked this cruise because of its length (28 days) and its interesting itinerary. Only after booking did we read ... Read More
My hubby and I are not seasoned cruisers and the only previous cruises we’d done were only 4 days each, 25 years ago. We booked this cruise because of its length (28 days) and its interesting itinerary. Only after booking did we read the reviews and some were not very flattering. Well, I don’t know what the complainers were expecting because we were blown away by the entire experience. Boarding at Port Lois in Mauritius looked chaotic at first glance but went very quickly and efficiently. We were even given a fruit drink while we waited - all of 20 minutes. Our sea view cabin was on Deck 4, was very comfortable and we were very well looked after by our steward, Agnad. The only thing that I did not like was the bunks hooked up on each side of the bed but once used to them I stopped bumping my head! Obviously the cabin could take a family of 4. We booked late which is probably why we got the cabin with extra bunks as many other cabins did not have them. We upgraded our drinks package from pranzo and cena to brindiamo. It was well worth it as it included limitless tea, coffee, mineral water by the glass, beer, wine, soft drinks and other alcoholic drinks that were not above €9 each. We were assigned to Sinfonia Restaurant - first sitting and our table companions were all South Africans like ourselves. Costa try to at least place you in language groups even if not with compatriots. The food was amazing and our waiter, Talekar, the gentlest young man with exquisite manners. Not only was he attentive to our needs but he always asked about our day and made sure we were enjoying our cruise. The Sinfonia was also open for self service breakfast with the option to order egg dishes or salmon. But if you just wanted to grab something quickly the buffet breakfast was also available but you might struggle to find a spot to sit. We found sitting on the stern deck was the best option both at breakfast and lunchtime. The buffet food was very varied and you could always find something to suit your taste. Of course the Sinfonia was also open for lunch. This cruise was not during School holidays and most of the passengers were over 60. There were perhaps a dozen pre-teen children on board. Activities on board were varied - I enjoyed the stretch classes, water aerobics and walking offered at various times of the day on the Pool Deck. The animation team were in charge and they were awesome. Then during the day there were craft classes, cultural quizzes, Bingo etc. at all times there would be a place you could go to listen to live music. In the evenings the theatre shows were outstanding. There was also a casino but we didn’t ever use it. Costa offer a variety of shore excursions. They are pricey but excellent. We chose the least expensive ones at most ports and were never disappointed. The guides were excellent and if something went wrong you could rest assured that the ship would not leave without you. However, don’t be afraid to explore on your own if you’re on a tight budget. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get back on board before the ship sails! Photographers are all over the ship and the photo packages are over-priced. If we were able to just get the digital copies at a reasonable price we would have gone for that. I feel it’s an enormous waste to print huge copies of all the photos that most people won’t buy! The Costa Victoria is an older ship and does not have the glitz of the newer cruise ships. Call me old fashioned but I like that! There were less than 2000 passengers. Everyone was friendly . The staff were amazing. The cruise director, Daniela was charming and fun and had a word for literally everyone in their own language - she speaks five fluently! I can49not recommend a Costa Victoria Cruise highly enough. We enjoyed the dining, dancing, shows, daytime activities and the shore excursions. We loved the food. We made wonderful friends and it’s a holiday we will never forget. Thank you Costa Victoria! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I must have been on a different cruise than some of the other reviewers. After 20 + cruises on various cruise lines, I found this one mediocre. Perhaps I expected too much of the exotic 37 day Singapore to Southampton itinerary. I ... Read More
I must have been on a different cruise than some of the other reviewers. After 20 + cruises on various cruise lines, I found this one mediocre. Perhaps I expected too much of the exotic 37 day Singapore to Southampton itinerary. I have to admit the highlight of the trip, Petra, definitely did live up to its hype and my expectations. The Suez Canal on the other hand was a major disappointment to anyone who has been through the Panama Canal. The quality and presentation of the food at the buffet in the Horizons Cafe was something you would expect in a military mess, not on a cruise ship. The food in the dining room fared somewhat better but was definitely not what it used to be 5 or 10 years ago. Cost cutting is definitely evident. We asked about wine packages and coffee cards when we boarded and were told these were not available, yet we saw both being used by other passengers later on in the trip. It would be good if Princess would promote these packages and not just it's expensive beverage package. The ship itself could use a little TLC; and I have to say the (same) activities become a little stale after 4 Princess cruises. The entertainment was mediocre as well, just the usual magicians, comedians and ventriloquists. I found the enrichment activities uninteresting, however there were quite a few recent release movies available. Thank goodness for a wonderful stateroom stewart. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise to continue our exploration of the South Atlantic, having already been on a Seabourn Antarctic cruise the year before. We embarked in Ushuaia, Argentina and had been there the year before. This cruise included a ... Read More
We chose this cruise to continue our exploration of the South Atlantic, having already been on a Seabourn Antarctic cruise the year before. We embarked in Ushuaia, Argentina and had been there the year before. This cruise included a flight from Santiago to Ushuaia as part of the total cruise fare. And this is where things became odd. We were awakened at 1:30AM in Santiago, Chile, to join the charter flight to Ushuaia that left at around 6 in the morning. We had initially been told by Silversea's agent that because Silversea had chartered the flight, there would really be no issue with baggage. However, when we received our cruise documents, there was a baggage restriction of 50 pounds, per person. That necessitated considerable reorganization of our luggage situation as we had traveled a long way to get to the cruise and had post-cruise safari plans in Africa. The flight left after some delay and we arrived in Ushuaia only to find that we could not go directly to the ship but had to go onto a lunch somewhat out of town. This disappointed us because we were tired and might have preferred to see some of Ushuaia rather than go riding on a bus out of town to a countryside restaurant. Following the luncheon, we returned to the ship at around 2pm and boarded. Oddly enough, though, for all of the effort expended in getting us to Ushuaia very early, the ship did not depart until around 10pm. We feel this issue might have been better handled so as not to drag people out of bed at an unholy hour. We also felt that had we known of the baggage limitation and the hour of departure in advance, we might have made our own flight arrangements from Sao Paulo, our first stop in South America. Further, once on board, we came to learn that there had been a pre-cruise tour offering to Iguazu Falls. We were disappointed to learn this as we truly would have been interested in seeing the falls, having traveled all the way to South America from East Asia. On board, we elected to purchase an upgrade to the free internet provided to every passenger on the ship. This proved to be nothing but a waste of money and I would warn anyone against it. The charge was some $350.00 and the upgrade proved to be just as slow as the free service. The other negative was that we had confusion with a name on the cruise documents. We contacted Silversea's agent about this and he assured us that proper documents were on the way. The head office never managed to send the documents on time and they were not received until we returned home. One last annoyance was the daily briefing held by the expedition staff. This occurred every evening at 6pm, often after a day of going on 2 excursions. Though attendance was not mandatory, one felt compelled to go as details of the next day's activities were spelled out at that time. Perhaps this could be better managed in future. As for the positives, they are many. The food on board was excellent. Our cabin, though smaller than balcony cabins on Seabourn and Regent, was comfortable and functional. The staff on board were superb, especially our valet and the room steward. We felt that anything we needed or wanted was somehow found promptly appeared. The expeditions were excellent and we certainly appreciated the efforts that the expedition staff went through day in and day out - it is no simple matter bringing people safely ashore in isolated places, through sometimes rough surf. And the scenery on shore was spectacular, to say the least. Though two expeditions were done a day and one might have felt tired, they still were worth every minute and any effort. Shore excursions were fine but perhaps, Silversea might let people know the options available for shore excursions in advance of sailing. Would I recommend a Silversea Expedition? Definitely. But be aware of the issues I highlighted as attention to them could make for an even better experience. We did not travel with children and this type of voyage might better be best for people who are mature enough to grasp the significance of what one is experiencing. Would I go again? Yes! But mindful of the negatives that I mentioned. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We wanted to try a new line (we've cruised more than 20 times on Celebrity/Azamara) and Oceania had a cruise from French Polynesia to Peru. The selling point was a stop at Easter Island and then a post-tour of Machu Picchu. The ... Read More
We wanted to try a new line (we've cruised more than 20 times on Celebrity/Azamara) and Oceania had a cruise from French Polynesia to Peru. The selling point was a stop at Easter Island and then a post-tour of Machu Picchu. The ship itself was good. Our suite was spacious. The food was excellent in the specialty restaurants, average in the main dining area. Entertainment was hit and miss. There was a good comedian, a great pianist, a great magician and a terrible female singer. The on ship song and dance group was okay. We had two shows from each performer. Service was wonderful. The butler and room stewards were top notch and very attentive. Our butler knew I wanted Sprite Zero and when it was no longer available on the ship found some at one of our stops. That's over and above! We began on a bad note. The ship was scheduled to leave Tahiti at 9 p.m. Our Delta flight didn't arrive until 10 (they said not to worry, the bulk of the flight was passengers). That in itself says they expected us to arrive late. They took off immediately after and we didn't get our luggage until 3 a.m. To say that the first day was Tahiti and to spend one hour there in the dark isn't a great way to start. The stops in Raitea and Bora Bora were great, but I question 2 days in Bora Bora. There really wasn't much you could do at night in Bora Bora, so I question the overnight there. The stop in Fakarava was a joke. When there are no tours available at all--you got off to get a bit of exercise but that was it. The biggest disappointment, and the reason I gave this a bad rating was that we never got to Easter Island. It was called Pearls and Moai, indicating Polynesia and Easter Island, right? Wrong. We got to Easter Island and it was 'too rough' to send in the tenders (but we saw some boats circle our ship and part of others' groups. We circled the island, the pointed out some Moai from a distance and that was that. It was the reason we took the entire trip! I don't understand why we didn't know there was even a possibility of not getting to shore. I didn't think of checking the reliability of getting to shore. Why would you if that was one of the purposes of the cruise? It would have made more sense to spend one day on Bora Bora, and have two days at Easter Island. That way if you didn't make it to land on one day, you'd be able to the next. Sooooo disappointing. The closest we got to an apology was the captain announcing that he knew many of us were disappointed. Duh. Nothing added (like a free drink, or a discount on another cruise...) which leads me to believe that this is a common occurrence. When we left comments at the end of the cruise, there was no follow up, nothing in communication with us. Because we didn't stop at Easter Island we spent 11 days in a row at sea. Not acceptable. We took advantage of signing up for six of the cooking classes in their Culinary Center. That was worth the money! Stations for 24 people (2 per station) allowed us to learn about a specific type of food then prepare three dishes and eat them. We took advantage of the Roman, Sicilian, Greek, Spanish, pasta and Asian classes. It was our first time making fettucini! We are heading back to Celebrity. We would NEVER recommend Oceania to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This is our second trip on this ship...the Quest. We had been taking 1-2 Regent trips per year through 2013 and then have taken a few SilverSea (SS) expedition trips, almost all with LCT, so this line was rather new to us. We upgraded to a ... Read More
This is our second trip on this ship...the Quest. We had been taking 1-2 Regent trips per year through 2013 and then have taken a few SilverSea (SS) expedition trips, almost all with LCT, so this line was rather new to us. We upgraded to a lovely 3 room suite with a huge balcony, huge bathroom and separate bedroom and living room. While my Regent info is dated and I’ve only done expedition trips on SS, my comparison may not be accurate. What I like about Azamara Quest: you get directed to your cab in immediately upon boarding and the luggage is prompt; service levels are very high—superb— uniformly; the specialty restaurants, included for suite guests, are excellent; the cruise tour desk goes above and beyond and is efficient. Ship staff are warm, friendly and responsive. From the stewards to hotel captain, there is an overwhelming pride and focus on details. The Azamazing evening experience in Bali was superb. Azamara general dining in Jewish terms is “meh.” Activities onboard so-so. Lectures not too thrilling. Entertainment has been good; in fact, they are going/coming from Regent. So, about the same quality. The cruise director and performers are very talented and lovely. Service levels are superb. One thing I really like about Azamara is their attention to mid cruise evaluations and making immediate corrections. The hotel director promptly communicates to staff and things are corrected and good performers are told. For example, I don’t drink. We have a bar setup in the room that is free and no one will use. However, I couldn’t have Perrier or Evian as a replacement without taking a beverage package. I also couldn’t have these upgraded waters with meals and was charged for them. After the evaluations and my constructive comments, The staff ensured I got the water free of charge everywhere I went. Evian was sent to my room as well. I also like the ability to accrue free nights. This is so much better than just pressing, laundry and wi-fi. Just from 2 trips, we accrued 6 free nights, a handsome savings. Wi-fi is discounted to 150 for the cruise, we have free pressing and a free laundry bag every 7 days with a suite. Discounts also range from 4-10% onboard discounts on future sailings depending on the number of nights sailed. Add in shipboard credit promotions and it’s an excellent value. All this is enough to have us return. Rooms: Azamara can be very cheap if you go for an inside cabin. Regular cabins with a window or veranda aren’t bad but the bathrooms are teeny. The Continental Club rooms are a good deal. They are a decent size, have a tub with shower, a private spa deck and hot tubs, a veranda and include all specialty restaurants. We stayed in one of these rooms the first trip and were very happy. We upgraded to a Club Oceanview Suite this time, due to a good deal, which is at the front of the ship. It had a nice size living room with a dining table, a full bedroom (king bed) separated from the living area by a door, a powder room with a toilet and a large bathroom with a large soaking tub and a large, separate shower. These corner rooms have a wall of floor to ceiling sliding doors to a very large balcony with two lounge chairs and a table with 4 chairs as well as a large window. It’s light and airy with good storage. Negatives? The rail is solid so it’s hard to see the ocean lying down and there is no outside light. This is the front, so it does rock and roll and you hear the anchor. There are three higher categories of rooms. One is at the back and is a bit bigger with a bigger balcony. Folks were happy with these suites. Another consists of w spa suites. The living space itself is the same as a basic Regent room but it has a HUGE bathroom with a large jacuzzi with floor to ceiling glass windows. The room is contemporary and luxurious but it has a very small balcony. This is the perfect room for colder climates, where you wouldn’t really use a balcony but want a light airy space. It is on the top floor, next door to the spa and very private. It would be my room of choice if I were going alone. There are also owner’s suites mid ship on the sides but I didn’t see these rooms. A perk of having a suite is having a butler,but I am really not a fan of having them. Another perk is expedited embarkation, debarkation, front rows at the Azamazing evening and a fabulous VIP dinner with the staff. You also accrue points for free nights faster, get a discount on internet, free specialty dining, free pressing and a bag of free laundry each week. Doug and I loved the extras and extra room. Food: Breakfasts were fine. It was available in the cafe or in the room. Lunch was okay. I really liked the brunches and felt they were excellent. There is also a cafe with the ability to pick up snacks anytime. There are two specialty dining venues. One is a steakhouse and one is Italian. service and food are as good as it gets. The menu in each is large and there are specials each night. There are chef’s tables at 90 pp (Asian, French or Italian). We did the French one and had a great time. There are also special theme dinners at 25pp but we didn’t try one. I hear they are excellent. The White Nights evening was great, but we missed it this year. Tours: pretty bad. I don’t know whether it was the ports or the tour operator but I wasn’t impressed. Azamara does not make you feel like cattle. Tours are limited to 25 max and they pass on discounts if they go higher. The ports were far away from fun things to do overall and too much time was spent coming and going to the sites. Food offered on the tours were of a very high quality. Azamara also offers private tours. These were awful. I’d never take one again. It seemed that Azamara tried to fill up time even if there was nothing to see. I heard stories of one hour at a statue. We did have several good tours and I’ll go into them in my port reviews, but they required long treks in a bus. That’s what we tried to avoid with the private tours...the long bathroom breaks and uncomfortable buses. With Azamara’s Private Journeys we got poorly planned tours with a driver and no real guide. I found the coordinator Sandra Carola Fernandez Gonzalez lacklustre and she never followed through in following up on our poorly planned Bunbury tour. I expect expertise and there was none. Ports: Jakarta was our first port stop. I think I’d rather end my life early then to ever be a citizen in either Jakarta, Semarang or Surabaya. Indonesia's lack of tax authority enforcement leads to the Government having little money for serious developments. In fact, they have only 27 million registered taxpayers when there should be around 120 million people if everyone eligible complied to the tax law. This is due to the severe lack of funding and manpower in their tax office, leading to many citizens having a completely lax attitude towards tax evasion as they probably wouldn’t get caught anyway. It’s port capacity is very poor. This leads to Indonesians having to spend much more if they want to export goods to foreign markets due to a lack of supply of container transportation. It is much more lucrative to base operations in Singapore which has ready made cheap transport for exports. As a result, Singapore has an export level of around USD23 Billion, which dwarfs Indonesia at USD12 Billion, despite having a small fraction of Indonesia's population. As a result, Indonesians find it more profitable to base and list their business in Singapore due to its infrastructure availability and ease of doing business. Indonesia's financial industry is underdeveloped and undersocialized. The lack of availability in financial instruments which could generate higher returns to investors and lack of financial literacy among the Indonesian population is costing Indonesia. As a result, Indonesians react to this by choosing to launder and park their money abroad (mainly Singapore), where they can invest in different types of financial instruments provided by investment banks. I was not prepared for the degree of poverty or filth in Indonesia. Jakarta was our first stop. Slums were the norm. Families were sleeping in doorways. Trash was everywhere. Our tour guide was excellent and did his best to educate us on the city. Jakarta, is the home to 10 million people and is not only the seat of the national government and the provincial government, but it is also Indonesia’s political center. It sits on swampy land, the Java Sea lapping against it, and 13 rivers running through it. So it shouldn't be a surprise that flooding is frequent in Jakarta and, according to experts, it is getting worse. But it's not just about freak floods, this massive city is literally disappearing into the ground. The dramatic rate at which Jakarta is sinking is partly down to the excessive extraction of groundwater for use as drinking water, for bathing and other everyday purposes by city dwellers. Piped water isn't reliable or available in most areas so people have no choice but to resort to pumping water from the aquifers deep underground. But, when groundwater is pumped out, the land above it sinks as if it is sitting on a deflating balloon - and this leads to land subsidence. Our guide says that his in laws use rain water, but that is only available during certain seasons. Most have to purchase water and store it in large tanks held on the roofs. He shared that experts confirm that water management authorities can only meet 40% of Jakarta's demand for water. Day 2 in Indonesia was more uplifting in Semarang. Flooding issues were highly visible with inner city roadways in an awful state but the highway system was rather good. Outside of the city, there were gated communities with large homes against a backdrop of volcanoes. The countryside jungle was lush and beautiful and roadside food stands and shops were rather abundant. It was a Sunday and families seemed to be out and enjoying life together. We were on our way to Borobudur, which is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Central Java, Indonesia. It is the world's largest Buddhist temple. It was hot. Very hot. The temple was impressive and very well maintained. I believe it was discovered in the 1200s and later made a UNESCO heritage site. Our lunch was excellent....vegetables were fresh and flavorful, the chicken satay and beef dish were the best I have ever had. We drove through countrysides of coffee plantations and rice plantations with folks hard at work in the fields. Most folks had smiles on their faces and it was a long, 9 hour day well spent! Day 3 was Surabaya. This was our day of enduring 97 degree humid weather, traveling hours by bus and then getting 12000 steps on our fitbits to see nothing. Surabaya is headed by a Muslim woman whose key focus is cleaning up filth and adding greenery. It was clean by comparison to Jakarta but definitely not pretty. We drove through middle class and wealthy areas to end up at our destination....a mangrove river tour. We were supposed to learn about mangrove restoration and benefits. The rubbish in the swampy river was disgusting and the cruise was disorganized and lacked organization, the walk was dull and uninteresting and ‘learning how to plant mangroves’ consisted of giving us a small 2 foot tree to put in a hole. I’m all for helping out a struggling community but I gotta would have preferred to stay on our lovely ship. We all should have been reimbursed for this tour. It was dreadful. Indonesia part 2: 2 days in Bali and 1 half day in Komodo. Day 1 (December 11) We had some choices over our 2 days there. I knew I wanted the Monkey Forest tour and that was day 2. The Azamazing evening was day 1 and I didn’t want too exhausting a day as there would be 2 tours that day and we’d have to get ready and were the first group out. I seem to overbook us and piss Doug off. After the disgusting mangrove tour, I was hoping for something better. Our choices were: a beach resort (Doug is not a beach guy but this is what we should have done), A culture tour, a shopping tour (not with Doug), a temple tour ( doing that with the monkeys), Ubud on your own, Ubud Ridges, Villages and valleys. We chose the latter thinking we’d see Ubud. It was supposed to be a journey with incredible views of the volcano, stunning rivers, discover village life. It was none of these things. I never saw a volcano. It was a long walk through a trail behind resort communities. Boring. We did have an outstanding lunch with gorgeous views, though. Our Azamazing evening was an evening of Balinese folklore at the Taman Budaya Art Center.A dance troupe entertained us under the stars.the performances showcased story telling dance characterized by intricate footwork, eyes and finger movements. Balinese dance is an ancient dance tradition that is part of the religious and artistic expression among the Balinese people and is dynamic, angular and intensely expressive. Bali dancers learn the craft as children and even in the womb they are played Balinese music. They are taught to dance with their hands before they can walk. Official training as a Bali dancer starts as young as 7. In Balinese dance the movement is closely associated with the rhythms produced by a musical ensemble specific to Java and Bali. Multiple levels of articulations in the face, eyes, hands, arms, hips, and feet are coordinated to reflect layers of percussive sounds. Wow! I never knew hands could move like that. It was absolutely breathtaking. I almost cancelled the next day’s tour...Monkey Forests and temple due to the poor tours we’d been having but I like monkeys. We began at the Tenah Lot Temple, famed for its location atop a craggy outcrop set amid crashing waves. The coastal temple Pura Tanah Lot is located in the southern part of Bali. To many people, Tanah Lot epitomizes the romantic island of Bali. Tanah Lot means Land in The Sea, a perfectly fit name for its unique offshore settings. The silhouette of Pura Tanah Lot is one of the most popular iconic features of Bali. The history of Tanah Lot temple was believed to date back to the 16th century. For the Balinese, Pura Tanah Lot is one of the most important and venerated sea temples. However, it has all the authenticity of a stage set – even the tower of rock that the temple sits upon is an artful reconstruction (the entire structure was crumbling) and more than one-third of the rock is artificial. We then continued to the Monkey Forest at the Alas Kedaton Sacred Sanctuary where long tailed macaques thrive in a natural habitat. Alas Kedaton is a popular monkey forest sanctuary - a sacred one at that. The sanctuary is made up of many acres of land purely inhabited by big bats and monkeys. The forest sanctuary is located at Kukuh village in Tabanan and made for a fun hour. The crab-eating macaque is the major breed of monkey found in this sanctuary, and Bali in general, as these primates are native to Southeast Asia. A baby bat decided to jump on my back and go for a ride. Eek! Last, we ventured over to Pura Taman Ayum, an 18th century temple complex. Tama Ayun is an aesthetically pleasing temple and is located in a mystical park sheltered by trees and ponds and is a temple built to honor various historical deities and gods. The temple has a rift in form of canals and can only be accessed through a bridge that leads you to a wide spaced grassy courtyard, which leads to another courtyard that houses multiple shrines, and ponds filled with lots of lotus blossoms. The best part of the tour was our guide who immersed us in Balinese culture both past and present. Lunch was again excellent. It was a varied, pretty and enlightening day. It was the best trip of the cruise. December 13 was our final day in Indonesia. I’d travelled thousands of miles to see a Komodo dragon in the wild. It was one of my reasons for taking this cruise. Komodo National Park is a World Heritage Site that was set aside to conserve the Komodo dragon and their natural habitat. The world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon is arguably Indonesia’s best-conserved large animal. Protected under Indonesian law, the population is relatively stable, with around 2,500 animals in the park. Entrance fees for foreigners were recently increased sharply plus an extra fee for a guide – in a bid to raise more revenue. Currently, the biggest threat to the dragons is the poaching of deer which is their prey, and the rise of human populations. The species shares the park with nearly 4,000 people, many of whom supplement their incomes by selling curios and snacks to tourists. The dragon dominates the food chain and underpins the local economy. We were surround by small and aggressive children peddling small trinkets as we made our way to venture deep into Komodo National Park where we went to search the dry forest for a glimpse of the prehistoric Komodo dragon. They exist nowhere else in the world and are of great interest to scientists studying the theory of evolution. After about 25 minutes of following guides into the park in 100 degree heat, we were told we might not even see them, as they are wild animals. Finally, right near the trance where we walked in 25 minutes earlier, we see our first cluster of dragons. The park staff are armed with sticks – which doesn’t seem like enough in case of a Komodo dragon attack. With their fearsome reputation in mind, I stay well back. At first sight, they do appear “lifeless” – like large seals wearing crocodile skin. When they move, they crawl on their bellies and then suddenly rear up sphinx-like, sticking out their forked tongues and making a distinctive hissing sound. There are five of the dragons in the group. They are grouped around each other, occasionally standing up, walking a few steps and hissing. The guides stand near us with massive sticks, which they will use to beat the dragons back in the event that they come near us. One guide, told me I reminded him of his mother and led me to them for upfront and personal close ups. I hoped he liked his mother. The Komodo can consume very large prey such as water buffalo, deer, carrion, pigs and even humans. It has a unique way of killing by biting its prey - especially when it is a large water buffalo, - surrounding it in a group then wait patiently until the poison in its saliva has slowly killed its victim.  After which it completely shreds apart and devoured with bones and all.  If the prey escapes, it will usually die within 24 hours due to poisoning of the blood that comes from the venomous and bacteria ridden saliva. Surprisingly, we were not rushed and were allowed quite a bit of time with them. Folks, who visited before, noticed that there were decidedly fewer Komodos than they have seen previously. Hot, but worth the experience. The only difference I would have liked—I would gladly have paid the guide for a shorter visit, with no trekking in the humid heat. Three days at sea (12/14-16) and then Western Australia.(12/17-12/22) The seas became rough. Returning to our cabin on 12/15, water was pouring under the glass sliding doors. The movement wasn’t bad. The position of our bed allowed for rocking side to side instead of head to toe (which our room was doing). It was rather pleasant. It was the crashing of the waves—the bang, bang, bang against the hull that ruined our sleep. We found out that a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck around 1,000 km north-northwest of Perth on 12/15. It was much too rough to enjoy pools, hot tubs or our large balcony during our sea days. The draw of this cruise for many was to visit Broome and Exmouth. Broome is a beach resort town in western Australia’s Kimberley region. Along its Indian Ocean coastline, the white sands of Cable Beach offer a dramatic backdrop for sunset camel rides. At Gantheaume Point nearby, dinosaur tracks are revealed in the beach’s red rocks during low tide. An ideal beach resort that was cancelled. Ugh. Exmouth is a small resort town on Western Australia’s North West Cape. It’s a gateway to nearby Ningaloo Marine Park with its coral reefs, colourful fish and migratory whale sharks. Nearly surrounding Exmouth, Cape Range National Park has kangaroos, sheer cliffs and red, rocky gorges. On the Cape's northwest coast, Jurabi Coastal Reserve's tidal rock pools, beaches and seasonal nesting grounds for marine turtles. This was cancelled too. Ugh. So, 2 nights in Geraldton (12/16-17) replaced these two ports. Geraldton is a major west coast seaport and a logistics center for regional mining, fishing, wheat and sheep. It was a far cry from an iconic beach resort with incredible wildlife and snorkelling. The downtown is struggling to keep alive and shops have a hard time surviving. According to some Australian friends, they had a great day of shopping. The Mid West region of Western Australia is strategically located on an iconic coastline between Perth and the growing economies of the State’s north. There are a host of different economic opportunities - all of which the region intends to capitalise on. Traditionally an agricultural region, the Mid West is now attracting unprecedented investment interest from a range of other industry sectors. The mining industry has quickly become the main economic driver of the region. Strong international demand for commodities and high commodity prices have already underpinned significant mining investment and many more projects are planned for future years. Most folks are positive about the economic stability of Geraldton long term, and attest to Geraldton being one of the best places in the country to live if you're looking for a great balance of lifestyle, affordability, and beauty. There are enough jobs if you have the right skill set or are willing to undertake training or education. There are few better places in terms of beaches and a wonderful outdoor lifestyle. And you don't need to be a multi millionaire to live near the beach, like you would in Sydney, Melbourne or Perth.  But the last decade plus of unquestioned positivity has lead to lots of members of the public being left holding investments that are now worth far less than they paid and many people owe far more on their homes than what they could reasonably be expected to sell them for today.  Rewind to 2006. Property prices around WA were booming, in large part due to the insatiable demand for WA's iron ore from China. Meanwhile, the City of Geraldton was hiking rates like they were in the rate raising olympics. Property, all of a sudden, didn't seem like such a great investment.  Nationally syndicated writers, economists and property "gurus" boldly kept predicting Geraldton was the next "boom town", and that it was a "gateway" to the North West and to the Mid West. Fast forward to 2018. Geraldton was budgeting for the future based on an assumption that Geraldton was going to spike in population within a foreseeable timeline. There was no explanation about how those official sources made their predictions, but the exact opposite happened. Geraldton's population declined in the following few years.  I digress from our day to give you a handle on the fact we were docked in a port far from touristy things to do. So, we signed up to visit an animal rescue facility nearby and to visit the old town of Geraldton. It wasn’t an exciting day but it was very pleasant. The weather was lovely, the guide good, the animals fun and I had the best scones ever. While we overnighted there, we didn’t arrive until a bit after noon. First stop was The Greenough Wildlife Park which was not the best park for animal interaction, but it was a good learning facility as it was designed as a temporary home for rescued animals, rehabilitation and release. It was small and the animals were all caged. The owner was a former cop and had a warm and engaging personality. We were able to get up close and personal with parrots, crocodiles, dingos, red and grey kangaroos and reptiles. She is the person you call if you find a python or a highly venomous snake around your house. Our guide was Greenough wildlife guru Michelle Jones who was an interesting lady. Recently, she spent two weeks helping scientists conduct important crocodile research at the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in far north Queensland. Ms Jones worked alongside the Australia Zoo’s crocodile team, including Irwin’s widow Terri and children Bindi and Robert. The Greenough Wildlife and Bird Park manager was tasked with helping catch and restrain the giant reptiles so the scientists could safely do their work. Michelle said the research was being used to better understand crocodiles’ habits and, in turn, teach people how to live safely alongside the awe-inspiring beasts. She said she had plans to work with a scientist who was conducting groundbreaking research into social interactions between crocodiles. “We attach satellite and acoustic transmitters to large saltwater crocodiles to track their movements in the river systems up there. The satellite tags allow us to pinpoint where the crocodile lives, and its dive time, which we’ve worked out can be up to 12 hours. The crocodile is processed and back in the water within about 25 minutes; that’s how quick the researchers and the scientists are up there. When the wet season comes, they head up the river systems to certain pockets, and then returning after the season is over to live in rivers where, sadly, a lot of people go swimming. It’s totally uncharted territory. It’s never been looked at before.It will be looking at whether they know their offspring and if they are socially interacting each year through recognition of pheromones.” She also had 2 dingos. The dingo is a type of dog that is native to Australia. Its taxonomic status is debated. Australia is home to so many of these animals that they are generally considered pests. A famous “dingo fence” has been erected to protect grazing lands for the continent's herds of sheep. It is likely that more dingoes live in Australia today than when Europeans first arrived. Though dingoes are numerous, their pure genetic strain is gradually being compromised. They can and do interbreed with domestic dogs to produce hybrid animals. Studies suggest that more than a third of southeastern Australia's dingoes are hybrids.  We were able to pat and meet the dogs. Their fur was coarse and bristly but they acted like normal pet dogs, wanting a kiss or a scratch. I had the unfortunate accident of stepping into a hole a dingo had dug and was plagued by constant knee pain for the rest of our trip. I think it’s finally on the mend. The kangaroos are a hoot. The red kangaroo is large with droopy eyes, a relaxed attitude and a “hey, dude” disposition. The grey kangaroo is a bit more skittish. I had the opportunity to cradle a baby grey one. From there, we went to the Greenough Historical village. There were numerous out buildings dating back to the late 1800s. Quite honestly, we have more interesting places in the US. We were treated to warm scones, clotted cream and jam with tea and these scones made the stop worth our time. Upon returning to the port, the Geraldton port had decide to throw us a welcome party, with local foods, drinks, port information, animals, mining info. It was well done and very enjoyable. Day 2 in Geraldton was an all day private tour to the pink salt lake and the Kalbarri National Park, one of Western Australia's most popular places to visit. It was striking but paled compared to our Grand Canyon. In all honesty, I think the time to visit is when the wildflowers are out, July to September. At that time, You can see the park ablaze with the colours of spring, with over 1,100 varieties of wildflowers are found there. It was a long day for a day trip. You drive through acre upon acre of wheat fields...think Nebraska. You get to your destination, quickly see the sites and have to turn around. I think it’s a place you want to spend a couple of days, taking hikes and enjoying outdoor activities. You can go bushwalking, gorge hiking or canoeing and take a journey back 400 million years, when the tidal flats of an ancient sea formed the striking red sandstone and the mighty Murchison River carved out deep gorges on its way to the ocean. We took a more relaxed experience and drove out to the park's many lookouts for some must-snap vistas, including the famous Nature's Window, The Loop, Z Bend, Hawks Head and Ross Graham, Red Bluff and Pot Alley. What spoiled the outdoor activities a bit was the heat and the swarms of bushflies. These flies look like our flies but are much smaller and swarm around you. They were everywhere we went in Australia. You really needed to wear netting which we didn’t have. The pink lakes: Australia is home to the bizarre pink coloured lakes. They look good enough to drink but are the saltiest bodies of water on earth. Analysis of the water has shown about 10 species of algae and bacteria, which are all predominantly pink. Despite bacteria being the reason for the strawberry milk color, the lake is totally safe to swim in. In fact, the lake's high salt content likely makes the water so dense that you'd float incredibly easily, the way you would in the Dead Sea. It was incredible to look at but mines and factories dotted its shores making it hard to enjoy. The echidna: Driving along we found an echidna in the road and we stopped to rescue it. See pics. So what is an echidna? It has spines like a porcupine, a beak like a bird, a pouch like a kangaroo, and lays eggs like a reptile. Also known as spiny anteaters, they're small, solitary mammals native to Australia. They're usually between 12 and 17 inches long and weigh between 4 and 10 pounds. Their spines are actually modified hairs. Echidnas' bodies (with the exception of their undersides, faces, and legs) are covered with 2-inch long spines. Fur between the spines provides insulation. Echidnas live slow and long. Echidnas have the lowest body temperature of any mammal, 89__°F. Their body temperatures are not controlled in the same way as that of other mammals, and can fluctuate by up 6–8°C over the course of the day. Their long life spans — up to 50 years in captivity, with anecdotal reports of wild animals reaching 45 years — are due to their low body temperature and slow metabolism. Male echidnas have a bizarre, four-headed penis. You might wonder how you mate with a four-headed penis. During sex, two of the heads shut down while the other two grow bigger to fit into the female's two-branched reproductive tract. Males alternate the heads they use between matings. Echidnas form mating trains. A strange process marks the start of echidna breeding season. Males line up nose to tail behind a single female, forming a train of up to a dozen individuals. Trains can last more than a month, with males dropping out and rejoining. When the female is finally ready to mate, the males dig a trench in the ground around her. The males compete for mating honors by pushing each other out of the trench. The last one remaining gets to mate with the female. Strange creatures! Food: We stopped for lunch where we could sample emu, kangaroo, crocodile. The crocodile tasted like, yes, “Chicken.” The others like over cooked shoe leather. I guess it tasted awful because it was too cute to eat? Bunbury and Busselton, Australia.. (December 19 and 20th) These two ports are really close to one another and about an hour from the wine area—Margaret River. I booked a private tour through Azamara Private Journeys for Dec 19 and wanted to see it all. Unfortunately, the white night was being held on 12/19 and Azamara’ should home office wouldn’t change the date to 12/20 since we were told the guide was out of Bunbury. It turned out he was between Bunbury and Busselton. We were picked up at 12:30 and the driver said he was taking us to Busselton. I asked why as we were going there the next day. We were to get an historical walking tour of both towns but he wasn’t informed of that. He did his best with a quick driving tour and then took us on our scheduled plane ride which was foolishly set up as Busselton to Busselton. It was pleasant. Then, he took us to the Margaret River to visit a winery and for dinner. Almost everything was closed by the time we finished one winery and we missed out on the chocolate and cheese factories. Then, we were taken to dinner at a holiday hotel. Since there was a function in the dining room, we were seated in the lobby, amid screaming kids, drunks and dogs. The dinner was about the equivalent of a poor man’s Pizza Hut. We had to get our own food, which was inedible. Moral of story: Do not ever sign up for Azamara’s Private Journeys. We were toured out and just did Busselton on our own. It’s a nice little beach town with cute shops, a great kids’ playground and a long jetty with a natural aquarium at the end. The jetty is said to be the longest wooden structure in the southern hemisphere and is the second longest wooden jetty (pier) in the world. The jetty construction commenced in 1853 and the first section was opened in 1865. The jetty was extended numerous times until the 1960s, ultimately reaching a length of 1841 m. The last commercial vessel called at the jetty in 1971 and the jetty was closed the following year. It passed into the control of Busselton Shire and has been gradually restored and improved since. view the event. The aquarium was opened on 13 December 2003 descending 8 metres below sea level where one can view the corals and fish life through eleven viewing windows. It was interesting but no WOW. If you are in the area, I suggest spending your time in the lovely Margaret River area, playing tourist, sampling wine and cheese and chocolates, enjoying the scenery and watching out for kangaroos dotting the fields. If you want to save money and enjoy the ship, you can safely wander both Bunbury and Busselton. Don’t waste your money on tours. Final day: Perth My husband thought I was crazy signing us up for a 12 hour tour for our final day, especially given the quality of the tours. Each of these experiences could be enjoyed as day trips from Perth unto themselves. It’s foolish to combine them all in one day unless that’s all you have. Our guide was excellent and was an encyclopedia of information. It could have been a great day if it had been timed better. Our day started out with the Caversham Wildlife Park. We should have spent a few hours here but only had 40 minutes. At Caversham Wildlife Park there are a variety of daily attractions that you can come and see and get involved with which include: Meet the Wombat and Friends, Feed the Kangaroos and Meet the Koalas, feed the Kangaroos. It was a fine stop and a shame to have had so little time there. Each of these destinations is 90 minutes from Perth. Our next stop was the lobster processing factory which offers the complete lobster experience from lobster pot to cooking pot! The Lobster Shack provides a close up encounter with the most valued single species fishery in Australia; the Western Rock Lobster. We were able to see how the lobsters are processed in the factory and packaged up to be sent LIVE to destinations all over the world. However, Azamara cheaped out and served us fish and chips while other table was diving into lobster dinners . We gladly would have paid an up charge. Everyone was quite angry. I suggest that this stop could be a day unto itself. As a day tour, you can go out on a lobster boat and go lobstering and then indulge on a lobster dinner. Or, you can just visit the processing plant, have lunch and then go to the Pinnacles. The Pinnacles is pretty far, so I’d either combine visiting it with The Lobster Shack or the white dunes. It takes about an hour, more or less, to visit. Within the park is the ancient Pinnacles Desert, which is an area with thousands of limestone formations called pinnacles. Standing tall in the shifting sand dunes lies thousands of large limestone pillars that were originally believed to be a lost city. The first records of identification date back to the 1650s. Following this, there are no known records of the Pinnacles until 1820 by Philip Parker King. With very little discovery, the Department of Lands and Surveys included the Pinnacles Desert in the Nambung National Park (created in 1956) in the 1960s, and it was through this inclusion that the desert became a popular destination. The Pinnacles Desert has been home to Aboriginal tribes for many years – with artifacts found dating back 6,000 years. Many theories have been proposed about the formation of the Pinnacles. One of the theories is that they formed as a result of kastification, characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves that weathers rocks, such as quartzite, given the right conditions. Another theory states that the pinnacles were formed through the preservation of tree casts buried in coastal aeolianties. A third theory states that the Pinnacles were created by plants. It is beautiful and well worth a visit. We then went to Lancelin for some dune buggying and sand surfing. We never really got to do either. When you visit the legendary Lancelin sand dunes you could squint and imagine you’re in a post apocalyptic dystopian world with David Lynch writing the script. It’s trippy. The sand is white like icing sugar rather than Sahara desert golden, and some dunes are as big as three story buildings. We headed off on a dune buggy bus. Up a dune; down a dune. Wavering at the top of a dune, our driver tried to stop but couldn’t reverse, so down we went into a sand crevasse. We all left the vehicle so the driver could dig us out. Uh uh. We were stuck in the middle of the desert with no one around, the sun growing dim on the horizon. Stuck. We had no choice but to climb the dunes and walk back to our awaiting bus. No sand boarding time for us. This was our misadventure. The tour escort called the ship as we were so late all dining would be closed. We were met by the hotel director at the bus doors and told ‘not to worry’ as the restaurants were kept open for us. What an end to our tour experience Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
chosen purely because of itinerary.Got off to a bad start when pick up bus at Nice Station didn't park where stated. First night on board,air conditioning noise in room was not put right until midnight.Next 2 days,no shower due to ... Read More
chosen purely because of itinerary.Got off to a bad start when pick up bus at Nice Station didn't park where stated. First night on board,air conditioning noise in room was not put right until midnight.Next 2 days,no shower due to thermostat non function producing only boiling hot water.Tried to fix but didn't work,no shower that evening.Next day,put new thermo,didn't work either and again no shower that evening. Was I offered other room,shower elsewhere etc Big NO is the answer despite my protestations.Got no response from reception,cabin management or English rep for Costa.Eventually fixed by reversing the taps.Offered bowl of fruit as compensation and bottle of Prosecco,NO Thanks.Long Queues at reception for two mornings resulting in most giving up due to lack of staff.No lack of staff on trips booking desk though???? One of the last stops we made was Al Fujairah.What a dump of a port,full of shipping for oil tankers,oil storage tanks etc.You really have no choice but to pay to get out and do anything.Must be visited due to cheap berthing costs we be my bet.Will be writing to Costa re compensation.( was offered 150 Euros by Casino,but only because of my extensive spend in the casino) Final port Dubai was docked at 8am,had no choice but to get off as first passenger as my flight home was at 11.55 am,because passport was taken by Dubai immigration with others and I was only able to disembark near to 9am with all my luggage to visit immigration which did not open till 9am then to locate my transit car to airport.All of this was pointed out previous day but no assistance given,nor any help when I was panicking to ensure I wouldn't miss my flights back home and connections.Reception desk on board was one of the most unreceptive both in assistance and in language that I have ever encountered. The buffet restaurant food was OK but like most,served on cold [plates which means when you find a place,your food is cold.Difficulty in getting a hot plate when asked.The coordination of programmes on board interfering with other programmes was hopeless as were the English announcements made over the tanhoy and during events on board where because of lack of the English language were incomprehensible.This company is not one I would recommend to anyone from UK.I had difficulties,yet I speak French fluently,enough German,Italian,Spanish etc to make myself understood.Pity they could not reciprocate.The best English speakers were the Russians and the Philipinos. I rest my case,never and which is why I tore up my 150 euro gift. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Love this itinerary. 6th time to Rio, Diverse ports, lots of sea days, good friends. Little changes- many fewer European staff, new CD and GM. Fantastic value. Took ship's tours as I am travelling solo, private tours see more, ... Read More
Love this itinerary. 6th time to Rio, Diverse ports, lots of sea days, good friends. Little changes- many fewer European staff, new CD and GM. Fantastic value. Took ship's tours as I am travelling solo, private tours see more, more leasurely pace. I felt rushed as there was a need to cram many sites in limited time. Have been to Rio before- never attempted to do Sugerloaf and Christ the Redeemer the same day. Tours used all the time, very little time for shopping. Food was wonderful, but this length of cruise was long enough to tire of it. The ship started to decorate for Christmas, but the major construction was still hidden under a curtain when I left. Weather was warm, Rio was over 100. All the Brazilian stops were hot. New port of Praia was interesting, terribly poor country. Well, time to start my diet, scheduled doctor visit Friday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The cruise was generally excellent mainly because of the the variety of food, the service, the gym and running track, and the itinerary. I will not go into detail on those factors because you can read about them in numerous other reviews. ... Read More
The cruise was generally excellent mainly because of the the variety of food, the service, the gym and running track, and the itinerary. I will not go into detail on those factors because you can read about them in numerous other reviews. Instead, I will discuss a few deficiencies aboard Nautica and suggest some ways to overcome them so that they will not interfere with your enjoyment of the cruise. The final week After seeing Petra, there are 4 days a sea, then a ½ day stop in Salalah, Oman, and then another day at sea before stopping for a day in Muscat, Oman. Salalah is a dead-zone as far as tourism is concerned. There is nothing to see in the industrial area that surrounds the gigantic port. Moreover, the taxi drivers’ union does not allow the ship to offer its usual free shuttle into the town. We heard numerous complaints from other passengers about the boring tours of Salalah offered by Nautica (at outrageous prices). On that day, we stayed onboard the ship even though it meant we went 6 full days without going ashore. My advice: Take some good books and projects to help fill the hours in that final week. Shore excursions Because we paid O-Life fares, we received 4 excursions each, which we used for tours that were only accessible by the ship's buses. We found the main problem on these excursions with 30+ people was that it was difficult to hear the guide unless you were standing right beside him or her. Oceania needs to take a lesson from Viking and provide Vox machines for all passengers on all tours. We found that for half the price of Nautica's shore excursions we could easily book better, small group tours using top-rated companies that we found on Tripadvisor. Then everybody could hear the guide and ask lots of questions. We used Love Egypt Tours in Luxor and Jordan Horizons for Petra. Specialty restaurants reservations Oceania does not reward loyalty; instead they give perks to passengers based on how much they pay for their staterooms. For example, someone who is a first time Oceania guest who buys a stateroom for $25000 gets to reserve specialty restaurants at least a month before someone who has been on several Oceania cruises and has spent over $50000 in total, but always on porthole staterooms on level 3. That's not fair. I booked the minute I was allowed to reserve specialty restaurants and did not get a single one of my choices because people in more expensive staterooms had taken all the available tables. However, when I embarked, I went immediately to the dining room and they exchanged all my (bad) specialty restaurant reservations for the times I wanted. Lesson learned: Oceania holds back a lot of times to satisfy unhappy customers like me who request changes when they are onboard. It's also worth noting that we received better meals and equal service in the Grand Dining Room. We will likely not bother reserving in the specialty restaurants on our next cruise. WiFi and Nautica’s computer lab With the O-Life fare, you get free WiFi. However, it’s not their premium WiFi and it’s slow. I can't understand why Oceania offers a service such as WiFi when it is clearly substandard. The two hours before dinner seem to be the worst. Moreover, if you go to the computer lab you may find that some external drives cannot be read by the ship’s computers. I suspect it’s because those computers are PCs and don’t read files that are made on Apple machines. Before you leave home, if you’re a Mac user, test your external drives to make sure they can be read by a PC (eg. at your local library). Also make sure all your files are saved in PDF or .doc format. Food Although the meals are generally excellent, we experienced 2 problems. First, chicken breasts or thighs were raw inside on 2 occasions. We sent them back and got well-cooked replacements. Make sure if you order chicken that you specify you want it well done. Undercooked chicken can be dangerous! A second problem is that the Terrace Grill (the buffet restaurant that you will probably use for most breakfasts and lunches) has the worst design of any cruise ship we have been on. Why? -- 90% of the food is crammed onto counter-tops on both sides of a very narrow aisle, about 50 feet long. You’re continually banging into other guests who are shoulder-to-shoulder trying to get food. The solution: Go very early or very late. Canyon Spa I listened to one of the hour-long health seminars given by the fitness trainer. It was about all the “terrible” health problems caused by the accumulation of toxins in the body. Since I have a biology degree, it soon became obvious that although there was some accurate anatomical and physiological information given out, the majority of the “facts” simply involved vague, misleading half-truths. The objective was to sell several months’ supply of Canyon Spa teas and a seaweed bath product that would supposedly rid the body of toxins. (The cost: over $1000 for a six month supply delivered to your home) It was the worst example of quackery and “snake oil” sales I have ever seen, with not a shred of valid medical research to support the use of those products. Oceania should be ashamed of allowing that kind of misinformation to be foisted on passengers, most of whom have low scientific literacy. My advice: Use the spa for massages if you want to pay their ridiculous prices, -- but skip the seminars. In summary, none of these problems affected our enjoyment of the cruise. I simply offer them as a warning to future passengers on Nautica or her sister ships. No cruise ship is perfect. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise primarily because of the itinerary and it did not disappoint. We made all our own tour arrangements at each port so I can not comment on the ships tours. Our room was fantastic and the service bar none. We found all ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily because of the itinerary and it did not disappoint. We made all our own tour arrangements at each port so I can not comment on the ships tours. Our room was fantastic and the service bar none. We found all the amenities great. We especially liked the Terrace Cafe just because of its variety of selection and casual atmosphere. We did enjoy Toscanas food as well, but did find the Polo fell short of our expectations. The entertainment in the evening was energetic and we were so impressed with the takent of the young enetertainers on the ship. The enrichment lectures were really informative and we tried not to miss any of them. We enjoyed the small ship atmosphere and the friendly staff. Our housekeeping staff went above and beyond any requests we had. The embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and we were quick to get off and on the boat to meet up with our tour groups. We will definitely use Oceania again. Thanks for a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Ship is just renovated cabin with larger shower area. Cabin is always clean! Thanks to our cabin service. Always love flexibility diner restaurants timing with so excellent services they gave to us. Entertaining is marvelous with ... Read More
Ship is just renovated cabin with larger shower area. Cabin is always clean! Thanks to our cabin service. Always love flexibility diner restaurants timing with so excellent services they gave to us. Entertaining is marvelous with différents shows but some with same performers. Service are excellent with smiles in their face and minds. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth as supposed to be. Singapore is very model and clean with many excellent facilities, Bali is beautiful but to many traffic. Love Darwin with manageable small town and large botanical garden. Brisbane is modelly beautiful with rich historical town. My wife love all activities and joined many of them. For the ports and shores are mostly excellent (that’s why I choose this itineraries!) only some required tending in the rough sea but that understandable. Some port is kind of miss and hit but we just site relax on the ship with nice jacuzzi and swimming pool. I love to go again with Norwegian Cruise in the future with different itineraries since the world has so many wonderful places to visit. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The holiday was part of my wife's 80th birthday celebration. Having been several cruises with other companies we wanted to try out the Celebrity Cruise line. Also we had never before been through the Suez Canal. We spent a few ... Read More
The holiday was part of my wife's 80th birthday celebration. Having been several cruises with other companies we wanted to try out the Celebrity Cruise line. Also we had never before been through the Suez Canal. We spent a few days in Rome (a city we are familiar with) before the cruise and then a few days in Dubai (a new experience) at the end. Seen it now - wouldn't go back! The ship was very good (maybe a little bit tired) but the cabin was excellent and the organisation and staff first class. We old folks took part in lots of on-board activities and particularly enjoyed the entertainment - especially the very informative lectures. The upstairs buffet was very good but unfortunately the main dinning room not so. Many people complained about the slow service and on occasions the piped music made conversation impossible. I've never had such a bad crepe suzette. Would we go again with Celebrity ? Well, maybe. While we can perhaps afford it, I'm never comfortable feeling I'm being "ripped off". The excursions were well over priced; $300 up front for gratuities plus 18% on all drinks (come on !!) and $530 for Wi Fi - even the ship's comedian thought it was a joke. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, we had a great holiday - thoroughly enjoyed it. However, our two immediately previous cruises on TUI Discovery and the Allure of the Seas were equally good, if not better value for money. Celebrity Cruises are good - but not as good as they think they are. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018

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