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394 Trans-Ocean Cruise Reviews

We went from Mumbai to Cape Town - 24 nights with 11 sea-days. I will start wit the good bit by saying that the staff were without exception excellent and as good as any ship that i have sailed on. The rest of my comments are critical - ... Read More
We went from Mumbai to Cape Town - 24 nights with 11 sea-days. I will start wit the good bit by saying that the staff were without exception excellent and as good as any ship that i have sailed on. The rest of my comments are critical - Management was another matter! We did not get off to a good start! We were supposed to spend two days in Mombasa, Kenya which was a prime reason for us taking the trip but this was canceled on security grounds. I can wholly accept that but nobody bothered to tell us or our travel agent. We only found out by accident a few days before we left. By and large the food was not good. I just never got on with the Canteen (Azamara calls it "The Cafe"). as the food was invariably only luke warm at best and sometimes colder than that. They kept doing "theme nights" from round the world (e.g. Mexicann, Indian and so on). I ended up wondering what wonderful chefs they must have to cope with all that! Salads were particularly poor but the soup and the ice cream were good. But I never had a good meal there. The menu of the main dining room was pretentious and I often could not understand what was on offer - e. g. what on earth is "panacotta cauliflower"? Often the accompaniment did not seem to fit the main course - e. g. "wilted spinach" with British style battered fish and chips which I thought verged on the unbelievable!.I want to state that I got one evening in this restaurant what I consider to be the worst steak i have ever had in my life. It was not just inedible but I actually could not even cut it with my knife and it got sent straight back. But to be fair, their breakfast was very good and immaculately served. The entertainment was mediocre - except for the magician (brilliant) and a couple of performances from the singers and dancers. We walked out of "The Hits of Broadway" as we had not even heard of the musicals featured, let alone the mediocre songs performed! I think that our cabin was advertised as having an "ocean view" and that was technically correct if you regard an ocean view as viewing the sea from the narrow space between two lifeboats. At any rate, it was very cramped with only one seat meaning the second occupant had to sit on the bed. There was no table of any sort - e.g. for room service.The toilet was microscopic. I never bother with Wi-Fi on a cruise but my wife does. The price of a full package, if my memory serves me well, was $478 for the cruise which was as expensive as the reception was bad. The Wi-Fi service was regarded by most of the people to whom I spoke as appalling and I never passed the customer relations desk without hearing someone complaining about it. Azamara are behind the pack on Wi-Fi as companies with ships of similar size are offering it free of charge - e.g. Viking, Oceania and Regent to quote but three. The cruise did not seem to have been well thought out. For example, why did we not go to the smaller Seychelle island on Sunday and go the capital on the main island on Monday when places and shops would have been open - they weren't on the Sunday! And how come that insufficient reconnaissance had seemly been done on our destination for the so-called "Amazing Evening" in Durban leading to it being cancelled? I know that every cruise line takes advantage of a captive audience and offers excursions at high prices but I felt that Azamara prices were extremely high. i took the brochure home with me so that I could pick out a couple.How about "lunch on the rock in Dar es Salaam" at only$269? Or a game drive, 3 days and 2 nights for only $2799. One person who went on this one should have been accompanied into South Africa by a ship's guide. Unfortunately the girl in question was from the Phillipines and was refused entry without a visa which she had not got. Good forward planning! And, finally "Trivia" or as it is called in the UK "quizzes". We had 11 sea days and Trivia helps to while away the hours. Unfortunately the boat did not seem to have anyone who knew how to run a quiz. After a while I was concerned about the marking of the quizzes and, as an experienced quizzer, I was concerned about the fairness of it We were told to mark (i.e. score) our own sheets - which, of course, is utter nonsense. I approached the Cruise Director and suggested that we all exchanged papers and he agreed. This went on for three quizzes and, would you believe it different people won? Suddenly without anyone bothering to tell me we went back to self-marking. i approached the Cruise Director who told me that "other people" had protested - he was doubtless right but to which team did they belong? No answer. I tried to speak to the Assistant Cruise Director and he couldn''t get away fast enough.Basically, he refused to talk to me. I subsequently told the Cruise Director it was totally unacceptable to refuse to speak to a customer who was polite in approach and had paid several thousand Pounds for the cruise. Answer there came none. Someone (not I) complained that a team was consistently playing with 7 members instead of the maximum of six. This was solved by increasing the team limit of 6 to 8. I am assuming that the team involved had more clout than people like those with whom I associated. And the Progressive Quiz!!!!. The quizmaster told us on the first day that mobile phones were banned but failed to repeat the message. Without even trying I knew of two definite cases of the use of phones. In proper quiz circles this is not far from a hanging offence and is despicable. The quizmaster offered the participants the opportunity to nominate particular subjects which resulted in (for example - there were others!) two questions on the "Brady Bunch", a question on the "beaches of North Sydney" and "girls' doll shops in the USA". What on earth has this got to do with general knowledge? But it got worse! As a general knowledge question we were also asked the date of the birthday of the Assistant Cruise Manager! Words utterly fail me! As a final twist the last quiz on the last evening (The Music Quiz at 10.15pm to be specific) was won by a group of cheating Australians who scored 40 points out of a possible maximum of 36 points I am still trying to work this one out! I have been on 5 Azamara and 5 Celebrity cruises and before this recent cruise i have never had any cause for complaint of any nature. Unfortunately,we have booked (and paid for) a cruise with Azamara at the end of March which is on the same boat. I am not looking forward to it! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We did a China cruise with Viking 2 years ago and loved the quality of service Cruised with several other companies and nothing ever comes close as far as dining and overall service from Viking Would have liked to spend some more ... Read More
We did a China cruise with Viking 2 years ago and loved the quality of service Cruised with several other companies and nothing ever comes close as far as dining and overall service from Viking Would have liked to spend some more time in Bali but the travel schedule was too close to make that happen. Hope this adjustment will be made on future trips. The excursions were interesting and well organized. One suggestion might be to add an additional guide in groups over 30 guest as some of the groups seemed to have a harder time to keep up and felt left out. I would also like to see some additional tread mill in the exercise area As I had a hard time to find a unoccupied machine in the morning. Our overall impression of the Viking staff remains very high. The most friendly and helpful staff we have encountered on our many travels. We will definitely consider a future river or ocean cruise in the near future on Viking. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Embarkation - for us was very smooth as our private transfer from the Empire Palace Hotel in Rome was booked for 12 midday meaning we arrived after the boarding rush and were dropped off right beside the ship. The port is very large and we ... Read More
Embarkation - for us was very smooth as our private transfer from the Empire Palace Hotel in Rome was booked for 12 midday meaning we arrived after the boarding rush and were dropped off right beside the ship. The port is very large and we on our drive through we saw many passengers who were dropped off at the Port entrance toting luggage for at least 1km to board the ship. The trip to the Port at Civitavecchia was 79km, so glad our trip package included all private transfers as the distance from the airport to our hotel was 31km, but seemed longer. Cabin - our cabin was on deck 8 ocean view balcony, 1D. Furnishings were a bit tired however, it was clean & comfortable with ample drawer & hanging space. On arrival our fridge(which we were informed was really just a chiller) was not cold and our in-cupboard safe would not lock. We reported this to our cabin steward when she soon arrived for introductions and after we returned to the cabin a couple of hours later, both had been fixed with no further problems. The shower has dispenser for hair & body wash which was a nice touch, so I didn't need to use the items I packed. There was also a small extender clothes line in the shower recess. Dining - Didn't disappoint! We prebooked Tides on deck 5 for my time dining. The menu was extensive and the portions were the largest I have ever experienced on any other cruise. The service was excellent and although the staff were always super busy, they were always very friendly & made time for a chat & a joke. We also used the Windjammer (buffet) for breakfast, lunch & some dinners and we were very impressed with the quality and variety of the dishes every day. We were also pleasantly surprised by the layout of the buffet servery stations. They were arranged in such a way that we could walk right around the station, eliminating ques. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, so we had not seen this arrangement of servery stations before, but do hope other cruise lines adopt it as well. Also the Windjammer dining area was huge having the inside and outside areas, meaning there was no problem finding a seat. Service - Over all, we were impressed with the service we received around the ship. On day three (a sea day), although I was obsessive about the hand washing & sanitizing routine, I still managed to catch something that vigorously disagreed with me. After been bedridden all day, I eventually visited the on board medical center that evening. The doctor on duty was very thorough taking information of what and where I'd eaten prior to boarding and since boarding. I received appropriate medication and a bland diet leaflet and was asked not to leave my cabin until the nurse released. I was also informed that I would not be charged for the consultation or medication and, as I was seconded to my cabin, I would receive complimentary room service. The next morning, I received a phone call from the service desk offering a full refund for my excursion that day as well as complimentary access to the paid movies on the television. I was overwhelmed and appreciative of the exceptional service I received. I was released from my cabin at 6.30pm on day four. Entertainment - The theater was a let down for us. There seemed to be a lot of comedians & jugglers and not so many choreographed shows. However, the shows we did see were lively with colorful costumes accomplished performers. Absolutely loved the Celine Deon tribute show. The designated Cinema was a bit of a let down. We managed to see a couple of movies, however we just couldn't get seats in any of the allotted time slots for one particular movie even though we arrived 45 minutes prior to the allotted time, due to the small size of the cinema, and people holding seats of others despite regular notifications around the ship that the holding of seats IS NOT ALLOWED. Very disappointing! The cinema was also freezing cold, so we needed to take warm jackets. Excursions - We had pre booked all our excursions with the cruise line, and we would thoroughly recommend this to anyone. If I had not done this, I would not have received my excursion refund, also, we were delayed by at least one hour docking in Dubai, but all excursions booked were honored. The meeting place for most of the excursions was in the Coral Theater. We arrived at the allocated time on our ticket and were given numbered stickers for our respective tours and were directed to the corresponding numbered seats to wait for our tour call. This process was very well organised and with minimal waiting times whether the ship was docked or if we tendered in to shore. All of our excursions were well organised with very knowledgeable tour guides. We received detailed information and reliable transportation to and from the ship at all times. GYM - We didn't bother visiting the gym preferring to do the walking track and swim. The Ship - Although certain areas of the ship were looking tired and dated, overall it was very clean. Our only criticism is that the glass ( there is a lot of it around- the floor to ceiling windows in restaurants and balcony's) was very streaked and not pleasant to look through. We had little to no sea spray during our trip, it was very calm and glassed out a lot of the time. The window obviously were not cleaned after the last cruise. We have noticed on past cruises, that this is something that the crew are always on top of and if the weather is not so good, as soon as there is some calm weather they're right onto the window cleaning. Disembarkation - We were scheduled to dock in Dubai at 2pm however, due to another ship being docked in our space we were delayed by about 1.5 hour. Then delayed by a further hour receiving the return of our passports and the face to face with Dubai Customs. This resulted in our being and hour & a half late for our Dune Dinner Safari excursion. None of this was the fault of Royal Caribbean, and they worked tirelessly to move us off the ship as soon as possible. We still did our excursion, just a little disappointed that we lost daylight and it was dusk by the time we reached the dunes. The rest of the night went very well and back to the ship by 9pm. Hotels - In Rome we stayed 2 days at the Empire Palace Hotel before boarding our cruise. The hotel inside was typical of Rome's history with pillars, historical painted ceilings and dark timber. The reception staff were very helpful with maps & directions and we had complimentary breakfasts. The hotel was very central and walking distance for cafes & coffees etc and some major attractions such as the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, Santa Maria della Vittoria Cathedral & the Trevi Fountain. WE had pre booked a Big Red Bus Hop on Hop off tour and thoroughly recommend this tour. As well as a great way to see and learn about the history of Rome, & we were given English speaking headsets for the continuous commentary. Included in the tickets were complimentary entry to tours at certain places of interest The tour company has tour guides who can take bookings and hand out brochures stationed at all of their stops. Well work it!! We also had a 2 day stop over in Dubai at the Four Points by Sheraton Down Town Dubai before flying home. This hotel was ultra modern and very spacious. Being somewhat exhausted after our journey, we elected to eat at the hotel bistro, and breakfasts were also included. On arrival at 10am, we were able to store our luggage and decided to use the hotel tour agent to book a Hop on Hop off bus city tour. Again we were not disappointed with the tour or the commentary and we again received complimentary entry vouchers to the Preferring to just sight see from the bus, we only got off once at the Dubai Mall and visited the Dubai Aquarium using our complimentary voucher. The aquarium was AMAZING with so many marine species we have ever seen in one place & we almost got lost in there it is so big. The following day we took a pre booked Bus tour to Abu Dharbi. It was interesting to see the difference between the two cities. Dubai, with more fancy skyscrapers than the whole of Australia has, and Abu Dhabi, still with some impressive skyscrapers, but focusing more on Trees, shrubs & gardens. Returned home after a 12 hour day and didn't even bother eating. All in all would absolutely, with out a doubt, recommend this trip. To see the places we visited was an awesome adventure. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was my 16th cruise (my 2nd cruise on Carnival ). We chose this cruise because the price was great and the ports were potentially interesting. It was a repositioning cruise from Singapore to Sydney, stopping at Bali, Komodo Island, ... Read More
This was my 16th cruise (my 2nd cruise on Carnival ). We chose this cruise because the price was great and the ports were potentially interesting. It was a repositioning cruise from Singapore to Sydney, stopping at Bali, Komodo Island, Darwin, Airlie Beach, Moreton Island and Sydney.We stayed in Singapore for 3 nights before the cruise which was great. Embarkation in Singapore was very smooth. Unfortunately, this was where the positives ended. The ship had been in dry dock before our cruise for a refurbishment, so we expected some hiccups in the running of the ship. We were told that most of the crew were new to this ship, and it was obvious that their training had either been forgotten or was not completed as it should have been. Guest services were on the whole very defensive and sometimes aggressive. Our cabin was an inside cabin with 2 single beds. There was only one power point for the cabin. Our sheets were changed only once during the 15 days and we cleaned our bathroom basin when it had'nt been cleaned for a week. All but one of our ports were accessible by tender only. The process for disembarkation was poor (except for Airlie beach). Our tour on Komodo Island was not well organised and in the end getting back to the ships tender was quite unsafe. However, the main area of concern for us was the lack of food safety in both the buffet and restaurant areas. Food (including meat and eggs) were served either cold or lukewarm after being held in the bain maries for extended periods of time. We observed servers using the same gloves to serve raw food and ready to eat food; the same gloves touching the floor and serving food, washing and reusing of disposable gloves. We also observed food trays being topped up with new food when there was still "old"food in the trays. In the restaurant the food was always cold and unappetising ( we stopped going to dinner in the restaurant after the first week). We also noticed passengers using their hands at the buffet to serve food, with servers watching. On speaking with 2 servers they did not feel that they could tell passengers that they were doing the wrong thing. Hand sanitising is not encouraged; many of the sanitiser dispensers were empty, and not placed in convenient positions for use. Given our experience on this ship we have decided to cancel our next Carnival cruise in March 2020 (we have booked with Celebrity). Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons - firstly because it was sailing out of Singapore and we hadn't done that before, and secondly because one of the ports was Komodo Island which we were looking forward to very much. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons - firstly because it was sailing out of Singapore and we hadn't done that before, and secondly because one of the ports was Komodo Island which we were looking forward to very much. Embarkation day was a complete mess. The port authority process was ok but then we went to the check in counter for Carnival where we were given receipts for our passports but not asked to hand them over, which we thought strange. We then proceeded to the ship only to be held up an the gangway as we had come to the end of a line of fellow passengers waiting to have their passports taken. This line, as we found out later, wound its way from the gangway through the atrium and then into and around the Black Pearl restaurant before ending at a couple of tables where staff were busily taking our passports. From the time we entered the line to when our passports were finally taken was about an hour and only then because someone had rounded up six more crew members to assist with the process which sped it up a little. From there we went to the Guest Services desk to book our shore excursion because, even though we were encouraged to check out the possible excursions online before boarding, we couldn't actually book them until we got on board. We had chosen the Pink Sands Komodo experience which was advertised at around $180 per person, which we thought expensive but was something we wanted to do. The other option was simply the Komodo experience which didn't include the trip to the Pink Sands for around $130. After waiting in line for another hour we were told that the Pink Sands experience was sold out so, although disappointed and angry that we couldn't book the experience we wanted, we booked the other experience only to have another unpleasant surprise when told that it would cost us $179 each, $40 more than that advertised on the website. We had asked about our Cruise and Go cards so we could access our cabin and were horrified to learn that they were in an envelope at the door to our cabin. We think this is very insecure especially as we had already loaded our credit card to the card and so anyone could have used it without our knowledge. It also gave anyone who wanted access to our cabin, in fact we heard stories from other guests of them arriving at their cabin only to find other people already there and unpacking. Then came the safety drill. This was a complete mess. The crew didn't seem to know what they were doing. All passengers went to their assigned stations as requested but this was in Singapore Harbour where the temperature was in the 40's and humidity was high also. We were all left standing at our stations, out of the sun at least but still with no breeze or respite from the temperatures. One woman had to beg one of the team leaders to be allowed to get a drink as she was nearly passing out. The 'Team Leaders' response was very dismissive and insulting. After finally letting her go he laughed and said to another crew member "All she had to do was ask". This was a ridiculous statement because she had asked repeatedly and was made to actually beg to be let go. Several other guests were also in distress with one elderly woman having to be helped inside to the air conditioned area by myself and her husband. After some time an announcement was made that a demonstration was about to begin showing us how to put a life jacket on. All of the crew in our area looked puzzled as they didn't have a life jacket amongst them to use as a display. So the recording of how to put a life jacket on played without an actual demonstration. Something which must have puzzled guests who had never been on a cruise before. After the hash up of embarkation day we were looking forward to settling in for the cruise but there were a number of equipment malfunctions that didn't help. Only half the lifts were working and, given the design of the ship and the only way to traverse the ship from the bow to the stern was on decks 9 or 5, this meant a lot of time waiting for lifts, unless you were fit and could climb the steps. Only one washing machine was working in one guest laundry for the first few days. Several guests reported that their cabin fridge wasn't working. The Serenity Deck pool leaked flooding the staterooms below and the other pool on the Lido deck as well as the spas on Deck 10, all had mysterious malfunctions and spent a lot of time out of action. The food served at the buffet on the Lido Deck was very average and was rarely hot. Also it never changed so it was very monotonous. The coffee and the hot water provided at the coffee stations on the Lido deck had a very bad taste - almost like the water tanks had been cleaned but weren't rinsed properly as there seemed to be a residue of some chemical taste making the coffee terrible and the tea made with the hot water undrinkable. The shows provided in the theatre were amateur at best. The specialist shows however were very good. All four that we saw were of a very high standard. The cast of the production shows were good dancers but their singing left a bit to be desired. Having been a performer myself I understand that breath control is very difficult when combining dance and singing but they often went off pitch. The comedians were generally of a good standard during the kids shows but when they were let loose to show us their 'adult' material it was simply an excuse to let loose with foul language in the middle of jokes that would probably have been funny without the swearing. I am not a prude but to have every second word out of their mouths beginning with F or, even worse C and all unnecessarily, made the jokes very hard to listen to. We, along with several other guests, actually walked out of one guys performance as it was especially gross. The only shining light on the cruise was the Cruise director and his team who all worked tirelessly to try to make as many guests as happy as they could be. Lee and his team, especially Bec and Connor but they were all fantastic, were exceptional and went the extra mile every day. They made us forget the shortcomings of the cruise and enjoy the moment. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I had a pretty poor X experience a few years ago on the Eclipse, the captain having to write to each cabin to apologise type of experience. I wanted though to travel the Suez Canal though and so it seemed a good time to give the X another ... Read More
I had a pretty poor X experience a few years ago on the Eclipse, the captain having to write to each cabin to apologise type of experience. I wanted though to travel the Suez Canal though and so it seemed a good time to give the X another try. it started badly though when their greeters in Rome said I wasn't on their list and went on from there. The room had used toothpicks and peoples pills in the draws while the clothes line in the shower hung at neck height and wouldn't retract, the entertainment was mostly rejects from BGT etc with even one from Star in their eyes though to be honest they were better than the staff shows, the Suez Canal commentary was read from Wiki and over in a few minutes, while the food was okay service was slow and the wait staff went on about 10s on and off for the whole cruise and a couple of my excursions were cut short as they ran out of time (a plea here if you can't walk as far as the description says please don't book that tour and if the ship takes tour bookings please put off people that obviously won't be able to do the tour). On the plus side the guest services desk was great though I did see them a lot more than I normal do and the passengers camping out in the indoor pool playing the Ukulele was actually better than the pros. The best part of the cruise was the ports. The final straw was when I got my passport back for the last time, we had to hand it in twice to find a very stuck on sticker on the picture page of my passport. No third chance. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We spent a wonderful week in Singapore before boarding for the Cruise to Australia so we were looking forward to the cruise home. Voyager was the first ship we ever sailed on with Royal Caribbean several years ago and we were anticipating ... Read More
We spent a wonderful week in Singapore before boarding for the Cruise to Australia so we were looking forward to the cruise home. Voyager was the first ship we ever sailed on with Royal Caribbean several years ago and we were anticipating a great cruise similar to our previous experience. Boarding in Singapore was a nightmare. Very slow, hot and some not very accommodating port staff, in fact, some were quite rude. Probably the worst embarkation experience we have had. According to the promotional blurb, the ship had undergone a massive makeover and this would be a magnificent cruise. The only thing I could see different was a water slide at the stern of the ship!!. In a lot of areas, the ship could have been a lot cleaner. Some of the window ledges in the Windjammer (if you were lucky enough to get a table near the window) could have done with a bit of a good wipe down. Our Cabin was great. It was clean and kept tidy by a great cabin attendant. Dining experience was average. Meals in the main dining room were predictable and boring.The Table staff were really great though. Many of the staff on board seemed to be very inexperienced and new to working on a cruise ship. Entertainment was very poor. On our last cruise on Voyager, we had a wonderful duo in the Schooner Bar every afternoon really entertaining and enjoyable. This cruise was completely opposite though. Only entertainment was a couple of piano players plonking out a few tunes, appearing just as bored as the audience. The rest of the entertainment consisted of endless trivia games, origami folding and napkin folding, mostly held in the Schooner Bar. Impossible to get a seat most days, but nobody drinking!! I thought bars were usually used for just that. One day at about midday, I counted 79 people squashed into the bar, only 13 of us had a drink in front of us. Couldn't get near the bar for a drink and you couldn't get up anyway as someone would leap into your seat. There are many other places on board were these games can be played, why hold them in whats supposed to RC's Iconic bar??One of the worst parts of the cruise was the tendering at Cairns and then Airlie Beach. Took us over two hours to get ashore at Cairns, even longer at Airley Beach and then cost an exorbitant US$36 just to get into Cairns City centre. Even though we docked in Brisbane, it was still a US$54 ride into the city centre.!!. I will not use Voyager again. Have a booking on Radiance in 2020 and thought very seriously about cancelling. Giving RC the benefit of doubt though and hoping the next cruise will be significantly better otherwise will be using another cruise line in future Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise as it covered the Med, Suez, Petra and Ports in the Middle East. We arrived in Barcelona for check in which took 3 hours as there were so many people boarding and not enough staff to check us all in. ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise as it covered the Med, Suez, Petra and Ports in the Middle East. We arrived in Barcelona for check in which took 3 hours as there were so many people boarding and not enough staff to check us all in. The cabin was nice, double bed, sofa bed and balcony. The staff in the sit down restaurant were from Bali and all very nice people and very good at their job. The food offered at the restaurant was of acceptable standard, and the wine very nice. But then we get to the ship itself..... there was noise and loud music playing everywhere, no where to sit quiet and read a book....only on your own balcony. You cannot walk to the front of the ship as this is reserved for the Yacht Club only. The announcements were done in 6 or 7 languages and one announcement went on for 50 minuites in all of the languages!! The "organisation" of the excursions was somewhat chaotic....the Market place buffet was awful, not the food or the staff.....the mass of people all trying to grab food.....like, really!?!? The volume of thousands of people all talking made breakfast and lunch there AWFUL. The pool areas were just a mass of sunbeds crammed in, every bed touching the other, so you had to chose your area very carefully! We feel that all MSC have chosen to do, was to cram in as many paying passengers (Cattle) as possible on to this Ship...completely forgetting there are other aspects customers expect when cruising. The entertainment was hit and miss. Some good shows, but some a bit weak. Cirque du Soleil was very good. No, I will not be going on any MSC Cruise again!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The cruise taken- Genoa to Dubai 16 nights. I was aware from the start when booking this cruise that 9 days would be at sea. Having taken over 80- cruises, that's fine by me. Unfortunately it's a shame MSC didn't ... Read More
The cruise taken- Genoa to Dubai 16 nights. I was aware from the start when booking this cruise that 9 days would be at sea. Having taken over 80- cruises, that's fine by me. Unfortunately it's a shame MSC didn't provide us with much in the way of keeping us occupied! In my opinion the first of what you might call a decent show wasn't provided until the 6th night? Activities during the day were so limited, I became very bored very quickly! I went to every lecture, that on the whole were very good, but come on, you have a captive audience, give us some variety! The ship looks nice, as with all their modern ships I would describe the decor as Italian glitz! Having said this the promenade looked nice, but functionally didn't work? Large area's of space were filled with services that hardly anybody used, e.g, a huge chocolate shop//cafe and over priced shops. Unlike Royal Caribbean, who's Royal Promenade, buzzed with life every evening as they have a pizza and snack bar, the food provided was free and Irish pub that brings people together! I agree with other comments made about the staff also, who didn't seem to work well as a team or make much effort to be chat with passengers. On attending a welcome back party the officers didn't seem to want to mix with passengers and the captain spoke to us from the seventh floor, while we were all the 6th! For a cruise in the med this maybe less noticeable, but MSC, need to work much harder at providing good customer service and not appearing arrogant! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I took this cruise for The Suez Canal and the Arabia countries for their culture and religion and also a time for a good memorable vacation for me and which I’ve got from this cruise. I liked the entertainments in the theater also ... Read More
I took this cruise for The Suez Canal and the Arabia countries for their culture and religion and also a time for a good memorable vacation for me and which I’ve got from this cruise. I liked the entertainments in the theater also the lectures on destinations by Debbie. I still have more on my bucket list to go through yet. I was hoping on this cruise could’ve helped me make a quick decision on my next cruise but the future sale and captain circle staffs were always too busy and not warm to help us to achieve that goal. Disappointed! The conditions of sapphire really needs a update. It’s sanitary conditions is not updated. There are many leaking water stains or even wet spots in the hallways with strong moldy smell which I think is the main cause for the many people being sick with the flu like symptoms. I was happy that the dinning room head waiter attended to my dietary needs. Loo Hua Jiang from customers service desk helped me solved my airline booking problem with great effort and patience. The excursions were very good and the buffet lunch at movie-pic and the tea at the KingsBury hotel were good. I wish there would have had a lunch scheduled for our excursion in Malaysia. It was a long time after our early breakfast and our excursion ended At 2 PM by the time we return to our cruise was close to 3. Overall we had a good cruise and now we’re safely home and time to start planning our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
In 2015, I had traveled on the MSC Divina to the Caribbean. It was a good trip on a ship that needed some upgrades but not unacceptable. In 2019, I again traveled on the Divina – repositioning cruise Milan to Miami. I was so ... Read More
In 2015, I had traveled on the MSC Divina to the Caribbean. It was a good trip on a ship that needed some upgrades but not unacceptable. In 2019, I again traveled on the Divina – repositioning cruise Milan to Miami. I was so disappointed in the condition of the ship, the food, the entertainment, the coldness of the officers and the rudeness of European fellow passengers. There were no amenities in the cabin - not even a box of tissues. I resorted to buying my own in different ports. The bed couldn’t be separated into twin beds even though I had requested that when I made my reservation. We could view the tops of the lifeboats from our balcony. They were dirty and rusty in parts. The sensors in the elevator doors weren’t working properly. We never knew how many times they would have to open and close before the car moved. Frayed carpeting near staircases were a potential hazard. Our safe malfunctioned and had to be replaced. Our tv set stopped working and no one could fix it, therefore no tv. In Barbados, there was a problem with the water system. It was shut off ship wide until repairs could be made according to Guest Services. Unfortunately, this was a beach day for many of the passengers. I, for one, didn’t appreciate having to go to the Dining Room full of sand and lotion. The water was turned on too late for a timely shower before dinner. On a different day, there was a huge leak in the hallway on my deck. Water was coming out of the ceiling like a waterfall. The food was not enjoyable. We returned items frequently. Many nights what arrived at the table did not even closely resemble what the menu described. Meat of any kind was tough and difficult to cut. The entertainment was opera and classical music based. Even the pop music shows had a stilted feel to them. Opera singers do not sing rock and roll successfully. The Cruise Director was only seen at the beginning of a show. I couldn’t even tell you his name. The officers, especially those in white uniforms, constantly walked right by us without even a nod. Even if we said “good morning”, several kept walking without acknowledging us. Guest services were no help either. Every time I called or went in person, they offered no solution, often just replying, “Company Policy”. Since I speak several languages, I am not bothered by non-English conversations around me. I mention this as a caveat to fellow Americans who are usually mono-lingual. Do not book a voyage on a ship that caters to Europeans. You will be very uncomfortable. No one will even greet you even in their language. The rudeness I encountered on this ship was unbelievable. What I don’t understand about the Europeans was a sense of entitlement and cultural arrogance. They would walk right into you and never say “excuse me”. The greediness at the buffet line was astonishing. The amounts of food they would take were incredible, even to the point of leaving nothing behind in the tray. Who were they feeding? The fiasco in San Juan was beyond description. We were told that everyone had to leave the ship for a face to face meeting with American immigration We would not be allowed back on board until everyone had been seen anticipating a 4pm re-boarding. The passengers started to return to the cruise terminal around that time. Time passed and it was almost 6pm when we were allowed to get back on. No explanations from anyone. In the meantime, the crowd was becoming impatient and ugly. There was much shoving, whistling, screaming and actual punching among the tired and angry passengers. Absolutely no one from MSC was there to explain the delays or to help with crowd control. It was a very bad and dangerous situation. Then to add insult to injury, when it finally was my turn to approach the security check I was shoved aside by a Yacht Club butler who yelled “priority” as he escorted his passengers through. No common courtesy or even recognition that other human beings were there. The only positive things I wish to note are the price of the trip, the itinerary and several individuals who went out of their way to help all passengers feel comfortable. The cost was $1,089 which was quite a good deal. The ports of call were excellent but there was a misunderstanding about an overnight in San Juan. Leaving port at 2am does not constitute an overnight for passengers looking forward to 2 days in San Juan. The following crew members deserve mention for their kindness and professionalism: Photographer: Nikola Vujcic, Waiter,Black Crab restaurant: JR De La Cruz, Entertainment team: Michelle Rosales, Dance Instructors: Raymond Araujo-Peña and Karlina German, Waiter, Doges Piazza: Roxan Reyes, Waitress, Golden Jazz Lounge: Beenisha and Excursions: Fabio. My recommendation for Americans – Stay off MSC ships. There are much better companies and much more pleasant trips for your hard earned money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We choose this cruise as a family vacation that would take us half way around the world, Southampton to Singapore, in 37 days. We had some good times and some not so good times, and met many new friends, but I can not recommend the ... Read More
We choose this cruise as a family vacation that would take us half way around the world, Southampton to Singapore, in 37 days. We had some good times and some not so good times, and met many new friends, but I can not recommend the Sapphire. The service is good, but the food is not good. You can always find something to eat, but as a rule, the overcooked meats buried in tasteless brown sauce, the cooked to death vegetables, the fried foods too hard to cut with a knife, just did not do Princess proud. The Sapphire is an older ship needing repairs and a new WiFi system. You could spend hours not getting emails. We missed the port for Paris and Normandy, and Sicily without a real apology or credit. And the shore excursion to Petra was a total ripoff. We spent as much time in a non scheduled over priced souvenir shop where the guide probably got a kick back than we did at the treasury in Petra. It took 14 days of complaints, but I finally got a credit on that. It wasn’t all bad, about half the shows were top notch and the cruise staff was fun, but after 20 Princess Cruises, this was probably at the bottom. Last year, when the Royal missed two ports due to a Hurricane, everyone got a 20% credit. On the Sapphire, complaints went no where, even though this storm wasn’t even a hurricane, We’ve missed several ports with several cruise lines over the last three years. I think this is a trend. If there is somewhere you really want to go, take a plane. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Excellent choice of ports. Princess has good value and consistent and organized product. Food is excellent but occasionally disappoints. Good coffee still seems to be a weakness although café bar at extra charge is a nice touch. Value ... Read More
Excellent choice of ports. Princess has good value and consistent and organized product. Food is excellent but occasionally disappoints. Good coffee still seems to be a weakness although café bar at extra charge is a nice touch. Value added features are pushed and not good value for money especially excursions. You have to be careful as you can quickly find the bill for your holiday much higher than expected. Many days at sea and despite some rough weather this time of year ship was more stable than expected. Gym is a bit crowded and perhaps used more than it was designed for. Exercise seems to be a priority for the demographic on board. Overall experience was very good and I would recommend this particular itinerary. London and Singapore at each end were also worth spending extra time at. Had several changes due to weather and unexpected medical evacuations but handled well. Just a reminder that things don't always go as planned and you have to be tolerant. Also a reminder to be sure you know what is covered on your medical insurance plans including evacuation costs. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was the worst cruise we ever had. Embarcation in Genova took almost 5 hours. Disembarkation in Durban took more than 3 hours. Because of the bad airconditioning half the passengers were ill after the first week with serious ... Read More
This was the worst cruise we ever had. Embarcation in Genova took almost 5 hours. Disembarkation in Durban took more than 3 hours. Because of the bad airconditioning half the passengers were ill after the first week with serious influenca. The food was very low mass production and below any cruiseship standard. Fresh fruit excisted of melon green, red or yellow with the ocasionsal appel. Food was tasteless and prepared with no finesd whatsoever. I.e. perri perri praen were served just defrosted with a sprikel of perri perri powder. Beef was uneatable from a cow that must have been 105 years old. Salad came without any dressing. Barservice was slow. The price for drinks was unacceptable. A glad of table wine 6€ a glas of beer 5€ . After 3 weeks they ran out of wine for the prepaid drinks package.. no upgrade of course. The excursions were totally overpriced. In Cania/ Greece they offered a shuttle bus for € 9.90 where as the public bus was € 3.40 without que and waiting time. They keep you uninformed for most of the times and if you tried resception they would give you a very serious look and a stupid answer Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We saw a special deal, fly, accommodation in Singapore, and 14 night cruise back to Sydney. Sounded ideal! Especially as the ship had been launched in April 2019, millions of dollars spent on refurbishment, and a maiden voyage. THE ... Read More
We saw a special deal, fly, accommodation in Singapore, and 14 night cruise back to Sydney. Sounded ideal! Especially as the ship had been launched in April 2019, millions of dollars spent on refurbishment, and a maiden voyage. THE SHIP IS 20 YEARS OLD! Our excitement cooled off even before we left home. The company got my wife's date of birth wrong, the port of departure in Singapore was wrongly specified on our boarding pass which was printed the day of departure from Sydney. When we arrived at the wrong port, we had difficulty getting a taxi to the right port, as none were available. We then had to queue for 45 minutes whilst they checked our boarding pass and Passport three times. This was all before we got on board. Once on board, our cabin was small and filthy. We complained and were given another one in the same category, after we sailed from Singapore when there was a 'no show.' Dinner in the main dining room was chaotic. Waiters had very limited English, and all the food came out at once, including dessert while still eating our appetiser! Only two white wines and one red available. The cost of the wine almost $50 which included the service charge.The carpet was grubby, rarely vacuumed. It was obvious they were catering to the Chinese market, with a majority of Chinese passengers on board, who pushed, shoved and shouted; behaviour quite unlike that of the many Chinese friends we have in Australia. We felt like getting off at the first port, which was Jakarta, Indonesia. The gratuities are compulsory. We prefer to give to our cabin steward and to waiters in the dining room and other people who have been kind to us. The speciality restaurants are very expensive. The only ones included in the fare are the main dining room, the Lido (buffet), and a Chinese restaurant. Tea and coffee making facilities in the cabin were great, except milk was $3 extra. Our main concern is safety! Many passengers did not attend the safety drill which is compulsory by Maritime Law. We can only imagine the stampede if there was an emergency as many passengers couldn't speak English. We love reading and the library consisted of two small cupboards...five books in English, the rest in Chinese!!! However, we must say that the stage shows were very good, but the three shows were then repeated ... Travel agents beware...don't recommend this Cruise Line.. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise from Singapore as it visited ports we had not been before. We knew it was a relocation cruise & that it was coming to Sydney for the first time under the new name. We encountered a number of problems with the ... Read More
We chose this cruise from Singapore as it visited ports we had not been before. We knew it was a relocation cruise & that it was coming to Sydney for the first time under the new name. We encountered a number of problems with the slowness of service from the drink waiters, the processes they used where we had to sign for everything & the dietary problems we were trying to communicate to the waiters & their supervisors. Two of our group of 5 are Coeliacs - so it is imperative t have a Gluten Free meal which we notified at the time of booking. It was NOT easy!! Nothing was labelled for either GF diets, Vegetarian, Vegan & the like. We spoke to the Head supervisors in both the Lido & the Dream dining rooms & they really tried their best. Each day we felt things were improving, but then someone in our group would be left waiting for their soup whilst the rest of our group had had their main meals!!! This happened more than once. We had a laugh so many times at dinner - small things that went wrong - but we put it down to experience & it did not stop us having a great time. We loved the staff - they were beautiful people. The entertainment on board was fantastic. From the shows in the Zodiac Theatre to the bands in the Palm Court & by the pool. We enjoyed them all. The theme nights were good fun. We never went to the Casino - but we knew that the ship was catering for the wealthy Chinese. We loved the exercise classes, the Trivia got better after the first couple of days....& the Bingo was fun to watch. Even though it was supposed to be refurbished, I think that mainly happened in the Palace Area. The Dream dining room carpet & the level 7 large area need to be replaced. A great fun time was had despite a few inconveniences. Gettting off the ship in Sydney was NOT fun. The poor young staff members that were left to apologise to all of us about the delays were getting abused. A senior member of staff should have been there to cope with the complaints. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first cruise with CMV, cruising from Tilbury to Sydney. It was also many passengers first CMV cruise. Most of us were attracted by the terrific package from several agents which included airfares and 2 nights stay in London. ... Read More
This was our first cruise with CMV, cruising from Tilbury to Sydney. It was also many passengers first CMV cruise. Most of us were attracted by the terrific package from several agents which included airfares and 2 nights stay in London. We knew the ship was advertised as 3 star and was an old ship from Holland America/P&O. We were pleasantly surprised at the beautifully redecorating of the ship, the amazingly friendly staff, the fantastic food, better than many ships we have been on (we have done over 40 cruises), the extremely talented ship's dancers and singers and the general layout of the ship. There were technical issues that are still causing problems..some people had flooding cabins, the air conditioning system took quite a while to sort out, but the engineering staff were working as quickly as possible to correct these. There were also many people very upset with the cost of attending the medical service with bills between $7000 and $12000 ...these were sent to guests' insurance companies however and eventually sorted out, but meetings were held by guests as to how a service can charge such exorbitant rates for chest infections and gastric complaints. We vowed never to go there and quite a few people sort medical treatment at ports if they needed help. While we rarely buy anything in the ships' shops, the shops had little to offer and staff were standing round all day with little to do, this could have been much more interesting for guests wanting to shop there. The ship has a fantastic gym and a free to use thermal centre that most ships charge for. In general we loved the cruise and would definitely go on this ship again and with CMV and are looking at the return journey from Freemantle to Tilbury to re experience this great ship and her fantastic staff. CMV generally charge less than most cruise lines and we must say this was certainly a value for money cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was visiting some of the places I’d never been. The first day we were given our key and we went to our room and it smelled mouldy. Over the first 15 days we were moved from cabin to cabin 6 times. We finally had enough and visited ... Read More
It was visiting some of the places I’d never been. The first day we were given our key and we went to our room and it smelled mouldy. Over the first 15 days we were moved from cabin to cabin 6 times. We finally had enough and visited the Hotel director. After making it clear that we had had enough of the moving around the ship, and forcefully requesting an upgrade, we were given a balcony cabin with no more issues. The ships aircon didn’t work, the plumbing was leaking in the rooms and spilling sewerage on the floors. People were being moved around to different cabins because of these issues and we were too. One lady was charged $1000 for an upgrade to get out of the room she was in due to problems with it. Although most of the food is cooked ok, it is always the same and no variety. The staff on the lower rungs of the ladder, although young and inexperienced a lot of them, are very good and a credit to the company. This is the ONLY upside of this cruise. The higher up managers don’t care. AND A WORD OF WARNING, DONT GET SICK ON THE SHIP. Bring lots of medication for flu like symptoms and vomiting and diarrhoea. The doctor charges what he wants and doesn’t answer to anyone. Most people had ECG’s even for diarrhoea?? Lots of bills are up to and over $10,000 and they need to be paid before they get off the ship, even though the Dr has all their insurance info. Never seen so many people on a ship with cannula in their arms It seemed to be the order of the day. He has lied on reports about their symptoms so it looks like it has nothing to do with the cleanliness and the hygiene on the ship. One lady went and complained about her bill and he discounted it by 50%. If you have to go on, take all the precautions you can. Everything on the ship is expensive, there are no toiletries available for sale on the ship. The staff in the Mediterranean restaurant are superb. The menus are changed every 10 days, so there is no variety in the specialty restaurants either. Children’s club not open. Entertainment was mostly done by the crew although very good, there were not a lot of guest entertainers. I think we had about about 3 for then whole cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The promotion by Imagine Cruising (who were fantastic and very helpful) made this voyage sound like the "trip of a lifetime", so we took it to satisfy an important anniversary in our life. - VASCO da GAMA Cruise – London to ... Read More
The promotion by Imagine Cruising (who were fantastic and very helpful) made this voyage sound like the "trip of a lifetime", so we took it to satisfy an important anniversary in our life. - VASCO da GAMA Cruise – London to Sydney 56 days. Oct to Dec 2019 It had not been my intention to publish this critique of the Voyage, as I had hoped to receive some credible and constructive response to various communications directed to the Australian Managing Director of CMV ( Mr.Dean Crozier). However, none of my communications were acknowledged or replied to. I guess therein lies the type of Customer Service provided by CMV. Having taken many cruises over the past 35 years, we were really enthusiastic about this cruise on the Vasco da Gama and were excited to be onboard a ship which had "... undergone a multimillion dollar refurbishment..."…. as per published promotional material. Additionally, the route and the itinerary destinations (ports of call), were most interesting and we eagerly looked forward to the many exciting on-shore excursions available. Throughout this 56 day voyage from London to Sydney However, following the initial voyage of the renamed “Vasco da Gama”, from Singapore to London in mid 2019, we became aware and a little concerned with some of the negative on-line reviews citing issues of significance including water, air-conditioning, sewerage, public hygiene, etc. These sorts of issues have a direct impact on the suitability of the ship as being "fit for purpose", and also impact on compliance with basic and accepted requirements for fundamental "health and safety". Naturally we assumed (wrongly) that CMV would take note of these obvious critical issues affecting the ship (and the amenity of the passengers) on this initial line voyage and they would be completely rectified prior to the V001 Southbound voyage commencing Oct 9th from Tilbury London. Once onboard we were confronted with wet carpet in our designated cabin. The enthusiastic Cabin Stewards applied blowers to dry the affected areas, but no attempt was made to find the source of the leak. The same wet carpet reappeared the next day with same treatment applied by the Cabin Stewards. A quick look around the vessel quickly revealed an aesthetically attractive décor within a very tired old ship, worn out infrastructure and with appallingly dirty (contaminated) windows. (Pics available) As we got underway, more and more "issues" became apparent, with the following matters affecting my wife and I directly and personally. These include a hopelessly antiquated TV / DVD system, inadequate onboard sound system meaning many announcements were either inaudible or simply not heard in certain locations, this being a serious issue particularly in the communication of an emergency situation. Of concern to everyone was the ridiculously expensive and poor quality of the Internet service provided aboard “Vasco da Gama”. These facilities fall far short of what is expected in this day and age, and what is provided by other Cruise Lines (We are aware of additional related issues affecting a great number of other passengers). Most of our serious concerns fall into the category of the ship not being "Fit for Purpose", and with those issues having a significant impact on HEALTH and SAFETY for the passengers. Air-conditioning. During the second week of the voyage, our cabin became an overheated "sauna" to the extent that it completely deprived my wife of any sleep. Our initially expressed concerns resulted in a "technician" attending for a few minutes, but with no better outcome. However a subsequent meeting with the ship's Chief Engineer did produce immediate results. (Thank you). But this exercise did highlight the fact that customer (passenger) comfort is a little or no major concern to CMV. The designated Guest Services Manager was a glaring example of how not to deal with people and their concerns.... just obfuscate and ignore. To him, the ship's passengers were clearly just an annoyance. Later in the voyage, the Air-Conditioning malfunctioned in the Club Bistro on Deck 11, creating excessive condensation on the ceiling throughout. The condensation, which lasted for many days, caused water to drop onto food, plates, people , food surfaces, cutlery, crockery and the floor. Everyone was disgusted. This naturally presents a HUGE health and safety risk for all concerned. The Staff and Crew response was to "mop" the ceilings with floor mops draped with a towel....!!!! Hardly a safe or healthy response to such a potential health risk to all those onboard. (Pics available) Windows. Almost all the ships windows were disgraceful ...… unclean, and with moss, fungus, mould and mildew evident between the laminates of the double glazing. Additionally the windows in our cabin (and many adjacent cabins) were continuously wet between the laminates clearly indicating that they were not sealed and all contamination was freely airborne throughout the ship. Other windows including in the Club Bistro on Deck 11 were visible cracked and broken, again providing free flow or airborne contamination. (Pics available) Swimming Pools - Cleanliness and Maintenance. The pools on Decks 10 and 11 were not maintained in accordance with CMV's stated (published) policy, with the pool on Deck 11 being emptied and cleaned on 4 occasions only throughout the voyage. On one occasion a staff member had to specifically request the pool to be cleaned due to the obvious and visible presence of "contamination". During another period where the pool, on Deck 11 was emptied for cleaning, one of the now exposed underwater light fittings was clearly full of "green contaminated" water, yet the pool was re-filled without that underwater light fitting being emptied, cleaned and sanitized. Likewise the pool on Deck 10 became clearly contaminated and turned bright yellow…!!! The potential health and safety implications are obvious to anyone. These matters were subsequently drawn to the attention of the Captain, who was "most concerned" and took a copy of the pictures of the offending light fitting (Pool on Deck 11). However, it was another 5 days before the pool was emptied and the affected light fitting, properly emptied of the contaminated water, and thoroughly cleaned. (Just prior to arriving in Sydney)!!! This is clearly in breach of CMV's own published pool cleaning policy, and flies in the face of common sense and basic healthy practises. (Pics available) Defective Ship Hygiene. From the outset, my wife and I were concerned with aspects of the absence of basic compliance with required ship hygiene as evidenced above with considerable leaks of both "potable" and "grey" water on all Decks, including crew levels (according to staff). All attempts to ascertain if CMV (“Vasco da Gama”) complied with the World Health Organisation- “Guide to Ship Sanitation” as adopted by Bahamas Maritime Safety Authority, (embracing all Bahamas registered vessels) proved fruitless. As with many of the matters raised with ship crew / staff, they were met with obfuscation or simply ignored. Sewerage Leaks. One of our greatest concerns was the frequent and repeated sewerage leaks occurring at various points on board, particularly above the walkway on Deck 6, at approximately midship on the Port side. These leaks were attended to daily by ship crew who themselves were regularly coated in the brown muck each day, only to have the temporary taping of the leak fail the next day. This issue was a particular concern as Deck 6 was used for exercise, walking, etc , by many onboard. The problem continued for a long period and was only really seriously addressed on the day prior to arriving in Sydney. (pics available). On-board illness. Prior to midway through the voyage my wife became severely ill (as did many other passengers and a similar number of crew), requiring medical attention at the onboard Medical Centre (diagnosis, was as with most similarly affected passengers, - suspected diverticulitis,,,!!! when none had ever had such a previous diagnosis). It was about this time that a regulated regime of hand sanitation was introduced at all appropriate points (meals areas, theatres, toilets, embarkation, etc). However, in such an environment, surely the regimented hand sanitation should have been in place from the commencement of the voyage. We understand from the Doctor that there was 83 passenger illness cases requiring his attention (along with a “similar number” of ship crew and staff). Approximately half of the passenger patients were confined to their cabins (along with their cabin partners) for periods 24 - 72 hours, as were affected staff and crew. Clearly an indication of a very seriously deficient Health and Safety program. Needless to say, our "trip of a lifetime" effectively ended mid voyage, with my wife's illness. From that point we sacrificed much of the pleasures to be had because of her lingering unwell feeling. We no longer took shore excursions and limited many opportunities to participate in activities for fear of further contamination. Upon returning home and visiting her Doctor, she was diagnosed with Salmonella ..!! (which we now understand is a "reportable" sickness). It is not surprising that a number of other “sick” passengers have contacted us to advise that their own Doctor diagnosed Salmonella on their return…!!! One could be excused for asking if the ship was trying to "protected itself from closer scrutiny"?? Given that most of these issues were drawn to the attention of CMV after the Singapore to London voyage, it is therefore beyond belief that these issues were not properly rectified prior to the commencement of the Southbound voyage in Oct, 2019. The above matters were of such serious concern to us and many other affected passengers that an on-board meeting of over 150 people resolved for a deputation to meet with the Captain to draw these matters to the attention of CMV "officially". Interestingly, their personal interventions produced remedial action and significant works were subsequently undertaken on the key issues including Pool cleaning, Sewerage leaks and Air-conditioning. But obviously it was at the end of the voyage...... too little, too late for us, and others who were severely impacted negatively by significant health and safety issues that could well have been avoided if the serious matters detailed above had been addressed and rectified prior to the voyage. Needless to say that by the end of the cruise the Vasco da Gama had been renamed “Fiasco Disaster”……. And for good reason. MORAL : Take a CMV Cruise at your peril….. particularly onboard the “Fiasco Disaster”. Submitted by : Cyclopseas. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
After booking 6 months in advance and thinking we were booking a dream holiday we not prepared for this! It was supposed to be a wonderful trip from Shanghai to Sydney with wonderful excursions, fun and entertainment! Spent a great 3 days ... Read More
After booking 6 months in advance and thinking we were booking a dream holiday we not prepared for this! It was supposed to be a wonderful trip from Shanghai to Sydney with wonderful excursions, fun and entertainment! Spent a great 3 days in Shanghai before the cruise during the 70 year anniversary in China. 3 hours to board the ship, due to the Chinese authorities was bad enough but then to get to your room to find it in a filthy condition was just too much. Got it cleaned but had to call them back to clean again what they missed. The toilet area was unsanitary and the shower recess dirty. The reception desk is opposite an entertainment area known as the Piazza, so when music or entertainers are performing talking to staff whose first language is not English is extremely difficult and one had to feel sorry for the staff as conversations became heated. The sound system on the ship is not ideal, You can’t hear announcements in your cabin and in some areas the sound is so loud it is distorted. The ships staff struggled with understanding the needs and dietary habits of westerners. The ship caters for Asian tourists and will find it hard to satisfy the Australian market. The 3 main eating areas the Dream Dining (semi-formal), The Lido (Buffett) and the Pavillion (Chinese food) are reasonable and toward the end of the trip there were signs of improvement in the food being offered. The Pavillion is strictly Chinese food and is traditional Chinese. The other eating places on the ship are very nice but a little on the expensive side, especially when this 18% surcharge is applied. Yes even a $7 bottle of beer or wine attracts a 18% surcharge. Factor this into every thing you buy on board because it adds up. The entertainment is very very good, but does repeat, and in saying that is worth seeing several times. The only draw back was that after every entertainers comments in English we have to pause whilst it is relayed in Chinese. Understand them doing that but it ruined the moment, especially with the magic show. Service is both good and bad. You can get good service one day and the next is a lottery. There are few areas where you can sit down and relax as there are no deck chairs on the level 7 and if you go up to the pool or Palm court areas you get annoyed by staff wanting sell you drinks. Shore excursions are good but poorly organised and someone at the top of the management tree needs to step up and do something. Communication is lacking and when problems arise you can only find junior staff as all the managers disappear. If you get sick on the ship, as my wife did and spent 10 hours on a drip, the doctor and nurses on this ship are excellent and probably better than your local medical centre. All in all you make the most of your trip and we still had some good times but as to the value it leaves a lot to be desired. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We stay in Hong Kong before the cruise which is the best thing to do. We embark very smoothly in hong kong and disembarkation in Brisbane was great. While the ship is looking old and could do with revamping, I really loved the cabin, while ... Read More
We stay in Hong Kong before the cruise which is the best thing to do. We embark very smoothly in hong kong and disembarkation in Brisbane was great. While the ship is looking old and could do with revamping, I really loved the cabin, while I normally don't like a soft bed it was okay. I ate in the buffet for most lunches and the selection was great especially as a diabetic I loved having choices of dessert that are sugar-free and tasted great. Entertainment and activities where good but more activities that tailor to the guest would great i.e more craft. The front desk had long lines during the first 2 days of the cruise. While the tender ports you had to wait longer if you were not an organized tour but as experience cruisers, we expected that. Of all the sun princess have some great points and only a few issues that can be rectified Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We are a retired couple from the UK. Seasoned travellers and been on over 50 cruises with all the major players. Never been to any of these places so we were attracted to this cruise. Big mistake. The ship is old, tired and needs to be ... Read More
We are a retired couple from the UK. Seasoned travellers and been on over 50 cruises with all the major players. Never been to any of these places so we were attracted to this cruise. Big mistake. The ship is old, tired and needs to be out to sleep. Rust everywhere and painting over it doesn't help. The smell on our deck was revolting. We didn't need to ask what it was - that was obvious. What I found odd was the fact that they couldn't fix it. Thousands of pounds spent to have 19 days putting up with something smelling like the inside of a public lavatory or sewage plant. Simply not good enough ! As for the rest of the ship, our room was kept clean and tidy. Plus marks as usual to the stateroom staff. They deserve every penny they get Entertainment was average. Each headliner performed at least twice, some even more. The comedian was dire.it's not funny to make fun of where audience members come from and that constituted his whole act. They did host a few trivia sessions, no themes at all, Only general trivia with some wacky way out questions. It's no fun if the questions are too surreal . nd there are too many times when the answers they have were wrong. That's just embarassing Only one port had a tender and they managed to muck up the tender ticket allocation process. They gave out numbered tickets on a first come first served basis. Only they realised that they were giving out the wrong tickets and started to give out new ones after about an hour. Meant that those who queued early ( me included ) had invalid tickets, had to queue again and as such got delayed getting off . A total farce Food was disappointing. I've been on a few Princess ships and the difference in quality here was very noticeable. Small portions delivered cold in the MDR. Food also cold in the buffet. And what happened to the complimentary soft serve ice cream usually available on the pool deck ? Replaced with chargeable ice cream at $5 a scoop. That's just mean. I feel sorry for families with kids Ports were as expected. I'm still critical of cruise lines on!y giving out port information which gets them money I've written to Princess about the smell. Hopefully they will reply but I'm not holding my breath - unlike in board where I had to Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Summer 2018 we booked the expedition-cruise "Alaska and Canada - Aleutian Islands, bears and Inside Passage" for more than £ 6.000,- p.P. According to the travel description we will land on the remote Beering-Sea Islands St. ... Read More
Summer 2018 we booked the expedition-cruise "Alaska and Canada - Aleutian Islands, bears and Inside Passage" for more than £ 6.000,- p.P. According to the travel description we will land on the remote Beering-Sea Islands St. Matthew and St. Paul to experience puffins, sea elephants, bears, vulcanoes, indigenous people, etc. A further landing was anounced in Unga Village, a deserted village on mainland Alaska, and other villages which you also can see on a regular Alaska cruise, such as Dutch Harbour, Kodiak, Sitka and Ketchikan. Few days before we left home, we were informed that we unfortunately will not land on St. Mathew Island and Unga Village. As compensation we got £ 190,-. During the journey we found out, that the landings were cancelled, because the Zodiaks for the landing had no permission for US waters. A well-known cruise-line, like Hurtigruten, they claim to be one of the leading expedition-cruise lines. This company doesn`t have the required authorization for the equipment. During the trip they also cancelled the landing on St. Paul Island. Though it was promised and usual for a expedition-cruise, we had not one "Zodiak"-landing because the boats had no permit for the USA. Hurtigruten offered just € 200,- as compensation for the cancelled landings. So we had a lot of time to stay on board. We have got a regular cruise, without landings on remote islands. Once there were divers under the ship, who tried to fix something. When we arrived in Vancouver, there were a stay in the dock to fix the problem finally. Once we had to go to the harbour by tenderboats, it came out that there were only 1-2 boatsmen who can operate the boats. If the ship would have been evacuated, it would take hours to save 530 passengers and the staff. Unusual for a expedition cruise was the two class restaurant system. Suite passengers may have breakfast and dinner in the fine dining restaurant. The rest has to line up in a canteen style restaurant for food and coffee. At some days dinner was served at the tables. In the restaurant the service provided by Filipinos was very good. But food was mediocre. In the afternoon the restaurants were closed, coffee was available but no pasty etc. WiFi was very slow. TV didn´t work. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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

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