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424 World Cruise Reviews

Chose first for destinations, secondly because it was Oceania....previously on the Marina, and loved the ship. Cruise Director on Sirena was far superior to the one on Marina though. Meals and service in Red Ginger and Toscana were ... Read More
Chose first for destinations, secondly because it was Oceania....previously on the Marina, and loved the ship. Cruise Director on Sirena was far superior to the one on Marina though. Meals and service in Red Ginger and Toscana were very good. Too often we had to search for a seat in the Terrace. For most part service was excellent; the odd person appeared to hate their job and it showed. Wine especially was very over priced for the quality. On the regular winelist we found our go to wine at 4 times what we pay for it in Hawaii. Doesn't Oceania buy 'duty free'? cocktails at two for one still worked out to regular price for each in CDN dollars, so no bargain there. Great massage onboard; and very so so pedicure for a very very high cost. Cabin was very small; but meticulously maintained. We would go on the Marina again, but definitely not the Sirena. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was the 12 night cruise from Stockholm to Amsterdam. Three days in St. Petersburg was the highlight of the trip. Staff was extremely helpful, mostly friendly, but somewhat impersonal. This may be for a couple of reasons: 1) the ... Read More
This was the 12 night cruise from Stockholm to Amsterdam. Three days in St. Petersburg was the highlight of the trip. Staff was extremely helpful, mostly friendly, but somewhat impersonal. This may be for a couple of reasons: 1) the Captain's leadership style, and/or 2) It appeared that many staff members were about to leave for vacation. Many ratings were downgraded because of one or two issues we experienced: 1) Dining and Service - main dining room food and service was poor, with surly wait staff and food well below the quality of the other on-board restaurants. We preferred eating in the Terrace to the Grand Dining Room. This was the reason for the downgraded ratings. 2) Enrichment Activities - This is a somewhat small ship and activities are limited, probably based on previous customer desires and feedback. Not bad, just limited. 3) Shore Excursions - One shorex was most unfortunate: Gdansk, Poland. This was not so much the tour as the tour guide, who did as little as possible to make the experience enjoyable. He basically left us on our own to see the old town area, plus showed no interest in our questions and/or comments during the tour. His response to me when I asked him about my family's home village about 50 miles from Gdansk was an indifferent "You can Google it." Also, the ship's excursions were overpriced and undervalued compared to what we booked independently in several cities. 4) Value - Some port times were painfully limited. Longer times in Tallinn, Gdansk and especially Copenhagen would not have impacted next morning arrival times at next ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Just back from our first but not last Oceania cruise.We did a 12 day Baltic cruise in verandah stateroom aft on deck 6. Great location. Quiet. Handy for the Terrace Cafe. Used the stairs all the time. Room is small. Balcony furniture is ... Read More
Just back from our first but not last Oceania cruise.We did a 12 day Baltic cruise in verandah stateroom aft on deck 6. Great location. Quiet. Handy for the Terrace Cafe. Used the stairs all the time. Room is small. Balcony furniture is old and uncomfortable. Great bed and bedding. Room small, awkward getting in to closet if someone wants to get in our out of the closet. Stateroom was kept clean. Nice Bulgari toiletries but small bathroom. Very good food. Hot plates for hot food. Meat and fish and seafood perfectly cooked for our liking. Went to Polo and Toscana once each....service is slow. Did not go more than once as the Grand Dining Room was very good.Waves Grill good for lunch....wish it was open for dinner. Best burger. Good wines by the glass selection. Great itinerary...some free shuttles from the ship in to town.Did not do any ship excursions. Crew hard working and friendly. Did not click with the cruise director David somebody...he seemed arrogant. Evening entertainment so so but it is a small ship. Did not buy anything in the shops....no large or XL sizes. Poor perfume selection. Captain Maxsym was friendly and warm....enjoyed his daily updates. Will return to Oceania but will try an O class ship next time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
The staff of the Marina very attentive. We were very pleased with the service provided by the wait staff and our room steward. The wait staff are very busy but we found that they try very hard to please. Our room steward was remarkable in ... Read More
The staff of the Marina very attentive. We were very pleased with the service provided by the wait staff and our room steward. The wait staff are very busy but we found that they try very hard to please. Our room steward was remarkable in her willingness to be helpful. We had a butler that was very pleasant but needed to communicate better and take more initiative. We would ask him for some and we would not hear back in a timely manner. We found that we had to make our own arrangements. The food was very good and well presented. We hope that the tendency to use premixed foods like liquid eggs and orange juice from concentrate does not become a trend which would spoil Oceania's sterling reputation for quality meals. We also felt that the furniture throughout the ship although very stylish was snot comfortable. The seating was quite low. It was not uncommon to see a person being pulled out of the chair by a partner or friend. The enrichment lectures with Kathleen Wulf were excellent. She provided a great deal of useful information both general and specific about the countries and cities that we were visiting. The cruise director was also helpful in recognizing that many passengers prefer to explore the destinations on their own. He would be sure to let us know of bus shuttles, taxi availability as well as tour buses like Hop On, Hop Off. The excursions that we took through the ship were good and took us to areas that we might not have discovered although we sometimes felt rushed with only 20-30 minutes free time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We have taken a lot of Oceania cruises and especially like the larger ships, primarily because of the cabins, the large bathrooms, the magnificent common areas and our favorite restaurant, Red Ginger. The food generally is great. 22 nights ... Read More
We have taken a lot of Oceania cruises and especially like the larger ships, primarily because of the cabins, the large bathrooms, the magnificent common areas and our favorite restaurant, Red Ginger. The food generally is great. 22 nights and only one meal in the main dining room, veal roast, that wasn't good. Most meals were better than fine restaurants anywhere and Red Ginger's surpass any Asian place, especially the lobster pad Thai, the crispy duck/ watermelon salad, panang beef and the sea bass. They are worth the price of admission And of course there is no price for admission! . ALL the wait staff, maitre d's and help in general couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. The cabin however was starting to look shabby and the balcony was dirty feeling. NCL might have cut some corners but in general we still love Oceania. . . We don't take excursions because they are too expensive for what you get. Oceania has wonderful itineraries and in our experience the ports-not Oceania- offer free shuttle service into town if the dock is any distance from the city center. All in all we love it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I've cruised before, but my husband had not. I wanted to take an excellent cruise to convince him this is a great way to vacation. It worked; we booked another cruise before this cruise ended. We choose our own air and own ... Read More
I've cruised before, but my husband had not. I wanted to take an excellent cruise to convince him this is a great way to vacation. It worked; we booked another cruise before this cruise ended. We choose our own air and own pre-cruise hotel, because he travels a lot we had lots of points to use. We took a bus tour to Stonehenge on our way to Southampton. It was enough time for a quick visit to the site and we met some of our fellow passengers too. Embarkation was a breeze, our PH room was ready when we boarded the ship. Our cabin 10014 was lovely. Plenty of space and storage in bathroom and closet. We really enjoyed the private deck and we know we'll never sail without one. We realized we didn't need all the room space, we can get a smaller room for our next trip. There are so many different common areas that we could always find a place to spend time and we didn't want to stay in our room. Our favorite spot was a sparsely populated enclosed balcony on 14. It has double occupancy lounge chairs. We liked the library and the lectures were very informative. Like most guests, we weren't impressed by the entertainment. We choose Oceania primarily because of its food reputation. We enjoyed most meals. Jacques was the best restaurant on board. The drink prices weren't as daunting as we expected. The wine list isn't long or impressive, but there was just enough to enjoy. We found Oceania's shore excursions are expensive and limited in scope. We joined other guests for Overlord tour in Normandy and highly recommend that touring company. Fortunately, most ports were walking distance to the city's downtown, so we walked around a lot on our own. Service was fantastic. British Air lost my luggage, and the concierge was very helpful in trying to locate it (we never did, but that was British Air's mistake, not Oceania's) Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The cruise was excellent, not many passengers and plenty of room to move around, if it were full though I expect it would have been harder to enjoy. The staff could not be faulted, 10 out of 10. The food though was just average, ... Read More
The cruise was excellent, not many passengers and plenty of room to move around, if it were full though I expect it would have been harder to enjoy. The staff could not be faulted, 10 out of 10. The food though was just average, but a lot of effort was put into beach and deck dining, a bar was also made available on every remote landing where time permitted. For the price charged the standard of food was not up to the standard expected of Silverseas. The ship however, though new to Silverseas is greatly in need of an upgrade, which we were told would happen in October, so if you go before then , be forewarned and temper your expectations. The remote places visited were very interesting and the locals put on an outstanding welcome for us. The authorities in Indonesia however gave the ship a very hard time at three different locations, which left everyone feeling very unseasy, crew and passengers alike. You don't expect this in the modern world. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Choose this cruise as I liked the itinerary particularly St. Peters burgh which I always wanted to go to. Ship is not too big which we liked, it is getting older but in good shape overall. As we had a premium sea view one cabin it was ... Read More
Choose this cruise as I liked the itinerary particularly St. Peters burgh which I always wanted to go to. Ship is not too big which we liked, it is getting older but in good shape overall. As we had a premium sea view one cabin it was quite roomy. Thought the food overall was very good, plenty of variety for such a long cruise. Entertainment was mostly quite good. Could not fault the service of the staff in cabin, dining room and overall. Service desk I feel could have been more informative often, not quite as happy with them Shore excursions I thought were very expensive. In Europe we only booked with Alla Tours, who were not only much cheaper but very efficient. I would recommend them and have to anybody who wants a stress free tour. All their guides speak perfect English, no waiting in lounges like Princess Tours, Alla Tours are there waiting for you. The tours are done in smaller groups which is good too. With Princess Tours you sometimes had guides whose English could have been better. Our tour in St. Peters burgh with Alla was an experience we will not forget, they were brilliant , I was so glad that my agent recommended them. Embarkation was a bore as always but I must say Princess was very efficient with disembarkation in Sydney. Would I recommend a World Cruise, yest most definitely and would love to go again myself. Overall was very happy with it all. Did feel the boutique was very overpriced Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I wanted to visit Russia and I like cruising for a long time. Food was excellent, could not fault and I felt it had a lot of variety. Service was great by cabin steward and waiters. Felt customer relations could have been a lot ... Read More
I wanted to visit Russia and I like cruising for a long time. Food was excellent, could not fault and I felt it had a lot of variety. Service was great by cabin steward and waiters. Felt customer relations could have been a lot better, not very knowledgeable people felt often and many felt the ship could have been run better, mostly small things on my part but I did hear of a couple of complaints. Saying this we had a wonderful time and sadly its coming to an end. People mostly were great to be with, as the staff and good entertainment. Would do it all again tomorrow. Excursions were of course overpriced and I tended to book with Alla when I could. Often you can pick up cheaper venues of seeing things in the port and I would recommend that for first timers. I would bring less clothes on a world cruise as you tend to buy more and then have the problem of bringing it back. If you do craft join the knitting group as you can make a lot of friends and have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and one of the stops was Israel and wanted to see Jerusalem. I have sailed this similar cruise 2 years ago starting in Hong Kong but this time the embarkation was a nightmare. it was ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and one of the stops was Israel and wanted to see Jerusalem. I have sailed this similar cruise 2 years ago starting in Hong Kong but this time the embarkation was a nightmare. it was difficult to know who was in line for what. I think many of the 1,500 people thought the ship was going to leave without them the way they pushed and shoved to get in line to embark. Anyway we finally got on. Our cabin was ready and our stewardess, which was a pleasant change from having a man, was wonderful. She was like having a personal maid all to ourselves. The cabin although spotless was showing signs of wear and tear. The ship is going into dry dock this spring for a refit. It looks like they are making major changes for the better. The food in the main dining room was excellent as always. I think I only had one main course that was not up to par. Ditto the food in the Upstairs cafeteria, it was much improved, except for these darn steam table vegies. The waiters and waitresses all deserve a gold medal for putting up with some of the "Guests" . As I said to someone who was berating his steward for some minor detail," they are stewards not slaves". The entertainment, well what can I say, it was the same review shows I have seen several times on this ship. The first timers I am sure enjoyed the shows. Too many comedians for my taste but again that is a personal thing.. The ship set sail from New York at the beginning of January and everything was fine till we got to Dubai. A large contingent about 1, 500 got off and 1,500 new people got on and brought Nora virus with them. The people who were sick knew they had it before they got on but lied on the form you fill in before embarking hence it went through the ship like wild fire. This disrupted the whole itinerary as Oman would not allow us to dock nor would Jordan. My daughter who especially wanted and booked to go to Petra did not get there. There we are floating at sea waiting for our turn to go through the Suez canal, we were too early due to not stopping in Oman then too early again for the next port because we did not stop in Jordan. I think it was a good thing they did not say who the first people were that got sick as there might have been a massacre at sea. The tours in Vietnam were interesting and fun and the shopping is great at the large market in Ho Chi Minh , Ben Thanh market. If you don't like bargaining stay in the outer ring of the market where the prices are fixed. Then move in if you think you can bargain for a cheaper price. Bangkok is a must see as the palace is beautiful, but hope it is not too hot as there is not much shade. Cambodia, I did not take a tour just the Cunard bus into the town. It was interesting but the people although very friendly were living in poor conditions. The roads were unpaved in many places, the market although indoors lacked tables. Most of the goods were laid out on the floor. I think the area that the bus took us to was planned so that we would be forced to take a "TUK TUK" as we were inundated with them the minute the bus stopped. The drivers were so insistent to the point it was so unpleasant we got back on the bus to return to the ship. Malaysia is a shoppers paradise and Kuala Lumpur is easy to get around. Langkawi Island is beautiful. That is the island that the movie THE KING AND I was filmed.I did not take a tour this time as I had been there before but stayed at resort and enjoyed the day ashore. Colombo, Sri Lanka well what can I say. If you take the Cunard bus you will only be taken to three different tourist shopping traps with the same overpriced trinkets as all other tourist shops that are part of any tour be it Hong Kong, Bangkok, Israel, India, Egypt, or wherever you are. If the tour shows shopping you can bet it will be in a warehouse that is only for to sell to tourists. Locals do not shop there. The standard line of the tour guide will be that they know the best places and the other will only rip you off. As this was an extended tour with numerous stops I could go on but I am sure by now you will be bored reading this. I travelled with my adult daughter who had not been on a cruise before and she had a great time. We each did our own thing. In the evening we preferred the G37 nightclub rather than the staid Queens room where the dance floor was taken up with more professional type dancers rather than couples enjoying a twirl or shuffle around the dancefloor. There was lots of entertainment, small bands and piano players and singers in the evening, interesting lectures and speakers on numerous topics during the day. The ship was geared to a more mature group, I would say age 45 up to 95. Very few children on board although they have a very good children's programme. We disembarked in New York and almost everyone got off. There was the odd few that were returning to Southampton. It is a slow process as all the luggage has to be off first then we can go. A tip- if you are disembarking in New York, first, get in line for a porter and have him get your luggage. They have a fast track line through customs and immigration otherwise you will be struggling with you luggage in a very long line of people to clear immigration. It is ten dollars well spent. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We wanted to visit many of the ports offered on this leg of the World cruise. Embarkation was poorly organised as there was little room at HongKong terminal. Our cabin was fine and what we expected ie Queen size bed,balcony and good ... Read More
We wanted to visit many of the ports offered on this leg of the World cruise. Embarkation was poorly organised as there was little room at HongKong terminal. Our cabin was fine and what we expected ie Queen size bed,balcony and good bathroom with bath and tea making facility.There was poor hanging space in the wardrobe but we managed. Meals we found a bit dull,do not go on PO expecting food to wow you,they are often very ordinary,it was sometimes dried out or overcooked in the Belvedere which is similar to a works canteen.Salads are ok and you can get tea or coffee anytime,deserts were also so,so. Evening meals we took freedom dining option which we liked as you are able to choose time to eat and not be stuck with people you may not get on with.These meals are also hit and miss,we always found soups were best part,meat was sometimes very fatty or tough,othertimes they were fine,very inconsistent. Entertainment was first class with great singers,dancers,modern and classical shows we thoroughly enjoyed.A special mention to the young people of the Headliners show team,magnificent The ports especially in the Far East were all we expected,loved Japan.Crossed the Pacific visiting Hawaii,San Francisco,San Diego and Mexico. Transversing the Panama Canal was another highlight we would not have missed. Caribbean isles of Aruba and St Martin were to follow ending at the Azores in Punta del Gardaga before home again.Disembarkation went smoothly. We did get the notorious Arcadia cough (hoped it was a myth)My husband was so bad he went to the doctor and could not leave the cabin for several days which was a pity as there were lots of hobbies and activities to join in,name it and there was something for everyone. Public areas were lovely,enjoyed the piano bar after dinner,praise to Natalie,John and the saxophonist. Swimming pools were ok,heated but the jaquzzis were a joke,never bubbly (excuse given that they were only spa baths) why then were there dials etc to make the tubs active? Drinks on board were affordable and the staff in all areas were well trained,polite and very friendly. Being such a long cruise laundry areas are small and cramped and difficult to get a wash done but we managed ok.Also very small and cramped was the Cinema with only 30 seats. We loved our time except when not well,were disappointed with the cuisine(too many curries)enjoyed activities we joined but will probably not use Arcadia again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My best friend and I jumped on this cruise in March 2016, we embarked on Sydney and disembarked in Dubai. The ship is beautiful, and isn't to big, It's as clean a a whistle, and easy to find everything. For the first couple of ... Read More
My best friend and I jumped on this cruise in March 2016, we embarked on Sydney and disembarked in Dubai. The ship is beautiful, and isn't to big, It's as clean a a whistle, and easy to find everything. For the first couple of days we were lost, there was no live music on the top decks, no music. And everyone was over 70 years old.. We panicked at first thinking we were going to be bored to death. Being a world cruise, it was full of all nationalities and people with money. So, being a world cruise, I guess they don't want bands playing and music going, they are there to relax. The staff were very friendly, and most seemed fairly happy. Our room guy annoyed me a bit, knocking twice and whaltzing in, to find we hadn't had time to get to our feet and answer the door. The towels etc, were changed twice a day. We didn't use the laundry ( it was $2 per piece of clothing ) so we washed in our sink and made a clothes line on the balcony. The balcony was a really good size, better than any other cruise I've been in. You can also smoke out there. Breakfast in the dining room was nice, all types of food to choose from, and the only place you'll get bacon to go with your eggs. Lunch was in the buffet, and a huge variety. Dinner was always in the dining room as the buffet was closed for dinner, which was a pain on gala night, we didn't take fancy dresses for those nights, so we couldn't go in there. I loved that I could get a cappuccino at every bar, and was included in our drink package . The drink package was really reasonably priced at $23 au per day. Entertainment at night was ordinary, we would walk in, and walk straight back out. Opera mostly. There wasn't much to do, not a great deal of activities. Not much in the way of shopping on board. The shop didn't have paracetamol or things like that. The other thing I would say, is that the air con on the higher decks struggled as the weather was very hot and humid. We had to take ourselves to our room for a few days at sea, it's the only place that we could get cool. Would I go again?? Yes yes yes!!!! A holiday is what you make of it. Stop whinging about silly stuff, and enjoy your time on this beautiful ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We joined the world cruise in Sydney with about 1000 others. It does seem a tad disappointing fore 'around the world' cruisers that they have so many fairly transient passengers with them. The standard of the food was excellent ... Read More
We joined the world cruise in Sydney with about 1000 others. It does seem a tad disappointing fore 'around the world' cruisers that they have so many fairly transient passengers with them. The standard of the food was excellent as was the service we received in the Meridaian restaurant. The cabin steward also provided excellent service. What was lacking ? Perhaps the Entertainment team was not able to galvanise the passengers to the extent that we have experienced on other world cruises. Another common problem is the lack of or even misinformation provided to dependent travellers for shore visits. Obviously P & O are very keen to push their own over-priced excursions. Another continuing disappointment is the expensive and unreliable wifi. Surely in 2016 Carnival can provide such a basic service as Wifi to all passengers and include it in the cruise price. They should also be able to provide a good quality coffee service - the Costa served in the coffee lounges is not the sane as you would get in a Costa anywhere in the world. But this is all nit-picking - we did have a fabulous time and appreciate the overall quality provided by P & O. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Boarded Brisbane 24th Feb at Grain Terminal !st port of call Cairns Went ashore in large catamaran excellent transport compared to ships tenders 2nd port of call Rabaul We decided to do a shore tour What a disaster Cost ... Read More
Boarded Brisbane 24th Feb at Grain Terminal !st port of call Cairns Went ashore in large catamaran excellent transport compared to ships tenders 2nd port of call Rabaul We decided to do a shore tour What a disaster Cost US$119 each for a 4 hr ride to hell and back , decided to go and have some acupuncture to ships acupuncturist to relive some of the aches and pains ) Debbie Ai knows her stuff and her treatment helped tremendously (cost us$ 1500) for 5 treatments each Temperature 36 degrees C hi humidity .We boarded our minibus to find a very shabby interior no air conditioner working/shock absorbers at 20% working/dirty/non operating seat belts and multiple cracks thru windscreen. Our tour visited 3 places 1st War museum which consisted of a 1 acre of well mowed grass a couple of buildings and all these war machines almost totally rusted away and still deteriorating due to no overhead protection and a crocodile in a enclosed pond at back of display. Next ,visited war cemetry which is financed by the Australian Government which is very well maintained and worth seeing. (beautiful setting) At no stage did the tour operator commissioned by the ship (PAIVU TOURS) offer to stop for a drink or a pit stop for the ladies. We could have hired a local taxi and had airconditioned comfort at a fraction of the price the ship charged. Next stop Japanese tunnels (very interesting if you could see I had to turn my Iphone torch to see where i was going ) Poorly presented with only 3 x10 watt fluros distributed along the entire tunnel (80 metres) system driven by a petrol generator at the entrance and extension leads to the floors causing a trip hazard to the visitors . Roads are full of very large pot holes which do not seem to get much maintence making the trip a back ache/cramped leg nightmare As expected we did not go on anymore paid shore tours Next stop CEBU but this was cancelled during trip in favour of Puerto Princesa a beautiful town in an great location. Dis embarkation in Hong Kong was another nightmare which was totally cunards fault. They had a plan but- it totally got stuffed up .Luggage was collected the night before and arranged by deck number to be off loaded with the passengers from that deck. Guess what they unloaded half the luggage from deck 8 then released luggage from deck 7 then 6 while the people from deck 8 were still in the collection area looking for the other half of their luggage , In the meantime the people from lower deck 7 -6 were released into baggage collection pickup area (very small) were people could not move. It was so crushed that a person could have easily had a heart attack in this environment which was also very cold 12 degrees C and wet The average age of the passengers on the QE was 71 years old and very few children all of who were well behaved The off loading point at Ocean terminal was not appropriate for this size of vessel or the number of people getting off for tours and disembarkation. Another fiasco was the organization of emigration documentation (held on board) which was compounded by late arrival of officials and the route to and from the imigration officials set up by QE staff to get the people thru. Apart from the above I would highly recommend the Ship and the crew excluding the people responsible for the above fiascoes Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We did enjoy the ship,how ever thought it lacked the wow factor. We enjoyed the QE last year much more. The ship seemed a bit higgle de piglle with stairs all over the place. Service was ok , but only ok over all. We have had better ... Read More
We did enjoy the ship,how ever thought it lacked the wow factor. We enjoyed the QE last year much more. The ship seemed a bit higgle de piglle with stairs all over the place. Service was ok , but only ok over all. We have had better on other ships and on ships with less star ratings. Ships Captain and Officers might have been on another planet,for what we saw / heard of them. When cruising around Easter Island no live commentary was given other than they were disembarking a sick guest. This even though they had lecturer staff onboard who could have made this very interesting. Ditto the food....it was ok. The staff running Brit/restaurant never followed up on complaints placed by other,s we dined with. Our waiters at dinner were good though. Kings Court, never had any staff offer to help guests with mobility problems, including my wife.Very poor. Shows did not match some other ships we have cruised on, again average shows for the most part really. Lecture,s some were in the main not to our liking, unlike the QE. However those that did interest us were ok. Our cabin 5099 was in a good postion and comfortable enough. The ship is due for a refit so was not A1 condition , but was kept clean and tidy by the cabin steward all the time. Shore trips, we did no ship tours as we had visited these ports a few month,s ago. Décor ...seemed odd to us with different carpet, pictures style's etc mixed up all over the ship. The ship gave us a smooth run across the South Pacific. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Before we left for our trip, we were notified at the last minute of a port change from Tianjin to Incheon, Korea. Thankfully, this did not affect our plans as we weren't flying home until Sunday, March 6th. After staying in Bangkok ... Read More
Before we left for our trip, we were notified at the last minute of a port change from Tianjin to Incheon, Korea. Thankfully, this did not affect our plans as we weren't flying home until Sunday, March 6th. After staying in Bangkok for a few days, we boarded the Nautica (Klong Tooey port) for our 3 week journey. The ship was nicely appointed but really small size -wise. My husband really was put off by the size (or lack of) of the bathrooms-way too small even for a small person. I found the ship to be kind of cozy. We are used to cruising on much larger ships. Our cabin was small but everything fit. We had to keep it neat and orderly in order to have any room to sit. We found the food to be pretty good after a few soso meals. It was nice not to dress formally for dinner and we really did enjoy the table sharing most evenings. It gave us a chance to meet some very interesting people. We were on the younger side (60's) of most of the passengers (70-80's). I was a bit disappointed that food wasn't available during certain hours other than room service. The specialty restaurants were very good though the lobster was overcooked most of the time we ordered it. The dining staff was very accommodating about bringing us a new dinner. The overall service all over the ship was pretty good. Our room steward/stewardess were excellent and very personable. I really didn't care about meeting the captain and his staff but they did NOT have a large presence on our cruise.The evening activities were mediocre at best-it really didn't matter to us. We were in bed by 9:30pm because we had early morning tours or watched movies in our room. Our tours were privately arranged through cruise critic-a better way to go. The ship tours were large groups, VERY expensive and not so great we were told. We did one evening tour in Hong Kong on a double decker bus wanting to see the light show and some of the sites of the city. It was horrible! The ship got many complaints about this and gave us half our money back in ship's credit 1 day before we had to get off. We gad to complain about it for several days before getting that refund. The fact that the staff on the ship had no authority to credit our account and had to email back to Miami for a supervisor to do so is ridiculous. What happened to great customer service/satisfaction? We had a bit of bad weather 2 different days creating havoc in our schedules-the port changed in Saigon because of high winds and we were changed to a port 1-1/2 hours away causing problems with our private tour start times. We were held a day outside Tianjin port due to dense fog really causing major problems for lots of passengers. Airline plans had to be rescheduled, hotels had to be gotten for all the new passengers who couldn't get aboard-a real snafu for Oceania. I must say, they were very accommodating in helping us call our hotels, tours etc., gave us free drinks, tried to make our extra night stay more pleasurable. All in all, it was a fabulous trip filled with different history and ways of life. We met interesting and nice people and had a trip of a lifetime. We got to see places we have only dreamed about seeing. We even booked another Oceania trip onboard-granted, it will be a bit shorter (12 days) and on a larger ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Boarding at Valparaiso went well. Our cabin was great, and we were on G deck, the lowest passenger deck. The cabin was very clean, and certainly larger than what we have had with other cruise lines at a similar level. What was good ... Read More
Boarding at Valparaiso went well. Our cabin was great, and we were on G deck, the lowest passenger deck. The cabin was very clean, and certainly larger than what we have had with other cruise lines at a similar level. What was good that our suitcases slipped under the bed, which we have not been able to do with some cruise lines. Our cabin steward Johnny was first class. Cabin was left immaculate each day. The ship was very clean throughout. Newsletters for the UK and Australia were available daily, which meant we did not feel disconnected from the World. The theatre shows were very much hit and miss for me. I have a low tolerance regarding entertainment, and if I am not enjoying a show within the first 10 minutes, I have no hesitation in leaving. I only stayed through 4 shows in the 20 days sailing. Some acts were dreadful unfortunately. We were on Freedom Dining, and unfortunately in the main, it was not a pleasant experience, to the point that we used the buffet more than the restaurant. We felt rushed most times, with being seated, handed a menu, and before we had even had time to introduce ourselves to the other table members, let alone time to study the menu, we were being asked what we wanted to order. The food was so so. My wife had to send her meals back twice due to asking for no meat to be served with blood in it, and having it delivered oozing blood. On one occasion, she ordered roast pork, and it was mainly fat and gristle, so she left most of the meal. If that had happened on our preferred cruise line, the waiter would have asked what was wrong, and would have offered a replacement, but the plate was just whisked away. Ordering the ice cream or sorbet was a joke, because each time itcould be drank from the bowl because it was melted. No good putting ice cream in hot dishes guys. One other thing on it. We are used to the table waiter going though the menu, explaining what each item was, and making his recommendations, then waiting a short while before taking orders. I am not French, and could not understand what some of the meals were with the menus referring to the meals using French words. A dumbo maybe, but surely, plain simple menus in English would not be too hard to do. The buffet was great. No problems there at all. The tables were cleared quickly, the choice of food was good, and we could take as long or as little time as we wanted to, to eat. Also, a nice touch seeing the tables in the buffet laid up for the evening dining. The pub, the Crows nest, and The Globe were evening hangouts for us, and we enjoyed each venue. The musical entertainment was good, the quizzes were good, the staff were great. The Battle Of The Sexes was great fun, but I would have liked to have seen some debates on World issues take place. The itinerary was not great, but we knew that, so no issues on it at all. Unfortunate that we could not get into Bora Bora, and disappointed to hear some passengers complaining about it. We have been there before, so no issue on not making it in. The dress code was relaxed in the main, though I think it could have been slightly more relaxed for the buffet in the evening, with the wearing of dress shorts and a shirt, or collared top allowed, especially so on boarding day and port days. It was good seeing the staff asking people to leave because they were wearing shorts, but disappointed that on one occasion they asked a man to leave, and 2 minutes later ignored a young woman that came In with thigh high cut off jeans with ragged ends. The dress code is a close thing, because on several occasions we seen women wearing what would be termed shorts being allowed into the dining areas, whereas a man wearing pants the same length would have been refused. Disembarking in Sydney was great. We self disembarked at 7:15am, though I staff member tried to prevent us leaving, because he said that he had not been informed that clearance had been given. We soon convinced him that it had, and that we were going off like it or not. From ship to the airport in 30 minutes using the train from Circular Quay. Cost $14 each, which included the airport access fee. (Seniors fare for Australians holding a Seniors Card. I think a couple of $$ more for those that do not hold one). This was a first cruise with P&O for us, after spending some years using another cruise line, so I guess the question is, would we book with them again. A close thing, but the answer would be yes. There was nothing drastic enough that would prevent us booking again with them. We managed the dining problems we encountered by simply using the backup option, and that was fine. When leaving the shows early, we simply went and listened to entertainment in another venue. Overall satisfaction was not excellent, but certainly good. Some tweaking of the entertainment and training of dining staff would have brought an excellent rating from us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Everything started well in Southampton with good embarkation. It was after we arrived at our cabin that we were told the dress code for this cruise had been changed. We had asked P&O more than once about this but they always insisted ... Read More
Everything started well in Southampton with good embarkation. It was after we arrived at our cabin that we were told the dress code for this cruise had been changed. We had asked P&O more than once about this but they always insisted that the 3 dress codes would be in place until after the world cruise. When we arrived and then were told that the jacket required nights had been changed we were not too pleased. Our problem was that we were flying back from Chile and only had 23 kilos baggage allowance. Had we known the dress code in advance we could have saved a few kilos each. Anyway apart from that the cabin was very nice, clean and comfortable. Another thing we were not too pleased about was that P&O told us that the cabin had a pair of binoculars and atlas. We then decided not to take our own binoculars only to find that the ones in the cabin were of poor quality and had we known we should have taken our own. After that most of the cruise was great, we had some very good speakers for the first 2 weeks, the entertainers were good. The food in the Meridian restaurant was quite good and our waiters were excellent especially Derga and Arvind. A couple of the ports were not very exciting, Cape Verde and Salvador. We enjoyed Rio and had a shore excursion to Christ the Redeemer. This was a good trip apart from all the work being done in the port making the tour an hour late. As always the prices of the ships excursions are a bit high but as it was Rio and we had heard that some of the areas are not very safe we thought it was well worth the price to be looked after. When back on board we did talk to a couple of people who had been mugged with gold chains taken but everyone was warned before going ashore not to have any valuables on show. The service we had in all the bars was very friendly and the prices were much better than most cruise ships. The weather we had was fantastic and we even made it off ship at the Falkland Islands. Disembarkation in Chile was very efficient and we were off in our private taxi by 9am. All in all it was a very nice cruise on a ship that maybe needs some refurbishment in some of the places. On this cruise out TA advised us to have a Starboard Balcony as the views were better and she was spot on. Hope this helps someone. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
So, having previously sailed on short breaks, this was my first longer Cunard voyage. Not only that, my 12 nights were on the first segment of the 2016 World Cruise. The differences are clear to be scene! Firstly, the evening entertainment ... Read More
So, having previously sailed on short breaks, this was my first longer Cunard voyage. Not only that, my 12 nights were on the first segment of the 2016 World Cruise. The differences are clear to be scene! Firstly, the evening entertainment in the Royal Court Theatre featured different acts over the twelve nights, not limited to the Royal Cunard Singers and Dancers. We enjoyed Izabella Zebrowska violin virtuoso), Roy Walker (Comedian), Troubadour (four part male harmony group), Philip Hitchcock (illusionist), Julian Lloyd Webber with his wife Jiaxin and a fantastic young pianist Yuanfan Yang, Joe West (singer, dancer and plays various instruments), and Jenny Williams (versatile opera and pop singer). Cunard Insight lectures were excellent and informative as always and featured forensic science, Bill Miller “Mr. Ocean Liner, Military Intelligence, Oceanography and Julian Lloyd Webber. It was disappointing on some days there were no Insight Lectures and films were cancelled due to rehearsals for the new show ‘One Way Or Another’. Perhaps some thought about rehearsal times could have gone in to this? All three Queens were departing Southampton commencing their World Voyages, enabling us to enjoy the sounds of the Queens Whistle exchanges, and the sights of spectacular fireworks from a barge as each ship passed by. On Queen Victoria we were entertained to a ceremonial marching display by the Band of the Royal Engineers. If you’ve read my recent reviews commenting on the disappointments of solo voyages with Cunard, I was pleased to receive on this cruise - a full bottle of Pol Acker Bon Voyage wine, full size (100ml) Penhaligon’s shampoo and shower gel and bathrobe and slippers! Petit fours were offered in the Britannia Restaurant each night and near the last part of the cruise, crystallised ginger was available by the restaurant doors and on one formal night, chocolate mints too. It would be even better to have this available every night though! The service in the restaurant from waiter Denis, his assistant Enzer and Sommelier Oleg was impeccable and the headwaiter and other staff certainly went the extra mile in looking after us. The food was superb and based on the Chef and Denis’s recommendations, I tried food I would not have otherwise tried and it was delicious. A particular highlight was a Les Domaines Barons De Rothschild (Lafite) Wine Dinner where I tasted wines (matched to food) I otherwise would not have been likely to have tried. That may also change in the future! Daniel the Head Sommelier was fantastic, friendly, helpful and approachable at this and another wine tasking event I attended “Walk Around the World of Wine”. These wines were mainly from the Ships wine list so it will certainly assist me on my next cruise to know which wines to choose and which are not to my liking. Staff on Queen Victoria are very friendly and helpful and having had the opportunity to attend a ‘Behind the scenes tour of Queen Victoria’ it was fascinating to see what the crew do in the background to ensure they facilitate passengers having a great cruise without knowing what is happening behind the scenes. Whilst embarkation was a breeze and I waited no more than 3 minutes until I started boarding (which I hadn’t expected on the World Cruise with a fully booked ship), the disembarkation was only marred slightly by the disconnection of the air bridge due to high winds and this was quickly rectified. The Cunard transfer to the airport was a disappointment, marred by poor hospitality at a local hotel in Fort Lauderdale. An absence of organisation and care and hotel facilities unable to cope with the number of Cunard passengers (arriving and departing) as there was nowhere to sit and drinks ran out and to top it off, passengers on the second coach did not receive a letter from Cunard explaining what was going on and when the coach would transfer us to the Airport. Passengers on the first coach received personalised individual letters. Upon enquiring at the Hotel a very rude staff member continually insisted we had all been told by Cunard all the details and begrudgingly agreed to contact Cunard for us to enquire. Fortunately he did so and flagged me down in the hotel to tell me the coach pick-up time. It just goes to shows he can be customer focussed if he wishes. I much preferred my longer cruise to the short breaks and look forward to more happy sailings with Cunard in future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Interesting itinerary from Rotterdam to Singapore plus a 14 day loop around Indonesia and then back to Rotterdam ... 91 days in total. We got off in Singapore and enjoyed the trip. First a number of European ports (Southampton, Lisbon, ... Read More
Interesting itinerary from Rotterdam to Singapore plus a 14 day loop around Indonesia and then back to Rotterdam ... 91 days in total. We got off in Singapore and enjoyed the trip. First a number of European ports (Southampton, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Malta, Athens, Crete and then the Suez canal ... 8 sea-days in total before you arrive in the Gulf states! The full day through the canal was interesting though. After that 3 Gulf states, Oman, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Next ports were in India, Mangalore and Cochin. Sri Lanka, Myanmar (Yangon) and Phuket and finally Singapore. Service on board is still very good but slightly less then our first HAL experience about 20 years ago. Ample activities on board and definitively something for everyones taste. Food is good and there are a lot of different options to choose from ... from very formal in the Pinnacle to very informal in the burger shack and pizza counter. The entertainment was good, although we skipped a number of performers ... especially the British stand up comedians were hilarious. All in all an great experience and a good way to get to Singapore without flying! Next up is our cruise with HAL from Sydney to Vancouver (including the 14 days New Zealand circumnavigation), starting March 25. Looking forward to making new friends again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The marina is a very comfortable ship and we and our 4 friends had a great time. Staff is very courteous and helpful; entertainment was excellent; the 4 speciality restaurants were superior - my favorite was toscana (italian). The ... Read More
The marina is a very comfortable ship and we and our 4 friends had a great time. Staff is very courteous and helpful; entertainment was excellent; the 4 speciality restaurants were superior - my favorite was toscana (italian). The main dining room was a disappoint. service was slow and uneven and i generally did not care for the menu offerings. we tried it 3 times for dinner. the sunday brunch at sea was quite nice. however, it seemed to all of us that it was cut back from previous sailings (the effect of now being part of nclh ???). The buffet is superior as compared to princess and holland. lamb chops & lobster tails always available at the grill. unfortunately, the king crab legs which used to be available every day were absent for all but the last day or two of the cruise (another nclh cutback???). We tendered at all ports and unfortunately could not tender at easter island on day 2 of that port. bummer, but not oceania's fault. Lectures were very interesting and the lecturers seemed to know their stuff. (oh, btb, if you're saving your "o" points for their junk prizes, most of them have increased the number of points required.). O's transport is pricey and we booked private transport to/from the ship at a significantly lower cost. ditto for excursions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Embarkation at Southampton using new colour coded timing was painless, smooth and efficient and soon we were in our cabin - a balcony cabin on C deck, starboard side, The first thing that struck me was that the cabins have not been ... Read More
Embarkation at Southampton using new colour coded timing was painless, smooth and efficient and soon we were in our cabin - a balcony cabin on C deck, starboard side, The first thing that struck me was that the cabins have not been upgraded as part of Aurora's recent refit. Ours was dated and in a number of area varnish had eroded from furnishings. In addition the balcony was small and the open space small owing to the amount of metal superstructure. Our initial cabin steward was lazy and inefficient. fortunately he departed at San Fransisco and his replacement was totally different in attitude and operational effectiveness. Travel through Biscay was hairy and wild with winds at times up to Hurricane strength. Once past the Azores the weather was generally good. Our itinerary of Azores, Barbados, Aruba, Panama Canal, Hautulco, San Fransisco, Maui, Oahu, American Samoa, Samoa, Auckland, Bay of Islands, Wellington, Akaroa for Christchurch, Dunedin and Fiordland, then finally Sydney sounded exciting and lived up to all expectations. Amazing destinations and fantastic local people greeting our presence, made for enjoyable visits. The ship entertainment was of a good standard which included session bands - Blue and Caravan, plus female singer, musician - Lyn Fredericks. The ship's dance trupe were as always excellent. The visiting acts were for the most part good, however, some of the visiting acts were terrible - including tribute acts of the Supremes and the Beatles. Tributes they were not - more like insults. To be a quality tribute band a listener must be able to close their eyes and the sounds they hear should be as near to the original artists in tone as you can be. These were very poor. The Supreme Tribute were removed from the Theatre after the first night because as the entertainment Manager Natalie admitted - she would not b able to fill the theatre for a second night. Instead they were relegted to Carmen's show lounge. Similarly the Beatles tribute. Although they were retained in Theatre the second set of performances were nearly cancelled because the "Paul McCartney" was in his sea sick bed. One of the ships Orchestra had to stand in. Other acts varied from Mediocre to Good. Food in Alexandria restaurant was generally of good quality, although portions were of jockey size, and the menus in my humble opinion were uninspiring. The staff were generally attentive. The real downside were the P&O organized tours which for the most part were not good value for money - some were excellent, including Christchurch on our own, however the Ipo Valley and Plantation House was nothing short of disgraceful with poor on ship organisation, poor tendering and a 1 hour loss to a 3 hour tour - meaning the tour was literally a whistle stop. The other disappointment about Aurora was that technical equipment surrounding entertainment either did not work, or was too complicated for entertainment team to use. As a result during the earlier part of the cruise it was not uncommon for quizzes, or game show items to be half an hour late in starting whilst entertainment team called up technicians to fix problems, or show them what buttons to activate. Despite my minor disappointments over some aspects of entertainment this was a fantastic holiday and ticked so many boxes. After disembarkation in Sydney we flew to Singapore for a two night stop over to break the journey home up. This was a great idea, except on reflection I should have chosen 4 or 5 nights instead of 2. The 8 hour flight from Sydney with Singapore Airlines was long but enjoyable, however the 14 hour night flight from Singapore to Heathrow was exhausting with only a cat nap possible. Tip for future travellers breaking your journey in Singapore if flying with Singapore Airlines. Keep you boarding pass as Singapore airlines operates its own fleet of Hop On/Hop Off buses and with you boarding pass t only costs 8 S Singapore, whereas other Hop On companies charge between 22$ Singapore up to $4$ Singapore - a massive saving and routes are almost identical. the Singapore Airlines buses are blue/yellow, or all blue and have SIA on the front and run appx every 15 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We sailed on the Repositioning cruise from Boston to Tampa Florida. On this cruise, my husband and I reached our Diamond status with the Crown and Anchor Society. We had 69 nights onboard when we sailed so we reach Diamond on the 11th ... Read More
We sailed on the Repositioning cruise from Boston to Tampa Florida. On this cruise, my husband and I reached our Diamond status with the Crown and Anchor Society. We had 69 nights onboard when we sailed so we reach Diamond on the 11th night of the 13 night cruise. Embarkation in Boston was very easy. We were among the first to arrive at the terminal and check in went well. We waited until about 11:30 and, and after the Diamonds and above were ushered on, we boarded. We got to the Windjammer before the big crowds arrived and enjoyed out lunch outside in Rita's Cantina area. Rooms were ready on time at 1 PM. We dropped off our carryon bags and walked around the ship until muster drill and sail away. It was a cool sail away from Boston but that was expected at the end of October. The first three days were days at sea to get to the southern Caribbean. Activities were limited unless you like to get involved in the Trivia challenges that ran throughout the entire cruise. Not our thing. There is a movie theater on the ship but the choice of movies for the entire 13 days was very poor. They had about 6 movies that they kept playing over and over. The titles included Antman, Furious 7, Jurassic Park, Lincoln, and Terminator and one more that I can't remember. I thought that was a VERY poor selection since it was a 13 day cruise and only 6 movies. Being at sea for three days in both directions, it would have been nice to have a better selection available. You could tell that there were no special attractions added for the 13 day cruise. There were movies on the TV in your staterooms but who wants to sit in your stateroom all the time. We went on with $450 in OBC and I was wondering what I would do with all that credit. I played Bingo and that eats up $38 a time. Then about half way through the cruise, I had to make a trip to medical. That ate up $227 worth of my credit but I was glad to get the relief for my problem. So, in the end, there was no problem using up the credit. We had My Time Dining and went to the Main Dining Room the second night of the cruise, the first Formal Night. We were given a table for two right next to the Hostess Desk and did not enjoy dinner at all. The hubbub of the waiters seating people, the passengers coming and going, the Hostess doing her job, and the busing station right across from our table did not make for a good dinner atmosphere. It was like eating in the middle of a tornado. After that night, we went to the Windjammer every night and enjoyed a much quieter and pleasant dining experience. They lower the lighting and it is really peaceful there. RCCI really needs to work on their My Time Dining program. The passengers were largely Senior Citizens, as we are also being 71 and 75. There were only 19 children on the cruise. Many of the passengers were headed to their homes in Florida for the winter and used this cruise to get there. There were several repeaters who do this cruise every year. We had a very large Meet and Greet gathering with about 276 Cruise Critic members in attendance. We enjoyed a very active Roll Call before we sailed with over 2200 posts. No officers attended out Meet and Greet, which I thought was strange. The Food and Beverage Officer and the Hotel Officer did host a special luncheon for us on the way back to Florida which was a nice touch. The Roll Call group did a Slot Pull on Tuesday and we did pretty good. We each put in $21 and walked away with $18 each. That is pretty good. The last time I did the Slot Pull, we lost everything we put in. Our stateroom attendant, Edwin, did a fine job. Our room was always neat and clean. We asked for some ice to cool our water and Sprite down that was part of our Emerald Welcome Back Gift. He got up the ice right away and kept ice in our room for the rest of the trip. He did towel animals almost every night. One was an alligator. I had never seen that one before. He called us by name every time he saw us in the hall and always asked if every thing was OK. He did a great job. We were in cabin 9623, an inside on deck 9. It was nice location for getting any where on the ship, up two for pool and Windjammer and down three or four for shopping, shows, walking, and entertainment. We use the stairs when we are onboard to help with some of the extra calories we consume. We always do inside cabins on our cruises. Have never had any regrets. Had a balcony once and hardly used it so the insides work just perfectly for us. We enjoy each island we stopped at. Our ports were St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Aruba, Barbados, and Curacao. I made arrangements on each island for Island Tours from local guides. Each of them did a fine job. We got to see each island and learned some history and interesting facts about each one. The three sea days back to Tampa seemed to drag a bit. Again, Trivia and Bingo were run each day but the same bad movie selection was played. The chair hogs around the pool had their towels out by 7 AM and there was rarely any place to be able to just sit on that deck. No one seemed to care that no one was using most of the deck chairs that had towels on them. All in all, it was a pretty good cruise. We enjoyed our meals and really like to go to the Main Dining Room on sea days for the Salad Bar. No big shrimp this year. They use to have shrimp on there the size of your thumb. This time, they were just the small salad shrimp but still a great lunch salad. My husband won't fly so we usually drive to the ports. This time, being a repo cruise, we had to be creative. We took the Greyhound bus to Boston the day before and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Dorchester. They had a shuttle that took us to the pier on the morning of the cruise at no charge. When we landed in Florida, we rented a car and drove back to upstate NY. We did the trip in two twelve hour days. It was a long drive but we made it safe and sound. We booked a cruise for next August while we were onboard. That will be our first Diamond cruise and we are excited to take advantage of the Diamond Crown and Anchor Benefits. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We lowered our expectations of this cruise compared to the likes of HAL and RCI but in many aspects we felt it was even better. Boarding was easy at Tilbury after taking the train from London then the free connecting bus. On board we ... Read More
We lowered our expectations of this cruise compared to the likes of HAL and RCI but in many aspects we felt it was even better. Boarding was easy at Tilbury after taking the train from London then the free connecting bus. On board we were escorted to our cabin where our luggage was already there. Most outside cabins have twin beds, unfortunately due to fitted furniture these cannot be made up into a double and one of them is also a sofa by day so less comfy. We viewed the inside suites and they were fabulous, about twice the size. Plenty of wardrobe space in the cabin and a decent sized bathroom with shower. Bathrobes were provided which was a nice touch. Dining was great, a non standard menu meant we were able to dine on different produce from the ports of call. A lovely tropical buffet out of Mexico and suckling baby pigs after Nuka Hiva. On a Gluten free diet the chefs went out of their way to be helpful and even cooked a couple of cakes to my own recipe. Many special functions were held out on deck which was lovely. On board most amenities are on deck 5 making it very easy to get around the ship. The showroom lacked a tiered system and views were often obstructed if you sat at the side. However the show team were fabulous and soon got to know people by name. A few had strong accents which made it difficult to understand during things like quizzes. Cruise Director Toby could, in our opinion and many others, have improved things by adjusting the times of certain activities. On long cruise people are less keen to be up late at night partying and having a disco that started at 11pm mean most people did not attend. Morning exercise classes were good, well attended but sporadic. There were some very interesting guest lecturers on board and being a long cruise there was plenty of chance to get to know them personally. The 4 lots of 7 days at sea were difficult for many people with some getting cabin fever but we really enjoyed that time. Ports of call were all good and the passage through the Panama Canal with guest lecturer was a highlight. With less than 500 passengers on board this was more like one big happy family than a cruise where you never see the same people twice. There were a few instance of people claiming "their seats" that causes a little friction but it was well dealt with. Highly recommended and excellent value. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Embarkation was an orderly mess. We got to the cruise terminal before 11am, but boarded the ship around 2pm. Boarding was color-coded, and we were surprised that they were calling all the colors except ours -- 10 colors were called ahead ... Read More
Embarkation was an orderly mess. We got to the cruise terminal before 11am, but boarded the ship around 2pm. Boarding was color-coded, and we were surprised that they were calling all the colors except ours -- 10 colors were called ahead of ours, although the terminal had only a few hundred people when we arrived. And Windjammer was full when we went up for lunch, so it probably wasn't FIFO from the terminal. Debarkation was worse. Quantum wasn't sailing out the day we reached port, as they had an event at Royal Theatre with Shanghai government officials that night (so that's why we needed to get to Baoshan quickly, in spite of fog). The right thing for the hotel dept to have done was allow us to leave the rooms when they called our luggage tag numbers, and not force to crowd 4,239 guests in Royal Theatre and 270. They also closed out the food outlets an hour before we reached port, so Deck 5 public spaces were all crowded with nothing to do and standing room only for a lot of people. Upon reaching the terminal, many people who debarked ahead of us were still there. It was just fortunate that we booked our own Shanghai tour and I was able to update our guide constantly with our arrival info, so we were able to meet up at the offsite parking area in good time, in spite of private vehicles not being allowed to park near the terminal due to the Quantum event that night. Dynamic Dining (now Dynamic Dining Choice) is good for people who booked together, such as families and friends. It's just like going to a restaurant with reservations. If travelling alone, traditional dining (or Dynamic Dining Classic, for Quantum Class) would definitely be better. All our reservations were there, so I never experienced the "missing reservations" problem that other people had. It's also so much easier to modify reservations on the Royal IQ app than on the RCCL website. Lesson learned -- dine early to get to the shows that don't need reservations, and be at Royal Theatre 15 minutes before a show to avoid pillar obstructions. Windjammer after the show if you get hungry. The restaurants were a mixed bag. The only one we paid for was Jamie's for lunch ($15), and it was very much worth it. We usually had excellent food, a good server, and good service times, although it was rare that we got all three in one meal. The menus were changed twice -- menu A on the first 3 nights, menu B on the next 3, and back to menu A with additional Chinese dishes (but without many of the Signatures and Classics) on the last 3. One thing I was happy about was that we were able to get ice cream or sherbet at every restaurant, even when it wasn't on the dessert menu. North Star -- long lines whenever we passed by, so we didn't go. iFly -- did it twice, because fog on the last day made the captain open up a lot of activities. It might have also been possible to fly without reservations on the second to the last full day, as iFly personnel told me to come back on that day, although I didn't. Waverider -- sister says there were times that only two people were using it alternately, but there were always a lot of people when I passed by. Entertainment -- only Starwater was reservable, but I don't think everyone had a chance to watch because 270 was spacious, but had much fewer seats than Royal Theatre. Unlike earlier cruises where the entertainment was posted in the Royal website, we only knew the shows for the day when the Cruise Compass came out, which made it difficult to match reserved dining and going to shows. The Music Hall was a useful venue, but they seemed to have turned it into more casino space now. Guest Services -- laundry dept lost one of my underwear, and cost to replace was a little under $10. Chinese girl at guest services kept on saying that laundry dept couldn't find it anymore, so I would be credited $80. I thought that was impossible, because I was claiming $9+, and wash & fold was only $30, so I thought maybe she was saying $18. The next day, $8 was credited. Please practice your English more. Lesson learned -- have it in writing and signed. Now that I've been spoiled by Quantum, I'm not sure if I'll ever go on another class of ship again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015

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