1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Around the World Cruises
  4. Around the World Cruise Reviews

86 World Cruise Reviews

My first cruise as a solo traveller but part of an escorted tour. As a result, I cannot compare with other cruises. However, I am a seasoned luxury solo traveller (mainly SE Asia). I have to say that QE generally does not compare with ... Read More
My first cruise as a solo traveller but part of an escorted tour. As a result, I cannot compare with other cruises. However, I am a seasoned luxury solo traveller (mainly SE Asia). I have to say that QE generally does not compare with the 5 star hotels I have stayed in. It was more 4 star. Everything you need but not "plush". Embarkation was initially a bit of a disappointment after walking up the gang way and greeting by a empty deck, with no directions as to where to go. However, one passing staff member felt sorry for us and pointed us in the right direction. Not a great start. Once we were greeted you were pretty much left to your own devices. I wasn't sure what to do but I headed to my cabin (more on the cabin later). I am very independent but as it was my first cruise, Cunard should have had someone proactively greeting and helping passengers. There were a lot of crew there mainly promoting the spa and beauty services. This promoting continued through the cruise every time I entered the Lido deck and go very annoying after a while. I was very interested to do some enrichment lectures and selected a session in Acupunture. A complete waste of time because it was another promotion where the practitioner wouldn't answer questions without you making an appointment. Truly awful! After that I didn't attempt anymore enrichment. I liked the shows on board a comedian and a group of guy singers from the UK. Both very good, though the shows were short. The singers seemed to have a limited rehearsed list of songs as some were repeated the second time I saw them. In saying this I think the entertainment was pretty good. Food was generally good in the Brittania restaurant but lunch there on one day was lacklustre. The pub was fun for a meal. I did not like The Lido at all. I don't like buffets and I don't like the lack of hygiene factor. Cunard really try but so many passengers are not conscious of practising good hygiene. Consequently, people got sick and then there was some kind of red alert resulting in cling film being plastered over the serving areas and staff serving resulting in big queues. Looked like a large cafeteria in a 1960's department store. I was advised before boarding that we had to buy our drinking water on board. That is so not ok with me...this is Cunard, this was water (a basic to live) it should be free of at least very inexpensive. It was not! Wine was obscenely expensive. I bought two bottles of wine and they were $90 Aud each. I am not a cheapskate but I am not wealthy and I think that was an absolute rip-off. I paid it because I like a glass of wine with dinner but I detest being ripped off. I may be painting a bleaker picture than the reality, it was a good cruise and I really enjoyed myself but I guess I had loftier expectations than the actual reality. I have found a new interest in cruising and would still consider Cunard except they are not going to the destinations I am considering for my next trip. I think I am going to try Crystal next time as it might suit me more and they are going where I am interested. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
To put this review in perspective, here is some background. We cruise this segment almost every year at the same time for our wedding anniversary, using Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Cunard from Hong Kong back to Singapore. We also love ... Read More
To put this review in perspective, here is some background. We cruise this segment almost every year at the same time for our wedding anniversary, using Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Cunard from Hong Kong back to Singapore. We also love dancing and spend most of each evening on the dance floor. So the starting and ending ports are all that matter and the ports in between, we have been to more times than we care too. We went with pretty high expectations after wonderful experiences on the Queen Victoria and the Queen Mary, we were quite disappointed with the Queen Elizabeth. Embarkation in Hong Kong was a breeze, we arrived a few hours before the sated embarkation time ( at 1pm instead of 3:30pm) and encountered no queues anywhere. Our complaint was that the staff posted around the terminal building to direct people were not very proactive and maybe a bit racist. A couple dragging a carryon bag with Cunard tags and a sheaf of documents would obviously be looking for the Cunard check-in desk, no? They did not smile or point the way out to us but were quick to greet and direct any Caucasian walking past, even if they did not have a suitcase! We were able to go straight to our cabin which was ready, with a bottle of champagne chilling on the table. Our cabin was quite large(see cabin review) and close to all the things we wanted to get to however, very noisy on the last night as it was next to all the crew working areas. We booked early and so had early seating with a quiet table for 2, much in demand I heard, which was set well away from other tables- unlike another cruise where it was separated from the next table by 10cm. Our waiter was the 2nd worst we have had on any cruise. He was unsmiling, distracted and constantly facing away from his tables, fiddling with the silverware over and over instead of looking at his tables to see if we needed anything. He did not try to make any conversation not even to greet us on arrival! He never tried to make any food recommendations, never asked the standard " how is everything?", did not remember simple requests from the previous night (I asked for a slice of lemon in my water, the next night there was a small plate of sliced lemons on his service table but he never brought it to us). We had excellent service from other wait staff at lunch and breakfast so perhaps it was just the one person. Unfortunately the MDR waiter is the person we interact with the most on a cruise and so this gave a poor impression of the service levels. We had informed Cunard that we were celebrating our anniversary. We got a card in the room but not a whisper in the dining room. Food was disappointing but beautifully plated. All the fish was dry and over cooked. The only edible poultry was the duck and even that was just passable. Only the red meats were good. The side dishes did not complement the mains well. We went for the afternoon tea on the first day, white gloved service wasn't too happy we asked for Earl Grey instead of the generic tea they were serving. Sandwiches were dry and fillings were miserly. They only had dry raisin scones that were COLD! Cakes were poor quality ( we later found that they use Cadbury's cooking chocolate now - so brownies and chocolate cake did not taste of chocolate!).We did not bother to make it for subsequent teas. In previous cruises, this was one of the highlights of the afternoons. The best part of the cruise was the dance lessons - Sergey and Olga were amazing. They were able to teach more than 60 people, mostly beginners, in 45 minutes to dance quite complicated steps with good technique. Although we already dance well, we were still able to learn a thing or two from them. We spent most evenings on the dance floor in the Queens Room. It was large and a beautiful space to dance in when there was recorded music. The band spoilt it a little as they were not open to requests and there was a lot of down time between songs. They said they had a set of songs to play ( hence not keen to allow requests and yet did not seem to know which song it was they were going to play next and there was a lot of discussion between members before playing each song). The vocalist really ruined it. Everytime he appeared, you could almost hear the groans from the serious dancers. He was full of himself and used the same lame jokes every night that were very insulting and disrescpectful of his several ex-wives. Lots of talk before each song, called out the wrong dance ( could not tell the difference between a Viennese waltz and a Slow waltz) and switched tempos ( a big no-no in dance music) midway and always ended with a sudden stop which gave no time for any nice end to our dancing. The dance hosts on this cruise were all good dancers and all the single ladies seemed well catered to. We enjoyed having a matinee show in the Royal Theatre called La Danza - put up by the ships singers and dancers. They were not very good but certainly helped pass the time nicely. The magician/comedian on one of the nights was very entertaining. The rest of the programming was quite boring with hardly anything of interest to do in the afternoons. We did not join in the ship excursions as we had already visited both ports ( Nha Trang and Phu My) several times. Instead we took the free shuttle to Cho Dam ( market and bought lots of fish sauce - a specialty of Nha Trang and vietnamese coffee, followed by a very cheap and excellent massage at Sen Spa. We took a small group tour ( just 4 of us) with " Best Tours in Vung Tau" to visit the Long Phouc tunnels, local market and a fruit farm with an excellent home cooked lunch and accompanied by a very hospitable guide-owner. Both activities are highly recommended for people who have already done the usual tours in the 2 ports. Nha Trang was a tender port and it was a nightmare. While I totally understand the extra caution that QE was taking ( after the tragic incident they had on the same sector 2 years ago). Only 3 tenders were running and the waiting time to board one was almost 2 hours. We witnessed a poor family of 8 given tickets for tender number 22 who were told to go away for a coffee and come back in 45 minutes as the Queens Room was too full ( we were told the same thing as we were behind them and given the a number for 2 boats later). We remained in the Queens Room. No annoucements were made in the ship when the tender numbers were called, only in the Queens Room. When that family came back 35 minutes later, they were told they had missed their boat and given new tickets for 32! which meant another 1 and a half hour wait. Amazingly they remained cool! Perhaps there were safety constraints that prevented putting on more tenders so the wait may have been unavoidable BUT there were many ways they could have improved the experience like providing pastries and coffee while people waited, making ship wide annoucements if tender numbers came up before the expected time etc which they did not do. I was not impressed. As Gold members we had 2 hours of free internet each which was a nice perk. The connection was slow but good enough for confirming tours and quick checkins home. Part of the thing about cruising is getting away from computers anyway. It was the shortest cruise we had on Cunard ( previous ones were 8 and 9 days) but we were actually quite glad to get home in Singapore as the overall experience was not great. We did self help disembarkation in Singapore at 7am and it was quick and efficient as usual. There was a little glitch at immigration as they had not put up the guide ropes to allow Singaporean passengers to use the automated passports gates, soon rectified. Lots of taxis were waiting so we did not have to use Uber. We will probably cruise Cunard again but we will take the Queen Mary and never Queen Elizabeth. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose QE because l had heard that Cunard was 'upscale". After cruising a couple of other lines l thought l'd give them a try. l was disappointed about the following aspects of the cruise: - Hot tub was seldom HOT ... Read More
I chose QE because l had heard that Cunard was 'upscale". After cruising a couple of other lines l thought l'd give them a try. l was disappointed about the following aspects of the cruise: - Hot tub was seldom HOT - Food was too British - No gala performance as on other cruises - only a single act each night: like it or leave - not much group activity - the men's restroom near the dinning room was out of order for 3 days The staff was very polite and helpful - except the head of the dinning area spoke very derogatorily about passengers. Overall, the ship was lovely, more conservative than RCL. Meals were beautifully presented, but lacked variety and great flavor. My fiance was disappointed in the entree selections. lt is unlikely that we would cruise Cunard again. Thanks to the great company, we still had a memorable time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We upgraded from a standard balcony to a Q4 penthouse suite as we had always wanted to try the Grill and a better price was offered so we decided why not! We embarked in Wellington and right from check in to arrival in our suite were we ... Read More
We upgraded from a standard balcony to a Q4 penthouse suite as we had always wanted to try the Grill and a better price was offered so we decided why not! We embarked in Wellington and right from check in to arrival in our suite were we once greeted with " welcome back or welcome aboard" as we are platinum members and also sailing in the grill. Upon entering the ship we went through the security in to the lobby and stood there for a few minutes and decided there was going to be no bell hop greeting and being escorted to our suite as advertised in the Grill brochure. We arrived in the suite and stayed there about 20 mins thinking the butler would be there to greet us but since no sign of them we went to lunch. On our return we were in the cabin about 30 mins before the butler turned up. The suite itself was nice though a little dated but a very comfortable haven for the 17 day cruise. The butler looked after us well after the slow start and the cabin steward kept the cabin clean and tidy though the balcony and glass was only cleaned once during the voyage when after a week we were having friends over for drinks and we asked for the balcony to be cleaned as everything was caked in salt and we had it over our clothes for most of the voyage. The Grill was ok with exceptional service from the waiting staff but the food was on the whole not a lot better than any 3 to 4 star cruise line. They pride themselves on offering the option to order food not on the menu and to try the chefs which we did but the outcome was not good with the order being wrong and badly cooked so after a lot of excuses with the maitre' d blaming the chef which we thought was unacceptable. We had breakfast in our room most days which was fantastic and always hot and on time and also afternoon tea which was presented beautifully. We tried the Lido for dinner a couple of nights and the food was cold and a very poor selection with no service from the waiting staff who never once offered to bring water or cutlery just avoided eye contact and carried on chatting. The ship is beautiful and apart from carpet in a few public rooms in need of replacement which will happen shortly in dry dock the ship was spotless and well presented. Maybe with the ship going in to dry dock soon the staff were very despondent and no greetings or friendly banter were had throughout most of the ship. The entertainment was great and the band synergy were fantastic with lots of energy and a sense of fun. We would definitely not pay the price for the Grill again when we can have Crystal, Seaborne or silverseas for a similar price with all inclusive fares and 6 star food and service throughout the ship . It is a shame as we have enjjoyed Cunard in the past but we spoke to a number of people in the Grill who have said the same that it is not what it used to be and felt disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We flew to Sydney to join the ship, sailing a leg of it's World Cruise. The embarkation at Sydney was quick and smooth. Outside cabin D183 was okay. Average size, a bit faded glory - the bathroom was that 'old lady's ... Read More
We flew to Sydney to join the ship, sailing a leg of it's World Cruise. The embarkation at Sydney was quick and smooth. Outside cabin D183 was okay. Average size, a bit faded glory - the bathroom was that 'old lady's corset' pink colour. A bit tatty but clean and tidy. A big mirrored cabinet with plenty of room for toileteries, etc. Soap, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion provided. Lots of wardrobe space. Ask for extra clothes hangers if you need them. The staff were lovely. The entertainment was very mixed. Headliners group were excellent dancers although their singing was pretty bad. Some of the acts were outstanding. The comedian, I can't remember his name unfortunately, was brilliant and an unusual act called, would you believe, The Unusualist was great. Some of the other acts were quite poor. The Aurora Orchestra is fabulous, as is the band Caravan. Whoever was in charge of entertainment shouldn't be. The activities during the day were mostly aimed at the older people. There were ballroom dancing classes, and in the evening, ballroom dancing again in a nearly empty room. It would have been so easy to arrange for the band, Caravan to play some pop songs so people could have a bit of a bop instead of this formal dancing to CDs which hardly anyone attended. Everyone we spoke to complained about it. Most nights,we bought a drink and just sat out on the deck for want of something to do. Caravan were often playing to just a handful of people scattered around the huge Crow's Nest bar. It must be so demoralizing for them. There was a 1970's style 'disco' which started at 11.30pm in another big room. All dark with flashing lights and someone playing CDs. Always empty. I think they cancelled it eventually. Food. Again, okay. We often used the buffet and could always find something to eat. We had Freedom dining, too, and went to the restaurant a few times and again, it was okay. As good as mass catering can be. There was a very good Indian restaurant, The Sindhu. There was a supplementary charge of £16 per head. The Beach House, a cordoned -off part of the buffet, was also very nice. The charge for this was £7.50 each, although some of the items on the menu were up to £2.95 on top. We didn't use the Glass House which is a wine bar with bistro type food at £5 to £8 per item. The drinks in all the bars were a bit more than pub prices eg.£4.15 Carling lager and Magner's cider. I'm not sure I'd go on part of a world cruise again. There was a bit of snobbery from some of the people on the whole journey. We received a newsletter each evening telling us all the activities and about the port for the following day. It also stated the dress code for the next evening. (Black tie. Medals can be worn !) The launderette was a bit difficult at times with some of the 'all rounders' bagging their favourite washer or dryer. I found the best time to use it was 5.30pm onwards, when most people were getting ready for dinner and, presumably, polishing their medals..The place was always nearly empty then. A wash is 40 mins. So time to put the laundry in a washer then get showered and dressed. (I didn't sit and wait for it to be finished like some people did during the day) then put it in a dryer on my way to dinner. Pick it up any time before the launderette closes at 10pm. Sorted. There are three launderettes of varying size on decks 5, 9 and 11. All with washers, dryers and ironing facilities. You can buy washing tablets from reception or take your own. I think it's a great idea to have a free service like this. Many ships you have to pay or they don't have one at all. Ports. Sydney. Fab. if you've never been, go. New Zealand - Dunedin, Wellington, Tauranga and Auckland were all very nice, although it absolutely poured down. Akaroa was exceptionally lovely. NOTE - All the public phone boxes in NZ have free WiFi. Lautoka, Fiji. A shuttle bus took us into the town which was very poor and run down. Wish we'd booked an excursion. Apia, Samoa. Very hot. Quaint buildings, friendly people. Ran the gauntlet of taxi drivers who badgered us for ages. San Francisco. Lovely shops and places. Lots and lots of homeless people. Public transport great. Cable cars overpriced and not worth it. Pier 39 great. Sea lions smelly. Take a ferry to Sausilito which is very picturesque. All in all, a nice, medium sized ship with a tiered back and lots of deck space. Lovely wrap around promenade deck which is great. Bit shabby but clean. Food okay. Service good.I would sail on it again, providing someone sorts out the entertainment. Probably better on a short trip of one or two weeks on the Med in the Summer or the Caribbean in Winter time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We boarded on March 2nd 2017 for A ½ World Cruise of 65 days. The ship is old, but very stable and met all my requirements for a 3 Start rating. The cabins and facilities were as expected- not 5 Star but we were not expecting that. ... Read More
We boarded on March 2nd 2017 for A ½ World Cruise of 65 days. The ship is old, but very stable and met all my requirements for a 3 Start rating. The cabins and facilities were as expected- not 5 Star but we were not expecting that. When booking, it was confirmed, by multiple emails, that our cabin was to be midships. We were allocated one 2nd from the bow and were awoken periodically by the thrusters and anchor chain coming on at odd times directly under and above us. Going to the reception, we were met by an unfriendly notice ‘Don’t talk to us about relocation as we are full’! So much for public relations! The staff at lower levels, from 23 countries, was excellent, however, at a higher level, they seemed wanting! The captain, Felipe Souza, was very friendly when approached – one on one - but seemed to be out of place as an ambassador, looking intimidated by any public role. Under him seemed to be a problem. Senior staff did not mingle or interact! On boarding we went, by invitation from the Captain to a ‘Captians welcome drink’, to be met by waiters……… I had reason to speak with a senior manager (Alister) after a letter of complaint. Not having typing facilities available, I hand wrote a 2 page letter outlining some concerns. He set up a meeting and said that ‘my handwriting was so bad that he could not read it’! So much for public relations! He asked me to outline my concerns and said that he had made some notes – that was it. To others, he stated that ‘that was only your opinion. We happen to disagree with you……’! Again, so much for public relations! The music on the ship was average. They had a resident American keyboard player who was brilliant. The also had a singer who was good. During the voyage she was replaced by a (Very good) West Indian singer. On one occasion I sat through one session and half of the next, WITHOUT KNOWING ONE OF THE SONGS. I don’t know what era songs they were but the were not suited to ur age demographics – 50 to 90 years of age! Then you would sit in the Captain’s Cabin, listening to music you did not know, and they would walk off for a ‘break’, except that these breaks lasted fpr an average ¾ hour+ during which time all atmosphere was lost, and people simply left to go to their cabins. No background music was available until a lot of us complained, and then it was put on sporadically. We, and many others, do ballroom dancing, and wanted some strict tempo music suitable for this type of dancing. It was put on for us on occasion, but without seeming to want ot do this! Lastly, we have been on many cruises, and usually a band asks for requests. Not so on Magellan. They seemed to operate from an I pad to a pre-planned programme and that was it. The main theatre was usually ice cold! This required us to rug up to watch a variety of excellent shows by an excellent 13 person show team. Stuff like…. Le Mis ….. Phantom of the Opera etc! Excellent! The band too, was really good, but when on the stage could not crack a smile and, while playing great music, looked like they were conducting a funeral. The biggest gripe of all, and one that caused a mass meeting of cruisers to complain and form an ‘action group’ was the Indian Visa Problem. When we booked and paid everything was settled, we then got a phone call that it was urgent that we apply for an Indian Visa. ‘We could not board without this’ we were told! One week before sailing!!!! The travel Agent said that this would cost $550 and that they had only just been advised of this requirement. No visa – no boarding! We said that, as it was only an 8 hour stay over in Chennai, we would forgo the visa and stay on board, but, no, that was not OK! ‘What if we were shipwrecked?’ was the reply! No visa – no boarding! They arranged this for us for and we duly boarded only to be told by the Indian officials in Chennai ‘why did you purchase a visa if not going on shore?’ Some Americans had to fly interstate to get this ‘urgent’ visa at the cost of $1000s extra. CMV declined to accept blame for us collectively having paid around $500,000 for visas that were only necessary IF one went ashore! This is a disgrace and CMV seem to just write it off as something from the past! ‘Would I use CMV again’? Probably ‘yes’, as the cruise, ignoring these serious irritations, was as expected and we made fantastic friends! Want more details? Mikeauret2@gmail.com Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
A family group of 6 booked 5 cabins for a quick getaway. Embarkation at Sydney was so quick due to a wonderful staff member giving us priority boarding. That is when our troubles with passengers started. A very angry man tried to accuse ... Read More
A family group of 6 booked 5 cabins for a quick getaway. Embarkation at Sydney was so quick due to a wonderful staff member giving us priority boarding. That is when our troubles with passengers started. A very angry man tried to accuse the younger ones of cutting in but thanks to lovely staff we tried to ignore them. The ship was nice but I was not impressed with such low ceilings and missed having a central atrium where it was nice to sit and relax with a great coffee. I found the rooms were a decent size but my carpets were very badly stained. We had fantastic dinner companions but I was quite upset by the stares from other passengers constantly. I know some had originally thought we were entertainers (due to the young girls having very bright coloured hair). Most meals were wonderful, my family's only wish was for crispy bacon of course being British they only served boiled bacon. I did enjoy the shows but found no real entertainment during the day, probably due to it only being the short sector. Our biggest concerns were the rudeness of the British passengers and comments that were made to the girls even though they were dressed quite appropriately. Most staff were excellent the only problems were the usual with new staff starting as the same day as us. Bar staff fantastic, reception staff need to be made more aware of Australian rules and regulations( in regards to immigration) as we kept being given different info in regards to our disembarkation in Brisbane. Coming from Brisbane myself I felt embarrassed about where we had to dock but the staff there were amazing. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Mahe - Seychelles expedition cruise The ship developed a significant electrical fault in Reunion. Not happy! All pax were transferred to hotels - the capt advising the ship was under repair. We spent yet another day away from the ... Read More
Mahe - Seychelles expedition cruise The ship developed a significant electrical fault in Reunion. Not happy! All pax were transferred to hotels - the capt advising the ship was under repair. We spent yet another day away from the ship - two full days of the itinerary were lost. Eventually weset sail with a modified itinerary. Unfortunately we will never know what we missed out on in Madagascar that destination being the main attraction for this cruise. One wonders if the age and condition of Discoverer requires more frequent maintenance. Despite the disappointment and shaky start the service crew were very attentive, especially the bar staff. The Butler was a true gentlemen and was always around to help. The interior of the ship was adequate since new floor coverings and furniture was provided in October 2016. The cabins were ok, but showing signs of wear and tear, not that it bothered us. The food - as expected on an expedition ship - doesn't really rate 'fine dining' but was always well presented. Wines were acceptable and alternatives available if the wine being served didn't suit. We never went short. I wish the aft deck was better suited to alfresco dining - the lunch options never changed - the burgers were awful. The 'hot rocks' in the evenings soon lost their appeal - silversea would be well advised to offer an option, perhaps from the MDR menu. Ending positively - the expedition crew, especially the Leader, were well organised and very informative. All lectures were 45m which was just about right. Hats off to Nikki the Expedition Leader for keeping her head above the water when the chips were down. Finally - the $2,000 credit towards a future Silversea cruise will not be enough to entice us back from Seabourn. I rated this cruise 7/10. The staff 9/10. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
The itinerary was the most appealing factor.a chance to go to Okinowa,Egypt, Taiwan and Brunei very juicy UnfortunatelyCunard cancelled all four and a very short time before we sailed Christmas Eve we received the email This ... Read More
The itinerary was the most appealing factor.a chance to go to Okinowa,Egypt, Taiwan and Brunei very juicy UnfortunatelyCunard cancelled all four and a very short time before we sailed Christmas Eve we received the email This is one big con trick and there should be a fraud investigation Will send further reports as an update each month Long journey to board at. soon ,v.tired wrong keys given at check in --- not a great start Ship is living on it's very fine PR. Certainly nowhere near top quality. choice of dining is Britannia ( formal or semi formal.... jackets must be worn to respect other guests.. Cobblers people want to feel relaxed and it's never that in the dining room The only other free dining is the King's Court which offers 3 star buffet. Otherwise Cunard follow their policy of a great big hand in your pocket. Greedy,greedy company. Lidl wines at £5 sell at £32 on board after just 2 weeks menus are being repeated. Calibre of meats and fruit mediocre. One bright spark for us is a young Mauritius gent called Marco in Atlantic Room who has been great for us Bridge on ship has been as well organised as everything else, in other words -poor Lectures are superb. Tours seriously overpriced Cunard have been un contactable and unapproachable. eg we wrote to Cunard on 10th Dec 2016 and again 3rd jan 2017. We as Diamond Members (top category)have been totally ignored not even a short acknowledgement. So damned rude Entertainments Director is a pretty girl but quite honestly hopeless as ED Cunard have now lost Maril & myself as guests on their ships.the treatment of the elderly and informed is wicked and uncaring. Dr Mrs Brian Silverstone. London Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We came on the ship as basically first time Cruisers for the World Cruise 2017. Jan 6 to May 3, San Francisco to Monte Carlo. We had no complaints about the cabin or the ship, it is a little dated. Many of the repeat cruisers were ... Read More
We came on the ship as basically first time Cruisers for the World Cruise 2017. Jan 6 to May 3, San Francisco to Monte Carlo. We had no complaints about the cabin or the ship, it is a little dated. Many of the repeat cruisers were very unhappy with the condition of the ship as most were led to believe the ship had gone under renovation before the cruise. It turned out only some internal things were redone. New carpet was installed. Getting into the restaurants was not a problem. We thought La Terraza, morning and afternoon buffet was very good even though it was pretty much the same everyday. It was the best food of 3 in the evening. Food was very good, most of the time, but most of the menus were repeats. There was lots to do with many days at sea. Lots of lectures, classes and entertainment.. The service was way beyond our expectations. The crew was outstanding and worked very hard to anticipate your every need. There was a bit of a language barrier at times but their smiles and happy attitudes made up for it all. Some of the ports were redundant, and some we wondered why we went there at all, as there was nothing to do, or it would be Sunday and everything was closed. The biggest disappointment was the shore excursions. Many of the tours did not fit the descriptions. Many of the tour guides had their own agenda, or could not speak good English, so you were basically riding around in a bus wondering what you saw. Complains to the Excursion Desk fell on deaf ears. Hard to believe they had done some of these in previous cruises. Book with a Travel Agent company who has a representative on board and includes some of the land tour. Someone that hears you and advises you on board. Private cars were some of the worst unless you know where you want to go and a little something about the port. Don't be afraid to complain and fill in your reviews. We did not and that was a mistake, as we were basically ignored, I suppose assuming we were happy. We are not complainers. Final, this is not a cruise for children, not even any of the legs. Not a fit for the World Cruisers and nothing to do on board. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We have cruised on P+O, Celebrity,Royal Caribbean, and Viking, and this cruise was by far the best value for money. The food was consistently excellent, the staff ( apart from a small number of Eastern Europeans, who needed some ... Read More
We have cruised on P+O, Celebrity,Royal Caribbean, and Viking, and this cruise was by far the best value for money. The food was consistently excellent, the staff ( apart from a small number of Eastern Europeans, who needed some customer service training) were wonderful, the entertainment team (with the exception of the comedians who were generally poor) worked really hard and delivered some excellent productions, and the ship although a mature lady, was spotlessly clean and cared for. There were some issues with leaking AC pipes, but in external temperatures of mid to high 30s not totally unexpected. There were some passengers who unfortunately suffered from "delusions of grandeur" they expected 5 star cruising despite paying very competitive prices, their moaning and rudeness was legendary,and if it hadn't been so annoying,would have been a source of entertainment. The meeting of 200 passengers actually took place impromptuly, at the instigation of a small number of passengers, at the end of a lecture, therefore the majority of people attended by default. The food was excellent with both executive chefs. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our third World Cruise on the Amsterdam. The embarcation ... went smoothly. There was a long line, but it moved quickly. The ship... We have always loved the Amsterdam, but I'm sorry to say, she seems to be in serious ... Read More
This was our third World Cruise on the Amsterdam. The embarcation ... went smoothly. There was a long line, but it moved quickly. The ship... We have always loved the Amsterdam, but I'm sorry to say, she seems to be in serious need of repair. We saw many leaks in public areas, including the Lido food prep area. Several cabins that flooded terribly. When this happened the crew brought big fans to dry the carpets on top, but I fear that there must be mold underneath. There were also concerns about the 17 year old HVAC units. Most passengers, including us, seemed to be sick, off and on, with sinus infections and allergies much of the 4 months. I think Amsterdam is due for dry dock after the 2018 cruise. Cabin... We were on Dolphin deck. Our room stewards scrubbed the shower every day to try and keep the mold out of the tiles around the shower. Our cabin frequently smelled of diesel fuel. Dining... The chefs and crew do a great job preparing and serving delicious meals and snacks. Entertainment and activities ... The nightime entertainment seemed to be for the older crowd. Lots of classical and show tunes, magicians and comedians. We attended only a few shows. Afternoon movies on sea days were not offered, since a private group rented the theater. The internet is slow as molasses and is very expensive. We spent $600 on internet in 4 months. Service.... The crew on the World Cruise is always the best on the seas!!! Also, the Fillipino and Indonesian crew shos were outstanding. Ports and Shore Excursions... The ports were great! We took Shore Excursions in most ports. They were very expensive, but most guides were excellent. We plan to continue cruising, but sadly will not cruise on the Amsterdam again. We plan to travel on the newer ships that hopefully, will have fewer maintenance issues. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Had to cancel our World cruise in August due to unexpected ill health. End of November all was ok but not able to rebook as no vacancies. Found this cruise and they had unsold cabins, decided to try them. Balcony cabins available but they ... Read More
Had to cancel our World cruise in August due to unexpected ill health. End of November all was ok but not able to rebook as no vacancies. Found this cruise and they had unsold cabins, decided to try them. Balcony cabins available but they allow smoking on them which we did not like. There was available a terrace cabin so after talking directly with Head Office were reassured it was one of their new cabins. So booked in December. Embarkation went fine. and we were shown to our cabin. Not what we were used to, but very basic. Still we made the best of it. Went to main dining room first night glad we were in the small side room as restaurant very noise. Nice people but told them we liked to eat in buffet more flexible. Joined them on formal nights. Liked Buffet very much small and quiet. Food very good and very varied. Staff very friendly. Ship is old and maintenance went on daily. sometimes very annoying. On the whole enjoyed the cruise but only because of the friendly people on board. The organisation was dreadful. Ran out of things, New digital TVs which did not work till nearly home. Silly things but very annoying. never had this on any other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise after having been on the 2016 version which wasn't a full circumnavigation. This one was and it's cold in the UK in January. Some comments follow: 1. Embarkation/disembarkation was very good. (We'd ... Read More
We chose this cruise after having been on the 2016 version which wasn't a full circumnavigation. This one was and it's cold in the UK in January. Some comments follow: 1. Embarkation/disembarkation was very good. (We'd reached the top Peninsular Club tiers so it wouldn't be so good if you are below the Caribbean tier). 2. We had the same balcony cabin as last year. It was "OK". P&O regularly clean the balconies but it never makes much difference. They just range between slightly dirty and pretty mucky. The balcony chairs and tables never seemed to be clean. 3. The cabin steward was pleasant enough but there was never enough time in the day to properly clean all the cabins. I was never aware of our cabin being hoovered. When you store your suitcase under the bed there will be years of accumulated fluff on it when you need it again once your 4 months is up. 4. We had a table for two in the Meridian restaurant for our evening meals. The food was usually pretty bland but perfectly edible. (Apart from the frogs legs and rabbit that appeared on the menu a couple of times - I've no idea why P&O offer these). Overall, the food standards have slipped over the years. Oddly, the food seemed much better when we had lunch in the Meridian. 5. We ate once on the Ocean Grill, entirely thanks to a "freebee" from P&O. I thought I'd change from the usual steak option and had the Buffalo burger instead. I can't recommend it. 6. The port itinerary was generally very good. The Papua New Guinea visit was a waste of time though, but I think P&O only stop there to let the Australian Great Barrier Reef pilot off. 7. Our favourite ports were San Francisco, Sydney, Osaka, Nagasaki, Singapore and Aqaba (for Petra). Bora Bora (rained and not much there), Nha Trang (not much there) and all the UAE ones (courtesy coaches to Malls that were in the middle of nowhere) were disappointments. The worst was Colombo but that was because the courtesy coach dropped us at Mall with hardly any shops in it. Even the Arcadia crew, who were looking forward to what they called 'decent food', were more than a little disappointed. Looking at Colombo as we drove through it in the courtesy coach , there certainly looked to be much nicer places we should have been taken to. 8. We booked a limited number of Shore Excursions since we were well aware of the high P&O prices from previous cruises. Often it's possible to get to the same places P&O take you to for a tenth of the cost. Most of the excursions we did take were fine except for the Shanghai one where the rain just poured down. It didn't help that our bus was the one that didn't turn up on time. 9. We didn't visit the Palladium Theatre to be entertained during the whole cruise. I just do not like the Headliners and my past experiences of other acts has put me off going to the shows completely. (Yes, I know, other reviewers really rate the Headliners). I did watch some of the guest speakers on the in-cabin television and they were actually all very good. 10. I am proud to say that I did not go to any Sailaway party around the Aquarius Pool and I feel I'm a better person for that! (My wife went to one or two, but we never talk about it. She was probably just there because she needed a cigarette). In summary, P&O standards have slipped a bit over the years. There are various things that aren't just quite right with the cabins, the food, the entertainment and even the ship.(I forgot to mention that the bow of the Arcadia was looking pretty rusty compared to some other cruise ships we came across). All that said, I think it's still reasonable value for money and I'll probably go on another cruise with them in 2018 or 2019. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Two captains, two deputy captains, two entertainment managers and eighty two nights later, we reflect on a much anticipated cruise experience. Positives: Arcadia is a comfortable ship...like an old armchair. Overall, the dining ... Read More
Two captains, two deputy captains, two entertainment managers and eighty two nights later, we reflect on a much anticipated cruise experience. Positives: Arcadia is a comfortable ship...like an old armchair. Overall, the dining experience was good (Belvedere excluded). Entertainment; the Headliners Company were exceptional. Some wonderful ports of call Alotau, San Francisco, Napier, Nha Trang, Singapore. No fighting for deck chairs on Arcadia...acres of space. Service was uniformly excellent throughout. Dance hosts Brenda & Jeffrey converted many non-dancers. Superb. Quiet ship, most go to bed early...little to do after the theatre. Negatives: No meaningful second entertainment venue. Due to the above, the ship was quiet from 9.30pm (i.e. post theatre). Areas of the ship smelled foul throughout the cruise. The ship needs an overhaul not just an engine refit. Extremely dated. Too many quizzes, day and night. Cheap and cheerful? No, just cheap! If we want a quiz we go to our local. Not what we hoped for on a world tour. Dining 3/5 The Meridian Restaurant delivered a good (not great) selection of food served warm (rarely if ever hot). The levels of service were influenced by variables such as the waiting team, distance of your table from the galley, dramas in the kitchen etc. Comparable with banquet catering served at say, a wedding rather than a fine dining experience. None the less, the Meridian (main dining room) would score 4/5. The Belvedere buffet was another story. The choice, quality and presentation of food was mediocre to poor. Even by P&O's moderate standards this 'restaurant' left a lot to be desired. With the possible exception of Curry Night, this place should be avoided if possible. Score 2/5. Hence the overall dining score of 3/5. Sindhu, P&O's asian fine dining restaurant seemed to attract mixed views; rather like Marmite! We don't like Marmite so 3/5. The Ocean Grill (by day the ship's officers mess, by night Marco Pierre White's fine dining experience) was incredibly popular, with generally good to excellent reviews. Whether this popularity was due to the need to utilise the copious on-board spending money to be found on a World Cruise or, truly reflected the quality of food and service on offer might be debated. In our opinion, it is not as good as say The Epicurean Restaurant on Azura/Ventura where the extra charge is double that for The Ocean Grill. None the less, in terms of food quality, service and value for money it rates 5/5. Room Service was generally good to excellent. Of course it was somewhat limited in choice when compared to the restaurant however it was cooked to order, often hot and for the most part, delivered on time. This is probably the only way to get warmish toast on board. 4/5. Cafe Vivo, tucked away in the dark, no doubt as an afterthought of the ship's architect; was illuminated by excellent staff who brought sunshine to it's customers. Much too small. 5/5. Entertainment 3/5 It is not so long since P&O Cruise Directors proudly introduced their entertainment team of sixteen staff. On this cruise (a world cruise) the now Entertainment Manager introduced his team of six. A sign of the times? Headliners Theatre Company were excellent on this cruise as were the ship's orchestra. From memory, they presented nine different shows; although these were repeating for the third time during our 82 days on board Arcadia. Guest entertainers (the usual suspects) were flown out to join the ship and varied in standard. For example, a "comedian" who normally performs in the Havana or Manhattan night club venues on Azura/Ventura would be starring at Arcadia's theatre. No choice really since there is no alternative showroom venue such as on Oriana, Oceana, Aurora etc. The Globe, a 200 seater utility room is used for dancing (users complain that the floor is much too small with tensions often mounting between sequence and ballroom dancers as they vie for space), classical recitals, occasional musical 'jams' featuring the ships orchestra and other in-house musicians. There is music of some description in each of the bars and lounges as the same in-house musicians play musical chairs and change venue each evening. Somewhat repetitive over the nearly three months on board. The Retreat, another small, utilitarian facility is primarily used for ballroom, sequence or line dancing, either for lessons during the day, or, as an alternative to The Globe during the evening. The Retreat is much smaller than The Globe, therefore not ideal for dancing. Guest speakers were shipped out on a regular basis and once again varied in attractiveness dependent on your taste. Most notably, Eric (Knocker) Knowles, Wayne Sleep and Lord Michael Howard offered lectures on their chosen subjects and life in general. The Ocean Room is a multi-purpose facility busy delivering art, crafts and card lessons by day but idle at night. Could be better utilised as a second venue after dark. Service 5/5 The service throughout the ship was uniformly excellent, particularly the reception. Often receiving the brunt of complaints from frustrated passengers we witnessed the reception staff defuse potentially difficult circumstances. Dragana and Sandra were outstanding. Shore Excursions 4/5 Not normally fans of organised shore excursions, we found that for the more exotic ports of call to be found on a world cruise itinerary they were essential. Yes, they were painfully expensive but to our surprise, more often than not, they delivered great value for money. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We choose this cruise because chef Jacques Pepin was going to be onboard! Unfortunately, the entire cruise was overshadowed with the onboard illness of some cruisers and staff! We were told little about it except that protocol and ... Read More
We choose this cruise because chef Jacques Pepin was going to be onboard! Unfortunately, the entire cruise was overshadowed with the onboard illness of some cruisers and staff! We were told little about it except that protocol and precautions were put in place to handle it! Thus for the entire remainder of the cruise we had no laundry, no concierge lounge, no preset tables, no salt and pepper shakers, and informal dining area that was wrapped in Saran Wrap and difficult for us and staff to use! but we did have the constant wiping of tables,railings and chairs etc as we tried to dine, and/ or enjoy the views! They were able to have chef Pepin provide us with a book signing, although it was poorly promoted and we heard about it through word of mouth,and a demo and question and answer time, which we enjoyed! We felt the staff were tense, and under pressure. The captain gave us very little info, although several days after his first announcement he did say it was not a norovirus but precautions were going to continue for the rest of the cruise! We are glad this wasn't our first cruise or one that was for a very special occasion, because we would have been very disappointed! We enjoyed our shore excursions, liked the ship size and ease of getting around, also liked that the age of our fellow passengers had gotten younger since our last Oceania cruise! We do not go to evening entertainment,or the casino. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Dont expect Mega Liner inside, its clean and mostly comfortable in most areas, but Hans Bar could do with new more comfortable cushions on lounge chairs, there is no Casino on this ship only Deck Games pool and bars, there is a indoor ... Read More
Dont expect Mega Liner inside, its clean and mostly comfortable in most areas, but Hans Bar could do with new more comfortable cushions on lounge chairs, there is no Casino on this ship only Deck Games pool and bars, there is a indoor pool for if you are in cold weather. it has a small entertainment lounge that requires two sittings to see the show. There is no laundry but there is a Ironing room if you can wash you clothes in your Cabin Sink or Shower. It has a payed Laundry if you can afford it.This is the second half would Cruise we have done on this Ship, this time Westward Bound. Food was much better this time thanks to a Indian Head Chef, it was a very good selection of dishes on offer, but one small point was, Two many stew type dishes but his pork Belly was to die for, i give him a 3 star.I am sorry to say the entertainment was below average, they had three very good girl singers and three guys with with very soft voices all except two of the girls were frequently drowned out by a over enthusiastic Clarinet playing band leader who always had a microphone up the end of ever instrument he played, he did not need this in a small lounge,The Assistant Cruise Director would have been better as Director as he was only seen introducing the acts apart from small appearance in Sail A ways. he never tried to find out what peoples thoughts were about anything going on board, I.E. Dancers or entertainment. The main problem we had was in Hans Bar Deck was the German minority of people who smoked, there is a smoking area to the left of the bar having ashtrays on the tables, they insisted,( some of them but not all,) picking up the ashtrays and sitting in the middle of the Deck, We had to on several occasions get the Management to move them, they had great Bar staff and Hotel Staff, Just a pity about Entertainment, not like Last Cruise East Bound witch had Great Entertainment. We were in a suite, it was very good but bed was very hard, very good Cabin Staff. Will not be back on this ship as it is based in Perth Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Did the first 30 day leg of this cruise Savona to LA. Very poor communication on all aspects prior to cruise. Advertised drink packages confusing and mistranslated from Italian to English. In addition upon boarding discovered all ... Read More
Did the first 30 day leg of this cruise Savona to LA. Very poor communication on all aspects prior to cruise. Advertised drink packages confusing and mistranslated from Italian to English. In addition upon boarding discovered all wine, beer and water was free at lunch and dinner, nice surprise if you had already bought a drinks package. Boarding was shambolic, poor directions at port, no indication of where to go or where to deposit luggage. Once on board directed to level 9 for lunch but no indication that cabin was ready, only found out hours later from conversation with other guests after hanging around the buffet for ages. No option for dinner other than the 6pm (too early) or 8.30pm (too late) sittings, or pay for a pizza or burger on level 9. Suffered minor cold and sniffles, (which ran rampant around the ship) but forgot to pack any aspirin. None available on board unless you pay 62 Euros to consult the doctor, most expensive aspirin ever. By the way you could buy condoms, so no headaches please. Library cramped and books difficult to access, internet exorbitantly expensive, 99 Euro for 3GB, my home satellite package is 60GB for about 30Euro, so that is quite a mark up. Food average, and repetitive, cabins reasonable (had a balcony on level 8), evening shows fair to poor. On board crew helpful and trying, problem seems to be management incompetence and general penny pinching. No English language news except CCTV (China) and Korean TV. No CNN or BBC, yet multiple Italian,German, Spanish stations. Did have CNN and BBC for first day or so them mysteriously disappeared. Official line is technical problems but suspect it is about the Dollars Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The Sirena was the new addition to the fleet and having sailed on all the others we thought we would like to be on it's inaugural voyage. We took the section from Barcelona to Le Havre, 21 days. The SIrena is another of the old ... Read More
The Sirena was the new addition to the fleet and having sailed on all the others we thought we would like to be on it's inaugural voyage. We took the section from Barcelona to Le Havre, 21 days. The SIrena is another of the old Renaissance ships. It was sold twice before Oceania purchased it last year and "refurbished" it. We expected something new and different, we got something old and the same. Nothing really wrong with that, but it was EXACTLY the same as the other sister ships, down to the same pictures on the walls! They did renovate the suites and higher priced staterooms but everything else was the same. The main reason we wanted this ship was that they included Red Ginger as one of the specialty dining rooms. Unfortunately they tried to combine the Polo Grill with Toscana and failed. It was neither a steak house nor an Italian restaurant. They lost a lot of the key menu items from both venues and missed. The decor of both were terrific, the service great as always but lacking in identity. Red Ginger had all the menu items but on the larger ships they always offered a special. They said that because of the smaller kitchen they couldn't do it on the Sirena. The Main Dining room was superb as always. We had booked the cruise as a 21 day cruise. It actually was a "Back-to-Back" which we didn't find out about until we reached Lisbon. The downside was that the magician was on two nighrts before we reached Lisbon and then two more nights after we left. Also the production numbers that the Staff put on, they were great BTW, were repeated. We have been on longer cruises and never had that happen. We would check on any other B2B's before booking. Our cabin had some mechanical problems. The AC control didn't work. We had AC but it was freezing. The toilet didn't flush properly and the shower water temperature control was set to cool water. It took 3 days of complaining to get all the items repaired. We really love Oceania, have already booked another cruise for next year but I don't think we would revisit the Sirena unless they really do a lot of work on it. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We went Basically because it was cheap. We paid $56 a day each and we didn't expect much and we got what we expected. Food very ordinary. Even Salt Grill was disappointing. Embarkation and disembarkation ok. Ship is old but clean. ... Read More
We went Basically because it was cheap. We paid $56 a day each and we didn't expect much and we got what we expected. Food very ordinary. Even Salt Grill was disappointing. Embarkation and disembarkation ok. Ship is old but clean. Cabin was clean and had ample storage. Shower better than those I have used on Princess ships. The entertainment was poor, with the exception of Tenori, a trio of tenors who could sing. Very limited activities. No enrichment lectures, no port lectures. Most shore excursions cancelled as not many people were willing to pay the price P &O were asking. I would visit the islands again but NOT with P & O. The Mix bar offered a very good range of whisky, including some spectacular single malts. However the prices for drinks were on a parr with Australian standards. I was disappointed that a very limited range of drinks suitable for diabetics (Coke) was on offer. I avoid caffeine so it was water for me. More sugar free options should be available. We were not allowed to bring liquids on board, which I did with Princess(sugar free cordial). We went snorkelling in Port Denaru, which was great. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We always wanted to go on a world cruise, as flying is no longer a option for us. We enjoyed most of our ports and enjoyed them. Was of course disappointed at the ports that we could not visit due to bad weather conditions, totally agree ... Read More
We always wanted to go on a world cruise, as flying is no longer a option for us. We enjoyed most of our ports and enjoyed them. Was of course disappointed at the ports that we could not visit due to bad weather conditions, totally agree with both captains who made the correct decisions for everyones safety, however disagree with why Princess continue to highlight Easter Island as a port when they hardly ever make it into this port. I also found Princess shore excursions so over priced, only used them a few times. We found the cruise director not at all helpful, and enterainment so so. I am not including the dancers who were just the best we have ever seen on a Princess cruise. Could not fault our waiters, who do a amazing job. After 104 days of course the food becomes repetitive, but that is to be expected. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise for ports and because there was bridge. Embarkation was easy; disembarkation was chaos. We were given times to disembark in groups. Repeated announcements said Indian officials were not ready, but did not tell later ... Read More
We chose this cruise for ports and because there was bridge. Embarkation was easy; disembarkation was chaos. We were given times to disembark in groups. Repeated announcements said Indian officials were not ready, but did not tell later groups to wait. Group after group added to the crowd. The ship was lovely, the cabin spacious, though we had a penthouse suite, which was actually a room with a sitting area, not a suite. The food was mostly above average, desserts were excellent, service was wonderful. Service in general was extraordinary, from wait staff to cleaning staff to butlers. Ports were interesting. Entertainment was poor in general. The cruise director, "Julie," I think, was friendly, but awful. Once she announced that she had nothing planned and ship's personnel saved her life by doing a show. Another time she announced the entertainment only cost a few hundred dollars. A local show was awful. A passenger talent show was low end--and not good. The comedian/magician was very good. The female singer was very good with a dated repertoire. The orchestra's repertoire was also dated. Before shows the orchestra played for dancing. Two couples, both with probably an average of 1000 dance lessons, were the only people dancing. Everyone else was intimidated. I know because I tried to get people to get up and dance. Where was Julie? Why didn't she ask people to dance, turn them over to spouses and get more people on the floor? She made TV announcements and appeared to have no clue what she was talking about. The list of daily activities is deceiving since virtually no one showed up for anything--beside bridge. Even bridge was disappointing because a normal session is 3 1/2 hours. These sessions were two hours, though there was more than enough time to extend them, and only on afternoons at sea, never on port days and never in the evenings. Clearly, Julie knows nothing about bridge. That said, the bridge director was very good. Mah jongg at 11 a.m.? Not a single soul showed up, which I know because I was in the game room playing with friends at 10:30. Julie never even stopped in. There were sets, but no cards, indicating that Julie hadn't taken the time to find out about the game. Bingo? We were lucky to get the minimum of 12 players. Ping pong, etc.? Virtually no one showed up. There were many days at sea and without bridge we would have been bored. I did not go to hear the speaker, who spoke on topics unrelated to the cruise, but was reportedly good. We had no health issues, but those that did were ripped off by the doctor--$185 to wash off a skinned knee and apply a band aid plus another $185 for the same the next day. A woman had a stomach ache, was given 5 kinds of pills and charged $2000. A woman felt ill during the G.I. epidemic after we left the ship--and was charged. We were advised in advance that Oceania's tours were 2 to 3 times the cost of privately arranged tours, and mostly arranged our own, all of which we enjoyed. The three we took with Oceania were terrible. The Cochin guide couldn't really be a licensed guide. She had nothing to say and half the trip was riding to and from a boat to cruise and watch people bathe, wash pots and do laundry. The Phuket Thailand trip was a disgrace. We took this because we were supposed to ride elephants. We weren't told until on board that we could not ride and it was too late to make other plans. Instead we got ox cart rides. Yes, climb up, ride a block, see nothing, do nothing, turn around, ride a block, get off. This day was a waste. The Singapore tour could have been so much and yet was so little. And yet, we were able to find excellent guides on our own with no knowledge of the areas whatsoever. One thing that struck me was that, in contrast to a Regent cruise we took, there was constant conversation about money. People felt nickeled and dimed because alcohol was not included (drinks were costly), and tours were not included (and were costly). I don't know if we would return. We might if there were more bridge to keep us occupied and a very appealing itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I have held back from posting the following critique of Arcadia for almost 9 months . After writing it I thought ; Well P&O is just like this now and you can take it or leave it. However, I am currently on the Aurora and many of my ... Read More
I have held back from posting the following critique of Arcadia for almost 9 months . After writing it I thought ; Well P&O is just like this now and you can take it or leave it. However, I am currently on the Aurora and many of my critiscisms of Arcadia, simply do not apply. For example, I have seen the Captain almost every day and exchanged pleasantries on numerous occasions. The jacuzzis are hot and, yes, the water jets work. The pool is warm..ish and therefore passengers actually swim in it!! Etc etc I have friends who concurred with my original views and who also travelled on the Aurora recently and, like me, feel that it is managed better than the Arcadia. Finally, yesterday, I was talking to some fellow passengers who commented, without prompting, that the Arcadia has issues. To my mind, the Arcadia, which was a ship originally built for the more up-market Cunard brand, should be the pride and joy of the P&O fleet but, unfortunately, it is not. Sad really as run well, they could charge a premium. What is therefore clear to me is that P&O give a great amount of freedom to the management team on each ship. This means that the brand offering can be different on each ship and better or worse, depending on your viewpoint of course. This therefore begs the question...What value the P&O branding? I have to ask, therefore, whether their marketing department is keeping tabs on the feed back and whether their reports are read by a Senior management team who take action. To my mind, when something small goes wrong, it is often symptomatic of a larger problem. In my experience of business, most customer experience enhancements cost little, or nothing, to implement. So here is my post and if anyone feels that it is factually incorrect then I hope you will let me know and I will tell you my exact experience. Arcadia is great if you… Are happy with good to very good general service Like to spend time in a well equipped modern gym with spinning bikes and treadmills etc , where most of the equipment functions correctly. Like a good size cabin with a very large and comfortable bed. Like a cabin with a half bath as well as a shower. Want your cabin to be always well cleaned and tidied and to have good quality linen. Don't mind waiting 45 minutes to an hour for room service. Like to have a cabin with a modern and large TV which connects to your own storage devices (USB) and plays almost every film and audio format available as well as photo files. Aren't too bothered by a poor quality (Fuzzy) picture on said TV when watching all of the ships channels. Like swimming in unheated swimming pools that are cold unless they have been warmed by the sun in a tropical location. Are happy to sit in a tepid jacuzzi that doesn't have jets or bubbles as they have been purposefully disconnected, for "health and safety reasons" Don't want to eat high quality or Gourmet food. Like onions, mustard, pesto and an odd assortment of other additions, being added to all and every one of their pre prepared sandwiches. Like odd food combinations. Eg pineapple slice and Edam cheese toasties, fresh prawns always in Pesto sauce or with some other weird addition , Mackerel curry?? Like eating food that can have different ingredients than described on the menu. Understand that the quality of the ingredients in the Marco Pierre White restaurant is substantially lower than you might expect in his UK restaurants. Like poor quality Sirloin or Rib-Eye steak that is pre cut and only served 1/3 inch thick. Don't mind having to ask the occasional member of staff to repeat themselves two or three times because you don't understand them. Are happy to watch a film in the wrong Aspect Ratio where James Bond is 7ft tall and his Aston Martin looks like a bus. Are tone deaf and can't tell that some of the bar singers are occasionally out of tune or are just not very good. Want to enjoy some of the best production shows you are ever likely to see on a ship. Don't mind seeing the same shows repeated on long voyages. Love watching some great guest singers perform to a very high standard. Like watching great shows in a beautiful theatre. Like a wide variety of entertaining guest speakers who make presentations on a multitude of interesting topics. Like to watch recent release films in a purpose built cinema with comfy chairs and great viewing positions and don't mind the poor quality of the picture projected onto the screen by the out of date projector. Like to learn ballroom dancing and to have the chance to practice every night with professional and entertaining dance coaches. Like to play table tennis. Like to play Bridge. Like to buy Original Art at sea. Like to spend an evening down at the local pub with a good choice of beers and music and quizzes etc. Like to gamble in a Casino. Want to be able to have your own spirits in your cabin and don't mind paying £6 a litre for the mixers. Eg Tonic or ginger ale etc . Always take your own thick cushions with you so that you can enjoy sitting on the very uncomfortable reclining beds by the indoor pool. ( they have an iron rail in an odd position that sticks into your buttock ) Understand that the crew are much too busy to respond to your complaints and have to keep a straight face when they pass on what their senior mangers tells them, even though they know it is total rubbish. Understand that there will be times when there are no cups available in the buffet or that the tea box will not always have the one tea you prefer. Understand that the buffet will not always have the one dish from the menu that you want, unless you ask for it. Want WIFI and don't mind paying a premium rate for a very slow connection. Don't think that the huge rust patches on the outside of the ship are symptomatic of the crews attitude. Don't mind not seeing the Captain around the ship very often and don't expect him to personally attend the Captains Cocktail Party or make the daily announcements. Don't mind paying the doctors fee of £60 plus, when that is the only way the pharmacy will give you a "non prescription" cream. (which they have dozens of on the shelf in the pharmacy.) Like a ship with a modern and well thought out interior. Enjoy using a hydropherapy pool with strong water jets and don't mind paying extra for the privilege of using it or that it is occasionally closed with no explanation of why. Don't mind going to occasional ports of call that have little to offer but are probably cheap to Park at. Notes: My wife and I have been cruising for over 25 years and have cruised on P&O, Princess, Celebrity, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Cruise and Maritime, NCL, Costa, Cunard and Fred Olsen. We believe that almost every cruise ship and itinerary combination has a price at which it is good value providing you are happy to accept any known limitations. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We did the Beijing to Hong Kong cruise. Absolute chaos at the start when our ship could not dock in Tianjin and some 600 passengers had arrived at the port. There was no one from the shipping company or the port authority who could tell us ... Read More
We did the Beijing to Hong Kong cruise. Absolute chaos at the start when our ship could not dock in Tianjin and some 600 passengers had arrived at the port. There was no one from the shipping company or the port authority who could tell us what was going on. Had we been able to have some communication explaining that fog had delayed the docking of the vessel and we would board the following morning it would have made the situation much better. Food on board was excellent, the wait staff were outstanding and nothing was too much bother, As we were in cooler climes we were confined to indoors, with the exception of one sunny morning. Do not travel on this cruise ship if you are looking for great entertainment. Singers and dancers number four, the magician and the comedian we had were sub-standard. We chose a cabin without balcony as we knew that we would not be able to sit outside because of the cooler weather. Our cabin, although small had adequate storage for all our belongings. Cabins were clean and no shortage of towels. With two days before disembarkation my wife had a persistent cough. She went to the medical facility saw the nurse and doctor. In the opinion of two doctor friends of ours on board she was over-serviced, with totally unnecessary tests and unnecessary medication. In fact some of the medication was contra-indicated for her diabetes. Total cost USD$1781. We felt ripped off. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If only we had done the research first! Our cruise from Sydney to Southampton started with a very long queue, despite having "priority" boarding as suite passengers. There was no ... Read More
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If only we had done the research first! Our cruise from Sydney to Southampton started with a very long queue, despite having "priority" boarding as suite passengers. There was no "priority", we were queued up with everybody else, and was surprised at how many people had turned up earlier than their advised embarkation time. Not a huge problem and certainly not anything to spoil our cruise. When we finally arrived at our suite, we were welcomed by our very courteous and professional butler, and we were delighted with the Champagne, chocolates and bottled water in the fridge, not to mention the full set of White Company products in the bathroom. If we had found this website previously, we may not have been surprised at the size of the suite. As other passengers have already commented, it is not as big as expected and with the table and chairs being at the bottom of the bed, it can feel a little cramped. However, the balcony is huge, complete with sun loungers and a table and chairs. On our first night we met people who were doing the world cruise, and we heard many entertaining comments about the first half of the cruise. Tales of arguments and fights in the laundry, complete with people being "put off" due to their behaviour, was very amusing. During the cruise to Brisbane and Cairns we were very happy with our suite, however, we became aware that the engine noise during the evening did spoil the conversation with our fellow passengers at dinner, due to the noise of the engines. This turned out to be even worse during future the longer days at sea. More about this later in the cabin review. Positives about the cruise included the pre booked shore excursions, which we found reasonably priced and well organised; the gym was very well equipped; the staff were very polite and hard working, and the entertainment was overall very good. The negatives, we would have to include the disappointment with the tiredness of the suite, and arriving back from a shore excursion to find men moving equipment on our balcony prior to sailing through the Panama Canal. Lucky the previous forum passenger who was informed 2 days earlier and received complementary wine!! We didn't even get a phone call. However, we don't want this review to be a list of negative comments, because our only real gripe was the noise in the suite and the subsequent handling of the unresolved problem. Other passengers had been moved to different cabins, but apparently "there were no other cabins" for us. We were not asking for compensation of any sort, hence we refused the meal and wine, but we are left feeling very let down by P&O cruises, despite us spending a small fortune on a half world cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click