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2 Muscat to Asia Cruise Reviews

We too were on the Adventure to India Cruise that was affected by the ship having electrical problems. There is good and bad to be told but after reading other reviews I want to be sure this point is made first. To ensure that we had ... Read More
We too were on the Adventure to India Cruise that was affected by the ship having electrical problems. There is good and bad to be told but after reading other reviews I want to be sure this point is made first. To ensure that we had a good time despite the problems, every member of crew we met went the extra mile and then another mile just to be sure! The service was truly excellent from all departments. The Captain (EL Capitano) Kept us informed and put safety first at all times (It seems you can have a professional attitude and a sense of humour as well!!) It was also clear that the crew had a lot of respect for him. Helped by his support for them when a few bad-mannered passengers started venting their childish frustration at the ships staff. " I will not tolerate this kind of behaviour" Quite right Captain nor would I! The problems came from the Tui head office staff and directives which started with them deciding that we would rather spend or first day in Sussex rather than Muscat. The whole experience was made worse due to the ridiculous inefficiencies of the Tui staff. We arrived at Gatwick to find that the flight was delayed for 15 hours and that they had known about this for over 12 hours. Despite this prior knowledge they took another 3 hours to sort out a hotel in Crawley and then only laid on one bus for 150 passengers leaving the rest to stand out in the cold for up to 2 hours with their luggage. It was not until we were finally on board the plane that the standards of efficiency and service kicked in. I cannot deny that missing 5 days of enjoying different ports was not a huge disappointment but there was compensation given in regard to the lost itinery and extra sea days. Now the good stuff!! The Food was of a good standard in all restaurants (tried them all except Kori La) and the service was truly excellent. A special mention is due to Head waiter Georgio and from his team Jhonus, Bobby, Lazar, Robert, Natolino and Talcum on the desk. They did all they could to ensure every guest felt special. It is also worthy of note that unlike other cruise lines we have been on, restaurant staff reminded customers to use the hand sanitisers and changed and cleaned the cruet between customers. There is the main restaurant which presents a different menu every day and the Italian on the balcony above which offers two menus on alternate days. The buffet has a bit of everything and the glasshouse has a different identity for day and evening. Surf and Turf is extra but worth it if you enjoy steak. Kori la has Asian Fusion and Sushi. The all-inclusive drinks package includes wine, prosecco, branded beers and spirits liqueurs port and most standard cocktails. No need to upgrade to premium unless a you drink only a very specific brand. Thanks to Waitresses Nevana and Tatiana for keeping the drinks coming all evening, and with a smile every time. The entertainment in the Broadway lounge had certainly moved up a gear with a talented team and some very good shows over the two weeks. The other musicians and entertainers kept a lively atmosphere going through the evenings and bar 11 had a DJ every night for the times you wanted to keep the party going until the early hours. The excursions we took were organised well and the staff worked hard when ports were changed or cancelled and then re-instated. Good to see so many of them accompanying the coaches. Talking with other passengers we soon realised that everybody (including ourselves) had a few little changes they would like to make that tailored everything to their personal taste. You can't please all the people all the time, but our experience was that the crew still tried to make this happen. In conclusion Marella Cruises represents great value for money and Tui would do well to send all their uk and head office staff on a cruise to find out what customer service really means. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our first cruise. I booked this cruise as a Christmas present for my wife via a local travel agent. I originally booked a Junior Suite, but the we got upgraded to an Owner Suite. We flew Palanga Lithuania to Copenhagen, wondered ... Read More
This was our first cruise. I booked this cruise as a Christmas present for my wife via a local travel agent. I originally booked a Junior Suite, but the we got upgraded to an Owner Suite. We flew Palanga Lithuania to Copenhagen, wondered around in the cold and had a good meal before catching the SAS overnight to Dubai. SAS, even in economy provide much more leg room than Airbaltic, the only other option from here. Add to that the free meal, drinks and entertainment, well worth the little extra it costs for SAS. We arrived 06.30 hours in Dubai, fairly quick immigration although my wife's Lithuanian passport (despite Visa) meant an eye scan and a lot of tutting. We had booked a car through Alma to take us to Metropolitan Deira hotel for breakfast and a quick sleep. That hotel was not the best, breakfast very simple, hotel room smelt of cigarette smoke and it was noisey. Having said that we ere so tired we slept well. At 14.00 caught a taxi to the Cruise Terminal. As it was our first cruise we did not know the format and got in the wrong queue, probably as a result of still being a little tired and not seeing signs. They were there for Owner suites, we just did not see them until too late. The Andromeda suite was just fantastic..much larger than we thought it would be, extremely comfortable and tastefully decorated. We couldnt stop smiling.The Went to the Wind Jammer for late lunch..buffet style but of surprisingly good quality for mass feeding. First dinner was a mess..a lot of confusion on tables, ours had other people sitting at it and it took the head waiter half an hour to sort it out, depsite his assurances that it would take only a couple of minutes. One man was getting really angry with the mess and was escorted away by security, but frankly he deserved it, he was pushing staff around.Once we sat, our waiter Ivan and his assistant gave us wonderful service and again a surprisingly good quality meal with lots of choice. I really was surprised, feeding 1000+ people in a sitting is a tough job to do well. Second day in Fujeirah, as with many we did not get off, not a lot to see there according to all reports. Spent the day sunning ourselves, relaxing and finding our way around this wonderful piece of engineering. Brilliance really is a phenominal ship. This evening we found out that our gold cards entitled us to free drinks in the concierge club..given the price of wine in the bars, that was a real bonus! And everyone in the club so friendly and relaxed..in fact same applied to whole ship. 3rd/4th Day in Muscat Oman..a wonderful town with friendly people. We took shuttle bus to Port gates and had decided to walk into town as lots of taxi drivers being quite pushy for their services..however once we got past that a very pleasant and friendly, not pushy at all young man approached us and in very reasonable terms offered us the two hour drive around to all the sites. We agreed USD60 for this service. His name is Hamed zizo105h@live.com and would recommend him thoroughly. He took us everywhere in town and out, to the palaces, Mosques, out to the magnificent 5 star hotel along the beach and then out to the hotels where beaches were. He stopped everywhere for photo opportunities and worked hard to tell us all details..but he applied no pressure to do anything, just what ever we wantd to do..we were impressed. Once Hamed took us back we walked down the Corniche near the port. That was not so impressive, but the souk was interesting. The cafes were a little grubby but staff and the fresh juices were pleasant enough. 5th Day Abu Dhabi--a mini Dubai, with lots of impressive things to be seen and obviously it will become bigger as lots of construction going on. We went to the USD3bn hotel where all the Sultans/Sheiks of UAE stay, very impressive, the Marina mall, and a few other places in downtown area...really enjoyed it and would go back for closer exploration. 6/7th Days..Back to Dubai..a city we love. Lots has been written here on Dubai and I dont need to add a lot. After the cruise we had an extra 2 nights at Atlantis the Palm, and what a real treat that was too! Highly recommend it, so much to see and do there that you wont want to go into town. SLightly spolied by a sand storm but not so bad that we could venture onto the beach. As for Brilliance of the Seas..following summary Accomodation-Fantastic Service-very good, from the lads who did the room (and amused us greatly with their towel sculptures) to our waiters in the restaurant, to The Concierge club staff, to the bar staff and entertainment staff. All very service orientated, except for the head waiter (of entire restaurant) who ran around a lot making lots of noise but didnt seem to achieve much. Thankfully Ivan and his assistant more than made up for that. Route-very interesting, but maybe another day in Abu Dhabi rather than Fujeirah would be more interesting. Entertainment-Generally very good, we enjoyed it.We did try a murder mystery dinner in Portofino restaurant one night..that cost more and was not very good, the only disappointing meal. Food- excellent considering the numbers they have to cook for Overall experience..fantastic Drawback-the only thing that really irritated me was the tipping system. Not only is 15% added to every bar bill for service (including the mini-bar) but then you are expected to tip the waiters, room staff and all others at the end of the week..double tipping and at not small percentages! I had no qualms about tipping the staff who looked after us well at the end of the week, but 15% on each bar bill is way over the top and unecessary. And beware, prices shown on the menu are before the service charge, so a USD40 bottle of wine actually costs USD46. If Royal Carribean could get that right, they would have a real winner, but for us, it was excellent and much better than we had dreamed. We will definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015

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