1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Noble Caledonia
  4. Noble Caledonia Cruise Reviews

2 Noble Caledonia Asia Cruise Reviews

This cruise was operated by Noble Caledonia who have chartered the ship for several years from APT who apparently have a share in NC. The trip: It was an expedition cruise along the coast of Java, ending in Singapore. The attraction ... Read More
This cruise was operated by Noble Caledonia who have chartered the ship for several years from APT who apparently have a share in NC. The trip: It was an expedition cruise along the coast of Java, ending in Singapore. The attraction of these cruises is that there is an emphasis on nature and local culture and they go places larger ships can't get to, with frequent use of zodiacs for landings, many of them "wet" on beaches where there is no dock available. The expedition staff have their specialisations. e.g. history, birds, marine life, geology, and are all trained and skillful zodiac drivers. This is important as the nature of the cruises means the ports of call are more than usually at the mercy of weather, sea state, currents and tides and they did well to find suitable landing spots and get everyone off and back on the ship in changing conditions. It also means that a reasonable level of fitness and agility is required from the passengers and you have to be prepared for almost anything. Inevitably, some of the ports of call were more successful than others and in a couple of places it seemed the shore agents had not done sufficient research, which resulted in missed stops and insufficient information being available throughout the day. The nature of these excursions off the beaten track does mean that things can go awry but I have travelled with Noble Caledonia on similar cruises in this region before and I thought these trips had been better organised, maybe because the NC staff seemed more hands-on rather than leaving a lot of the arrangements to local agents. Also, on this cruise the Expedition Staff were less friendly and mixed less with the passengers at meal times than on previous trips. The ship: The food was superb. The dining and cabin stewards were all excellent. The reception staff were OK, but not overly pleasant or responsive to requests - a smile now and again goes a long way. The air conditioning in all indoor areas was fierce and after a couple of days many passengers had developed coughs and sneezes; requests at reception to have it turned down were met with "but then you will complain that it is too warm" (see responsiveness above). There is a difference between a pleasant ambient temperature and cold!! Overall the ship's décor seems a bit tired: the colours in the suites and dining room are quite dreary; the tiling in my bathroom was the worse for wear and the bathroom door had obviously been replaced but shreds of the protective plastic covering had not been properly removed. OK, it's a small point that didn't affect the operation of the door but it does indicate a lack of attention to detail in the appearance of the ship, which did not meet the expectations set by the company's publicity. It was supposed to have been refurbished about 5 years ago, but felt much older than that. Overall this cruise just missed the mark: for what Noble Caledonia charges, everything should be excellent. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose Noble Caledonia's Timeless Japan cruise round some of the ports of Japan because it is so much easier to cruise around this country than it is to drive. After a day or so in Tokyo, the tour took us by bullet train (as ... Read More
We chose Noble Caledonia's Timeless Japan cruise round some of the ports of Japan because it is so much easier to cruise around this country than it is to drive. After a day or so in Tokyo, the tour took us by bullet train (as advertised) for a two-hour journey to Niigata, the port of embarkation. On boarding the train, it became clear that the bullet train is a two-tier affair in which only the upper tier has any view out while the lower tier just looks at a concrete wall for a couple of hours. In order to save a few pounds, Noble Caledonia booked its customers into the bottom tier thus turning our only opportunity to see the interior landscape of this distant land into a journey about as interesting as a trip round the Circle Line, but without the stations. For lunch we were served a bento box containing the most disgusting food I have ever been served, another economy. The ship itself was physically OK, within the limits of a small vessel. We were advised that afternoon tea would be able between 3.30 and 5 pm. Most of the tours were arranged so as to return a few minutes after 5pm, thus saving the ship's crew the trouble and expense of serving afternoon tea to its passengers. It would be interesting to know where these savings to the budget ended up. The officers were aloof and did not encourage contact with the passengers. Waiters and other crew were friendly and made the best of what they must have known what was going on. The daily excursions were generally interesting and well organised, with a few memorable "sail-away" performances of high quality. Japan is a fascinating country. Noble Caledonia's parting shot was an unnecessarily long and exhausting 24-hour return journey, presumably planned to save a bit more money on the flights. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click