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4 Oceania Holiday Cruise Reviews

As a biased "R" vessel cruiser with Oceania and in the past Regent I found the Marina to be very different in regards to crew, design and passengers. This was our first cruise on either of the the 1250 passenger O class ... Read More
As a biased "R" vessel cruiser with Oceania and in the past Regent I found the Marina to be very different in regards to crew, design and passengers. This was our first cruise on either of the the 1250 passenger O class vessels and our 5th on Oceania. I approached it with an open mind being there would be more people on board, a more modern vessel and my bias for R class . We had a Cabin on the Concierge Level(deck 9). We embarked in Callao(Port of Lima). The reason for doing this cruise on Marina was Oceania's itinerary as it covered some of our "bucket list" requirements. The itineraries are a major feature of Oceania for us. Note we had already spent 10 days in Chile, Peru and Bolivia prior to boarding. Embarkation. First thing we notice is the glitz, bright paintings, and glassware and the cavernous lobby area. I will compliment Oceania on the original art, a lot of which I was informed was done by many painters and the Murano glassware which is some cases is quite amazing. Embarkation went fine Checkin was fine and quick(priority boarding always goes well). The strange part was that we were only casually asked if I had the Entry Form(RSTE) for the USA(being Australian, I need one). Did not have to show proof which we found a little odd. Lunch on the terrace available in the Terrace Cafe. Food quality was great. There are some differences in the layout. Cabin available on time and bags in the corridor waiting to be delivered. Think there had been a problem on the wharf with the local stevedores and not knowing how the system worked as I watched them when we arrived on the pier. Cabin On entry the cabin did not seem to feel that much larger than the one on "R" except for the bathroom. Storage was useless. There was a lack of drawers. On R vessels for the same length cruise last year around South America had found it easier to store things. Some of the drawers on Marina were very deep but short in length and only came out 2/3 of the way so clothes difficult to put in there. The cupboard for hanging up clothes seemed to be quite small and the doors would open at the slightest movement of the boat and the light would come on. I used a shoe to stop that happening. The area near the sofa and little table was not much bigger than the R class boat. Balcony seemed to be similar in size. Some of the issues mentioned have been raised by previous cruisers Bed was fine except it did not appear to be a large King bed and it seemed to be a little short in length. Bathroom was fine apart from shower area(not the one in the bath) was a little small or should I say cosy. However, still managed to use it ok. Once everything stored the cabin was fine, clean and functional and suited our needs. Restaurants In general restaurants were great. Oceania are really making an effort to meet the special dietary needs of some passengers. My partner is vegan and in generally they met the requirements. This area has been improved dramatically I wish to say thanks to Oceania for this. Red Ginger We had read so much good about this in cruise reviews and CC that we reserved a seat for 2 of us on second night of the cruise. Expectations were high considering we enjoy Asian food especially Japanese. I have also worked and lived in Asia previously before retiring. This restaurant was major disappointment. Restaurant beautifully setup, décor very Asian even if a little over the top. First impressions great on entry great. Quite dark though. The staff members who served rattled off the special and it was delivered in the tone of a robot. Turn on the key, turn off the key. Everything was so mechanical. Also with the number of Asian crew working in the food serving areas on the Marina you would think that Oceania or whoever is responsible would utilise these people more in this type of restaurant. Also they have some personality about them. Very strange. We counted only 3 at the time we there. Horses for courses, as they say. Lots of fancy chopsticks offered(presentation), but not natural ones. Saki(excl. 1) was served chilled(word on menu) when in most parts of Asia is starts out as warm or hot whenever I have been in various parts of Asia. Person next to me ordered a Japanese Beer. First one delivered was a brew from Canada, the second one was a Chinese Beer so he took that. Food was an attempt at Asian Style. Felt for the Chefs who have to cook the food this way. The Imperial Spring Rolls are too big to use chopsticks with(Terrace Restaurant serve the right size), Beef Carpaccio is meant to be finely cut slices of meat yet they are served a small clumps of meat, tempura batter was not very light and see through, the pork dish I had could only be eaten with a knife and fork, chopsticks were a waste of time and no steamed rice was offered. I am not sure any visiting Japanese or Asian Guests would not have been to impressed with the standard. Actually, spoke to a couple from Asia later in the cruise and they said the same thing. Asian food can also be Vegetarian but they even struggled with this and the food was quite bland. Our 3 courses were all served in less than 45 minutes. So had one glass of wine and managed to finish that. Actually mentioned in a cruise review document issued by Oceania on 3rd day of cruise and had 4 phone calls to the cabin within 24 hours asking further questions. Never went back there. Jacques Brilliant. Great décor, light and bright and the Maitre De was actually French, the staff were absolutely superb and some of the other French wait staff were also utilised here. Great escargots, frog legs and meat dishes. All food was presented and cooked as it should be in a pseudo French style on a American vessel even though some passengers complained there was not a lot on their plate. Even, the young lady who did the crepes went and got some rum and made Rum Crepes for me as these are a favourite of mine when I visited Paris. Went there 3 times. Polo Grill. The same as on the R class vessels. The Oceania prime rib is still one of the best I have had(lived in the USA also), Eye Fillet is great(rare or blue). Staff great as always and some great personalities. Went there 3 times. Toscana's The same as R class vessels and the food is great as always. Great to see Maitre De was from Bari, Italy. The staff again worked well and food presented well. One item of interest was an young Italian guy from a village on the east coast of Italy was providing the Oils and he knew what he was talking about. Nice touch. Went there 2 times. Grand Dining Room. Because of our experiences on R class vessels(wrong food served, service to fast, meat served in a vegans meal(my partners lunch one day) we swore off the GDR. Tried it in Marina and it was great. Went there for dinner only. Decor was again nice and light, high ceilings, large windows at stern of vessel providing more light before darkness set in. Food was fine in all visits which was 3 times. Service very quick though. Terrace Restaurant As always good for breakfast, lunch and dinner(when not in speciality restaurants). However, not sure if it was my imagination but it appears Oceania has cut back on what is offered for breakfast. There seemed to be less food available. Also seems to have issues when dealing with large numbers of passengers attending at one time. There did not seems to be much room around the food area. Waves No different to other Oceania vessels. The only strange part and they have no control over the cooking is that when the vessel tied up in an American Port(Puerto Rico and Charleston) the chefs were only permitted to provide well cooked meat yet at sea we had the way we wanted it. Caused some angst amongst some non-American passengers including myself. Baristas Great place and the young Italian chap behind the counter and his assistant were kept busy making coffees. Great Innovation and they made good double espressos etc. Loved it and a great innovation. Overall, the food was brilliant to very good depending on where you ate, excluding Red Ginger. They still have some of the best pastry chefs on the oceans. Concierge Lounge This was great for us as I could venture down to the lounge to read the newspapers from Australia, have a coffee, get some extra cold drinks, have a snack on a 24 * 7 basis. It also meant we did not have to go Horizons or Terrace for the morning coffees and pastries in the cabin. The lounge was very rarely crowded. We utilised it often especially early mornings. SERVICE. This was an interesting aspect of the cruise and the way the staff operate on this vessel compared to the R class vessels. The service generally was way to fast. This applied especially to the GDR and Terrace. There were any number of times when you were just finishing the last bite of your plate and someone was there whisking the plate away. They would also whisk the plate away even if the other person at the table was still eating their part of the meal. Also it was not unusual for 4 staff to come by one after the other and ask if you wanted another drink even though you had ordered one. We had never encountered this on the R class vessels. Polo Grill, Toscana's and Jacques were still quick but would wait till all people had finished eating that course. We also accept the fact that they are dealing with many nationalities on a vessel and the majority of whom like fairly quick service. I also noticed during the whole 21 days that there was a lot of pressure put on the wait staff by the folks in the white shirts and black ties(EG Governors in the terrace) to keep the table clear and make sure you were asked if you needed another drink(maybe why you get asked 4 times). The other issue was that in the Terrace you would have a person look after you for 5 minutes, then they would be sent somewhere else and another person would take over. This occurred constantly. The Governors and their management need to be trained in utilisation of staff. If it was a restaurant ashore who would you tip. Actually, the governors should realise they can also smile and they are not running a boot camp(a little harsh but cannot think of another word at this time). Some of these governors we have seen being trained on R class vessels and it was never like this. Also in the Terrace the governors and the staff did not seem to be a happy bunch as most of the Phillipinos and Balinese wait staff very rarely smiled and did not want to spend much time talking to you. These same staff were completely different in the speciality restaurants. Complete opposite to R class vessels where they smiled and chatted all the time. We also came to realise most of the staff had not worked on the R class vessels previously. The other point to note these people are the front line staff and are there to make the cruise enjoyable but to us and some others we spoke to the staff in the Terrace were not a connected group. Staff Staff generally were very and ectremely helpful. However, in some areas there seemed to be a disconnect between members of the crew in the hospitality area. I am not sure if there was a major change of crew in Callao or Papeete but in a lot of cases there was not a lot of teamwork. Even saw a Governor tick off a senior chef in front of passengers in the Terrace. Also the staff serving in the Terrace did not understand the contents of some of the food being served and as my partner is vegan was told there was no meat in a dish yet, found some minutes later when taking a mouthful there was. The chefs on the Terrace(one can see them all the time) seemed to be under pressure always and some of the backup chefs were not quite there when it came to carving or making omelettes. As I said there was a disconnect there and other places of the vessel. This was confirmed by some of the European Passengers I spoke to. Cabin Steward was very rarely seen but was always there to ensure our cabin was done. That was good. Passengers The passengers on this cruise generally seemed to be slightly older overall. The Marina is a much bigger boat with wider corridors and the ability to handle people with any physical disabilities much better than the R class vessels. This is very good as it allows people to get out there and do the travel and see things that may not be able to do on much larger and crowded vessels or the smaller and narrower R class vessels. Someone indicated average age as 70 for the cruise. Also, to us there were many passengers on board who were not the ones you find on the R class vessels and who do their own thing. The breakdown was interesting with Americans the most, followed by Australia, Canada, New Zealand and then Europe. There was also some 660 repeat cruisers and some 300 doing their 5th or more cruise. Entertainment We very rarely go to any of the entertainment(that applies to being on land also) and the same applies to this cruise. I did attend 2 presentations by a lady who had 24 years experience in the travel industry and she provided a great amount of information on using the travel industry to help you with the minimum of cost. The chap doing the Panama Canal description was also very informative. My partner attends cooking, fashion, sales and some other subjects if they are being presented. The Crossing the Equator function was hopeless. Activities We did all own shore excursions either as a couple or with another small group on a private tour. The library on Marina is a great place also. I spend a lot of time on sea days downloading photos, sorting them out and classifying them as well as completing a travel diary of what I have seen and what I am seeing at that moment. I generally do not get involved in any of the day to day activities on board. Ports of Call. - Salaverry , port not much but some impressive sand dunes to see whilst heading to Trujillo did private tour to Trujillo, and Sand Pyramids and the Sand Palaces - Manta , Very large Tuna Industry Port, amazing trawlers to be seen caught a taxi went through narrow streets of market, on the beach to see the local fish sales, visited boat builders, Montecristo and back again in 2 ½ hour for around $USD40 , taxis are controlled at the town piazza/plaza but there are a lot of touts offering all sorts of things , just say no and they leave you alone - Panama Canal , amazing 8 hour journey for those who are interested in how it operates - Cartagena , Port with a lovely cruise terminal setup, arrival seems a little strange as the city seems to be a lot of high rise buildings sitting right on the waters edge Caught a cab to old town(the taxi fare negotiated at the terminal but driver will ask for more at end of journey around ($USD15 , 20_) , old town is an amazing area just to walk around , streets full of amazing houses and hotels and renovations , just walk where you want - Orangestad, Aruba , cruise terminal building is on its wharf and has a coral reef protecting it from the ocean Being Dutch there are items relating to Queen Willihemina and Anne Franck, some older buildings in the back streets, lots of shops and shopping(expensive) malls, go further back 2 blocks and walk along the street where the new tramway is going in , one is never far from the cruise terminal - St. Georges, Grenada , dock near centre of town One can walk to the local market which has all sorts of food, spices, local beautician parlours, watch mending etc. Great place to visit and the people are extremely friendly and not pushy , walk up the stairs to the fort and then around and down to the Carnege , again enjoy the walk around with all the different activity happening before heading back thru the tunnel this time , never used any vehicles for travels here , also being a person who understands the game of cricket was able to see some of the grounds and names of their heroes - Castries, St. Lucia , docked near centre of town Had a 6 person cab out front of cruise terminal takes for a tour over the hills to the back area of the island , good value and an interesting island - Bridgetown, Barbados , cruise terminal a little out of the town centre Had a 6 person cab takes for a great trip through Bridgetown, over the hills to the end of the island and back along the coast , great trip , quite an amazing island , also some amazing sights re : cricket - Gustavia, St. Barts , tender port This is a totally French based town , and amazing place , most people walked through shopping area and stopped to have coffee or went to the beach we went around to the other side of the marina from where we were dropped off and saw the locals area, French Bakeries and some local French Restaurants , only locals here and just a few other cruise passengers , lovely place - San Juan, Puerto Rico , cruise terminal in town Our second visit here but we walked around the back streets and the architecture, cafes, shops and people were great , enjoyed this immensely , walked for hours then shopped - Charleston, South Carolina , Terminal in Town Caught the city shuttle to the main information centre and then walked back along many streets all the way to the other side of the city enjoying houses, hotels, cafes, offices and the associated architecture , this was our second visit and it is still a wonderful city to visit Disembarkation All was well sailing into NYC seeing the Status of Liberty and Ellis Island. Moored on time. Breakfast was a little shambolic with only one person cooking egg dishes. However, we were not able to disembark until sometime after 9:30am(out of rooms at 8:00am) due to some issues with Customs and Immigration in NYC. Not sure who's problem it was but 1250 people congregated on 2 decks in 2 areas. Once off it was a shambles with getting cabs as it was Memorial Day weekend and also another extremely large vessel had moored and disgorged it passengers at the same time. Worst disembarkation we have faced ever. Weapons This is a comment from an Australian where the sight of weapons on a vessel bothers us. We have been to Israel, Egypt, sailed in Middle East and pirate area, Malacca Straits between Indonesia and Malaysia and have never seen weapons in public areas. I know they are on board for these circumstances. Yes, our guard on the Trip to the Pyramids in Giza packed an UZI at the back of his suit, Israel had armed soldiers etc. in the dock area but they were never seen on a vessel in public view. However, on arrival in Puerto Rico(our initial USA entry point) we go to immigration in Horizons and all I see are officers from various areas with Flak Jackets, Tasers, Pistols etc. This to me was quite scary especially when later an officer walks through the Terrace Restaurant amongst 30 or more people with no idea that someone can grab the pistol. Does anyone in their right mind believe that all of us retired people are going to cause an incident. Found this to be quite disconcerting. Summary Marina is much larger, roomier(was told it could take 2,000 passengers if deigned internally differently), more glitzy and will suit many people. It provided us with what we needed from an itinerary. However, if there is a choice between R or O the R class will always win. One other major aspect is that it sails a lot smoother and quieter than the R class but there is eerie feeling sometimes at night when you wake and you are rolling slightly back and forth. The other difference is that when say sitting in Polo Grill or Toscana the vessel flexes and it feels quite strange. Just to show we are still cruising with Oceania we have a cruise on Nautica booked for early 2014 and Marina later in 2014. Also once on baord one only has to pay out for alcohol and/or tours(excl. Canyon Ranch) so you know where you stand. Also the ability to have a bottle from shore occassionally helps out. As one says "you get what you pay for " and Oceania does not require much add-ons.' Also simple things like shuttle buses in ports where it is required, water to take ashore, mini fridge with soft drinks, coffees etc. are there incl. in the cost. Also Oceania is a great cruise line as could be seen by the repeat the custom they get. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
In early October 2012, my Partner and I booked and paid a 20 Day Valparaiso -- Papeete Oceania Cruise sailing aboard Marina on December 27, 2012. My Partner was departing from Miami, and myself departing from Valparaiso, both ... Read More
In early October 2012, my Partner and I booked and paid a 20 Day Valparaiso -- Papeete Oceania Cruise sailing aboard Marina on December 27, 2012. My Partner was departing from Miami, and myself departing from Valparaiso, both returning Papeete -- Los Angeles on Atlas Air an Oceania charter flight. We were booked on a Veranda Suite and were offered a possible space available upgrade to better accommodations. At that point we confirmed our cruise reservations. Soon after, I received an E-Mail from Oceania offering me an upgrade "first come first served" to a Concierge Level Suite for USD$500 additional per person. Although Oceania had said the upgrade could happen at "no cost" I decided to pay the USD$1000 and confirmed the Concierge Level Suite. I specifically requested before making payment, a MidShip port side cabin and we were assured by our reservations agent that our accommodation confirmed, Suite 10094 was at MidShip. Air Accommodations, were confirmed on LAN Chile for my Partner flying from Miami to Santiago and confirmed reservations were made for both by Oceania on Atlas Air, Oceania's charter flight. Aisle seats were requested and confirmed seats were made before final payment was done. When Full payment was completed, we requested that both travelers would be E-Mailed with all forthcoming Information and confirmations. That never happened, even though we called our Booking Oceania Reservation Agent to request this .Only I, in Chile was sent all information & confirmation. When I noticed that Documents were not received in the USA, I asked my Partner to call Oceania. At that point, we were told that documents had been mailed, which we had never received. After two more calls, documents were received with the wrong information, wrong Suite number and my Air & Seat Reservations had been cancelled by Oceania. We had to fix our own Air Reservations and paid extra for the American Airlines Seat Reservations from Los Angeles to Miami. If we had not called Oceania's Reservation, before departure (having a hard time to get in touch with someone in Reservations as no calls were returned ... ), the Coos experienced in Papeete Airport would have been even more significant as experienced at the Airport in Papeete, as there was no adequate Oceania Representation. When we sailed Valparaiso, we experienced that our Suite was not what we had requested & confirmed as Midship. The Suite arrangements for two persons did not justified the square footage highlighted by the Oceania marketing material. It was very difficult for two people to have access to the Suite closet space. The closet door would open during the night. In addition, door slammings from neighboring Suites and their bathrooms would not permit a comfortable night's rest. At early morning the door slammings will be heard from the neighbors and also made from the cleaning crew. This was noticeable at all times when we were in the Suite. At the fourth Port of Call, my Partner & I developed a cold & coughing. Earlier, we had noticed that many other passengers had same problem. We went to the Medical Center to ask if there was a Virus or a possible Bacteria that was going around the Marina. As we entered the Medical Center, there were passengers being treated with medications in their hands and others waiting at the Doctor's Office. When we asked if there was a problem ... We were told that we could not be given any information as it was confidential medical information. The same answer was given to us by the person at the Reception Desk who advised that a report would be filed and we would be contacted. We were not contacted. It appeared that maybe half the passengers and some of the crew were experiencing viral/flu like symptoms. Two of the passengers had to be taken away from the ship in a helicopter. Yet, Oceania's Management had no communication to the passengers about this happening and treated it as "confidential information" and offered no special health instructions. For the end of the cruise and our arrival in Papeete, we paid for a Transfer. We were told by Oceania's Reservation Agent that as the Atlas Flight, Oceania's Charter from Papeete to Los Angeles was an evening flight, that we would be taken to a hotel where passengers paying Oceania's Transfer fee, would have a "Lounge Room" with shower available(there was a USD$10 charge at the hotel to take a shower), and the use of the Hotel facilities. The temperature in January in Papeete is humid and can be over 90F. We departed the Pier, and there was no representative in the transfer bus from Oceania. We arrived at the Radisson Hotel Papeete and were directed to a "musty" meeting room were there were small tables & chairs. With discontent, and with no Oceania Representative to ask and get advise, especially, after passengers had paid for a Transfer to a Hotel and to wait at a "Lounge Room", it was difficult for a group of more than 80 passengers to be at a Lounge Room for more than 3 hours. Thus, everyone, left the room and searched for their own accommodations around the hotel. When departure time from the hotel arrived, we were informed by the person from the transfer bus that Oceania's Atlas flight had been delayed for one hour. When we finally were transferred to Papeete Airport (a very small & Non-Air Conditioned Airport) the Bus Driver had to wait 45 minutes at the airport to let us get off the bus. When we got off the bus, there was no Oceania's Representative at the Airport to meet us & give us information. The boarding of Oceania's Atlas Charter flight was a Chaos. Departure, which was scheduled for 11:45pm did not occur until 1:45am. Although there were Oceania Representatives at the Los Angeles Airport, everyone had to run to meet our connecting flights and many had to reschedule their connecting flights Oceania Cruise Line restaurant food was good and its restaurant service crew was excellent. In resume, Oceania needs to work in giving attention to exercise and deliver what is expected and featured in their extensive "Pre-Cruise" marketing material. Oceania Cruise Line, is far away from achieving what they are promising its consumers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Overall Oceania Cruises is a good company. However, they need to decide how they want to brand themselves, a cruise line for elderly people (not a problem) or a company that attracts middle-aged sophisticated travelers. The reason I say ... Read More
Overall Oceania Cruises is a good company. However, they need to decide how they want to brand themselves, a cruise line for elderly people (not a problem) or a company that attracts middle-aged sophisticated travelers. The reason I say that is because this cruise was clearly geared toward the elderly group. Oceania needs to realize on a holiday cruise they will attract a more lively crowd of just about every age group. As one of the other posters mentioned, the entertainment was basically nothing. We were not looking for the big Broadway shows, but something beyond Name That Tune. I'm sure Name That Tune was great for some people, however there was a large segment of their customers who were bored between the 9pm and midnight hours. How about arranging an evening party at one of the bars, something beyond just a band playing and drinks being served. I'm sure the Cruise Director and people at Oceania, who are very smart can come up with other evening activities, they can do better than what this cruise had to offer, or not offer. The concierge, Connie, was very rude and she should not continue in that position. For some reason, and it still has not been explained to us, there was an itinerary change. The original itinerary called for a port stop at Cayo Levantado (a beach) in the Dominican Republic. The day before we were due to stop at Cayo Leventado, we received a note from the Captain that there would be "a minor deviation to Samana, Dominican republic." This was not a minor deviation, this involved going to the main city and not stopping at the beach. Samana does not have a beach, or one that is worth visiting. At first we thought not a problem, we will just take the tour (Oceania had an excursion to Cayo Legentado) to Cayo and spend the day at the beach. We decided to speak with Connie about our options. When we addressed this issue with Connie her first question was "Who sent you to me?" Basically she did not want to be bothered, it was clear in her tone and body language. When we asked for help in getting to Cayo she said, "I cannot help you our tour there is cancelled." During this conversation we asked her other questions about other beaches and why the stop was changed, she was nasty, rude, and very unhelpful. She should not be the concierge for a cruise that advertises itself as first class. We ended up going to Samana and did not enjoy our day. This was a Caribbean cruise, to stop at a port without any beach options was comical. Most other passengers agreed, and not a single person we talked with thought it was handled correctly. Also, many other passengers for various other reasons did not like Connie because of her poor attitude. The food was excellent. We never had a problem with seating, and the service was good. We dined at all of the specialty restaurants and they we very good, the food and beverage department was a positive aspect of the cruise. Again, overall we enjoyed our cruise. But for the conduct of a poor concierge, and the lack of entertainment, we had a pleasant trip. Oceania should add some music to the pool during sea days. They had a band play for 45 minutes to 1 hour during the say day. I think at least 2-3 hours would be appropriate. Many of the customers, old and young, wanted the music a little longer by the pool. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We had booked this cruise almost a year ago but upgraded from Concierge to Penthouse when the opportunity came a few months before embarkation. The experience was generally seamless until we returned to Sydney airport and joined the ... Read More
We had booked this cruise almost a year ago but upgraded from Concierge to Penthouse when the opportunity came a few months before embarkation. The experience was generally seamless until we returned to Sydney airport and joined the queues. Embarkation- Singapore cruise centre was chaotic as a few ships were in port at the same time. Nautica staff guided us individually from kerbside to immigration-otherwise we would still be roaming the terminal.Check in was reasonably quick and lunch was provided while cabins were finished. Cabins- Ours was comfortable and roomy with a decent size verandah,everything worked,and it was spotless. Service - Our butler introduced himself as we arrived at the cabin. He was invaluable with on board organisation and room service. There were two cabin stewards and the cabin was cleaned twice per day.Always spotless. Dining - food was fine and the portions served in the Grand dining room and the specialty dining rooms seemed to be designed to encourage the tasting of multiple courses rather than simply stuffing the belly. Dining room staff were always on hand and were helpful and polite. Entertainment - low key and enjoyable. The cruise director showed remarkable restraint with her broadcasts. (Broadcasts did not penetrate into the cabins except for safety notifications). Ports - generally were of little interest to us but the procedure for going ashore by gangway or by tender was well organised. We experienced few holdups. Most of the ports visited are not on the pop-up menus in the "Port Review "section. In Semarang and Bali we opted for private transport and experienced the heat,congestion ,dirt and mendicants. In Darwin, TI and Townsville the towns were basically closed down for the New Year holidays. Hamilton Island was perfect except it seemed everyone else from the other towns had arrived there for their holidays. Overall, we were looking to be pampered and pampered we were. After 40 years of travelling, living more in hotels than home,I have never seen service better than this. Cleanliness and maintenance seemed to be almost obsessive. I do not see the need to sail on another line, this one will do (although I might just splurge on a Vista suite for the next one) Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
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