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110 Perth (Fremantle) to Asia Cruise Reviews

Chose this cruise for the time of year and itinerary. Malaysia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and more and combined 2 back to backs for a total of 40 days. Love the ship, hated lack of good entertainment and better ship activities other then ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the time of year and itinerary. Malaysia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and more and combined 2 back to backs for a total of 40 days. Love the ship, hated lack of good entertainment and better ship activities other then lectures 3 and 4 times a day. Zodiac expensive tours part of this new program. Would not do another. Ship is our favorite, were on it last year. Stewards and waitstaff best ever. Hope this program doesn't make it and we go back to normal with dancers and singers and craft classes, pool acitvities. Change is not always good. We are 4 star and hope this does not happen to all Hollands ships, as we only cruise on the small 1800 and below. Not a fan of floating Malls. Food has gotten better at least more vegetables at dinner. Always ate in dining room and very happy with meals and services, ever wine steward was great. Pinnacle grill was very good, we ate there twice. Tendering sometimes too long having waited for 1 hour and 20 minutes at one stop. Made tendering a lot quicker and more efficient when they hired local boats to help out. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Cabin BA201- Can’t get the cabin temp below 72F. Have asked four times with no luck. Never accomplished. Cabin temp in direct line of AC flow did get to 70 at times if kept the balcony store closed and curtains pulled ... Read More
Cabin BA201- Can’t get the cabin temp below 72F. Have asked four times with no luck. Never accomplished. Cabin temp in direct line of AC flow did get to 70 at times if kept the balcony store closed and curtains pulled - Aussie sized (half size) whirl pool bathtub with high sides. Tub has rusted water drain, marked, and needs to be replaced. If you are 6 ft 2 in height and want to lie in the bathtub your feet will be on the wall. - Good shower - Marked toilet seat and needs to be replaced - Felt engine vibration, but not a problem for sleeping except when docking. Will wake you up if light sleeper - Counter space tight in bathroom but workable - No hot water during the night after 11:00 or 12:00 (last few days of cruise this problem was corrected) - Clothes Closet with safe tight but got everything in. Suitcases store under the bed - very nice decor - Otherwise good cabin which we enjoyed and would use again if they solve the AC problem and make required replacements Food- Reservation mistake. Ended up early fixed but was easy to change to open, deck 7. Staff very accommodating i.e. Hery main dining room, open sitting excellent, allowing us to change each night seating 2, 4, & 6 seat table. Met many interesting enjoyable passengers - Room service is excellent but coffee table for eating is tight - Mainly using dining room for dinner and lunch. Lido for breakfast and each time go on tour have breakfast in cabin. Food very good - Main dining room choice in menu is limited, often going off menu to french onion soup and salmon, both of which very good. - Had two dinners and one lunch in the Pinnacle Grill. Excellent food and service - Had one dinner in the Italian restaurant. Good service but not my preference in food. Cancelled our second reservation - Service in dining room ranged from very good to excellent Wine- I could not believe it. Limited Aussie wines and continually running out of wines. We are lucky and enjoy the New Zealand Kim Crawford, our favorite at home. Some of wine stewards attentive/ excellent. One or two were not and needed prodding $$$ - Ship nickels and dimes you i.e. purchase bottle water, purchase coffee lattes, extra charge for lobster even in Pinnacle Grill, expensive internet but is unlimited usage= did not have to worry about time spent, a huge feature for me since I needed to keep in touch with family company Reception staff- needs better training. Are pleasant but often without answers. Exception is Vanessa Digital Workshop- Unable to connect my laptop to the web. Written instructions provided by ship do not work for my Dell. Had to use Vanessa to set up computer. Good instructor on first leg but did not have the desired depth of knowledge i.e. could not set up my laptop for internet. Second leg instructor more knowledgeable and was great Entertainment- Ship has moved emphasis from shows to lectures, many of which were good to excellent - Piano man in piano bar was very good. Had several enjoyable evenings - Entertainment in Crows Nest Good - Good shows- i) Chinese lady playing special accordion was excellent. ii) Jersey Boys had good voices but needed a program manager. iii) Comedian good iv) musician playing several instruments was very good v) Magicians not to our liking Wake up call- always have a backup. One time did not work. One day unable to make wake up call. Line just ring busy. Staff who made a difference • Vanessa Christopher- Supervisor front desk • Rinato- Person in charge of room service • Adhy & Sigit- Persons who looked after cabin - Gym- fully equipped. Excellent. Had an air conditioning problem and had to use an industrial fan to attempt to lower temperature. 360 degree promenade for fast walking exercise or just casual walking at sea. 4 times around is a mile Rain water penetration- encountered a couple evenings of heavy rain, resulting in water getting into several cabins (rumored 35?) Sanitation- for both legs of the trip many passengers including myself came down with a heavy cold. I had to go to ship doctor for medication but still took 1.5 weeks to fully recover. When a ship has such an attack, normal experience is that procedure in buffet restaurant is changed from self serve to staff behind the counter serving you while you are in line for food. Not the case on the Maasdam. Only concern. Ship, which is old, was clean at all times Ship air conditioning- needs to be upgraded if they plan to use this ship in hot climates Ship decor- well done Ship layout- no problems except when coming out from deck 7 main dining room you have to either go down one deck or up one deck to walk to theater at front of ship Embarkation & Disembarkation- good Ports- we are on board because of the itinerary and tied in with our two months in Perth escaping Toronto winter - getting off the ship when ship tendered was backed up; but not a problem. We never missed our many private tours - many times docked at an industrial port and only a few times were there a ship shuttle into city/ town. Was never a problem since we were always on private tours Cruise Critic- there was approx 100 of us on the first leg. HAL missed an excellent opportunity to have officers attend the Meet & Greet, which was often our experience on other ships. Ruth did an excellent job in running the Meet and Greet, and web site on Cruise Critic allowing us to arrange private tours in almost all of the ports, with more tailored itinerary than Hal excursions and saved money. Great memories and wonderful passengers met Conclusion- good very interesting cruise notwithstanding the high temperatures. If you can take high temperatures would recommend, assuming ship solves the noted problems. Many sea days in itinerary were great for sleeping in and relaxing. Still looking for a holiday cruise where ship arrival is 9- 10 AM and departure early evening allowing me to be on holidays, not having to get up early for excursions Further info- drop me a note at deangayle@rogers.com and will try to provide i.e. private tours Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I have sailed on Maasdam 4 times over the years, the last time just before she was refurbished in 2016 on a Caribbean cruise. Selected this cruise for its ports along the Western Australian coast and Indonesia and initially good value, ... Read More
I have sailed on Maasdam 4 times over the years, the last time just before she was refurbished in 2016 on a Caribbean cruise. Selected this cruise for its ports along the Western Australian coast and Indonesia and initially good value, bought this cruise at last minute. Writing from the value for an Australian (myself) and Canadian (wife) passenger costing point of view passengers. As a last minute booking we only had the choice of an inside cabin “guarantee” this was not a problem as usually that is what is usually offered and although we prefer a balcony or non obstructed outside cabin which are rarely available last minute. Always looking for different Voyages. Over last couple of years on last minute on MSC Divina as her ports of call of overnight in New York City, overnight in Bermuda (due to bad weather was missed and replaced with Madeira) overnight Ponta Delgada and overnight in Lisbon plus day stops in 4 Mediterranean ports to Genoa and TUI/Marella from Tilbury via Brugge,Amsterdam, Cherbourg, Lisbon and Corona Portugal, Gibraltar to Malaga. The ship is secondary to us. The ship was sparkling clean, cabin and servicing staff of Indonesian and Filipino were faultless, always greating you while passing you in hallways, always a smile on their face, especially if you developed connectionl with them, asking where they are from and thanking them for their service. Food overall very good, could not fault it for the choices selection. Ships deck staff and officers also greeting you, Captain very personable, as commented in other posts surprised that the shipping line now degrading his position by advising linking him to onboard sales. Come to the shops and meet the Captain on a jewellery sale. Entertainment was different from my last cruises, no cabaret dancing girls and boys, what a blessing. Overall it was very good. The Cruise Director on this cruise (believe she was the assistant who was filling in at that time for the actual cruise director), she didn’t have the finesse of cruise directors compared on past cruise such as introducing acts, her accent was hard to understand over the public address, and her comments over the public address and in person were sometimes cut and dry. Example at Komodo Island some persons were throwing objects into the water for the children in boats, her comment was “It was not allowed (or forbidden)to throw things in the water”, no mention of why ie we were in a national park, did not wish to encourage children begging, wanted to keep the oceans clean etc. Another occasion my wife asked a question regarding a matter not connected to the entertainment onboard, her answer was that was not her department, gave no other advise such as go to the front office, just not my department. Also her uniform was always a monotone colour, the same for every occasion and did not reflect her important position overall satisfaction with passengers on the cruise. Port visits wer a highlight of this cruise. Shore excursion were overall very expensive on this cruise not only for Australian, Canadian’s US and other nationalities. Example of a couple which for the Australian and Canadian are very expensive in equivalent AU$ and C$. Geraldton the lowest price excursion was “City Highlights and Maritime Museum” at US$79.95 or approximately AU$112.00/CA$105.45 while a city hop-on-hop off bus operated by city from the terminal was offered at AU$10.00 plus entry into the Marine Mureum AU$ 20.00 = AU30.00 would be appropriate US$21.45/Ca$28.25. Komodo Island Lowest shore excursion was US$104.95 onboard equivalent to AU$146.90/CA$ 138.44 on an upcoming cruise with P&O Australia on a exactly same excursion onboard was AU$104.00 or US$65.45/CA$97.70. This was the same pattern forall the shore excursion, some like Kuri Bay where one could only take a shore excursion or stay onboard. Celukan Bawang Bali where the port was on the north end of the island where their was no town highlights the e lowest price shore excursion Was called Munduk Highlights was a whopping US$229.95 equivalent to AU$321.50/CA$303.05. The only other option is doing things on ones own. Such as in this port a close by beach resort some 2-3 hours away. The next cruise by the ship to Sri Lanka and the Maldives the shore excursions offered by the ship were also excessively prices. My point is if you are an non US or EU passenger such as Australian and Canadians be careful selecting a cruise such as this one make sure that the cost of excursions are taken into account of the overall cost of the cruise or that you can do your own thing in port with the allotted time. Unlike Europe, Mediterranean and Caribbean where it is easy to hour on ones own. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This will be my first review on Cruise Critic, but after meeting some CC people aboard MS Maasdam (Jan 6 2019 Freemantle-Singapore), I thought I’d contribute. This was a birthday/Winter getaway with apparently interesting stops, our 20th ... Read More
This will be my first review on Cruise Critic, but after meeting some CC people aboard MS Maasdam (Jan 6 2019 Freemantle-Singapore), I thought I’d contribute. This was a birthday/Winter getaway with apparently interesting stops, our 20th cruise and 4th on Holland America. We loved our previous HAL cruises (Zuiderdam and Prinsendam X 2). Sadly, this trip did not meet our expectations from HAL. The question is whether it is this particular ship or a new marketing model. Overall, the first impression is nickel-dime’ing. Quarters to use the laundry washers and dryers? Second impression, max effort to ‘sell’ something/profit incentive (I’ve never seen a captain appear and host a jewelry store sale event, speaking to shoppers - more so than at various Mariner events and meet-the-captain galas). This begins with surprisingly high excursion fees, often over double the cost for the same excursion online. Particularly galling is contracting with a local operator to sell ONLY through HAL excursions, i.e. blocking independent online or walk-up bookings; example - Dili East Timor: Hop On Hop Off is advertised at $45, with a stop at the cruise port. HAL contracted to do the booking for $79.95. They were not allowed to sell tickets to anyone not on a HAL excursion. Entertainment: cruise director was brand new (reportedly third in recent months). There were no “shows/productions”. There were individual entertainers, some quite decent, but not every night. Some ‘science/wildlife’ lectures were informative for those interested. Event scheduling seemed haphazard, e.g. captain’s reception and festivity at 7:55 PM, show start at 8:00 is only one example. There were many. Seems they are trying to appeal to a ‘younger’ clientele (average age still appears to be 70, with lots of older folks with walkers/canes/wheelchairs). The introduction of Zodiac inflatable excursions is new, and from reports (can not verify), some were disasters, acknowledged by the zodiac drivers that a monetary adjustment should be expected. Selections of cruise stops - sounded off the beaten track, and they were, not necessarily all bad but certainly raise some questions. Geraldton, Exmouth, Broome? Interesting introduction to relatively barren Western Australia (Exmouth often the hottest spot in the world - we saw 113* F). Komodo Island was a highlight and a big factor in selecting this cruise. It was worth the effort. Assumed (wrongly) that th Bali stop was the ‘known tourist destination. Actual stop was at a North Coast port, out of reach of any better known or advertised sites (e.g. Ubud). Probolinggo? Surabaya? O.K. Expensive, long excursions to Mt. Bromo were highlights available, but not sure how many took advantage. We did not, arranging our own private tours. An advertised 10 hour excursion from Semarang to the ancient temple of Borobudur was offered, and many booked it. They arrived back at the ship almost an hour late. Mixed reports,some loved the visit, but all mentioned huge crowds and difficulty getting pictures (including a professional photographer). The ship: getting OLD. Our vista suite had numerous wooden shims in the sliding glass door, presumably to stop it from creaking/rattling. They did work, if looking a little flakey. No complaints about our cabin/Port side. starboard side Vista suites had water (strong rains puddled on verandas) seep under sliding doors, wetting carpeting and personal items/luggage on the cabin floor. Food: no issues, and generally decent. Some local/Indonesian offerings were excellent. Very little local fruit offered - small plates purportedly put out at 11:30 were gone by 11:45, too bad if you weren’t there. Almost none in the evenings. We are not picky or demanding foodies, and more often than not eat at the Lido/buffet. Surf and turf (one night) in the dining room was very good. Overall, mixed emotions. May or may not give HAL another try (not on Maasdam). A little disappointed with this cruise, being a HAL fan. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I'm a great fan of Princess Cruises and booked because of the 12 Night Cruise from Fremantle to Singapore via Bali, 3 Malaysian ports and Phuket in Thailand. It'd only been about 6 weeks since I had been on Sea Princess. ... Read More
I'm a great fan of Princess Cruises and booked because of the 12 Night Cruise from Fremantle to Singapore via Bali, 3 Malaysian ports and Phuket in Thailand. It'd only been about 6 weeks since I had been on Sea Princess. The Asian cruise was great. The ports were interesting. The weather stayed amazing and the cruise was everything pretty much I expected. Just wonderful (mostly). I took most of my meals at the Horizon Court and everything I had there was terrific. I tried Cafe Corniche for lunch once (2 out of 10) and Traviata for Dinner once (5 out of 10). My travel agent kindly gave me a voucher for Sterling Steak House. (2 out of 10) The Maitre 'd that night after we left Langkawi seemed indifferent and distracted. I had booked for one (days before) wanted a table for one, had a voucher for one and was then quizzed why I was alone. I was then seated at a table set for two with the other place set left where it was. Waiters were nice but it took 3 asks for the wine list and then forever for the wine to arrive and longer to have my food order taken (at 6pm when the restaurant was almost empty). Seems everyone thought someone else was going to join me. Did I miss something ? 35 minutes or so into the wait the assistant waiter arrived with the bread basket and said "Welcome to Sterling Steak House". Nice to be greeted finally, a nice young chap. He should have been the Maitre 'd. Food was very disappointing. Medium (ordered) filet mignon was like Rhino hide. The starter and dessert bland and boring. I had to ask for water glass top-ups. I'm glad I didn't pay for it. The 2nd place setting was finally removed as I sawed through the steak (I left most of it). If this is Specialty Dining I'd rather go back through the flimsy curtain to the Horizon Court where the steaks are MUCH better. But none of that hasn't dampened my enthusiasm for Princess Cruises and I look forward to seeing what they have done with the lovely Sea Princess during that dry-dock. I have two future cruise deposits in place.......its just now when and where ? Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The cruise was most enjoyable, with great shows in the evenings, many opportunities for varied activities, from Line Dancing to Spanish Language lessons and many other choices in between. Our cabin was roomier than expected and always ... Read More
The cruise was most enjoyable, with great shows in the evenings, many opportunities for varied activities, from Line Dancing to Spanish Language lessons and many other choices in between. Our cabin was roomier than expected and always cleaned at the earliest opportunity. The towel 'sculptures' were fun and the chocolates appreciated. The introduction of'Anytime Dining' suited our group very well and the dining staff were always courteous and pleasant. The wait staff at our table, Edward Hipolito and Wayan Asnawa were exceptional. Their attentiveness, good humour and understanding made all our dining experiences very memorable. A great duo! Ralph, at the Wheel House Bar was also very pleasant and efficient along with the other bar staff, despite being under pressure at times. I thought the shore excursions were quite expensive, hence we made our arrangements most of the time. Disappointments? I was taken aback this time to see the standard of dress for formal nights and evening meals had dropped dramatically. It is a pity, when the staff has dressed so appropriately and many passengers have not bothered. The staff are very well trained and always pleasant and helpful. Even though I prefer to cruise on smaller ships, I would sail with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
After just coming off the Ovation of the seas I was a bit hesitant cruising on the small Pacific Eden, but found the ship very relaxing and casual.Overall, I could not find any major faults with the Eden, although the food was below ... Read More
After just coming off the Ovation of the seas I was a bit hesitant cruising on the small Pacific Eden, but found the ship very relaxing and casual.Overall, I could not find any major faults with the Eden, although the food was below standard in the waterfront and pantry restaurants, where the food was often luke warm. I was surprised at how casual everything was and took far two many dressy clothes.there were no formal nights. They did however have a Gatsby and Bianca (white night) which was a lot of fun.The staff in all areas were excellent and the entertainment great. As for our cabin on deck 5 the only complaint was there was no fridge which would have been handy to keep our drinking water cold. Compared to the rest of the ship, the cabins and corridors are starting to look tired. We have been on several P&O ships and if you are looking for a cruise to relax and unwind then I would say that the the Pacific Eden would top them all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We decided to take our family along with us as this trip covered Xmas and New Year. The Nuro virus was already onboard when we got on in Fremantle, but we thought hygenie would help us stay free of it and it worked, none of the 6 of us got ... Read More
We decided to take our family along with us as this trip covered Xmas and New Year. The Nuro virus was already onboard when we got on in Fremantle, but we thought hygenie would help us stay free of it and it worked, none of the 6 of us got it, and our grand daughters are 8 and 10. They had the best time in the kids club, made wonderful friends. so that freed there parents up to have that well earned holiday, and that they did. We had that chance to be with the girls at meals and in the pool and Xmas day was just the best. Dining was made lovelier by our waiter who we also had a breakfast. New Years eve was a blast, everyone onboard enjoyed themselves. The staff on SUN are just the best, so friendly and helpful. The stops were not that wonderful. we went to the first stop last as we had to avoid a cyclone. and Komodo island was great. I had been before so didn't go ashore the others did and well worth it. Just the views from the ship were wonderful. Bali was Bali. and they others I didn't like and got off in two and came back to ship in an hour or so. Our cabin B705 was comfy and clean. Laundry went the whole time this trip, no dramas there. Would I go on the Sun again making it a 4th trip...you bet. but off on Sapphire next. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our third cruise on Sun Princess. After touring the South Pacific in Dec. 2013, and New Zealand in Dec. 2014, Xmas and the new year 2016 seemed like a good choice. Boarding was not a problem, having been warned of later ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Sun Princess. After touring the South Pacific in Dec. 2013, and New Zealand in Dec. 2014, Xmas and the new year 2016 seemed like a good choice. Boarding was not a problem, having been warned of later boarding times due to necessary cleaning regarding norovirus presence. The same happened for the previous two trips, so no surprises there. Once aboard, we went straight to our cabin to ready for dinner. The Marquis dining room was as expected, and after some negotiation, we had a table for the two of us; very accommodating Maitre De, many thanks. All our main meals were had there; excellent cuisine, and excellent waiter and his assistant. For breakfast and lunch, Horizons was our choice; select your own food combinations for your pleasure. Most serving staff were of good nature, but several seemed rather tired and a little snappy at times. Understandable, and easier to ignore. During the first few days at sea, there was an ever present odor in the passageway of deck 11, Aloha between the forward elevators and our cabin. The cabin staff appologised for the problem, which took nearly three days to rectify. I'm afraid urea is not a pleasant experience for any person. A short time after that, My wife and I came down with what was 'diagnosed' as norovirus by the duty nurse. Neither of us was seen by this 'nurse'. We were confined to our cabin for 24 hours, a necessary precaution. A package of capsules was sent to each of us to help plug each end, so to speak. Gastro Stop is still Gastro Stop even by any other name.Since my wife was still feeling 'off' afterward, we were confined for another 24 hours. Fair enough, we did not wish to be responsible for other passengers discomfort. At this stage, we had to utilize room service for our meals. The selection is a little restricted compared to the main dining, but quite adequate particularly under the circumstance. After another day and a bit passed, we had not been contacted by the duty 'nurse', so I rang the medical rooms to confirm we were feeling good again. We were allowed out once more. Good cheer. With that episode behind us, it was time to enjoy the rest of the journey. Most of our evenings were spent at Crooners after dinner. Maurizzio is the main attraction for entertainment there. One can join in with the songs, dancing and chit-chat with other passengers. The majority of bar staff we found to be accommodating. The International Cafe we found to be crowded at the best of times, unless very late into the night. Not an overly important issue since there are other places to have a coffee. Could not say much for the shore excursions; Komodo Island was fully booked before we boarded the ship - limited visitors allowed on the island at any given time. Fair enough. Bali (Benoa) was the fun stop. It allowed my wife to buy some presents for the rellies after our return. She also enjoyed a full body massage, bless her little cotton socks. The only other stop we went shore-bound was Macassa. Since it was raining mostly, we spent about one hour walking near the port. Missed the markets due to poor information, but no loss, didn't spend anything there. Overall, we found the cost of excursions via Princess to be overpriced. On our NZ trip, we arranged tours on shore, most costing better than 50% less. Since the main reason for this cruise was to unwind after a heavy working year, (yes, not all of us oldies are retirees) we didn't need to rush around with activities so much. We met with several couples to share our and their stories and experiences. Back in Fremantle, disembarking was the easiest part; straight through from ship to shore. Uber took a little bit longer. Overall, we will travel again, but will try other lines as well to get a better feel for them in all fairness. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was our first time cruising on Princess Cruises and we were drawn initially to this particular itinerary because of the attractive option of a B2B that would have us embarking/disembarking at Fremantle with a 28-day cruise in between ... Read More
This was our first time cruising on Princess Cruises and we were drawn initially to this particular itinerary because of the attractive option of a B2B that would have us embarking/disembarking at Fremantle with a 28-day cruise in between - how many times do you hear anyone raving about the flying part of their holiday! We have only ever cruised with Celebrity in the past, and even then, not that many times. So we are relatively new to cruising and don't have that much experience to make comparisons anyway. Anyway, we think comparing the two would be like apples and oranges anyway, with both pitched and priced at differing sectors of the market. Embarkation at Fremantle went as smoothly as could be hoped, we think mainly because we had stuck to our pre-arranged arrival time. On and having an explore around the ship in around thirty minutes. Even without any welcome drinks, we felt there could have been a bit more enthusiasm and staff for that initial greeting, but we were soon off discovering/getting lost on our new home away from home. We had opted for an inside cabin, up the front on Caribe deck - more details on this in the cabin review. This was already available for us from the time we got onboard. Introductions with our ninja steward Edgar (and his fellow 'shadow' steward Edgar II down the corridor) out of the way, and we were unpacked and ready for the lifeboat drills and sailaway before we knew it. Because of a rather last-minute booking, we had no choice but to accept second sitting dining (there is no 'anytime' dining on Princess out of Australia), and as it turned out, this ended up suiting us just fine. On port days, it meant there was no rush to get back onboard, and let's face it, on sea days, if you don't think you can last until 7:45 in the evening before you can have dinner, there are many options to 'load up' around the ship to keep you going. On the whole, we were very impressed with the standard and choices of food available for all meals, from breakfast through to dinner. One of the obvious things that can't be avoided is the fact that you are going to see the same cycle of menus come around again on a B2B, but on a positive note, that actually had us looking forward to some of the highlights from the first time through (definitely chilled fruit soup in a glass converts now!). Other reviews have commented on the availability of seats in the buffet (not just on this ship, or indeed Princess), but there's an obvious easy answer to that. Structure your days so that you have that glorious long lay-in and then lo-and-behold, you're turning up for your meals two hours after everyone else. Whilst they are not yet sweeping up around your feet, you'll have no problems finding a table wherever your favourite spot turns out to be. Afternoon tea was a bit of a let-down, as we thought it would have been more appropriate to have at least two or three types of tea available, and those in a pot that could have been left at the table - instead it was just tea or coffee. Seemed to us to be a severe lack of speciality restaurants- maybe just on this class of ship. The only one with a pay-per-use, was The Steakhouse, which turned out to be a section of the buffet 'converted' after the luncheon rush in a part of the main buffet area. We didn't use this offering, so can't really comment, but feel if you are going to have a cover charge, there should be a definite unique permanent venue for those special occasions. Cafe Corniche, the pizza venue, seemed to be much under-utilised and we weren't sure if this was because it a little bit tucked out of the way, or if people thought there was a cover charge, or what. Nevertheless, the pizzas were superb and many a day they got us through to dinner without filling us up. Neither of us are big drinkers and after the initial onslaught of spruiking drinks or wine tasting packages, we were left to our own devices, and all of the venues had the option of pour your own water or served by the waiters. There was very little hard sell once everyone had realised we were more than happy with just having plain old water. That's not to say we didn't fall off the wagon for a drink or two occasionally, and Princess still have their two separate happy hours where the second drink is only one dollar - doesn't that cheaper one always taste that much better! As mentioned, this was a back to back and even though we were expecting it, didn't the demographic change once the second cruise leg commenced in Singapore! On came all of the school children, not in their hoards by any means, but enough to mean your tranquil morning laps in the pool were now a thing of the past. Princess does have a children's club, but it was pretty obvious that some of the older kids had exhausted the options and were board with this after the first few days. One big dampener as a result of this, was the two main pools had to be drained on three separate occasions, which the captain and crew apologised for, but had no control over (perhaps better supervision of the pool areas after the first instance may have prevented a repeat). Entertainment was a little bit hit and miss for both legs of the trip. Again, we were expecting the main shows to be repeated, so used our imagination there and watched them from opposite sides of the theatre on each occasion. When are cruise lines going to realise that hypnotists are not that entertaining - unless they have comedy talents too. The party band changed over at Singapore, and if we were to be brutally honest, any one of the karaoke singers could have covered for their vocal efforts, which was a shame as we would have liked to put some of the dance lessons (taught by the wonderful Jodie) into practice. Perhaps it would have sounded better if we had been drinking! Singers and comedians were well up to scratch and were usually worth a second show visit. We've heard comments about getting to the theatre early to ensure you get a seat; only relevant for the first shows, as second performances always had spare capacity (another advantage of second seating dining). We did our own at ports of call and where we wanted to see more of the surrounding areas, had pre-arranged tours with other like-minded souls on Cruise Critic. Can't comment on ship's tours other than the usual that they appeared to be very expensive. Still can't get over the scam that is Vietnam/Cambodia visa charges (for Australians). We had done these ports previously, so were intending to just stay onboard. As many already know out there, it matters not a jot and you'll still get stung! There goes what little OBC we already had. Out of protest, went ashore anyway and re-confirmed we'll be looking for itineraries that avoid these countries until our two governments can sort something out! With both cruise itineraries joined together, this is a fantastic way to experience a broad 'sample' of south east Asia in the one go. Grab it if you can! We made many a good friend on our shore excursions and an honorary mention to Nyoman Ariasa of BaliIslandTours wouldn't go amiss. Nothing was too much trouble for him and he provided an excellent, value for money service for our Bali stopover. To sum up... did we have a good time and will we cruise Princess again? Yes on both counts. It was great value for money all up, and seeing as it doesn't appear to be that hard to claw your way up the loyalty ladder - up to Ruby even after just one more cruise - we'll be back for more in the future. It would be great to see a newer class of ship in Australian waters, but that might be something we'll have to wait for, or head off to Europe instead. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I think Princess is fading in popularity with Australians. The Sun Sea And Dawn are getting older and little things are not as good. They have cut corners on the food eliminating some popular options like New York Cheesecake and Creme ... Read More
I think Princess is fading in popularity with Australians. The Sun Sea And Dawn are getting older and little things are not as good. They have cut corners on the food eliminating some popular options like New York Cheesecake and Creme Brûlée. Alas the free icecream is part of the cost cutting measure and is no longer available. We enjoyed the warm weather and interesting ports and the cabin stewards and restuarant staff as good as they ever were. The ships are in need of a really good upgrade with some parts of the ship looking tired. The lounges are new and horribly uncomfortable and appear not to have any mattresses. I bought a couple of diet soft drinks that were stale dated by a few months. Not good enough! The only shore excursion that we went on with princess was to Phang Na Bay in Phuket. It was terrible and really unsafe. We usually do our own excursions and won't be doing anymore with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
we cruised from Fremantle WA, our home port, for 12 days on the Sea Princess ending in Singapore. We hadn't been to the ports hence the reason we wanted to go. We took some time at embarkation, seems that most cruisers arrived at ... Read More
we cruised from Fremantle WA, our home port, for 12 days on the Sea Princess ending in Singapore. We hadn't been to the ports hence the reason we wanted to go. We took some time at embarkation, seems that most cruisers arrived at much the same time but disembarking was excellent. We got off the ship carrying our luggage ourselves, got a Taxi right away and were at the airport by 9am to catch our 12.30 flight. We had an inside cabin B 424 midship and were happy with it. Our steward Santosh was pleasant when we saw him and we were happy with his service. We do prefer anytime dining but only traditional on Sea Princess. We had the 5.30 service but if going again would choose the later as we like to see the ship sailing from port but we forgot about this when booking Having said this, we had a real bonus with Edward and Marina being our waiter and waitress at this time. They were friendly, full of good humour and nothing too much trouble for them. Edward got me a Creme brûlée even though it wasn't on the menu. I asked him jokingly when the Creme brûlée was on the menu and he didn't think it was on the menu so he gave me a surprise. Full marks to them. We ate mostly at the dining rooms, had good service and the food was always good. Enjoyed the entertainment crossing the equator and mostly the entertainment was good to very good. The production singers and dancers were excellent. We also enjoyed the Trivia, Jody and Megan were very good trivia hosts much better than the man whose name escapes me. Megan also did a very good job with the line dancing which was really popular. The shore excursions we thought were quite expensive but we got over this by sharing taxis we got on the wharf plus we could tailor the excursion to what we wanted to see. Don't take the first taxi driver who comes up unless he is willing to barter. The taxi drivers ESP Penang and Langkawi were very good. We really enjoyed Penang. The only thing that irked us that , out of the people at the breakfast table , we were the ones that paid the most for the trip. Annoying since we were the.only retirees. Yes, we will use Princess again and quite happy with Sea Princess but we will be looking for better deals with knowledge gained from our fellow travellers Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise mainly because we wanted to get back on the sea, have a decent length of time and because the mini-suites were priced exceptionally well for this cruise. We got a great deal. Overall this was a great cruise – the ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because we wanted to get back on the sea, have a decent length of time and because the mini-suites were priced exceptionally well for this cruise. We got a great deal. Overall this was a great cruise – the sea was mostly calm with very few rough days, the weather was good to beautiful most days, the staff were mostly good, the food was everything from okay to wonderful and the experience was very enjoyable – especially the mini-suite experience on these Sun class ships, where the room configuration is superior to other mini-suites. I was pretty excited about having a bath at sea in rocky waters. I did get to do this eventually but it wasn't as weird as I was expecting. In addition, I always love travelling on the Sun class ships because of the excellent promenade. I didn’t exactly come back new, but I came back relaxed and content with the cruise, so that’s a good outcome. That said, there were some issues with this cruise that made it slightly less satisfactory than previous experiences and I will outline them here. 1) Itinerary. While I was pleased with the itinerary when I first booked the cruise, investigation revealed that of the 11 ports, 6 were troublesome. 3 ports were way too far from the cities they claimed to visit (Bangkok (Laem Chabang), Ho Chi Mihn City (Phu My), Kuala Lumpur (Port Kelang)) and another three required tendering (Bali (Benoa), Lombok and Koh Samui). In addition, most stops in port were quite short and I found this very annoying – especially if the next port was 5 hours away by ferry and yet we were leaving at 4.30pm. Why? I thought we should have had an overnight at Singapore too. Phu My was particularly annoying because I read that ships used to dock at Vung Tau. I so much would have preferred that. 2) Shore Tours The shore tours were, in general, not that great for both legs of our cruise. I mostly had to book ‘on your own’ type tours because of distance and lack of decent choices. Most tours seemed to involve long time wasting Westernised buffet lunches, visits to craft centres I wasn’t interested in or souvenir shops I just didn’t care about. I would have much preferred some decent snorkelling options or some tours where you visit 3 cool things and then have a decent amount of time on your own. But as mentioned above, this was hard because so many ports were too far from the action and the time in port was quite curtailed. Also there were not many options for more local tours or if tours were offered, they seemed very limited. Though Siem Reap was mentioned somewhere when I was booking, this cruise offered no overland overnight tours to Siem Reap, which was disappointing. It turns out to be a very difficult place to visit in terms of getting to and getting from Siem Reap without missing too many cruise days so we didn't bother trying to visit. 3) A perceived drop in some standards. I felt that the cabin staff were not as prompt and reliable as previously and they did not explain and go over the features of the room and some of the bar staff were abrupt (Might have had something to do with the passengers). In addition, crème brulee no longer seemed to be offered as a dessert and I missed those – much healthier than cakes and anyway, I don’t care much for cakes. 4) Other passengers. There were a lot of kids on this cruise as it was school holidays. I won’t make that mistake again! But anyway, being school holidays, there were a lot of kids and a proportion of those children had parents who really didn’t care what they did. They did some terrible things. I don’t even like to mention some of what I heard in case it wasn’t true, but they definitely had a kid or kids purposefully poop in the pool 3 times, leading to some inconvenience for every single person who likes using the pool. I heard worse things concerning poop too. I haven’t cruised with so many kids before and now I know why so many people don’t want to cruise with kids (not that they were all bad, but the whole cruise in general would have been nicer if the bad ones weren’t onboard). In addition, there was the usual Aussie crowd of pursed lips and sour expressions to contend with. You'd think Australians have a much worse time on holidays than they do at home if you judged them by their cruise faces. 5) Tendering process: I can never understand how a ship can tender so often and still stuff up the process again and again. We had great tendering in Lombok despite using only ship’s tenders, and terrible tendering experiences in Koh Samui and Bali. Maybe changes to staff at Singapore explains it? But anyway, it went from a well run process to a terrible boring burden. The ship sailed almost 3 hours late from Bali because, even though they had previously experienced rubbish getting caught in the tender propellers, they did not book enough extra help from the shore until halfway through the morning. Even then it wasn’t enough – people had to queue for hours. Koh Samui was better but they had some really inexperienced tender drivers working and it made the trip and the docking at each end nearly unbearable – they were so slow, they had to try to dock so many times! The local guys were just driving up to the dock/ship and tying up, no problems. 6) The in room entertainment and communication systems really need an upgrade. Also the big screen on deck 14 seemed a bit outdated and not as functional as on other Sun class ships, though I could just have flawed memories from previous ships. The in room movies should be on demand and it would be great if a channel ran text of the captains and other announcements. 7) Not enough good chocolate available at the shop! And overpriced too! Remember, as always, to stock up on everything you might want before you get on the ship! That’s about it. I list these things but must reiterate, I enjoyed the cruise, my cabin, the dining room and staff and various ship features. It was a good cruise! I spent most days feeling just great about everything. I mention the above for others who are considering the Treasures of Asia itineraries – just be aware of where the ports are and what ships tours are available when you decide to book! If you are wanting to actually see and spend significant time in these cities, maybe visit them another way. If you are wanting a nice warm cruise in fairly sedate oceans with some short visits to interesting places, it’s a good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our 30th wedding anniversary cruise had been 18 months in the planning, and it was well worth the wait! We chose Sea Princess for this cruise as we had fond memories of our very first cruise aboard her, and she was leaving from our home ... Read More
Our 30th wedding anniversary cruise had been 18 months in the planning, and it was well worth the wait! We chose Sea Princess for this cruise as we had fond memories of our very first cruise aboard her, and she was leaving from our home port, Fremantle. We also were keen on the itinerary as it visited some ports we had been to previously, but included some new ones for us to experience. Embarkation: This was a little slower than previously, and the time schedule given in advance for boarding seemed to bear no resemblance to what actually took place. Having said that, we were on holiday, so who really cared! Stateroom: We chose a balcony in Baja deck and were very satisfied again. Please note my comments below. Dining: We mainly used the MDR for dinner, and the Horizon for breakfast and lunch. The standard of food again was excellent. Because the cruise was, in effect, two separate cruises back-to-back the MDR menu was repeated in the second leg of the journey, but this allowed us to try a variety of dishes from the same menu. Special mention needs to be made of the Ultimate Balcony Dinner which was a real treat and one we would highly recommend. Entertainment and activities: We enjoyed MUTS, although we felt the range of movies was somewhat limited, and the stateroom TV options also were not as expansive as previously experienced on other Princess ships. The piano shows in the atrium were excellent and the art auctions were interesting and well supported, although there did seem to be more of these than on previous cruises. We made daily use of the gym and really enjoyed the facilities. Service: The stateroom steward, Kenneth, was very professional. He was right on the ball, very efficient without being intrusive, and responded quickly and happily to any requests we made. Our MDR waiters, Lohita, Denchai and Angelito also gave excellent service and added to the pleasant dining experience. Ports and shore excursions: We chose carefully which ports we would visit (not ones serviced by the tender boats) and used Princess organised tours at two of those. Penang: We did the Royal Selangor Pewter, Spice Farm, and the butterfly farm, Entropia. We would really recommend this tour! It was interesting, informative and good value. We had visited Penang previously independently, but this tour gave us a fresh look at the island and piqued our desire to visit again. Singapore: We did this independently and visited Sentosa Island. The highlight here was the cable car around the island, giving us a wonderful overview. Again, we will need to pay another visit now to explore further! Ho Chi Minh City: Our first time in Vietnam and we thoroughly enjoyed it! We did the organised tour to the lacquerware factory plus a city tour including time at the markets, and two hours in Dong Khoi Street to shop independently. Again, we would thoroughly recommend this tour. The guides on each of the Princess tours were very articulate and informative. Bangkok (Laem Chabang): We took the shuttle to Pattaya as it was much closer than Bangkok. We enjoyed a day at leisure in Pattaya at the mega shopping mall, and the highlight there was trying the Thai equivalent of a laksa in an authentic Thai restaurant where no one spoke English! The resulting meal was fiery hot, but very enjoyable! The remaining days were either sea days or days we stayed onboard. These provided opportunities to read, play scrabble, star gaze, and generally fully relax. All too quickly the cruise came to a successful finish. Disembarkation at Fremantle was smooth and problem-free. All in all, this was a memorable cruise, and one from which we returned feeling very refreshed. We will definitely be travelling with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Choosing the Dawn Princess was a mistake. The ship had pipes leaking into staterooms and public areas and the smell was not pleasant. The staff did not act quickly enough and we were inconvenienced and sleeping in a dank cabin for four ... Read More
Choosing the Dawn Princess was a mistake. The ship had pipes leaking into staterooms and public areas and the smell was not pleasant. The staff did not act quickly enough and we were inconvenienced and sleeping in a dank cabin for four nights before it started to get better and only after my husband got annoyed. This ship is going to P&O next year and it seemed like the crew, including the captain, were in wind-down mode. The entertainment was poor and most we had seen on a cruise in January this year. It was a back to back cruise and they repeated the menu from the first leg on the second. Not even the chef could create a different menu for the second part of the voyage. Service was average at best. The Asian ports of call all seemed the same after the first and the shore excursions on Princess were so expensive and no value for the money paid. Would not cruise on the Dawn again but it has made us question cruising on Princess again as well. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Having sailed on the Sapphire and Emerald we dis not think we would be in for such a disappointment . MANY people had their rooms flooded, toilets not flushing, lack of hot water and the list goes on. Many mornings , early hours, there ... Read More
Having sailed on the Sapphire and Emerald we dis not think we would be in for such a disappointment . MANY people had their rooms flooded, toilets not flushing, lack of hot water and the list goes on. Many mornings , early hours, there would be noises like you were in an industrial area. Grinders, chipping hammers,paint odour and voices. I had read this type of complaint by past passengers butt it was too late. We had already paid and the cancel date had passed. The food and service was more than satisfactory. Would recommend but this review is directed at the ship. Incidentally this vessel has been sold to P & O. I heard it goes into dry dock around May 2017 and will be launched under a different name. As a cruise liner in its current condition it would make a great imitation reef. Be aware the photo shown of " your room" may not be accurate. Ours showed one thing and it was considerably smaller to the point one person could go to bed walking alongside the bed. The other side was absolute minimal room , about 200mm with a chair blocking access so you had to climb into bed from the end of the bed. DEFINATELY avoid this vessel for now. Certainly pay attention to passenger reviews. Our room was not as advertised but luckily we didn't have the inconveniences that many passengers encountered. Very disappointing as we have enjoyed previous tours with OTHER princess ships. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
we chose this because we thought it would be great after having sailed to nz on the sea princess a couple of years ago which was really good. this time, however, it all fell over, sure the ship is tired, the food was okay, dining service ... Read More
we chose this because we thought it would be great after having sailed to nz on the sea princess a couple of years ago which was really good. this time, however, it all fell over, sure the ship is tired, the food was okay, dining service was excellent, cramped cabin was kept very clean even though we did ask to have the carpet cleaned. cabin itself, well we paid for what we had on previous princess cruise but no, not this time, it was abysmal. ship has same layout as sea princess so no excuses there. We knew there would be visa charges for vietnam and cambodia but the vietnam charges of $63.99 each are not visible on our passports as is the cambodia one. so that was money for jam. As for two separate entries into indonesia, well what a joke, australians don 't need visas at all but we were still charged $25 each per time for a 'service fee' which one crew member on the desk admitted it was just a fee charged by princess. that was on about the fourth enquiry due to the evasiveness of some staff, not all. so there you go, $100 for nothing at all because we didn't need it. Interestingly, friends just cruised into bali recently on rcl, no charges from them! There were a lot of very irate people re these charges and a few complaints we heard about the cabins similar to ours and also the fact that our passports were commandeered on board at freo, never had that happen before anywhere, got a mumbled explanation it was policy sailing in that area. Our passports were given back to us on shore in Singapore (end of cruise 1) but we had to hand them back in when boarding that afternoon. We were finally permitted to have them a couple of nights into our three day sailing from bali to freo and they were just left in our mail rack (not enveloped) by our cabin steward (not hisfault) for all the world to see. I sent a review into princess but they don't even have the courtesy to address our complaint. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We did a back to back cruise from Fremantle to Singapore & then Singapore to Freemantle, This was our 38th cruise and many have been done on princess before. We have been on the dawn 3 times so it was interesting to see the changes. ... Read More
We did a back to back cruise from Fremantle to Singapore & then Singapore to Freemantle, This was our 38th cruise and many have been done on princess before. We have been on the dawn 3 times so it was interesting to see the changes. Even though we enjoyed our cruise, the ship is very tired looking. Sadly Princess has put into place budget cuts BIG TIME on a lot of things that they had in the past. THERE WAS NO SAIL AWAY PARTY AT FREEMANTLE & THEN IT WAS A VERY BRIEF WHEN LEAVING SINGAPORE.. On the big screen all of the movies were very old and they even played "Grease"4 times in 10 days. It is disappointing that current movies are no longer showing on the big screen. The entertainment was very basic and they had the same shows that we had seen so many times and the entertainment crew had just boarded when we did so had to hash out something for the night. Even the TV movies were has beens. THE MILK & COOKIE GUY HAS GONE & POPCORN GUY HAS ALSO BUT IT IS AVAILABLE AT THE 1ST NIGHT MOVIE ONLY SO U HAVE TO HELP YOURSELF. Food was not as good as it used to be but the buffet so many times was so much better than the dining room and in the end we just went to the buffet. The night buffet on the deck has gone and so has the Aussie BBQ that used to be on the deck at the pool which was really disappointing. Best part of the pool bar guys, Topha & Ron who were awesome so if u go on the ship look for these guys at the pool bar on deck. In the entire trip there was only 1 deck party where as before the had many during the cruise. Every one on the ship went down with the flu and a coughing virus and so many of us were soooooooooo sick. Our air con in our room didnt work we were in an inside cabin. Overall the ports need to be looked at and there was many ports that the times were too short. It would have been great to have that extra 4 hours especially when u get to a port at 8am & have to be back by 4pm. With the ship going to P & O next year for a new refit out it looks like the maintenance has gone by the way side on the dawn so everything is very hit and miss on her. We like to do our thing and we did this very easy with others we met on the ship. We had been to many of the ports before but still Loved Penang, Cambodia went on tour independently with Mr Soothy from Sihanoukville seasidetours got them off trip advisor, they were 1st class and would thoroughly recommend them. loved the spectacular orchids in Singapore. Our cabin was inside and on deck 11 at back of ship and served us well. Overall the ship is very tired but princess overall is much better than some of the other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our first cruise with Princess, previously we have cruised with Azamara, Oceania and Celebrity Cruises. We were a little apprehensive, as to if we would enjoy the experience or not.The beauty of this cruise was that it was ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Princess, previously we have cruised with Azamara, Oceania and Celebrity Cruises. We were a little apprehensive, as to if we would enjoy the experience or not.The beauty of this cruise was that it was Fremantle and return. No waiting at airports ,no airfares . We are happy to say that, we find it hard to complain about anything, to do with this cruise on the Dawn Princess . We had a balcony state room,which was certainly large enough. Our beds were comfortable,the shower was hot,the toilet flushed and our cabin steward was excellent. We ate in the Horizon Court and the Main dining room. We enjoyed the variety at the Horizon .Both were extremely good. The buffet had a wide choice to choose from. With the friendly staff, filling up constantly. The fresh fruit, pineapple, watermelon, mango, strawberry’s , papaya, to my delight was there every morning. Breakfast was always a delight as was all meals on board. The entainment in the evenings was excellent. The guest entainers especially. Also every evening, we loved to listen to Rush Duo, two outstanding young men who played violin and guitar.They are world class Having read some of the other reviews posted on this cruise we can not understand the “petty” things some people complain about. For –instance “the fabric on the seats of the Princess theatre” for goodness sake! If any one is interested, the seats and the fabric are quite ok. May be a few posteriors, could do with a bit of a work out! Also life jackets and spotlights can come in pretty handy in a life boat. The staff showed amazing patience. There were a lot of disabled passengers on board. Also a lot of people unsteady on their feet. These passengers were helped kindly on and off the tenders all day, in hot and trying conditions by ever helpful staff. At Semarang, we watched three staff members, carry a gentleman, with difficultly down a very steep gangway, while he was sitting in a wheelchair. It was very hot and it took them quite some time. Now that’s what I call service. We didn't do any shore excursions ,like all ships they are expensive . We can only say, that for value for money, this trip with Princess was excellent. And that some people are very hard to please.We would highly recommend Dawn Princess to anyone . Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Hi, Princess Cruises leave from Fremantle via Indonesia back to Fremantle and charge a $25 visa fee but Australians do not need a visa, for collecting, stamping and returning the passports Princess gets a $50,000 windfall for 2,000 ... Read More
Hi, Princess Cruises leave from Fremantle via Indonesia back to Fremantle and charge a $25 visa fee but Australians do not need a visa, for collecting, stamping and returning the passports Princess gets a $50,000 windfall for 2,000 passengers. Semarang is the only port on this cruise without tenders, all other ports require you to be tendered off, so any prepayment for independent tours is very risky, so negotiate. Komodo: Independent passengers have to register that they have a non-Princess excursion with guide booked and that one will not be let off the pier unless a guide is waiting, rubbish, you do not even have to book a tour, get off the tender and you may even see a Komodo dragon on the beach for free. Or book with KOMODO MAS TOUR (gatawula.peynet@gmail.com) and get a private guide with stick to ward off the dragons. Warning: This operator wants to be paid before via PayPal and you may not be able to get there via tender due to high waves! Good idea to negotiate payment at end of tour for each port. Semarang: The massive Borobodur Buddhist temple is the reason ships go to Semarang, book an independent tour via BINTANG INDONESIA (info@bintang-indonesia.net) and you get a private tour with lunch, coffee and toilet stops. Bring toilet paper and watch out for "squatty potties". No prepayment required! Walking is involved to the temple and you get a separate guide at the temple; bring money along for the tips. Ujung Pandang/Makassar: Princess could not land there, stayed an extra night in Freo and got a $59 credit for that missed port due to storm. Lucky for me, I would not have gotten my money back ($US$140 for two) via PayPal for a tour from the recommended indoglobaltours. Too much rubbish at the Buntimurung National Park anyway, locals pay $2, tourists pay $20 for entrance to National Park, no ranger employed, only dead butterflies in the souvenir shops. Probolinggo: Scams galore for backpackers: Get local transport to bus station for Cemoro Lawang (Mt Bromo volcano, holy mountain) but they will always drop you at travel agents to collect commissions! Once at bus, fake ticket collectors will come to bus and demand money and tell you to get off if you do not pay, disregard. Pay once you get to highest point in Cemoro Lawang. Walk over Sea of Sand (caldera) past Hindu Temple to 250 steps up the crater. Even possible at the moment despite the volcano blowing heaps of gas and an imposed 1,000m exclusion zone. Watch fake white entrance tickets to National Park, genuine tickets are pink and numbered. For seniors: BROMO ADVENTURELAND (info@bromoadventureland.com) and pay at end of trip. English speaking driver with newer vehicle, private tour. Volcano is blowing gas at moment, driver takes you to Penanjakan Peak viewpoint. Can also see Mt Bromo from hotels in Cemoro Lawang. Lombok: Take private taxi at pier and negotiate, US$50 for car, ask to see clay pots, hand weaving and Senggigi Beach. At the hand weaving place and at the clay pots be prepared to be given a sales person pushing for a sale. Bali: Friend picked us up, no tips. Say: "Saya miskin" ("I am destitute") to the souvenir sellers and hope they laugh so much that they leave you in peace!. "Tidak, terima kasi" or "No, thank you" may also help? You can also buy genuine fake Rolexes everywhere. More Komodo: Wrinklies may not like the 1,000m walk to the watering hole, where the dragons are fed to stay there for the photos and not to snap at the tourists. You may even see one on the beach, no bathing! Some guides even take you on a 4,000m walk up a hill, so it pays to say something like "Orang cacat", pronounced "tshashat" or "handicapped" person if the guide's English isn't the best, but they all learned English from watching ABC TV International, which our politicians decided to cut, sad, as the high school fees in Indonesia are expensive. The new concrete pier is also very long (1,500m ?), so if you are not too well on your feet like my wife just get off the shorter wooden pier, look at the souvenir shops, wild deer and pigs and even a dragon and get back onto the tender at the shorter wooden jetty. We got off the tender right at the shorter wooden pier but later due to the tide the much longer newer concrete jetty was used. Apart from the visa problem, aggressive Princess photographers at each port and restaurant and the $42/hr internet charge I can recommend this Princess cruise. The Dawn Princess is 20 years old and it shows, but the coffee, food and service in the Venetian restaurant is excellent and so is the room service. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise on Dawn Princess because we had previously sailed on Sun Princess which was an amazing cruise, however we did not have the same experience on this cruise. We have never met so many rude obnoxious people before, the ... Read More
We chose this cruise on Dawn Princess because we had previously sailed on Sun Princess which was an amazing cruise, however we did not have the same experience on this cruise. We have never met so many rude obnoxious people before, the majority of the people aboard were quite elderly & I'm not sure why it is that they have the notion that because they have reached a certain age they have license to be rude to staff & other passengers. The staff are there to do a job & help you enjoy your holiday they are not there as your personal slaves. We were sitting at a table in the Horizon Court for breakfast one morning when we were accosted by an elderly couple telling us that that particular table was theirs & that they always sat at that table, we were left speechless they even went and found one of the waiters to tell us to move, all he could do was smile and ask us if it was ok for them to sit with us, needless to say we almost chocked on our breakfast and got out of there fast. There were plenty of other tables they could have sat at without their obnoxious manner. By halfway through the cruise everyone was sick with one thing or another, coughing, sneezing with little or no regard for anyone else around them, if you are not well go to the doctors and get something for it or stay in your room until you are feeling better. We ended up with a cold & my husband had gastro requiring medical attention onboard. On the positive side our balcony cabin was lovely & cabin staff were very obliging nothing too much bother for them. Food at the Venetian room very nice as was the pizzas. Horizon Court on occasions was like it would be the last meal for some folk, pushing & shoving to get the last portion of food but if you just stand back there will soon be more brought out from kitchen. Tender ports were a bit of an experience getting on and off but staff did an amazing job each time. Excursions were a bit average and very expensive for what we actually got on each one, they could be better organised (my opinion only). Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Cruise was Freemantle to Indonesia. Would never recommend. Our first cruise. On Aloha deck 11. Cabin was fine and kept very clean by stewards. Food plenty of it. Prefer dining in restaurants. Horizons Buffet. - What a nightmare. ... Read More
Cruise was Freemantle to Indonesia. Would never recommend. Our first cruise. On Aloha deck 11. Cabin was fine and kept very clean by stewards. Food plenty of it. Prefer dining in restaurants. Horizons Buffet. - What a nightmare. Twice we left our meals on the table as other inconsiderate passengers coughed and sneezed over our meals. It is far too cramped. I can't believe I paid good many to be packed in sardine style to eat. First week a few people had coughs, 2nd week just about every other person coughing or ill. Only diet drinks are water and Diet Coke. Paid for Internet - what they don't advise is you are going to use up most of your minutes just trying to access the internet, This is a total waste of money. The Promotional and supposedly informative lectures on Ports of Call.where boring, and not well presented. Do not book excursions from ship ( as we did).. They are way over-priced, and are not value for money, The seating on the buses used are designed for Asians, and if you are over 5 Feet tall you are going to be crammed and uncomfortable. Also no duty of care. Leave on tender in the mornings, return late afternoon, and no lunch provided. Great when you are diabetic. On three of these bus tours we had their religious beliefs discussed more than the country or history,. Passengers who booked their own on shore drivers had much better experiences. And also had time to eat. This is the better option. At most places, when you get off the bus, Indonesian vendors or hawkers are going to get right up in your face. They are rude and persistent, and do not take NO for an answer. Don't expect help from tour guide in keeping them away. This upset us greatly, I did not travel overseas to have strangers poking and prodding my arms and back, trying to sell their goods. In Australia we call this ASSAULT. It made our skin crawl, as we had no idea where or what these people had been ,or how hygienic they were. Hubby was so put off by this behaviour he refused to go on Lombok Tour. Which in some ways turned out to be the best one. Yes, I got sick, and ended up spending the last 2 nights in Hospital. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Freo-Indonesia-Freo- 15 nts, Aug 2016 – Dawn Princess Review – no complaints at all, just observations. Cruise was scheduled to leave freo Sunday night but due to bad weather conditions we stayed in port till 8am Monday. Good ... Read More
Freo-Indonesia-Freo- 15 nts, Aug 2016 – Dawn Princess Review – no complaints at all, just observations. Cruise was scheduled to leave freo Sunday night but due to bad weather conditions we stayed in port till 8am Monday. Good decision from Captain. Due to this we lost the port stop at Makassar and got a $59 credit because of it. I did not hear anyone complain about it. Worked in our favour because then we passed Lancelin midday Monday and had a good show of Whales breaching and Dolphins riding in the wake of the ship. Ship - no complaints but looking her age more so now than 3 years ago. Very clean, and well maintained. Room - (Aloha 345) with balcony, nice, bed a little hard but we requested eggshell underlay which was put on the bed next morning for us. Cabin attendants were friendly, efficient, and prompt as always. Crew – friendly, helpful, entertaining, got lots of people involved in everything. Food – quality and quantity good as always. Horizon court (buffet) had themed days (Asian, Italian, Mexican etc) these were a little disappointing and lacked authenticity with their selection and variety of dishes. There was still a variety of other foods those days as well. Desserts, unfortunately plentiful in variety LOL my personal favourites were the fruit crumbles with custard. Entertainment – usual daily events happening, e.g. bingo, trivia, line dancing, group events, games etc. Evening guest entertainers, in my opinion, lack somewhat in length, variety and individual performance. Most the entertainment seemed more lounge room singers and worn out performances including an ex young talent time performer. If anywhere this is the area that needs some attention. Dawn singers and dancers good as always. Shore Excursions – expensive! Because of cost we only did Komodo with Princess and that was very overpriced. Other stops we got our own driver and paid minimal to do similar to tours available. Getting on and off the ship – embarkation in Freo was a little slow due to security screening. No complaint, I want to be on a safe ship. Disembarking went really well when we got off around 8am. Only 20 mins from leaving ship to getting in cab. They have a system that works well I thought. Was easy at ports we docked at. Tender service was pretty good and fast considering the amount going ashore each time. Get a ticket when ready to go ashore and wait in designated area. Tours in different area to independent shore goers worked well for all. *Note – Semerang does not flood anymore, a retaining wall has been built and getting ashore you no longer walk thru water. A Terminal is also there and much easier to get rides/drivers anywhere. See pix. Guests on board – there was a younger demographic on this cruise compared to others. Main age would range 35-65, last time same cruise the age range was probably 50-90. This was evident by the number of people around the decks and pools. Not many kids and what were there were well behaved or controlled. Great bunch of guests on board!! All in all a good cruise. Sea and swells very easy to tolerate. Weather was awesome the whole trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016

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