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260 Perth (Fremantle) to Australia & New Zealand Cruise Reviews

Family members rated Celebrity and the itinerary was just what we were looking for, so we opted for this particular cruise. What we were not told about was the constant, loud and inane "background" music, from which it was so ... Read More
Family members rated Celebrity and the itinerary was just what we were looking for, so we opted for this particular cruise. What we were not told about was the constant, loud and inane "background" music, from which it was so difficult to escape. Even on the helipad, for our departure from Wellington, we were unable to escape! On the tender from the ship to Akaroa, we were blasted with loud music, interrupted only briefly by the safety announcement which was nigh on impossible to hear clearly. A complaint to Guest Relations was met with total indifference. Compared to the dining we enjoyed on our Emirates Business Class fights from the UK to Australia, the dining on board the Celebrity Solstice was rather disappointing, although, to be fair, we found the fried bread in the Oceanview cafe to be outstanding. Our meal in the Tuscan Grill is also worthy of mention, although, even at a reduced cost of $35 each, it was overpriced.. The big plus for us was the excellent service we got from our cabin "stewardess" Marion - friendly, cheerful, polite and very helpful in getting a damaged shoe repaired for us. In conclusion, Celebrity will need to up its game somewhat if we are to be persuaded to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Our first visit to Australia and New Zealand was in October 2015, when we cruised from Sydney round both Islands of New Zealand, returning to Sydney. Unfortunately, storms prevented us from visiting Fiordland, Dunedin and Akaroa on that ... Read More
Our first visit to Australia and New Zealand was in October 2015, when we cruised from Sydney round both Islands of New Zealand, returning to Sydney. Unfortunately, storms prevented us from visiting Fiordland, Dunedin and Akaroa on that occasion, with two days spent in Wellington, an unscheduled port, instead. Despite the long journey from the UK, when we spotted the Celebrity Solstice cruise from Perth (Fremantle), along the south coast and on to South Island NZ, finishing in Sydney, we thought it too good to miss, with the Southern Autumn offering a different season for our visit and, hopefully, better weather for Fiordland, which is the major attraction on this and similar cruises. We always spend a few days at the departure port to avoid the risk of missing the ship! Perth was enjoyable, with beautiful weather. Our travel agent provided a taxi to take us to Fremantle and we were on board Solstice before lunch, after a very swift embarkation process, with our Concierge Class room being available at around 14.00. The required safety briefing for us took place in the Art area, with very little seating and a limited view of the small screen, where an adventure-style film, presumably aimed at young people, rather failed to bring across the important safety points which would have been much clearer in a traditional presentation and was somewhat insulting to adults, in my opinion. This was our first voyage with Celebrity. Our room was fairly centrally placed, on deck 10, not far from the library area, which provided a useful land mark! We were between the two projecting areas and found the overhang above us useful in providing shade, although we were limited in our view of the stars on some clear nights. We chose the port side of the ship to place us on the landward and sunny side during the cruise. The view was slightly spoilt by the window cleaning gantry off to the right above us, but otherwise everything was fine and we had a good degree of privacy. Solstice has a central atrium, reaching to deck 14, with glass fronted lifts and an interesting living tree in an enormous pot suspended in the space. Live entertainment took place at times on the lowest deck, deck three, which also housed the Customer Relations desk. Unfortunately, the live entertainment could be devastatingly loud, making communication difficult with the desk staff as well as being extremely unpleasant. The noise reached high up through the atrium space and we were thankful to be far enough away not to be disturbed. We choose to eat all our meals in the self-service area on deck 14, mainly because we like to watch the world go by and also because we like the relaxed atmosphere. The area is often quiet in the evenings, but not always so. A concern was the fact that the hand sanitisers were placed near the entrance, but a good distance from the serving areas, meaning that a return to the sanitiser took longer than on most ships, where they are available next to the food area. They were manned at busy times by a member of staff, who also dispensed the sanitiser as you passed, but in the evenings it was up to the individual to use them, and not everyone did. We were told that the particular liquid in use on Solstice took time to dry and could not be placed close to the food area. On one occasion, we asked if French Onion soup was on the menu during the cruise and we were assured it could be requested from the MDR on any evening. We tried this and it was not so simple, but we did eventually receive our excellent soup! Generally, there was a good choice of food at various stations and usually no long queues. The staff were quick to clear tables and remove trays. The bar staff also were friendly and helpful. Because we don’t use the entertainment facilities and only used the bars to order our drinks with our complimentary package, plus preferring to eat all our meals in the self-service facility, our experience of the ship was fairly limited because we could access most places quickly from the central area. We did enjoy the hot tubs in the evenings, when it was quiet, and the promenade area on decks 15 and 16, with the interesting Hot Glass Show, but the lack of a lower, covered promenade area on the lifeboat deck was somewhat disappointing. Only a small public area was available on that deck. My general impression of Solstice was that it was somewhat characterless, but very pleasant nevertheless. We had on-board credit and put it towards a Wifi package, which covered the whole cruise. The Wifi was excellent with high speeds and we made the most of the facility to post photos to our family and friends, at home in the UK with the Beast from the East. Our first port of call was Adelaide, where we took the train into town to visit the Botanical Gardens. Afterwards, we waited for an overdue free bus to tour the town, but got off after ten minutes as we had hardly moved in the heavy traffic and thought we had better return to the ship! Melbourne was our next port, where we met up with family and enjoyed a tour of the Diamond Valley Railway with my cousin, a founder member of the miniature railway group. By the time we had enjoyed lunch and visited my cousins’ homes, our planned tram ride in the city had to be abandoned, but we made the 16.30 deadline at the ship with 20 minutes to spare! Concierge Class passengers were invited onto the Helideck for the sailaway, a very windy location that afternoon, but the views of Port Philip Bay and the strong currents, The Rips, were worth facing the stiff breeze. The forecast for our visit to Fiordland was looking good, as bad weather frequently prevents entry into the Sounds. However, late in the evening of our departure from Melbourne, the Cruise Director made an announcement directly into staterooms, an unusual procedure other than in emergencies. Unfortunately, a passenger had been taken seriously ill after our departure and needed to be taken back to Melbourne. Other methods of evacuation were not possible, we were told. Consequently, the morning of the next day found us leaving Port Philip Bay once again and we were informed that the time lost meant our scenic cruising in Fiordland was cancelled. This being the highlight of the cruise, most passengers were far from happy about the cancellation, although the needs of the passenger concerned, who apparently was recovering, were not disputed. It was felt that at least one of the Sounds might still have been a possibility, but a film made by the Captain and the Cruise Director, shown all day, explained the decisions made. Our conclusion is that Fiordland is best visited by land! We had spent time in Doubtful Sound in 2015, but were still very frustrated by the second missed visit. Thus we had an extra day at sea, on top of the eight sea days already in the itinerary, so Dunedin was a welcome chance to go ashore, especially after missing the port in 2015. Again we visited the Botanical Gardens, with an extensive aviary, then the delightful Chinese Gardens. The shuttle bus from Port Chalmers should have cost 20 US$, but the charge was removed with no explanation. The sailaway was another spectacular journey. Akaroa was a tendered port, another missed in 2015. We had booked an independent trip with Akaroa Dolphins for midday, thinking that we might not make the earlier boat, but email messages informed us that forecast bad weather meant that our boat was cancelled and offered us places on the earlier trip. Tickets are required to take the tender boats, but we were still able to disembark in plenty of time. We were lucky enough to see a good number of dolphins, better than the four seen the previous day! The weather did indeed deteriorate and the tender boat back to the ship provided some unfortunate passengers with several cold showers, as waves washed through the open door. Our only port in North Island was Wellington. This time, the ship had to dock further from the town following earthquake damage after our previous visit, but once again the shuttle bus was unexpectedly free of charge. From the town, we went by free shuttle to Zealandia Wildlife Park, which we visited in 2015, well worth visiting for the bird life as well as the setting. There are also Tuataras to spot in a protected area. The shuttle returned us to the top of the Botanical Garden, where a “cable car” or funicular can be taken down to the town, but we walked down through the gardens. Picton is a pleasant small town. The ship docks in a nearby harbour so once again a free shuttle bus was needed. The bus driver mentioned the EcoWorld Aquarium, where Tuataras can be seen at close quarters, so we called in after visiting the Craft Market and enjoyed the Little Blue Penguin, almost ready to be returned to the wild, as well as the other inhabitants and especially the Cook Island Tuatara we were allowed to touch. Cook Island Tuataras live in temperatures which dictate that their eggs are female, so they are not threatened. On the other hand, Brothers Island Tuataras live in warming areas which means they produce males and are threatened, with very few females left. EcoWorld has two males but cannot introduce a female until one male proves to be dominant over two years. These two have not decided the issue yet. Nothing is fast in a Tuatara’s life. The sailaway through Queen Charlotte Sound was once again a wonderful experience. We enjoy cruising for the scenery and the wildlife we encounter along the way and we were not disappointed, being treated to visits from dolphins on several occasions, but you have to be looking, of course. We prefer to self-disembark, carrying our suitcases, so we were off the ship around 07.00, having watched Solstice enter Sydney Harbour in the dark, and we had deposited our cases in the Shangri-La and were out enjoying Sydney by 08.00. In the evening, we watched Solstice depart, while we still had several days left to reacquaint ourselves with Sydney. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Thought we would try Celebrity as we have done eight cruises with Princess and have booked two more. We prefer Princess and feel more comfortable with them. Celebrity offered drinks upon arriving on deck which was a nice touch. On both ... Read More
Thought we would try Celebrity as we have done eight cruises with Princess and have booked two more. We prefer Princess and feel more comfortable with them. Celebrity offered drinks upon arriving on deck which was a nice touch. On both ships food was amazing and MDR waiters were exemplary. The main food buffet is much better on Celebrity and takeaway option for coffee was a plus. They also use ceramic cups and Princess use plastic cups for coffee and tea which is not as nice. The deck space on Princess is huge and has an amazing atrium where Celebrity’s foyer is very small in comparison. Entertainment space is better on Princess and there are plenty or bars and seperate areas to escape to. We never waited in line for dinner on Princess whereas Celebrity was poorly organised as shows finished and the dining room wasn’t open for another half hour or so so queues built up. Bars were on the side of walk through areas so it was annoying having crowds of people walk past constantly and if music played and people danced there was no room. Drinks packages were pushed onto you and you were continually asked to dine at a specialty restaurant. I think the restaurants took up a lot of deck space. Areas for entertainment were very small and the entertainment crew were not a patch on Princess. It was worth a try but disappointing for us. There was much more drinking on board and sitting at bars whereas Princess have designated intimate areas where you can have a drink in a pleasant surroundings. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I chose this cruise because of places I would see. We flew about 22 hours to Australia from Finland and one of the highlights was Millford Sound in NZ. One of the revuers told here why visiting came to nothing. Something fishy about the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of places I would see. We flew about 22 hours to Australia from Finland and one of the highlights was Millford Sound in NZ. One of the revuers told here why visiting came to nothing. Something fishy about the decision not to go to Sounds, we could have speeded up a bit to see at least one of the three. Ship is well maintained, food tasteful, gym good, cabin nice and cabin service excellent. We had a balcony cabin, but mostly we were outdoors by the pool or skybar. Thank you for the breakfast porridge. I put on 3 kg while cruising though I used the walkingpath and gym. Other harpours and towns were interesting and exciting. Too many seadays for not-so-good-english speaking traveler and the entertainment was too loud to a senior, exspecially bar in third level and the theatre. We had shore excursions in our own language so I cant say nothing of ships excursions. I have been earlier Independence of Seas, Royal Caribbean, There was more entertaiment for forigners, danceshows, skating show and mini-golf. I liked it better. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Because it was going to the countries we have always wanted to visit and we wanted to do it in luxury.We were a bit disappointed we did not see the Sounds but understood the circumstances,the Captain made the correct decision to save ... Read More
Because it was going to the countries we have always wanted to visit and we wanted to do it in luxury.We were a bit disappointed we did not see the Sounds but understood the circumstances,the Captain made the correct decision to save somebody"s life.The staff were excellent and we cannot single anyone out because they were very professional in their roles and are a credit to Celebrity Cruises. The variety of restaurants catered for everyone and the food was excellent. The shows were brilliant and all the acts were professional. This cruise was a celebration of our Golden Wedding Anniversary and we could not have wished for a more wonderful and exciting. It is something that will live in our hearts for ever.It also gave a wonderful opportunity to see our old neighbours who emigrated to New Zealand 47years ago.We had a wonderful day with them recalling many memories and Celebrity Cruises made it all possible. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We wanted to see the NZ sounds and also to try the Solstice - so this cruise seemed a good pick. Previously cruised on the Century and multiple RCI. Stayed in Fremantle a few days before the cruise, where we had a great time. Lots of ... Read More
We wanted to see the NZ sounds and also to try the Solstice - so this cruise seemed a good pick. Previously cruised on the Century and multiple RCI. Stayed in Fremantle a few days before the cruise, where we had a great time. Lots of nice bars/restaurants , good music scene. Come embarkation day we were let down by the chaotic boarding process - disorganised and rude staff, long queues and more queues - nowhere to sit, in a hanger/shed like, dated terminal. Has put me off traveling from Freo ever again..... The ship:the Solstice is nicely presented and modern. Still they try to upsell everything for $$ and boring over priced art sales are still going strong. Alcoholic drinks are very expensive ($US14 glass of wine) so we availed ourselves of the Elite Lounge happy hour each evening and went without a beverage in the day - which suited us just fine. Our inside cabin was spacious, for an inside, and kept immaculate by our cabin attendant. At 2k pp for 16 nights not too bad price wise. Happy with the standard of cleaning that was always evident, everywhere around the ship. Nice decor and lovely seating areas to find a quiet spot to contemplate life. The food was the let down - not up to RCI standard imo. Buffett food in the Ocean view Cafe varied a lot. We had some undercooked/overcooked/stale/some good. Pick your own stir fry was brilliant one day - next day with a different server was horrible. The quality depended on the day and who served us. Inconsistent. The Grand Epernay restaurant was better at lunch time. Nice service and food. Evening service in the Grand Epernay was not very good, the waiters seemed over burdened and rushed. Our waiter disappeared just before dessert on every occasion leaving the assistant to fend on his own. I had cutlery and water dropped on me on several occasions and once elbowed in the head by the waiter...gave it a miss after that. Aqua spa cafe I would not recommend at all- healthy maybe – limited choice and not in the least yummy. Mast grill - not to labour the point but this was utterly awful. First time I've ever encountered blatantly rude service staff, inedible turkey burger. I walked away never to return! Elite lounge served hors d'oeuvres on platters that were taken around each and every guest –& put right under their noses -needless to say didn't fancy any of that germ fest.......Enough of the food... We went to several shows and enjoyed the headline singers and comedians - but not the in house singers and dancers - boring and low quality. Loved the ports of Adelaide, Melbourne(recommend the free tram, Southbank and Arts centre),Dunedin,Wellington,Picton. Always do our own thing as the on board tours are not our bag and very very expensive. Unfortunately never got to see a nary one of the sounds,as a guest became ill with Pneumonia and Captain decided we had to sail back to Melbourne! Lost 6 hours and the sounds went as well. Sad about that but couldn't be helped. Overall I would only do a Solstice cruise again if the price was right – like a late deal or the like. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The embarkation process was a madhouse. We had a suite, so we stood in line for an hour less than our friends who had a balcony stateroom. But once onboard, our cabin wasn’t ready for 2 hours. Since we had a “suite”, we had free WiFi ... Read More
The embarkation process was a madhouse. We had a suite, so we stood in line for an hour less than our friends who had a balcony stateroom. But once onboard, our cabin wasn’t ready for 2 hours. Since we had a “suite”, we had free WiFi but only for one device at a time. Non-suite guests had to pay over $300.00 for WiFi, again for only one device at a time. This cruise had 9 days at sea. Onboard entertainment was good but for 9 days. We booked this cruise specifically because it cruised the fjords of New Zealand. Due to medical emergency we returned to Melbourne. We lost 12 hours. Rather than use more fuel to get to New Zealand, the captain decided to skip the fjords. We had a suite that was simply a roomier stateroom so a sofa could be placed in the cabin.....so not really a suite. Common areas of the ship were well maintained. Not so in our “suite”. Sofa was so used that you sank into it....very uncomfortable. Fabric on arms was frayed. Bath towels were so old, they were thin and hems were coming out. Mattress was worn out. Deep indentations from previous occupants. Food was very good in sit down restaurants...not so good at the Oceanview Cafe (a buffet) which was only lunch option if you stayed aboard in port. The bright spot on this cruise was the staff. All were extremely friendly and helpful. Our butler was especially attentive. The bar tenders at the Martini Bar were exceptional and very entertaining. Shore excursions were so what. In Melbourne, we road a bus for an hour to take a 20 minute “vintage” train ride, then an hour back to the ship. In Akaroa (near Christchurch), the ship docked in the bay and we had to take tenders into shore. Our tour was cancelled so on our way back to ship, we sat on top open deck to get some pictures. The sea became so rough (without warning from staff) that we were nearly washed overboard. We had to sit on the floor and scoot to the stairs with help from crew. Doors were left open and the Greek Cowboy at the helm sped through waves causing us to get even wetter. The ship did launder our clothes. I was covered in bruises from bouncing around and trying to get down the stairs. The Picton tour was worse. We road yet another train for over an hour and dumped in a very small town with only one decent restaurant for lunch. Shopping and sightseeing were very limited. Another hour back to ship. Mediocre wine was sold for $5 for a tiny plastic cup. Only scenery from the train were a few vineyards. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
After sailing on smaller cruise ships, we decided to try one of the larger ones, and Celebrity was recommended to us, a party of six. Many pro's and con's. Solistice, is a beautiful ship, luxurious and with many small ... Read More
After sailing on smaller cruise ships, we decided to try one of the larger ones, and Celebrity was recommended to us, a party of six. Many pro's and con's. Solistice, is a beautiful ship, luxurious and with many small hideaways, bars and restaurants. The buffet in the Ocean Cafe, was AMAZING, the choice of food each day was original and themed. You can get very carried away with the amount on offer, one of the best i have seen. We enjoyed the outside table, but it is a bit of a challenge to find a seat sometimes, and on especially, sea days, very packed out, busy and off putting. Shore days, no problem. Bars: Many great bars, but again, when busy, takes a while to get a drink, sometimes, you can only see one person serving..we walked away from a few pool bars, as staff were busy chatting to guests, which is ok, but service still should be maintained. Cabins: Nice comfortable cabins, with the best beds we have ever slept on...best nights sleeps on any of the cruises we have ever done. Entertainment: half the shows are brilliant, half, not too good, sit at the back in case you need to leave early. Cabin Charges: this was hard to manage, with constantly over charging and checking on a daily basis, not a fan of showing your card for every single thing...even for water. All inclusive should be an option. The main dining restaurant was excellent, our watiers, Mathew and Happy, were some of the best we have ever encountered. Felt like we were on a luxury cruise with their level of service Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise because old friends from the US had booked it and we were able to board in our home town of Perth (Fremantle), and enjoy another cruise with them. Unfortunately the cruise was ultimately disappointing on too many ... Read More
We chose this cruise because old friends from the US had booked it and we were able to board in our home town of Perth (Fremantle), and enjoy another cruise with them. Unfortunately the cruise was ultimately disappointing on too many levels and we will probably never cruise with this company again. 1. Too many sea days. 3 sea days from Perth to Adelaide, then only 9 hours in port. Another 2 sea days to Melbourne and only 7 hours in port. Melbourne deserves at least 2 days in port - so much to see and enjoy in and around the city. After Melbourne we were supposed to have 2 more sea days then one full day cruising through and around Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and Dusky Bay. However the ship had to return to Melbourne (after we were already 6 hours out) as there was a sick passenger who could not be medivacced by helicopter. Total loss - 12 hours, therefore decision made to cancel the visits to the Sounds. Sorry, but this story about the sick passenger started to sound more and more like a fairy story as the day, and the constant video loop by the Captain and the cruise director, wore on. Milford Sound is a NZ ICON. To cancel this was very poor. So another boring day at sea. 2. Very badly organised tender departures and a DEARTH of information beforehand. Too bad if you had a train to catch at 10am...you could not leave on the tender until all the ship's tours passengers had departed. We managed to sneak onto the tender and did manage to catch our train. Others were not so lucky. No-one was told beforehand that the tender would take almost half an hour to reach the dock so people were missing their tours all over the place. How dare the "Guest Relations" staff treat their "guests" so rudely. Trying to get a straight answer from them on any question relating to being able to leave the boat to take a privately organised excursion was impossible. Obfuscation, confusion, wrong information and straight out lies seem to have been their forte. The boat did not offer a tour of the sort which we wished to take in one port so we organised our own special interest tour. But we were told we would have to wait until all the boat tour passengers had left before we could use the gangway. Well...poop to that said we, and off we went down the gangway when it suited us. 3. Overly loud music from Take 5 on deck 3 at 7.45 Couldn't hear oneself think, let alone converse with others. Ray Brown Jr was more pleasant. The Take 5 singer had already overstretched her voice trying an overly loud and screechy version of RESPECT, and no-one was enjoying her singing any more. The demographic on this tour was 60+ - we like to converse over a drink and hear each other. 4. Flavourless, insipid food How many chefs are on board this vessel??? And not one of them could produce an interesting, authentic, spicy Asian dish. Bland, boring, insipid, with plenty of pseudo French and Italian food also. The Tuscan Grill, for which we paid US$45pp extra, was horrible. Not a genuine Italian dish on the menu. Dry chicken schnitzel smothered in melted rubbery tasteless cheese is not an Italian dish. We were rushed through our meal and did not enjoy it at all because of this also. ALL the cheese at every meal was the same - tasteless, unidentifiable, and rubbery. Occasionally a brie or camembert, and a blue cheese appeared but these were a very rare occurrence. 5. Tired and dated cabin decor. Bed with sunken patches, small, uncomfortable pillows. KMart quality toiletries - adequate but not special. KMart quality chocs on pillows - not nice. The choice of ports in New Zealand was quite good, but the activities onshore were fairly limited in these small towns. The cancellation of the Sounds also affected all of the Wilderness tours, as they all had to be cancelled. The room stewards were always delightful, as were many of the bar and waitstaff. The waitstaff attending our table in the Epernay Dining Room were very good also. Fortunately we had the company of friends to enjoy our days with. We will probably revisit New Zealand later this year and hopefully see the Sounds and the Wilderness areas which we missed on this cruise. Ultimately, for us, this cruise was very unsatisfying. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We finally had a window of time to travel to this part of the world. Our sixteen-night cruise was sandwiched in between two road trips to explore this beautiful area. We arrived a week before our sail away from Freemantle and were glad ... Read More
We finally had a window of time to travel to this part of the world. Our sixteen-night cruise was sandwiched in between two road trips to explore this beautiful area. We arrived a week before our sail away from Freemantle and were glad we had this time to explore a small part of WA. We spent four nights in Margaret River and four in Perth. Great wine, delicious food, and sandy beaches are the best way to kick start any vacation! We stayed at a Quest property in Perth across from King's Park that was an apartment hotel. This worked perfectly as it provided a way to launder a week’s worth of clothes before setting out on the cruise. It also was close enough to return the rental car and walk back to the hotel. We took a taxi from Perth to the port in Freemantle, a thirty-minute ride and $38 AUD. Once you board the ship and go through passport control you are not allowed to go back off the ship. However, you can drop off your luggage and board later if you want to see a few more things in port. Embarkation was smooth and we were in our Aqua 2 cabin by 1:30 pm. Our aft location had staterooms above and below and we found it to be very quiet. Our configuration had the sofa nearest the balcony which had two chairs and footstools. Our luggage arrived before the muster drill and there was adequate storage space to unpack. The luggage fit under the bed. Before we had lunch, we confirmed our dinner reservations in the specialty restaurants (purchased onboard 4/$125,) manicure in the spa, and purchased an internet package with our Captain Club discount. Connection speed was good during sea days. Demographics-Mostly American, Canadian, British, Australian, Kiwis. There were only 16 children on board. Dining/Drinks-Liked the Classic Beverage Package and the fact that you could pay the difference if you ocassionaly wanted something more expensive. Also, the package was convenient for getting bottled water at the bars or coffee at Café al Bacio Blu was a big factor in our decision to book an Aqua class cabin and we were not disappointed. We appreciated having a smaller venue for dinner and always got a table for two at our preferred later time. We were fine with getting a drink at the World Class Bar if we had to wait a bit to get a window table or to be seated in a preferred area. We found the food to be very good and enough choices including a few that were always available from MDR menu. Favorites were short ribs and corn soup volute. The sommelier was available when you needed him. The breakfast menu was ok but you could get both your bacon and English muffin crispy if requested! Tuscan Grill-excellent food with matching service. We wanted to try a few appetizers and they accommodated us with smaller portions. Veal Marsala with polenta fries and pappardelle were favorites. Silk Harvest-great variety of dishes to try and they also portioned them just right. All delicious with favorites being Black Bean Chicken and Orange Beef. Excellent service as well. Murano-Exceptional food and service. We recommend the Chateaubriand for 2. As we had visited some wineries before the cruise, we purchased a couple of bottles to enjoy with dinner knowing there would be a corkage fee. We brought one bottle with us for dinner but it appeared somewhat awkward as though this was more an exception. We just wanted to enjoy a local wine and something not available to us back home Chef’s Table-a definite splurge but well worth it. We started at Celler Masters getting acquainted with our fellow tablemates enjoying Champagne and canapés. We were then treated to a tour of the MDR galley and the Murano kitchen as well. The multi-course dinner and wine pairing with the chef was a lot of fun and delicious too! Oceanview Café-good for a quick bite with some buffet menu items changing from day to day. A large variety from breakfast options, salads, sandwiches, hot items, desserts. My favorite was Caesar Salad. Aquaspa Café-I tried this twice and did not find what I wanted. Only plain yogurt not basic vanilla. The turkey wraps were seasoned well but the tomatoes made them soggy. Too bad as I liked the seating area. Mast Grill-great burgers and you could get cooked onions on them too. Tables close to the rail in this area as well World Class Bar-great service either at the bar or in the comfy chairs. A good place to have a pre or post dinner drink. Usually entertainment offered as well Martini Bar-this iced bar was always buzzing and Espresso Martinis the best Cellar Masters-a cozy clubby atmosphere but service not the best Café al Bacio-great coffee and desserts. Often difficult to get a seat. Best get a take-away and go down a level to find a place to sit and read/plan your day The Lawn-a favorite spot but getting a seat is like winning the lottery Room Service-we used it three times and our breakfast arrived on time (even early) and at the right temperature. Even if you forgot to request something obvious like butter or jam for your toast it was included. Entertainment –We were pleasantly surprised with the entertainment onboard. Throughout the ship you would find a variety of musical genres being performed whether it was classical, R&R, jazzy, music in the Atrium for ballroom dancing. In the theater a variety of performers entertained us with song, comedy, and acrobatics. Some like Andy Joy and Belinda Marks even performed matinee shows on the many sea days we had. We also can’t deny how funny the “Newlywed and Not so Newly Wed” show and similar ones were as well as the Silent Disco. Things we never thought we would participate in. Also enjoyed the Corning Glass Show. Staff-Can’t compliment them enough for their hard work with a smile to ensure guests have a wonderful cruise Ports Freemantle/Perth-Great history with lots to see and do. We were so glad that we got to spend time in Western Australia and at the end of our long trip on land and sea it stands out as one of our favorite places. If you embark from here arrive early to enjoy this part of the country. Adelaide-Only an 8-5 stop and we arranged for a trip to the Barossa Valley wine country and liked it. Melbourne-Wish we had an overnight here as short time provided only an overview of the city. Would definitely return. Fjords-Dusky, Doubtful, and Milford Sound. Unfortunately, ours was the cruise that experienced a medical emergency and after sailing six hours away from Melbourne we had to return. This prevented our sailing through the Sounds as timing would not be viable once we were back on course. We understand this decision but for some guests it was a great disappointment after traveling so far. Dunedin-We booked a small group tour which included a visit to Larnach Castle. A fascinating story to a beautiful place. Akaroa-This is a tender stop. There is a small cluster of shops and cafes when you get off the tender. We walked around the shore and then walked up to The Giant’s House. It was definitely worth the $20 NZD as the life-size mosaic sculptures created by Ms. Martin are stunning as is her lovely garden. A real gem of a photo opportunity. Go inside and watch the video as it gives you a good background story. There is also a café on site. This is definitely an Akaroa highlight. Otherwise, as scenic as this stop is you may be underwhelmed for things to do if you plan to just stay in town. Wellington-Visit the National Museum Te Papa Tongarewa. The modern museum is well done and entry is free. A good place to learn about Maori art and culture. There was a free shuttle from the ship to the Tourist Information Center and you could walk to the museum from there. You can also visit the Botanic Garden riding the cable car up to the top. We explored this on our own by walking but it is a bit of a walk once you leave the garden if you don’t take the cable car back down. You can catch the free shuttle for your return to the ship. Picton-Marlborough Valley is a beautiful area. Book a tour and enjoy some wine! Sydney-sailing in at dawn and seeing the Sydney Opera House.....as they say...Priceless! Disembarkation Sydney-As at the end of any cruise I've taken, when you get off the ship you will find your luggage grouped somewhere in the terminal. It was pouring rain when we got off the ship and we were flying to Aukland to do a land trip. We had booked an airport transfer and glad we did. The only difficulty was having more luggage than was easily carried outside to the street where the coaches were parked without having a luggage cart or any porters to assist you and rain! This was a great cruise but I believe the contributing factor was having the drink package, Aqua with Blu access, and OBC that covered most of the extras. All perks that made a difference for a hassle free time. It would have been nice if more wines from Australia and NZ were on the ship's wine list since it spends a lot of the year cruising in this region. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Here we are on the second leg of our back to back Celebrity Solstice Cruse, returning to the ship for the second leg at the Port of Fremantle. We found embarkation excellent with no hassles whatsoever. Here again, we give the five star ... Read More
Here we are on the second leg of our back to back Celebrity Solstice Cruse, returning to the ship for the second leg at the Port of Fremantle. We found embarkation excellent with no hassles whatsoever. Here again, we give the five star rating mainly because of the excellent service by the staff, including our room attendant for the second leg, again this was Raymundo who looked after our every need and his service was quite outstanding. As we were in Aqua Class, we dined in the restaurant for Aqua Class guests, which is called Blu. This time in our serving section of Blu, we received outstanding service from "Uncle Jimmy", ably assisted by Sabar, with our wine sommalier, Ben, plus all other staff members in Blu who also attended us from time, ten out of ten to these assistants too. We must also mention Dimitri in the World Class Bar, who gave us superb service during our second leg. After leaving Perth, our first port of call was Adelaide again. Here we found the disembarkation a lot smoother than the previous forward visit to this port, as Celebrity used two gangways which made ease of offloading of guests much smoother. Our next stop was Melbourne. Here the ship docks at Port Melbourne which is in close proximity to the shopping district of Port Melbourne and trams into the Melbourne city precinct. Our next stop was supposed to be the Sounds, including Milford Sound, Doubtful Sound and Dusky Sound, but due to a medical emergency by one of the guests, the ship returned to the dock of Melbourne after an announcement over the PA system at about midnight. Here we lost approximately twelve hours of sailing time and it was the decision of the Captain and the Company to miss visiting the Sounds. A large number of guests were very unhappy about this decision as the Sounds are the major highlight of this particular voyage. A more practical solution would have been to miss either Dunedin, Akaroa or Wellington. As we ourselves had seen the Sounds before, we were not quite as upset as many other guests on board. The next port of call was Dunedin followed by Akaroa, Wellington, Picton and then the final leg to Sydney Australia. As we had seen many of the shows on the previous back to back cruise, we omitted to view these on the second leg, but they did have a few new single artists who were entertaining. We noticed during both cruises that some of the entertainers we had seen previously on Celebrity Solstice cruises and these entertainers need to have "fresh" material for guests, as you are hearing the same jokes and material. The public areas throughout the ship were always kept spotlessly clean by a highly efficient maintenance team. Hand sanitisers are provided at the openings to all restaurants, but we noticed on this second leg of the cruise there were a lot more people sneezing and coughing, which even after our own stringent hand washing with our own personal hand sanitiser, we still managed to still pick up head colds and flu. As is the case, it is not the ship that causes the colds and flu, it is the guests with no consideration whatsoever for the health of fellow passengers with their sanitising procedures. Arriving home sick with colds and flu is no fun. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and just assumed that everything else would be OK, as Royal Caribbean is a known brand name. Unfortunately, not so. The standards of service and food were poor, The quality of the food was ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and just assumed that everything else would be OK, as Royal Caribbean is a known brand name. Unfortunately, not so. The standards of service and food were poor, The quality of the food was acceptable (but by no means notable), but having it served up in pretty much the same way every single day was monotonous in the extreme. We could not wait to get off and have a decent meal. Cabin was smaller than expected, but acceptable. Activities were pretty much zero. There were quite a few quizzes, and luckily both I and my travelling companion love quizzes! Before we boarded we had joked about napkin folding, but it proved to be the most interesting activity on board (not that we went - but it was fun to joke about). Unless you gamble, which is what I guess RC want you to do. Entertainment was not up to much. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We travelled from Adelaide to Perth on the Indian Pacific and the Astor left a day after we got to Perth so we thought that would be an interesting way to return. The cruise started out badly discovering we had not got the cabin I ... Read More
We travelled from Adelaide to Perth on the Indian Pacific and the Astor left a day after we got to Perth so we thought that would be an interesting way to return. The cruise started out badly discovering we had not got the cabin I requested but that was the travel agents fault. The corridors are narrow but the restaurants were spacious enough. The service in the Waldorf was hot and cold. When you first sat down the drinks waiters couldn't wait to present you with the wine list and take your orders, but try getting a second drink if you didn't order wine. You could look directly at a drinks waiter and he would look away. They were each assigned a certain table and didn't seem to want to help any other table out. But, if you dined in the specialty Mediterranean restaurant it was like being on another ship! Service and food were both excellent. Even though some of the service was lax the food itself was pretty good to excellent. There is no facility where you can buy a good coffee except after 9am in the morning. My Wife likes a coffee first thing so she was not impressed. Another irritation was the fact they charged $10 a day in gratuities. I believe this contributes to the behaviour of some of the crew. We never saw our cabin steward once for the whole voyage. I am comparing them to the steward we had on our last Royal Caribbean cruise who always seemed to be available and wishing you good morning etc. Won't be cruising on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was our first cruise with Cunard for some years. It did not disappoint. It was part of a World Voyage and our 12 night cruise started in Fremantle and ended in Sydney. We flew to Perth from Manchester (3 flights). It was a long ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Cunard for some years. It did not disappoint. It was part of a World Voyage and our 12 night cruise started in Fremantle and ended in Sydney. We flew to Perth from Manchester (3 flights). It was a long journey. We added 2 nights stay in hotels at both Perth and Sydney respectively. When we arrived at Fremantle Port the check in for the Queen Mary 2 was a breeze. We soon arrived at our stateroom which was better than expected. The accommodation was immaculate and beautifully decorated throughout. We had a sheltered balcony which was ok. We do prefer a standard balcony however. There was a costly refit in 2016 and the ship has been tastefully refurbished. It's very stylish around the Grand Lobby area. Even though it's a big ship there was always plenty room on the decks and in all the elegant lounges. You could always find somewhere to sit. The promenade deck circumnavigates the ship and is a great area for a daily stroll. The entertainment at the Royal Court Theatre was very professional and we saw some great shows. The Queen's Room was wonderful for dancing, Big Band Nights, and Gala Balls. It has a superb ballroom. There was a buzz of activity every night and a lovely way to spend a pleasant evening. We dined at the Britannia Restaurant most nights. It has a fabulous atmosphere. Food was excellent, well cooked with varied menu. Staff very courteous and efficient. Kings Court was our breakfast choice. Again a good selection of delicious food and well presented. Sometimes it was difficult to find a seat here because this is a very popular dining area. The seating is spread over a large area. Evening dress code for men is Dinner Jacket on formal and informal nights. It is not to everyone's liking but is a Cunard tradition. Overall the food was very good despite adverse reviews from some passengers. The Purser's Office was very efficient dealing with any problems. Excursions were well organised but not cheap. We met some lovely people from many countries. My Wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our cruise on the Queen Mary 2. It's a truly magnificent ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise as we wanted a short one (Perth to Albany) and we were very happy by the level of service. The cabins though small were always very clean. Entertainment on board was great - every night was a great show Food was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted a short one (Perth to Albany) and we were very happy by the level of service. The cabins though small were always very clean. Entertainment on board was great - every night was a great show Food was good and drinks were plenty and as we were in a group we had a lot of fun. The maintenance team were also very helpful when we needed them I want to thank wholeheartedly the housekeeping team in particular for their honesty. On the last day I lost my diamond ring and I reported this to the Astor while back home. I knew the ring was in my cabin as I dropped it on the floor there. The housekeeping team had a thorough look in my cabin and the day after reported that they had found my ring back (lying on the carpet). A big thank you for having been so thorough in your search for my ring. It means a lot to me Marie S G Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I was interested to see if the hype around the recent dry dock was justified, it was not. Sure the new penthouses are impressive, our request for one of the new penthouse suites prior to the cruise went unanswered by Crystal, yet on the ... Read More
I was interested to see if the hype around the recent dry dock was justified, it was not. Sure the new penthouses are impressive, our request for one of the new penthouse suites prior to the cruise went unanswered by Crystal, yet on the open day there was one available for viewing, very annoying. However, the existing penthouse suite allocated was very comfortable, if a little dated, for my mother and sister. My other sister and myself were on deck five and personally I think these are great value for money, they are the same size as the much more expensive staterooms and missing a balcony isn't an issue, for me anyway. There are only a small number of these, tucked away behind reception, very private and quiet, yet very handy to MDR and one of the bars, also located on deck five. But getting back to the renovations, the new large smart TV's in every stateroom are great, with a huge variety of on demand movies, but where the old tv was there's now an ugly and unfinished "hole", they could have tidied that up way better. The renovated MDR is impressive, much quieter and more sophisticated, many more tables for two and food And service as good as ever, some dishes truly memorable. I felt sorry for the waiters, having to use a tiny device, smaller than a cell phone, to take orders, in the main they mostly got it right. The Starlite Club "reimagining " was no more than new carpet and a recovering of the same old awkward and uncomfortable chairs - a bit of a non event, the room still as tired as previously and easily the most dated public room, especially compared to Palm Court, which I personally think is the most beautiful space on any ship I have been on. Elsewhere the new spaces on the pool deck are good, the old Trident Grill area now extra smart. As usual, the staff were outstanding in all areas, cannot be faulted. Overall, a very enjoyable cruise, up to the usual standard, just don't expect too much from the "extreme makeover" Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We wanted to see as much of Australia as possible in a brief time. We also went to Tasmania, which was a bonus! Best shore excursions were in "The Bush" where we got to look around for kangaroos and koalas in the wild. Though ... Read More
We wanted to see as much of Australia as possible in a brief time. We also went to Tasmania, which was a bonus! Best shore excursions were in "The Bush" where we got to look around for kangaroos and koalas in the wild. Though I am not a big drinker, I enjoyed not having to pay attention to the drinks I was ordering and once I gleaned on to it, I enjoyed trying the "featured drink" listed on the daily newsletter. We felt the entertainment was mostly too late after days hiking around all day - but we tend to go to bed around 10:00. Our friends enjoyed the live lectures, while I preferred watching those later in our cabin. Trying different dining rooms was great, and I really enjoyed the cafe where I got specialty coffees and pastries or fruit in the mornings while my spouse cleaned up. They got to know me on a first name basis. Then I'd join my spouse and friends for a more complete breakfast later. Food was *always* varied and fantastic!! We never had to wait in line to get back on board - which we appreciated! Worst part of the trip was when our transfer didn't pick us up at the airport when we arrived. When I called the emergency number, they were disorganized and confused. After multiple "holds" they said we were in the computer, but didn't come out on the print out - so they weren't looking for and left us, which didn't help. Then they didn't know how to help us at the emergency number - said they had to wait to hear from ONE person, who wasn't answering her phone. Since this was our friends' 1st cruise - this made an unpleasant 1st impression. We were stuck in the airport baggage pickup about 2 hours on the phone with them, before we finally gave up grabbed a taxi on our own. We were later reimbursed by the concierge later on-board the ship. They also gave us ship credits to spend as a consolation. I would have still rather had the transfer without the stress. The bathrooms were pristine and I loved having both fresh laundered individual finger towels, then paper towels to open the door to leave. Exceptional! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was a getaway for a group of friends. It was a marvellous time, going to Albany and back. The food was amazing every night, could not be faulted. I definitely recommend the Astor for people looking for a wonderful relaxing time. ... Read More
This was a getaway for a group of friends. It was a marvellous time, going to Albany and back. The food was amazing every night, could not be faulted. I definitely recommend the Astor for people looking for a wonderful relaxing time. We were lucky enough to have an upgrade and got a small suite on the Atlantic deck, which was an unexpected surprise. The shows in the Astor lounge were fantastic, I really enjoyed the ABBA show, and throughout the day there were quizzes, bingo, and in the afternoon music from various members of the entertainment group. One of the members of our group had a significant birthday and the crew provided her with a cake and a number of staff singing happy birthday to her. Which was a huge surprise to her, however she really appreciated the moment. This is not a cruise ship with casino, huge pools etc, which is not something I was looking for, but if that is what you want, the Astor is not for you. This was my second time on the Astor and I will be back again, thank you very much Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose to cruise on Astor to check the ship out on a short cruise while contemplating a longer cruise on it. The prominent marketing in Australia of this boat sailing out of Perth-Fremantle using "pay for one and the second person ... Read More
We chose to cruise on Astor to check the ship out on a short cruise while contemplating a longer cruise on it. The prominent marketing in Australia of this boat sailing out of Perth-Fremantle using "pay for one and the second person travels for free" was an inducement. The daily charge of $10 Aust per person turned out to be more than better ships that we have cruised on. This is an old German ship which doesn’t have up to date procedures; e.g. a huge key and fob for entry to the cabin and a swipe credit type plastic card to transact on board both to be carried at all times, long slow queue to disembark and hand in the key etc. The mostly European crew were surprisingly curt. The PA system was unintelligible resulting in passengers looking at each other puzzled and asking ‘what did that announcement say?’ We bought the drinks package for $34 per person per day. We could have saved about $100 by simply buying drinks as we went. There was no advice about how to ‘register’ for the drinks package before you ordered your first drink at embarkation and paid full price. There were too many exclusions in the drinks package and no clarity about what was included; e.g. coffee was not included. The same drink was a different price depending upon which bar it was bought at. There was a receipt to be signed every time a drink was purchased, only one drink to be purchased at a time resulting in not being able to buy a friend a drink on your drinks package card, but a separate cash receipt had to be signed with that charged to your on board account which was tiresome and petty. There are only 2 dining rooms, a dining room with waiters and starched table cloths, and a cafe. Both are reasonable depending upon what you want and whether you want to be served. Both are small and usually busy with queues at the only coffee machine. The food is average compared with other ships on which we have travelled. Passengers shared serving utensils at the buffet and breakfast which is a potential health hazard not found on other cruise boats. Before we embarked we understood we had arranged for our party of 8 to all sit together each evening, but the dining room concierge refused to honour this. They insisted that it was "free dining". The staff wouldn't let a couple sit at empty tables for 2 insisting that they join people at larger tables that were not full. This resulted in the newcomers at the table being ignored by the serving wait staff who had previously served those at the table who had arrived earlier. One night at the main dining room all but 2 of our group were at the restaurant door ready to be seated, but the concierge refused entry until all were present. This resulted in 2 ladies over 90 (one on a walking frame) having to stand for 15 minutes outside the door which was rude and discourteous. Some dining room staff (such as those clearing tables) went about their tasks oblivious to the diners, with the result that there was some ‘congestion’. The average age of the cruisers was about 75 and more than several had walking frames or wheelchairs. The ship is not set-up for these devices with door sill projections at the entrance to some cabins, toilets, and bars resulting in people having to step over them. They need ramps at each of these obstructions. There is no ramp at some ports so they use the ship's stairway. This is very difficult for those people who had difficulty climbing the steep stairway. The ship rolled about as it slugged its way South to Esperance. Several passengers were seasick. None of these experiences are particularly worrying, just tiresome, petty and inconvenient when you are on a cruise expecting it to be enjoyable and relaxing. A reconciliation of all expenses [fare, travel insurance, drinks package, on board expenses], associated with this 5 day cruise resulted in a cost of $770 a day. In hindsight, at this rate we would expect a better cruise experience than we had. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise for the interest in the WW1 theme and visiting Albany. Embarkation was advertised for 2 pm but many people were already there. The process began just after 2 pm and groups were called depending upon arrival, thus ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the interest in the WW1 theme and visiting Albany. Embarkation was advertised for 2 pm but many people were already there. The process began just after 2 pm and groups were called depending upon arrival, thus leaving us near last, around 3pm. After that, we were checked in and went to our cabin, a Premium suite on Atlantic deck. This was a very spacious cabin, with 2 large floor to ceiling windows, a great amount of cupboards, drawers and surface spaces, a very comfortable bed and probably the best sized bathroom and shower we have experienced on a cruise ship. The decor was nice, navy blue carpet and wood. We were very pleased with this cabin and it was exceptionally clean and well maintained. The food throughout was good. We ate mainly in the buffet and enjoyed all our meals. Each day had different offerings and we had no problem at all finding a table. Service was great and efficient. The main dining room was the same. We have no complaints at all. The entertainment was fantastic. The resident singers, dancers and musicians were all great and were well received. The shows were varied and very suitable to all age groups. The most outstanding part of the cruise was the Dawn Service on board in the bay, visit to the incredible National ANZAC Centre, the dusk service up on the monument overlooking the town and the wonderful show that night, singing songs from the war era and listening to rousing renditions put on by the singers and dancers. Throughout the days we enjoyed outside activities, shows, deck games and organised activities as well as the entertaining presenter telling stories about the two wars. Sitting in the two bars was very pleasant, with both providing varied entertainers at different times. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed this short cruise and would happily cruise with CMV again. With reference to the previous reviewer, you COULD put your suitcases out the night before and you DIDN'T strictly have to be out of your cabin by 7am. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our first cruise and a test to see if we liked it. Rough seas the first night meant we felt a little queasy despite taking seasickness tablets, however after that we were fine. Seasoned travellers told us bigger ships handled the ... Read More
This was our first cruise and a test to see if we liked it. Rough seas the first night meant we felt a little queasy despite taking seasickness tablets, however after that we were fine. Seasoned travellers told us bigger ships handled the seas better. The experience for us was amazing. Our twin inner cabin was plenty big enough with a good amount of storage. A very clean ship with very friendly staff. Great food and great entertainment. The activities were fun and varied.There was nothing we weren't happy with. The cruise had a WW1 theme and the passengers were mostly over 60s which suited us as we are too! If we had to make a complaint it would be the constant smell of cigarette smoke on our deck (Baltic Deck). Also some passengers were smoking right under the 'no smoking' signs! We hadn't even arrived home before we started talking about our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We have taken 40+ cruises in the last 10 years and wanted to try the Astor as there are few options from Fremantle. We are used to very large Royal Caribbean ships but have also sailed with Princess, Celebrity, NCL, MSC and Cunard. We ... Read More
We have taken 40+ cruises in the last 10 years and wanted to try the Astor as there are few options from Fremantle. We are used to very large Royal Caribbean ships but have also sailed with Princess, Celebrity, NCL, MSC and Cunard. We went with an open mind as we knew this was a very small ship with limited facilities. However, this was more different that we expected and certainly not for us. Embarkation took 2 hours and was slowed by the fact they don't have credit card details at online check in stage. We had a Premium Suite on Atlantic Deck - it was clean and spacious and had a great full sized shower. The bed was comfortable and the room was our sanctuary away from everything else. The decoration was very dark - navy furnishings and dark mahogany wood everywhere so quite austere. It did make us laugh that we had a traditional room key and massive fob to lug around your Seapass (or whatever CMV call it) doesn't work as a door key.... never none that before! Food in the buffet was akin to school dinners - there were queues everywhere and food options were limited. None of the waiters wanted to help when I asked for cutlery. Not great, but edible. The hand sanitizer was not manned so fellow passengers were not using it which is not great when there are so many cases of Norovirus these days. Walking around the ship, it showed its age. The broken basketball net was a children's Fisher Price toy and sports equipment was past its best. The area around the outside pool was crowded with very few places to sit down and relax. The ship is tatty on the outside which is a shame. Deck space is very narrow. In fact, the whole ship is laid out with narrow and claustrophobic corridors which are made worse by the dark wood. Smears of greasy fingers were visible in many places. Anyone remember Fawlty Towers? It is a bit like that as you see the same staff everyone 10 minutes!! The queue for dinner was a farce - we were told to wait 5 minutes (reality was 20 mins) but as new passengers arrived, there was no system so those who turned up a long time after us went straight in. We had a table for 2, which was good, but service in the restaurant was slow and the waiters were not welcoming, more functional, and just asked what we wanted. Soup was cold and had to be sent back, I received the wrong salad so had to have it changed and the main courses (both lamb and beef) were lukewarm. This was a shame as it was beautifully presented. Dessert was ok but coffee/tea were never offered. We went to the theatre (a one deck show lounge) and listened to the act. The girl was a good singer and had an 80s repertoire. In fact, his really sums the ship up - stuck in a time warp and we felt like we had gone back in time. Notices around the ship, as well as drinks menu, were poor quality photocopies on cheap paper. Some claim this is a 4 star ship... 2 star is more realistic, possibly a low 3 star. The area around the entrance to the Spa on Deck 1 smells of smoke as this comes through from the staff area. Be mindful of this is you are looking to book a cabin on this deck and are a non smoker. The stateroom attendant barged into room whilst I was in the shower and never even knocked. We begrudge the $20 daily fee for gratuities when none of the staff showed any interest. We appreciate they have a hard job but they could at least smile and say hello to passengers. If you have children, there is absolutely nothing for them to do whether they are primary school age or teenagers. On departure morning, you have to be out of your room by 7am, complete with your luggage as there is no leaving it outside the cabin the night before.... so everyone turns up to breakfast with their luggage!! If you have never cruised before, the points raised may not be an issue. But if you are used to larger, newer ships with all the facilities and dining choices, you may be disappointed with the Astor. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We wanted to experience Christmas on a cruise ship and we live in Perth so seemed the best option.The ship was great and the food good but we experienced bad weather going out and a cyclone coming back so that put a damper on it.The ... Read More
We wanted to experience Christmas on a cruise ship and we live in Perth so seemed the best option.The ship was great and the food good but we experienced bad weather going out and a cyclone coming back so that put a damper on it.The entertainment staff were absolutely amazing and kept us entertained most of each day.They worked very very hard. Our room was comfy and spacious with plenty of storage space. We bought the drinks package which was well worth it as it included half price coffees and tomato juice which we had a lot of(bloody or virgin) . We are not seasick travelers so that didn't worry us but it did a lot of others.This of course is not the cruise company's fault but if I went again I would choose a calmer time of the year and forget about Christmas.The best part were the shows and quizzes Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Visited places I had not been before . got see the updated Sea Princess was last on her 2 years ago great to see the improvements great new beds some one said its like sleeping on marshmallows or clouds, great new seating no more back ache ... Read More
Visited places I had not been before . got see the updated Sea Princess was last on her 2 years ago great to see the improvements great new beds some one said its like sleeping on marshmallows or clouds, great new seating no more back ache or sinking to the floor, most of the crew were great especially the dining room staff and my cabin steward, my cabin was good updated bathroom,but TV still to small, only saw the captain once that was at the party, Princess again very well organised getting on and off the ship and shore trips . The bands and musicians were good and the guest entertainers the ships dancers and singers average, entertainment crew just a couple stood out the usual quiz,bingo etc . Food was good in dining rooms and the buffet but tea still not made with boiling water , would I go again with Princess yes Read Less
Sail Date November 2017

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