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4 Perth (Fremantle) to Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

Originally, the ship was going to Komodo Island, but this was cancelled and Lombok was one of the destinations instead. However, we were told before we took the cruise. We had travelled on the ship before in 2006 when it was Holland ... Read More
Originally, the ship was going to Komodo Island, but this was cancelled and Lombok was one of the destinations instead. However, we were told before we took the cruise. We had travelled on the ship before in 2006 when it was Holland America's 'Statendam' but we only found out after we had booked. The ship looks totally different and the most outstanding feature for us were the three restaurants with different food and ambience and we could go to any one of these without additional cost. The food was very good and alcohol prices were reasonable compared with other cruise lines. Our cabin was kept very clean. Plumbing is a problem on this ship. We encountered it on the ship in 2006 and it is still an issue today. However, when our toilet blocked as it did all those years ago, it was promptly fixed, The air conditioning couldn't be adjusted in the cabin and at times it was too hot at 26 degrees, but again , the crew worked on it promptly. Our cabin attendants were very friendly and helpful. We had access to movies in our cabin but as they couldn't be wound back to the beginning, we didn't watch any. Also, we didn't go to shows, preferring our own company and our books. Shore excursions were enjoyable and there was little delay in getting off the ship and onto the buses. Shopping was rather woeful as the merchandise was generally unappealing for a bunch of older women.Nothing to buy for children, grandchildren or friends back home. The clothes offered for sale were not what larger , older women would wear either. However, we would be happy to sail on Vasco da Gama again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I chose the cruise V014 - Broome & Treasures of the North because of the destinations of the cruise. BIG MISTAKE - we visited Geraldton on the Monday after leaving Fremantle on the Sunday, I prebooked a tour of Geraldton - it was hot ... Read More
I chose the cruise V014 - Broome & Treasures of the North because of the destinations of the cruise. BIG MISTAKE - we visited Geraldton on the Monday after leaving Fremantle on the Sunday, I prebooked a tour of Geraldton - it was hot in excess of 40 degrees at 0900 we were trundled up to the HMAS Sydney memorial whilst nice was very hot, during the chat from one of the gents volentering I heard a thump, looking around an elderly lady collapsed from the heat, hitting her head heavyly on the ground, I stood back for a moment expecting that the tour crew would attend but no, people wanting to move her after she hit her head hard, I then had to take over to offer first aid whilst waiting for the ambulance, this was totally unacceptable as the tour leaders should've known first aid and not let a guest take over. We boarded the ship to sail to Broome to hear from the captain (which was very rare) to advise we wouldn't be going to Broome due to a pending cyclone that we would sail onto Exmouth and then anchor for 2 days and tender to the town, that is out of tourist time. The towns people were amazing to welcome us and one of the best bakeries in the country can be found in the town centre - best pies in the country.. So 2 days spent just filling in time when in actual fact we could've sailed on to Broome and returned before the cyclone as Broome was not affected by the cyclone. We then left Exmouth and sailed south for day upon day at a speed between 5 - 7 knots again just to fill in time after it took 24 hours to get from Geraldton to Exmouth and 3-1/2 days sailing south to cover almost the same distance, we then arrived on Monday to Busselton where the ship arranged at short notice a tour to Margret River so I though anything to get of this ship, paid the money to be tendered to the mainland only to be met by a school bus to take us on tour, we arrived in Margret River at midday to be told to be back on the bus at 1300 to return to the ship. 1 whole hour WOW - we returned to the Busselton Wharf to be greeted by a line of about 500 mtrs of people awaiting to tender back to the ship, people we melting in the heat and the poor local visitor volunteers tried to help, another pax failed on the tender on the way back to the ship. We were then moved just enough of the coast were we could see Australia but not actually visit and then anchored there for another full day, where we could've have stayed at Busselton and visited the region. but NO don't give your guests options to do things. on 1 of the days both pools were empty so no swimming as the seas were apparently rough - NOT... then a return to Fremantle on the Wednesday with SO many very unhappy pax - the captain as mentioned was rarely seen and very rarely heard of, was it because he ruined so many peoples holidays. I manage hotels and resorts and if I treated my guest like this I would be hung. As a fairly new comer to the Australian market CMV promised the world with their cruise and the ship on offer. So disappointing I cant not really put into words, but will try without emotion. The company clearly offers cruises to a much older market which is not promoted on their site, don't get me wrong there are no issues there but they need to be open and honest with their products. The ship whilst older has probably seen better days - the public areas were upgraded by P&O as the Eden - I'm not certain that CMV really did any changes apart from stickers over P&O logos etc. You read many reviews about dirty windows and they are not wrong.. The crew are international with a mix including Ukrainian who much like Germans are not known to be over the top wth their humour - but I can say the crew do their best, service was always forthcoming at bars and outlets. I really believe that CMV need to recruit a dozen or so Australian hosts that can walk around the ship and take the pressure off the crew who do in some instances have issues with the Aussie language as their second or third language. Now back to the cruise. Embarkation seemed ok with no pressure - as always it appears pax do not read their boarding times and all want to board when they arrive at the port. I was Blue labeled therefore boarded around the first to board, we were a domestic cruise so very little to no security which was odd. We were walked to the embarkation point, asked to show our tickets and were given a handwritten card with the cruise card attached, then we moved toward the gangway and boarded the ship where there were tables lined up with staff behind laptops taking your credit card details and directing you to your cabins which were ready when boarded, I was surprised to see my bag waiting at the door of my cabin which was a positive. I went searching to buy a lanyard - went to the poorly stocked shop to be told we have sold out a few cruises ago. The laundry was $11.00 for wash and dry but the laundry on desk 5 Out of Order apart from one drier by the second last day on one washer on Deck 6 working so I lined up for the crew to open the door at 0900. Cabin 5054 - The cabin crew as always very helpful and friendly - the cabin has had carpet replaced at some stage over the years but everything else original, which was looking a little tired. But it was clean and bed was comfortable along with pillows, sofa in the room was an added bonus, small older style lcd TV and DVD player attached - has proberly seen better days. Bathroom as expected and usual for ships of this age but with a shower over bath which was better than the small showers on others ship with the sticking shower curtains. Plenty of storage with 6 large drawers and plenty of hanging space with both male and female hangers. The A/C control was digital in this cabin so you would see the temp fluctuate from 21 to 25 degree. The TV had some movie channel which were years old and not good picture quality along with ABC news and GWN7 due to the angle of the TV the remote wouldn't work from the bed hence the sofa came in handy. Being on deck 5 outside the deck 6 promenade was above the bed so you would often hear footsteps or stomping throughout the day and night so be aware of this for deck 5. Dining - 3 main restaurants all tendered to serve the same as the bistro but better presented or with a little variety just to make those dining there feel a little better. There was the Chefs Table and The Grill, I tried to dine at the grill for my birthday at sea but was refused as I was in dress shorts and buttoned shirt - I needed trousers to be allowed in to dine with those wearing T Shirts etc, I asked If I could have the meal as room service and I would wait and take it away on a tray myself but no was the answer event thought I was happy to pay the $49. So dining for me was the Bistro - if I ever see roast pork or any of its similar ways of preparation I will be sick, it was served every night. I was surprised to see lamb on a couple of nights which was a real treat along with baked rib fillet and chicken was another nightly repeat offering. Appears the outlets still carry the names branded from P&O. The food was ok - not 5 star but not the worst on offer. We had a deck BBQ with pig and chicken on spits along with normal BBQ fare which was nice but the day was very hot with flies and I felt for the staff working over the BBQ's. Breakfasts as expected but the toast was odd and often hard as,but you made do, the hot water stations often ran out of water etc. Lunch was a mix again and at 1530 was afternoon tea with scones and various odd textured cakes. The scones were OK along with the jam and some sort of cream but all good with a cup of tea. The burger/pizza bar offered a hamburger, a hotdog and a single pizza choice and baskets of chips. The coffee shop offered coffees, hot choc & higher quality teas at a cost and some cakes different to the interesting textured cakes in the desert buffet - one good thing was that staff serve you from behind glass that avoids people piling plates and wasting it or tasting it and putting it back - this stops diseases also which is great as the number of peoples carless hand sanitation. Bar staff Anton and Dometri were fantastic at the Lido Bar Entertainment - Well trivia with International crews not knowing how to pronounce words was more frustrating. There was an Aussie speaker on board for birds and another for Australian history which were in often full with no chairs to listen so you moved on. Bingo on seadays was at 1630 in the Dome at a cost of $10.00 for one ticket that was odd as they played 3 games on the one card but it filled in some time. The shows, well I will just review the Abba show, to see dancers dressed in almost Cossack costumes with singers one who thought she was an opera singer and the others were extremly very average. It was like a CD with gap between each song. The Cruise Director Freya was really not what a cruise director should be. She was rather bland and really not entertaining and was only seen on occasion. Service - As described but they do need to employ some Australian hosts to avoid the grumpy older Aussies being rude to international staff. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our first cruise on C.M.V. so we were unsure what to expect. We had the quickest ever embarkation in Freemantle and first impression of the ship was very favourable and that opinion did not alter. The décor, layout and ... Read More
This was our first cruise on C.M.V. so we were unsure what to expect. We had the quickest ever embarkation in Freemantle and first impression of the ship was very favourable and that opinion did not alter. The décor, layout and cleanliness of the ship was first class. We had chosen an inside cabin 5240 and again was pleasantly surprised with the space, layout and décor and it was available as soon as we got on the ship, followed very closely by the luggage. During the 26 nights we probably ate half of the time in the self service restaurant in the evening and the other half in the Waterfront Restaurants. The self service was O.K. but considering that 99% of the passengers were either Brits or Aussies I think that there was to much "foreign" food and not enough traditional food, but that is only my opinion. The Waterfront restaurants were on a freedom dining basis and it did work very well. The food in the Waterfront varied so much between very average and good. The quality of service also varied tremendously depending on your waiter, at times they were leaning over diners to serve, removing some peoples plates whilst others were still eating, never asked if you required a second drink. Generally not the quality of service you would expect on a cruise ship. The entertainment team were first class and very hard working, they were all talented and performed probably 10 different shows to a very high standard. I have never seen a team perform so many different shows and that is apart from doing solo and duo spots around the ship at other times. Where the entertainment was let down was by the lack of different acts been brought on board, it was day 15 before a guest act was brought on board and then he was poor. In all I think we had 5 guest spots, including local dancers in 26 nights. To make matters worse after leaving Singapore on day 12 they reduced the show to one performance per night which led to having to be in the theatre 45 minutes before performance time to get any sort of a sea. There were other varied activities during the day but to be fair laying in the sun was a better option for us. Service in bars and drink waiters was very good and apart from in the theatre very swift. Our first port of call was Geraldton in Australia and because we had been there before we didn't get off the boat, there isn't lot there for a second visit. Next stop was an overnight stay in Broome, we caught the shuttle into town and made use of the free Wi Fi and sorted out arrangements to visit Cable Beach in the evening for the famous sunset over the sea. We did this in the evening and it was good spoilt only by getting a round of drinks in that cost £40 for 4 pints of lager. The day after we had arranged a tour through Viator to be picked up at the ship and have a tour of the area. This worked well, along with another 8 off the boat, we were driven by a local in a small coach to see all that Broome had to offer. We than had a day at sea then Bali, This was the first little problem with Corona, we were due for a late arrival anyway but were delayed due to additional health checks by the local health officials, some trips, ours included, had to be cancelled due to lack of time. Instead four of us hired a taxi and had an enjoyable run round to gardens and a coffee plantation and look around the countryside. Next day we were in Lombok with a ship trip to a small offshore island which was good especially the high speed boat ride to it. Our next stop was Semerang in Java where we were met by a delightful local lady who showed us around the area and included meal in a local restaurant. This was again arranged through Viator and worked very well. We found out later that the port closed the day after to all cruise ships. We then made our way to Singapore where a lot of people got off and a few got on so the ship appeared to be only half full. The next stop after a couple of days at sea was Kota Kinabulu in Borneo where we did a short trip of the ship in the morning and then into town in the afternoon. Again after a couple of days at sea we were in Phu My in Vietnam for two days, the first day we went on a ship trip to Vung Tai, a holiday resort for a tour round, interesting but too much focus on markets. The second day we stayed on board, we virtually had the ship to ourselves, quite a weird feeling really. On to Ko Samui, we were on a ships trip around the local area finishing on a beautiful beach. Very good. Next stop, Sihanoukville in Cambodia, we got a taxi to the nearest beach, Sokha Beach, absolutely beautiful but apart from a hotel it was deserted. The journey to the beach was through their main road which was the biggest building site I have ever seen, through dozens of tower blocks all being erected, all being worked on with apparently Chinese money behind it. Goodness knows how they are going to fill them. Laem Chabang in Thailand was the last stop and this is where we had the second problem with Coronavirus. We were ready to disembark when the local authorities decided that they wanted face to face contact with the passengers with their passports in their hand, but the ship had them. The was an awful scramble to get our passports back and then queue to be inspected by the authorities. All in all it delayed us by a couple of hours but in light of later events we goy off very lightly. When we got to our trip we went to Pattaya for the rest of the day, a very big seaside resort which was interesting. We then were at sea for a couple of days and back to Singapore. With regards to excursions the shops trips were all interesting and well organised but like all cruise ship excursions overpriced. I always look before we go on a cruise at other alternatives and use Viator quire a lot. We have been on a lot of trips organised by them and never been disappointed and usually about half the ships price. The other surprising thing with this cruise was the Captain. He attended the welcome ceremony and his performance was poor and during the whole 26 days we saw him only once more, not very good at customer relations. All in all we did enjoy the cruise but it was let down with those little touches of finesse which you get with many other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Having read a negative comment I felt I must write and give our experience of our 40 nights on board ASTOR. We have done many cruises on ships from 10,000 tonne " Funchal" to the larger " Independence of the Seas " and ... Read More
Having read a negative comment I felt I must write and give our experience of our 40 nights on board ASTOR. We have done many cruises on ships from 10,000 tonne " Funchal" to the larger " Independence of the Seas " and our cruise on Astor was one of the best, we thought the ship very stable, my husband is not a great sailor and had no problem on our 10 days at sea. We were very impressed with all aspects of the ship the crew were very pleasant and helpful, food excellent, a very nice choice at the buffet, and main restaurants, we did go to the Asian restaurant and the Mediterranean the presentation and food was excellent. Activities were amazing every exercise you could wish for, there was craft and Art classes on every sea day, you could have piano lessons, learn to read music, join the actors or choral groups, play cards or do jigsaw puzzles, quizzes etc. Helen the cruise director and all the entertainment crew were wonderful. Helen was always doing extra things to make the voyage enjoyable, Saturday afternoon tea dance, and special buffet lunch on Sundays with free champagne. As we celebrated Anzac Day and Easter during our cruise these events were given special attention, Anzac Day dawn service was a truly memorable experience. The general atmosphere on board was very friendly, we met some wonderful people and still keep in touch, one chap was on the return trip, he came to Australia on Astor spent 6 months here and was doing the return journey, and enjoyed every minute. I know you can't please everyone but we had a wonderful trip, met some beautiful people and had great fun so for us it was a wonderful experience and yes we would do it again.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014

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