2 Perth (Fremantle) Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

My husband and I wanted to try another ship from Fremantle rather than fly over east or to Singapore for a short cruise, as we sail about 6 times a year. This was a one night in port celebration when we booked, but later converted to part ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to try another ship from Fremantle rather than fly over east or to Singapore for a short cruise, as we sail about 6 times a year. This was a one night in port celebration when we booked, but later converted to part of the Perth Fringe festival. We went on the Astor in 2018 for 1 night (which we hated!) but thought the Vasco da Gama might be a better option as it was ex P&O and larger than Astor. We have been on more than 50 cruises, mostly with Royal Caribbean, and knew it would not be of the same standard, given the age and size of the ship, but the online pics looked good. Embarkation was excellent - 10 mins from entering the building to boarding the ship. Many crew welcomed us on-board and the cabin was ready which was great as it meant we could off-load our bags immediately. On entering the room, we were hit by a revolting odour that seemed to be a mix of stale smoke, moldy carpet and god knows what else. The beds had not been put together, as requested, and when we tried to move the side tables ourselves, there were used plasters behind it, making us wonder when the area had last been cleaned... We decided to have some lunch in the Bistro (which was lukewarm and the veg was still semi-frozen) and wanted to get off there and then - smelly room and horrible food in the first half an hour!! We went to the customer service desk to see what could be done. Her attitude was not great and she initially told us the ship was full so we couldn't move. The best they could offer was air freshener. We said this wasn't good enough as the smell was so bad. After waiting for several minutes, we learnt that our room had been visited and suddenly another cabin was available for us to move to. We were told to keep it a secret in case other passengers found out and wanted too move also!! The new room was much better so we went off to explore the ship. The Waterfront Dining Room and bars were well fitted out, but when you look online, these are simply the legacy of the Pacific Eden and have not been changed at all. The mattresses at the adults only pool were filthy and some of the chairs and tables were also badly stained too and didn't leave a good impression. It was such a contrast to the pleasant centre pool and inside areas, and really needs attention. We had drinks in the Oceanic bar and were very pleased with the prices as they are much cheaper than the large american lines. We met a lovely older couple who loved CMV but as they hadn't tried any other lines, their expectation levels were not the same as ours. Only a couple of the bars were open but it looked like they were very short staffed as only 2 people were serving the entire area. Dinner in the Waterfront was much better than we thought it would be and the surroundings are very 'homely' and comfortable. Service was fine. The ship was being used as part of the Perth Fringe Festival and everyone was encouraged to see the headline act, YUCK circus, which had won many awards at the Adelaide fringe. We battled to find a seat where we could see the stage, thanks to a large group of people who decided add a row of chairs in front of us, because, I quote "we are suite guests and someone is sitting in our dedicated row". The show itself was unbearable and in places, quite disgusting. We are not prudes but who wants to hear about menstruation and masturbation in great detail?? Where is the humour in that? We walked out just before the end and the limited applause spoke volumes. Beds were comfortable and it was annoying to be kicked out the room by 7am (8.00-8.30am is the norm on other ships). Breakfast was in the Bistro with long queues for a mediocre cooked breakfast. On departure, other guests were complaining about the YUCK circus and we all felt that CMV had a duty of care to know what they were putting on, especially was it had a PG rating... In sum: - Old and tired but spacious room (avoid 6158) but good to have a bath and shower - Lukewarm and mediocre food in the Bistro - Understaffed - Good furnishings in the main public areas (except the adult pool area) - Limited choice but excellent bar prices - Very expensive for one night at $260 per person - only $3 less than on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth which is in a completely different league - Appear to be operating the cruises on a shoestring budget - less food choice and not enough staff Would we travel with CMV again? After our experiences on the Astor and now Vasco da Gama, no we wouldn't, which is a shame. The larger resort ships are not for everyone, but we will stick with what we know and what we love. We are all different :-) Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was the second 3 day comedy cruise I have been on and my 6th cruise all up. This was by far the worst cruising experience I have experienced. While the ship was nice enough and the comedy was fantastic, the service and food was ... Read More
This was the second 3 day comedy cruise I have been on and my 6th cruise all up. This was by far the worst cruising experience I have experienced. While the ship was nice enough and the comedy was fantastic, the service and food was terrible. I put this down to it being a 3 day cruise and the staff don't expect many tips for the 3 days, however, the ship was full of first time cruisers and I feel sorry for them if they think this is normal. We were a group of 43 and had 4 tables booked for two of the 3 nights. The first night 3 tables were onto their desert while our table was just getting our entrée orders, the second night the same thing happened with the same table, thank god we changed tables that night. One of the people on our table that first night ordered Mango Brule. When he got his desert he questioned whether he got the right order, the waiter said "We are out of Mango but it is Rhubarb, same as Mango!" Um, I don't think so. I don't think anyone actually ate their entire meal as the food was not good. You couldn't even send it back because of how long it took to get your original meal. The only place where there were no complaints was at the specialty restaurant, which I did not go to as it was $50 per person. On every other ship I have been on the cost of specialty restaurants is $20. The other frustration for me was that my daughter had just turned 18. She was issued with a blue card (adult) which when inserted into a machine, would bring up her photo and her details. Every time she wanted to attend an 18 plus event she was asked to go back to her room to get her passport for ID. What is the point in having your photo taken and being issued a card if the staff can't be bothered using the ID machine? She should not have had to carry her passport around on her and risk losing it. On every other ship they encourage you to lock your passport in the safe and, on Holland America Line, they even keep your passport as you board and give it to you when needed for excursions. I thought it was entirely inappropriate and told the staff that each time it happened. This was an absolutely ridiculous practice that I totally disagree with. The food and service I could live with, as I think it was a 3 day cruise and think (hope) it would be better on a longer voyage. But the ID situation was inexcusable and the staff should have addressed this immediately on the first night. I would not allow an 18 yo to carry a passport around on her when she is only just legal to drink alcohol. There are much better Lines to cruise with. P&O are not for me. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015

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