24 Perth (Fremantle) Repositioning Cruise Reviews

The Voyager is looking very tired and I was really disappointed that such a large ship is so poorly laid out. Maintenance and general cleaning in common areas needs a major upgrade. Dust prevalent, tired furniture, mouldy loose fittings, ... Read More
The Voyager is looking very tired and I was really disappointed that such a large ship is so poorly laid out. Maintenance and general cleaning in common areas needs a major upgrade. Dust prevalent, tired furniture, mouldy loose fittings, counted 16 globes out in Dining chandelier. There is so much wasted space. Had a lot of difficulty in finding a quiet place to just sit and relax in peace. The library is always full with seating for about 10-16 at most. All the bars are tiny, the star lounge and lounge on 14 always have something on which is annoying. This ship needs a big lounge, maybe over the L12 rooms forward that is just a lounge. It would have been full. A lot of travelers I spoke to said the same. Aurora/Solstice have big quiet lounges up top with somewhere to sit quietly and have a cocktail or read/cards etc and are smaller than Voyager. I realise they need to cater for everyone but found the food rather bland. There was a good variety but all tasted the same .Rant over. The one good thing were the lunch time soups, in most cases really nice. Drinks package was good and staff were helpful although not the same drink available at all or some of the bars. When I found a nice wine I had to get from only one bar on board and take with me where ever I went, even to dinner. Why is that?. Our room attendant and staff in general were fantastic, no complaints at all. Room was a real find. 5 massive windows with a wonderful view and I imagine bigger than most suites(it was an accessible room and chance we may have been asked to move) if your looking for an amazing ship this is probably not the one. If like me it was for the itinerary then it serves a purpose. Wouldn't necessarily travel with RCL again if I didn't have to. They could take a leaf from the siblings Celebrity, my personal favourite line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The start of the cruise was delayed by about 12 hours due to really bad weather in the area we were suppose to travel through at the beginning of this cruise. Again, Captain Sindre was watching out for the safety of the passengers and ... Read More
The start of the cruise was delayed by about 12 hours due to really bad weather in the area we were suppose to travel through at the beginning of this cruise. Again, Captain Sindre was watching out for the safety of the passengers and crew. Basically the same crew as the first leg of this repositioning cruise and very little change in the attitude or the work ethic of the activities crew. A couple of activity crew members were added, but the same time issues continue e.g. very few of their activities start on time and are poorly organized. We can’t figure out if this is a “training run” for some of the people. The elevators may or may not work and we can be sure that at least one elevator of the 3 or 4 in a hall will not be working each day. We have cruised on other RCCL ships and various other cruise lines signing up for the “My Time Dining” and having good experiences with our evening dining plans. Why the dining staff of the Voyager can not figure out the My Time Dining program is a mystery to everyone on the ship. To the dining staff on the Voyager My Time Dining means you either eat at 6:00 or 7:30 pm and there are no other options. Over and over we have heard from other passengers “that is not my time dining”, but when you have Ms. Alexandrea V. ruling the entry to the dining room with an iron fist you do what you are told to do on the Voyager. If you question her, you will get the table next to the door of the kitchen and right next to the plate collection area which makes for a real “romantic” dinner on the Voyager. Also, the dining room menu has been shortened for some reason. On recent cruises there has always been 5 “Classics” along with the special meals of the night. Now there are 3 “Classics” each night listed and the dessert menu has been limited as well. PORTS Fremantle (Perth) - Both Fremantle and Perth are very nice cities and it is easy to get between the two using the train. For about 12.00 AUD you can buy a family pass very close to the port in Fremantle that will allow you to ride the train to and from Perth for the day. The train runs about every half hour so it is a convenient mode of travel between the two cities. Perth and Fremantle were both nice places to visit and we would go back if we had the opportunity. Adelaide - The port is about 40 minutes by bus from the city center. The people at the port were exceptionally nice and helpful getting the busses organized for everyone to get to the city. They charged 10 AUD for a round trip ticket on the bus to the city. The city of Adelaide was easy to get around both walking and by a circuit bus they provide for free to anyone in the downtown area. There is a walking mall area that most people utilize for shopping, bars and restaurants. Wireless internet is provided city wide for free by the city. The city is surrounded by large green parks which is very different from most cities. The parks surrounding the city are very nice break from the city sounds and crowds. Melbourne - A big city which you can access via a tram from the port area for a few dollars. The port area is very nice and there is a large walkable area where you can find plenty of shopping, restaurants, bars, coffee shops and many other businesses. Dunedin, NZ - The ship actually docks in Port Chalmers which is about 30 minutes by bus from Dunedin. There are bus transfer tickets available on the ship or at the port for about $20 USD. There is free wifi at the port and if you walk across the street you can use the free wifi in the city library. Around the corner from the library, on the main street of town, you can catch a city bus from Port Chalmers to Dunedin for $6 NZD each way if you want to save some money. There is some great walking paths in Port Chalmers if you want to stay in port for the day. Akaroa, NZ - This is a tender port with a small city in the port area. If the weather is questionable there will be a delay until the waves calm down and the tenders can operate safely. Christchurch is about 1 1/2 hours away by bus but if the weather is testy it will be difficult to make it there and back if you are delayed getting to the port. Staying in Akaroa for the afternoon is an enjoyable experience and is a lovely tourist town that you can find plenty of things to see and do while you are there. The library is a short walk from the pier and in NZ all libraries are required to provide free internet access so you can check your social media to find out what is happening at home. Picton, NZ - This is an industrial port with a great deal of logs being shipped out. They use a shuttle bus system to get you out of the port and to the downtown area which is very nice. In Picton, there is a downtown and a waterfront area that you can visit. Both areas are very close to each other and nice with more yachts and other boats in the waterfront and mostly shops, restaurants and bars on the downtown area. The area is much like the other places we stopped on the south island and is mountainous, very green with a small residential population. Wellington, NZ - This time we rode a shuttle bus provided by the city from the port to the downtown area. It looks like they are making improvements to the port area and they don’t want people walking through the port. The downtown area is very walkable and an easy walk to from the cable car to the sea port and museum. The museum is well worth the visit and the immediate area is very special with the beautiful bridge and park area. The cable car is $7.50 NZD one way (15 for up and back) and it is worth walking through the beautiful gardens at the top and then walking back down to the city. The downtown area has a free wifi service and there are plenty of places to get food and drinks all through the area. In summary, the stops on this itinerary were all good places to visit and easy to get around. Walking through any of the towns was easy and the people generally very pleasant. However, the Voyager of the Seas is an old broken down ship with elevators and doors that don’t work throughout the ship. The attitude of the crew gave most passengers the feeling that they were moving the ship to a new port and we, the passengers, were welcome to pay to ride along. There was a real lack of customer service from many of the crew members. I mentioned that the activities crew were late most of the time, missed or cancelled activities and turned half hour trivia activities into hour long marathons mainly due to being late and not being prepared with the trivia questions. The majority of the sports activity crew had such an attitude of arrogance that there were only a few people who actually climbed the rock wall or participated in any of the listed activities. Who wants to feel belittled when they are trying an activity for the first or second time? All said, it would be hard to recommend the Voyager of the Seas, but the itinerary is very good. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose back to back cruises starting in Perth on to Adelaide, Melbourne and NZ finishing in Sydney and then 8 days to Brisbane and the Barrier Reef again finishing in Sydney. We chose the cruise solely based on the itinerary and were ... Read More
We chose back to back cruises starting in Perth on to Adelaide, Melbourne and NZ finishing in Sydney and then 8 days to Brisbane and the Barrier Reef again finishing in Sydney. We chose the cruise solely based on the itinerary and were not disappointed although the weather could have been better in the early stages. We had a balcony cabin on deck 8 midship (8316) - excellent location and overall no complaints although smaller than the balcony cabins on board the newer P&O ships. We had no complaints re the internal decoration of public areas and the ship internally was as we would expect. However, externally the ship was looking very tired with rust very evident particularly on balconies. This was surprising as we have been on older ships that were kept in pristine condition. We only saw painters working on one occasion throughout our 24 day cruise. Makes us wonder if RCI have plans to sell Voyager in the near future. The cruise staff all worked extremely hard and the Cruise Director was certainly one of the best we have ever seen. The stage production shows ( only 2 on each cruise ) were very poor and compared to the lavish entertainment on board P&O's Britannia were very dated. However the Ice Shows were excellent and we took the opportunity to see both productions more then once. We ate in the main restaurant and this was generally good although on the 2nd cruise the menus changed considerably and there was a poorer choice. There were over 700 children on board on the 8 day cruise from Sydney to Airlee Beach and the passengers were mainly Australians from the Sydney area taking a short break. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Take lots of antibiotics and cold and flu medicine with you. The cruise from Perth to Tilbury was full of sick people. They go to the card room, the bars, the dining areas and the lounge. They were taken on a tour of the kitchen. I ... Read More
Take lots of antibiotics and cold and flu medicine with you. The cruise from Perth to Tilbury was full of sick people. They go to the card room, the bars, the dining areas and the lounge. They were taken on a tour of the kitchen. I stopped going to the fitness classes, the entertainment and group activities because of the risk of infection. We ate outside. The well people were.becoming hostile to the sick people. Some well people would not use the pool. The bread and deserts are uncovered. Infection spreads. The gym has equipment that dores not work. It is like the rehabilition room in a rundown old person's home. The equipment in the crew gym is great but you are not allowed to use it. Forget this cruise if you have special dietory requirements. You either eat high cholestorol or salad for 39 days. The salad becomes boring. The white coat staff cannot fix things and they can hide behind limited English. The internet does not work. On the plus side you get to a lot of places. The excursion coordinator, Elizabeth, was excellent. It is cheap. The bar and waiting staff are great. They should be paid a living wage and not depend on tips. Tip those you like. Who knows where the $8 a day goes. If you like bus tours with lots of sick people this is for you. Not recommended for anyone who is or thinks under the age of 85 and who does not remember the war. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Thought it would be good to experience a short duration cruise on a new mega-ship after previous cruises on older and smaller ships. Cruise Director Joff Eaton was superb and the technology used throughout the ship was amazing. We had ... Read More
Thought it would be good to experience a short duration cruise on a new mega-ship after previous cruises on older and smaller ships. Cruise Director Joff Eaton was superb and the technology used throughout the ship was amazing. We had an excellent inside cabin and room steward and the virtual balcony TV screen was excellent. We were not travelling with children but the children we saw on ship were well catered for with some really excellent activities. Most of the entertainment was good, some not so. The remainder of the staff were trying but not achieving, English as a second language was the worst problem. Meals were rarely delivered correctly and most meals were well below expected standard. The on-board computer system had all sorts of issues and a lot of passengers were frustrated by not being able to book activities, while room account information on cabin TV screens was sometimes inaccurate. Some of the staff actively encouraged unfair queue jumping for obviously able bodied people for events and activities, which we found very annoying. No on board laundry facilities for passengers unless you pay for the service provided. No shop on board for simple items such as toothpaste or bottled water. Embarkation at Fremantle was fairly disorganised, Disembarkation at Adelaide was slightly better. Did not do any shore excursions as this was a straight transit from port to port. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We decided to do a week getaway before Xmas on the Ovation Of The Seas which offered sector cruising between Singapore & Sydney - too good to pass up. My husband and 17yr old son flew to Perth on Sunday 4th and had 2 days staying ... Read More
We decided to do a week getaway before Xmas on the Ovation Of The Seas which offered sector cruising between Singapore & Sydney - too good to pass up. My husband and 17yr old son flew to Perth on Sunday 4th and had 2 days staying at the Crown Metripol which was lovely beautiful room with pool view and nice big bath :). We embarked the Ovation on Tuesday 6th our allocated time was 12:00 - 12:30, unfortunately the process didn't follow anything that they planned our allocated boarding time was irrelevant as we were given a number which we had to wait to be called - numbers were being handed out randomly as you walked in, we were given an 8 people behind us got a 6 and boarded 45 mins before us. After waiting 1 1/2 hrs we questioned the process as they were still hadn't called for 7. Lady apologised and told us to go straight through. Once embarkation was complete we had to go to the Music Hall as we had pre purchased our drinks package on line pre cruise, which gave us a 20% discount considering the ship was in US$ that helped when that was sorted we started to have a look around. We have never sailed with RCCL only NCL so I was interested to see how different the experience was going to be. We started by checking out the SeaPlex - as the cruise had initiated in Singapore things were well underway indoor soccer, indoor basketball, dodgeball, dodgem cars X-Box games - plenty for teenagers to do - over the week we hardly saw our son - he was gone after breakfast, met us if we had a scheduled activity eg: Escape Room, I-Fly, or NorthStar met up to get ready for dinner - we had the first 2 nights as my time dining once on Tuesday night in Silk Wednesday night in American Icon - as they had the same menu it was just the decor that changed. I had pre-purchased Jamie's & Chops pre-cruise on line as it was discounted but after 2 nights in the main dining rooms preferred to change to the 3 specialty dining package which they happily did. we were very lucky to have Wonderland in the package as it was booked out between Perth & Adelaide. We weren't sure what to expect but were very happy with the whole Wonderland experience and all 3 were very full. I wont get into detail as it would spoil it if you haven't done it before. :) The boys loved Chops although we all purchased the more expensive meals boys had steak and I had the lobster which I could only eat half, much to my sons happiness. Dessert each night was a must although I only had a bit each time and son polished of the rest. The main dining rooms for breakfast were very slow so we only went once as others were saying the same, plenty of places for breakfast and lunch, restaurants at the Solarium and Two 70 also out the back of the Windjammer overlooking the back of the ship just have to find your favourite place. We all had a turn on the I-Fly and although it was only a minute complimentary it felt like longer, looking back on the video it was a lot of fun to experience and we even lucked in free t-shirts. The North Star was good - gave a great view of the ship and as it was a nice day it all looked beautiful although even though we had an 11:30 booking, it was nearly 1:00pm before we got on as the day before was cancelled due to rough weather they were trying to catch up the people who missed out. The Solarium was definitely my favourite place on the ship it was adult only although over 16's were allowed - multiple pools and spas and a bar right at the front off the ship which enabled plenty of relaxing - if you could get a seat/lounge. The ship had plenty of undercover pool areas which would suit different weather - we had a few cool windy days so that helped a lot. We only went to 1 show which was Pixels in the Two Seventy - all 3 of us went and enjoyed it amazing area that you can sit in and relax looking out to seathrough the floor to ceiling windows during the day and at night it transforms into a beautiful stage area with live performances. One place we frequent a lot was the Bionic Bar - once we got the hang of it we created our own drinks tweaked just the way we liked them. When the weren't being used both robots would dance in time to the music together. Mitsy our cabin attendant was great always kept things tidy and stocked. As we were only on for 5 days with no ports for us it was all about the ship we had a lovely time short but sweet then disembarking at home in Adelaide which made it really easy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We wanted to try a big ship and were delighted to get a last-minute discounted booking sailing from Perth to Adelaide. Embarkation was a nightmare. The online cruise planner offered departure times by deck and the option to select ... Read More
We wanted to try a big ship and were delighted to get a last-minute discounted booking sailing from Perth to Adelaide. Embarkation was a nightmare. The online cruise planner offered departure times by deck and the option to select another time. We arrived just before our booked time of 2 pm to find about 1,000 people waiting. Sat for about 90 minutes than queued for another hour, finally arriving at our stateroom at 5 pm. Many locals blamed Fremantle Port rather than RCI. My feeling is that it was a combination of both. Freo terminal is a dump, one sad “café” which was just about out of food by 3 pm. That said, RCI offered no information about the length of the wait or reasons for delay. Elite cruisers and people with disabilities were able to skip the big queue but still waited about an hour. Fortunately, our superior balcony stateroom (11670) was wonderful - the best we’ve ever had. Though it looked narrow it had two cupboards and many drawers plus room for suitcases under the bed. The table also served as a desk and the couch was big enough to stretch out & snooze. Bed was just right. The balcony had two chairs, footstools & a small table. The bathroom had extra shelves for toiletries, a glass shower enclosure, handheld shower and a nightlight. Venues/entertainment: Two70 is incredible. During the day it’s a large comfortable lounging space at the stern, with glass walls several stories high and at night it morphs into a high-tech entertainment venue offering live shows, virtual concerts and a night club. The glass walls become a gigantic digital screen and there are 6 digital panels that act independently. The Pixels show is an energetic mix of music, dance, acrobatics and robotics. Bookings essential. Be warned the show is very loud. Tip: on show nights there’s a sound check & rehearsal about 3:30 pm. Two70 is a public space so you can watch the performers warm up as the tech crew checks the stage mechanics, etc. Royal theatre: large traditional theatre space for production shows. I felt the shows were a bit lacking in narrative but there was glitz and glamour on a Las Vegas scale. Bookings advised. Music hall: smaller venue which featured excellent cover band Rock the Boat making it baby boomer heaven. There were other events as well but I didn't attend any. Activities: Bumper cars. Great fun, highly recommended. North Star - really enjoyed this but it can be a long wait for the 10-minute ride. More below in comments. Bookings essential. iFly – was unable to get a booking. Flowrider – looked like fun but not for me. I felt the daily schedule was a bit light on other activities though there were about 6 different trivia sessions. CD Joff Eaton was very low profile –a shame because I think he’d be very good. Maybe because this was a repositioning cruise? Not sure. Tip: there are almost no board or card games available – bring your own. The only pool I used was the Solarium: right at the bow, this adults-only space also has floor to ceiling windows. Filled with comfortable lounges grouped around a waterfall of shallow pools, there are also 4 spa pools and a café offering healthy snacks. Can get very crowded. Now for the bad news! My Time dining was an epic fail. Due to the last-minute fare I was unable to book more than one night online. OK, but on the night there were huge queues for Silk and American Icon. Where’s my booking? “Oh just pick the shorter queue, the menu is the same.” People w/o bookings had their own queue and were being seated BEFORE booked guests. Wait staff were trying hard but were clearly inexperienced. We only ate there one night so it’s hard to rate the food – better than P&O, not as good as Sea Princess. There are two other dining rooms with the same menu but not available on My Time. Why?? Windjammer had a hand washing room before entry. Great idea and much better than sanitiser (which was also available). The buffet is set up with different stations which can be confusing at first. Food varied from ok to pretty good. Though it got crowded we never had a problem getting seats. Debarkation was delayed an hour with no explanation. There was another 30 minute queue to collect luggage. Overall: the ship is brilliant, high-tech, clean, comfortable with lots of different spaces and few queues considering the number of passengers. However many crew members are inexperienced. There also seems to be a lack of standard procedures – for example the North Star can’t operate on rough or windy days so all bookings are cancelled. Fair enough, but some people are rebooked automatically and notified, others are given priority tickets and still others (us!) ignored. There were lots of angry passengers –I felt sorry for the crew members operating the North Star. The dining mess was a major disappointment as dinner in the MDR is usually a highlight of the day. Would we sail on her again? Yes, but only if the price and itinerary was right. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I chose this cruise as it was a 5 nighter from Fremantle (home port) to Adelaide and a good opportunity for my husband to experience 1st time cruising. Also coincided with Birthday and anniversary so dates fitted. NOT happy about the ... Read More
I chose this cruise as it was a 5 nighter from Fremantle (home port) to Adelaide and a good opportunity for my husband to experience 1st time cruising. Also coincided with Birthday and anniversary so dates fitted. NOT happy about the last minute 'deals' offered by Cruiseco to fill empty cabins - a request for an upgrade in lei of cabin credit was ignored. I will NOT be doing another Charter cruise for a number of reasons - this being one of them. But good on anyone who could make a last minute decision (1 week beforehand) to cruise and got an exceptional deal! I have previously cruised with Explorer (repositioning) as a suite guest and the difference between suite and 'pleb' class was evident. Took 2 hours to board in Fremantle which all seemed a little chaotic (compared to Singapore). However once on board we were able to head straight to our cabin which was a bonus. Balcony cabin was beautiful - back of ship which turned out to be something of a bonus as 'forced' walking exercise. Especially loved the shower cubicle (no shower screen). Bathroom small but very functional and plenty of room to unpack 2 x toilet bags with room to spare. Did not get the opportunity to meet our cabin attendant however our cabin was spic and span and loved the nightly 'animals' left on our bed. Lots of comments about long waiting lines and terrible bland food. This was not our experience, other than a 90 minute wait one day for quest services (RCI need to do something about that). I pre booked all our dinner reservations (MTD) and the shows and North Star etc. No problems with getting into our restaurants for dinner - though will say they did seem to rush us through our courses. Staff were friendly and attentive - we did get wrong orders a couple of times but this was soon rectified with apologies. Food - variety and presentation and quality was not on a par with Explorer last year - not sure if that was due to this being a Charter??? However we enjoyed our meals (only 1 complaint one evening when my Sticky toffee pudding appeared to be mostly raw!) Hope the food experience was a once off as we are cruising on Voyager in March and I am expecting a return to my 'food' experience of Explorer. Plenty of pool lounges about the ship - shame so many people 'hogged' those in Solarium taking prize positions (almost all lounges actually) with towels books etc for 2 hours or longer before they arrived to use them. The shows were amazing - we did not see the comedian though. Would be happy to see them all again. All in all a good relaxing holiday before Xmas chaos hits. Would do Ovation again - but not via a Charter. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
I wanted to sail on Ovation of the Seas because of her size and the fact I could sail from Fremantle to Sydney. So I needed to book through the charter company's agent. We had chosen a balcony cabin but misinterpreted the 2 or 1 ... Read More
I wanted to sail on Ovation of the Seas because of her size and the fact I could sail from Fremantle to Sydney. So I needed to book through the charter company's agent. We had chosen a balcony cabin but misinterpreted the 2 or 1 cabin pricing and had to go down to an interior cabin price. We decided to wait a while as usually the price drops towards the sailing date if there are a lot of cabins left to sell. However on ringing the travel agent a few weeks later, we were told that there were only a few cabins left and the charter company wouldn't be reducing the price and therefore we shouldn't wait any longer to guarantee a cabin. So we booked. A week and a half later, the charter company reduced the price of a Balcony Cabin to $100/person less than we paid for an inside. We were annoyed and tried to get the deal, but they did not respond. We did eventually get un upgrade to a balcony cabin after speaking to the charter rep on board but at a cost. We later discovered someone had been upgraded to a balcony for nothing and that as a Diamond Plus member of RCC, I was entitled to an upgrade for free if a cabin was available. RCC's comment on these issues was that they had no control over the cabins on this charter. The charter company's reps comment was that they weren't obliged to meet RCC's Crown and Anchor privileges, however 2 people we spoke to had in writing from them that all privileges would be met. Will NEVER book a charter again. I've read lots of comments about the food and people were certainly talking about it on board. I sincerely hope that the standard of the food in the free restaurants and Windjammer was the result of the charter because it was definately not up to RCC's usual standard. I also hope that the expansion of restaurants you need to pay for is not the reason for this. The majority of people want to cruise because everything is included. The booking system for My Time Dining, the North Star, the flight simulator and some of the shows was frustrating. We tried to book online before we left but it kept coming up saying "book on board". I thought the idea of My Time Dining was to allow you to dine whenever you wanted and for me, if a table isn't available, I either wait or go to the buffet. All dining times were booked when we tried so initially we thought we would have to eat in the buffet the whole time, but it turns out you can go down without a booking and they will fit you in, even if you have to wait a bit or share a table. As it turned out, we missed out on the North Star because at our booked time, the wind was too strong to run it and at out catch-up time, the same thing happened. I've never had to book a show before either (unless it was an Ice Show) so the spontaneity of deciding on the night what you want to do was disappointing. The staff and service were also below par on this cruise except for the Cruise Director who I think is the best I've ever come across. I also heard (and rumours abound on cruise ships) that RCC had intended to bring the ship from Singapore to Sydney without passengers to train the new staff (over 300 I heard). I believe it has damaged RCC's reputation for new time cruisers and those of us who regularly sail with them. The ship itself is magnificent and I like the layout. There are always lounge hoggers at ship's pools and I don't know how RCC can fix that without upsetting guests. I have generally always been able to find a seat. Queuing happens on all ships - it just seems magnified when there are 4500 passengers. It would have to be an itinerary I couldn't resist and a price to match before I would go on Ovation or a ship of similar size. As for embarkation - if people turned up at their chosen times, perhaps it wouldn't have been such a debacle in Fremantle but you're always going to get those who rock up earlier than said and the system of giving a boarding number as you queue, means those who do show up at the right time are still behind all those others who didnt. However, that being said, you need more staff checking in 3000 people compared to smaller ships, so something needs to be done about that. One thing that really irked me was how RCC built up the arrival of the ship into Sydney, ignoring the fact it was calling in to Fremantle, Adelaide and Hobart as well. When the ship came into Fremantle, there were people everywhere and when she left just a little less. One of the tugs when we left came out of the harbour and gave a long water spray send-off. Perhaps I blinked and missed them, but I didn't see such a welcome in Sydney. Actually it was a wet and misty morning and Sydney-siders are so used to seeing ships come in, they are probably ho-hum about it. Now Fremantle (Perth), we know how to put on a show! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
no time to see Perth as mix up with coach 2hrs late to ship. Ship very clean but old.full of over 80 year old. and Aussie using it as a floating hotel didn't even get off at port stayed on drinking. dining very short hours ... Read More
no time to see Perth as mix up with coach 2hrs late to ship. Ship very clean but old.full of over 80 year old. and Aussie using it as a floating hotel didn't even get off at port stayed on drinking. dining very short hours closed early all old folks in bed.food same everyday lots of choice.chop grill wonderful. Entertainment was like pub fringe in 70's .Australia rubbish not funny.in house dancers and band excellent only on 3 times in 17 days.very poor. excursions very expensive £90 pp cheapest 4 hrs mostly in a coach time at venues so sort didn't see much always rushed back on coach,walking trip with guide as above price only out lied for guide.Takes the Micky costing that much,excursions director lied about everything didn't listen to all complains and told us we were wrong.no people skill at all. lastly and sadly ship didn't call on planned ports so didn't see New zealand. which was why we went on the ship.very very poor commutation heard change from staff not captain NO sorry just a happy oh well Auckland is lovely lets enjoy our time there,Rubbish its another town we wanted to see the beauty of New Zealand .24hrs it took them to tell us where we were going still selling trips for NZ NEXT MORNING and compost came that night with NZ port. it was upsetting horrible 11 sea days.Ship could have dock at more NZ ports went back to Australia ,if given notice we could have got off and spent time to fly to NZ and picked up ship later. no free internet given to contact missed family. shameful. very low rate of us dollar given by ship well below going rate . Don't travel with them money making company NO heart didn't care Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Sailed 18th July Freemantle to Singapore. Boarded with an open mind and was not disappointed.We really loved this ship; it's size it's ambience and overall easy running was to our liking.All the people we met were great and ... Read More
Sailed 18th July Freemantle to Singapore. Boarded with an open mind and was not disappointed.We really loved this ship; it's size it's ambience and overall easy running was to our liking.All the people we met were great and most of these were in the Waterfront where we make a point of sitting with different people each night Even though the ship left late'this was not a real problem once on board.The decor of the bars was really soft and appealing;knowing this ship had a makeover from it's previous HAL days.All the lounges were decorated in the same soft tones. We got to like a couple of bars in particular that were quieter .I think the Blu room where there was one of the best jazz bands i have ever come across on a ship.Also the Dome up the top deck which retained a quite atmosphere. I do want to add that this ship was better maintained than many of the younger ships we had been on; something which really surprised us.No visible rust on the open decks! Getting to the food.We came to like the Waterfront after a few days.Even though you could not complain about the food quality in any part of the ship.The Waterfront was appealing to us as it was less hurried;no queuing (which was not really an issue) The coffee was great in the waterfront but the self service machine in Pantry was not for us We were both lucky not to put on any weight on this cruise as the portions in the Waterfront are small but you can always ask for more or doubles so never an issue with food.As usual you have the element of overweight people that stuff their faces as if there was going to be a food shortage .Having said that they are on most cruises I will make one comment on the service even though i consider ourselves privileged to be served when most of the countries in Indonesia we stopped at; people would give their eye teeth to experience what most Aussies take for granted Sometimes the service was very slow ;other nights it was spot on.A minor detail overall.We got the impression that many of the staff in the dining room were undergoing training of some sort We did not get off at all the ports of call as this voyage was a means to an end for us as our son lives in Singapore.I must be honest and say i do not feel completely at ease with Indonesia in general;so the sea voyage was more important to us Most of the crew work pretty hard and long hours and we rewarded a few of them and they were worth it I guess my only gripe would be that they did not have any organised Bridge on board and i had to organise a group of about 12 of us.Once again not a major issue on a lovely ship Most of the entertainment was good;some shows better than others Was surprised there was no bar fridge in our outside cabin;but as we had a drinks package it was of no real concern.This was the first time we had no balcony but did not feel closed in for it as the windows are large The one island we did enjoy was Komodo island and the once in a lifetime experience to see the Dragons.Awesome to say the least Embarkation was not as smooth as normally expected because of the ships late arrival and turnaround.Getting off was very well organised and easy at Singapore I think that pretty well covers it.One last point the Adults only area at back of ship was delightful and the rule of no children was enforced.There were 115 children on board but mostly well behaved from what we could see Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Itinary we want to go to st Helena and ascension we got to st Helena but not ascension Due to rough seas for a tender .think in five years a tender has not got ashore .we felt the ships food was not as good as other ships we have been ... Read More
Itinary we want to go to st Helena and ascension we got to st Helena but not ascension Due to rough seas for a tender .think in five years a tender has not got ashore .we felt the ships food was not as good as other ships we have been on but at no point did we ever go hungry . Entertainment as good as any London shows one of the singers called Roland Carr had fantastic stage presence t and I hope he gets picked up . Also wonderful polish singer opera again should be in opera house infact told her that. Staff excellent nonthing too much trouble reception who also speak German first class . Captain was very visible every morning as close to 11Am spoke to every one. A lot of the bigger ships could take a lesson . The ship has every thing that the larger ships have bridge, quizzes , shuffle deck, didn't Play . We had village fair which was very good captain again visible also wonderful weather. We didn't do any tours as we had been to most places .very good shuttle bus as Walvis bay got ripped off by taxi May be in the on board news paper would be good idea to put local fares in if there is no Shuttle bus. Felt shopping for presents unless you did it ashore ship,is missing out teddy bears things for grandchildren .also needs a shop where things you might have for gotten .i relize ship is that much smaller but feel shopping could have been better. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise for its ports of call, destination and cost. Embarkation could have been handled better. We seemed to spend a lot of time lining up and by the time we got on it was time for drill. Astor is an older and smaller ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its ports of call, destination and cost. Embarkation could have been handled better. We seemed to spend a lot of time lining up and by the time we got on it was time for drill. Astor is an older and smaller ship and consequently does not have the facilities and amenities of the bigger ships. However, we found that less passengers meant we got to know each other and everyone was friendly and happy to chat. The morning quiz was so popular that not everyone could get into the bar. We sat outside and answered the questions ourselves. The guest speakers were popular and very informative, especially the astronomer. The evening shows were good on the whole. Especially the rock n roll show (Jordan stole the show) and the Rocky horror show. Jordan was great in that too. As the stage and seating were all on the same level everyone wanted to sit at the front. The food was good although we are not used to so much fish. We preferred the Waldorf dining room. Get waited on and don't have the push and shove of the buffet. And get plenty to eat without over eating. The shore tours are reasonably priced and a variety of options. Some people say the tours are expensive but you are picked up from the ship, returned, have an English speaking guide and any admissions are included. It is much easier in an unfamiliar place where English may not be widely spoken. Swakupmund Namibia was great. Nothing like I expected for a town surrounded by desert. That was an enjoyable day out with a man who lived there as a child and had seen it change from a small town to a thriving metropolis. Clean and modern. The sand dunes and carpet weaving factory were great. Our cabin and the ship in general was kept clean. Warning that a young man was cleaning the ladies toilets might have been useful. My only gripe would be why is Ascension Island on the itinerary when they really have no intention of stoping there. In 5 passes of the island they have only gone ashore once. They say the water is too rough but the island is a strategic place for the British and Americans which makes me wonder. Despite not going there we were 3 hours late arriving at Casablanca. How late would we have been if we had stopped at Ascension Island. This cruise was value for money. May not have the glitz and glamour of the bigger more expensive cruises but was more relaxed. And as I said to my husband it is the first time we have been on first name terms with the crew. And the captain is a good singer. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We chose this cruise based on value for money. We were not seeking a "party" boat. I must admit I was expecting it to be boring, but had a wonderful time. The activities were well planned and the food was excellent the entire ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on value for money. We were not seeking a "party" boat. I must admit I was expecting it to be boring, but had a wonderful time. The activities were well planned and the food was excellent the entire trip. Crew were very professional. Despite being on the boat for 38 days, we did not want to get off when we arrived in England. Has definitely turned me on to cruising. The stops along the way included Mauritius, various locations around South Africa and Namibia. Loved Cape Town and St Helens. Then Morroco and Portugal. Loved the ambiance of the entire trip. Met many wonderful people. My wife got gastro on the boat, however I believe this is an occupational hazard of cruising. Whilst I was not sick, we were in lockdown in our cabin for 76 hours. However all the way through the Doctor, crew and officers ensured that we were well looked after. They were very professional and ensured that the illness was not spread to others. I cannot speak highly enough. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Started off the cruise with a 200 metre long queue in the hot Perth sun, supposedly because of norovirus which turned out to have been two sectors before. Elderly people standing in the heat for hours with their baggage just to drop off ... Read More
Started off the cruise with a 200 metre long queue in the hot Perth sun, supposedly because of norovirus which turned out to have been two sectors before. Elderly people standing in the heat for hours with their baggage just to drop off the bags and once into the terminal more long delays. No seats or cold drinks offered. A strange new policy never encountered before was to do the 5 one hour time changes between Australia and New Zealand between 12 midday and 1pm instead of the usual 2am so we lost an hour of our entertainment which would have been okay except that they then changed back to the normal 2am change when we headed back to Australia when we should have gained back the 2 hours during the day... is this more cost cutting by Royal Caribbean? Also now only shampoo, hand lotion, etc available by request instead of automatically in your stateroom, and the price of all the duty free alcohol was raised by $2 per bottle once the ship arrived in Perth. More bad news, they ran out of granola, prunes and even had run out of apple sauce to serve with the roast pork. Then the high light of this cruise was the cruising through the Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds. Despite the weather not being too kind, we did go through both Milford and Doubtful but Dusky Sounds was dropped with no explanation (and it wasn't weather related as the grapevine alerted us to this the day before) and the commentary was a wasted effort as the poor man couldn't be heard over the public address system. The excuse was that they "were working on it". Sad that they didn't use the system that calls you to go to Bingo or the Art Sales, which can be heard all over the ship. Having said all that, the cruise itself was quite nice, although the larger ships do tend to lose the nice intimate feeling that the smaller ships have, and there is a marked lack of sitting areas that are not in bars. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Enjoyable cruise overall but.. Inclement weather meant that outside decks were closed, but nothing that was planned for outside amusement was replaced .that meant a lot of time with absolutely no activities planned...and very few areas ... Read More
Enjoyable cruise overall but.. Inclement weather meant that outside decks were closed, but nothing that was planned for outside amusement was replaced .that meant a lot of time with absolutely no activities planned...and very few areas in the ship that you could sit and look out to sea....Dizzys ( for the lucky few that managed a seat) and one bar downstairs that had a porthole. Lack of enforcement of the smoking policy....the whole pool deck wreaked of smoke at times and blew into the solarium.....RCL even provided ashtrays for smokers use at the tables outside the pool bar on deck 12....not a smoking area Organize movies that appeal to the demographic.....minions movie at 6 & 9 pm was just plain lazy....really need a cinema on board if this ship is going to be in colder climes. Comedian that was on stage on the last night was inappropriate in content and language, very poor taste. Found the food to be fresh, varied and nicely presented in both windjammers and sapphire ...but did find service to be slow in saphire Staff were courteous and friendly. A lot more organisation needs to be thought about with getting passengers off the ship on shore days....a bit of a free for all. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This Fremantle to Sydney via New Zealand's South Island cruise was the inaugral ‘down under’ voyage for Explorer of the Seas, the largest cruise ship to make Australia home for the season. It was a massive, luxurious vessel with ... Read More
This Fremantle to Sydney via New Zealand's South Island cruise was the inaugral ‘down under’ voyage for Explorer of the Seas, the largest cruise ship to make Australia home for the season. It was a massive, luxurious vessel with great potential for a wonderful cruise. It was also our first mega ship cruise for a longer duration than the many cruises we had experienced in Asian waters. Embarkation out of Fremantle was horrific. The night prior to embarkation the ship had advised cruisers that the embarkation times had changed due to a need to sanatise the ship. However many did not receive the message as they were in transit from all over Australia and indeed the World. It’s unclear as whether the ships last minute change of times or inexperienced embarkation staff in Fremantle were the cause for the havoc that prevailed for hours. The Fremantle Terminal itself was an embarrassment being old and jaded and, it was quickly found that even the fans in the embarkation processing area were not working. It was also painfully obvious that little thought had been given to the special needs for travelers with disabilities and those of us feeling our age Generally the weather was kind to us although the winds made the top deck area less attractive for much of the journey. The Southern Ocean, Bass Straight and the Tasman sea lived up to their reputations with a few days of rough weather. Mid-ships with a balcony is certainly the more comfortable area to be located on cruise. Excursions/attractions were subject to change with little if any notice. Dusky Sound, one of the advertised attractions in Fiordland, was missed without explanation. An hour was lost in disembarking from Picton as the wharf could only accommodate 1 gangway. It was here that the habit of ships staff blaming other parties for shortcomings became apparent. If something went wrong it was always the fault of anyone but ships staff. The debacle at Fremantle was, according to the ship, due to terminal staff. The Picton disembarkation delays were apparently the fault NZ Immigration and not Royal Carribean’s for putting a ship of this size into an inadequately equipped port. If you are organising things on this scale you are responsible for setting the requirements at both ends . If a port or provider cannot meet your needs, bypass the port in favor of one that can . Rail excursions in Adelaide should have been on separate train/s and not causing friction between normal commuters and ships tourists fighting for space on normal scheduled services. The excursions were generally pretty good but over priced. The same tours sourced elsewhere were around half the price. The duty free shops were relatively expensive compared to on shore duty free. The main difference was that much of the product was the ship or Royal Carrabean specific. Many of the products were of Chinese origin. Sales were regular events The entertainment in terms of the ice skating show and the 3 stage shows was great. Generally the rest was pretty mediocre. The commedians were crass and the last ‘show’ did not meet its advertised description. One also became very tired of watching the same limited TV shows on loop each day Meals were reasonable but had a certain sameness about them over the 16/17 days. Unadvertised deviations from printed menus occured. Potential health risks caused by deviations from menus were initially blamed on the client not having advised of a potential health risk and then when that failed, the steward was blamed for not having clairvointly warned of the changed ingredients. Ultimately a higher authority righted this attitude. Touting for customers in the dining areas by the pay as you go speciality restaurants became tiresome. We found that the advertisments that entice you to book these trips don’t contain all you need to know. It is only when you register on the ships records that you find most of the hidden costs and the packages you have an ‘opportunity’ to purchase. In some cases the less expensive options (ie wi-fi) only become apparent when you are actually on board and start digging around. We had a real gem as our suite Steward . In fact we now count him as a friend rather than just a steward. Our table waiter in the dining room was another great bloke. We in fact declined to participate in the ‘compulsory gratuities package’ and instead directly tipped those we had direct contact with and had established a rapport with. Overall we had a great time. Cruising is all about what you make of it and who you meet along the way. It is amazing how much you can relax – you won’t believe just how tired you get doing nothing Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We took a 16 night cruise from Perth, Australia, and disembarked in Sydney. We chose the Explorer of the Seas because it covered several ports in South Australia, with visits to both islands of New Zealand. Unlike our initial experience ... Read More
We took a 16 night cruise from Perth, Australia, and disembarked in Sydney. We chose the Explorer of the Seas because it covered several ports in South Australia, with visits to both islands of New Zealand. Unlike our initial experience with Royal Caribbean to Alaska which was excellent, the quality of the food and entertainment was sorely lacking. In addition, we and another couple at our table encountered rudeness by a buffet server and at our dinner table when a guest was served a dried out entry that was uneatable. Rather than the chief apologizing and offering to serve her another dish, he argued with her at the table! While we are seniors, we felt we were on a geriatric cruise as the mean age of guests had to be about 70, with an unusually large percentage of canes and wheelchairs present. Also, we felt like cattle being directed to meeting places to wait for tours to depart, then encountering long lines and masses of people. Everything was a profit center with outrageous prices charged for internet service, drinks and for the privilege of dining at restaurants on board where the food was excellent. The mandatory tips charged to our account were outrageous, amounting to over $850. Even the Captain included?? They could have eliminated half the evening shows. In my opinion, as long as it was loud, it "worked" for the cruise director who didn't miss an opportunity to participate/perform in some entertainment events on board himself. It bothered me that he spent time taking about disembarkation four days before, like they couldn't wait to get rid of us. We could have saved money by not upgrading to a balcony suite because the weather on many of the days at sea ,while sunny, temperatures were too cold to sit outside and at times, the water rough. Of course no one has control over weather conditions and we were told that it was projected to be "late" summer. Our cabin was adequate, and the bed comfortable. However, initially our bathroom smelled like a backed up sewer with the floor flooding after a shower was taken due to a clogged shower drain. This should have been corrected before our occupancy, not after we complained about it. Finally, all the windows throughout the ship were dirty, with no effort made to keep at least the dining/buffet area windows clean. We are well traveled, having spent at least 70 weeks in Europe, 12 trips to South Africa and many trips to Mexico touring independently. Additionally, while this was our 8th cruise, we have never been so disappointed as we were with this Royal Caribbean Cruise. We have decided that any future cruises taken will be of shorter duration, with another cruise line and on a smaller ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Like many other guests on this cruise, we booked in order to visit the iconic tourist port of Broome, Western Australia. After we checked in, and after we were past the point of no return (due to the threatened customs strike we were ... Read More
Like many other guests on this cruise, we booked in order to visit the iconic tourist port of Broome, Western Australia. After we checked in, and after we were past the point of no return (due to the threatened customs strike we were unable to disembark even though sailing time was many hours later), with no internet available, my husband picked up a piece of paper that was sitting on a table on our way to customs. It would have been easy to bypass, or not read, this piece of paper as it just appeared to be another copy of the itinerary. As it happened, it was our "notification" that we would not be stopping at Broome, after all. Seemingly unaware, or uncaring, of the disappointment of the majority of their guests, no staff acknowledged the change in any way until after it was raised at the Cruise Critic Meet and Greet on day three of the cruise. Only the assistant cruise director attended this meeting on behalf of the ship, and he immediately responded with a lie when the concern was raised: "it was because of weather and the tides". He was quick to shut off discussion of the topic, much of which was angry and disbelieving, so one member proposed a second meeting of those gathered there two days later. After the Meet and Greet, the Captain finally got on the intercom and explained that there existed an unusual combination of circumstances that prevented the ship from docking. Eventually, more than three hundred guests signed a letter addressed to the RCI CEO, expressing our disappointment with the way this was handled. Although RCI replied near the end of the cruise that it refused to compensate its guests in any way, and also refused to refund the port charges, the captain did meet with the primary organisers of the letter, together with the hotel director and guest services manager. At this point, the captain blamed the Port of Broome, saying that it failed to provide adequate infrastructure to board and disembark passengers at the time of very low tides. Clearly the tides were predictable ("...the tides are the most predictable natural phenomena on Earth" Dr Ken George, University of Plymouth, Institute of Marine Studies), and if the port of Broome lacked the infrastructure at the time of our cruise, it also lacked the infrastructure when RCI planned its itinerary. It either didn't know that it would not be able to cope on that day (in which case it was negligent), or it knew and advertised Broome anyway (in which case it was deceptive). Although the ship was due to leave Broome 30 minutes past midnight on the day after its arrival, the itinerary advertised it as being in Broome for 2 days, which tends to indicate that RCI knew of Broome's drawing power. It is reported that our second meeting, with more than 100 in attendance, was even told by the hotel director that this cruise was a "guinea pig" to check Broome out, which displeased the crowd even more. Please note that this is not a criticism of the Captain, who was forced by his company into a difficult decision. The moral for those thinking of sailing on the Legend is that you should be prepared to be treated with disdain, and don't book on the expectation of going to any advertised port. Aside from the Broome issue, there were many things we are used to on cruises that were lacking on this one: smoked salmon and prunes at breakfast, a news print out, port information, serviettes in the Park Cafe and a general sense of fun around the pool (parties, live music). Although we were given a coupon to be exchanged for a gift at the Meet and Greet, there was no gift. A lot more of the activities on the daily list had a $ noted on them, and one of the lecturers had to use the Anchors Aweigh lounge instead of the theater as a new crew were rehearsing in the theater. The lounge has many view-blocking poles and there were problems with the video. The lecturer who was able to use the theater was likable but the presentation was sleep inducing. There were several dead spots on the giant outdoor screen and, unlike our previous RCI cruise, no popcorn or other snacks were offered to those watching the movies outdoors (not that we needed food, but the atmosphere the snacks/drinks created was special). The cruise director did say at one point that he was looking into broadcasting the AFL Grand Final which was a matter of great importance to the many Australian based guests on board. We never heard any more on this topic. I liked the ship itself as it is small enough to get to know quickly and is based around a pretty Centrum area. To have a quiet spot to read or have a conversation, however, often required going outside into the heat, and the smoke caused by Indonesian fires. Our cabin was ok and I was grateful that there was a kettle supplied plus tea bags. Fortunately, I also had some coffee with me for when the free coffee was unpalatable. Our cabin attendant, dining room waiter/assistant waiter, and the Windjammer wait staff, were all very pleasant, efficient and attentive. Some front guest staff were disinterested, unhelpful and uninformative. Clearly, however, they had been worded up to assist our Broome protest group, as was promised during the second meeting, with a limited amount of printing, and this was done cooperatively. I don't like production shows, of which there were three during our cruise, so I can't give an unbiased review of those. I did like the other shows provided and felt there was a good variety, although the final comedy/magician was a bit lame. Embarkation was painfully slow, probably due to the fact that RCI sent passengers an email asking them to get there early due to the possibility of customs strike action. (They didn't bother to notify the change in itinerary however.) Disembarkation was well handled so we could relax until called. I dared to go to the 9th floor for a drink of water while waiting, however, and was spoken to most condescendingly and disapprovingly by a passing staff somebody who I had never seen before who told me I should be on deck 4. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Hi all, as we have cruised a few times and never shared our trips I thought I would post some info. We recently took our 6th cruise, this one was from Fremantle Western Australia to Asia. Ports included Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, ... Read More
Hi all, as we have cruised a few times and never shared our trips I thought I would post some info. We recently took our 6th cruise, this one was from Fremantle Western Australia to Asia. Ports included Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi, Phuket and Singapore. We were told by Princess that we should not arrive before 1.30PM but Princess had previously advised that as we were Platinum card holders we could board earlier. We were told by port security we could not enter the cruise departure lounge but subsequently escorted up by a Princess staff member. We boarded the ship at about 12 PM. Weather was nice leaving Fremantle but we struck a cyclone off the North West of Australia two days in. Swell was around 5 metres but the ship handled it well. We booked a transfer into KL, Petronas Tower for $49 AUD each for a 70 minute trip that was supposed to take 90 minutes from Port Klang so good value. We walked into Penang town to check out the shopping but be warned the foot paths, "loosely termed" were a bit of an obstacle course. Langkawi was a short ride from the port area, it could be walked if you are reasonably fit. Duty free shopping was great especially for spirits. There was a happy hour on at the Wheelhouse bar twice daily at 3PM and again at 11PM, "buy one get one free" was the catch cry. All drinks up to $10 AUD were in the deal. Princess had the same deal on the Diamond Princes off Australia last year in December 2015. The food was fantastic on this cruise, I did not receive a bad meal during the trip. Our cabin steward looked after us well and always had a smile. Dis Embarkation at Singapore was smooth except for the wait for the taxi but that was expected as we had not pre booked transfers to the airport. Taxi ride was about $25 Singapore dollars from the Marina Bay port. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Exhilarating because of the bracing weather and southerly force 7 wind. Old-style because Dawn Princess lacks the specialty entertainment and dining options of newer, larger ships. Pre cruise I was booked on a balcony guarantee. 2 ... Read More
Exhilarating because of the bracing weather and southerly force 7 wind. Old-style because Dawn Princess lacks the specialty entertainment and dining options of newer, larger ships. Pre cruise I was booked on a balcony guarantee. 2 days before the cruise I was allocated a balcony cabin on Riviera deck forward port side. The day before the cruise, Princess rang me and offered me a full refund if I would give up my balcony cabin and take an inside cabin on Caribe deck instead. Deal or no deal? Deal! As a single cabin occupant paying double the usual 'per head' price, it was a bit of a no brainer. The refund was going to be either cash on board, or cheque if there wasn't enough cash in the onboard float. Ok. On board they said they would refund back to my credit card but I resisted as it would take me a month of Sundays to spend that much on my credit card again (as I had already paid the bill with the cruise on it) and there's no way the credit card company is going to let me cash it out without fees and charges. So hopefully the promised cheque arrives soon. We originally looked at a P&O cruise, but P&O weren't happy about a party of 3 in 2 separate cabins. They limit the number of single occupancy cabins, even for people prepared to pay the same as a double occupancy would cost. For the cruise we looked at, I could book 2 cabins for 4 people but not 2 cabins for 3 people. P&O said (in February) that the earliest booking I could get with them for a single occupancy cabin in Australia would be November, even at full price. They said this was because of "weight and balance issues" with the ships - what utter nonsense. Embarkation Embarkation at Fremantle was quite efficient despite the crowds. I was travelling with my elderly parents. Dad normally uses a walking frame and he was given wheelchair assistance to board, which made the experience smoother although we still had to wait in several lines (unlike boarding on Celebrity at Vancouver where the wheelchair got priority through every checkpoint while boarding). A small criticism is that the man pushing the wheelchair was a Fremantle port employee not a Princess employee and he seemed not to have a great knowledge of the embarkation process or the ship's layout. Embarkation was staggered by deck, Riviera (deck 12) and Aloha (deck 11) first at 1pm followed by the other decks. Caribe deck 9 was scheduled for 2.30. I think pax with Princess status were allowed to embark when they wanted. We arrived about 12.50pm and embarked straight away. Mum and Dad were on Riviera deck in a balcony cabin right next to the bridge door (so we saw Captain Jerman one day, in his running clothes! He was very charming, with an English accent although apparently he lives in Sydney now). No welcome drink was offered on board. The dining room was open for lunch 12-1.30pm and we just missed it. The Horizon Court was busy (obviously) but the crew helped dad to find a table quickly. It was a much smaller buffet physically than I am used to seeing on Celebrity. However the food quality and variety for lunch was perfectly fine, and for the breakfasts I had there. Not as extensive as Celebrity but plenty of choices and there would be something to suit everyone except perhaps total fussers. The cruise We were a couple of hours late with sailaway as there had been a delay with a fuel or oil delivery. We had a sunset drink in the Oasis bar (deck 14 aft) - it would have been nicer to be departing but never mind. The ship was sailing full on departure. We headed south down the coast and then headed east past Cape Leeuwin which is Australia's most south westerly point. A lot of the pax were Perth or WA locals having a weekend cruise break. Overall the pax were predominantly Australian with a few Brits, a smattering of North Americans, not much of anyone else that I saw. Service crew were predominantly Filipino, Asian or Eastern European - very few from the Americas, and no Caribbean crew that I saw. The next day (Saturday) was a sea day. The captain's morning announcement warned of 3-3.5 metre swells in the Southern Ocean in the afternoon and evening, so I started taking ginger tablets at lunchtime as a precaution. I was glad I did. It got very rocky. I later heard 300 pax sought treatment for seasickness in the medical centre, and many disembarked at the first port, Albany, rather than endure the voyage back. I had no trouble with my appetite or with sleeping on the moving ship. It was chilly on deck with a strong breeze but still comfortable to walk. It was great that on deck 7, Promenade deck, you can walk all the way round outside without having to cross deck indoors. There was a sewage smell at one area outside on deck 7 which I noticed all voyage. The smoking area is also outside on deck 7, so there were 2 small areas of unpleasant aromas! Lots of pax got dressed up for Saturday night on board even though there was no scheduled formal night on only a 4 night voyage. In fact I felt like people were generally better dressed for 'smart casual' that evening than I have seen on some Celebrity formal nights! We arrived in Albany on Sunday morning. The weather wasn't great, cloudy and a bit drizzly. Avis were right near the wharf for car rentals even though when I had rung up a couple of months before, they told me they would not be at the wharf. But hey, my car was right there as booked online so I skipped having to make a taxi trip to the Avis office. All good. We drove around Frenchman Bay. Interesting scenery. Dad can't walk far so I didn't get to go down some of the tracks right on to the beaches like others were doing. We stopped at Mt Adelaide and Mt Clarence and saw some of the new Anzac memorials for the departure of the first Aust/NZ ship convoys to WW1. That was interesting. We didn't go inside the Memorial Centre and I heard later it was crowded so I'm glad I missed the crowds. We stumbled on an old pub called the Earl of Spencer for lunch. It was on Earl St and Spencer St and was nothing to do with Princess Diana's family! There was a small market set up in the town centre for the cruise pax to look at. I heard later there had been a bagpiper on the wharf when we docked around 7am but I didn't see or hear him. There wasn't much else going on right at the wharf, you had to go into town to see anything, about a 1km walk or shuttle bus trip if you didn't have a car. We were a bit late departing again, due to a medical disembarkation. It was rough weather again that night as we headed back west in the Southern Ocean along the south coast of WA. It was so rocky that after dinner I couldn't be bothered staggering my way to the evening show and just stayed in my cabin reading a book and watching TV. So glad I didn't get seasick. Ginger tablets really worked for me this cruise. I felt worse on the section between Vancouver and the Alaska Inside Passage on Celebrity Millennium despite that ship supposedly having more modern stabilisation than Dawn Princess. Can't remember what the swell was there, they probably told us in feet anyway so it wouldn't have meant much to me. At half past midnight there was an announcement in all the cabins in an accented voice (maybe Filipino?) "first stage response to Jammers deck 7". I stayed in bed, figuring that if they needed pax to do something they would be a lot more explicit. Sure enough about 10 minutes later the announcement was in the captain's voice "first stage response stand down". The next morning I asked at the purser's office what it was about. I was told that someone had smelled a burning smell in the nightclub, and the crew decided it was best to wake everyone up while they checked it out in case it was a fire and the next thing was the evacuation signal. I guess some people would have been annoyed about being woken, especially with kids. But frankly I would rather evacuate with kids who were already awake rather than kids just waking, if we had had to evacuate (and if I had been travelling with kids). One lady thought the announcement was that everyone had to come to deck 7 in their pyjamas because she misheard "Jammers". Plenty of people got out of bed and got dressed as a precaution. My parents saw a tall man with a Scottish accent in their corridor resplendent in purple silk pyjamas with a matching hat!! I figure it was an officer whose cabin was on the bridge near their cabin. (The officer of the watch who ran the muster drill had a Scottish accent on the announcements for that drill). Anyway he reassured them there was no need for them to evacuate. Imagine if we had to get into lifeboats in 3.5m swell, it would have been horrible. Luckily it didn't happen. We arrived off Busselton around 7.30am Monday and I was off the ship on a tender before 8.15am. The sun was finally out for the first time of the cruise. We hired a car and drove to Margaret River to tour around the wine area, which we enjoyed. Busselton put on a big arrival greeting for the ship with a brass band and a local market close to the docking point. Also there were lots of local tourist advisers on hand to assist with ideas on how to spend the day. It felt very welcoming. Disembarkation Disembarkation on Tuesday morning was very smooth. We docked at Fremantle at 5am. The Pacific Jewel arrived shortly after but the cruise terminal coped well with the numbers. 2 things I particularly liked about disembarking - one was that the crew stayed friendly right to the end. On other cruise lines you feel like they don't care any more on disembarkation morning and they just want to get rid of you. The other thing was that Princess doesn't mind if you leave the ship after your bags - you can stay on board until breakfast finishes after 9am even if your bags are ready waiting for you on the wharf at 6.30am. Princess only wants to know if you want an earlier disembarkation time than they have allocated for you - later is no problem and you don't have to tell them. On this cruise Riviera deck bags were on the wharf at 6.30am and Caribe at 7.50am - it was in the same staggered order as boarding. We left the ship about 8.15am and were in a taxi by 8.35am. No compulsory standing around endlessly waiting in lounges with people tripping over everyone else's bags, no herding of great masses of people to the gangway, just a civilised departure - well done Princess, I was impressed. Food The food in the Venetian dining room was brilliant and we had nice table-mates. Personally I think it's a shame that allocated dining tables are less common on cruises than they used to be, because it's nice to get to know people over a few days even if you don't immediately have lots in common. I particularly liked the Princess 50th anniversary dinner, with a retro course from each decade and a spectacular choc raspberry heart-shaped dessert. Another night I specially liked a chilled pear ginger soup that was served in a cocktail glass and looked like a Piña Colada - tasty but also innovatively presented. A small disappointment was one breakfast where the waiter recommended poached eggs - it was literally 2 poached eggs on 2 pieces of toast - no garnish of any kind. It looked like something you might get in a highway roadhouse. Also a vegetable risotto with small pieces of carrot and peas didn't look great even though it tasted good. But generally high marks for the food at all mealtimes. I got into the habit of asking for a small serve because the usual servings were about double as much food as I would usually eat. The service from Poomii and Jorge on table 181 was top notch, also Lawrence on table 154. Poomii did some great tricks making balloon animals and flowers, and napkin origami. A consummate host indeed. Drinks Bar service was often slow all over the ship as they seemed understaffed for the demand (too many hard drinking Aussies on a long weekend maybe? Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our second time on Voyager of the Seas and our fifth cruise altogether . My husband and I chose this cruise because of the destinations (Port Hedland, Bangkok, Pattaya, Saigon and Singapore) and the good value associated with this ... Read More
This was our second time on Voyager of the Seas and our fifth cruise altogether . My husband and I chose this cruise because of the destinations (Port Hedland, Bangkok, Pattaya, Saigon and Singapore) and the good value associated with this reposition trip. We also enjoyed our previous cruise on Voyager. I've read many negative reviews about this cruise and while everything was not without fault, my husband and I had a wonderful time onboard and loved the ports that we visited. A favorite pastime for many cruisers was complaining and whining about practically everything instead of considering themselves fortunate enough to afford a holiday. Some passengers need to learn to chill out and relax a bit. Given a choice between work and holidays I know what I would choose. For those of you thinking of cruising on this ship, my advice is to keep your expectations realistic and don't be put off by the negative comments. Remember it's your choice to have a good time or not. Would I cruise on Voyager again- definitely yes! Would I do the same ports again-Yes, they were amazing! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Its only our 3rd cruise, 1st on such a large ship 1st with a balcony 9520. What I want to tell you is if you know how to enjoy yourself you’ll have a great time. I read a few reviews before sailing as I do research our holidays and was ... Read More
Its only our 3rd cruise, 1st on such a large ship 1st with a balcony 9520. What I want to tell you is if you know how to enjoy yourself you’ll have a great time. I read a few reviews before sailing as I do research our holidays and was a bit dubious on reading some but a good friend recommended the ship and I value her experiences so we went and were so so glad we did. Perhaps our lives have not been 5 star like some. I don't know but we really had a different holiday on this huge ship, enjoyed the lovely helpful crew who all worked so hard, the food, the entertainment, our cabin. Must have had our eyes shut compared to some. Our cruise was if nothing else definitely value for money. If you pay more for a balcony enjoy sitting there with ocean and breeze listening to the waves go past from your bed. We had one this time and were so lucky to have experienced this. I didn't want to leave our cabin. If your in an inside go out on lovely quiet Deck 4 and lay there on the deck chairs and do the same on deck 11 or 12 or any of the many numerous places we found after exploring the vessel. If you pay for 4 pax in a cabin where 2 normally are comfortable then expect a bit squeezy. Our cabin with only two was roomy with lots of cupboard space and room under bed for suitcases. It had spotless white towels and sheets and was kept beautiful by our room attendand who was very helpful though very busy. Kids cruises must be so much harder for them. I saw some pretty scary rooms as I went past. The ship was kept beautiful. We saw people cleaning the balustrades all the time and there was always a deck area cordoned off being cleaned or painted. There were lots of hand sanitisers from Toilets and into dinning rooms. I don't get to go out to see many live shows at home so I appreciated whatever was on. There were full production shows in a beautifully laid out theatre, a spectacular ice show, comedians, a world class violinist and guitarist, magnificent singers. Unbelievable $ holiday value. My husband took me out every night for 14 nights to Al A Carte cocktails and a show. Unheard of in my normal life. There was so much to do we had trouble sometimes as we wanted to do two things at once. As with anything though there was some activities not our thing. Casino and bingo and because we are in our 60’s and possibly a little too careful with our bodies we chose to just people watch at the Flow Rider, climbing wall and and ice rink.Very Entertaining all the same and those participating seemed to be having a lot of fun. There was so much good quality varied food at their Winjammer Buffet we decided to go for lunch only. We just didn't want to put on too much weight. We had the quieter time of 8.15 for dinning so we went to the earlier show time 6.30 followed by a pre dinner cocktail. If the Winjammer is too busy at peak time for you just go as we did a little earlier at 11.45. If you go at busy times expect busy. We had a pretty early breakfast brought daily to our cabin for nothing extra which was a real treat in itself. Just fill the card out in your room as per normal hotels. We paid extra on my birthday and tried the Italian restaurant and though it was very good I didn't feel it better than the Sapphire Dinning. They brought out a cake and sang Happy Birthday. I was amazed on a ship that size that they know where you are let alone care enough to relate to your birthday. I also noted at the Windjammer they had a gluten free area. I loved that there was so many people on board there was always someone different to have a chat with or you could just chose to not bother and no one would notice. I think this is good for 14 day cruises or longer. We tried out all the different cocktail bars High Notes deck 14 is a must do, birds eye view of the ship. Went to free champagne art auctions for the experience keeping our hands in our pockets. Sat outside on the top deck watching an outside movie free soft serve in hand. Even enjoyed two of the kids 3D in theatre movies with popcorn. Enjoyed the outside pools mostly when the ship was empty in port and in the evening. They had a huge amazing gym with its own spa. My husband loved it visiting daily. I more frequented the adults only spa and pool deck 11. The gym to me still a picture on the brochure. With over 3000 pax we definitely expected ques but really and truly everything was handled very professionally with a minimum of waiting time from embarkation to port stops and disembarking. The only exception I found was at passports pickup. I think I read the same issue on a previous review with the parents first visit to the kids club. Oversight on the ships part. I think, there just should have been someone outside directing the que processing. In our country people don’t look a whole lot further than the end of a que thinking thats where they should be and join the end automatically. We looked and came back an hour or so later. Some intolerably waited in line and the shame is that experience will be what they remember. It was good to be able to keep tabs on our account anytime on our TV and sit in the room looking up what was on offer or even able at times to book via TV rather than the service desk. It was also great as we were continually getting lost to easily be able to check the screens located all around the ship to see where we were and how to get from A to B.. I can't comment on the Port excursions as we had been to the three Ports Port Hedland, Vietnam, Ho Chi Mingh and Thailand Bangkok and Pattya numerous times previously and were on board for the cruise. Because the ship is so large they had to berth at the deaper and larger container ports. This is where I don't get it. We actually found the goings on at these places very interesting rather than sitting offshore. On smaller ships previously we sat just offshore and tendered back and forwards. It is a nightmare if the weather isn't perfect and much more time consuming. This way is so much better for anyone disabled or elderly I noticed so many more of them getting off . You know in Port Hedland we watched when a 12ft dinghy broke down next to our ship with another ship coming the other way. Scary for the two fishermen and interesting for us. A Tug came and towed it away. Im not going to rave on too much more other than to help out with a couple of hints if there are any new budget conscious cruisers reading this. These were all things I knew before getting onboard which helped us. I noticed a lot of people had not done their homework and were not so well informed. 2 x750 ml Bottle of wine or champers allowed by this ship per cabin only on cruise departure port. No hard spirits. Just take with you as hand carry not in case. Could break. No laundry room on board and its pretty Xy to have done. Take a bit of detergent for smalls and take extra clothes and book extra air baggage if you need to, its cheaper. No irons allowed on any ship. No shampoo or conditioner on this one. No coffee in rooms but kettle and tea. Take some coffee. Milk, just ask your room attendant. He also brought us ice every day. Take a Lanyard with pouch for Ship card. American to Aus power adaptor. Medications/ take any you MAY need including panadol. Walkie talkies are a gr8t idea especially if you have kids or in a group. You can buy a drinks package up to 4 days prior to end of cruise. Be aware when you buy one you must pay that rate daily from then to departure. Bottles of water are not free. Either buy a bottle upfront or take container and either refill from boiled kettle or at outside deck bars, they have free ice water or refill at the Free Coffee Shop Café Promenade. Like anywhere cappuccino’s late or any fancy coffee or icecream are at a cost. You can get free soft serves either outside or inside Windjammer any time. Never let your kids have free reign on a seapass card to be debited to your credit card. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!. Take runners for gym. Inside ship aircon can be coolish. Take a small light bag to cart your books sunburn cream etc to decks. Take a few small notes if you want to do a bit extra tipping not on your seaspass card. Do homework on Ports of Call prior to getting on ship. Internet and Phone calls are satellite and not cheap. Turn your phone data off as soon as you know you are roaming or when you depart Aus. Guest Service Ques are busy at start of cruise. Flat shoes, ship is huge. Relate ship extra costs are all in US dollars. That’s it. Have a Great Holiday Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We just arrived home after a month on the Voyager. We have been on about 20 cruises with more than a few cruise companies This was our first time with Royal Caribbean and will be our last. Things started to go wrong within the first ... Read More
We just arrived home after a month on the Voyager. We have been on about 20 cruises with more than a few cruise companies This was our first time with Royal Caribbean and will be our last. Things started to go wrong within the first hour of boarding the ship. We had pre purchased the Ultimate Drinks package. On our first attempt to use it to get a glass of Champaign (Moet) we were told that it was not on the list of drinks available with the package. This is contrary to what their web page promoted. To purchase the drinks package I had to log on using my Name, the date of sailing (1 April 2015) and the ship (Voyager) together with the reservation number. After entering this information I was then taken to a page that displayed what extras where available. The only package that was available was the Ultimate Drinks package. This package listed what was available and included all Beer, Wine, premium sprits, cocktails, fresh orange juice, coffee, pre mix soda’s and Moet by the glass. They even made a big thing about the Moet. When I fronted the Guest Services, I was told that my package did not offer Moet; I then showed them the printout of the page that described what was in the package (from their web page).They refused to even listen to my complaints. They said that package was not available on the Voyager of the Seas. Then why, after entering the above details was I even offered this package??? This started the cruise off badly. My next concern was the lack of entertainment areas for adults. Most of the entertainment was designed around children. Even to having a parade for children at 10:30PM. Whilst sitting around the pool to get drink, you had to go to the bar to get it. NO STAFF! Their smoking policy is appalling. We did a back to back cruise from Fremantle - Singapore then on to Tokyo. The first stage there was no smoking allowed in the casino (only outside on the deck).But after Singapore smoking was allowed in the casino. As the casino is in the centre of the ship the smoke drifted everywhere, including onto the Promenade deck where children were being entertained I believe that that this cruise company is all about the bottom dollar and not about looking after their customers. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015

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