1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Transpacific Cruises
  4. Transpacific Cruise Reviews

32 Transpacific Romantic Cruise Reviews

We had a wonderful cruise. The itinerary, Hawaii and the Polynesian Islands, was fabulous. We were worried about all of the days at sea but we found plenty to do and were not bored. Of course the islands were terrific. We especially liked ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise. The itinerary, Hawaii and the Polynesian Islands, was fabulous. We were worried about all of the days at sea but we found plenty to do and were not bored. Of course the islands were terrific. We especially liked the snorkeling/beach day in Moorea. The staff was very friendly and hardworking and the ship was clean and pleasant. We did not eat in the specialty restaurants and found the food in the dining room and buffet to be good. We have sailed on other cruise lines, some with higher ratings, but were pleasantly surprised by Norwegian. I would not hesitate to recommend the cruise. Aside from the ports a highlight was crossing the equator by sea. It was a spectacular day weather wise, the cruise director was a great Neptune, and we enjoyed the kissing of the fish ceremony. Our only negative experience was an issue with the passport collection and the coffee at the buffet was pretty bad. Other than that it was a dream trip. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
If this is now Princess new standard for service and food then we will not be sailing with them again The dinning room (anytime dinning) staff were untrained and far to few in numbers to give good service if you asked for a fresh HOT ... Read More
If this is now Princess new standard for service and food then we will not be sailing with them again The dinning room (anytime dinning) staff were untrained and far to few in numbers to give good service if you asked for a fresh HOT pot of tea often you were told there is still tea in the pot its OK drink it ,The choice of meals was very poor and repeated ever few days. We have traveled on Princess many times before and never had this bad of service and meal choice The music was played so loud through out the venues that it was uncomfortable even with my hearing aids OUT The ship was in good condition and the staff in the cafe especially April were the best trained on the ship there you could get HOT coffee and tea as well as snacks . the disembarkation was very smooth I booked the Flight ,hotel and transfers through Princess this all went very smoothly so I can recommend this I have another cruise booked in October 2020 with Princess but if this is there new standard I will give serious consideration to cancelling this and book with another line Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I'm looking to be as honest and balanced as I can in this review so that it helps prospective cruisers who are considering Celebrity. I'll do this in 3 parts... Summary… the Good… the Bad. Summary My view is that ... Read More
I'm looking to be as honest and balanced as I can in this review so that it helps prospective cruisers who are considering Celebrity. I'll do this in 3 parts... Summary… the Good… the Bad. Summary My view is that Celebrity is living off its reputation (& messaging) of ‘premium’. My experience is that they are looking for ever 'sneaky' ways to drive up revenue (as any good business should), whilst minimising the product (which is cancerous). Sure push the envelope for a few dollars here and there, but don't reduce the product at the same time. We cruise Royal Caribbean and Celebrity a lot… and enjoy the loyalty reciprocity and we are finding the gap between the 2 becoming more and more insignificant. Royal are getting better, whilst Celebrity are slipping. So would I cruise Celebrity again? Yes. I’ve seen Celebrity really good, and quite average. Considering this cruise might have been an exception, I’ll go again… but that may be the last if it remains under-whelming. The Good: - Crew: The 'Worker bees' were all so generous and courteous... nothing but good things to say - Tuscan Grill: Personalised and accommodating… even modifying the menu upon request (The Maître d was brilliant) - Stateroom: Remodelled room (Balcony Concierge Class) was very good… décor was modern and warm, whilst storage space was plentiful and practical - Beds and pillows were so good… slept like a baby (despite some rough seas) - Ocean View Café – Lunch and Dinners were amazing in terms of quality & choice. And the pizza… the BEST on the open seas! (In contrast the Main Dining Room’s food was a complete let down) The Bad: So before looking like I’m just whining, I respect that everyone has different tastes so I’ve left entertainment, enrichment and excursion off the ‘bad’ list. Most of my ‘bad’ is centred around how I’ve seen Celebrity go from ‘WOW!’ to ‘’MEH!’. - Casino: I thought I was being a little too negative, until I heard many guests in there complaining. Apart from 2 to 3 dealers, the rest were inexperienced and most impersonal. There was a strong contingent of Texas Hold’em Poker players onboard, and the availability, service and games structures were amateurish at best. A 10% rake (yes..10%) should come with incredible dealers… instead we had trainees who did not know the rules, and continually exposed cards whilst dealing. - Outdoor hot tubs were lukewarm at best. I know many folk were requesting for the temperature to be increased. Each time was met with a shrug of the shoulders saying ‘it was just the way it is’. Considering the weather outside was cool, this was most disappointing. - Concierge Class: This is pretty much a bluff... (It is anything but personal, group phone messages, line up for 30 minutes, call the service desk and we could never get through). On sea days the concierge was ‘closed’ from Midday to 4:30pm every day. This is an absolute oversell... save your money!! The Concierge Class left me questioning why we did it… just couldn’t see the value. - Embarkation: 1.75 hours kerb to ship! - (And we were concierge class)… absolutely dreadful - 'Premium' Drinks Package - You can't get a glass of wine with your room service order (you can pay for it though). I think this is a nasty slap in the face and really lost Celebrity lot of points in my book. (Using the 'we must see your stateroom card upon ordering' is so condescending). - 'Premium' Drinks Package - Take a Coke from your mini bar - you'll get charged. Again just thoughtless. (So instead I go to the bar get a heap of unopened soft drinks and put them in the bard fridge). - 'Premium' Drinks Package - with a dreadfully limited selection by the glass of basic wines. If you are a wine drinker (primarily) I strongly urge you to give the drinks package a miss. The selection is very, very limited and anything but ‘premium’. - 'Premium' Drinks Package - in the specialty restaurants the wine by the glass choices are a contradiction (to align to 'specialty')... limited in terms of choice / country / region / variety / quality. - When I first cruised celebrity the wine experience was great. The Sommeliers were experienced and knowledgeable. They really should not use the term Sommelier for the wine crew on this cruise… can you believe we were served corked/off red wine in one of the specialty restaurants (because it had been left open for a few days), and the Sommelier just didn’t get it! - Main Dining room - Can't tell the difference between Celebrity and Royal Caribbean anymore. This has sadly been dumbed down to mass production without the culinary prowess the once defined the Celebrity difference. So the main dining experience is the centre of ‘Premium’ cruising. It’s where the nostalgia lives… Celebrity have absolutely dropped the ball here. The main dining room is pretty much sitting back in the industry pack now… so very disappointing!!! Bland, unseasoned, cold, huge variance from one guest plate to the next, lack of imagination (sides were pretty much boiled carrot, broccoli & a bit of mash with most meals). Also the dress standard Celebrity have held to all but disappeared… formal nights were really just neat casual. It’s not good when the buffet is way better than the main dining room. - Main Dining Room - can you imagine getting your 1st drinks order half way through your main course? (twice). - Constantly pushing up the prices on specialty dining (Tuscan now up to $45 US!!). But then at the bottom of the menu offering premium steaks for an additional $18... Really!! - Disembarkation… It’s amazing how much colder and unhospitable the crew became on disembarkation morning. We went to guest services to see if I could exchange some US for YEN... got an abrupt NO... with an immediate reminder that we had to get off the ship! In closing I was surprised at how aloof and closed off the managers and above were... almost like the guest were annoying them. But again the core crew were so great! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have to say that this was probably not the best Cruise Experience.. The specialty dining was not any better than going to the regular dining. I find it to be a waste of money. I did three specialty dining on this trip and did not find ... Read More
I have to say that this was probably not the best Cruise Experience.. The specialty dining was not any better than going to the regular dining. I find it to be a waste of money. I did three specialty dining on this trip and did not find them to be any better than going to the dining room. Also, the main dining room the service is poor. The guys are overworked and overwhelmed. Did have one experience that was not good with the Shores excursion department. Over an excursion purchased through them. The spa service is not very good when it comes to doing your nails. I find that they overcharge. The most positive thing that I enjoyed was having Captains Club Desk. Always very kind, helpful to take care of any issues. This trip on Millennium ship has made me think that I would consider now trying other cruise lines. We are elite members of Celebrity and have been very loyal to Celebrity. Through the years I’ve seen Celebrity changing and not for the good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
An outstanding cruise which combines a repositioning with multi country/culture adventure. Seeing Alaska, Russia and Japan all while gaining extra sleep every other day made this relaxing. This ship (like all the Viking cruise ship) is as ... Read More
An outstanding cruise which combines a repositioning with multi country/culture adventure. Seeing Alaska, Russia and Japan all while gaining extra sleep every other day made this relaxing. This ship (like all the Viking cruise ship) is as near perfect as you can get. Comfort, food, service, public spaces, what’s included and what’s not ( no casino, kids, photos, auctions, crowds, etc) makes it a top cruise line. The entertainment was very good and varied as they pick-up up new entertainers all along the 22 days. But the talks were the best. Especially the NASA mission specialist / astronaut who took 5 trips into earth orbit and worked on the Hubble telescope. The planetarium was a nice change but needs better shows. Specialty restaurants were outstanding. We ate there many times but also loved the dining room. There were many nationalities represented on the cruise with the majority being Australians the Americans. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
ok!! here are the pros cabin comfortable. food in dinning room good. staff in most bars great, very friendly, coffee shop guys fantastic. entertainment ok, some great acts, ( Freddy show ) some a bit ordinary. plenty of ... Read More
ok!! here are the pros cabin comfortable. food in dinning room good. staff in most bars great, very friendly, coffee shop guys fantastic. entertainment ok, some great acts, ( Freddy show ) some a bit ordinary. plenty of activities going on if you want to participate OK!! now the cons. the ships billing system is a nightmare, they add cost and credit cost all the time. very hard to understand. I spent severial days visiting guess services trying to understand. travelling with us a friend who is a finance manager and accountant was dumbfounded. so just be careful!!, an example I paid my bill second last night, then on my final statement, they had a charge of $100USD for pool towels. now we only used them 3 times and returned every time back too counter. so with another visit to guest services, they credited the towel without a murmur. i just wonder how many people just pay it??? dining room staff not that great, seem to be more interested in cleaning tables than serving the guess, we where always having to ask for drinks, if we could find our waiter. windjammers average, tend to a bit the same if I ever cruise again I will look at other companies. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was a cruise of a lifetime celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary on the magnificent Ovation of the Seas. We were lucky enough to stay at the Four Seasons Sydney and had a fabulous view of the arrival of this beautiful ship into ... Read More
This was a cruise of a lifetime celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary on the magnificent Ovation of the Seas. We were lucky enough to stay at the Four Seasons Sydney and had a fabulous view of the arrival of this beautiful ship into the OPT terminal right in front of us. We just love the Four Seasons and its proximity to Circular Quay and all the buzz and excitement of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House. As this was a first cruise on a Quantum Class ship we were nervously excited ! Embarkation was a breeze and we were in our cabin 11596 just after 1pm where we found our luggage waiting for us in the corridor. Amazing as we only boarded at 12.30pm! After unpacking we set off to explore and find our allocated MDR table. It was not quite right for us but was easily changed to something that we were more comfortable with. Our table was in the Grande MDR and the service and food was outstanding every night. We also enjoyed the company of our neighbours immensely ! Our Head waiter was Shasshank and his assistant Agus and both were simply awesome! There is so much to do on the Ovation. There is the I Fly, North Star ,Flow Rider, walking tracks, dodgem cars ,bingo, trivia, dance lessons, The Morning Show etc etc. The evening shows were fantastic with the highlight for us the INXS tribute band. Also every night the pub Amber and Oak was literally pumping with Steven and all the other musos who came and jammed with him until late! We met some fantastic party people there and we were all well looked after by Nelson and his team! The whole crew provided excellent service every day1Our room was beautifully clean and cared for by Nilde! So spoilt! We did day excursions on Papeete Moorea and Bora Bora and all were amazing! Tendering was a breeze and we were well looked after by all our guides. Disembarkation in Honolulu was also so easy and Anthony of Direct Shuttles Honolulu had us at our accommodation by 8.00am. He also took us to the airport 5 days later at the crazy early time of 3.30am Overall our trip way exceeded our expectations! The weather was cool wet and windy as most days so when the sun did come out it made everything even better! The ship is stunning! The crew were awesome and our fellow pax were the best! Thanks everyone! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
If you want a ship with a casino, climbing wall, giant water slide, etc., ignore this review and Viking Oceans. If you seek a family cruise with you and your (non-adult) children, look elsewhere. If you like cruising with thinking people ... Read More
If you want a ship with a casino, climbing wall, giant water slide, etc., ignore this review and Viking Oceans. If you seek a family cruise with you and your (non-adult) children, look elsewhere. If you like cruising with thinking people and a remarkably intelligent, attentive crew visiting an itinerary of a lifetime on an impeccable, smallish ship, read on. We are just back from Viking’s Grand Pacific Explorer cruise that traced all around the Pacific, roughly following the Ring of Fire from New Zealand through Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Russia (Siberia), across the Bering Sea, and down through Alaska to Vancouver. Portions of this 93-day itinerary were also available in smaller chunks of 15 to 23 days. As we came to realize, the guests on shorter legs were taking a cruise on the ship. We lived there. And it was fantastic. There were roughly two dozen of us who traveled the entire way and another fifteen or so who embarked in Sydney for 79 of the 93 days. All tolled, we traveled 19,919 nautical miles on the ship. Convert to statue miles and add on the air travel, and our adventure went far beyond the distance around the globe. What we learned: You can be happy on a Viking Oceans ship for a long time and still be happily married. Although our Penthouse Veranda was not the smallest stateroom, several of the Grand Voyagers were in the standard size (all veranda) staterooms, and there was at least one couple who survived and celebrated their 50th anniversary just afterward. The secret is the many varied public spaces on the ship. The Explorer’s Lounge is great 24/7, and you don’t have to order any booze to just sit and enjoy the view and read. Or converse in comfortable seating clusters. Add the quiet reading area in the deck 1 library, the exterior wings outside the Winter Garden, and various nooks and crannies. There is always somewhere to go. Crossing the equator and the International Dateline can be fun. Viking made sure we celebrated on both occasions. May 14 happened TWICE (thus 93 days, not 92)! The seas are never what you expect. Yes, the Tasman Sea can be “lively,” as can the Bass Strait above Tasmania, but even the Bering Sea is not necessarily going to be bad. If you count on good or bad seas, you won’t get them. It’ s pure luck. Siberia did kick up a ruckus for us for one day, but the Bering Sea was crazy calm! You will get to know the crew very, very well. They will bring you just about anything, anytime. Room service delivers ANYTHING on their menu for free anytime. Ask for the things you don’t see but crave. This applies to those on the ship for two short weeks or for three months. “Another latte, madame?” “A scone from tea in the Wintergarden?… sure I will get that for you.” The only cost is if you elect to drink alcohol from the bar. Those with the Silver Spirits package pay nothing. Others like us paid very reasonable prices with no added gratuities if we chose to drink. Of course, the minibar in our PV cabin had standard level booze and mixers of our choice, so we could always carry our own drinks to the lounge. If we had brought a bottle of our own on board-- no problem. They’ll even provide the glass and ice. No nickels. No dimes. There is a bar waiter, Ardel, who introduced me to an excellent formula for a top shelf margarita, now dubbed the “Ardel Margarita” by several of us who enjoyed it! The senior officers are incredible. Kudos to the general manager for most of our cruise, Joaquim Scherz, and to the restaurant manager Gerome Venon, for making our group of voyagers feel especially welcome and for preventing monotony from EVER setting in – as if that could happen with such a rich itinerary! Even the entertainment team added some new performances so we could enjoy the talents of two different Viking Bands who were onboard during our tenure and especially the excellent ensemble of four young Viking Vocalists Aoibhin, Jorgen, Dan, and Beth, whom we got to know quite well. (These four, by the way, were the first to be awarded a new contract by Viking to stay together on their next cruise in the Caribbean.) Kudos to cruise director Spencer who rose to the role on this, his first cruise in the position. When Viking says they are a family, they are serious. That includes the passengers. They know you. They figure you out within a few days, and they are all eager to make the cruise p-e-r-f-e-c-t. Your cabin steward knows when you are likely to be out and about or when you have an excursion scheduled. The ice is there every day on time. The things you store in you bathroom are arranged exactly as you like them. After a few days, people know your names. (The general manager told us he actually looks over each guest list in advance and learns names and scans for those he has met before.) We learned much about the way Viking hires, trains, and rotates its crew and senior officers. We boarded Viking Orion and saw crewmembers we had met four years ago on Viking Star, now promoted to higher positions and happy in “the family.” The family extends to all the ships. When the Viking Sky encountered rough seas off the coast of Norway (while we were in Australia), every crewmember on Viking Orion was paying attention, praying, and even helping to send a video to the crew of Viking Sky in support and thanks for all their efforts. Family goes both ways. We Voyagers truly got attached to Joaquim and gave him a Viking umbrella salute send-off as he departed for a well-earned vacation. There were tears. Viking is truly fortunate to have such amazing people, and Joaquim is one who has been with VO since its launch. If he has any say about it, the quality will not diminish as the company expands. We sincerely hope his influence will keep things as good as they are! Speaking of family, our group of “Voyagers” definitely became one. People who take Viking cruises are fascinating folks with endless interests and stories. When you meet new people at home, you may see them once a week or a couple of times a month. When you make new friends on a ship, you see each other as often as three meals a day plus an excursion. Yes, we could avoid seeing them, but we enjoyed getting to know each other—really well! We avoided talking politics -- which was a refreshing change for over 90 days! We compared notes about our days (what excursion did you take?), drank a LOT of free wine (opened and closed the World Café many times), and watched out for each other when someone was “solo” on an excursion. These friendships will last for sure. We learned about the tons and tons of food they bring on board and when. We noticed that the chef went into town to pick up a few things while we were out on excursions – but only if he can find provisions that met Viking’s strict quality and safety standards. Within a couple of days, the cook at the breakfast fruit and yogurt bar handed me a bowl as I walked in each day and several times kept a few strawberries aside when the stock was dwindling before the next provisioning. He found the plain Greek yogurt that I like if it is not out on display. He was genuinely apologetic when the strawberries ran out in Siberia! If it wasn’t perfect, all we had to do was ask. Just when I was muttering to myself that there weren’t any chocolate options on the desert bar in the World Café, one of the supervisors offered to go down and get a chocolate mousse from the sit-down Restaurant downstairs…. “And where are you sitting, madame?” Or if the buffet choices were not exactly what we wanted, the chef custom-prepared a strip steak (“Medium? Four minutes, please.”) and delivered it to our table, with a potato and sour cream if that was what we wanted. All this in the “buffet” style World Café, our favorite venue for every day. Manfredi’s, the Italian specialty restaurant, is a gem. People seem to figure this out quickly, so be sure to book reservations as soon as you can. Book before you embark, as we did or stop by the laptop at the entrance to the world café to add more or make changes. We also learned that they will make every effort to change your numbers as you meet people and want a larger table. (Thank you, Ian!) Yes, we also ate in the Chef’s Table, but after trying each of the (mostly delicious) menus, we found we preferred the less formal and more flexible options elsewhere. We aren’t “The Restaurant” type people, though many of our friends were and enjoyed it just as much as we enjoyed the free-ranging exploration of the world Café – the same food, but you can graze and get up from your table at will. (Just hide your fork…. They clear TOO quickly!) The only nights I personally did not enjoy as much were the Indian Buffet theme nights, but my husband loved them. I just ordered a strip steak and tasted a few other things. I made the suggestion that perhaps not EVERYTHING had to be Indian… like the weird gelato flavors. We learned SO MUCH. The itinerary was loaded with places we had always wanted to see, and Viking offered many ways to learn about each one. The guest lecturers were great, and word gets out about which ones are REALLY good. The naturalist in the north Pacific and Alaska, the historian in Southest Asia, the archaeologist in New Zealand, the reef pilot on the Great Barrier Reef, and many others were terrific. If they can keep you awake in a darkened theater on a gently rocking sea, they must be good! The video replays on demand in the cabins were a MUST to keep up with the many things to learn. What we saw: It is a challenge to summarize forty-seven ports, but there were recurring themes: wildlife, history, religions, World Heritage sites, gardens, wine/beer/whiskey. We chose to take many optional excursions, mostly because we don’t like touring on buses much. A bus to GET somewhere is fine. We tend to like walking tours better. When we compared notes with our fellow travelers, we learned that by skipping some of the included excursions, we missed some good stuff. Some of the descriptions did not make it clear just how much time would be spent on or OFF the bus. As my husband says, the descriptions are a bit like real estate ads. Example: “Enjoy a panoramic tour.” Translate: bus ride. As Viking continues in these ports, we are sure the excursions will be refined and the descriptions edited for a better match to what is actually there. In the first season of a new itinerary, this is tough. We took this cruise knowing that would happen. Our priorities for tours may not be yours. My husband is a photo buff—both wildlife and street scenes, and I tend to enjoy culture, art, crafts, and people. Sometimes we split up to see what we liked best. We did not need to stay together every day of a 93 day cruise! Don’t miss the onboard cultural visitors. There were local groups who came on board in several countries to perform music and dance. ALL were amazing. Sometimes we did not find out about them until the day before or the day of. READ the Viking Daily! Port/excursion highlights: (Unless otherwise stated, all excursions/tours were VIKING offerings) Everything in New Zealand. Lots of wildlife and Maori culture options. We especially enjoyed visiting a sheep farm outside Napier, a foodie tour I did in Wellington, a seal watch my husband did outside Wellington, and wildlife cruises outside Christchurch and Dunedin. Others went to interior locations such as the Hobbiton tour. This may not be the best way to see interior New Zealand. I wish I’d had more time at Rotorua at the native (Maori) center there. Australia: Hobart, Tasmania. This port is right in town and we wish we had stayed MUCH longer. Just walk off the ship, and you were in a pedestrian area filled with shops and history. (Think Viking River Cruises.) We took a tour outside of town and visited a winery and the charming town of Richmond. Wish we could have done BOTH. We’d like to go back to Tasmania. The koala and kangaroo sanctuary outside Melbourne. Unlike many “sanctuaries” where the animals are caged or restricted, this one has animals on their own in the wild and shows visitors how to find and follow them respectfully. No koala cuddling, but fantastic naturalists who teach and let you participate in finding the animals. Sydney: Did a pub crawl in The Rocks on a HOT day. Saw lots of local color: weddings, crazy young professionals out having fun, and of course the Opera House right at Circular Quay. Since Viking Orion is small enough to pass under the Harbor Bridge, we were docked a short shuttle FERRY ride from Circular Quay. This could have been a pain, but it’s much more fun than a shuttle bus! We had a day on our own while others disembarked and embarked. Viking did offer an excursion for the in-transit passengers, but we elected to spend time with some new friends from Sydney whom we “met” here on CC. (They joined our cruise later in Hong Kong.) Great city. Almost anything you can do would be fun. Whitsunday Islands and Cairns: both are portals to the Great Barrier Reef. We went on a smaller catamaran out to snorkel in the Whitsundays and a very large one (but well managed) in Cairns. We are not experienced snorkelers and have never seen the reef before, so we enjoyed these. Experienced GBR visitors might like more private or selective tours, but these are hard to find and schedule within port time limits. Viking did managed the tendering in Cid Harbor (Whitsundays) very well. Thursday Island--- skipped because of an incoming cyclone! Darwin: wildlife options again. We saw Jumping Crocs, which we thought would be really touristy. It actually was fun. The Territory Wildlife Park was also good, though VERY warm. Take lots of water with you! Be sure to visit the aviary. Weaker Australia ports: Newcastle, Townsville. These are perhaps good ports for their access to other places inland, but we did not find the actual towns as interesting. Maybe with time? Indonesia: In general, Indonesia has bad traffic, hot weather, and lots of temples. The blend of religions is fascinating and varies from island to island. Get a taste by seeing some of everything. Komodo: The national park is going to be closed for 2020. We were lucky to see the dragons. Very hot, and the most aggressive vendors we saw on the entire cruise were in the tent as we left the park. Be prepared to be tough and to haggle. Otherwise just duck and keep on walking! TAKE WATER. Viking did an outstanding job of managing the tendering and keeping guests hydrated and safe. They were on the dock with COLD towels and drinks as we finished the tour. The really wanted everyone to drink and stay safe. Bali: another disembarkation/embarkation port. On the day on our own, we traveled by cab into Denpasar to visit the fabric street—a MUST for any quilter or sewing enthusiast. We did an evening dinner and performance that evening which was fun, though touristy. We enjoyed seeing Batiks being made and wood carvers in action on a Viking excursion the next day. Surabaya: We visited a temple that is actually within an amusement park. Though it looked like we were entering Wally World, the temple, right next to the water, was interesting. The seafood lunch served on the way was excellent though a bit crowded. Our highlight was a stop at a T-shirt place that had graphically bold shirts at very low (fixed) prices. Thanks to a good tour guide. We’ve gotten compliments on those shirts everywhere. Semarang: Entre to a daylong trip to Borobudur, a must-see. Don’t do the included tour. Not much there. The Rainbow Village is not as enthralling as they say. Those who went to Borobudur said the long ride was definitely worth it, especially with the police escort that accompanied the bus caravan, stopping the challenging traffic. Think presidential motorcade. Viking managed an unfortunate bus accident between two buses that were following too closely pretty well. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. Jakarta: Interesting but not worth two days? Went on a tour that included an inside visit to a large mosque and Catholic cathedral and a walk through Chinatown Had some time on the second day to go into town on the Viking shuttle to a shopping mall that offered great shopping for authentic batik shirts and much more. I think half the ship bought batik shirts. Weaker ports in Indonesia: Lombok? We actually did not go into this tender port. Those who did said we did not miss much. We really should not judge. Singapore One day, and not enough. Unfortunately, immigration stole over 90 minutes of our day—through no fault of Viking. If there were way for the ship to stay two days and not have to do this each day, it would be worth it. We did a walking “Odyssey” tour and saw little India, Chinatown, and an area called Arab Street. I’d do that tour again. We had time to explore on our own, which we always like. I’d like to have seen the gardens at Singapore Marina Bay, but we did not have time. I’d REALLY like to swim in the world’s largest infinity pool on the rooftop there, but you have to stay in the hotel to do that… unless Viking has connections? Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) Our one day was a quick stop. My husband and I did separate tours. He enjoyed the Batu Caves and Pewter factory tour, managing to avoid having his hat stolen by the monkeys. I did the Blue Mosque tour, which was a misnomer. We saw a view of the mosque at a GREAT distance. We did enjoy a tour of several sites in the city and a FANTASTIC lunch at the Renaissance Hotel. Of course, the last thing we needed was more good food! We honestly cannot say whether Kuala Lumpur is worth more time. Thailand Bangkok: The port is VERY, very far from the city, at least two hours drive if traffic is not bad. We had three days in Bangkok, the middle one a disembarkation/embarkation day for other passengers. We did Viking’s Bangkok After Dark tour, which was twelve hours long! The heat was oppressive, and the guide kept a pace that was a bit too enthusiastic for the heat. It did take us to great things and included a much appreciated foot massage after a lot of walking. We had a local dinner of SPICY pad thai and time shopping in the iconic night market. The tour is good, but plan on being totally soaked with sweat. Pace yourself and carry water. We took a private tour on the ship’s changeover day, and that was smart. We had a small van with great A/C and endless water. We could get back into the cool van often. We split the tour cost with three other friends, so it was quite reasonable. We visited locations our first tour did not include. Day 3 took my husband on the Viking tour out to the Summer Palace and Ayutthaya. He declared that tour to be excellent, including the golf carts! (I rested and did much-needed laundry out of the heat.) Cambodia Sihanoukville: This is the toughest port to talk about. It is not pretty, and the people lack hope. This port sparked great debate among our friends onboard. In my opinion, Viking needs to be honest about what you will see (poverty, loads of trash, hopelessness). The contrasts of the hotel where Jackie Kennedy stayed (a claim to fame in this miserable town) and the life in a local fishing village are painful. The Cambodian Cuisine tour we took involved riding in tuktuks through dusty, dirty streets. I did not initially appreciate the mask they gave me to wear, as I have never had respiratory issues. In the end, I actually needed it. The market offered a realistic view of what people buy and eat. The beachfront barbecue food attracted too many flies for us to taste it. Then we went to the Jackie hotel and had delicious hors d’oeuvres and drinks while feeling hollowly fortunate. The second day we took the included tour, but we were warned by our friends to expect very sad scenes and sickening smells. They were right. The little children who should have been in school -- but had never even been REGISTERED to attend -- bore witness to the lack of hope of the Cambodian people. Yes, Viking should let us all see the realities, but the descriptions also need to be accurate. This port is a place to learn and think, not to enjoy. If the corrupt government is benefitting from Viking’s visits, perhaps this is not a good idea? Sadly, the countryside beyond the city has exceptional natural beauty, and the guides were very honest about their plight. Vietnam What a contrast to Cambodia. There is hope, and education is highly valued in this rapidly-growing economy. VERY. VERY. HOT. Ho Chi Minh City (known to the locals as Saigon): Three days. A fair distance from the port -- about an hour. Fantastic city to visit! We did the Saigon Cooking Class, which was excellent in both organization and fun. We shopped in the market, cooked, learned a lot, and enjoyed our own cooking. The next day we enjoyed a special visit to the Hotel Reverie with our fellow Voyagers (NOT an excursion) for high tea. This was arranged by the general manager and restaurant manager just for our group. WOW. If you have a chance to do this high tea on your own, DO IT. We’ve never, ever seen anything like it! Try the iced Vietnamese coffee. It’s addictive. The third day we did Viking’s “Iconic Ben Thanh Market” tour which was disappointing. We spent more time being served food than exploring the market (allowing NO time for this). I expect Viking will be clarifying expectations with the tour operator on this, as several of us spoke to the ship about it. Chan May (near Danang): Excursion to Ancient Hoi An. This city was swamped with tourists, and the tour was too commercialized for us. We had hoped for an interesting walking tour. We were herded into places to buy things, stopped ever so briefly amid the crowds to take pictures of landmarks with said crowds. Little to no time on our own as was advertised. Other guides were apparently more flexible, and our friends enjoyed their tours. Ha Long Bay (overnight): Wow. This place is drop dead gorgeous. Even the included tour is amazing. We did a longer, slightly different boat tour of the bay, including a stop at a floating village. Great tour! We also went outside the city to the mountains and Yen Tu Monastery. What a wonderful change of pace. We meditated and talked with the leader of the monastery, a man with remarkable charisma. The tour also included a delicious dinner at a resort hotel in the mountains. A winner! Hong Kong (3 days) Another changeover port. The included tour was good- Victoria Peak (in clouds), sampan ride in Aberdeen, and Stanley Market with free time. Spent our “off day” on our own with a friend who lives nearby then did more exploring on the third day with some fellow travelers. We then did the Hong Kong by Night tour which was OK but went back to some places we had already seen on our own. It would be great for people just starting out in HK. Taipei (Keelung port)- one day We did the tour to Yehliu Geopark with its amazing rock formations. Great photo op if you can go early enough for smaller crowds. Then went to mountain village of Jiufen. Cute, though filled with tourists. There were some nice places to have tea with a great view. The Taiwan landscape is very pretty! JAPAN! Japan was perhaps the biggest “surprise” of our trip. We had heard that it was beautiful, but it was MORE beautiful than we thought. We had also heard about the crowds during Golden Week—extended this year due to the installation of a new emperor. It was more crowded in some places than we could ever imagine. AVOID Golden Week. This was Viking’s first visit to the Japanese ports, so ALL of them did something special at the port: bands, dancers, etc.! Lots of fun. Japanese weather was a welcome relief from the heat in previous ports. Kagoshima: Great tour to Kamikaze museum and Chimai samurai historic district with classic Japanese gardens. Terrific intro to just some of the subtleties of Japanese culture. Nagasaki: (separate excursions). Imari and Arita pottery tour was outstanding. Learned a LOT about the aesthetic, the history, and the processes. Beautiful scenery en route. Husband did Historic Nagasaki tour for the atomic bomb story and more. Korea (a one day stop in Busan in the midst of Japan ports): Beomosa Temple and Fish Market tour was good. Lots of walking up hill. Fish Market is a true cultural experience, especially on the weekend! More Japan Hiroshima (2 days): Sobering as you would expect. The included tour to the Peace Park is good at hitting highlights on foot, though it was pouring rain. The museum would have been interesting, but the line stretched around a half mile! Optional tour to Itsukushima Shrine was great. Crowded because of Golden week. Go as early in the day as you can. We were on the 7 am ferry. Great photo ops of the floating torii gate you always see on brochures. Be sure to try some maple leaf shaped cakes. Osaka (Kyoto): We took the tour that traveled to Ancient Kyoto. Worst crowds we have ever seen. Heel to toe and shoulder to shoulder in a mob. Easy to lose the guide. (Others shared pictures taken by friends on “regular” weekdays showing NO crowds.) DO NOT GO during Golden Week. Very long path of thousands of torii gates, but too packed to enter. Scary crowded! The Golden Palace late in the day was less crowded and saved the day for us. Shimizu: (day and a half): Nice city with very friendly people. They had quite a welcome for us at the port since this was Viking’s first visit there. Amazing views of Fuji that cleared off for us. I went to Hiroshige Utagawa Museum. Speechless how good it was. Included tour also good… good photo ops. Tokyo ( 3 days): Port is immediately next to the Olympic Village they are building for 2020! This was our last disembarkation/embarkation port getting hundreds of new passengers onboard. Kamakuri tour to three shrine and temples very good but again crowded. 43 foot Buddha! Took Viking’s shuttle to downtown on the middle day, a Sunday, and discovered that NO ONE was in town during Golden Week. Walked to Iperial Palace Grdens (beautiful) and around the area near Nihonbaski Mitsubishi. The department store is worthy of a visit on its own, very old school and filled with amazing things, including a full basement are of food. See where people custom order their $50K silk kimonos! Third day took Edo-Tokyo Museum and City Tower tour. City tower not that great. The sky tower is better, I think, if you like that sort of thing. Museum and smaller local garden were nice. Tokyo is a gorgeous city, and SOOO clean! Be sure to try every Japanese bathroom. After Indonesia and others, they are a delight! Sapporo/Otaru: Beautiful location on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido. We took the optional tour to Nikko whiskey. Lots of fun. It SMELLED of whiskey when you walked onto the grounds. Friend told us the included tour was also very good. Much cooler here. The cherry blossoms were out, as this part of Japan is weeks behind the more southern areas. Russia (Siberia) Koraskov: Did the included tour. Damp, cold, and cloudy/drizzly. Not much here, and quite sad after Japan. The people are clearly longing for the good old days of the USSR. The performance was fun, and the vendors selling crafts there were very genuine. Most are happy to take USD, though they may cheat a bit on exchange rates! Petrapavlosk-Kamchatsky: This city benefits from the large Navy base (out of sight from the port). Volcanoes abound. We did the military history tour. Too much talking at you. Choose a different one, perhaps just the included. Orthodox cathedral is less than ten years old! Someone showed us video from the helicopter tour over the volcano, and it was amazing. (But I don’t think I’d go with a Russian pilot in a Russian-maintained helicopter! Very pricey, too.) USA Dutch Harbor, AK: No tours offered, but there was a shuttle (school) bus into town. The locals are VERY friendly and talk on the buses. Go to the Alaska Ship Supply for fun, and perhaps to Safeway just to see how the locals live. Bald eagles everywhere—like pigeons! Take a hike or a walk. If you’re an American who’s been away for a long time, stop in a local bar for American bar food… nachos or a cheeseburger? If you watch Deadliest Catch, you’ll recognize many locations. Kodiak, AK: Nature photo cruise was a real highlight. Small boat with only 6 guests and a very knowledgeable couple guiding it. WELL worth it! Small town with simple self-guided (walking) tour and a shuttle bus. Very genuine. Seward, AK: Kenai Fiords cruise was incredible. Whales, dolphins, eagles, and a glacier thrown in. Entire pods of orcas! This was a MUST MUST MUST DO, even on a drizzly day. Stay in town for a visit to the Sea Life Center or some shopping, A regular shuttle goes back to the ship. Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), AK: This small town with its native tribe of 760 people owns the port through a small corporation that benefits the tribe. They market it well, with many activities and tours. The whale watch cruise we took was actually done by a separate company that cooperates with the corporation. It was excellent. Great photos of humpbacks, including mama and baby. Sea lions, and more. Another keeper! Warning: the bridge you walk across into the port area is COLD because of the wind, but the temps are much nicer around the corner and out of the wind. Wear layers. Friend did the zipline and loved it. Sitka, AK: Busier port with another ship in port at same time. Cute, smallish town. Walking tour went 5+ miles to see historic sites, totem area, and Raptor Center. All are worth seeing. Wish we’d had longer in totems and Raptor Center. People who took included tour said it was good, too. Note: if you are looking for the post office, you have to go outside of town, They closed the location right next to the port! Ketchikan: VERY, very touristy. We saw a total of FIVE other ships in one day, one of whom was waiting for us to pull out. Downtown is all shops, some owned by other cruise companies. We went out of town to a Fishing lodge for a crab feast. It was fun, including the boat ride out to the island. Good wildlife and newspapers-in-the-picnic-table crab boil. Dress for the weather because you are on an outdoor deck. You also get a walk in a temperate rainforest at the lodge. If you want nothing but shopping, stay in town and walk off the ship. Some ships dock a bit outside of town. Vancouver, Canada: Kudos to Viking for handling the challenge of disembarking over 900 passengers by tender! It went quite well. We were off the ship and on our way to the airport ahead of schedule. We hope everyone’s bags went to the right place. Ours did. Viking, you made a difficult good-bye palatable by keeping it smooth and easy. Suggestions for Viking: Consider changing the itinerary for Jakarta and Singapore. Maybe steal a day from Jakarta and add it to Singapore? You could play with some of Indonesia, perhaps. What about Lombok? Semarang is not great, though you need it for Borobodur. Think about solving that? Think about how you want to “sell” your port call in Cambodia Continue to refine the excursions. We know you do this because of wise changes that were made after Viking Ocean’s first summer in the Baltic. Suggestions for future Grand Voyagers: Plan for HOT weather and extreme high humidity on this itinerary of traveling Feb-May as we did. We live in the southeast US and know humidity, but this is FAR worse. Plan to change your clothes from the skin out 2-3 times a day in many of these ports. Take enough clothing so you can do that. If you are on a long cruise with people getting on and off for various shorter :legs, “ ask the management to gather the “voyagers’ for cocktails and /or dinner and get everyone’s first names and cabin number while they are at that first gathering, That way you will know where to find each other! Emails help, too, if you want to be able to contact everyone. The ship management cannot give you this info. Thanks to TL from our group who spearheaded this! A long cruise is a marathon, not a sprint. If one excursions or day is lousy, just look to the next one. Share your feedback in a constructive manner. It goes much further, and the crew will always want to help you. Vary your excursions. Don’t book too many temples, street market visits, or anything else. You’ll get tired of it! READ the Viking Daily—before you go to bed! Get accustomed to giving laundry advice in Viking’s free launderettes. You know how they work, and you don’t want the newbies to break the machines! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was an amazing 60 day cruise that went much faster than we thought. We loved the ports in Asia (all but one in Vietnam) - Enjoyed the activities on board. Liked the smaller ship as you got to know more people. As we were ... Read More
This was an amazing 60 day cruise that went much faster than we thought. We loved the ports in Asia (all but one in Vietnam) - Enjoyed the activities on board. Liked the smaller ship as you got to know more people. As we were headed to Asia there were Typhoons in the area where we were headed and our Captain with the LA office took our safety into account and we did not get to one of our ports of call. This was a smart move as we did hit rough seas and had we gone to the port it would have been a disaster. As we embarked for our cruise it went smoothly. Princess does well in this area. And at the end of our journey disembarkation went even better. Our cabin was in the front of the ship and on the port side and during the weather we did have waves came over our balcony as we were on deck 8. We are pleased and happy with our 60 day cruise. SUGGESTION Do NOT plan excursions for Sunday's in Asia as this is their holiday and there were way too many people Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Loving cruising and wanting to go to Hawaii and the added bonus of Vancouver was amazing! Landed in Oahu end of April with warm air and palm trees! Glad to get here after over 12 hours of travel and changing planes from the East Coast. ... Read More
Loving cruising and wanting to go to Hawaii and the added bonus of Vancouver was amazing! Landed in Oahu end of April with warm air and palm trees! Glad to get here after over 12 hours of travel and changing planes from the East Coast. Hubby upgraded us to First Class so not so hard to take the trip:) Hawaii and Oahu were more than I imagined! Good food, friendly people, upgrade in our room at the Hilton Rainbow Tower. We were set! Since we were only going to be there for 3 nights we decided it looked like an easily walkable city, it was. We walked everywhere. Had dinner at both Duke’s and Roy’s. Loved Duke’s, Roy’s not so much. Ate at Tommy Bahama’s in town for lunch, on the rooftop! would do it again. Hilton was great. Found breakfast to be expensive eat locally. And don’t forget to have a shave ice! Watched the Solstice come into port from our balcony on Sunday morning. Sad to leave but excited to try the Solstice. Embarkation went smoothly with one problem and something in our carry on. A box of Tastycakes!! We were bringing them to family that lived in Kona. No one in the port knew what they were. They let us go :) No one to give us direction when we boarded. Since we have done more than 35 cruises we were helping others. We went to Michael’s where we met Cali, a pretty, well mannered young woman with a nice smile. Met a couple there that I had talked to on the Cruise Critic boards. Then went to Luminae for lunch. Great staff. Greeted by Marie who we remembered from Equinox. Enjoyed most dinners there and the staff was amazing! Headed to our room on deck 11, Sky Suite 1667. First thing we noticed, the railing was missing and there were paint chips all over the deck and furniture. Graffiti on the deck railing was exposed. I told Cabin steward and butler. It stayed like that for the whole 12 nights (I cleaned the paint chips). Room needs makeover but it was kept clean with requested extra towels, everyday. Only request for butler was keep lots of water and ice in the bucket. We do not need anything else. Had to ask for it the first two days. Water appeared about every other day, ice two days. It was our only request. Maja was the suite concierge we told her and water appeared, two days. Still no ice. Cabin is a good walk to aft but it was great since we are late eaters. Shows, most were pretty good, some not so good. Passed the time. Ports were the best!!!! Oahu (overnight), Maui (overnight) and the big island of Hawaii. Went on a Viatour to Pearl Harbor, don’t miss it. Very emotional. Then left to head to Maui. Took the Road to Hana tour in Maui with a local, went to Lahaina Luau with friends on Cruise Critic (well worth it) food was very good and entertainment was terrific. Second day did Maui on our own and had lunch atPaia Fish Market, loved it. Shopping was great in town. Tender ride was a little rough. In Kona we met family to tour their coffee farm, it was amazing. Next day the other side of the island Pahoa, Hawaii. Probably one of the most exciting days we ever had while traveling. We got to take a tour with Daniel Kenoi, a local with a great sense of humor. He told us Ku’u Home la ‘Oe which means My home I share with you. The best tour we have ever taken (before Vancouver). He took us to steam vents, to the crater, where as everyone knows by now, we were when the walls caved in and ash shot up into the air. Being from the East coast, we don’t get to see things like this. Took lots of photos, but we were both a little nervous. First a small earth tremor, it was an earthquake. Daniel decided for us to leave. They closed the park after we left. He headed to an orchid greenhouse to have our lunch where we were when the second earthquake, this one a 6.9 occurred. I felt my heart jump out of my chest. Saw hubby and Daniel and both were scared. He decided it was time for us to head back, NOW. Worried more about aftershocks and sunami. All on this tour decided to let Daniel go back to his family and help friends rather than continue tour. God Bless the people of Hawaii. 5 days at sea and we had a naturalist forgot his first name but last name was Nixon. He was great with stories of whales, and sharks and eagles. We went to every one. We arrived in Victoria BC in the rain. We had been here before on our way to Alaska. Nice city with wonderfully helpful people. Had lunch in an Irish Pub. Next day was disembarkation with a Vancouver tour (Sea to Sky) we both awoke with terrible colds (lots of sick people on board) but did not have much choice since our flight was not till 11PM. One of the best tours we ever took!! Vancouver is beautiful do no miss this tour if you get a chance. We traveled as a couple, in our 60’s and 70’s. I recommend this cruise for the ports. Glad we did it.Should not have waited this long to do it. Was a lot of moving luggage around and customs. Did not get home till Saturday morning after two plane changes!! Booked another cruise while on board - why not!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Embarkation was quick and easy compared to recent large ship and midsize ship embarkations. After arriving at the cruise terminal in Honolulu, we were guided to our line for our cabin class and we walked right to the counter. After ... Read More
Embarkation was quick and easy compared to recent large ship and midsize ship embarkations. After arriving at the cruise terminal in Honolulu, we were guided to our line for our cabin class and we walked right to the counter. After answering the quick health questionnaire our photos were taken and we were escorted to our cabin by ship's staff. Twenty minutes from unloading at the dock and getting to our cabin. Disembarkation was the also the easiest we have ever had as the Destinations Manager escorted us off the ship, to our luggage and then to our awaiting car to take us to the airport. Our suite was well appointed with only the sofa cushions showing some wear, otherwise the Suite was perfect. Dining at Luminae, Tuscan Grille, Morano and Sushi On Five was the best dining we have had in terms of quality and variety on any ship. Michael's Club, where after the first night the bar tender knew our choice of libations and the string duet and the classical guitar entertained was our favorite spot before dinner. The service on board was excellent from the butler, cabin steward, to the whole staff at Luminae, Sushi On Five, Tuscan Grille and Morano, we did not want for anything. We had chosen some interesting shore excursions including the Road to Hana and the Pineapple Plantation on Maui, the Atlantis Submarine in Kona as well as the Glass Bottom Boat and we recommend those excursions. The most interesting shore excursion, and it was a matter of timing, was the visit to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, and hiking through Kilauea Iki Crater as the plume from the Kilauea Caldera rose behind us. The 5.1 earthquake which occurred while we were in the crater and brought rock down from the crater sides was pretty exciting and then experiencing the 6.9 earthquake while at the Jaggar Volcano Overlook topped off the day. It was a matter of timing! I will add, that we never felt in danger as the guides and the rangers were well trained and safety came first in dealing with the guests and the situation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise because of the destinations and to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. We had an amazing time! The ports of call were incredible. We love cruising and enjoyed 23 nights on this Transpacific cruise. The ship size is ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the destinations and to celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary. We had an amazing time! The ports of call were incredible. We love cruising and enjoyed 23 nights on this Transpacific cruise. The ship size is perfect....love the Promenade. Good food, excellent service, lots of activities and our Cruise Director Graham was great!! Embarkation and Disembarkation went smoothly...it helps to be Diamond Crown and Anchor members. RCCL has a very good system to get guests processed through as quickly as possible coming on board and exiting. Prices on board ship have increased...Johnny Rockets, Specialty Restaurants, Excursions, & all beverages. We bought a drink card for $71.00 for 10 Specialty drinks and that was a good purchase....but make sure you confirm the price of the beverage as it may cost more then the $12.00 cap per drink. We were in cabin 6390, Aft of the ship. This cabin has a noise issue that we were not aware of....a slamming door from deck 5 below that the crew uses to get to the galley to the dining room. Our cabin attendant and the Deck Supervisor worked with us to lower the noise level...still is an issue with this cabin. We would definitely go again ...but book a different cabin. We are loyal RCCL cruisers and have booked another cruise already!! Bon Voyage Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary -travel person recommendation. This was the worst cruise we have ever taken and we have been on many and other cruise lines. First and last time with carnival. The decor was overwhelming ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary -travel person recommendation. This was the worst cruise we have ever taken and we have been on many and other cruise lines. First and last time with carnival. The decor was overwhelming and heavy - not for a fun cruise. Rooms were large and good. Food not too good in fact they ran our of a lot of items. No marmalade jam. No english muffins - these were on the dining room menu. They weren't brought on board when cruise started from Sydney. Commercial bread - not made on the ship and the dinner rolls when microwaved for dinner came out as little bricks. Even when boarding and departing the process wass terrible., Who ever decided to leave all the luggage in the elevator areas need t review who this should be done. Perhaps they should go on other cruise lines to see how smooth this process can be for the passengers. Shore excursions was not easy - we had to find our own way to the buses and then had to wait for latecomers - so the trips we shorter than advertised. Other cruise lines have all the passengers waiting in a specific area, tagged then escorted to the waiting vehicles. Way to go!!!. Entertainment was geared for children - nothing for adults until; the 15th day of a 17th day cruise. My husband was bored out of his mind. Couldn't arrive in Honolulu fast enough. I can say a lot more - but I think the above is sufficient. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Summary: Beautiful ship. Disappointing experience. Details: Just got back from 22 day cruise on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth from San Francisco to Hawaii, Bora Bora, Tahiti, New Zealand, Sydney, returning home to San ... Read More
Summary: Beautiful ship. Disappointing experience. Details: Just got back from 22 day cruise on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth from San Francisco to Hawaii, Bora Bora, Tahiti, New Zealand, Sydney, returning home to San Francisco via 13 hour Quantas flight. It was our 20th wedding anniversary and I wanted to do something special for my wife. Especially since we had planned a Tahiti cruise on the Paul Gauguin in 1999 but job changes for both of us caused us to cancel. Cunard was running a free balcony upgrade incentive, so I booked this cruise and reserved a table for 2 so we could have some intimacy. We arrived at the Upper Britannia dining room the first night and were shown to a table for 4 people. I went to the maitre d' and asked if we could please have the table for 2 which we requested 3 months earlier. The maitre d' sarcastically quipped "Only three months" and then refused to provide the requested accommodation. The pursers office were extremely annoying. It took them 4 days, requiring us to come to their desk each day, to get our credit card authorized. The coffee was appalling. As an ex-pat, it grieves me to see how badly the Brits make coffee. We've been through this before when we visited the UK. Way too strong. The drink prices were ridiculous, averaging $14 each. We don't drink alcohol but Virgin Mary's and Cokes were still dear at $4.50 and $3.75 respectively. The food was un-imaginative "Carnival Cruise" fare although the fish and chips in the pub was decent as was the afternoon tea, stale sandwiches, scones with no clotted cream (unheard of).. The toilet in our cabin was ridiculously loud. A man came to fix it but we noticed no improvement and he never returned despite our asking. There was a terrible smell of raw sewage outside our cabin one night. They fixed it. But no apology offered. There were so many sick people onboard that the main Theater sounded like a diphtheria ward with so many people hacking away. My wife contracted the same flu-like infection and remains sick even after we returned home and got her an antibiotics prescription. Discussions with other passengers indicated the onboard sickness problem had been occurring since the ship left New York a few weeks earlier. Not sure why I escaped. Perhaps it was because of all the anti-bacterial lotion I applied hourly to my hands, nose and face every day. The weather was rough for at least 10 of the 14 "at sea" days". Not Cunard's fault, but the promenade deck was frequently roped off due to the rough seas so no walking possible. Regrettably, it's unlikely we will be taking any Cunard cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
At 60 days, this was the longest cruise we've ever sailed on. I found it interesting that by day 2 I was hearing such a strong undertone of dissatisfaction from a number of frequent cruisers, one of whom was already "adding to ... Read More
At 60 days, this was the longest cruise we've ever sailed on. I found it interesting that by day 2 I was hearing such a strong undertone of dissatisfaction from a number of frequent cruisers, one of whom was already "adding to my list of complaints when we get back".. Ridiculous, we had barely gotten under way. This aside, here is the good, bad and the unfortunate in my humble opinion. The good - - Embarkation and disembarkation went flawlessly. - The crew could not do enough for you. Our steward, Glad, was well named. He was quick with a smile, greeted us by name every time he saw us and most importantly he kept our Mini Suite immaculate. The public spaces, particularly the bathrooms were immaculate throughout the ship.We could have asked for nothing more from the crew that tried to keep the ship clean. - As far as food, here's my take. We opted for Anytime dining because we enjoy the flexibility. We were often given a beeper and asked, by a lovely friendly hostess, if we would like to wait for our table for two. We never waited long enough to finish one cocktail and we almost looked forward this pre dinner ritual. My point is that the wait was very reasonable. Once inside the restaurant, the wait staff was consistently excellent and we experienced many, many servers on this trip. As far as the food itself, the menu was repetitive, again as one would expect over 60 days. We never went hungry, always able to find one or two choices that appealed to us. We found the temperature of the food to be inconsistent and often not quite hot enough and that was an ongoing frustration. We did find the food tasty and well presented and, very important to us, served in rationale portion size so that if you opted to eat a full four or five coursed you did not walk away stuffed - we liked that. The wine was a bit pricey but we reduced our cost by buying wine cards throughout the trip. - We typically ate continental breakfast in our cabin from the International Cafe, where they did an outstanding job. The fact that Princess is now issuing coffee cards that are good for this voyage only, and not forever seemed to get people crazy. $31 for unlimited brewed coffee along with 15 specialty drinks seemed to me to be the best buy in town yet people bitched for 60 days - so boring. They did run our of large cups, twice, and that was troubling and someone needs to be spoken to. - Lunch was usually at the buffet where the salads were great and the food was just what you would expect. We also love the pizza and burgers on the deck. The Irish Pub Lunch and pizza at Sabbatinis were not special and we only went to each one time. No need to revisit. - We ate at two specialty restaurants, Bayou and Crab Shack - both were ordinary, no better than the MDR. The main difference was very large portion size and as I said earlier, I don't view that as a benefit. - We missed a port due to weather, oh well. We missed a second port due a bad screw up, either by Princess or the folks supplying the ship with fuel (or by weather). Either way, we made the best of a bad situation on our unscheduled day in Yokohama by seeing going to a Miyajima which ended up being a highlight of our visit to Japan. We regret missing Kyoto that day but we made lemonade, if you know what I mean. - The ship did run out of lettuce for several days - a bad screw up and someone should be taken to task. The end of the world - no. We eat salad every day and managed to survive. The tome of some of our fellow passengers was ridiculous. There was so much to eat. - The shows were standard fare, a few great shows, a few shows not to our taste and a great many good ones. The shows where they brought local performers on the ship were very fun and a nice change of pace from typical showroom headliners. The orchestra was terrific and the singers and dancers always did a fine job. - A real highlight of the trip for us was the nightlife in The Wheelhouse where the band, Blue Jade, had us dancing nearly every night (that's why we missed a number of shows). They were the best ballroom band we've seen on any ship and we couldn't wait to get in there every nigh to dance and mingle with our new friends. The party band, The Sound, were also really good. Along with a good piano player, a nice guitarist/singer, the string duo and a fine singer in crooners music was not a problem. The piped in music pre dinner in Explorers could have been much better. - As far as the itinerary, holy cow, it was great. The excursions were good for the most part, They met our expectations. We had one bad experience and were disappointed that the excursion desk did nothing to answer my complaint. They suggested I write head office on my return and I did. I'll update my review if they respond. - WE had a mini suite, B22, and while it was tired we liked the extra space, the roomy balcony, the bathtub and everything worked well. As I said earlier, it was kept immaculately. - A big complaint of mine centers around the elimination of Happy Hours and a very poop effort in the nightly Elite/Platinum parties. Princess eliminated every opportunity to reduce our drinking expenses. More importantly, by eliminating Happy Hours the venues during typical HH times are empty instead of filled with passengers having a good time. This was a major misstep. I wrote management before the cruise on this issue and was told to wait and see the replacement promotions, well there were none. My informal survey would indicate that many passengers simply drank less, spent less money, and had less opportunity to connect with other people. This brings me to my biggest concern with Princess and that's my belief that accountants are in charge and that these accountants in particular do not understand this business. I don't know how much better the food was in years past, I've only been cruising for 10 years or so, but I do know that happy hours fill lounges or deck bars and people have fun and that's the idea. It's sad to see musicians play to an empty room, which we saw every day between 3 and 4. To close - Despite the warts, we enjoyed the cruise thoroughly and were sorry to see it end. The ship was not new but we loved the deck plan, our cabin, the service, the music, the itinerary, etc and would sail on her again in a heartbeat. I hope Princess decides to step up the game regarding some of the issues that are beginning to make this look like a bargain cruise line. If they do that, we'll continue to sail this line for a long time, if not, we will have to explore other opportunities. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I think this itinerary was mis-named. For me, South Pacific Treasures would have been more accurate, because it was traversing the South Pacific ocean that was the purpose of this cruise, with a total of 11 sea days. One day we were ... Read More
I think this itinerary was mis-named. For me, South Pacific Treasures would have been more accurate, because it was traversing the South Pacific ocean that was the purpose of this cruise, with a total of 11 sea days. One day we were treated to 4-5 meter waves, another day 2 meter waves, another day it was a pacific ocean, smooth as a lake. Overnight of Oct. 5, we were treated to a beautiful full moon reflected on the water. As attractive as most of the stops were, spending time on open water was the central reality of this re-positioning cruise. Embarkation in Honolulu was smooth, with a different look, we each received a shell necklace as we entered the registration area. We cruised the Inside Passage on the Solstice last year, and it seemed a fair number of other passengers had previously been aboard this ship, allowing a comfortable familiarity for us. Certainly for us, the other passengers help make this a very enjoyable vacation. The many Australians we met during this trip were individually and as a group friendly and good-humored. The fun we had with our trivia team was a highlight of the whole cruise. The Cruise Critic meeting was well attended by cruisers and officers. Hotel Director Andrea and the Cruise Director Ben were very visible and active leaders throughout the cruise, one never knew where and when either of them might appear. Parag was our stateroom attendant, and he performed his duties with a smile, and proved quick to respond to both face-to-face requests and to phone calls. Blu was good for us. Telma and her restaurant staff provided excellent service throughout the cruise. Our main complaint is and has been, that we would like richer flavors in the food. Over 17 nights, the menu of course had repetition, and constraints of resupply further limited some of the potential choices. Considering there was some understandable drop-off in fresh produce, we admired the way Celebrity handled the logistics of supplying our cruise. Rose of Captain's Club had plenty to do, and was once again helpful to us. Ben was ok as CD, he is definitely energetic. Alexa and Nick ran trivia, both injecting some dry humor into the sessions. The house band Sound Stars was as good as any we have seen during our 16 years cruising. They played a range of popular music, covering different styles well, with some good interpretations thrown in. Prisma, the string duo, were excellent throughout the cruise, and I made an effort to hear them play. Starlight, the fusion quartet were good. Duo, the acoustic pairing were not as good for us as the other performers. Of the stage productions, the acrobatic/aerial show was much better than the other productions. Yoomi was good, as was Denny Elliot. The entire Hotel Staff deserves kudos for their efforts to clean and re-clean the ship during the Norovirus outbreak. Days before the cruise ended, thorough cleaning and re-cleaning of some state rooms commenced, pillows and linens were removed. The housekeeping and restaurant staffs, I think the entire Hotel management and staff, worked hard long hours to contain and rectify this outbreak. People were quarantined, care was offered and given. We very much appreciate all the efforts the service staffs made on the passengers behalf. The Polynesian Enrichment team provided ukulele lessons that I attended when they were available. They also were offering hula and other dance lessons, and were well attended, again when they were officially scheduled. It was odd to see them aboard and stating they were willing to hold classes that for some reason weren't being scheduled by the activities director. We watched some of the Enrichment lectures via the television, which was a first for us. We made good use of the fitness center and walking track. We the number of sea days, we had ample time to walk the promenade, and decks 14 and 15. Disembarkation in Sydney was easy, with helpful attendants sprinkled throughout the terminal. If the meters worth of missing wood railing on decks 14 and 15, and the connecting stairways; and the amount of rust clearly visible on our veranda and other parts of the ship are any indication, then the Celebrity Solstice best not wait until 2019 or even later to be totally refurbished. Overall, the combination of meeting friendly and interesting fellow cruisers, excellent service, the Pacific ocean, and attractive ports made for memorable travel. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The cruise was a good way to spend 2 weeks with my wife as well as meet new people as we travelled toward Japan. Embarkation was a breeze and very efficient and we were met by very polite people as we checked in and all through the ... Read More
The cruise was a good way to spend 2 weeks with my wife as well as meet new people as we travelled toward Japan. Embarkation was a breeze and very efficient and we were met by very polite people as we checked in and all through the process up to and including US Customs (note, if you smile are offer politeness, you will get that in return, funny how many people have forgotten that). Our day at Sitka was extremely enjoyable and the buses that were arranged to take all of us to town was very well organized and efficient, and as such allowed us to spend a good long time on shore to explore the area. The disembarkation at Otaru was disappointing, however, given the amount of people that had to clear Japanese immigration it is to be expected. We had planned a self guided tour but did not get off the ship unit 3 1/2 hours after the first group number was called (ours was 27). Once off Otaru was a joy to visit. Hakodate was incredible and like Sitka they had buses arranged that made the disembarkation process very efficient and enjoyable. We enjoyed Hakodate very much and will go back there again, as well as Otaru. We disembarked at Yokohama a day early and the process was flawless, mind you we were were pretty much alone in the immigration hall and the Japanese Customs staff were incredibly friendly and polite (they even handled our baggage!!!!) as well as being expectedly efficient. The internet serviceis terrible when looking at the cost and for the last 4 days of the cruise it didn't work for us at all. When I purchase something I don't like feeling abused, but in purchasing the internet package for both of us we did indeed feel taken advantage of. Ridiculous. I found the food in the Ocean View buffet good as any buffet I have stood in front of, in fact, maybe even a tad better given the varied selections. I was disappointed all too often in the lack of clean tables during breakfast and lunch rushes.While not averse to cleaning my own table I don't feel it was my place to do so given the price to sail and the lack of attention to or planning for the rushes was disappointing. The Tuscan Grille and Quisine are great places to dine and the food is very good in both and for me, worth the price we paid, which by the way were discounted prices I guess due in part to the fact they were seldom busy. Give me a 25% to 50% discount off the regular price and I'm going to take part. Highly recommend either of them. The food in the main dining was disappointing for us and those we sat with, which is unusual for Celebrity I am told (it was out first cruise on Celebrity), but while it was not terrible by any measure we have had much better food (taste and visual presentation) on Norwegian and RCCL. Perhaps it was just this sailing, I don't know. The staff in the main dining were good and we enjoyed our time with them generally. Bar service was okay, running from great to ,"Hello? Is anyone here?" kind of service. But again, I've had better bar service on other lines. It wasn't terrible, just not up to what I was told I would expect for Celebrity level of service by people familiar with the line. The Future Cruise staff member we encountered were less than helpful, I guess if you aren't a Elite member, you are wasting their time, or at least the guy that we encountered seemed to example that poor attitude. To say he was diffident and completely lacking in willingness would be an understatement. One of our top very disappointing encounters on board. The Captain and crew are all approachable and professional and when talking about the Captain with the junior crew members it was evident that they all have a great deal of respect for him. It starts at the top and the Captain exemplifies that concept. The ship is in nice condition for its age and is well tended to. Our cabin (7099) was in great repair and kept that way by our cabin attendant Eddie all the time. Since it was September and we were sailing through the Bering Sea I didn't expect Caribbean type weather so there was no poolside experience for us. There was lots to do as we traveled and the entertainment team did a very good job of arranging a variety of experiences for all guests. The speakers were good to very good, music was excellent, daytime activities were enjoyable, all in all, a good time should have been had by all. If you couldn't find something fun to do, you weren't looking! I would sail with Celebrity again were they sailing to a destination I am interested in but I wouldn't go out of my way, nor would I pay a premium for it. I was expecting more because of conversations I had with experienced travelers prior to sailing that extolled the greatness of Celebrity, I did not see that greatness. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My wife and I were celebrating 25 years of marriage and opted for a cruise to commemorate our honeymoon. It was our 5th cruise and first on Celebrity. Staff from the Captain to the management team all the way down to people directly ... Read More
My wife and I were celebrating 25 years of marriage and opted for a cruise to commemorate our honeymoon. It was our 5th cruise and first on Celebrity. Staff from the Captain to the management team all the way down to people directly serving us: Room Attendant, Grand Epernay Dining Room Staff, Specialty Restaurant Staff, bars etc: All provided us friendly, attentive and efficient services. We've never experience before, a captain and his crew being so visible and active with "regular" passengers during a cruise before. Bravo! The Embarkation process (Port of Honolulu, security) was a bit confused initially and we were delayed in embarking. Once passed security, Celebrity embarkation process was a breeze and we were promptly welcomed on Board with a glass of sparkling wine. It took us one hour to make it from the street up to the ship. Activities and Entertainment were numerous and varied! For the most part everything was fun and entertaining. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! Bravo! The only issue which we believe could be improved involved some of the evening shows. Most guest entertainers on board were excellent and we had a great time with them, namely: Sean O'shea, Jordan Bennet, Synergy, Flying Colors and Tatiana Maria. We did not enjoy as much the Impressionist, although his performance worked well; however for the first show, he was talking to a camera more than communicating with the audience and it failed to bring us new illusions. The Productions shows involved skilled musicians, dancers, singers; beautiful costumes and decors; however, for the last two shows, when all put together, something was missing and the sound was at time unclear, too loud for some instruments or not loud enough for others. Our onboard experience exceeded our expectations: food was good to excellent everywhere on board; we loved the island distribution and options available at the Ocean View Cafe, the food and service in the Grand Epernay Dining room, and we treated ourselves with fantastic experiences at Tuscan Grill, Silk Harvest and Murano Restaurants. Regarding Murano, we were blown away by the Lobster Bisque as a starter; followed by the Losbter Tail prepared and Flambeed at our table! Wow! We took three Celebrity Shore Excursions and we would highly recommend them as well! We had a most fantastic time visiting the Haleakala Crater (although it started by a bus error, which delayed us a bit), and were delighted by the Hilo and Volcano Tour (where we were fortunate to see a live lava boiling from an active volcano) as well as the Highlights of Hailua-Kona Tour. Weather on this cruise was unfortunately not the best, mainly during the 5 days at sea; including strong winds, cold temperatures and moderate to rough seas rocking the ship quite a bit. It was particularly difficult in the morning of May 16. Weather is always the uncontrollable variable of any trip. It could have been better but it could also have been worse. So no complaint. The debarkation process, although well organized and well managed by Celebrity was a bit delayed by the Vancouver Port Authority having to deal with the simultaneous arrival of 3 cruise ships. We had to vacate our rooms by 08h00 AM (which is reasonable) and were hoping for a 08h30 debarkation. Having not opted for the self debarkation, we ended up debarking at 09h30 after spending one hour waiting comfortably at the Al Bacio cafe. All in all we enjoyed ourselves on board, everything met or exceeded our expectations and as a result, for the first time, we booked a future cruise while on board! Thank-you Celebrity and Staff for a job well done and for a wonderful experience! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Japan and crossing were what we were really wanting to do this time. We have been on the Milli at least 1/2 a dozen times and all though we are no longer wowed at a new large ship all is good. Do not believe she is this horrible old ship. ... Read More
Japan and crossing were what we were really wanting to do this time. We have been on the Milli at least 1/2 a dozen times and all though we are no longer wowed at a new large ship all is good. Do not believe she is this horrible old ship. The ship and crew delivered all we expected and more. Lots of variety on the buffets even though we had access to all the restaurants and enjoyed all. Food was great as always. The officers lead by Captain Nicklaus were the best. They really spent time during the 9 day crossing meeting all the passengers and not just the Suite guest. Everybody had a chance to say hi. The intertainment was the best we have had in I don't no when. Ports were all good except Russia. Petropavolsk was a total waste. People and port people were quite rude so we just left. Japan was to die for. All ports She may be old but all the public rooms are still great Thanks Celebrity Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
POSITIVES: we were on deck 7. Ship was clean, room clean. We had a balcony which was lovely. Shower room was a nice size. The bed big and comfortable. Our room steward was lovely. We had open dinning which gave us the freedom to ... Read More
POSITIVES: we were on deck 7. Ship was clean, room clean. We had a balcony which was lovely. Shower room was a nice size. The bed big and comfortable. Our room steward was lovely. We had open dinning which gave us the freedom to choose which place we wanted to eat. The food in the seated dinning room was lovely, varied and hot. The buffet restaurant had a great choice, but you had to queue for quite a while for toast and eggs etc. The food was also not very hot at times. The staff were cleaning the ship constantly, and you were not allowed into the dinning rooms unless you sanitised your hands. There was plenty to do on the ship, and the guest speakers gave good insight to places that were being visited. The waiters were very attentive, couldn't help but be so as there were so many of them. The places we visited were lovely, you couldn't pick a favourite. The trip to Pearl Harbour was very moving experience. The embarkation was very smooth and quick. NEGATIVES: Why were staff trying to sell drinks packages as soon as you set foot on the ship, and I mean as soon as u stepped aboard. You had your hand luggage, a welcoming drink, in the other hand, were trying to get your bearings to your cabin and they were hassling you to buy a drinks package!! The Wi Fi is a rip off, 390 dollars for 17 days. we went ashore and went to the cafes etc and got it free or for a minimal cost 2 dollars. We were told it was due to the satilitte, but come on 2800 passengers x that by 390, nice little earner. The shore excursions were very expensive, we heard a lot of people complaining. We went with local companies ashore for half the cost, or did our own thing. We only did 2 ship excursions. Some people had booked on line and tried to cancel when they got onto the ship. We have cruised many times but not with Celebrity, we found this ship did not have the 'wow' factor like the Royal Caribbean ships. The Atrium had a big green plant in a coloured pot, not an ideal backdrop for photos. We like to have a nice picture taken on the nights that we dressed up in our lovely dresses and suits. The back drop to the professional photos were not great. We had one taken, cost us 25 dollars, which although expensive was a lovely keepsake. But we were disappointed and disgusted that this photo did not even come in a presentation folder, which we had on all the other cruises we had been on. We did try and speak to the photographic manager, and ask why no presentation folder but this uninterested arrogant individual couldn't have cared less. Told us lots of people had complained, well he's the manager why didn't he do something about it! The gratuities were also expensive, but you could have them taken off and tip who u wanted to. Like a previous comment we were very disappointed that people did not dress up when going to dinner, sometimes it appeared like a Butlins cruise.! But all said we did enjoy the cruise, meeting some lovely people, visiting some beautiful places. You expect to pay when on a ship, but not to the extent that Celebrity charged their customers. We would not sail with Celebrity again, for the reasons stated above. not a five star experience. Disappointed from Kent. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise after seeing an advert in the UK DMail in late 2015 and just fancied the itinerary. I thought, 'looks interesting, like those stop-offs, I wonder if I can get it for less . . .' After some investigation and ... Read More
We chose this cruise after seeing an advert in the UK DMail in late 2015 and just fancied the itinerary. I thought, 'looks interesting, like those stop-offs, I wonder if I can get it for less . . .' After some investigation and maths I found that we could go on the cruise, plus have a few nights in start and finish destinations for the same amount. So we went ahead and booked and so glad we did. It became, honestly, the holiday of a lifetime; 30 days away with the 17 day Pacific cruise as the highlight. Ok, first the best bits: the stateroom accommodation was excellent, better than on previous cruise lines we had used. The crew were extremely friendly and efficient and actually spoke to passengers, started conversations, which was so refreshing. The ships facilities were also very good and finally the food superb. Now for the cons: the drinks were very expensive and even with having a drinks package I felt it difficult to make the most of the outlay (we both needed a rest to our livers when we arrived home!). The Captain, God bless him, was difficult to understand being Greek and although he was undoubtedly a fine sailor, communication and presence was not his strongest virtue, and this applied to some of the officers to. Some people found that having 2 lots of 5 continuous days at sea was too much; maybe a better thought out itinerary with additional stops would have been better. Food, as I said, was very good but not as varied as other lines we have used and, just one complaint, the iced tea was awful! In addition, some shore excursions were poorly managed and not what I had hoped for. Finally, I am by profession a maritime engineer with some 50 years experience and currently have my own ship safety engineering company in the UK; during my trip behind the scenes (additional 99$ cost!) I saw a number of areas which need review from a safety point of view - nothing major I should add, but areas that need tightening up. But saying all that, we met some new friends, most cruisers were very friendly and I would definitely recommend Celebrity and would not hesitate to cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Big plus--It offered more time at sea and visited ports on our "bucket list". This trip has lots of high points and some that were rather mediocre. The service was excellent and we became on a first name basis with our ... Read More
Big plus--It offered more time at sea and visited ports on our "bucket list". This trip has lots of high points and some that were rather mediocre. The service was excellent and we became on a first name basis with our waiter and assistant waiter, Anil and Diana (Liying). They were a delight. Our cabin attendant, Butu, was also very friendly and kept surprising us with towel animals. The service aboard ship from all the crew was exceptional. As this was our 4th cruise we can only compare the entertainment with the others we experienced and this was by far the best. The comedians, jugglers, bar music, singers, dancers, and crew shows were outstanding. Our favorite shows were headlined by Contempo, two extremely talented singers from Australia. Wow!, they were amazing. Coming in at second place was everyone else, (however, one was a very distant second) almost all, very professional. Steve Davis and his staff deserve a lot of credit for keeping us entertained. Much of the time we were racing from bow to stern to engage in various games and activities, the most common of which was Trivia contests. If I had to offer one suggestion to the activities staff it would be to make absolutely certain of the answers to the trivia questions. There were numerous questions that had more than one correct answer which caused much confusion. Some of the same questions were asked at different sessions. The food; plentiful but not up to the level we had experienced on other cruises. Cuts of meat were sometimes tough and gristly. It was exorbitant to have to pay considerably extra to order "specialty" meals or eat in the restaurants other than the Cascades dining room and the Windjammer. Drinks (other than complimentary iced tea or lemonade) were outrageously expensive, $8+ for a Bud Light.! Mixed drinks for $14 was out of our price range, Ironically, room service was free so you could have a meal and glass of water delivered to your cabin, but you were charged if you opened the bottle of water in your mini fridge. Huh??? Our in-room safe malfunctioned, thankfully at a time we were able to get a security person to open it. This has happened several times to us on various vacations, once requiring the safe to be drilled open. Something to think about if you are disembarking and trying to catch an early flight. We always recommend that the safe be opened the night before to avoid a long delay. Little things that can be so easily corrected are often neglected. Walking the upper deck (day 1) we noticed that the basketball net was nothing but a frayed piece of string that was hanging from the hoop. What would it cost major cruise line to make sure that at the start of every cruise there was a useable net? Not a single air hand dryer was functional in the lavatories. Why have them? Why post on the Compass that saving of seats at the Aurora Theater was strictly prohibited when it is commonplace with no one monitoring the seating? We saw people put water bottles at seats to save them for numerous friends. Mini golf was all but impossible due to the rips and tears of the golfing surface. All in all, the ship needs a face lift to take care years of use and some rust spots. Some passengers complained about leaks and water coming from burst pipes. That is not a minor thing. Always a highlight is the opportunity to meet people from distant lands and this cruise offered that in spades, with many from all over Australia. They were all friendly and except for us being separated by a common language there were wonderful conversations. It was often difficult to understand the "lingo" of Aussies but we loved the interaction. They probably thought the same about us Americans. Lots of memories, a once in a lifetime trip we will treasure. Looking forward to our next cruise to the Southern Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Honolulu to Sydney - While we do not usually give extra tips money on this cruise our service was so good we gave extra to a number of the staff. We did not expect the greatest entertainment as this was a transpacific voyage but what was ... Read More
Honolulu to Sydney - While we do not usually give extra tips money on this cruise our service was so good we gave extra to a number of the staff. We did not expect the greatest entertainment as this was a transpacific voyage but what was presented was done well. The food was excellent, the wait staff was very gracious. All the staff seemed happy and more than willing to please. If they sensed there might be a problem they inquired and were attempting to correct the matter. The embarkation was a breeze. The disembarking was so easy and the taxi's well organized on our arrival in Sydney. The inside staterooms on the Solstice style ships are very spacious with plenty of storage. The entire experience was excellent. Even though the ship os due to be refurbished shortly it was still in good condition and the staff GREAT. We will continue to use the Celebrity line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was a 52 day cruise from Southhampton, England to Bejing, China, thru the Med, Suez Canal and lots of stops. The good: Wonderful ship, great interior design with 110 volts and 220v. The shower and shower head were adjustable and ... Read More
This was a 52 day cruise from Southhampton, England to Bejing, China, thru the Med, Suez Canal and lots of stops. The good: Wonderful ship, great interior design with 110 volts and 220v. The shower and shower head were adjustable and removable. Great for big people like me. The ship is bigger than our biggest aircraft carrier. (1100 feet long with 16 decks) Sport courts, rock climbing walls and a bumper car arena. Basket ball anyone. Several pool and lots of jacuzzis. They have gone to resturant style dining, no large fantail dining room. You can go upstairs but never recognize it as a buffet. Super food. Go slow on a long trip. Great gym. The cabin design was spacious and utilized all the space with overhead bins on the bed. Biggest small cabin in the fleet. We were in a Verandah suite. Entertainment was typical "ship", Dining was memorable because even though you switched dining venues nightly, you always had the same waiter. Each of the 4 free dining venues had different food. There were also 5 pay as you wish resturants. The bad: expense: wine and drinks are the highest in the fleet.--$10 for a cocktail, $8 for a beer. A room bottle on HAL is $40, on RCI it is $65. They are liquor Nazi's so don't sneak unless you are humiliation proof. Tours are really expensive (use Aviator). The electronic wizardry will really wow you. They were able to board and disembark faster than Symphony, Serenity, or Prisendam and that was with 4500 passengers. Beautiful ship, I would go again, and plan not to have a drink. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We usually cruise with RC but this time www decided to try Celebrity. We were impressed with the poshness of the ship, but after spending a while on her you could see she was tired and in need of a freshen up. When first on the ship it can ... Read More
We usually cruise with RC but this time www decided to try Celebrity. We were impressed with the poshness of the ship, but after spending a while on her you could see she was tired and in need of a freshen up. When first on the ship it can be quite disorientating. but you get the hang of it. We were on Deck 9 in cabin 9179, It was kept spotless and well cared for during our stay, our Attendant was very good. Dining was a complete disappointment we found that the menu selection was far better on the RC. We didn't like the set starters and deserts on every day. the menu as a whole we found to be poor in the main dining room, and we went to Mucanos for my 50th birthday but unfortunately there were a group of people in like a side room who the chef was cooking for, but at one stage i counted 16 members of staff going into serve this table or something, i felt left out and felt we didn't get the service we maybe should have. Also our waiter was so busy serving 6 other tables and cooking the lobster at the table side he was run ragged. he was juggling so many balls and just couldn't control them calmly. We then went to the Tuscan Grill on the last night, well wow, the food was amazing, the very best lasagna i have ever had, and the soup was beautiful, if we had gone to them the first night i would of eaten there every night. Well now, in the Ensemble lounge where we liked to sit was a guy called Stephen Aubery, He was the worst entertainer i have ever heard. he asked for people to tell him what they wanted him to play but he could only play 4 or 5 songs and he just repeated them, i even heard him (unfortunately) in by the Ice-cream bar and he sang the exact same songs. out of tune as well. He did not play one request, i listed off about 6 songs from different genre and different tempo and he didn't know any of them, none of the music he played current it was more obscure and also he had an awful habit of saying this next song is from tonights show and play something we never heard of. if we wanted to hear a song form the show we would of gone and if we were going we certainly didn't want it ruined by him singing the songs from it. He also went from playing the guitar to the piano but the song was still playing on the guitar even though he wasn't touching it. he's a fake and a brutal entertainer, not one person was tapping or dancing, and speaking of dancing, it was awful the tiny space there was to dance and it was at the base of the stairwell. really disappointing. Going ashore was also disappointing ... one we did was to a beach, but the bus took us to a hotel holiday resort beach, when the buss arrived a guide got on and spoke for about 20 minutes on everything we had to purchase. we then had a long walk (husband was disabled, able to walk but not far) then he stops us like a group of school children, and tells us where to go to buy this or that, and that we were going to collect our beach chairs then, but we didn't realise we would have to carry them some distance. We had to pay for one meal and get the other half price i believe, i had thought we were going to be taken to some exclusive beach somewhere not a hotel resort, yugh terrible. We spent 2 days in Honolulu before the cruise and stayed on Waikiki beach and that was amazing. I had bought we were getting like private transport to the cruise, i wasn't expecting to be put on a bus, as it was my birthday we had splashed out a bit. When we were on this cruise some loyal cruisers to Celebrity said that when you book a cruise with them and pay for it that is only a deposit as the amount of stuff you have to pay for onboard is never ending. we had bought an alcoholic drinks package yet www couldn't get a Kir Royal on it. Having said all that, we have booked another cruise with Celebrity and really looking forward to it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click