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28 World Cruise Romantic Cruise Reviews

We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the fact that we had been on the Mariner before and had liked it. This time however we were sorely disappointed. The captain seemed to have difficulty communicating with the passengers and any ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the fact that we had been on the Mariner before and had liked it. This time however we were sorely disappointed. The captain seemed to have difficulty communicating with the passengers and any major announcements were handled by the cruise director. There was no warning that we would be without internet or communication the last half of the cruise. The itinerary was poorly planned and the Easter Island draw had been been promoted on the ship as being a pretty sure thing, was a great disappointment to all. Even though it wasn't the fault of the ship that we did not get to go to Easter Island, it was misrepresented as 80% chance by their enrichment speaker and the staff. The food was off and on with some excellent nights and some nights we couldn't find anything desirable to eat. This is amazing on a ship with so many nice restaurants. Surprisingly the buffet turn out to be our best option several days. The exit off the ship was extremely and unnecessarily chaotic. The disembarkation problems could have easily been avoided since the cruise line knew our flight time and the conditions at the airport and Cruise dock , but insisted on holding us back from leaving until after all of their tours left before us. Therefore those with flights from Lima had to wait too long and therefore get in last at the airport lines and almost missed flights. Even with all this time we had the buses were still not ready when they told us to leave. Combine this with the fact that they did not service their printers or computers to print boarding passes Etc the days before we had to disembark, seem to convey they we're focused on getting their excursions going to Lima rather than on the needs of the passengers who were still on board. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation was relatively smooth. Don’t expect much hospitality. Employees are not excited about their jobs so don’t expect many smiles either. We spent much extra to stay in a (PHS) Penthouse Suite and was ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation was relatively smooth. Don’t expect much hospitality. Employees are not excited about their jobs so don’t expect many smiles either. We spent much extra to stay in a (PHS) Penthouse Suite and was advertised our own personal Butler, (which was shared by many other suites so personalized is the farthest from the truth.) He is given too many rooms to service. We also understood we would have preferred tendering, (which we were first to get tickets, but told we would be last. Yep, last to tender.) We almosted missed our excursion. Does the ship care? Nope! If you book through them then you are first to tender. *Know b4 you go! Next the food. Why does everyone rave about the food? Ugg! My wife got sick on the fish. It was not cooked though enough. The Caesar salad is soaked in dressing every time! It was gross! Our friends lobster was over cooked. The buffet breakfast is pretty good but basic. We ordered room service breakfast. The scrambled eggs were runny, boiled eggs inconsistent. The fruit was mushy & over ripe most of the time. If you wear a hat to dinner, be prepared to be kicked out!! We were late for almost every port with little time anyway. Then paying extra to be in a PHS and having to be last to tender. What a slap in the face. Bottom line: a PHS gives you nothing extra really! The laundry service is terrible it took four days to get 20 items back! Four tiny washer & dryers for the whole boat so get ready to stand in line!! Now Entertainment: (———.) that describes it. VERY limited, basically nothing. The butler &/or staff is always pressuring you to buy something like an excursion or wine tasting or martini tasting (they must be getting a commission!) It just sucks!!! The rooms are small and closets are too. We have sailed other cruise lines and not had such a terrible experience. Oceania is not for me. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
OK, the cost and value are pretty good (World Cruise 2019), but its let down by two key things. Firstly the food. It varies between average to terrible and tends to be stodgy, swimming in gravy or sauce and usually over cooked. (Our table ... Read More
OK, the cost and value are pretty good (World Cruise 2019), but its let down by two key things. Firstly the food. It varies between average to terrible and tends to be stodgy, swimming in gravy or sauce and usually over cooked. (Our table of 6 must have sent well over 30 meals back or not eaten in just 70 days.) Not forgetting that when avocado or anchovy appears on the menu! All you get is something from a tube or powdered anchovy??(Dont try and find it on the plate or in the flavour). Secondly the service many of the drinks waiters/waitresses are offhand and rude as were the shore crew. The dining staff are very friendly but lack support to help solve problems when they arise (Fusion restaurant being an exception and very good), the cabin staff are a shining light (along with the little contact you may get with engineering type staff. For the rest the cruise is comfortable with reasonable sized cabins and comfortable beds, not lush, but comfortable. The entertainment team are very good and put on a wide variety of shows that are choreographed on board. Lee Cooper, Holly and the team take a bow. I guess the frustrating thing about this cruise is that it easily could be better, without becoming an expensive overkill. The boat is as big as you need, just fix the food! It’s the only issue that holds me back from booking again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We love Oceania for its amazing service and outstanding food quality and variety. We've been sailing on Oceania for the past 15 years and just got off the Marina yesterday. This was an unusual itinerary since it had so many sea days ... Read More
We love Oceania for its amazing service and outstanding food quality and variety. We've been sailing on Oceania for the past 15 years and just got off the Marina yesterday. This was an unusual itinerary since it had so many sea days (which we both love). We boarded the ship in Papette, visited 4 ports in French Polynesia and then sailed to Hawaii and visited 4 island ports there. We sailed 5 days from Kawaii to Los Angeles where we disembarked. We really enjoyed the ship's excursions. We did an excursion in every port. We enjoy nature, birds and photographing beautiful landscapes - we were not disappointed. The Pacific Ocean was as calm as a lake (we were quite lucky). We had perfect weather on every port day and all but one sea day. Our butler proved outstanding service - including room service breakfast on disembarkation day. We have booked a 30 day voyage August, 2019 sailing from London to NYC - visiting Iceland, Greenland and some of Europe. That will complete 31 Oceania cruises for us. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose our cruise because of the itinerary (French Polynesia & Hawaii) and were a little apprehensive due to the smaller ship. We were very happy with both. Planning to go again real soon. The staff especially the team of Joseph ... Read More
We chose our cruise because of the itinerary (French Polynesia & Hawaii) and were a little apprehensive due to the smaller ship. We were very happy with both. Planning to go again real soon. The staff especially the team of Joseph & Gidek (sic) our room attendants worked above and beyond to insure everything was perfect. We’ve been on a few other cruise lines and found Oceania a cut above the others in accommodations, service level and, by a wide margin, food and wine. With a total of 20 sommeliers on our ship, an emphasis on upsell on wine sales were evident. Room service at no added cost is nice benefit. We tipped with each delivery. Easter brunch was popular, 850 passengers attended. The Hawaiian Buffet is not to be missed. Our 18 day cruise had half of them at sea. casino tournaments actually didn’t have enough players to be held - but the ship had plenty of activities. Karliss the culinary instructor was popular and cheerfully shared his expertise. Daniel’s movie star smile seemed to be at every meal and Red Gingers Sasha was always super friendly. If you’re having more than 4 drinks a day, consider the drink package. The rest of ship was spotless clean. We plan to take another Oceania cruise soon. Non Voyage! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We've just returned from a 12 day cruise from Rio to Buenos Aires. We met a great crowd of people and made several new friends. The food was generally of a very high standard although the portions were small like nouvelle cuisine - a ... Read More
We've just returned from a 12 day cruise from Rio to Buenos Aires. We met a great crowd of people and made several new friends. The food was generally of a very high standard although the portions were small like nouvelle cuisine - a started portion of 3 Tiger prawns is hardly going to satisfy most people. The website stated that the Sirena was refitted in 2016. This is misleading - the speciality restaurants may have been but the common areas were very dated rather like a 3 star hotel. Very disappointing as we had only previously sailed with Celebrity and we were told that Oceania was a step up. I would strongly disagree. The Staterooms (I prefer to call them Boxrooms) were minuscule and the shower rooms were like telephone kiosks and fitted to a standard that reminded me of an NHS hospital. In summary I would say that the Sirena is past its "Sail by" date. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise ship because of itinerary, ship size,and recommendation from our travel agent - we experienced such attention to detail by the well trained staff - great food with so many different food, restaurant and seating choices ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship because of itinerary, ship size,and recommendation from our travel agent - we experienced such attention to detail by the well trained staff - great food with so many different food, restaurant and seating choices - my husband and I were glad that we could sit at tables for two at all of the ship restaurants - (our first cruise on a much bigger Royal Carribbean ship placed us at a table with 4 other couples of their choosing resulting in two of the couples not getting along and making the daily dining times dreadful instead of delightful.)Oceania assigned us a cabin towards the back of the ship which was right below the ship's smoking lounge - our cabin and balcony which we had to pay extra for filled with smoke each time we opened our sliding door -we are not smokers and were not told about the issue ahead of time even though the ship's staff that we asked were well aware- rooms by the smoking lounge should be given to smokers only - we suffered for 3 days with this issue before we submitted a written complaint upon which the executive concierge moved us to a new suite as well as giving us ship credit to use. Lucky for us a guest didn't show up on the sold out cruise or we would have been stuck in that room The excursions were wonderful well organized with experienced entertaining tour guides. The embarkation and disembarkation were easy smooth and quick unlike the Royal Carribbean cruise where we stood in line for hours. The ship entertainment seemed great but needed to offer an earlier show time instead of( the too late for us) 9:30PM due to all of the early excursion times. Our biggest complaint deals with the extremely unfriendly concierge who acted like we were bothering him even if we had a simple question - the same thing happened with a girl at the reservation desk and a girl at the reception desk - these three employees obviously don't like or take pride in their job and do not represent the rest of the extremely friendly anxious to help with absolutely any request staff of the ship. We will definitely go on a cruise with Oceania again Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our third Oceania cruise, and although we rated this “very good”, we did pass along to Oceania several criticisms, which we hope will be considered “constructive”. The good – Sirena is nicely restored, well maintained ... Read More
This was our third Oceania cruise, and although we rated this “very good”, we did pass along to Oceania several criticisms, which we hope will be considered “constructive”. The good – Sirena is nicely restored, well maintained and the staff is very good. There were some instances of poor service, but these are rare. The not good - bathrooms in cabins below penthouse level are too small. Dining - Grand Dining Room was most consistent (selections & preparations) and service was excellent. But the Terrace restaurant was just mediocre; okay for breakfast but other meals were inconsistent. It is too informal; cafeteria style for dinner. Compared to the outstanding dining on Marina last year, Sirena’s is a bit short on preparation and diversity. Primary dissatisfaction - severe overcharges for excursions and alcohol. A reasonable price might actually generate more sales and profit as well as sending customers a better message. Example: Alhambra & Granada private tour (16 people) ran $110 pp; the ship’s tour was $319 pp. This type of overcharge causes cruisers to spend lots of personal time to research and book private tours, and is a great inconvenience. For alcohol, two martinis cost $26+ with an included 18% service charge, and that's at Happy Hour! Overall, we would probably sail Oceania in the future, especially with certain policy and/or pricing changes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was my first cruise but definitely not my last. My husband and I picked this cruise in particular because it looked like it wouldn't have any small children running around, as it was after Labor Day and the target demographic ... Read More
This was my first cruise but definitely not my last. My husband and I picked this cruise in particular because it looked like it wouldn't have any small children running around, as it was after Labor Day and the target demographic seemed to be for those 40 and up. It worked- we were nearly the youngest couple on board. Everyone we spoke to was an Oceania regular or had come from one of the bigger ship lines and not gone back. One couple was on their 20th Oceania cruise! The Oceania Regatta was everything I pictured a cruise ship to be. All the decor was very classically elegant and reminded me a bit of an English country home. The service was great, the food was delicious, and I never felt crowded. I spent lots of time in the beautiful Horizons bar/tearoom just looking at the amazing views. It was cool out but the saltwater pool was heated- we were nearly always the only ones utilizing it and the hot tubs. We got 4 nights at the specialty restaurants on board, 2 at Polo Grill, 2 at Toscana. I am in sales and so spend a lot of time taking customers to steakhouses, so I'm a bit hard to please, I suppose. I was pretty unimpressed with Polo Grill on both occasions. The service felt very rushed and the food was average. Toscana, on the other hand, was absolutely amazing. The two meals we had there were the best of the whole cruise. The service was impeccable. The main dining room food and service was excellent every time. We had breakfast outside nearly every morning in the Terrace Cafe, overlooking the wake of the ship. Beautiful and relaxing. I will say my biggest complaint about the Regatta was the coffee. It always tasted old and terrible. They have espresso machines with Illy beans but I like good brewed coffee and you just could not get it anywhere on board. We stopped in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, The Hubbard Glacier, Victoria (BC), and Astoria (OR). Ketchikan was very charming, they have a nice little area on a pier with shops overlooking a creek. The salmon were getting near the end of spawning and you could watch them from the pier. We went to Dolly's House and took the $10 tour, which was worth it just to see the well-preserved kitchen and household items from the early 1900s. We also took an Oceania excursion that included a short nature walk and canoe trip. We were very fortunate to have a beautiful clear sunny day, apparently that is a rarity in Ketchikan. I was saddened to see that Ketchikan and Juneau's dockfronts were very cheesy and touristy. Apparently the cruise lines recently purchased all the waterfront property and filled it with jewelry and souvenir shops like you see in the Caribbean. There were dozens of tacky jewelry shops with sales people out front trying to lure you inside, it was really off-putting. The locals we spoke to were not happy about it. Sitka was much smaller and quaint, we really enjoyed our hike and shopping downtown. They had lots of unique little shops. All of our excursions (mostly hiking/nature walks) were very well run, had great local guides, and were very enjoyable. Another stroke of luck was on glacier day. Visibility was great and we were able to get right next to the Hubbard Glacier. Apparently on previous runs the fog had kept the Regatta from getting to it/near it. We saw lots of calving as we had cocktails on deck. What a great experience. Victoria and Astoria were nice, a bit boring. My husband and I managed to find the only bad restaurant in Victoria's Chinatown. Yelp really let us down there! The Flavel house in Astoria was a nice little tour of a beautifully preserved mansion from the 1800s. The Buoy Brewery was the highlight of our trip to Astoria, it is a waterfront brewery built on a dock with amazing food and drinks, with sea lions that live underneath it. There is a glass section of the floor you can look through to see them all lazing about and barking at each other. Our days at sea were relaxing and fun. We didn't attend any shows (they looked corny) or participate in too many activities, we just relaxed and lurked in our stateroom. Our cruise ended in San Francisco. We skipped the long taxi line and grabbed an Uber (apparently the taxis shun the ports because the fares aren't profitable). All in all, it was a great trip. We booked another cruise on Oceania while we were on board, we really enjoyed the all inclusive smaller ship atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was a honeymoon cruise and expectations were high. On the third night of the cruise our shower lost pressure only to regain pressure while gushing hot thick brown water. Thank God my wife was not in the shower, otherwise her being ... Read More
This was a honeymoon cruise and expectations were high. On the third night of the cruise our shower lost pressure only to regain pressure while gushing hot thick brown water. Thank God my wife was not in the shower, otherwise her being covered in thick brown water would have ruined our honeymoon. I was told by reception we would have a plumber address the situation right away only to have our cleaning person assure us that a "water test" had been conducted. This attempt at a solution was insulting. I asked reception if we could have access to any available shower to sanitize only to be told that there was nothing they could do. A plumber left an indecipherable message confirming a leak the next day, but at that point I had already sanitized myself with a cold shower and hand sanitizer (...and slightly regained my wife's confidence that I wasn't completely defiled by sewage). We were apologized to with a cheap bottle (also insulting since we don't drink). Providing a shower would have resolved the problem. Instantaneously being told no when asked for showering options was disappointing. We tried to enjoy the remainder of the cruise, however the open berating of staff by management, the repeated errors made by the Destination Staff and wait staff, and the chaotic disembarkation force us to consider other options for future cruising. We avoided the entertainment (lack of interest) and specialty restaurants. We had booked all the specialty restaurants but cancelled after Red Ginger staff consistently got our order wrong. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We booked an excursion to Paphos in Cyprus. The description of the tour which appealed to us was 1. Taken to Paphos and have three hours free time to explore independently or 2. Visit the Villa and see the mosaics and the tombs of the ... Read More
We booked an excursion to Paphos in Cyprus. The description of the tour which appealed to us was 1. Taken to Paphos and have three hours free time to explore independently or 2. Visit the Villa and see the mosaics and the tombs of the kings and lastly 3. Take a stroll along the harbour. However, we were given no choices at all! We were dropped off at the harbour and left there. There was only a few restaurant and tacky gift shops. I was in a wheelchair and on 24/7 oxygen. We tried to find some shops but it was a long trek and we only found a very small mall and went back to the harbour and waited there for a coach to return. We put in an official complaint at this persons desk when we returned and received 10% refund which was an absolute joke we had wasted our money and our day in Cyprus. The literature is completely misleading and if we had known what was in store we still could of taken the free shuttle bus or gone to Limassol where apparently the guests had a fantastic time which made us even more fed up ..... I keep trying to get in touch with the excursions specialist team as we was advised to do once we got back to UK but I have had no luck getting through so needed to vent my feelings somewhere. As for the cleanliness of the newly refurbished Kings Court, we found it dirty, especially the walls next to the tables, the skirting, the windows. Infact, a lot of the communal areas needed TLC. They were cleaned but the staff were very lethargic and did everything at a snail's pace and didn't seem to take any pride in the fact that they were on a Cunard ship, although they cleaned they didn't clean the edges or the corners. This is where germs lie ......... Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The itinerary was the attraction as well as the benefits conferred as a result of my cruise status (over 15 with Oceania in the last 5 years.) The service in the cafeteria was sub-par. many of the servers didn't speak adequate ... Read More
The itinerary was the attraction as well as the benefits conferred as a result of my cruise status (over 15 with Oceania in the last 5 years.) The service in the cafeteria was sub-par. many of the servers didn't speak adequate english to understand the request of the passenger. They made little effort to comprehend and would just stare awaiting the passenger's clarification of the english word for the food. The servers frequently slapped the food on the place with subtle hostility. Moving on to the entertainment, the musicians in the onboard band played without passion or emotion. Nice for a less than mediocre high school band fulfilling a requirement but surprising on a 5 star ship. The string quartet played out of tune and without enthusiasm. The visiting entertainers were spotty as to talent. Destination services was a disaster of disorganization. passengers were kept waiting until the ship was docked and ready for disembarkation and bus loading before tickets were issued thus delaying the departures and adding serious confusion and amazement at the lack of crowd and loading management. My gratuities were included for a month trip but the ship insisted they were included for only a portion of the trip. As I write my travel agent is attempting to correct that erroneous position and obtain return of the over charge. The general atmosphere has change as related to service during the time I have cruised but this trip was surprising in its lack of politeness toward the passengers. In light of the fact there is an increase of 5 star and better competition, I am surprised Oceania is seemingly unaware of their descent toward average. Perhaps it was just a string of 30 bad days for the staff. Or, perhaps it is a suggestion of future deterioration. I hope not. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I have always liked the Whisper but will never take a segment of a world cruise again. In this segment, the majority of the passengers had been on this cruise since January and had established little groups to dine, drink and socialize ... Read More
I have always liked the Whisper but will never take a segment of a world cruise again. In this segment, the majority of the passengers had been on this cruise since January and had established little groups to dine, drink and socialize thus the new passengers had to find other new passengers in order to have a good time. This segment from Dubai to Athens had fewer new passengers due to the possible danger passing Yemen and other countries in the news but the tours to Luxor, Petra and Gisa were very worthwhile and Silversea takes precautions and has never had a threatening incident. The familiar crew on the Whisper helped make the trip more enjoyable. On the next segment from Athens to Monte Carlo, it was reported that 160 new passengers would board so I'm sure they outnumbered the tired world cruisers but we have cruised the Mediterranean many times and had seen many portsand we departed the Whisper in Athens. The food was wonderful in all dining venues and tasted better than I had remembered. The evening entertainment was professional and entertaining, Day lectures were educational and worthwhile and included a travel professional who highlighted the upcoming tours with a visual presentation describing history and cultural advice and additional sights. On days at sea, two speakers entertained passengers, one on British spies during World War 1 and two The other speaker told us his fascinating experience in Africa with camels. He actually rode by camel across the Gobi desert. Also on the British experience in Africa. The swimming pool was active with sun worshippers throughout the day as well as the hot tubs. Underwater exercises took place at 2 pm followed by water volleyball at 3. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
To put this review in perspective, here is some background. We cruise this segment almost every year at the same time for our wedding anniversary, using Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Cunard from Hong Kong back to Singapore. We also love ... Read More
To put this review in perspective, here is some background. We cruise this segment almost every year at the same time for our wedding anniversary, using Royal Caribbean, Crystal and Cunard from Hong Kong back to Singapore. We also love dancing and spend most of each evening on the dance floor. So the starting and ending ports are all that matter and the ports in between, we have been to more times than we care too. We went with pretty high expectations after wonderful experiences on the Queen Victoria and the Queen Mary, we were quite disappointed with the Queen Elizabeth. Embarkation in Hong Kong was a breeze, we arrived a few hours before the sated embarkation time ( at 1pm instead of 3:30pm) and encountered no queues anywhere. Our complaint was that the staff posted around the terminal building to direct people were not very proactive and maybe a bit racist. A couple dragging a carryon bag with Cunard tags and a sheaf of documents would obviously be looking for the Cunard check-in desk, no? They did not smile or point the way out to us but were quick to greet and direct any Caucasian walking past, even if they did not have a suitcase! We were able to go straight to our cabin which was ready, with a bottle of champagne chilling on the table. Our cabin was quite large(see cabin review) and close to all the things we wanted to get to however, very noisy on the last night as it was next to all the crew working areas. We booked early and so had early seating with a quiet table for 2, much in demand I heard, which was set well away from other tables- unlike another cruise where it was separated from the next table by 10cm. Our waiter was the 2nd worst we have had on any cruise. He was unsmiling, distracted and constantly facing away from his tables, fiddling with the silverware over and over instead of looking at his tables to see if we needed anything. He did not try to make any conversation not even to greet us on arrival! He never tried to make any food recommendations, never asked the standard " how is everything?", did not remember simple requests from the previous night (I asked for a slice of lemon in my water, the next night there was a small plate of sliced lemons on his service table but he never brought it to us). We had excellent service from other wait staff at lunch and breakfast so perhaps it was just the one person. Unfortunately the MDR waiter is the person we interact with the most on a cruise and so this gave a poor impression of the service levels. We had informed Cunard that we were celebrating our anniversary. We got a card in the room but not a whisper in the dining room. Food was disappointing but beautifully plated. All the fish was dry and over cooked. The only edible poultry was the duck and even that was just passable. Only the red meats were good. The side dishes did not complement the mains well. We went for the afternoon tea on the first day, white gloved service wasn't too happy we asked for Earl Grey instead of the generic tea they were serving. Sandwiches were dry and fillings were miserly. They only had dry raisin scones that were COLD! Cakes were poor quality ( we later found that they use Cadbury's cooking chocolate now - so brownies and chocolate cake did not taste of chocolate!).We did not bother to make it for subsequent teas. In previous cruises, this was one of the highlights of the afternoons. The best part of the cruise was the dance lessons - Sergey and Olga were amazing. They were able to teach more than 60 people, mostly beginners, in 45 minutes to dance quite complicated steps with good technique. Although we already dance well, we were still able to learn a thing or two from them. We spent most evenings on the dance floor in the Queens Room. It was large and a beautiful space to dance in when there was recorded music. The band spoilt it a little as they were not open to requests and there was a lot of down time between songs. They said they had a set of songs to play ( hence not keen to allow requests and yet did not seem to know which song it was they were going to play next and there was a lot of discussion between members before playing each song). The vocalist really ruined it. Everytime he appeared, you could almost hear the groans from the serious dancers. He was full of himself and used the same lame jokes every night that were very insulting and disrescpectful of his several ex-wives. Lots of talk before each song, called out the wrong dance ( could not tell the difference between a Viennese waltz and a Slow waltz) and switched tempos ( a big no-no in dance music) midway and always ended with a sudden stop which gave no time for any nice end to our dancing. The dance hosts on this cruise were all good dancers and all the single ladies seemed well catered to. We enjoyed having a matinee show in the Royal Theatre called La Danza - put up by the ships singers and dancers. They were not very good but certainly helped pass the time nicely. The magician/comedian on one of the nights was very entertaining. The rest of the programming was quite boring with hardly anything of interest to do in the afternoons. We did not join in the ship excursions as we had already visited both ports ( Nha Trang and Phu My) several times. Instead we took the free shuttle to Cho Dam ( market and bought lots of fish sauce - a specialty of Nha Trang and vietnamese coffee, followed by a very cheap and excellent massage at Sen Spa. We took a small group tour ( just 4 of us) with " Best Tours in Vung Tau" to visit the Long Phouc tunnels, local market and a fruit farm with an excellent home cooked lunch and accompanied by a very hospitable guide-owner. Both activities are highly recommended for people who have already done the usual tours in the 2 ports. Nha Trang was a tender port and it was a nightmare. While I totally understand the extra caution that QE was taking ( after the tragic incident they had on the same sector 2 years ago). Only 3 tenders were running and the waiting time to board one was almost 2 hours. We witnessed a poor family of 8 given tickets for tender number 22 who were told to go away for a coffee and come back in 45 minutes as the Queens Room was too full ( we were told the same thing as we were behind them and given the a number for 2 boats later). We remained in the Queens Room. No annoucements were made in the ship when the tender numbers were called, only in the Queens Room. When that family came back 35 minutes later, they were told they had missed their boat and given new tickets for 32! which meant another 1 and a half hour wait. Amazingly they remained cool! Perhaps there were safety constraints that prevented putting on more tenders so the wait may have been unavoidable BUT there were many ways they could have improved the experience like providing pastries and coffee while people waited, making ship wide annoucements if tender numbers came up before the expected time etc which they did not do. I was not impressed. As Gold members we had 2 hours of free internet each which was a nice perk. The connection was slow but good enough for confirming tours and quick checkins home. Part of the thing about cruising is getting away from computers anyway. It was the shortest cruise we had on Cunard ( previous ones were 8 and 9 days) but we were actually quite glad to get home in Singapore as the overall experience was not great. We did self help disembarkation in Singapore at 7am and it was quick and efficient as usual. There was a little glitch at immigration as they had not put up the guide ropes to allow Singaporean passengers to use the automated passports gates, soon rectified. Lots of taxis were waiting so we did not have to use Uber. We will probably cruise Cunard again but we will take the Queen Mary and never Queen Elizabeth. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose QE because l had heard that Cunard was 'upscale". After cruising a couple of other lines l thought l'd give them a try. l was disappointed about the following aspects of the cruise: - Hot tub was seldom HOT ... Read More
I chose QE because l had heard that Cunard was 'upscale". After cruising a couple of other lines l thought l'd give them a try. l was disappointed about the following aspects of the cruise: - Hot tub was seldom HOT - Food was too British - No gala performance as on other cruises - only a single act each night: like it or leave - not much group activity - the men's restroom near the dinning room was out of order for 3 days The staff was very polite and helpful - except the head of the dinning area spoke very derogatorily about passengers. Overall, the ship was lovely, more conservative than RCL. Meals were beautifully presented, but lacked variety and great flavor. My fiance was disappointed in the entree selections. lt is unlikely that we would cruise Cunard again. Thanks to the great company, we still had a memorable time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Since we were celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary, we wanted a special cruise and at the same time sample a Cunard ship. As we didn't see much of San Francisco and Hawaii when we visited six months prior this cruise gave ... Read More
Since we were celebrating our Golden Wedding Anniversary, we wanted a special cruise and at the same time sample a Cunard ship. As we didn't see much of San Francisco and Hawaii when we visited six months prior this cruise gave us the chance to see both for longer. We enjoyed the activates on board, in particular darts and trivia's, the entertainment staff were the best we have ever encountered. The food was very good and in the dining room, not over facing, if you wanted more you could receive more (other cruises tend to put too much on a plate, which means a lot of wastage). Our friendly waiters, Marina and Glen, went out of their way to ensure we enjoyed our meal The taste of the food, in particular Cheddar Cheese, brought back memories of how it should taste. I was able to have kippers every other day, and the waiters didn't think I was asking for 'capers'. After this first cruise with Cunard we were very impressed, and may have now become our favourite Cruise Line, but future cruises would depend on the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
we chose this ship to celebrate our Diamond wedding anniv on the day of departure (I was actually born on the day QM was launched) and its juicy itinerary. .having cruised about 120 times all around the world the three places that had ... Read More
we chose this ship to celebrate our Diamond wedding anniv on the day of departure (I was actually born on the day QM was launched) and its juicy itinerary. .having cruised about 120 times all around the world the three places that had most appeal were first timers for us Okinawa, Taiwan & Brunei persuaded us to pay up 16 months before cruise commenced. imagine our horror when we received an email on Xmas Eve cancelling all 3 ports of call---yes 2 weeks before boarding at Southampton with no offer of cancellation. the overall cruise was immensely disappointing and yes we feel it was poor value for what we paid (and are still paying the remortgage) entertainment was banal,repetitive & frankly boring.-- hygiene standards were abused, food in the Britannia was just acceptable, in the King`s Court unacceptable ,duplicate bridge (which interested me) was disorganised,chaotic and a shambles. embarkation at Capetown was as usual an utter disgrace, wine prices,excursion charges and quality were unjustifiable, port agents recommended by Cunard for emergency were unavailable all the issues were brought to the attention of senior staff on board and despite promises nothing was ever heeded. care for the infirmed in ports of call was non sympathetic..communication with Cunard is an established horror story and they confirmed this status to Maril & myself. they just ignore you knowing their ship will always be full because it is the QM2. the Purser, Mr Henry Wasserman, took devious measures to avoid even talking to us although we were spending 100 nights on board and were top category Cunarders.. we requested at booking for Southampton to Dubai quote. Cunard insisted for their convenience to divide this into 3 separate cruises which was more expensive and far more inconvenient for us. even the Hotel Manager Mr D Shepherd admitted this was totally unnecessary as he agreed that ourtreatment on board was way below standard a great disappointment overall with many special moments. if we can help anybody call us at marilbrian@btinternet.com Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Had a wonderful trip on the Grand World Cruise. Our first world cruise. It was a wonderful opportunity to visit many places on our bucket list. Loved the ports and visiting different countries but too much down time for me. Too many sea ... Read More
Had a wonderful trip on the Grand World Cruise. Our first world cruise. It was a wonderful opportunity to visit many places on our bucket list. Loved the ports and visiting different countries but too much down time for me. Too many sea days with little to do unless you like dancing and bridge. Spent lots of time at the gym and library, excellent library. Shore excursions were well done for the most part and most of the guides were excellent with information about their countries. The lectures were very interesting and really enjoyed the culinary arts center. The entertainment was the best we have ever had at sea can not say enough about these talented young people. . Ship needs a little TLC. There were problem with flooding and leaking through out the ship. The food was good and the service exceptional.Great crew, great captain, met many wonderful people but would probably not do another world cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
St Petersburg has been on my bucket list but I wanted to avoid the crowds of summer so the dates were ideal. They also offered a substantial number & variety of shore excursions from which to choose The ship came highly ... Read More
St Petersburg has been on my bucket list but I wanted to avoid the crowds of summer so the dates were ideal. They also offered a substantial number & variety of shore excursions from which to choose The ship came highly recommended & surpassed expectations. we opted for a local tour guide, again to enjoy a small group & we chose Best Guides , located in St Petersburg. Not only was it less costly than the ship's excursion but everything about them was excellent. The planning was perfect, the guide was delightful, knowledgeable & allowed us to make modifications to the itinerary - some before we left & another while we were there. I highly recommend them. The ship was excellent - the food & service was outstanding. We visited 9 countries in 12 days which was a trifle hectic but quite doable. Comments from most other guests were all favourable & I wouldn't hesitate to travel with Oceania again Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Problem with one enginer start before NYZ. Metting in the thatre,kapten say we are safe,all passager get on new cruise for fre,all the passenger screem hhhhuuuurrrrraaaaaa,so happy. What hapen IF the The lost enginer brook out.we ... Read More
Problem with one enginer start before NYZ. Metting in the thatre,kapten say we are safe,all passager get on new cruise for fre,all the passenger screem hhhhuuuurrrrraaaaaa,so happy. What hapen IF the The lost enginer brook out.we shame. Officeal languids was 5,italy,german,france,spain,and bad englisch. They most have an scandinavia crew. The food loks werry atractive,but dont small anything nothing. Coffemachine was open 2times in à day,morning and afternoon 4-1730. Ju most have an drinkpaket,anyway it's gona be werry expensive for you. All presentation in the theatre are 5langues,we sleep before they start. When we have gala dinner,maybe 20ptocen was dress,ashamed. IF you dont go to the restaurang on the eveening you gona sleep hungry,IF you dont bay pizza or burger,Moneybrother money.ashamed. Same god things,the ship was so clean. You most learn chefs to dont serve red burgare,and till them about garlic an pepper. It's werry difficult to have an table with lunch,people ho dont have an balcony cabbin are sittning all day and play card.ashamed.we have cruissing over 20times but nerver see a cruise boat like Costa luminosa. Newer more Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My wife & I were on the recent Singapore to Shanghai 9 night sailing. We are experienced cruisers across many brands. We love cruising & mainly look for the positives. There were some minor disappointments on this cruise but we did ... Read More
My wife & I were on the recent Singapore to Shanghai 9 night sailing. We are experienced cruisers across many brands. We love cruising & mainly look for the positives. There were some minor disappointments on this cruise but we did our homework before we left & we knew there would be some changes with the ship moving to the China market. We scored a great last minute special for this cruise & combined with doing our homework such as pre-booking most things we really did enjoy this cruise. In retrospect the minor problems were just that, minor. Maybe if we had paid full price, we may have been more disappointed in some things. Here was our experience: We flew into Singapore the night before & stayed at the Conrad near Marina Bay. This was a fantastic 5 star hotel & I would not hesitate to stay there again. Embarkation: We were Gold status & this did take a while. There were more people in our line than the newbies. I use a walking stick to get around & I appreciate when there are special lines for us people that are somewhat disabled, but only noticed one of these special lines at the security point. Ship: After we boarded, we set off to explore the ship & yes we were Wowed! The overall layout of the ship was great & everything felt new, clean & somewhat luxurious. We have sailed on the Allure so we were hoping for some funky new things on this ship that RCI had promised in its marketing & I felt in most parts they delivered. eg, The 270 lounge was amazing & one of our favourite areas to relax or see a show. We loved our stateroom, a spacious balcony up on deck 13. It was very nicely & cleverly appointed & very comfortable & loved using my wow band to open the door. We also loved the Seaplex & bumper cars as well as the North star. We did this over Hong Kong which made for amazing views & we were lucky the wait was not too long as most people were still ashore at the time. Another great venue was the Music hall, it was a great big two storey space that catered for bands, nightclub or other get-togethers. The main Theatre entertainment was a bit hit & miss. I thought the shows in the second half of the cruise were better. Unfortunately they replaced MamaMia with a new show called Sequins & feathers & other than the pretty girls on stage, lol, I really didn’t enjoy this feature show. I thought the music & dancing just didn’t have a nice mix & flow. It just looked messy & disorientated. My favourite area was the solarium up front and I spent a lot of time lounging around there. This is truly an all weather ship to suit one & all. Food & service: We sail Royal for their amazing ships not for their food. I personally have had better food & service on other Cruise lines, both cheaper & more expensive. We did however like the dynamic dining concept. We tried American Icon the first & last nights of the cruise. The first night food was not bad but the service was the worst I have ever come across of my 12 cruises. Seriously it was terrible. The last night service was better but the food was horrible. Chic in contrast was much, much better & ate there twice also. Silk was nice overall but thought the ambient lighting was just too dark. Never tried Grande. Of the fee paying eateries we tried Jamie’s twice & loved it, it was clearly our favourite on board. We also tried Chops Grill & were very disappointed. We always do a steakhouse on each cruise & they have always been great but this was terrible. Once again the lighting was very low, the service was only average & the meals bland & not worthy of the extra price. Presentation on the plate was clearly lacking & the food just didn't excite the tastebuds. Windjammer was ok food wise but it seemed everyone else on the ship was there the same time as us. Some days we did a full lap around & could still not find a spare seat/table, Once again this is extra annoying as remember I use a walking stick, so trying to find a spot while balancing a plate of food ain't easy! Food from the cafe's were very quick, nice & easy but the pizzas were quite bland also. The 270 cafe was a hit for us, good food for breakfast or lunch & never crowded. We had Royal Replenish drink packages which we had pre-paid from home. These did work well from bars for coffee’s, water, etc, but some of the automated machines often seemed to be out of order. In regards to C&A & M&M we did receive all info in our Staterooms as normal & the normal type of events were held. Ports: Pre booked ship excursions for Vietnam – local town of Vung Tau, & Xiamen China – city highlights. Both trips were just ok, nothing special. In Hong Kong we docked overnight & used this extra time for our self organised trip to Macau. This was a very long day but well worth it, got to see Giant Panda’s, the old & new towns & the amazing Venetian Casino which is said to be the largest in the world. Guest services, well this was where a lot of improvement could have been made. Lucky we didn’t have to go down there very often. Constant long lines & the mostly Chinese staff had very little English skills. Admittedly, I don’t know much chinese but this was a bit frustrating when trying to organise our passports for a visit to Macau. It took 3 separate trips to Guest services to get this organised & then on the morning we arrived in Hong Kong & went to go pick up our passports so we could make our way to Macau, there was a total shambles in the Port hall & no-one from RCI seemed to know what the procedure was & we along with many other disgruntled guests spent 1-2 hrs waiting to get our passports, & then made to feel that the mix up was all our fault by the Chinese RCI staff. Their rudeness in the matter shocked a lot of us passengers. So much for Customer Service? As for Shanghai Disembarkation, well no-one can be blamed for the fog & it delayed our docking for several hours. However the whole process was handled very poorly. The ship apparently anchored out of the harbour at about 3am, It would take another 5 hours of sailing from this point to Dock. So, unaware of this, all passengers were up early to meet in their respective areas to get ready to get off the ship, but No, it wasn't until about 9am that they told us we would still be hours away from docking (maybe 4 –6pm) and we could return to our rooms. They could have told us this two hours earlier & we could have slept in some more or not have rushed to Breakfast, etc. They did give us free internet & lunch. Later in the day when we finally could get off we were lucky that we did self assist with our luggage & didn't have to put up with all the craziness in the terminal. However we were in line waiting to get off the ship for a long time because many people in front of us who still had to pick up their luggage in the arrivals hall, had gotten into line well before their number had been called. This just meant that not only did they hold us up, but they then standed around waiting in the cramped area in the terminal waiting for their luggage & adding to the confusion. This was very poorly handled by RCI. We then got a taxi into the city where we already had a hotel booked. The Raddison New World Hotel. A nice hotel but not as nice as the Conrad in Singapore. This was the largest Cruise Ship to ever visit Asia, so the welcome we received in each port was a real highlight, with lots of Chinese Dragons & drums & dancing. Our balcony was on the Starboard side & we always seemed to dock on this side, which worked out well for us as we had prime viewing for these great welcome exchanges. Overall we had a great time & would cruise the Quantum again for the right price/Itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Embarkation: Embarkation was painless. We arrived at Station Pier Port Melbourne on 24th May 2015, and dragged our suitcases to the upper level where 300 or so passengers were boarding the Sea Princess in Melbourne for a 102 day World ... Read More
Embarkation: Embarkation was painless. We arrived at Station Pier Port Melbourne on 24th May 2015, and dragged our suitcases to the upper level where 300 or so passengers were boarding the Sea Princess in Melbourne for a 102 day World cruise. There were no directions at to where to leave our suitcases, so we had to manipulate them up an escalator to the embarkation area, where they were quickly whisked away from us and taken onboard. Only had to wait a short time before the documentation was processed and Cruise Cards issued. Review of the Sea Princess: In writing this critique, it has to be noted that this cruise was full, with around 2000 passengers and over 1000 crew. The ship itself is getting older, and experiencing spasmodic maintenance problems that caused engine issues, and numerous episodes of leaking pipes which flooded staterooms, hallways, and the Princess Theatre. Staff were always quick to work on reported problems, & despite the age of the ship & all its fittings, everything looked clean, polished & well cared for. Dining: Despite having a pre boarding guarantee of “early seating” allocation for dining in the Traviata Dining Room, on embarkation that had somehow changed to late seating. When we questioned the “Maitre D” about the change, we were told that our guaranteed seating was only a “guaranteed request”. Following an elongated discussion, we were finally changed to our requested early seating by the 2nd day. It seems pointless in filling out the Cruise Personaliser on the Princess website, when Princess themselves have no interest in reading what we request. The information we provide appears to get stuck in Princess’s Head Office, and not passed on to the ships we travel on. The meals in the dining room remain spectacular, however a noted change was that the menu was repeated on a 10 – 14 day rotation with monotonous regularity. For long cruises like the 104 Day World Cruise, this became rather boring after a few weeks. For the first two weeks, there were only six people on our table, with another 2 joining in Freemantle. Our table of 8 became the best of friends, and apart from a few sick days, everyone fronted up each evening to enjoy the wonderful company and delicious food. Our waiters on table 184 were Mario and Alfie, who, between them, tendered to our every culinary need. Mario was a bit temperamental, depending on his mood, but Alfie being the junior waiter excelled at his job. Drink prices were expensive but wine left over was always named, recorked and available for the next evening meal. I renamed the Horizon Court buffet “The horror-zone” for obvious reasons, for it was terrible lining up for food, arguing with combative passengers, and searching for a vacant seat. The manners of many people left a lot to be desired, and you would think some people had never been fed before, the way they carried on around the buffet food. The Sterling Steakhouse was a joke, situated in a partitioned off area of the Horizon Buffet each evening. While it was busy most nights, and the food reportedly great, it could not be seen as a special dining environment. The Ice-cream Parlor outside on deck 12 under the movie screen was usually quite busy, however the quality of the soft serve ice-cream varied considerably, from very creamy to well watered down. All diners were looked after for Special occasions with a cake and a throng of caroling waiters and bar staff, which just made that special occasion even more memorable. Lounges & Restrooms: We always found the restrooms clean, tidy and well stocked. An interesting & well accepted change was that the toilets had disposable paper seat covers. Both the Vista Lounge and the Princess Theatre seat approx. 500 passengers each. With the decline in the number of evening entertainment options, seating for both ends of the ship could only seat 1000 passengers. For a ship holding 2000 passengers, a person would have to get to the main entertainment area (either Vista of Princess Theatre) at least an hour before the event started in order to get a seat. This created a lot of angst and friction among passengers, especially finding the entertainment areas completely filled 45 minutes before the start of each show. Several times over the course of the 104 days there was a leak from the ceiling of the Princess Theatre, and several seats had to be partitioned off as they were soaked. This intermittent leaking continued on for most of the cruise, despite numerous attempts by staff to try and fix the problem. The Wheelhouse Bar was used many days for trivia sessions, and trying to fit upwards of 400 passengers into an area that could only house 200 at best, was nothing short of nauseating. To get a seat, most people had to arrive for trivia almost an hour early, and this caused fights amongst passengers who tried to reserve seats for other members of their trivia team. Whilst reserving seats is a known “No-No” what else could people do. Many disagreements ensued because of this. Princess continually advocates that passengers must not save seats in the public lounges and theatres, however, despite this, seat saving continues at an alarming rate. On very popular entertainment nights, a passenger would take their life into their own hands if they needed to visit the rest room before a show started, because their seat then became fair game for whoever was waiting. The Laundry: The public Laundry was a nightmare, with only 2 machines and dryers on 3 of the passenger decks. Queuing was long and tedious, and those passengers who put washing in the machines and went away for hours continually aggravated fellow passengers waiting for vacant machines. Woe and behold anyone who touched anyone else’s laundry, and only remove someone else’s laundry at your own peril. The laundry proved to be a very entertaining area, with many altercations occurring daily. We found it easier to hand wash in the cabin, and hang it on coat hangers around the room to dry. Always take a small hanging peg line to hang in the shower, and this is great to hang smalls on, which dry pretty much within a day or do in the air-conditioned atmosphere. Staterooms: Surviving 102 nights in an inside stateroom was not a problem, given that this was our 4th time cruising for this length of time, but organization is a must. Having a place for everything, and keeping everything in its place, is a definite necessity. On this cruise we were assigned Stateroom B224, towards the front of the ship on Baha deck level 10. Our Stateroom steward was “Homer” until Dubai, then “June” from Dubai onwards. Both Stewards looked after us well. On embarkation and meeting our steward for the first time, we set out requests for dressing gowns; an ice bucket every night; extra coat hangers, and an extra chair as the stateroom only has one. This cruise we purchased a foam mattress overlay that we packed and took with us, as the mattresses on the ship are either rock hard, or very worn and dip in the middle. We also take our own pillows for much the same reason, and we were very glad we did, because the pillows in our stateroom were sadly lacking in substance. The room was always left clean and tidy, towels always changed each morning, and beach towels were replaced whenever they were used, sometimes several times during the day. Shampoo, soap, skin lotion & body wash (excellent for hand washing clothes) were replaced daily. Laundry bags for sending dirty clothes to go to the ships laundry service were sadly lacking, many times we were having to chase the room steward to get new bags. It’s not rocket science for a room steward to replace a laundry bag when they take a full one away. Entertainment: Having cruised for 104 nights with Princess previously, we had a reasonable idea what to expect as far as entertainment was concerned. In comparing the last 4 cruises we have done of 104 days, it is easy to see that cutbacks on entertainment for this cruise were very noticeable. As a comparison....... 2009 there were 104 different evening events and 14 Production Show 2012 there were 71 different evening events and 15 Production Shows, 2013 there were 62 different evening events and 10 Production Shows. 2015 there were 57 evening events and 13 production shows The Production Shows for this cruise were changed, probably because most of the passengers were repeat World Cruisers, and had seen all the Production Shows Princess had to offer. For this cruise Princess, in their wisdom, decided to employ an outside company to produce the singers and dancers. While the quality was extremely high, and the entertainment good, all of the shows lacked all the glitz and glamour that Princess advertise for their cruises. There were no sets, & costumes were bland. However, the Sea Princess Orchestra always provided a sensational music backing for the production show team. Many nights on this last cruise we found there was nothing to do other than watch a movie, which I do not consider watching movies that are years old and repeated several times, as major forms of evening entertainment. The selection of movies available was antiquated, and despite many complaints, this problem did not change for the entire cruise. Several old & new movies were played on the in-house televisions, and under the stars, however, some of these were repeated with monotonous regularity. Overall, the Production Shows were good, but many of the comedians were aged, as were their jokes and stories. At various ports around the globe, artists got on and off, always ensuring a fresh supply of good and no-so-good entertainers. Pre & post dinner dancing was always available, & passenger theme parties were scheduled at sparse intervals. Morning & afternoon trivia sessions were a must for the brainiacs, who always played for sheep stations. We always tried to catch up on the Port lectures, especially for all the new ports we had not been to before, as there was always some interesting bits of info to take away. The port lecturer “Hutch” was sensational in his port presentations, always a wealth of information, and very approachable when questioned outside of lecture time. Other ways to keep occupied included scholarship @ sea lectures; library; church services; dancing lessons; sports tournaments; bingo; card playing; game shows; exercise classes; movies; choir practice; culinary demonstrations; & ice carving demo’s. Princess offered Service club meetings, which was relevant to us being Lions; but we did not avail ourselves of the Dr Bob & Bill W meetings, nor did we join in as GLBT groups, but it was entertaining to note that they cater for these groups as well. Gymnasium: We did manage to find the gymnasium several times, although not as much as we should have. The equipment was state of the art, and reasonably well utilized, but having someone available to help you to use the computerized equipment was not always available. The only scales on the ship was located inside the gym, and these came in handy to check out just how much weight we were putting on weekly. They probably explained why our clothes were shrinking at a great rate of knots, but on this score, I blamed the washing water for shrinking them!!! Shore Excursions: We researched all the shore excursions before boarding, so picked the eyes out of what was available, and made sure we selected all the important places of interest to us. While it has to be noted that all of the ships excursions were expensive, there was the guarantee of knowing that if an excursion got back late, the ship would not leave us behind, as did happen to several passengers who did their own thing and returned late. All of the good excursions booked out early, so if there is something special that you really want to see or do, then booking early is a must. On this cruise we booked about 50% of our tours with the Cruise Critic group. This is a great way to meet other cruisers, cuts down the cost of excursions, and in most cases, you get to see more places of interest on the tours because the groups are smaller than the big Princess ones. One thing that needs to be pointed out, is that Princess are not happy if tour soliciting occurs whilst onboard, so if you plan on doing Cruise Critic Tours (which I definitely recommend), make sure you have these arranged and paid for before you get onboard. Also note that if you are on a private tour, and you get back late, that Princess will not guarantee they will wait for you. The tender service remains a nightmare, however, I don’t know how else you could move 2500 people on and off a ship any other way. Queuing for tender tickets, then queuing again when your number was called, tended to take the excitement off getting off the ship at each port. If you fore went queuing for tender tickets, then you had to wait until everyone else was off before you could try and find the exit, and this definitely would cut down your time on shore. Possibly Princess need to use more tender boats when this arrangement has to be implemented, because the current arrangement is annoyingly frustrating. Queue jumping was a frequent occurrence, and many an argument was had while waiting in line. Service: Embarkation and disembarkation was handled extremely well. The Pursers Desk, Future Cruise Staff and Captains Circle staff handled most of our needs very efficiently. The Boutiques on board sell a large variety of merchandise, however, items that sold out very quick on our cruise were cough medicine and throat lozenges. Probably due to the air-conditioning, every time we cruise we get the dreaded sore throat and cough, which seems to do the rounds of the ship. A good suggestion would be to go prepared, and ensure you have an adequate supply of an appropriate cough syrup, and throat lozenges. Toiletry items such as soap, shampoo, conditioner & body lotion are supplied in every stateroom, and balconies and suite staterooms have access to other useful toiletry items. Tipping: For all Princess Ships based in Australia, tipping is included in the price of your cruise. We always choose to provide additional tipping to our Stateroom stewards and dining room waiters, depending on the quality of service provided. All drinks purchased from the bars have 15% tipping already added to the bill. It is always a bone of contention to tip or not to tip, but if I get exemplary service, it will be rewarded. The Cruise Staff: For this cruise of 102 nights we had 3 Cruise Directors: Dan Falconer, Peter Tredgett & Mat Thompson. Dan never quite had his finger on the pulse; Peter was patronizing; & Matt at least seemed to enjoy his job. Matt's wife Kim (who acted as Matt's deputy for part of the cruise) was always pleasant and helpful, and took over the Zumba classes whenever she could. The Assistant Cruise staff this cruise seemed to be the most disjointed group I have ever sailed with. They consisted of Sarah, Maddi, Kelly, Jill, Richy Rick, Sascha, Tina & Danielle. Most of them were disinterested in what they were doing, and many times they just huddled together, & avoided talking to passengers IN CONCLUSION: There will always be a few minor hiccups on long cruises, however, despite the few problems outlined earlier, we had a fantastic 102 nights, visiting many parts of the World we had only ever dreamed about seeing. With research and previous planning, we had the most enjoyable cruise ever, and have marked a lot of places off our bucket list. We were wined, dined and entertained in style, and will definitely sail with Princess Cruises again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
So Let me begin with a quick overview of ourselve. We do try to cruise once a year and have never been to Alaska or Hawai'i. Last year we did the Caribbean as well as Europe and that has been our geatest vacation thus far. I do hope ... Read More
So Let me begin with a quick overview of ourselve. We do try to cruise once a year and have never been to Alaska or Hawai'i. Last year we did the Caribbean as well as Europe and that has been our geatest vacation thus far. I do hope this one tops that :) We have been planning this (and paying for this) for eight months now and hope it all works out according to plan :) We both have just hit our fourties so it's a well needed vacation. I will outline our intended itinerary at the end of this page and before each day review. But, quickly, we are doing two days in Honolulu, an eleven day cruise with the Carnival Legend then a seven day cruise with the Norwegian Sun. So here goes the Hawai'i portion of our tail, and you will all see how crazy things can go without your consent. And how even with a tightly planned itinerary you have to be up for anything :) I hope you all enjoy, and I want to take this time, in advance, to say thank you to all that express that fact. Just in case I miss doing so within the review. Here Goes.... Our Intended Itinerary :) Have Pre-purchased Go Oahu Card $345./2 And Entertainment book $17.50 Tuesday 5/5/15 Arrive in Honolulu @10:45 p.m. Rent car for three days, drive to White Sands Hotel. Try to sleep beyond our excitement ;). Wednesday 5/6/2015 Oahu (5:00-7:30am) Wake early and attempt Diamond Head crater on our own (Free w/ Purchase of Go Oahu Card ) (7:30-1:30pm) Drive Our Rented Car To Makani Catamaran (Free w/Go Oahu Card) (2:00-6:00pm) Rent Sccoters (Free w/Go Oahu Card) Drive To Aloha Stadium Flea Market/Shop/Eat Return Scooters, Return To Hotel (7:00-11:30pm) Oahu Ghost Tours($90.00 w/Entertainment Book Coupon) Return to Hotel Thursday 5/07/2015 Ouha (6:30am) Drive to Pearl Harbor U.S.S. Arizona (must pick up tickets one hour in advance Free W/Go Oahu Card) Pacific Aviation Museum (Free W/Go Oahu Card) Battleship Missouri (Free W/Go Oahu Card) Return to U.S.S. Arizona For Tour *Must Cut Tour Short* (12:00-1:00) Drive To Polynesian Cultural Center For Ha Breath Of Life Diner Show And Luau (Free W/Go Oahu Card) Return To Hotel Friday 5/08/2015 Oahu (8:00-11:00) Kualoa Ranch Movie Sites And Ranch Tour (Free W/Go Oahu Card) (1:30) Big Kahuna Parasailing ($68/2 w/Entertainment Book Coupon) Sea Life Park (Free W/Go Oahu Card) Return Car Check Into Ship/ Sail To Maui Saturday 05/09/2015 Maui Rent Car Drive Road To Hana At Our Leisure Haleakalā National Park Sunset @6:00 pm Return Car/ Return To Ship/Sail To Hilo Sunday 05/10/2015 Hilo Rent Car Akaka Falls State Park Volcanoes National Park With Diner And night Lava Viewing (HawaiiActivities.com $227.00) Go Rouge, Let Ship Leave Without Us And Drive To Next Port Get Hotel In Kona Uncle Billy's Hawaiian Family Resorts Monday 05/11/2015 Wake Late/Free Day/Breakfast/Shopping/Relaxing Catch Ship/Sail To Kauai Tuesday 05/12/2015 70 Min Air Tour(Air Adventures Hawaii $164.00 For 2 W/ Entertainment Book Coupon) Catch Ship/ 5 Sea Days Wednesday 05/13/2015 @Sea Thursday 05/14/2015 @sea (Slot Pull 1p.m. in Casino) Friday 05/15/2015 @Sea Saturday 05/16/2015 @Sea Sunday 05/17/2015 @ Sea Monday 05/18/2015 Vancouver Canada Disembark Carnival Legend Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
First i want to say "Thank you!' to everyone on the previous world cruise segment who cancelled this portion of the cruise, which allowed my wife and I the chance of a lifetime at a wonderful price! Seems Princess changed many ... Read More
First i want to say "Thank you!' to everyone on the previous world cruise segment who cancelled this portion of the cruise, which allowed my wife and I the chance of a lifetime at a wonderful price! Seems Princess changed many of the original ports of call due to the Ebola crisis. Since we didn't know of the original itinerary anyway, the trip and price were perfect for us. The Ocean Princess (nee Tahitian Princess) is on its last legs as a Princess cruise ship. It is being sold to MS Cruises in early 2016. Even still, the cabins and public areas were kept up and we very much enjoyed our time on this small ship. The staff and crew were marvelous, especially our cabin steward and the singers and dancers who doubled as the Cruise Director staff. Even with 16 sea days, we were never bored. Dining was excellent, but a little repetitive the last two weeks. The nitpicks are the nickle and diming that occurs now since Carnival took over. Many ports had shuttles that charged $8 or Euros to get from the port to the downtown area and another $8 to get back - ridiculous! These should be free or very minimal. Embarkation was difficult due the South African immigration checks that were needed, and some port stops (Namibia in particular) were ridiculous due to an inexperienced and overwhelmed immigration staff. The port stops were both interesting, adventurous and, in one case, down-right fascinating. Stops included Luderitz and Walvis Bay, Namibia. For my money, we could have skipped Luderitz and made Walvis Bay an overnight stop so we could have experienced the Namib desert dunes at Sunset and Sunrise. The dunes are the draw here and they were more, much more, than i expected them to be. Our choice of Sandwich Harbour 4x4 (off ship tour company) was perfect and we had a wonderful time. Luanda, Angola was an adventurous stop. This was a first for the Princess line and, despite all the hype and warnings from the port lecture, we found it a nice place to visit. It is a former communist-aligned country and they were devastated by a very long civil war. Now it is an Oil Oligarchy and the downtown area is booming, slowly pushing the slum areas out of the city and building high-rises everywhere. There are not many colonial (it was a Portuguese colony) buildings left due tot he war, but the old fort (now a war museum) was very nice. I wouldn't return, but I found it a very interesting stop and enjoyed it. Sao Tome/Principe is another former Portuguese colony of the coast of West Coast of the African Congo area. When the Portuguese pulled out in 1975, the economy took a tumble and it is just now regaining its footing as a tourist destination. Still riddled with poverty, many eco-resorts are being built and the Taiwanese Government is investing heavily. The US maintains a (secretive) communications area on the island. A nice day stop and the only tender port. Our crossing the Equator ceremony was postponed due to rain, but they held it a few days later and it was a lot of fun. Cape Verde is a misnomer of an island nation as they have been suffering a drought for the last decade and the main island (Mindelo) hasn't had a drop of rain in 18 months - even the palms are dying. However, we had a wonderful (off ship0 tour and, like Sao Tome, they, with Dutch and Eurozone help, are bringing the island up to tourist standards. Water will be a problem, though. Tenerife in the Canary Islands was a very nice stop. We just flagged a cab and went for a ride around the island. Madeira is absolutely gorgeous! I'd stay a week here the next visit. Casablanca and Rabat in Morocco were great stops. Very enjoyable tour as well. Ceuta, Spain was our first ship excursion - overpriced and crowded with a couple silly stops (a waterpark, really???) But the guide was nice and after the non-walkers left us, we had a good tour of the fortress. Malaga is excellent and we highly recommend the "free" walking tour offered from the square. Lisbon is always a great port (we have been many times as we have friends who live near there), but Princess really needs to plan a longer stay there. However it is one of the best sail-aways you will ever experience. Rouen France was a fantastic treat as we sailed up the Seine and actually ported right in the City not at Le Havre, so we had a bonus river cruise on the way out. We again took a ship tour to Giverny and Monet's gardens and home. A great guide, but again an overpriced, overcrowded group function. We made port in Dover and went our separate ways. There are a lot of things to like about a small (800 passenger) ship - more ports and less tenders, getting to know your fellow passengers and crew. There are some things that don't work - 24-hour service is nearly non-existent. Less choices for activities, bars, snacks etc. Overall, this small ship experience was excellent and we will miss having this option in the Princess fleet. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Embarkation tips Taxi to New Orleans port was the way to go they have a separate entry for taxi's for quick dropoffs! Norwegian Dawn a nice ship not many bells and whistles compared to todays newer ships. Food ranged from ... Read More
Embarkation tips Taxi to New Orleans port was the way to go they have a separate entry for taxi's for quick dropoffs! Norwegian Dawn a nice ship not many bells and whistles compared to todays newer ships. Food ranged from Decent to Very Good at the main restuarants, Buffet was decent. food is available all day and 24/7. The Bar Staff was well trained and the bartenders knew their stuff. Entertainment was in a word Fantastic "Oh what a night": a las vegas Jersey boys type show was fantastic, Josie and Patti - Neil Diamond show brought down the house, The acrobats were outstanding and showdown was a very good show as well. The other musicians throughout the ship were excellent as well the guy on the piano at gatbys was a very good Frank Sinatra crooner. Our Room 9522 was a balcony small but functional a nice place to get some quiet and watch the ocean! Cruise 12 days had a decidly older crowd so if you wanted a chair around the pool you could easily find it but people are still annoying with their lounger saving and they never show up. Shore excursions: Aruba - Kukoo Kunuku beach transfer is basically a open air bus with music where you go through parts of Aruba visit a small chapel then head to a decent beach white sand very nice. side note Aruba is like the arizona of islands Catus everywhere very dry island. Curacao - Sea Aquaruim and beach by boat - best excusion of the trip the sharks, Sea Lions, Pink Flamingo and Dolphin Shows were excellent and after the beach was a nice quite place with a quiet bar to relax Curacao is my new fav Carribean Island. St. Maarten - Airport beach was worth to at least see once but is very crowded! St. Thomas - Treelime Zipline tour is a excellent thrilling and safe zipline a good time was had by all worth the money! Tips: If you need to do Laundry NCL has a bag of landry special for 25$ at least once a week. Gold Members get a 25% discount on Landry and Platinum Members get a free bag of Laundry. Debarkation Tips in Boston was a breeze pay 5/10 dollars and use a porter you get priority on taxi's plus if you have a lot of luggage it really helps. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015

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