11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Hmmn. The good - Great service by the crew who work hard to keep us all happy. Good food overall in the main restaruant, though I think Carnival do a far better job at the bistro. Chops Grill was fantastic at breakfast. No passnegrs ... Read More
Hmmn. The good - Great service by the crew who work hard to keep us all happy. Good food overall in the main restaruant, though I think Carnival do a far better job at the bistro. Chops Grill was fantastic at breakfast. No passnegrs were to be seen at Johnny Rockets. Those who went reported back on bad food. The pools were great.. This is one thing RC have all over Carnival. The pools are bigger, cleaner and the life guards ensure the kids are behaving well at all times. The not so good - The ship is looking increasingly old and tired. Quite a few rust spots on her. The cabins are worse than a 2 star hotel. The crew works hard to keep her clean, mind you. The lifts were particuarly slow and not well programmed. The evening shows were better than expected. The ice rink shows were fantastic. While the crew works hard to reinforce the message of "wash your hands," for some, the message will never get through. Time and time again we saw quite a few other passengers disregard good hygene standards, particuarly at the bistro. e.g picking up food with their bare hands instead of using the tongs. Sure enough, there was an outbreak of cold and flu on the cruise. The whole process of disembarking for shore excersions was average at best. At The first port) Penang, it took over an hour to get us off the ship once the ship was cleared. That had a negative flow on affect for the shore excersion which was cut short. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the chaos of embarkation should of forewarned us of what was to come. We pre booked an all inclusive drinks package and this was printed on our cabin card which was already in our cabin. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the chaos of embarkation should of forewarned us of what was to come. We pre booked an all inclusive drinks package and this was printed on our cabin card which was already in our cabin. Unfortunately every time we ordered a drink the package did not work so after 2 days and several trips to guest services the card was replaced. I was told "you will have to pay for your drinks tonight but the card will work tomorrow" We were told that it was because we booked it before we went onboard. Although it was printed on the card I had to provide an email which proved I had bought and paid for it. It was also suppose to cover the mini bar in our cabin except there wasn't one. Not even a fridge. Our balcony cabin was standard and disappointing for a brand new ship. As it was built for the chinese market there was only 1 european plug socket in the cabin however there were plenty of usb sockets. The cabin steward was excellent and kept the cabin spotless. We were very disappointed with the standard of food. It was served cold and mostly tasteless. Our waiters were very helpful but they did tell us that there were lots of complaints about the food being cold. The buffet restaurant was best avoided. Watching people carrying off huge trays of fresh fruit to wherever. I think certain passengers must have kept it in their cabin. The queues were huge especially at sea days when they provided an outdoor buffet with a theme. The swimming pools were very small and not adequate for the amount of people onboard. We took 2 trips, both of them in Vietnam. The organisation for getting people off the ship was non existent with queues blocking stairs and exits. On both trips we stopped at places to buy local handcrafts and this wasn't on the itinerary and caused us to be rushed at places that were. We went to the theatre for 1 show and decided not to bother as it was not brilliant and most shows were then shown on the large screen on the lido deck afterwards. The television channels were limited and the only English speaking one was a Chinese news channel although we didnt go on holiday to watch TV. The day in Hong Kong was cut short as we stayed longer in China. Unfortunately it was decided to add an extra couple of hours to our visit but quite a few people had already left the ship when this was announced so they rushed back to find they could have stayed longer. Not good organisation. I questioned both Iglu Cruises and Costa about the need for a Chinese Visa. I was informed that I had to have one to board the ship in Singapore. I then found out that there was a waiver form we could have signed and stayed on the ship. All in all most of the crew were polite, there was a language barrier with the newly recruited Chinese. As the ship is now based in China and wont enter the European market again I dont think Costa are particularly bothered by the poor reviews left by Europeans but I certainly wont use Costa again. I have cruised with Carnival previously, their parent Company and had no complaints. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
the staff on sapphire seemed to just be going through the motions there were many we spoke to and they were just looking forward to getting off in Athens and Rome (contract finishing) , the onboard entertaiment was boring to say the least ... Read More
the staff on sapphire seemed to just be going through the motions there were many we spoke to and they were just looking forward to getting off in Athens and Rome (contract finishing) , the onboard entertaiment was boring to say the least there is only so much violins that a person can listen to (37 days) thats all that seemed to be on in the piazza area (boring) the cruise director and manager had no idea how to entertain the whole ships demograghpics as they just caterted for the oldies there were plenty of youthful passagers looking for some real entetainment but it just never happened. get rid of these fools, there was no free coffee avalible midship (piazza) or any of the down stairs café/bars except in the horizons buffet and the resturants which meant you had to go to the back of the ship just to get a brew, another way princess makes a buck if your not that mobile then your forced to pay at all other locations (the only other free coffee was in plastic jugs by the smokers area) real smart. the harassment from the photo shop staff was constant and very annoying as they would always deliberately cut you off when disembarking for their stupid photo's this was very tacky, I had to firmly tell them several times that I was not interested,(it felt like they were preying on the vulnerable for a quick buck) the pizza in alfredos is very good but they will not allow you to take it away if you want to then there is a $3 us room service fee. the outside area mid ship to aft often stuck of a strong sewage/ methane smell in fact I spoke directly with captain H L on deck and he stated that there was a problem with a vent pipe midship this smell was present off and on for a least 10 days (even called customer service to let them know) the Indian visa fiasco was a joke as we like nearly all passengers paid a minimum of $80us per person for an 8 hours visit to cochin, we wrote to princess months prior to the cruise and advised them that we were not interested in getting off in India, only to be told that we would still require a visa to board the ship.Only to find out that some 70 odd passengers that did not turn up at Singapore with it and were allowed to sail, they only had to sign a waiver that they would not get off in India , we wrote a written complaint to quest services on the ship but did not receive any response (once again poor service) the platinum / elite club is not worth obtaining as there are not free drinks offered in this club ,why would you bother spending more money to become elite ,we will stick with royal Caribbean from now on as they give over 3 hours of free drinks to the diamond club members and it only takes 80 days to reach this level (not 150 with princess) the only plus thing was our stateroom attendant who was very good and plenty of in room movies. almost forgot don't bother with the internet it is very slow and not worth the money Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise because of its interesting itinerary visiting several countries like Cambodia and Vietnam which we had not visited in the past. After sailing on 7 previous NCL cruises, we were well used to the freestyle crushing which ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of its interesting itinerary visiting several countries like Cambodia and Vietnam which we had not visited in the past. After sailing on 7 previous NCL cruises, we were well used to the freestyle crushing which NCL is famous for. Hence had no reservations about booking the cruise on NCL Jewel. We have always liked the smaller NCL ships like Spirit, Sun, Star and Jade. The only NCL cruise which we didn't like was on the Epic and hence have resisted in booking on bigger ships. Also itineraries on bigger ships are catered for mass markets whereas the smaller ships offer very interesting itineraries sailing to ports which are not visited by bigger ships. We flew to Singapore from London via BA and stayed for 1 night at one of the riverside hotels in Singapore. We had been to Singapore a few times before hence only stayed for 1 night however if you have never been to Singapore before, I would highly recommend staying 3 to 4 nights prior to cruise to take in most of this fabulous city. On the day of the cruise we took a local taxi to the cruise terminal for only 10 Singapore dollars and were at the port just after 11am. Check in was quick however as the cruise was visiting so many different countries, everyone's passports had to be throughly checked to ensure everyone had correct visas. I had made sure we had all the visas required (only Cambodia visa required for UK citizens) however lot of people who were checking in didn't have the correct visas so were charged a huge amount by the ship to get the visas and this was even before the cruise had begun. Thus lot of people were complaining how they were charged so much money eg. Ship charged $89 for each person for Cambodia visa however I had obtained them for £30 each by visiting Cambodian embassy in London. It is the passenger's responsibility (not the cruise line's) to ensure they have the the correct visas. So please be carefully in checking if any visas required well before travelling. In this cruise, the cruise line could arrange the visas (at a much higher cost) for all countries it was sailing to which was great for those who hadn't arranged them. However for some cruises you wouldn't be allowed to board if you didn't have the correct visa. Once checked in, we queued for the immigration which took about half an hour (much lesser than my previous cruise from Singapore which had taken well over an hour in the queue). Thereafter we boarded this beautiful ship which was just refurbished a few months ago. Everything seemed new in the public areas like furniture and carpets which was great. However I was surprised to see no embarkation photos being taken. In fact we noticed that very few photos were taken either at ports, or on open decks or in dining areas. May be this is for the best as most people don't end up buying them and hence have to be discarded. We were asked to go to garden cafe for lunch as cabins were not going to be ready till 1pm. There was plenty of choice including plenty of vegetarian options. However NCL have changed their food labelling system in the garden cafe. Before, all vegetarian food had a green symbol on label and red for non veg. However now they have green symbol for cold food and red for hot food which is silly as one can see if the food is hot or cold. When I queried that with the senior staff member at the restaurant, I was told that NCL had made that change so junior staff could interact more with customers as they would have to verbally advise someone who was vegetarian regarding what food was vegetarian or not. This was silly as most staff didn't know what food item was vegetarian or not when I queried and had to check with someone else. Also they were too busy to talk to guests. NCL need to bring in another system to identify vegetarian foods in garden cafe like 'V'symbol on the labels which is what they have in menus in all other restaurants. I was also advised by the senior staff that there was a seperate vegetarian section. However I told him that the vegetarian section only had Indian options and if I wanted to try other vegetarian cuisines I had to go to other areas of buffet which didn't have correctly marked labels. Anyway there was nothing he could do as NCL head office had made that decision. Although we used garden cafe for breakfasts and lunches only we soon became used to what foods were vegetarian or not as the menu didn't change much there. Food was good and loved their Indian veggie South Indian breakfast options. Cabins were ready after 1pm as advised. We had a port side balcony cabin on level 9 towards the aft of the ship. Great place as it was close to get to restaurants and was always quieter at the back end of the ship. The cabin was well appointed with new carpets and wall paintings. The bathroom was similar in design to Jade with seperate shower and toilet with sink in middle. Seems no changes had been made there. TV was on the smaller side compared to big screen ones on newer ships. However it had a great range of movies and news channels. It had around 4 movie channels showing drama, action, comedy and family movies. Also several news channels like BBC and several American and Australian ones but no CNN. The balcony was adequate size with 2 chairs and a table. Storage area was adequate too with plenty of drawers and shelves and hanging space too. The cabin steward, Alexandro, always kept the cabin nice and tidy with lovely towel animals every evening on the bed. He knocked the door when the luggage arrived (around 2pm). We unpacked our cases straight away and hid them away under the beds so we didn't have to see them again for the next 12 days. That is the beauty of cruising, you visit fascinating places nearly every day without packing and unpacking. After the fire drill and safety briefing at 4pm, the ship soon set sail after 5pm towards Koh Samui in Thailand. Food in the main dining rooms (Tsars palace and Azura) was great with a few vegetarian options everyday. Also I had a voice message and a letter left in cabin to say that if I wasn't happy with the vegetarian selections, I could speak to maitre'd who would arrange to get any other special requests prepared. However I didn't need to as I was happy with the choices they had on main menu. We dined mainly at Azura as it had a more intimate atmosphere but also visited Tsars palace a few times. As we had 3 day dining package in addition to the drinks package included, we visited the Italian, teppanyaki and French restaurant on 3 nights. Loved the French and teppanyaki restaurants and would be happy to go back. However not happy with the Italian one as the food choices that had were already in main dining room and garden cafe menus. Also service at Italian restaurant was not up to the mark. Never tried chin chin and O'Sheehans restaurants which were the other 2 complimentary options. However visited the O'Sheehans bar regularly as got great service from barman there. The other bars that we visited were at bliss lounge, pit stop which overlooked the pool deck and bar at the back of the ship. Didn't visit most of the bars on level 6 as we used to in the Jade. Late evenings we mainly visited the spinnakers lounge as it had the dance floor and live bands playing followed by DJ. However the bar staff were not very good and often got drinks mixed up or couldn't understand what we wanted. Anyway we enjoyed our times there most evenings. The shows in the theatre were great. Loved the 3 production shows: Rock you, velvet and Cirque De Bijou were all brilliant. Singers were great and so were all the dancers and aerialists. Also loved Mary Jess, the British singer who wowed us all with her operatic singing. Also enjoyed the local Thai dancers show, the Australian tap pack show and music shows by 2 of the singers from the production shows. In fact there wasn't a single show we didn't like which was a first as usually there always a few shows we don't end up liking. The cruise director, Dan, seemed to do a good job and also sang in the bands in spinakkers lounge. However we were shocked to see him telling off some junior staff when we docked in Hong Kong that they couldn't get off the ship until all passengers were off the ship. That is no way to talk to anyone, no matter how senior you are to them. Other than that he was always approachable and friendly. The other bands who played music around the ship were not as good as what we have experienced on other ships. There were very few activities during sea days with only 1 afternoon movie on each of the 4 sea days. We were given popcorn on 2 of those days but not the other 2. Probably ran out. NCL should certainly be screening more movies especially on sea days. Also lack of daytime activities during sea days was a disgrace. Luckily we had 3 good sunny sea days so most people were busy around the pool area. However on our last overcast and cooler sea day, there seemed to be nothing much to do around the ship. The captain of the ship could hardly ever been heard or seen. In fact we didn't hear him for first 2 days. Also he wasn't present at the finale show. An apology regarding the tendering chaos at Koh Samui (more about that later) came 2 days later. In our recent cruises, we have got used to captains who have been very visible around the ship and making announcements and jokes over the tannoy system. However this captain didn't seem to enjoy interacting with his guests. The first port of call was Koh Samui. This was the only port where ship had to tender. It was a beautiful sunny day and tendering process started early in the morning. We took an excursion to see temples and views of Koh Samui which was great. As we were on the tour, we didn't need a tender ticket to get off ship so were one of the first ones to get off. Tour finished at lunch time after which we went around the town and got back to tendering area around 2.30 or so. We were one of the lucky ones to get a tender back as soon as we got there. However thereafter it seems some people were queuing up for 3 hours or so to get a tender back. We were not sure what was happening as no announcements were made at the time. We were supposed to depart by 5pm but we didn't leave till around 9pm as passengers couldn't be brought back to the ship. Later we found out that due to change in tides, they couldn't load tender boats to full capacity. However that should have been known in advance and arrangements made to bring guests back from another tendering area. Lack of information to guests on ship was frustrating and captain only apologised regarding that 2 days later which is not good. If an incident happens, passengers need to be informed as soon as possible. We were in lam Chabong (gateway to Bangkok which is 2.5 hours away and Pattaya which is an hour away) for next 2 days. On the first day we did canals and Royal barges tour in Bangkok which was excellent with a great meal at a 5 star hotel. A lovely sunny but very humid day. Got back to ship around 6pm that day. Next day was another hot and sunny day and we did an ancient city tour near Bangkok which was very interesting too. Ship departed at 4pm that day and we were back an hour before that. The problem with this port is that it's too far away from the main cities. So one couldn't enjoy the night life offered by any of these 2 cities unless you were prepared to pay extortionate taxi costs (as no shuttles were offered at night). The ship should make arrangements for this for any overnight ports so guests can enjoy nightlife at these ports. Also, if you didn't do an excursion, the costs of day time shuttles to Bangkok were quite high. I'm sure guests wouldn't have minded paying for night time shuttles rather than for taxis. So in our opinion, this was a wasted overnight port and would have rather been in a port like Halong bay overnight to enjoy the nightlife offered there as it was easy to get into town from port area. This was our last port in Thailand. Next day, we were in Cambodia (Sihanoukville). We enjoyed this port and did a lovely excursion to temples, market and beaches on a sunny and hot day. However would have loved to visit Angkor Wat if we had an overnight stop. The main reason people visit Cambodia is to see Angkor Wat. So an overnight stop here rather than in Lam Chabong would have been better. Anyway, will have to make another trip to Cambodia too see that. After a day at sea, we entered Vietnam. Our first port was Saigon however the city was over an hour away from port. It was very hot and humid again. Very busy city with lots of motorbikes everywhere. It was a long day (over 9 hours) and we visited Buddhist pagoda, market, notre dam cathedral, presidential palace, lacquer showroom and were given 1.5 hours free time in between. No lunch was included. In fact not even a bottle of water was provided on this long day. Very difficult to cross busy roads in this city as hardly any pedestrian lights and no one pays attention to zebra crossings. Good to see this city once but would never go back there again. We had another sea day and then visited chan May in Vietnam where we did an excursion to see Da nang and marble beach. Had a good day sightseeing, visiting a museum, temple, da nang beach and a marble showroom but didn't actually see marble beach as it was a private beach for the 5 star hotels there. So not sure why the excursion had marble beach in its title. However we enjoyed the day which was once again hot and humid. The last stop in Vietnam was Ha long bay which was the highlight of this cruise. It was a misty day but luckily no rain which was forecast. We did a junk boat cruise around the islands and visited a cave which was very interesting. In the afternoon we walked to a local theme park and went on some really good roller coasters there. Surprised that the entry free to theme park including unlimited rides was only US $2 each. However when we tried to walk around the town area, we were hassled by guys on motorbikes trying to sell you stuff. So we returned back earlier. After another day at sea, we docked in Hong Kong. Debarkation was smooth on ship's part. However after a smooth immigration, the queue to get out of baggage area was long as there was not enough ground transportation for everyone as 2 ships were disembarking at same time. For Hong Kong to have such a nice new terminal and not have enough ground transportation for 2 ships, was a surprise. Hopefully it was a one off situation and doesn't happen regularly. We were out of the baggage area by 10.15 or so. We took a MTR tube to Hong Kong station which has down town facilities to check in luggage for certain flights. We got our boarding passes and then went to explore the beautiful city before returning back at night to take train to airport. All went very smoothly with no hiccups and we arrived back to London next day morning. On the whole I would highly recommend this cruise to anyone wanting to see highlights of Far East countries like Vietnam without any hardship involved. The itinerary was great but if they make minor changes in future like having overnight stop in Cambodia or Ha long bay, it would only make it better. The ship was great and I would give 4.5 stars for the cruising experience. Definitely one of our best cruises ever. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because of where Connie was taking us, we hadn't been to Colombo, Cochin, Goa, Mumbai, Muscat or Abu Dhabi. (We had been to Phuket and Dubai several times before). After reading many reviews about Connie ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of where Connie was taking us, we hadn't been to Colombo, Cochin, Goa, Mumbai, Muscat or Abu Dhabi. (We had been to Phuket and Dubai several times before). After reading many reviews about Connie before, we really didn't know what to expect as there were so many conflicting reviews both good, bad and ugly. So I've decided to write a review on our experience on aboard and Connie in general. Connie herself is in great shape, nice and clean and everything was working on board, with no smells. In regards to activities onboard there were many choose from, but we chose to relax and just take in the sun on sea days and venture out when docked at all the ports. In regards to Shore Excursions we did choose one from the ship, but it turned out terrible so we complained and received a 30% refund. To be fare to the Shore Excursion team it was the tour guide who was terrible not the places we visited. Cabin, WOW we had no idea that it was going to be that BIG, we had an Oceanview Category 4 Stateroom Number 8003 and our cabin attendant was absolutely superb. Dining was easy, we just rocked up and asked to sit with 6 other guests and within a couple of minutes we were seated and every night apart from 2 nights we sat with different guests and the food was great, we tried just about everything they had on the menus, with top service all around. Entertainment on board this cruise was really really good compared to some horror stories we heard, in fact all over the ship the entertainment was good. The Ports, well what can I say they were simply fabulous, Phuket jus simply laid back and just did what we wanted to do that included catching up with friends (using free Wifi of course), Colombo it was a pretty place and would like to go back again and spend more time, Cochin, well we kind of liked it but Goa and Mumbai were much much better and overall we thought India was kind of organised chaos. Muscat was a beautiful city where the mountains reach out and touched the sea and the city and harbour met. Aub Dhabi, did'n really do any thing for us, it looked like another suburb of Abu Dhabi. Now for the best part, on Connie there is this special place called the Martini Bar, we lived there every night of the cruise just meeting the most loverly people you could ever meet from all over the globe and the 4 bar tenders put on the best Martini/Cocktail shows I ever seen, pouring 15 Cocktails in one go, it was simply the best, well done lads. Overall we had a WOW of a time on Connie will be sailing on her again in the very near future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this to fill in the gap between visiting Singapore and Hong Kong. A disappointing start at embarkation. We were concierge class but no effort had been made for us to embark quickly and we had to find staff to usher us through. As ... Read More
We chose this to fill in the gap between visiting Singapore and Hong Kong. A disappointing start at embarkation. We were concierge class but no effort had been made for us to embark quickly and we had to find staff to usher us through. As it was we boarded at 1pm, we had been invited for luncheon valid until 1.30pm. We could have missed this. Our luggage did not get to our cabin until 8pm which we consider very poor. We dined in the restaurant each evening, second sitting. Every time we complained on the temperature of the food and why supposedly hot food was served on cold plates. We were not aware that we had a classic beverage package until the penultimate evening, If we had known we would not have purchased a wine package. Why were we not informed of this when the wine package was purchased? We had a Shore Excursion to Na Trang, Vietnam, where our Guide always seemed to be in a hurry getting off the coach and walking well ahead of the group leading them along busy streets and across roads with no consideration for those who could not keep up. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We were glad to find the ship had been refitted during it's 8 day lay-over in Singapore, before the relocation cruise to Sydney. However engine problems meant we were given a revised itinerary for the cruise on boarding. Many people ... Read More
We were glad to find the ship had been refitted during it's 8 day lay-over in Singapore, before the relocation cruise to Sydney. However engine problems meant we were given a revised itinerary for the cruise on boarding. Many people were unhappy as they had made prior arrangements for some scheduled ports of call. The ship could only manage half speed. $200 USD per person was credited to ship board accounts as compensation. However by the time we reached Darwin new parts were delivered to the ship and the remainder of the schedule could revert to the original. The rooms, while refurbished to a good standard, are still very small. We were on deck 9 with balcony. In the toilet (smallest ever - when sitting on the toilet you could rest your forehead on the facing wall - beware if you are a larger travelers!) Room steward was excellent and was very helpful. Food was overall disappointing and lacked variety. The Tsar's Palace dining room was nicely refurbished, but staff were overall quite indifferent at times, and didn't interact, as on other cruise lines. We dined at The Azura Restaurant the first evening, but found the staff inattentive and the food was cold - yes we complained! Le Bistro was our 'best of the bunch' with a good selection and attentive staff. We are early diners so benefited from having the venue mainly to ourselves. The 'Chinese' restaurant on board was disappointing, a very limited menu (you could pay extra for two alternative dishes) and again service was average. The Irish themed restaurant was lacking in real Irish themed food, and was really just a cafe. Shore excursions were reasonable, although on Bali it was quite shocking to see the poverty in the areas we were driven through. The ship has limited shopping options but service was good. The entertainment was a highlight , very high standard and good variety. Another highlight was the 'The Spinnaker' lounge which was a nicely refurbished lounge at the top of the ship, with glass all around, a bar, and events and entertainment throughout the day and evening. A nice area to 'chill out' during the day with a book. The on board TV and video system has been upgraded and vision quality is good (best 'bow camera' we have seen) though there is no 'programme guide and many 'genre' are misnamed - some of the most violent movies were on the 'family movies channel'. Also there is no system to check your account in your room on this system, you have to go to Guest Relations and request a printed copy. Major disappointment was the shore excursions to shore at Airlie Beach were via 'ships tender' and also contractor's catamarans, we went on a 'cat' and returned on a ship's tender. The return crossing was 30 minutes in rough seas (10 minutes outward on the'Cat') the rough seas resulted in sea water coming into the boat at times , very frightened passengers and 2 people in our tender suffering minor injuries. It was very scary with waves crashing over the boat. On returning to the ship, I went to 'Guest Services' and said that having had some experience in Work Health and Safety, I would recommend not using the tenders for the remainder of the day, instead using the 'Catamaran's', in the interest of passenger safety. The Guest Services staff member seemed uninterested and said if there was a problem it was up to the 'Pilot' to report it! I said I had passed the message to them and that I could do no more. One other matter worth mentioning, was an excellent presentation by the staff responsible for future cruise bookings, on the things guests should be aware of, and wary of, when booking cruises. The jargon and pitfalls were explained and some of the background on how and why cruise lines offer upgrades and specials. Also there relationship with agents. We found this quite refreshing and very helpful. It would be good if other 'lines' were as open on these issues. A 'Q and A' session at the end was unhurried and everyone was able to ask there individual questions, long after the session was supposed to conclude. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Itinerary was Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand.(32 days) This was a cruise of a life time. We saved for a long time to do this cruise. We have sailed with NCL before and believe this was the most relaxing cruise. We started ... Read More
Itinerary was Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand.(32 days) This was a cruise of a life time. We saved for a long time to do this cruise. We have sailed with NCL before and believe this was the most relaxing cruise. We started in Singapore ( a beautiful city), that we could have toured for a couple more days. Arriaval at the docks and embarkment went great, almost seamless with no delays from delivery straight to the ship and our stateroom. Our state room man was excellent, the ship just returned from dry dock with new carpet and several other upgrades. Went to 3 special dining with excellent food and service. The Garden Cafe had a very good selection of food, with good flavor. Did 20 excursions and enjoyed each one for different reasons. The entertainment was very professional and very good. We would do this trip again in a heart beat. The one thing that I am sorry that we where not aware of until too late, that the ship was to continue on to Tasmania, which we would most definitly would have added Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Ship is just renovated cabin with larger shower area. Cabin is always clean! Thanks to our cabin service. Always love flexibility diner restaurants timing with so excellent services they gave to us. Entertaining is marvelous with ... Read More
Ship is just renovated cabin with larger shower area. Cabin is always clean! Thanks to our cabin service. Always love flexibility diner restaurants timing with so excellent services they gave to us. Entertaining is marvelous with différents shows but some with same performers. Service are excellent with smiles in their face and minds. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth as supposed to be. Singapore is very model and clean with many excellent facilities, Bali is beautiful but to many traffic. Love Darwin with manageable small town and large botanical garden. Brisbane is modelly beautiful with rich historical town. My wife love all activities and joined many of them. For the ports and shores are mostly excellent (that’s why I choose this itineraries!) only some required tending in the rough sea but that understandable. Some port is kind of miss and hit but we just site relax on the ship with nice jacuzzi and swimming pool. I love to go again with Norwegian Cruise in the future with different itineraries since the world has so many wonderful places to visit. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We had never cruised with NCL before but will definitely go with them again! Having boarded in Singapore, we could not believe how well the ship's crew catered for such a broad range of clients! The food was terrific and ... Read More
We had never cruised with NCL before but will definitely go with them again! Having boarded in Singapore, we could not believe how well the ship's crew catered for such a broad range of clients! The food was terrific and although we usually avoid the buffet, we actually loved it for therange and quality of food offered. The steakhouse restaurant was delicious too! We booked one shore excursion with the ship which was comparable in cost to the other twoI had booked independently for other ports. The standard of entertainment was fantastic! Again, nailed it as far as appealing to many different cultures and ages on board. Although this was an older ship to some of the ones we have been on before, it was impeccably maintained and the ambience in the smaller restaurants and bars was spot on. This was also smaller than some of the other ships we have experienced which gave it a more personal feel. Definitely recommend this trip to others! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I boarded the Ovation in Singapore as the 2nd half of a land and sea package - Nepal then onto Singapore for a cruise back to Australia. I actually got off the ship in Adelaide yesterday instead of continuing onto Sydney. In addition ... Read More
I boarded the Ovation in Singapore as the 2nd half of a land and sea package - Nepal then onto Singapore for a cruise back to Australia. I actually got off the ship in Adelaide yesterday instead of continuing onto Sydney. In addition two lots of people near my cabin got off in Perth, they had paid to cruise to Sydney, I think this says a lot. This was my fourth trip with RCCL and it will be my last. Despite the best efforts of the serving staff ( the administrative staff were worse the hopeless and seemed to specialise in disinformation and rudeness ) no-one can make a silk purse out of a pigs ear. Embarkation in Singapore was chaotic, no signage, no water or refreshments were available to elderly people who were obviously distressed in the heat and once I reached a security gate I was told to go away as they were only boarding decks 9 to 13. Really, we were already hours behind of schedule due to a medical emergency and they were not just boarding people so we could get away !! After nearly 30 cruise I know what one can or can not bring onboard and what will be confiscated. All my luggage was in two cases - a decorative Nepalese knife and Nepalese vodka in one separate lot but the rest was confiscated for no reason ( I put all “prohibited “ items in one suitcase ) but they kept all my luggage - I found this out after I received a message on my TV. They then X Rayed my big suitcase (3 times) and said no problem - so I said why wasn’t it in my cabin ? Also they didn’t know about the vodka ( next to the knife ) until I told them - more fool me. This was after 8.00pm and all I wanted was a change of clothes and a shower. One poor woman didn’t get her luggage until 11.30pm because they claimed they couldn’t find it and when she insisted on searching the area she discovered her suitcases behind a low wall. The attendant ( in front of her ) then ripped of her luggage label and said it had no name on it that is why it wasn’t delivered. One chap got into the lift with me after I got my luggage and he had been accused of having 11 bottles of alcohol in his small suitcase. I jokingly remarked “ nice try “ unfortunately there wasn’t even one bottle in his bag - go figure. Other issues : - room service was terrible, didn’t turn up one day, no utensils the next and stale cereal ?? - Gave up on room service to find out the restaurant had run out of such a simple thing as corn flakes - really !! - because of the speciality high end shops the main promenade is actually more crowded on the smaller ships. - activities such as trivia were repeated over and over again and was run in small bars that were packed up to an hour before the actual event - Charging $11.95 for a movie in your cabin is sheer rip off territory and the movies in the theatre were B Grade at best. - some of the stage shows were excellent but the rest were, except for Pixels, mediocre at best. - normally at night I like to read my Cruise Compass and select things to do the next day but basically it was a cut and paste job from the previous day and I was stumped to find something to do. - as I was travelling solo I turned up outsideTWO70, near the cafe as instructed after a briefing only to have the young chap in charge turn his back on me and the others and walk away, talking on his phone - no excuse me for a moment, nothing. The speciality restaurants ( Chops, Wonderland, Izumi and Jamie’s ) were amazing but if I had not bought the speciality dining package and the high speed internet (allowing me to watch movies ) , I would have got off in Fremantle. But even then I would have lost money as a medical emergency made Fremantle a waste of time. In addition, because of weight restrictions on my flight from Adelaide to Newcastle, I had to cancel my duty free purchases- it took three visits to the store but my account still showed a $60 debit until my 4th and final visit. The final insult was getting off the ship - I asked two different people at the Adelaide disembarkation talk where would I get my confiscated items. Both said I would get them before immigration. You guessed it - no items and, despite having a receipt, it took them 45 minutes to find them. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise as it was part of a package through eCruising and it sailed into Sydney from Singapore. From the beginning of the cruise tthings did not go well. The organisation (transfers) to the port were poorly organised. This ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was part of a package through eCruising and it sailed into Sydney from Singapore. From the beginning of the cruise tthings did not go well. The organisation (transfers) to the port were poorly organised. This is not Royal Caribbean’s fault but Ecruising’s . We waited at a very crowded port with no drinks, food and inadequate seating for several hours and were not able to board until nearly 7 pm. This should have been a streamlined process as there were over 80 guests booked through ecruising but apparently had no communication with Royal Caribbean to ensure that the process was efficient. We would have been better to ignore Ecruising’s organisation. By the time we did get aboard we were hungry and thirsty and when we asked a staff member to direct us to refreshments we were told we would not have time as everything would close soon due to safety drill. The ship had arrived late due to medical evacuations so late arrival can be excused but not poor organisation once boarding has started. Closer liason from the ecruising would have been most advantageous. Another medical evacuation caused late arrival in Fremantle- again this cannot be helped. Our biggest complaint and reason for low rating was our cabin. We were aware when booking that our room had restricted ocean views but not that it was directly above smokers area and also funneled diesel fumes into room if the door was open. Lights were on all night in the smoking area so we could not even see out. Enrichment activities included a talk on capital punishment - a great topic for a holiday! But it was well attended! The millions spent on the electronic presentaions to me have been a waste if money. Public areas were too crowded and often had to walk through restaurant etc to get from one area to another. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Keen to try the larger ship for the first time. The OVation is a beautiful ship only 2 yr. young, the artwork & walk throughs are great, 270 at back of ship is great venue with the robots entertaining the humans. The theatre ... Read More
Keen to try the larger ship for the first time. The OVation is a beautiful ship only 2 yr. young, the artwork & walk throughs are great, 270 at back of ship is great venue with the robots entertaining the humans. The theatre handles the large number of passengers & the smaller venues cope well with passenger numbers. The staff were excellent, cannot fault, they are eager to please & satisfy any requirements whether dietary or something else. Management are on the ball with this ship, it shows all the way down to staff, service was first class. The Cruise Critic get together was a bit ordinary, scheduled at 930am in the Music Hall, on the other hand there were a lot of us to handle & plenty of onboard stuff to attend to in the venues. Embarkation in Singapore was a shambles, me thinks the port cannot handle such a large number of passengers, getting off at Freo was very slow, Sydney was good, we left the boat at 9am; this is probably why RC is building its own cruise terminal in Florida, so it can handle the large numbers. The entertainment was great, the production shows (2) were up there, the 3rd. show at Pixels was excellent with robots & human interaction, although i was confused as to the theme, maybe that was it, interaction. The music around the ship was pretty good, the electric grand piano had a terrible harpsicord tone, why so ? The INXS Show was very good, a bit loud for my damaged ears but very energetic. The cabin steward Ida was excellent, the dining room staff in the Grande were also very good, food came out on time, i miss eggs benny thats for sure. The Windjammer was very good, i dont mind the same food presented most meals, there is plenty of it & plenty of variety, just avoid peak times, there are plenty of food venues around the ship that are complimentary. I did not seek out the speciality restaurants such as Izumis this time as i was happy with the Grand & bistro. The coffee has improved by the way. There is an electric jug & refrigerator in the room. The bed was very good, big & comfortable. Would i go again ? At 4100 passengers this is about 800 short of max, i dont think the max would be good for me, i am on the Radiance to NZ in a few weeks, looking forward to that cruise with about 1/2 the number of passengers. There were 2 delays with people being winched off to helicopter, this delayed ship to Singers & Freo, with so many people on a ship i suppose you might expect this, but staff said this was the first time they had 2 incidents with helicopter needed, but if it was the 1st time it will not be the last. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have traveled with Celebrity, Cunard, P & O and Princess and till now Princess was our clear favorite, but our experience over the past 3 weeks has left that favoritism in tatters! There were many negatives on this ship but I ... Read More
We have traveled with Celebrity, Cunard, P & O and Princess and till now Princess was our clear favorite, but our experience over the past 3 weeks has left that favoritism in tatters! There were many negatives on this ship but I will start with some positives. The staff were all very helpful, polite and generally good at their jobs. The ship itself was extraordinarily stable with almost NO rocking and rolling over the entire 22 days even though we traveled from Asia to Australia. Their system of taking the passports from the passengers to ease the immigration processing worked in most cases and the tendering service on the one occasion it was used was extremely smooth. Sadly, the negatives affected our cruise more than the positives, with one having a major effect on us throughout most of the trip. I will work through them in a logical order. Some are not fixable but it is probably best if you are aware of them rather than being surprised later. For this particular cruise the boarding in Shanghai was a nightmare. I am told that Princess were not responsible for the debacle in Shanghai and had indeed tried to be in control and failed. All I can suggest is that in future they avoid Shanghai altogether. It ensured most of the passengers boarded the ship in less than a positive frame of mind and could well have been part of the reason so many people were negative about the ship . For our part, the cruise was spoilt by our inability to have the balcony door open at night, but more of that shortly. On the first evening we went to dinner in the any time dining restaurant, Symphony, at 6.30 only to be handed a buzzer and told to go away and wait till it buzzed!! I assumed they had made an error as there were plenty of empty tables in the restaurant and told them I had any time dining, but they said they realised that and to take the buzzer and wait. 40 minutes later it went off and despite a preference for a table for two, we were forced to share a larger table of six if we didnt want a further delay! In all the cruises with all the different shipping lines we have sailed with that was the first time that had ever happened. Any time dining in the past referred to any time WE wanted to eat not any time the staff could fit us in! As a consequence to eating so late, I had severe indigestion that evening and in order to avoid that problem again we went to dinner at 5.45pm each night to ensure we got mostly the same table and didnt have to wait to be placed on a table. However it completely nullified the point of any time dining which is one of the main criteria we look for on a cruise. The other main essential for us is a cabin with a balcony so we can sleep with the door open at night. The reason we do this is because we enjoy fresh air and it usually avoids the problems associated with breathing recycled air conditioned air and the coughs and colds that often causes. On this cruise, despite paying so much extra for a balcony (and indeed a mini suite) we were unable to sleep with the balcony door open for all but the final few nights. The reason for that was a loud ''howling'' sound that erupted spasmodically from the wall next to the door when it was opened. Sometimes it was a high pitched whistle and other times it sounded like the night of the living dead! On the morning of the second day, we asked the cabin steward to listen to the sound and see if it could be fixed. He appeared horrified and baffled by the noise and told us he would get someone to look into it. Nothing happened so we assumed it was something structural which could not be fixed at sea and started sleeping with the door closed. Whilst it had an impact on the cruise from our point of view, we understand that sometimes there are events that are outside peoples control. However, on the 18th day an engineer came to the cabin to check our fridge and while he was there I asked if he knew what was causing the wailing sound when the door was opened. He listened to it and recorded it on his phone after tracing it to the panel of the bulkhead beside the door and told me to call reception and request a carpenter. I did this as he waited, but all that achieved was the cabin steward arrived asking if I had called for him. I explained I had asked the engineer about the noise we had told him about 2 weeks earlier and he called down to someone and spoke to them in a foreign language and left after telling me a carpenter was on his way. After a while we left the cabin as well. 8 hours later I called down to reception to ask if the carpenter had been as the noise was still there and they said he had been and not heard the noise when he opened the door and left! I had explained it wasnt constant but irregular and often. After dinner there was a message to call reception if the noise started - which it did almost immediately. They said the carpenter would be there, but it took about 2 hours for him to arrive! Around 10.15 that night the carpenter came. The noise was very much on and off and not as serious as before but he did at least hear it and started banging a hammer on a screw driver. A manager arrived part way through and then when the noise stopped they both left and the carpenter said he would check back in the morning to see if the noise was gone. In the morning we advised him it was substantially reduced but still there a little and he then filled several gaps with silicone and from then on it was perfect. However it was annoying to discover we had paid for a mini suite for the balcony and not been able to use it for all but the final 3 nights despite pointing out the problem on the first full day! We may as well have paid for an ocean view for all the good of it. THAT issue obviously had a major impact on our cruise and its enjoyment. But it was not the only one. On the Majestic there is no promenade deck as such. On EVERY cruise ship we have traveled on in the past we could walk around the entire deck with a nice view and fresh air as we go. This was not possible on the Majestic and I believe that is a major design flaw. We took a Princess shore tour in Singapore and have to say we were shocked by the poor condition of the coach we traveled in. It was quite old and the air con was VERY limited. Worse still when the engine idled it was impossible to hear the guide speaking and the smell of petrol became quite over powering at the back of the bus where we were seated.Having said that, we could see the other coaches were all quite new, so it is possible we were unlucky. However the tour ended at some markets in China Town. They were about the least inspiring markets I have ever seen and having driven past all the fabulous stores on Orchard Street, a stop THERE would have been far better than ending up in a smelly third rate market! Due to the passenger numbers on the ship, there is another problem - not enough places for passengers to sit and read quietly. Most of the common areas are so full, there isnt a seat to sit on at times and far too much noise when there is. The lounge in front of the Hollywood Club was either full up (which it was all day) or the odd person would come and play the musical instruments around the place (BADLY) to interrupt any attempts to have a quiet moment in the evening. I am sure that sounds picky, but a lot of passengers look for that little place to sit and have some peace on board. On Majestic it really doesnt exist. For Trivia, there were more people than seats which resulted in my missing out a few times and I assume others missing out when I didnt! The room just wasnt big enough for the passenger numbers. The little nook and cranny problem was exacerbated by some of the few areas available being closed off now and again so a British film crew could film a fake wedding or give a (fake) impression of quiet areas on board as they made their free advert for Princess which will be shown on English TV shortly.! Finally I should mention the entertainment, which was disappointing. In over 3 weeks there were only 3 major stage shows on board - UNHEARD of on any other cruise where they are usually every second or third night. Whilst the value of the other entertainers is very much subjective and affected by personal opinion, the stage shows by the singers and dancers are what most of the passengers look forward to and less than one a week is pathetic! As for the other entertainers, some were good and some were iffy at best. I wont criticise individuals because as I said it is all a matter of personal opinion but for me, I have certainly seen better on every other cruise in the past. These are not all the problems or all the things that adversely affected the cruise for us, but I am sure if these had not been applicable the rest of the problems with have dimmed into insignificance. We may reconsider, Princess in the future, but at this moment we are very disappointed with them. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Simply chosen on price, saw it advertised and thought we'd give P&O a go. Decent sized cabin but first let down was the TV, an old silver LG thing, very small with a fuzzy picture, you couldnt actually see the screen from the ... Read More
Simply chosen on price, saw it advertised and thought we'd give P&O a go. Decent sized cabin but first let down was the TV, an old silver LG thing, very small with a fuzzy picture, you couldnt actually see the screen from the bed so you had to sit on a small sofa to watch anything. No on demand movies. Our room was next to some really loud machine that started up when we left port for about an hour and did the same when we were arriving in port. At Cairns it started up at 4:30 am !! No it wasnt the Thrusters or the Anchor as it went on too long, never found out what it was (We were near the Bow of the ship). Overall the food wasnt great but there was the odd good meal, mostly at Angelo's the Italian restaurant The food at Dragon Lady was quite poor and Im a fan of Asian cooking. Annoying there is only the buffet on deck 11 to get a tea or coffee in a plastic cup (complimentary) and room service has to be paid for.. No fridge in room. The entertainment crew was very poor in our opinion, the cruise director Kabir was childish (way too young) and the rest of his staff didnt engage us as staff on previous cruises have. I didnt rate them. We like trivia but but could never get a seat in the Oceans bar (There is no Vista type lounge) unless you went there about half an hour before kick off. Some good music on in the Blue Room at night but again always struggled to get a seat. The Theatre was way too cold and there were no stage sets, only giant screens that changed as the show progressed, no live band for the shows only backing tapes and the singers appeared to be miming. The buffet is quite good and I like the way the food is served to you (not help yourself) although there was no enforcement on hand sanitising, there was a machine but pushed against a wall, most people ignored it. The best thing about this cruise was the crew, they were all very friendly and helpful There was a crew talent show but it was at 10:15 pm (our bed time is 10:30 so sadly missed that, why couldnt it be in the afternoon ? I never found out the Captains name, there was no Captains reception as on other cruise lines Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We choose this ship, as having sailed on the Explorer of the Seas last year in the Pacific figured this would be a very different cruise. We booked a Grand Suite, which really needs a good freshen up as does the whole ship. We expected ... Read More
We choose this ship, as having sailed on the Explorer of the Seas last year in the Pacific figured this would be a very different cruise. We booked a Grand Suite, which really needs a good freshen up as does the whole ship. We expected Concierge service, which we received in name only. The two Concierge staff were next to hopeless. Making dinner reservations under the wrong name and number of guests. We got so fed up with trying to make bookings thru them to the speciality restaurants we finished up doing them ourselves. We requested to change our dining times, or even go to "our time dining", not a chance, nothing was ever done other than to say go to the restaurant and speak to the MaitreD. No help there even. On our last cruise we must have been spoilt as the Concierge staff couldn't do enough for us. We found the shore excursions to be overpriced, as all ships seem to be, but to charge $75.00 USd dollars for a 7km trip to a beach and back was just ridiculous. We caught a cab for $10.00USd. Most other Ports had up to 3 hours bus travel to get to, the average being around 2 hours. The ship had no information at all on "do it yourself". You either did it with Royal Caribbean or struggle on your own. Other cruise lines we have sailed on always had information on on where and how to get to places. The food was always great but at times a little to repeated. We can throughly recommend any of the Specialty restaurants, but forget the coffee and save your money, even with the cappuccino machine it was terrible. Maybe because they only use UHT milk. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Had a great value package with flights, hotel and cruise pricing. Also like the repositioning cruises with many sea days. Carnival only does this cruise every 4 years when the Spirit goes to Singapore for maintenance. Good points...food ... Read More
Had a great value package with flights, hotel and cruise pricing. Also like the repositioning cruises with many sea days. Carnival only does this cruise every 4 years when the Spirit goes to Singapore for maintenance. Good points...food was excellent standard..no evening dining room menus repeated over 19 days which I was impressed with. Staff were great, especially in the dining room. Entertainment was great..singers and the ship's company of a high standard. Many ports were tenders and the ship's crew handled these well with very efficient and prompt tendering operations occurring. We had anytime (your time) dining...it was very efficient this cruise..last time we were on the Spirit it was a long wait always. This time no waiting at all. Bad points...although the ship had been in dry dock for maintenance for 3 weeks, the balconies on the ship hadn't been cleaned. It took 5 days for them to clean and repaint them during which we weren't allowed on the balcony..so much for paying extra for a balcony! Embarkation was terribly slow with long lines and our bags didn't turn up till 10pm and then we found them at the end of a corridor..crew had gone to bed by this time! Very poor process. Given 80% of passengers on this cruise were between 60-80, the music was not to their taste and very loud in the theatre and dining room. This would have been suited to the usual younger cruisers on the South Pacific cruises, but not on this longer repositioning cruise. The Tv movie channel is hopeless..there is no summary of movies, so you never know what a movie is about. To see what's on, the guide only comes on inbetween movies, so you have to tune in at the right time between movies to see what's on when! Then when there is a time change due to ship movements, the TV channel does not catch up with that so the timing is completely out of when the movies are on. There were only 2 movies shown inside the ship in the lounge. Given much of the cruise was hot, many older people on sea days were longing for some movies to watch inside, but there were only movies on the outside top deck and these were all children'movies..again totally wrong audience with only a handful of kids on the cruise. Our inroom safe had to be locked with a credit card..how stupid is this! Once locked you then have to either carry the c.c. on you or hide it in the room! What is the point of a safe if you can't lock your c.c. in it??? There were not nearly enough activities on sea days for older people. During the maintenance time, the library was removed which many older people keen to read were disappointed in....and kids' entertainment areas broadened, so the ship really isn't catering for older folk much at all now. There are now only 2 small bookcases in the card room and of course you can't read there with the noise of the games. On the evening menus, the mains rarely said what vegetables were accompanying the meat, so you had to ask the waiters every night to decide if you needed to order side veges or not...and more than not the waiters didn't know or got it wrong! Very little clothing apparel for men to buy in the shops and all apparel was very overpriced..very few people were in the shops for this reason. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our third cruise on Spirit and second relocation from Singapore. After the shamozzle of the last embarkation at Singapore, I think Carnival learnt some lessons and all went pretty smoothly. We departed a few hours late but that ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Spirit and second relocation from Singapore. After the shamozzle of the last embarkation at Singapore, I think Carnival learnt some lessons and all went pretty smoothly. We departed a few hours late but that was to be expected considering the need to completely replenish the ship and remove rubbish after dry dock.The visible enhancements after dry dock included some new carpet in some public areas, the new craft room "Soul Play", the new duty free shops, the new games and, apparently, new gym equipment...but I don't frequent such places. This is a cruise ! She also had a brand spanking new exterior paint job which, according to the captain, added 1 knot to the cruise speed. All the usual suspects are still there. Desi in the Empire Restaurant, great shows in the theatre, dirty jokes in the late Comedy Show and the Manila Band in the Red Frog. The crew were as friendly and helpful as ever and the buffet served the usual "delicacies". When you get on Spirit, you know what you're going to get....and you usually get it. It's pretty laid back, the Captain is very visible and approachable...as are a lot of the other Officers, including Duncan, the Hotel Director. The cabins are clean and well looked after, the meals in the Empire Restaurant are "nice", with the meat such as lamb shanks being standouts...as they are slow cooked. The entertainment in the Restaurant is now even more impressive...as new crew talent is continually found and groomed. Fantastic atmosphere. It's probably not worth going into Port reviews as they are rarely visited by this ship, but needless to say, if you get a chance to visit Komodo Island, do it. Airlie Beach and Gladstone were also surprisingly good. Darwin is Darwin and Bali is worth a visit for first timers. My only gripe with the cruise was the dirty external windows...especially in the buffet. They were grubbby from the dry dock and they didnt appear to be ever cleaned. What a waste of a great vantage point. All in all, a relaxing, value for money cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose Carnival as we have cruised with them three times before. We chose this particular cruise as we were visiting friends in Singapore. We stayed there for six days before boarding. It actually seemed very disorganised boarding in ... Read More
We chose Carnival as we have cruised with them three times before. We chose this particular cruise as we were visiting friends in Singapore. We stayed there for six days before boarding. It actually seemed very disorganised boarding in Singapore. Usually we don't have a problem. Also a lot of problems with missed luggage and missing luggage tags (that were well attached to bags in a lot of cases we were told about). Don't know what the problem was but I suspect it was the handling in the port. As we didn't leave port until after 9:00pm that night (very late), and that was down to everything not being loaded on the ship in time, I would say the luggage problem was caused by the baggage handlers in port. Once we got on the ship we had to line up again. Cabin was good as usual. Plenty of room with our suitcases under the bed. I don't think the two weeks in dry dock weren't enough for what needed to be done. Our balcony had paint everywhere - on the floor and on the chairs. No care taken by the painters at all. No problems with the food. Dining room was great as per usual. Thee was a problem in the buffet with people taking up tables to play games, read books, use their computer etc. It was hard enough to find a table without these selfish people. Obviously lunchtime is busy. Why they can't use these tables out of the busy times? That is one of the biggest problems on board a ship I think. So many others complained about it too and said it happened on all ships. Must be fixed. This cruise, the entertainment was very hit and miss. There were a few wonderful entertainers in the theatre, and some rather pitiful. A lot of very disappointed people and a lot of complaints. All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise even with the above problems. Our next cruise is a Princess one so will be very interesting to compare. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This cruise chose us, as we received an email with a great price and $700 cabin credit, it was a great itinerary and not Australian school holidays, although we always vowed we would never go on this ship! but it was a good deal so why ... Read More
This cruise chose us, as we received an email with a great price and $700 cabin credit, it was a great itinerary and not Australian school holidays, although we always vowed we would never go on this ship! but it was a good deal so why not, we had to book through a travel agent as this was the terms, we picked our cabin where we like to be and then waited and waited for June to come. We weren't that excited as we were worried about the ship but we were excited for the fact we were going to Singapore for four days prior and staying at Marina Bay Sands. Embarkation day arrived and we never board early usually in the final group, all good, first step onto ship and the darkness hit, decor very dark and gloomy, but I did love the lift lobbies lots of room and back from the stairs and the lifts do travel fast. Our room, perfect location as we chose it,never want an upgrade as it could be a downgrade from what we like. Head straight for the bathroom and nearly hit the walll as I slid along, not to worry must have stepped on some water somewhere, now what is that huge plastic bag on the floor near the bed with a curtain in it? turn on the lamps one doesn't work, hit the balcony, gosh be careful where you step, rusted paint scrapings everywhere, chairs look painted and wet, oh they are!!! Wet paint and paint scrapings all over them, separation wall between balconies flapping, not even secured, back into cabin slip my shoes off, oops!!! Feet splashing into water, ahhh that's why I nearly took a tumble into bathroom. By now husband quite angry contacts guests services and we have the assistant housekeeping manager in our room quickly.And this is where 19 days of dry dock apologies start and this was only our room. We found the decor on this ship strange, there is French, Egyptian,Roman and whatever else with a darkness to it. Food by no means great, the entertainers were quite good although the stage shows were not to our liking at all, final night arrives our duty free not in our cabin, maybe we have to pick it up ourselves so we head to guest services to make the enquiry only to be told it has been delivered to our room, we say we didn't see it anywhere, more checks, yes it has been delivered therefore we offer to have another look, no where to be found, phone guest services insisting it has been delivered we offer for them to look, no they discover it has not been delivered, crew are exceptional liars on this ship. Our eleventh cruise and first and last on carnival, never again, first impressions last. We were given an extra $170 cabin credit. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We had several issues in this trip but the ones that really worth a review are the food and the shore excursions. This was by far the worst food I've ever experienced on a ship, it's not only way below RCCL standards, but ... Read More
We had several issues in this trip but the ones that really worth a review are the food and the shore excursions. This was by far the worst food I've ever experienced on a ship, it's not only way below RCCL standards, but it's below any cruise line standards as well. This was beyond low quality, it's border line with a lack of respect for the passengers, I could not even relate the food to a dollar general type of cruise line, because in those cruise lines I recall having better food than here. The venue is big with lots of buffets but don't let it fool you: they are all repeated, almost no variety, they all have mostly the same. The quality was the worst I've ever tried (see the pic I've attached of what it was supposed to be chicken soup). They only offered 2 kinds of totally overcooked pasta during a 12 night cruise with the cheapest and more common sauces ever (cream sauce and tomato sauce. I've never saw a true pesto sauce or any of the hundreds sauces available for pasta). This remind me more of a college cafeteria than being on a cruise. The food was ALWAYS cold. The rice was so overcooked that seemed mashed potatoes, the "steaks"....that was the fun part. It was hard to figure out if it was steak or slices of a cold cut. It was funny when the chef would ask you "how would you like your steak, rare, medium or well done Madam?". There's no way to choose in a 1/8 of an inch slice of beef!. We went to the assigned restaurants, chef's table which is supposed to be of a higher standard and we also went to the specialties restaurants and they were all so but so disappointing!!!!!!!! everybody on the ship commented on this . I've complained during the trip, I got to talk to someone that was supposed to be the restaurant manager around day 5 but nothing happened. On the last day of the trip I complained again, the girl at the front desk called the manager and he was busy but he was supposed to reach out to me at some point during the evening which never happened. In regards to the shore excursions...we have arranged a lot of private tours for our different stops and then we've realized (thanks to other passengers because the information was kind of difficult to find around and if you don't stuck in your room watching the videos forget it), that RCCL had arranged disembarkation/check out times at the ports according to our decks (no reason explained) and by the time we were supposed to be out it was gonna be 12.50 pm plus immigration time, would have taken out around 1.30 or 2.00 pm!!!!!! BUT we were supposed to be back to the ship around 7.00pm and the trip to the center of the city from the port took around 2 hours each way...so tell me how on earth could we make it? we needed to cancel our pre-arranged tours and book with RCCL because if we did that, we would be granted earlier check out on ports....such a scam I have never expected this from RCCL. The worst thing, on top of that, was that the shore excursions they offered were terrible, I believe they chose the worst and cheapest suppliers in every port without even screening them. In one of the cities we stopped at, the "guide" didn't even know that some palaces were closed on Tuesdays (the day we stopped there). We let her know and she said "oh I never heard that, if you want to go let me know and I will check if it's open or not". Last, but not least, I'd like to mention that it's unacceptable that such a huge ship with over 5000 passengers don't have at least band aids, Advil and Pepto Bismol or those basic OTC meds for sale. I don't expect a boutique type of drugstore, but at least the very basic ones considering it's a long trip with terrible food. All cruise lines I've been to sell these. I've been told band aids could be requested from the front desk, but due to the bad experience of all passengers, you'd have waiting lines of at least an hour regardless of the time of the day. Who would want to wait an hour to ask for a band aid??? This is another thing I find totally abnormal, seeing people complaining all the time and standing for hours in the line. We have another cruise booked with RCCL for December but after this experience we're considering to cancel it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My wife and I picked the Ovation of the Seas for these reasons: 1. Reputation: Despite of some negative comments by others, we have NEVER had a bad experience with any of our RCCL cruises. We are at Emerald Level and just enjoy the ... Read More
My wife and I picked the Ovation of the Seas for these reasons: 1. Reputation: Despite of some negative comments by others, we have NEVER had a bad experience with any of our RCCL cruises. We are at Emerald Level and just enjoy the cruises. (Comparing RCCL to other super expensive luxury cruises is really not fair in my opinion, as I have seen other reviews do.) 2. The Service: Oh my we had such a wonderful stateroom attendant and servers in the Main Dining, Grande Restaurant. The entire staff is wonderful. 3. The Food: Food in the Windjammer or Main Dining areas of Grande was just right for us. Fine dining all the way or quick buffet meal at the Windjammer. 4.Spacious well set up balcony cabin. My wife and I especially liked our view out the balcony and the fact that we enough storage. We liked the armoires around the sofa. 5. Clean Clean Clean: The Ship is always being cleaned. OUR ROOM WAS SPOTLESS and smelled fresh and was cheerful 6. Fun entertainment, plus we had Captain's Club nights with free liquor and entertainment. 7. Large, smooth sailing ship. Sometimes the small ships cant handle the waves, this one can. Bigger the better I say. Sure, small ships may be cozy for short cruises but for being on the open seas we felt safe and comfortable on this ship. 8. We are on this ship for 41 consecutive days. 9. Great affordable price for the cruise. We felt lucky and fortunate to be on this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Chose this cruise for its repositioning itinerary. Prior to this cruise, the ship had been on short (3-4 day) gambling junkets out of Singapore targeted at Chinese passengers. Senior staff appeared not to have adapted policies and ... Read More
Chose this cruise for its repositioning itinerary. Prior to this cruise, the ship had been on short (3-4 day) gambling junkets out of Singapore targeted at Chinese passengers. Senior staff appeared not to have adapted policies and procedures for a longer cruise (15-30 days). (Some food items ran out early; insufficient recorded movies for the duration, daily charges were more appropriate for short rather than longer cruises, etc.) Their business model is to take advantage of their monopoly situation to soak passengers for everything aboard. $12 for a glass of wine; $15/day for poor internet service; charges for in cabin movies; no self serve laundry - we spent over $200 having 4 laundries done on our 30 day cruise. For their shore excursions into very hot climate (30 to 40 degrees C) we were warned to stay hydrated, and we could buy $3 bottles of water if we wanted. [Why would such a safety item not be included in the excursion cost?] On board tours (free on other lines) were expensive ($90 each for 2 hours). Although this cruise had been marketed to us as a sail from Singapore to Barcelona, Royal Carribean treated it as 2 cruises- Singapore to Dubai and Dubai to Barcelona. Perhaps this made sense to them, but it seriously inconvenienced passengers going the full way. We had to essentially "disembark" and "reembark" at Dubai, including clearing our account balance. In addition, hundreds of passengers (I heard 600 cabins) had to pack up and move to other cabins, some just a cabin or two away. This was despite pleas to just let everyone who wished to stay in their first cabins. To add insult to injury, we were required to line up at 5:30 AM for a half hour to provide credit card information for the second "cruise" - something we had already done 3 times! The ship was going for a shipyard refit after reaching Barcelona, so we knew some of the facilities would be a bit tired. And they were. Some obvious rust, balcony rails needed paint, carpets were stained, some rust in the hot water, dining room chairs felt greasy, some upholstry was stained, etc. Not that it was overall poor, just that in our opinion it was overdue for its refit. However, the cigarette stench in the casino and surrounding area was just disgusting. No excuse for that. When all these items were brought up to senior staff at the public meeting, they were dismissed as not worthy of considered responses. Shore excursions were generally well managed, but some guides were below par. Shore excursions arranged by the line were as much as twice as expensive as arranging them locally. During the first part of the cruise, there was no information about ports of call other than their seminar promoting the line's shore excursions. We were disappointed that there was no commentary from the bridge during our transit of the Suez canal. It was made very obvious to everyone that they were catering to their "Diamond" class passengers. Others did not rate. For example, passengers attending a scheduled card game session were twice told to move out for a "Private Function" for Diamond passengers with no alternative space provided for the card players. Passengers trying to buy drinks from the bar during "Happy Hour" for Diamond passengers could not even get to the bar. On the other hand, I have to commend the Captain and the line for the safety precautions they took going through the pirate zone and for their response to several medical emergencies during the cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Chose this cruise for the itinerary, and it did not disappoint, nor did the cruise ship, all very good. All staff had a very positive and willing attitude. The ship's officers were always visible and this seemed to have an impact ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary, and it did not disappoint, nor did the cruise ship, all very good. All staff had a very positive and willing attitude. The ship's officers were always visible and this seemed to have an impact everywhere. An excellent example was the Hotel Director, Helen, whom we seemed to bump into every day. The ship was clean and seemed well maintained, all public spaces were constantly being cleaned. Our cabin steward was great as were all the bar and dining staff. Just wish that the dinner menu could have been better, as well as several of the entertainers that were brought onboard were not very good. The exception was the Ship's band and the production shows. The gym and sauna were well used and we enjoyed the Solarium where we could find seats most of the time. Also we were frequent users of the aft bar and dining area on Deck 11. Would recommend! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose the cruise based on itinerary as it was amazing value for the ports we were visiting and neither of us had even been to Asia. However, I will admit to booking onto Constellation with a little trepidation having previously cruised ... Read More
We chose the cruise based on itinerary as it was amazing value for the ports we were visiting and neither of us had even been to Asia. However, I will admit to booking onto Constellation with a little trepidation having previously cruised on larger & newer ships (P&O Britannia and MSV Divina). We arranged our own flights and hotel pre-cruise taking advantage of New Year sales and flew to Singapore on British Airways arriving the day before embarkation and stayed in The Scarlett in Chinatown which was a superb base. We then spent the day sightseeing around Marina Bay on electric scooters (a must do!), including a cheeky charge up and down the F1 pitlane, before taking an Uber to the Cruise Terminal. Embarkation at Singapore was straightforward with no queues, although we were a little disappointed that the photo opportunities had already been packed up having pre-paid for the photo package. However, that disappointment aside, we were through check-in and on ship within about 20 minutes. Once aboard we headed to the Atrium and took advantage of waitress service and our drinks package to order our first cocktail, a Singapore Sling of course! :D Constellation departed on-time and we watched the sail-away from the Sunset Bar at the aft. All our pre-cruise doubts about sailing on Constellation were immediately dispelled once we took a hour or so to explore her. We found her to be extremely well maintained and decorated, and despite being nearly 50% smaller that previous ships we'd sailed on, if anything there was a feeling of more space. Our initial cabin was an inside on deck 9 forward (9015) which was a fantastic quiet location, only spoiled by a problem with our toilet which eventually led to us having to move to an Ocean View on deck 3 (3126). Whilst being a fabulous cabin in a great position midship, benefitting from a massive window as it used to be part of the conference centre, there was a low rumbling noise which we found disturbing for the first couple of night having come from such a quiet location. We had traditional dining at the later sitting of 8:30pm and were sat on a table of eight with some other British couples. Both the company and service was great and we did not have any complaints regarding the food which was excellent throughout. We never ate main meals in the Ocean View Café buffet restaurant however breakfasts and lunches there were all excellent always with fresh food available. We also ate in the specialty restaurant Qsine twice, once complimentary as a result of our cabin move, and once paying, and found it to be an excellent innovative experience with simply stunning food that you wanted to eat too much of! We can’t wait to go back! Entertainment would be the only minor point of gripe, with shows that were not really of the same standard to those on previous cruises. However, we did find that the Silent Disco Celebrity put on at the Martini Bar on selected nights was excellent and really they should do it somewhere every night!! Our other issue was towards the end of the cruise when the main late-night venue Reflections was closed for a staff party all night forcing us to move to the much more sedate and earlier closing Rendezvous Lounge. Credit to Celebrity though as after a little discussion, a DJ was put on after the House Band finished and the bar kept open until 1am for us. We found the Shore Excursions provided via Celebrity to be of a very good standard and well organised and would certainly use them again. Disembarkation in Abu Dhabi took a little longer than previous experiences and luggage collection in the terminal building was more haphazard. However it was completed without incident and we had a great day hiring a car and visiting Ferrari World before heading to the airport for our return flight to the UK that evening. Overall it was a great cruise on a fabulous ship, which left us with a very positive impression of both Celebrity and Constellation. So much so that we have another cruise booked in May aboard “Connie” in the Mediterranean! Read Less

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