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56 Singapore to Trans-Ocean Cruise Reviews

This was my 16th cruise (my 2nd cruise on Carnival ). We chose this cruise because the price was great and the ports were potentially interesting. It was a repositioning cruise from Singapore to Sydney, stopping at Bali, Komodo Island, ... Read More
This was my 16th cruise (my 2nd cruise on Carnival ). We chose this cruise because the price was great and the ports were potentially interesting. It was a repositioning cruise from Singapore to Sydney, stopping at Bali, Komodo Island, Darwin, Airlie Beach, Moreton Island and Sydney.We stayed in Singapore for 3 nights before the cruise which was great. Embarkation in Singapore was very smooth. Unfortunately, this was where the positives ended. The ship had been in dry dock before our cruise for a refurbishment, so we expected some hiccups in the running of the ship. We were told that most of the crew were new to this ship, and it was obvious that their training had either been forgotten or was not completed as it should have been. Guest services were on the whole very defensive and sometimes aggressive. Our cabin was an inside cabin with 2 single beds. There was only one power point for the cabin. Our sheets were changed only once during the 15 days and we cleaned our bathroom basin when it had'nt been cleaned for a week. All but one of our ports were accessible by tender only. The process for disembarkation was poor (except for Airlie beach). Our tour on Komodo Island was not well organised and in the end getting back to the ships tender was quite unsafe. However, the main area of concern for us was the lack of food safety in both the buffet and restaurant areas. Food (including meat and eggs) were served either cold or lukewarm after being held in the bain maries for extended periods of time. We observed servers using the same gloves to serve raw food and ready to eat food; the same gloves touching the floor and serving food, washing and reusing of disposable gloves. We also observed food trays being topped up with new food when there was still "old"food in the trays. In the restaurant the food was always cold and unappetising ( we stopped going to dinner in the restaurant after the first week). We also noticed passengers using their hands at the buffet to serve food, with servers watching. On speaking with 2 servers they did not feel that they could tell passengers that they were doing the wrong thing. Hand sanitising is not encouraged; many of the sanitiser dispensers were empty, and not placed in convenient positions for use. Given our experience on this ship we have decided to cancel our next Carnival cruise in March 2020 (we have booked with Celebrity). Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons - firstly because it was sailing out of Singapore and we hadn't done that before, and secondly because one of the ports was Komodo Island which we were looking forward to very much. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a couple of reasons - firstly because it was sailing out of Singapore and we hadn't done that before, and secondly because one of the ports was Komodo Island which we were looking forward to very much. Embarkation day was a complete mess. The port authority process was ok but then we went to the check in counter for Carnival where we were given receipts for our passports but not asked to hand them over, which we thought strange. We then proceeded to the ship only to be held up an the gangway as we had come to the end of a line of fellow passengers waiting to have their passports taken. This line, as we found out later, wound its way from the gangway through the atrium and then into and around the Black Pearl restaurant before ending at a couple of tables where staff were busily taking our passports. From the time we entered the line to when our passports were finally taken was about an hour and only then because someone had rounded up six more crew members to assist with the process which sped it up a little. From there we went to the Guest Services desk to book our shore excursion because, even though we were encouraged to check out the possible excursions online before boarding, we couldn't actually book them until we got on board. We had chosen the Pink Sands Komodo experience which was advertised at around $180 per person, which we thought expensive but was something we wanted to do. The other option was simply the Komodo experience which didn't include the trip to the Pink Sands for around $130. After waiting in line for another hour we were told that the Pink Sands experience was sold out so, although disappointed and angry that we couldn't book the experience we wanted, we booked the other experience only to have another unpleasant surprise when told that it would cost us $179 each, $40 more than that advertised on the website. We had asked about our Cruise and Go cards so we could access our cabin and were horrified to learn that they were in an envelope at the door to our cabin. We think this is very insecure especially as we had already loaded our credit card to the card and so anyone could have used it without our knowledge. It also gave anyone who wanted access to our cabin, in fact we heard stories from other guests of them arriving at their cabin only to find other people already there and unpacking. Then came the safety drill. This was a complete mess. The crew didn't seem to know what they were doing. All passengers went to their assigned stations as requested but this was in Singapore Harbour where the temperature was in the 40's and humidity was high also. We were all left standing at our stations, out of the sun at least but still with no breeze or respite from the temperatures. One woman had to beg one of the team leaders to be allowed to get a drink as she was nearly passing out. The 'Team Leaders' response was very dismissive and insulting. After finally letting her go he laughed and said to another crew member "All she had to do was ask". This was a ridiculous statement because she had asked repeatedly and was made to actually beg to be let go. Several other guests were also in distress with one elderly woman having to be helped inside to the air conditioned area by myself and her husband. After some time an announcement was made that a demonstration was about to begin showing us how to put a life jacket on. All of the crew in our area looked puzzled as they didn't have a life jacket amongst them to use as a display. So the recording of how to put a life jacket on played without an actual demonstration. Something which must have puzzled guests who had never been on a cruise before. After the hash up of embarkation day we were looking forward to settling in for the cruise but there were a number of equipment malfunctions that didn't help. Only half the lifts were working and, given the design of the ship and the only way to traverse the ship from the bow to the stern was on decks 9 or 5, this meant a lot of time waiting for lifts, unless you were fit and could climb the steps. Only one washing machine was working in one guest laundry for the first few days. Several guests reported that their cabin fridge wasn't working. The Serenity Deck pool leaked flooding the staterooms below and the other pool on the Lido deck as well as the spas on Deck 10, all had mysterious malfunctions and spent a lot of time out of action. The food served at the buffet on the Lido Deck was very average and was rarely hot. Also it never changed so it was very monotonous. The coffee and the hot water provided at the coffee stations on the Lido deck had a very bad taste - almost like the water tanks had been cleaned but weren't rinsed properly as there seemed to be a residue of some chemical taste making the coffee terrible and the tea made with the hot water undrinkable. The shows provided in the theatre were amateur at best. The specialist shows however were very good. All four that we saw were of a very high standard. The cast of the production shows were good dancers but their singing left a bit to be desired. Having been a performer myself I understand that breath control is very difficult when combining dance and singing but they often went off pitch. The comedians were generally of a good standard during the kids shows but when they were let loose to show us their 'adult' material it was simply an excuse to let loose with foul language in the middle of jokes that would probably have been funny without the swearing. I am not a prude but to have every second word out of their mouths beginning with F or, even worse C and all unnecessarily, made the jokes very hard to listen to. We, along with several other guests, actually walked out of one guys performance as it was especially gross. The only shining light on the cruise was the Cruise director and his team who all worked tirelessly to try to make as many guests as happy as they could be. Lee and his team, especially Bec and Connor but they were all fantastic, were exceptional and went the extra mile every day. They made us forget the shortcomings of the cruise and enjoy the moment. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We spent a wonderful week in Singapore before boarding for the Cruise to Australia so we were looking forward to the cruise home. Voyager was the first ship we ever sailed on with Royal Caribbean several years ago and we were anticipating ... Read More
We spent a wonderful week in Singapore before boarding for the Cruise to Australia so we were looking forward to the cruise home. Voyager was the first ship we ever sailed on with Royal Caribbean several years ago and we were anticipating a great cruise similar to our previous experience. Boarding in Singapore was a nightmare. Very slow, hot and some not very accommodating port staff, in fact, some were quite rude. Probably the worst embarkation experience we have had. According to the promotional blurb, the ship had undergone a massive makeover and this would be a magnificent cruise. The only thing I could see different was a water slide at the stern of the ship!!. In a lot of areas, the ship could have been a lot cleaner. Some of the window ledges in the Windjammer (if you were lucky enough to get a table near the window) could have done with a bit of a good wipe down. Our Cabin was great. It was clean and kept tidy by a great cabin attendant. Dining experience was average. Meals in the main dining room were predictable and boring.The Table staff were really great though. Many of the staff on board seemed to be very inexperienced and new to working on a cruise ship. Entertainment was very poor. On our last cruise on Voyager, we had a wonderful duo in the Schooner Bar every afternoon really entertaining and enjoyable. This cruise was completely opposite though. Only entertainment was a couple of piano players plonking out a few tunes, appearing just as bored as the audience. The rest of the entertainment consisted of endless trivia games, origami folding and napkin folding, mostly held in the Schooner Bar. Impossible to get a seat most days, but nobody drinking!! I thought bars were usually used for just that. One day at about midday, I counted 79 people squashed into the bar, only 13 of us had a drink in front of us. Couldn't get near the bar for a drink and you couldn't get up anyway as someone would leap into your seat. There are many other places on board were these games can be played, why hold them in whats supposed to RC's Iconic bar??One of the worst parts of the cruise was the tendering at Cairns and then Airlie Beach. Took us over two hours to get ashore at Cairns, even longer at Airley Beach and then cost an exorbitant US$36 just to get into Cairns City centre. Even though we docked in Brisbane, it was still a US$54 ride into the city centre.!!. I will not use Voyager again. Have a booking on Radiance in 2020 and thought very seriously about cancelling. Giving RC the benefit of doubt though and hoping the next cruise will be significantly better otherwise will be using another cruise line in future Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We saw a special deal, fly, accommodation in Singapore, and 14 night cruise back to Sydney. Sounded ideal! Especially as the ship had been launched in April 2019, millions of dollars spent on refurbishment, and a maiden voyage. THE ... Read More
We saw a special deal, fly, accommodation in Singapore, and 14 night cruise back to Sydney. Sounded ideal! Especially as the ship had been launched in April 2019, millions of dollars spent on refurbishment, and a maiden voyage. THE SHIP IS 20 YEARS OLD! Our excitement cooled off even before we left home. The company got my wife's date of birth wrong, the port of departure in Singapore was wrongly specified on our boarding pass which was printed the day of departure from Sydney. When we arrived at the wrong port, we had difficulty getting a taxi to the right port, as none were available. We then had to queue for 45 minutes whilst they checked our boarding pass and Passport three times. This was all before we got on board. Once on board, our cabin was small and filthy. We complained and were given another one in the same category, after we sailed from Singapore when there was a 'no show.' Dinner in the main dining room was chaotic. Waiters had very limited English, and all the food came out at once, including dessert while still eating our appetiser! Only two white wines and one red available. The cost of the wine almost $50 which included the service charge.The carpet was grubby, rarely vacuumed. It was obvious they were catering to the Chinese market, with a majority of Chinese passengers on board, who pushed, shoved and shouted; behaviour quite unlike that of the many Chinese friends we have in Australia. We felt like getting off at the first port, which was Jakarta, Indonesia. The gratuities are compulsory. We prefer to give to our cabin steward and to waiters in the dining room and other people who have been kind to us. The speciality restaurants are very expensive. The only ones included in the fare are the main dining room, the Lido (buffet), and a Chinese restaurant. Tea and coffee making facilities in the cabin were great, except milk was $3 extra. Our main concern is safety! Many passengers did not attend the safety drill which is compulsory by Maritime Law. We can only imagine the stampede if there was an emergency as many passengers couldn't speak English. We love reading and the library consisted of two small cupboards...five books in English, the rest in Chinese!!! However, we must say that the stage shows were very good, but the three shows were then repeated ... Travel agents beware...don't recommend this Cruise Line.. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise from Singapore as it visited ports we had not been before. We knew it was a relocation cruise & that it was coming to Sydney for the first time under the new name. We encountered a number of problems with the ... Read More
We chose this cruise from Singapore as it visited ports we had not been before. We knew it was a relocation cruise & that it was coming to Sydney for the first time under the new name. We encountered a number of problems with the slowness of service from the drink waiters, the processes they used where we had to sign for everything & the dietary problems we were trying to communicate to the waiters & their supervisors. Two of our group of 5 are Coeliacs - so it is imperative t have a Gluten Free meal which we notified at the time of booking. It was NOT easy!! Nothing was labelled for either GF diets, Vegetarian, Vegan & the like. We spoke to the Head supervisors in both the Lido & the Dream dining rooms & they really tried their best. Each day we felt things were improving, but then someone in our group would be left waiting for their soup whilst the rest of our group had had their main meals!!! This happened more than once. We had a laugh so many times at dinner - small things that went wrong - but we put it down to experience & it did not stop us having a great time. We loved the staff - they were beautiful people. The entertainment on board was fantastic. From the shows in the Zodiac Theatre to the bands in the Palm Court & by the pool. We enjoyed them all. The theme nights were good fun. We never went to the Casino - but we knew that the ship was catering for the wealthy Chinese. We loved the exercise classes, the Trivia got better after the first couple of days....& the Bingo was fun to watch. Even though it was supposed to be refurbished, I think that mainly happened in the Palace Area. The Dream dining room carpet & the level 7 large area need to be replaced. A great fun time was had despite a few inconveniences. Gettting off the ship in Sydney was NOT fun. The poor young staff members that were left to apologise to all of us about the delays were getting abused. A senior member of staff should have been there to cope with the complaints. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
As a retired travel agent I cannot believe that CRUISE N MARITIME advertised and sold this cruise Vasco Da Gama, departing from Singapore on Apr. 23, for 46 days as a “totally REMODELED” ship, which is not the case. I saw this deal ... Read More
As a retired travel agent I cannot believe that CRUISE N MARITIME advertised and sold this cruise Vasco Da Gama, departing from Singapore on Apr. 23, for 46 days as a “totally REMODELED” ship, which is not the case. I saw this deal and called my travel agency who is a very large agency in the USA. I never heard about CRUISE N MARITIME, and neither they. I checked the reviews in internet and the ratings where very good, so I decided to go for it as the itinerary and amount of days were perfect for the celebration of our birthdays and anniversary on May 14, 18 and 25. We made reservations, and anytime that we had doubts about anything, our agency would go and check with Cruise n Maritime offices in USA, which could never give an answer without checking with their headquarters. Seems to me that they had not been totally trained… but that is ok with me, as maybe they did not have enough time. We got into the REMODELED SHIP on a rainy afternoon. What a surprise I had when entering the ship and seeing water coming inside the public areas and being collected in buckets all around those areas. Fans had to be working for several days before everything was dry. The public areas were indeed beautifully remodeled. The exception to the above was that all the panoramic windows in the public areas like floor 7, 8 and 11, that were and are very dirty. Those windows had never been properly cleaned, I guess for a very long time, and not even the rain can help with that issue. And also, all around the ship there are many areas that show the rust. My cabin 9147, cat. 14, was remodeled ok, nothing great, but there were many issues: - Balcony. Too much rust. White paint constantly falling in the floor of the balcony. - Sofa bed. Brown, many areas were already tearing apart the fake leather, showing white spots. Looked very worn, but I tried to ignored it. - Chair inside the cabin. The material was very clean and good but the wood was never updated and had lots of scratches. - Bedskirt. Material was rotten. - Lamp by the window. There is no switch that turns this lamp on and off, and to do so you have to reach for the cable behind the minibar fridge and turn off the current. - Bathroom – I could not believe the bathroom. The bathtub… which they call Jacuzzi, is as old as the ship and has never been refinished. It even had cracks and looked dirty. I also tried to ignore. We never complained. Some of the faucets for the Jacuzzi were missing and I did not complain either because I was not going to use it. Only the shower. The material of the outside bathtub curtain is rotten. And then only after a few days, the bathtub and sink started having problems with the drainage. I complained and requested to be fixed, and they sent the boys who clean the room with some products… when they said it was fixed, I opened the water and showed them that it was not working. Finally the plumber came.. it worked for one or two days… and I kept requesting the plumber, which could only get temporary results. Then, there was water coming out of the drainage of the bathtub and the toilet WITH FECES!!!! I knew the plumber would not be able to solve the drainage problems ever. I kept being patient. Next another big problem… one day after returning from one of the trips, I started to fill the sink to wash some of our intimate clothes and the water was dark. I opened the toilet, flushed it and the water was dark. (I even keep some of that water in a glass bottle to be examined if necessary). I reported it, and first they sent someone saying the water was ok, until finally admitting to the problem. We could not have a shower. Went to the reception again and finally they accepted that there was a problem in the whole ship because during the day the water had been shut down. I asked them why there was no previous notice with such a problem. First I was told that they did send the information to the cabins – which was no true – I guess they did not know how to answer to that, and later on they said that water had been closed without them knowing anything about it. Someone was sent again to my cabin and they said I would have to wait until next day to have clean water and could have a shower. I requested a bottle of water for cleaning the mouth, face, etc. It was provided free of charge and we waited until next day when the problem was gone. - Air Conditioning. The round control without temperature digits for the air conditioning only shows “cooler and warmer”. But no matter how you moved it, it does not work and there was dust coming out of it. I kept reporting it but nothing worked out to fix it. - Halls on deck 9. The whole hall of deck 9 on the odd numbers, most of the time has a horrible smell. Something wrong again with the drainage… - Aft elevators. These are the most used elevators because of the dining areas and back pool. Two of the four of them have never been able to be repaired. Not one single day they have worked. There is no way you can enjoy the peaceful and perfect cruise I was hoping for. And then finally, almost one month after, on May 18, (my 68th birthday) they offered us to change the cabin. Due to the fact that my husband is 90 years old, I had booked a cabin close to the elevators and on the back to easily reach all the dining rooms and also close to the back balcony where he could go and come to the cabin easily for the use of the bathroom. The first cabin that was offered was cat. 15, very close to the one we had and seemed to be in good condition…. I accepted it, but then it was only good for only 2 people and we are 3. The 2nd. Cabin, cat. 14, was all the way to the front. I did not accept it because the distance was too long for my husband to walk every time to the dining rooms. Then they offered cabin 9223. Has a cleaner bathtub and does not have problems. The position was good for him. Fine. The air conditioning has a control with numbers that you could easily change for the wanted temperature. We accepted it. I had to call that same day because there was no sound in the TV… and the blinking on the phone could not be deleted. Yes small things, but why not checking everything before sending us there? Then on May 21th the outside temperature was cooler. I tried to raise the temperature on the AC, from 23 but the control showed only 23 no matter how high you tried to change it. I reported it. Yesterday, May 22nd we came from the tour. The room was cold. Finally today, May 23rd, the temperature has reached 25 degrees. I also want to say that I had no problems with the beds in cabin 9187, and in this cabin 9223 the shaking on the bed is horrible, no matter how calm the sea is. I am frustrated for having so many issues. I am not the only person with problems and complaining. Many people have been changed to other cabins. Many people are dissatisfied. I wish my cabin was the only with problems, but that is not the case. I have been over 20 cruises and I cannot believe all what is happening in this ship. I know that this ship was owned originally by Holland America and that it has always had many problems of the same kind. My brother was one time in a suite and even there he had problems. I can’t believe that problems have not been fixed after so many years. If that is the case, I don’t think Cruise and Maritime Voyages will be able to fix them. When I made my reservations I did not know it was the same ship, as there are others ships from HAL that did not had that problem. I saw that the ship capacity is for 1,600 passengers and it showed that were very few cabins available so I thought it was almost full. Many categories were not available. Then when arriving in Singapore, I was told that there are only 800 passengers on board. For me that means that many cabins were not available because of the problems there are. I don’t know. It is not fair that the “trip of my life”, with such a wonderful itinerary, has had so many problems. In the dinning room of the 7th floor, where we had to go for dining, the waitresses sometimes were sweating because of the heat. It is gross to see that, and I feel really bad for them. I also have stop some of them in the ship and asked them if the air conditioning in their rooms is too cold –because I heard it- and they all confirm it. I also want to tell you: - The staff is great at all levels. They cannot be any better. - Most of the night shows are very good, as well as the stage. - The tours are well planned and I am very satisfied with the guides, except for the tour in Athens (Panorama tour of Athens, coach 5), that the tours guide was a very old lady with a cane, the microphone was not working and nobody could understand, the windows had humidity inside the glasses of the window, so you could not see outside. She at a time, told the passengers to shut up, or she would stop talking, which a tour guide should not do. The tour left late and returned 45 min. earlier. I reported it as soon as I arrived. I have been on the tourism industry all my life and never see something like this happen. I have pictures of the bus’ plate in case you are interested in having it. Your representative in the bus was very nice, but there was nothing that he could do to change the situation. - And the best thing I applaud is the food. We are vegetarians, and we have enjoyed many gourmet choices. On May 26. 1:00am. I could not sleep again due to the noisy and weird vibration that is under the bed in that cabin. Went to the reception and they said they will give us another cabin. 9:00am. Finally they gave us cabin 9032. That was the only available… because it is at the front of the ship, now my husband has to use the wheelchair all the time because it is very far for him to walk to the dining areas. 9:30pm. Since 5:00 pm I reported that there was not cold water in the sink and that I could not close it to wash my underwear. How are we supposed to wash our teeth? With hot water? I lost another day and was not able to visit Naples, because I finished at 3pm transferring everything. The air conditioning only works when I call them and they have to raise or lower the temperature. I cannot do it myself because the control is the round one like in the first cabin and it does not work. 4:00 pm. I wanted to wash something in the sink. There is only hot water. No cold water at all and the sink does not hold the water when I try to close it. How are we supposed to wash our teeth? With hot water? Went to reception again, the plumberS came again and now the sink is working and we have cold and hot water on the faucets of the sink. The plumber mentioned that there are different kinds of problems with the temperature of the water. Some cabins very hot… some cabins cold. 9:00pm. The problem with the sink and the hot water still going on. 10:30 pm. Finally, after 4 times coming to the cabin the problems are solved. Hot water when you open faucet, have to wait and then water is becoming cold. People are calling the ship “Fiasco da Gama”… After getting home I called my travel agent because she had given us a credit as a gift to be used while cruising. It was a significant amount, but the reception denied it. My travel agent made the complaint and they finally send me a check for that amount. I had made several complaints to the cruise line concerning all the problems with 3 cabins. I had to send the complaint to my travel agent which then send it to them but they don't even bother to respond. I wanted to be compensated for all the problems, but nothing. Some people has been compensated with credit for future cruises in other countries, but the USA office says that that is not truth. They are not reliable. They do not take responsibility for all the problems encountered. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Everything about this cruise was fantastic. From the ports we visited, to the length of the cruise, the onboard entertainment, the exercise class choices, the gym facilities, the games and competitions not to mention the food, all exceeded ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was fantastic. From the ports we visited, to the length of the cruise, the onboard entertainment, the exercise class choices, the gym facilities, the games and competitions not to mention the food, all exceeded our expectations! The restaurants were impeccable and the food was first class. The décor is exemplary and let's not forget the compliment the cruise staff. The cruise director and his assistant were very high achievers, always at the ready to assist with entertainment and of course anything that a passenger might request. The production entertainers put 110% into all of their performances. The cabins were well appointed and always well maintained by the cabin staff. We were even fortunate to have the weather in our favour with only 1 rainy day and 1 overcast day at sea. Most shore excursions were value for money and the arrangements for departing the ship were co-ordinated with great precision. Well done Princess Cruises!!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I must have been on a different cruise than some of the other reviewers. After 20 + cruises on various cruise lines, I found this one mediocre. Perhaps I expected too much of the exotic 37 day Singapore to Southampton itinerary. I ... Read More
I must have been on a different cruise than some of the other reviewers. After 20 + cruises on various cruise lines, I found this one mediocre. Perhaps I expected too much of the exotic 37 day Singapore to Southampton itinerary. I have to admit the highlight of the trip, Petra, definitely did live up to its hype and my expectations. The Suez Canal on the other hand was a major disappointment to anyone who has been through the Panama Canal. The quality and presentation of the food at the buffet in the Horizons Cafe was something you would expect in a military mess, not on a cruise ship. The food in the dining room fared somewhat better but was definitely not what it used to be 5 or 10 years ago. Cost cutting is definitely evident. We asked about wine packages and coffee cards when we boarded and were told these were not available, yet we saw both being used by other passengers later on in the trip. It would be good if Princess would promote these packages and not just it's expensive beverage package. The ship itself could use a little TLC; and I have to say the (same) activities become a little stale after 4 Princess cruises. The entertainment was mediocre as well, just the usual magicians, comedians and ventriloquists. I found the enrichment activities uninteresting, however there were quite a few recent release movies available. Thank goodness for a wonderful stateroom stewart. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This is our second trip on this ship...the Quest. We had been taking 1-2 Regent trips per year through 2013 and then have taken a few SilverSea (SS) expedition trips, almost all with LCT, so this line was rather new to us. We upgraded to a ... Read More
This is our second trip on this ship...the Quest. We had been taking 1-2 Regent trips per year through 2013 and then have taken a few SilverSea (SS) expedition trips, almost all with LCT, so this line was rather new to us. We upgraded to a lovely 3 room suite with a huge balcony, huge bathroom and separate bedroom and living room. While my Regent info is dated and I’ve only done expedition trips on SS, my comparison may not be accurate. What I like about Azamara Quest: you get directed to your cab in immediately upon boarding and the luggage is prompt; service levels are very high—superb— uniformly; the specialty restaurants, included for suite guests, are excellent; the cruise tour desk goes above and beyond and is efficient. Ship staff are warm, friendly and responsive. From the stewards to hotel captain, there is an overwhelming pride and focus on details. The Azamazing evening experience in Bali was superb. Azamara general dining in Jewish terms is “meh.” Activities onboard so-so. Lectures not too thrilling. Entertainment has been good; in fact, they are going/coming from Regent. So, about the same quality. The cruise director and performers are very talented and lovely. Service levels are superb. One thing I really like about Azamara is their attention to mid cruise evaluations and making immediate corrections. The hotel director promptly communicates to staff and things are corrected and good performers are told. For example, I don’t drink. We have a bar setup in the room that is free and no one will use. However, I couldn’t have Perrier or Evian as a replacement without taking a beverage package. I also couldn’t have these upgraded waters with meals and was charged for them. After the evaluations and my constructive comments, The staff ensured I got the water free of charge everywhere I went. Evian was sent to my room as well. I also like the ability to accrue free nights. This is so much better than just pressing, laundry and wi-fi. Just from 2 trips, we accrued 6 free nights, a handsome savings. Wi-fi is discounted to 150 for the cruise, we have free pressing and a free laundry bag every 7 days with a suite. Discounts also range from 4-10% onboard discounts on future sailings depending on the number of nights sailed. Add in shipboard credit promotions and it’s an excellent value. All this is enough to have us return. Rooms: Azamara can be very cheap if you go for an inside cabin. Regular cabins with a window or veranda aren’t bad but the bathrooms are teeny. The Continental Club rooms are a good deal. They are a decent size, have a tub with shower, a private spa deck and hot tubs, a veranda and include all specialty restaurants. We stayed in one of these rooms the first trip and were very happy. We upgraded to a Club Oceanview Suite this time, due to a good deal, which is at the front of the ship. It had a nice size living room with a dining table, a full bedroom (king bed) separated from the living area by a door, a powder room with a toilet and a large bathroom with a large soaking tub and a large, separate shower. These corner rooms have a wall of floor to ceiling sliding doors to a very large balcony with two lounge chairs and a table with 4 chairs as well as a large window. It’s light and airy with good storage. Negatives? The rail is solid so it’s hard to see the ocean lying down and there is no outside light. This is the front, so it does rock and roll and you hear the anchor. There are three higher categories of rooms. One is at the back and is a bit bigger with a bigger balcony. Folks were happy with these suites. Another consists of w spa suites. The living space itself is the same as a basic Regent room but it has a HUGE bathroom with a large jacuzzi with floor to ceiling glass windows. The room is contemporary and luxurious but it has a very small balcony. This is the perfect room for colder climates, where you wouldn’t really use a balcony but want a light airy space. It is on the top floor, next door to the spa and very private. It would be my room of choice if I were going alone. There are also owner’s suites mid ship on the sides but I didn’t see these rooms. A perk of having a suite is having a butler,but I am really not a fan of having them. Another perk is expedited embarkation, debarkation, front rows at the Azamazing evening and a fabulous VIP dinner with the staff. You also accrue points for free nights faster, get a discount on internet, free specialty dining, free pressing and a bag of free laundry each week. Doug and I loved the extras and extra room. Food: Breakfasts were fine. It was available in the cafe or in the room. Lunch was okay. I really liked the brunches and felt they were excellent. There is also a cafe with the ability to pick up snacks anytime. There are two specialty dining venues. One is a steakhouse and one is Italian. service and food are as good as it gets. The menu in each is large and there are specials each night. There are chef’s tables at 90 pp (Asian, French or Italian). We did the French one and had a great time. There are also special theme dinners at 25pp but we didn’t try one. I hear they are excellent. The White Nights evening was great, but we missed it this year. Tours: pretty bad. I don’t know whether it was the ports or the tour operator but I wasn’t impressed. Azamara does not make you feel like cattle. Tours are limited to 25 max and they pass on discounts if they go higher. The ports were far away from fun things to do overall and too much time was spent coming and going to the sites. Food offered on the tours were of a very high quality. Azamara also offers private tours. These were awful. I’d never take one again. It seemed that Azamara tried to fill up time even if there was nothing to see. I heard stories of one hour at a statue. We did have several good tours and I’ll go into them in my port reviews, but they required long treks in a bus. That’s what we tried to avoid with the private tours...the long bathroom breaks and uncomfortable buses. With Azamara’s Private Journeys we got poorly planned tours with a driver and no real guide. I found the coordinator Sandra Carola Fernandez Gonzalez lacklustre and she never followed through in following up on our poorly planned Bunbury tour. I expect expertise and there was none. Ports: Jakarta was our first port stop. I think I’d rather end my life early then to ever be a citizen in either Jakarta, Semarang or Surabaya. Indonesia's lack of tax authority enforcement leads to the Government having little money for serious developments. In fact, they have only 27 million registered taxpayers when there should be around 120 million people if everyone eligible complied to the tax law. This is due to the severe lack of funding and manpower in their tax office, leading to many citizens having a completely lax attitude towards tax evasion as they probably wouldn’t get caught anyway. It’s port capacity is very poor. This leads to Indonesians having to spend much more if they want to export goods to foreign markets due to a lack of supply of container transportation. It is much more lucrative to base operations in Singapore which has ready made cheap transport for exports. As a result, Singapore has an export level of around USD23 Billion, which dwarfs Indonesia at USD12 Billion, despite having a small fraction of Indonesia's population. As a result, Indonesians find it more profitable to base and list their business in Singapore due to its infrastructure availability and ease of doing business. Indonesia's financial industry is underdeveloped and undersocialized. The lack of availability in financial instruments which could generate higher returns to investors and lack of financial literacy among the Indonesian population is costing Indonesia. As a result, Indonesians react to this by choosing to launder and park their money abroad (mainly Singapore), where they can invest in different types of financial instruments provided by investment banks. I was not prepared for the degree of poverty or filth in Indonesia. Jakarta was our first stop. Slums were the norm. Families were sleeping in doorways. Trash was everywhere. Our tour guide was excellent and did his best to educate us on the city. Jakarta, is the home to 10 million people and is not only the seat of the national government and the provincial government, but it is also Indonesia’s political center. It sits on swampy land, the Java Sea lapping against it, and 13 rivers running through it. So it shouldn't be a surprise that flooding is frequent in Jakarta and, according to experts, it is getting worse. But it's not just about freak floods, this massive city is literally disappearing into the ground. The dramatic rate at which Jakarta is sinking is partly down to the excessive extraction of groundwater for use as drinking water, for bathing and other everyday purposes by city dwellers. Piped water isn't reliable or available in most areas so people have no choice but to resort to pumping water from the aquifers deep underground. But, when groundwater is pumped out, the land above it sinks as if it is sitting on a deflating balloon - and this leads to land subsidence. Our guide says that his in laws use rain water, but that is only available during certain seasons. Most have to purchase water and store it in large tanks held on the roofs. He shared that experts confirm that water management authorities can only meet 40% of Jakarta's demand for water. Day 2 in Indonesia was more uplifting in Semarang. Flooding issues were highly visible with inner city roadways in an awful state but the highway system was rather good. Outside of the city, there were gated communities with large homes against a backdrop of volcanoes. The countryside jungle was lush and beautiful and roadside food stands and shops were rather abundant. It was a Sunday and families seemed to be out and enjoying life together. We were on our way to Borobudur, which is a 9th-century Mahayana Buddhist temple in Central Java, Indonesia. It is the world's largest Buddhist temple. It was hot. Very hot. The temple was impressive and very well maintained. I believe it was discovered in the 1200s and later made a UNESCO heritage site. Our lunch was excellent....vegetables were fresh and flavorful, the chicken satay and beef dish were the best I have ever had. We drove through countrysides of coffee plantations and rice plantations with folks hard at work in the fields. Most folks had smiles on their faces and it was a long, 9 hour day well spent! Day 3 was Surabaya. This was our day of enduring 97 degree humid weather, traveling hours by bus and then getting 12000 steps on our fitbits to see nothing. Surabaya is headed by a Muslim woman whose key focus is cleaning up filth and adding greenery. It was clean by comparison to Jakarta but definitely not pretty. We drove through middle class and wealthy areas to end up at our destination....a mangrove river tour. We were supposed to learn about mangrove restoration and benefits. The rubbish in the swampy river was disgusting and the cruise was disorganized and lacked organization, the walk was dull and uninteresting and ‘learning how to plant mangroves’ consisted of giving us a small 2 foot tree to put in a hole. I’m all for helping out a struggling community but I gotta would have preferred to stay on our lovely ship. We all should have been reimbursed for this tour. It was dreadful. Indonesia part 2: 2 days in Bali and 1 half day in Komodo. Day 1 (December 11) We had some choices over our 2 days there. I knew I wanted the Monkey Forest tour and that was day 2. The Azamazing evening was day 1 and I didn’t want too exhausting a day as there would be 2 tours that day and we’d have to get ready and were the first group out. I seem to overbook us and piss Doug off. After the disgusting mangrove tour, I was hoping for something better. Our choices were: a beach resort (Doug is not a beach guy but this is what we should have done), A culture tour, a shopping tour (not with Doug), a temple tour ( doing that with the monkeys), Ubud on your own, Ubud Ridges, Villages and valleys. We chose the latter thinking we’d see Ubud. It was supposed to be a journey with incredible views of the volcano, stunning rivers, discover village life. It was none of these things. I never saw a volcano. It was a long walk through a trail behind resort communities. Boring. We did have an outstanding lunch with gorgeous views, though. Our Azamazing evening was an evening of Balinese folklore at the Taman Budaya Art Center.A dance troupe entertained us under the stars.the performances showcased story telling dance characterized by intricate footwork, eyes and finger movements. Balinese dance is an ancient dance tradition that is part of the religious and artistic expression among the Balinese people and is dynamic, angular and intensely expressive. Bali dancers learn the craft as children and even in the womb they are played Balinese music. They are taught to dance with their hands before they can walk. Official training as a Bali dancer starts as young as 7. In Balinese dance the movement is closely associated with the rhythms produced by a musical ensemble specific to Java and Bali. Multiple levels of articulations in the face, eyes, hands, arms, hips, and feet are coordinated to reflect layers of percussive sounds. Wow! I never knew hands could move like that. It was absolutely breathtaking. I almost cancelled the next day’s tour...Monkey Forests and temple due to the poor tours we’d been having but I like monkeys. We began at the Tenah Lot Temple, famed for its location atop a craggy outcrop set amid crashing waves. The coastal temple Pura Tanah Lot is located in the southern part of Bali. To many people, Tanah Lot epitomizes the romantic island of Bali. Tanah Lot means Land in The Sea, a perfectly fit name for its unique offshore settings. The silhouette of Pura Tanah Lot is one of the most popular iconic features of Bali. The history of Tanah Lot temple was believed to date back to the 16th century. For the Balinese, Pura Tanah Lot is one of the most important and venerated sea temples. However, it has all the authenticity of a stage set – even the tower of rock that the temple sits upon is an artful reconstruction (the entire structure was crumbling) and more than one-third of the rock is artificial. We then continued to the Monkey Forest at the Alas Kedaton Sacred Sanctuary where long tailed macaques thrive in a natural habitat. Alas Kedaton is a popular monkey forest sanctuary - a sacred one at that. The sanctuary is made up of many acres of land purely inhabited by big bats and monkeys. The forest sanctuary is located at Kukuh village in Tabanan and made for a fun hour. The crab-eating macaque is the major breed of monkey found in this sanctuary, and Bali in general, as these primates are native to Southeast Asia. A baby bat decided to jump on my back and go for a ride. Eek! Last, we ventured over to Pura Taman Ayum, an 18th century temple complex. Tama Ayun is an aesthetically pleasing temple and is located in a mystical park sheltered by trees and ponds and is a temple built to honor various historical deities and gods. The temple has a rift in form of canals and can only be accessed through a bridge that leads you to a wide spaced grassy courtyard, which leads to another courtyard that houses multiple shrines, and ponds filled with lots of lotus blossoms. The best part of the tour was our guide who immersed us in Balinese culture both past and present. Lunch was again excellent. It was a varied, pretty and enlightening day. It was the best trip of the cruise. December 13 was our final day in Indonesia. I’d travelled thousands of miles to see a Komodo dragon in the wild. It was one of my reasons for taking this cruise. Komodo National Park is a World Heritage Site that was set aside to conserve the Komodo dragon and their natural habitat. The world’s largest lizard, the Komodo dragon is arguably Indonesia’s best-conserved large animal. Protected under Indonesian law, the population is relatively stable, with around 2,500 animals in the park. Entrance fees for foreigners were recently increased sharply plus an extra fee for a guide – in a bid to raise more revenue. Currently, the biggest threat to the dragons is the poaching of deer which is their prey, and the rise of human populations. The species shares the park with nearly 4,000 people, many of whom supplement their incomes by selling curios and snacks to tourists. The dragon dominates the food chain and underpins the local economy. We were surround by small and aggressive children peddling small trinkets as we made our way to venture deep into Komodo National Park where we went to search the dry forest for a glimpse of the prehistoric Komodo dragon. They exist nowhere else in the world and are of great interest to scientists studying the theory of evolution. After about 25 minutes of following guides into the park in 100 degree heat, we were told we might not even see them, as they are wild animals. Finally, right near the trance where we walked in 25 minutes earlier, we see our first cluster of dragons. The park staff are armed with sticks – which doesn’t seem like enough in case of a Komodo dragon attack. With their fearsome reputation in mind, I stay well back. At first sight, they do appear “lifeless” – like large seals wearing crocodile skin. When they move, they crawl on their bellies and then suddenly rear up sphinx-like, sticking out their forked tongues and making a distinctive hissing sound. There are five of the dragons in the group. They are grouped around each other, occasionally standing up, walking a few steps and hissing. The guides stand near us with massive sticks, which they will use to beat the dragons back in the event that they come near us. One guide, told me I reminded him of his mother and led me to them for upfront and personal close ups. I hoped he liked his mother. The Komodo can consume very large prey such as water buffalo, deer, carrion, pigs and even humans. It has a unique way of killing by biting its prey - especially when it is a large water buffalo, - surrounding it in a group then wait patiently until the poison in its saliva has slowly killed its victim.  After which it completely shreds apart and devoured with bones and all.  If the prey escapes, it will usually die within 24 hours due to poisoning of the blood that comes from the venomous and bacteria ridden saliva. Surprisingly, we were not rushed and were allowed quite a bit of time with them. Folks, who visited before, noticed that there were decidedly fewer Komodos than they have seen previously. Hot, but worth the experience. The only difference I would have liked—I would gladly have paid the guide for a shorter visit, with no trekking in the humid heat. Three days at sea (12/14-16) and then Western Australia.(12/17-12/22) The seas became rough. Returning to our cabin on 12/15, water was pouring under the glass sliding doors. The movement wasn’t bad. The position of our bed allowed for rocking side to side instead of head to toe (which our room was doing). It was rather pleasant. It was the crashing of the waves—the bang, bang, bang against the hull that ruined our sleep. We found out that a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck around 1,000 km north-northwest of Perth on 12/15. It was much too rough to enjoy pools, hot tubs or our large balcony during our sea days. The draw of this cruise for many was to visit Broome and Exmouth. Broome is a beach resort town in western Australia’s Kimberley region. Along its Indian Ocean coastline, the white sands of Cable Beach offer a dramatic backdrop for sunset camel rides. At Gantheaume Point nearby, dinosaur tracks are revealed in the beach’s red rocks during low tide. An ideal beach resort that was cancelled. Ugh. Exmouth is a small resort town on Western Australia’s North West Cape. It’s a gateway to nearby Ningaloo Marine Park with its coral reefs, colourful fish and migratory whale sharks. Nearly surrounding Exmouth, Cape Range National Park has kangaroos, sheer cliffs and red, rocky gorges. On the Cape's northwest coast, Jurabi Coastal Reserve's tidal rock pools, beaches and seasonal nesting grounds for marine turtles. This was cancelled too. Ugh. So, 2 nights in Geraldton (12/16-17) replaced these two ports. Geraldton is a major west coast seaport and a logistics center for regional mining, fishing, wheat and sheep. It was a far cry from an iconic beach resort with incredible wildlife and snorkelling. The downtown is struggling to keep alive and shops have a hard time surviving. According to some Australian friends, they had a great day of shopping. The Mid West region of Western Australia is strategically located on an iconic coastline between Perth and the growing economies of the State’s north. There are a host of different economic opportunities - all of which the region intends to capitalise on. Traditionally an agricultural region, the Mid West is now attracting unprecedented investment interest from a range of other industry sectors. The mining industry has quickly become the main economic driver of the region. Strong international demand for commodities and high commodity prices have already underpinned significant mining investment and many more projects are planned for future years. Most folks are positive about the economic stability of Geraldton long term, and attest to Geraldton being one of the best places in the country to live if you're looking for a great balance of lifestyle, affordability, and beauty. There are enough jobs if you have the right skill set or are willing to undertake training or education. There are few better places in terms of beaches and a wonderful outdoor lifestyle. And you don't need to be a multi millionaire to live near the beach, like you would in Sydney, Melbourne or Perth.  But the last decade plus of unquestioned positivity has lead to lots of members of the public being left holding investments that are now worth far less than they paid and many people owe far more on their homes than what they could reasonably be expected to sell them for today.  Rewind to 2006. Property prices around WA were booming, in large part due to the insatiable demand for WA's iron ore from China. Meanwhile, the City of Geraldton was hiking rates like they were in the rate raising olympics. Property, all of a sudden, didn't seem like such a great investment.  Nationally syndicated writers, economists and property "gurus" boldly kept predicting Geraldton was the next "boom town", and that it was a "gateway" to the North West and to the Mid West. Fast forward to 2018. Geraldton was budgeting for the future based on an assumption that Geraldton was going to spike in population within a foreseeable timeline. There was no explanation about how those official sources made their predictions, but the exact opposite happened. Geraldton's population declined in the following few years.  I digress from our day to give you a handle on the fact we were docked in a port far from touristy things to do. So, we signed up to visit an animal rescue facility nearby and to visit the old town of Geraldton. It wasn’t an exciting day but it was very pleasant. The weather was lovely, the guide good, the animals fun and I had the best scones ever. While we overnighted there, we didn’t arrive until a bit after noon. First stop was The Greenough Wildlife Park which was not the best park for animal interaction, but it was a good learning facility as it was designed as a temporary home for rescued animals, rehabilitation and release. It was small and the animals were all caged. The owner was a former cop and had a warm and engaging personality. We were able to get up close and personal with parrots, crocodiles, dingos, red and grey kangaroos and reptiles. She is the person you call if you find a python or a highly venomous snake around your house. Our guide was Greenough wildlife guru Michelle Jones who was an interesting lady. Recently, she spent two weeks helping scientists conduct important crocodile research at the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in far north Queensland. Ms Jones worked alongside the Australia Zoo’s crocodile team, including Irwin’s widow Terri and children Bindi and Robert. The Greenough Wildlife and Bird Park manager was tasked with helping catch and restrain the giant reptiles so the scientists could safely do their work. Michelle said the research was being used to better understand crocodiles’ habits and, in turn, teach people how to live safely alongside the awe-inspiring beasts. She said she had plans to work with a scientist who was conducting groundbreaking research into social interactions between crocodiles. “We attach satellite and acoustic transmitters to large saltwater crocodiles to track their movements in the river systems up there. The satellite tags allow us to pinpoint where the crocodile lives, and its dive time, which we’ve worked out can be up to 12 hours. The crocodile is processed and back in the water within about 25 minutes; that’s how quick the researchers and the scientists are up there. When the wet season comes, they head up the river systems to certain pockets, and then returning after the season is over to live in rivers where, sadly, a lot of people go swimming. It’s totally uncharted territory. It’s never been looked at before.It will be looking at whether they know their offspring and if they are socially interacting each year through recognition of pheromones.” She also had 2 dingos. The dingo is a type of dog that is native to Australia. Its taxonomic status is debated. Australia is home to so many of these animals that they are generally considered pests. A famous “dingo fence” has been erected to protect grazing lands for the continent's herds of sheep. It is likely that more dingoes live in Australia today than when Europeans first arrived. Though dingoes are numerous, their pure genetic strain is gradually being compromised. They can and do interbreed with domestic dogs to produce hybrid animals. Studies suggest that more than a third of southeastern Australia's dingoes are hybrids.  We were able to pat and meet the dogs. Their fur was coarse and bristly but they acted like normal pet dogs, wanting a kiss or a scratch. I had the unfortunate accident of stepping into a hole a dingo had dug and was plagued by constant knee pain for the rest of our trip. I think it’s finally on the mend. The kangaroos are a hoot. The red kangaroo is large with droopy eyes, a relaxed attitude and a “hey, dude” disposition. The grey kangaroo is a bit more skittish. I had the opportunity to cradle a baby grey one. From there, we went to the Greenough Historical village. There were numerous out buildings dating back to the late 1800s. Quite honestly, we have more interesting places in the US. We were treated to warm scones, clotted cream and jam with tea and these scones made the stop worth our time. Upon returning to the port, the Geraldton port had decide to throw us a welcome party, with local foods, drinks, port information, animals, mining info. It was well done and very enjoyable. Day 2 in Geraldton was an all day private tour to the pink salt lake and the Kalbarri National Park, one of Western Australia's most popular places to visit. It was striking but paled compared to our Grand Canyon. In all honesty, I think the time to visit is when the wildflowers are out, July to September. At that time, You can see the park ablaze with the colours of spring, with over 1,100 varieties of wildflowers are found there. It was a long day for a day trip. You drive through acre upon acre of wheat fields...think Nebraska. You get to your destination, quickly see the sites and have to turn around. I think it’s a place you want to spend a couple of days, taking hikes and enjoying outdoor activities. You can go bushwalking, gorge hiking or canoeing and take a journey back 400 million years, when the tidal flats of an ancient sea formed the striking red sandstone and the mighty Murchison River carved out deep gorges on its way to the ocean. We took a more relaxed experience and drove out to the park's many lookouts for some must-snap vistas, including the famous Nature's Window, The Loop, Z Bend, Hawks Head and Ross Graham, Red Bluff and Pot Alley. What spoiled the outdoor activities a bit was the heat and the swarms of bushflies. These flies look like our flies but are much smaller and swarm around you. They were everywhere we went in Australia. You really needed to wear netting which we didn’t have. The pink lakes: Australia is home to the bizarre pink coloured lakes. They look good enough to drink but are the saltiest bodies of water on earth. Analysis of the water has shown about 10 species of algae and bacteria, which are all predominantly pink. Despite bacteria being the reason for the strawberry milk color, the lake is totally safe to swim in. In fact, the lake's high salt content likely makes the water so dense that you'd float incredibly easily, the way you would in the Dead Sea. It was incredible to look at but mines and factories dotted its shores making it hard to enjoy. The echidna: Driving along we found an echidna in the road and we stopped to rescue it. See pics. So what is an echidna? It has spines like a porcupine, a beak like a bird, a pouch like a kangaroo, and lays eggs like a reptile. Also known as spiny anteaters, they're small, solitary mammals native to Australia. They're usually between 12 and 17 inches long and weigh between 4 and 10 pounds. Their spines are actually modified hairs. Echidnas' bodies (with the exception of their undersides, faces, and legs) are covered with 2-inch long spines. Fur between the spines provides insulation. Echidnas live slow and long. Echidnas have the lowest body temperature of any mammal, 89__°F. Their body temperatures are not controlled in the same way as that of other mammals, and can fluctuate by up 6–8°C over the course of the day. Their long life spans — up to 50 years in captivity, with anecdotal reports of wild animals reaching 45 years — are due to their low body temperature and slow metabolism. Male echidnas have a bizarre, four-headed penis. You might wonder how you mate with a four-headed penis. During sex, two of the heads shut down while the other two grow bigger to fit into the female's two-branched reproductive tract. Males alternate the heads they use between matings. Echidnas form mating trains. A strange process marks the start of echidna breeding season. Males line up nose to tail behind a single female, forming a train of up to a dozen individuals. Trains can last more than a month, with males dropping out and rejoining. When the female is finally ready to mate, the males dig a trench in the ground around her. The males compete for mating honors by pushing each other out of the trench. The last one remaining gets to mate with the female. Strange creatures! Food: We stopped for lunch where we could sample emu, kangaroo, crocodile. The crocodile tasted like, yes, “Chicken.” The others like over cooked shoe leather. I guess it tasted awful because it was too cute to eat? Bunbury and Busselton, Australia.. (December 19 and 20th) These two ports are really close to one another and about an hour from the wine area—Margaret River. I booked a private tour through Azamara Private Journeys for Dec 19 and wanted to see it all. Unfortunately, the white night was being held on 12/19 and Azamara’ should home office wouldn’t change the date to 12/20 since we were told the guide was out of Bunbury. It turned out he was between Bunbury and Busselton. We were picked up at 12:30 and the driver said he was taking us to Busselton. I asked why as we were going there the next day. We were to get an historical walking tour of both towns but he wasn’t informed of that. He did his best with a quick driving tour and then took us on our scheduled plane ride which was foolishly set up as Busselton to Busselton. It was pleasant. Then, he took us to the Margaret River to visit a winery and for dinner. Almost everything was closed by the time we finished one winery and we missed out on the chocolate and cheese factories. Then, we were taken to dinner at a holiday hotel. Since there was a function in the dining room, we were seated in the lobby, amid screaming kids, drunks and dogs. The dinner was about the equivalent of a poor man’s Pizza Hut. We had to get our own food, which was inedible. Moral of story: Do not ever sign up for Azamara’s Private Journeys. We were toured out and just did Busselton on our own. It’s a nice little beach town with cute shops, a great kids’ playground and a long jetty with a natural aquarium at the end. The jetty is said to be the longest wooden structure in the southern hemisphere and is the second longest wooden jetty (pier) in the world. The jetty construction commenced in 1853 and the first section was opened in 1865. The jetty was extended numerous times until the 1960s, ultimately reaching a length of 1841 m. The last commercial vessel called at the jetty in 1971 and the jetty was closed the following year. It passed into the control of Busselton Shire and has been gradually restored and improved since. view the event. The aquarium was opened on 13 December 2003 descending 8 metres below sea level where one can view the corals and fish life through eleven viewing windows. It was interesting but no WOW. If you are in the area, I suggest spending your time in the lovely Margaret River area, playing tourist, sampling wine and cheese and chocolates, enjoying the scenery and watching out for kangaroos dotting the fields. If you want to save money and enjoy the ship, you can safely wander both Bunbury and Busselton. Don’t waste your money on tours. Final day: Perth My husband thought I was crazy signing us up for a 12 hour tour for our final day, especially given the quality of the tours. Each of these experiences could be enjoyed as day trips from Perth unto themselves. It’s foolish to combine them all in one day unless that’s all you have. Our guide was excellent and was an encyclopedia of information. It could have been a great day if it had been timed better. Our day started out with the Caversham Wildlife Park. We should have spent a few hours here but only had 40 minutes. At Caversham Wildlife Park there are a variety of daily attractions that you can come and see and get involved with which include: Meet the Wombat and Friends, Feed the Kangaroos and Meet the Koalas, feed the Kangaroos. It was a fine stop and a shame to have had so little time there. Each of these destinations is 90 minutes from Perth. Our next stop was the lobster processing factory which offers the complete lobster experience from lobster pot to cooking pot! The Lobster Shack provides a close up encounter with the most valued single species fishery in Australia; the Western Rock Lobster. We were able to see how the lobsters are processed in the factory and packaged up to be sent LIVE to destinations all over the world. However, Azamara cheaped out and served us fish and chips while other table was diving into lobster dinners . We gladly would have paid an up charge. Everyone was quite angry. I suggest that this stop could be a day unto itself. As a day tour, you can go out on a lobster boat and go lobstering and then indulge on a lobster dinner. Or, you can just visit the processing plant, have lunch and then go to the Pinnacles. The Pinnacles is pretty far, so I’d either combine visiting it with The Lobster Shack or the white dunes. It takes about an hour, more or less, to visit. Within the park is the ancient Pinnacles Desert, which is an area with thousands of limestone formations called pinnacles. Standing tall in the shifting sand dunes lies thousands of large limestone pillars that were originally believed to be a lost city. The first records of identification date back to the 1650s. Following this, there are no known records of the Pinnacles until 1820 by Philip Parker King. With very little discovery, the Department of Lands and Surveys included the Pinnacles Desert in the Nambung National Park (created in 1956) in the 1960s, and it was through this inclusion that the desert became a popular destination. The Pinnacles Desert has been home to Aboriginal tribes for many years – with artifacts found dating back 6,000 years. Many theories have been proposed about the formation of the Pinnacles. One of the theories is that they formed as a result of kastification, characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves that weathers rocks, such as quartzite, given the right conditions. Another theory states that the pinnacles were formed through the preservation of tree casts buried in coastal aeolianties. A third theory states that the Pinnacles were created by plants. It is beautiful and well worth a visit. We then went to Lancelin for some dune buggying and sand surfing. We never really got to do either. When you visit the legendary Lancelin sand dunes you could squint and imagine you’re in a post apocalyptic dystopian world with David Lynch writing the script. It’s trippy. The sand is white like icing sugar rather than Sahara desert golden, and some dunes are as big as three story buildings. We headed off on a dune buggy bus. Up a dune; down a dune. Wavering at the top of a dune, our driver tried to stop but couldn’t reverse, so down we went into a sand crevasse. We all left the vehicle so the driver could dig us out. Uh uh. We were stuck in the middle of the desert with no one around, the sun growing dim on the horizon. Stuck. We had no choice but to climb the dunes and walk back to our awaiting bus. No sand boarding time for us. This was our misadventure. The tour escort called the ship as we were so late all dining would be closed. We were met by the hotel director at the bus doors and told ‘not to worry’ as the restaurants were kept open for us. What an end to our tour experience Read Less
Sail Date December 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
Sail Date November 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
Sail Date October 2018
We wanted to cruise somewhere warm and end up up in Freemantle, as I had family in nearlby Perth. The cruise was a great, we had absolutely awesome service from the staff and nothing was too much trouble. THe onboard entertainment offered ... Read More
We wanted to cruise somewhere warm and end up up in Freemantle, as I had family in nearlby Perth. The cruise was a great, we had absolutely awesome service from the staff and nothing was too much trouble. THe onboard entertainment offered in the theatres and lounges was top class. In the main the food offerings were fantastic, with regular menu changes The staff in the restaurants particularly the regency restaurant on deck 6 were absolutely wonderful and I would love to go on a cruise and experience this level of service and friendliness again. The only negative was that the excusions ashore are very expensive, however we made our own arrangements for this and it was really not that much trouble to find someone adshore that would take you where you wanted to go. The ship was clean and rooms were attended to twice a day every day. I loved the decor on the ship and the ambience onboard was really nice. We would not hesitate to go with Princess again, and are planning our next cruise now as we made a deposit on board for a future cruise with them Read Less
Sail Date October 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
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date April 2018
We did this cruise because of the ports .. great ports .. but as soon as you go on board you are offered a glass of champagne but while you may be drinking your champagne you are hounded to buy packages .... drink packages .... specialty ... Read More
We did this cruise because of the ports .. great ports .. but as soon as you go on board you are offered a glass of champagne but while you may be drinking your champagne you are hounded to buy packages .... drink packages .... specialty dining packages .... I did not buy packages because they were very over priced we did go to 2 dining rooms and value for money they were very overpriced .... example glass of red wine was no more than 2cm of red wine in a water glass cost $10.00 .... but the worst is yet to come .... we did 2 cruises .... back to back .... Singapore to Abu Dhabi and then Abu Dhabi to Rome .... the last show in the theatre on the first part of the cruise was the first show in the theatre on the second part of the cruise .... this we believe was all about saving money on entertainment .... and there is lots more .... the buffet on the second part of the cruise where we had 5 days at sea ran out of tomatoes .... banana,s .... and later in the cruise potatoes .... this made the salads look very bleak .... But the worst experience was there safety drill ... there a lot of elderly passengers on cruises and you are asked to go into dining area,s for a period of 40-45 minutes where more than half the passengers are asked to stand .... I am 73 years old and I cannot stand for 45 minutes so I sat on the stairs outside the dining room I was asked to go in the room and I refused on the second leg of the cruise I learnt against the wall at the opening on the other side was a gentleman with a walking stick and he was very distressed I asked one of the staff if they could get him a chair and I was completely ignored .... there facility for safety drill is a shameless and very very unprofessional .... I and many other passengers believe that are putting profits ahead of the comfort and safety of passengers The above points I discussed with customer relations manager Keith Wheelan Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Good value for money. Very disappointed that Happy Hour had been taken off all Princess Cruises. Food was great. I have noticed portion size has decreased which is a great thing. Entertainment was very ordinary. I enjoyed the few days ... Read More
Good value for money. Very disappointed that Happy Hour had been taken off all Princess Cruises. Food was great. I have noticed portion size has decreased which is a great thing. Entertainment was very ordinary. I enjoyed the few days from Singapore. The entertainment progressively got worse. I found the activities on board not to my liking. This was my 5th Princess cruise and it was the first time the activities were disorganised. Marcus the Cruise Director was amazing and got to know the passengers. Too many formal nights. We had 7. It got to the stage where I just dined at the Horizons as I couldn't be bothered dressing up. 1400 people got off in Rome and the ship had a different feel. It was like it improved services after Rome and upgraded furniture in Crooners and offered more activities. The crew are always friendly. The ports were amazing. We got off exhausted but very pleased to have done the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Chose this cruise for the ports. Princess cruises is usually our first choice.The Sapphire Princess had just come from a refurbishment which was great. New beds , new flat screen TV's, new carpets etc. Embarkation went smoothly ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the ports. Princess cruises is usually our first choice.The Sapphire Princess had just come from a refurbishment which was great. New beds , new flat screen TV's, new carpets etc. Embarkation went smoothly approx 45 min. Our first port was Sri Lanka then Cochin. Did the backwater tour in Cochin (ship tour). We really enjoyed all the ports. The weather was good and very calm seas. From cochin to Dubai we had 6 sea days which quite relaxing then Aqaba in Jordan. In Aqaba we arranged a private day tour to Petra which was amazing . When we got back we took the shuttle into the town and had a walk around the city. Next ports were Santorina, Athens, Malta, Naples then Civitivecia (rome)all of these ports were really good and easy to go ashore and do your own thing. We also sailed through the Suez Canal which was interesting. DIsemberkation went smoothly. We got a number beforehand with time to disembark . When we got the terminal our luggage was there for collecton. The terminal itself was very busy as there was another 6 cruise ships docked. It took quite a while for us to get the bus from the terminal to the Civitivecia train station to Rome as it was a public holiday. The entertainment and all services on board was very good. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Ports of Call were our main reason for choosing this cruise. Ship was tired. Many unhosted events. Some of the guests were voluntary speakers onboard. Crew service was brilliant in some areas and woeful with attitude in other areas. ... Read More
Ports of Call were our main reason for choosing this cruise. Ship was tired. Many unhosted events. Some of the guests were voluntary speakers onboard. Crew service was brilliant in some areas and woeful with attitude in other areas. Many crew seemed as though they didn’t want to be there. I am convinced Phillippino crew are the best. Entertainment was downright poor, Cabin was great and always clean. Cabin attendant great. Shore excursions were very good and seemed reasonable value. The big plus was the food. A big improvement. Sabitinis great. The steakhouse could do with a better venue. The Skywalkers bar was not opened till 2200 hrs to the general public. It is the best viewing bar on this boat. You can see over the years the costcutting that has occurred with Princess. It is now to the bone. Meat loaf as the lunch roast in the buffet.??? With all the survey awards you see these days Princess is hardly mentioned. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Not to belabor a review sent to Seabourn, but the ship, although pretty, new and with good design elements, did not meet our expectations. The cabin was fine as was the ships layout with the possible exception of more room at the main ... Read More
Not to belabor a review sent to Seabourn, but the ship, although pretty, new and with good design elements, did not meet our expectations. The cabin was fine as was the ships layout with the possible exception of more room at the main pool area. Five or Six stars? No, more of a Holland America experience for twice the price. Service was good to poor and depended on the day. Training of the crew was going on all the time and many were brand new to any ship experience. Sounds like the company has expanded, poached crew from other ships and then needed much more to fill its ranks. Service was haphazard with greatness shown occasionally but not what one expects at the price point. Interesting note: there is no bar open except the pool bar until the late afternoon. So, if you wanted to be cool inside, you had to go up top to get a drink and on this cruise from Singapore to Dubai, it was warm. Food was good one day and then poor the next. Example: on a top rated ship, should you not expect more than 3 salad dressings? For yanks, there was no ranch dressing, a staple among Americans of all ages. The balsamic served was thick and was either built around mayonnaise or thickened with wall paste? Top rated food? The Keller restaurant was good but not jaw dropping. French Laundry? No more of a high end Outback but with good service. Excursions for the trip were all over the place. Technical issues caused us to not even get off at Phuket, which is no loss anyway from previous trips in the area. Yet, we had a tour canceled in one location and then a few days later, new tours were offered but too late for us to change. Need to get their act together on this aspect of cruising in these waters. Oman was the best port and the biggest surprise. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants a true Arabian experience as opposed to the over the top Dubai, with its Vegas atmosphere without the gambling. I will go back to Silversea and Crystal for my high end cruises. I was looking forward to this experience and it was not to my liking. Many of the cruisers we met on this trip were long term Seabourn loyalists and most complained about this ship and the many differences to their smaller ships. Size, evidently, does matter. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Chose this cruise because the dates and the embarkation port were convenient for me. That is the good stuff out of the way, and the rest was downhill. The fact that drinking water is not provided free on a cruise in such a hot region ... Read More
Chose this cruise because the dates and the embarkation port were convenient for me. That is the good stuff out of the way, and the rest was downhill. The fact that drinking water is not provided free on a cruise in such a hot region tells you all you need to know. in 21 days only one of the two ice machines worked and then only for one day. No water provided with evening meal and no tea or coffee afterwards. Menus poor and reconstituted potato used. Drinks packages were a complete rip off. Passports were taken on day one, and only a photocopy given out (too late to be useful in some cases). When we went to Langkawi we found that the duty free shops would not allow sales unless the photcopy was shown but we had not received ours. So after a hot and sweaty trip back to the ship - queueing at the info desk to receive a copy, then a further hot and sweaty trip back to the shop - I finally managed to buy some perfume, but the whole process took half of the day we were there. Then the final insult, a photocopy (second one) was delivered to my cabin half an hour before the ship sailed out. I was given the WRONG advice about the mandatory visa for India and so paid out £140 for a two year visa instead of a £40 short term stay visa. The disembarkation port was Savona, Italy, where the ship was going into dock for a 12 day maintenance period, but we still had to vacate the cabin by 8 am and then sit in the theatre until 11.30 waiting for our transfer coach. No laundries on board and the cabin laundry service was EXPENSIVE. Would never book with COsta again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We had chosen this cruise because of the nice weather and the price was ok for us. We did a cruise with Costa Neoclassica from Savona to India in November 2017 and that one was beautiful. All our cruises with Costa were nice. We ... Read More
We had chosen this cruise because of the nice weather and the price was ok for us. We did a cruise with Costa Neoclassica from Savona to India in November 2017 and that one was beautiful. All our cruises with Costa were nice. We exprerienced more than 10 cruises, but this cruise was a disaster. It was the last cruise of this ship Victoria, it sailed from Asia to Europe and to be refurbished in Marseille to sail in Europe in the next future. The Italian animation team was very much to loud, the whole day they screemed on the deck. The refurbisment was already started. The carpet was already pulled loose, the stairs were already disassembled and sanded, the tenderboats were already sanded, the ceilings already came down, the chairs were already re-upholstered. All day you heard knocking, sawing, sanding, carpentry and so on. The workmen in black and white suits were busy all day. The quality of the food was in the first week ok, but the last two weeks terrible, old frozen food, no variety, cheap food unmade. I think the freezers had to be empty before the cruises ended. The dinner lasted 2.5 hours, there was far too little staff, between the various dishes we had to wait half an hour. Food appeared that you had not ordered, or it did not come at all. At 8 o'clock in the morning most of the chairs were already occupied with towels and personal belongings. Passengers occupied the seats all day long, although sometimes they were not there for hours. Costa did nothing. For me NEVER COSTA AGAIN. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We cruised from Singapore to Sydney to experience the ship rather than the Itinerary as we had sailed this section 3 years ago on the Odyssey. Overall the ship was not of the highest standard possible. There were a number of rust spots on ... Read More
We cruised from Singapore to Sydney to experience the ship rather than the Itinerary as we had sailed this section 3 years ago on the Odyssey. Overall the ship was not of the highest standard possible. There were a number of rust spots on some of the pipes above our balcony which had left a stain on the balcony wall. This stain remained the entire cruise. One of the emergency exit signs fell off the wall near the whirlpool on deck seven and lay on the ground for 3 days until we advised an officer doing a deck inspection. The sign was not affixed to the wall but sat on top of the fire hose box and then fell to the ground again. A number of the towels in the pool area had rust marks on them and at least one towel in the gym had a hole in it. Somebody clearly is not doing their overseeing job correctly. We started by eating breakfast and lunch on the lower deck of the Colonnade. The service down there was that poor that we eventually left. The service on the upper deck was much more efficient. Clearly the waiter on the lower deck was just waiting to get to Sydney to finish his contract. One night I ordered green beans with my dinner in the Colonnade only to be informed that they had none, yet there was a green bean salad the next lunch day and we had not been to port in between. Similarly I was severed a Chocolate Pot de Creme with out the cream and there was supposedly no Malibu Rum on board from 2 days after Singapore. Again somebody does not appear to be doing enough supervision. My cabin robe had a stain on it from spilt food day 1 and was not changed for 17 days, 2 nights we had no chocolates on the bed at night and one time change was not done on the cabin clock. Again I point the finger at poor supervision. The breakfasts were continually overcooked and meat was of a various degrees of finish. We both ordered a dish medium, one came burnt the other dripping blood. When I raised this with the Executive chef he said that was not possible and wanted to put the blame on the waiter. After having Julia Gillard on board as a guest speaker who is Chairperson of Beyond Blue the "comedian" the next night proceeded to make jokes about a subject which is a major cause of depression in older men. The same "comedian" sat near us at dinner and proceeded to harass each waitress that served him. Shore excursions were ridiculously expensive. I broached most of these subjects with senior officers with no response and also in my post cruise survey to Seabourn. I am yet to hear from Seabourn. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Just a cruise holiday which took in Asian Ports and ended at my home port. With the majority of passengers 60 years plus most of the activities seemed to be targeted towards this age group. They could have had some other activities that ... Read More
Just a cruise holiday which took in Asian Ports and ended at my home port. With the majority of passengers 60 years plus most of the activities seemed to be targeted towards this age group. They could have had some other activities that would include a younger age but we still had a great time. We had no problems however there were other passengers who had flooding problems with their toilet systems. The ship has just come out of dry dock in Singapore and there was some small teething problems. At one time between Bali and Fremantle there was a complete Power Failure on the ship and it was dead in the water for about 10 minutes. The problem was fixed very quickly and we did not feel that we were in any danger at any time. We were advised that there was a short which stop all 3 Generators on the ship. The only other problem was the extended time it took to get passengers disembarked by tenders in Bali. Two and half hours was too long and several passengers complained about it. Overall it was a great cruise with fantastic sailing conditions and we would definitely cruise on the ship again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Went on a 10 night crew from Singapore to Perth with family. Had read some negative comments before trip but I can not understand why. We loved it all!! Embarkment started at 10.45 am and was on board by 12.30pm. Very well organised. ... Read More
Went on a 10 night crew from Singapore to Perth with family. Had read some negative comments before trip but I can not understand why. We loved it all!! Embarkment started at 10.45 am and was on board by 12.30pm. Very well organised. Had comfortable indoor air conditioned seating whilst waiting to move from checkpoint to checkpoint with water readily available. Our cabin was ready by 1.00pm and although a VB cabin it had heaps of storage. Was able to comfortable unpack our 50 kilos of luggage and store cases in wardrobe. King size bed was very comfortable and cabin was cleaned within minutes of leaving it. Our lovely attendant always had a beautiful towel animal waiting for us and even a monkey hanging of a coat hanger. Cabin was dead quiet which was a welcome surprise. Dining was amazing. Spoiled for choice and loved the food. We paid the little extra for speciality restaurants and was well worth it. Lobster was an additional US$22 but worth it. Huge and delicious. We had drinks package and was surprised that all beer and spirits were bottled and not just on tap. Never waited long for a drink and wait staff were amazing. They would take 5-10 orders at a time and get it right every time. No writing orders down their memory was amazing. Loved all the shows in the theatre bar one which was a comedian who was not funny and lots of people walked out however the other comedian Leo Ward was fantastic as was the Impressionist and ice show. All staff could not do more for you and always had big smiles. Carlo singer/guitarist in The Pig and Whistle was fantastic great singer and genuine nice person. Did the Phi Phi Island Snorkeling tour and it was brilliant. Easy tendor to shore never waited. Tendors were constantly back and fourth. Our speed boat to island which was about an hour. They had free icy cold drinks in esky and fruit platters. Highly recommend this tour. In Langkawi did the Duty Free Tour. This wasn't too good. We firstly visited a four storey air con duty free shopping centre for 30 minutes then dropped at a shopping street where no air con and no variety. Royal Carribean were amazing when we mentioned this in suggestion box they contacted us and gave a partial refund. This I believe was more the tour operator doing the wrong thing by us than the ship. There was something for everyone on this cruise day and night. You couldn't get bored. Hand hygiene is fantastic with automatic dispensers outside every restaurant. The What's on Now touch screens near every lift kept you well informed where to go next. The pool and spa area where lovely although a couple got closed as we neared Australia as the boat got extremely rocky the last few days. It was so rough that the ship was departing Fremantle late after our embarkment. The ships air con is quite cold so I suggest you take a jacket or jumper. Unfortunately a number of people from the cruise who I have been in contact with have got chest/respiratory infections within a day of departing ship. All in all we loved Voyager of the Seas. We loved the service, staff and everything onboard. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary - Middle & Far East + four days in India. We didn't use the ships excursions preferring to make our own arrangements. The Constellation is a lovely ship with a nice fun feel about ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary - Middle & Far East + four days in India. We didn't use the ships excursions preferring to make our own arrangements. The Constellation is a lovely ship with a nice fun feel about it. The entertainment was very good as was is the Cruise Director, Rich. There were lots of activities and lectures which we enjoyed The staff were always friendly, helpful and curtious. The food in the Oceonview Cafe was excellent with great choices - we especially enjoyed the Asian dishes. However, the meals in the main dining room were disappointingly poor meaning we only spent four evenings in the "San Marco" dining room. This was unfortunate as having dinner in a pleasant dining room is one of the joys of cruising. We had one meal in the speciality restaurant "Cruise Liners" which was fine, but not worth the extra money. Drinks were expensive as was wifi. However, overall it was a very enjoyable cruise and value for money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017

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