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63 South Pacific Repositioning Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to the Darwin Cup and Komodo Island. All that dates aligned with the ship docking in Darwin on the date of the Darwin Cup. Paseptic Doom Room 8107 -do not go there. I was so excited to be ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to go to the Darwin Cup and Komodo Island. All that dates aligned with the ship docking in Darwin on the date of the Darwin Cup. Paseptic Doom Room 8107 -do not go there. I was so excited to be going on a cruise, Brisbane to Singapore, with stops at Port Douglas, Darwin, Timor Leste, Komodo Island and Benoa Bali. I had read some bad reviews and also some good reviews about the Pacific Dawn and I decided to go with the the good reviews. I booked an interior room and were surprised to have been given a complimentary upgrade to cabin 8107, obstructed view. The first night we noticed our floor vibrating, then the loud noise from the band, then karaoke (help me please). We made the decision to not come back to our cabin till after 11.30 to avoid this. We had a great few days enjoying the ship. The decor is very modern, and we soon settled in to ship life. Day 2 my partner came down with very bad head congestion and rough cough. By Day 6 I also had it. So we did not contaminate others, we lay low and and hid in our cabin. That’s when we noticed the little laneway outside our cabin carrying all kind of engineering/ seamen past our cabin window. One whole afternoon they were grinding metal outside our windows. So curtains closed during the day, and noise till 11.30 pm each night. As we disembarked in Darwin to head to the chemist for medication, we noticed a couple of 100 more people with the same problem cough. After we were feeling a little better and not contagious we ventured out. One night in the Marqee lounge, the chorus of coughing was louder than the entertainment. My guess would be that the air conditioning on this ship is very sick. We washed our hands thoroughly, used the sanitiser, I sanitised our cabin twice a day with eucalyptus spray. You can’t catch it through the food handling as the staff handle all the food. So I am guessing if you go on this ship get a balcony cabin so you can have fresh air. I am sitting by the pool right now and it is a chorus of coughing. Now down to the sewerage problem. The first couple of days all was fine, then a massive sewerage smell started sweeping over the ship. Staff outside the Marquee were spraying air freshener on to the carpet to try to cover it up. The smell was very dominant around deck 7,8,9 and 11. This is not good enough P&O. This is a major health risk to your staff and your passengers. I do hope that this is your major priority of your 2 week dry dock in Singapore. Getting off the ship at tender ports. It is so slow. Arrive Bali at 8.00am, still trying to get off at 12pm. Not complaining as I can see the problem, but just be aware if you book tours privately. Promenade bar is a great spot to get a serious drink and unwind before dinner. A very big Thank-you to John and Bella for looking out for us. Orient Bar Too noisy for me, always trivia, games, karaoke going on , but way to loud for my tastes. The Pantry Food acceptable, the only problem for me was if I wanted butter with my toast, I had to line up in 2 queues, as the butter did not live with the toast. A good concept of a food court style. Stops germs spreading. Food was ok, service was excellent. The Waterfront Gone are the days of having the same table for dinner every night. But it was ok, we got used to it. The food was of an acceptable standard and the service was efficient. Salt Grill What a disappointment We had dined here previously 10 yeas ago on the Jewel. It was brilliant back then. I ordered sashimi scallop. There was more potato on the plate than scallop, and covered in a green herb sauce that totally over powered the delicate taste of the scallop. I had a steak that was a little on the tough side for main. I had the cheese for dessert, which was the smallest serving of cheese I have seen on a platter. All in all very bad value for money at $59 per head. Nice wine list though. We also had the afternoon tea at Salt Grill which was very good at $29. I wish they would change the menu as I would have liked to this again. Chefs Table Pre dinner canapés with Australian Sparking, followed by a 7 course degustation. This was a lovely meal, the standout dish for me was the lobster bisque We had Tuna Lobster Bisque Barramundi Strawberry Daquiri Steak Mango dessert Cheese platter All dishes had accompanying Australian wines. It was a very well balanced out menu Shell & Bones Thanks Kylie for a wonderful night. The food was what I expected and the prices reasonable. We ended up esting here Twice The Grill Perfect Pizza, excellent. The Spa Did not go to the spa as the prices were off the charts. I really wanted a masssge but not at those prices. I wonder how many people would book treatments if the prices were not so high. Our Cabin 8107 Very clean, our steward James was fantastic looking after us in every possible way. Hot water is magically hot and pressure is the best. But as above, do not book this if you want privacy or peace and quiet. The Orient bar runs all day and concludes at 9.45 and some nights 11.45pm. All access tour. I really wanted to do this, it was something I was looking forward too. We had the access all area’s tour booked, but we are both so sick and we don’t want to affect anyone else’s holiday. The staff are amazing, they go above and beyond any request possible. If it were not for the bad cabin and illness I would rate this a really good cruise. Day Trips Port Douglas Too rough to tender. Darwin Went to the Darwin cup, the buses run for free from the city service. The set up on the day is great, Hundred of long tables under cover for the public. Timor Leste We chose to tour privately with Timor Adventures. The tour was great, but we were pushed for time due to the tender process getting off the boat. Our tour was scheduled to leave at 9am, but it did not leave until 11am, whilst we waited for people to get off the boat. We drove out to the old fort, stopped at an old gaol, seaside lunch, Cristo Rei and the cemeteries where the massacre was. We learnt a lot about the struggles of the people of Timor Leste. Komodo Island We booked a private tour here with Beyond Komodo Tours. It was the highlight of my trip. We had a small group tour of the dragons, sighting 7 in total. We then went on a boat to Pink Beach where we were given snorkelling gear and were dropped straight on the the reef. It was spectacular, beautiful corals and a multitude of fish. Then we were served a delicious lunch of prawns, calamari, chicken, eggplant and stir fry with rice and noodles. Thankyou Leo from Beyond Komodo. This made our trip. Bali Another private tour in a car to Ubud, we visited the monkey forest, a traditional housing compound and a Lewakcoffee house. As we struggled to get off the ship again due to tended, we missed 4 hours of our tour. We used Hire Bali Driver. Leo was very good trying to fit in as much as possible. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our 1st ever cruise was some 10/12 years ago on P&O Pacific Star. Well, haven't things changed (for the better). We were very happy with the offering from P&O and in particular the crew on board the ship. They were a credit to ... Read More
Our 1st ever cruise was some 10/12 years ago on P&O Pacific Star. Well, haven't things changed (for the better). We were very happy with the offering from P&O and in particular the crew on board the ship. They were a credit to the Company and although the ship is an older vessel (certainly showing external signs of age) the vibe on board was friendly and efficient and the crew appeared (primarily) to enjoy their job. Admittedly we did have lower expectations having travelled with the more highly rated Celebrity and Princess Lines, however we were overall quite impressed with the majority of aspects onboard. A special mention to the bands. . . both Popcorn and The Lazy Leis were fantastic and the jam session on the last evening involving all performers was truly memorable . . . very talented. On board crew shows were excellent, a couple of guest performers are past their use by date and appeared to be simply topping up their super. Production shows were considered to be a significantly higher standard - crew shows were particularly entertaining viz LipSync Battle. Having Petro Civoniceva on board was a nice touch as well. . .thanks to him for his valuable time and open participation. A couple of constructive comments . . . the Tendering situation needs work - whoever made the decision to honour the tickets from the aborted tender operation in Port Douglas in preference to distributed tickets for Dili needs to consider their future. . . a real howler. Actual Shore time was significantly reduced in both Dili and Bali due to sea swell and the large number of Ships Tours and "Priority" passengers. Made our own arrangements re a tour in Timor Leste and also Bali - understand cruise coys favour their own shore excursions though we prefer the small group experience v's a coach load. Anytime dining in the Waterfront took a few days to sort out - many passengers had made permanent bookings which meant there was initially up to an hours wait for anytime dining - this resolved itself after 4 nights when some perm bookings were a no show and therefore cancelled. Could easily do with an additional lunch menu in the Waterfront restaurant for variety . . .only 2 menus for the 14 days. . . though there was the variety in The Pantry. Drink prices are excessive though consistent across all lines - what did happen to duty free prices??. . .would like to see a similar policy to that of Princess. . ie allowed to bring a bottle of wine pp onboard. There was sufficient entertainment with usual trivia etc however big screen movies were heavily weighted in favour of children's themes and animations - this despite the small number of children on board. Special mention to the Captain for his accessibility and daily broadcasts - very approachable and informative (luvs his "Minions") . Upon arrival in Singapore, we skipped the long taxi lines and got the MRT direct to the Airport for flight back to BNE. Very efficient disembarkation, despite the fact the ship was advertised as docking at Marina Bay - instead we turned up at Harbourfront - this caught many off guard. Singapore has such a great public transport system - even with luggage. Extremely happy with our decision to revisit a P&O Aust classic ship - overall a good value for money cruise - we will be back. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband and I commenced this cruise with some trepidation due to the large number of negative reviews. This was our first cruise with P&O, our 4th in total. This was the last voyage for the Pacific Jewell. 1: EMBARKATION from ... Read More
My husband and I commenced this cruise with some trepidation due to the large number of negative reviews. This was our first cruise with P&O, our 4th in total. This was the last voyage for the Pacific Jewell. 1: EMBARKATION from Melbourne was simple and efficient. 2: CABIN: We had an interior cabin. It was clean and tidy. Quite spacious with lots of storage. Only one Australian power outlet but we were able to get a power board. A ceiling water leak developed half way through the cruise. This was rectified after we reported it. Bed was moderately comfortable. 3: DINING: The Waterfront restaurant menu was disappointing in range. Service was efficient and staff were friendly. The Pantry had a good range of food and unlike other reviewers I found the food to be of a good standard. What I particularly like about the Pantry is that staff serve all food thus eliminating people touching and coughing over food and spreading germs. All the food is behind glass partitions. I found the sweets selection to be limited. Staff in the Pantry were friendly and helpful. It was disappointing that some items of the menu in the Waterfront was not included and an extra fee was charged. We did not try the pay restaurants. I was also a little disappointed that you had to pay for ice-cream on the pool deck. I have never come across this before. 4: ALCOHOL. There were problems quite early on with different brands of alcohol being in short supply and they eventually ran out of many wines and beer. While I was not personally impacted by this my husband was quite often unable to get his preferred beverage. I imagine that the people who had purchased an alcohol package would have been very upset, and rightly so. An alcohol package for us would have been a waste of money. I would suggest that you do your sums prior to getting a package to see if it is worth it for you. It made much more financial sense for us to purchase a drink when we wanted. 5: INTERNET: I purchased an internet package for $79, unlimited time for the entire cruise. Connection was available in all public areas but not in staterooms. The internet worked very well. 6: The ENTERTAINMENT TEAM were great and do a great job keeping everyone occupied on sea days. They all had a great sense of humour. We thought that the shows were varied and of a high standard. 7: THE EDGE: I won an Edge experience. I chose to Walk The Plank. I'm so glad that I did not pay for this. It lasted maximum of 90 seconds and would have been a complete rip off if I had to pay $24. While I enjoyed it I felt that the experience should have been longer and as I was the only person booked in to do it I could have been given extra time. 8: ROOM STEWARDS: We had Joseph and Dennis look after our room. They were very friendly and worked very hard. Our room was always well serviced. 9: PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS: We went on only one shore excursion and that was in KL. I found that it was well organised and the price was moderate. We found that we saved money by arranging independent trips at all other ports. In Fremantle and Busselton we found it interesting to wander around the towns with no tours necessary. We visited the old prison in Fremantle. That was worth a visit. 10: DISEMBARKATION: Quick and easy. 11: ATM: It was handy to be able to get Australian dollars on board for shore days. 12: CURRENCY: We used money changers at all international stops and seemed to get reasonable exchange rates. We deposited money into our cruise account prior to embarkation. This worked well for us. We got a refund of unused money the night prior to disembarkation. 13: LAUNDRY: The onboard laundry was good. Always very busy. It costs $3 AUD for the washer and $3 AUD for the dryer. Only takes $1 coins. 14: SPA: I had a massage which was relaxing. Quite expensive at $149 for 60 mins. My husband an I were both given $50 vouchers to be used at the spa as we were first time cruisers with P&O. This enable me to have a hair cut. I also purchased some Elemis products. We liked the size of the Pacific Jewell but as it is no longer part of the P&O fleet we would happily try another P&O ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This cruise was from Sydney to adelaide, so it worked perfect for my friend and I who live in both of these places. Loved leaving from Sydney harbour and how they played some opera music I thought that was awesome. We saw a pod of dolphins ... Read More
This cruise was from Sydney to adelaide, so it worked perfect for my friend and I who live in both of these places. Loved leaving from Sydney harbour and how they played some opera music I thought that was awesome. We saw a pod of dolphins and some seals which was amazing and going pass Wilson’s promentry was spectacular. I particularly enjoyed the comedy and the piano playing by John Milligan. I went to his show two nights because I enjoyed it so much. I was just very relaxed and loved being at sea. Our cabin was great but maybe a little smelly when we got on, a bit of room spray and was all good. Our cabin person Nash was really friendly and helpful. We used the gym and the spa which was really lovely. It is a bit hard to do yoga and do the exercise machines when the boat is swaying, but was an experience. It was sad to dock and have to come back to reality. Thanks for a great time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Booked two Suite cabins #11117 and #11116 - Cabin was ok but a little dated - clean and reasonable size - bed was comfortable, but pillows cheap and hard. Cabin attendants were really good. When you book a suite with P&O you have no ... Read More
Booked two Suite cabins #11117 and #11116 - Cabin was ok but a little dated - clean and reasonable size - bed was comfortable, but pillows cheap and hard. Cabin attendants were really good. When you book a suite with P&O you have no recognition or any worthwhile benefits at all and certainly don't feel like a VIP. They need to take note of what Royal Caribbean do for guests who book suite's. We were suppose to have priority boarding, but apparently there was a wedding party that they decided had priority above suite guests. It started to rain and only when bitterly complaining (as i had my mother in a wheel chair outside) that they finally allowed us in to register and board. The common areas were over crowded at all times (except when we docked at Airlie Beach) and you could never get seats around the pool. Dining areas were also way overcrowded (what i would refer to as a pig trough) and constantly bumping into people and queuing for meals. It would take nearly 20 minutes or more to get a meal then line up to get a drink at the bar - by then my food was cold. Food on the whole was really average and in some cases disgusting. The main restaurant was really old, boring and nothing more than a Coles cafeteria. If your disabled and in a wheelchair then forget it as it's so not wheelchair friendly. Had so much trouble pushing the wheelchair around and doors that were constantly closed made it impossible. Even corridors that seemed blocked all the time, which meant i had to go all the way back and around the ship. Lifts were a real pain and spent so much time waiting to get to different levels on the ship. Entertainment and activities were just average. I would never step foot on another P&O cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We booked a signature suite on this cruise which showed on the HAL website as being a newly refurbished suite with new couch and chairs,marble top counters ,big screen TV on the wall and bright fresh interior but what we actually got when ... Read More
We booked a signature suite on this cruise which showed on the HAL website as being a newly refurbished suite with new couch and chairs,marble top counters ,big screen TV on the wall and bright fresh interior but what we actually got when we came onboard is a tired old suite with marks all over the walls,an old bathroom with old grubby shower curtains, an old TV that you couldn’t make out what was on the screen due to the fuzziness on it. boy were we disappointed! They have since replaced the TV but have stuck paper serviettes under it for whatever reason which looks terrible but at least we have a clearer picture, . We have complained to the customer relations desk onboard who were really disinterested and said we should have read the fine print that says the photos of the cabin are not necessarily representing the actual cabin!!!! That is false advertising as ok the layout may vary or the colour scheme but not when the photos are actually under the Noordam and showing a new cabin and not a dinghy old cabin that is desperate to be refurbished. A number of suite passengers have complained as it is all suites and cabins that have not been fefurbished, The Noordam overall throughout the vessel is very worn with old grubby carpets throughout the dining rooms,stairwells and quite a bit of the public rooms. Around the covered pool area they have set up long trestle tables with plastic chairs which has made the whole area overcrowded and very tacky looking. The room service has delivered us cold toast and cold water for tea so now on day 4 we have despaired with room service and will have to tackle the throngs of people in the Lido. We are 4 star mariners and are very dissatisfied with what is happening with HAL and the standard of the ship as it once was a fantastic line to sail with. On a positive note the Staff are always a pleasure but with the cutbacks on staff they are working twice as hard and consequently the tables in the pool area are not being cleared and no delivery of water or tea and coffee any more but of course you can still purchase a beer because that creates revenue. If you are booking the Noordam for travel before I understand November 2019 just bear in mind you are not getting the cabin as shown in the pictures or on the website As there are a lot of disgruntled passengers onboard. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The ship was excellent though too big. We had a balcony cabin on the 16th floor very good with unobstructed views. The staff couldn't be faulted.always smiling even though 50% of elderly passengers were rude and demanding without ... Read More
The ship was excellent though too big. We had a balcony cabin on the 16th floor very good with unobstructed views. The staff couldn't be faulted.always smiling even though 50% of elderly passengers were rude and demanding without manners.!!! The children on board were better behaved with better manners than some adults. Not enough seating in the indoor entertainment area's of the ship.(piazza and the theatre's) had to get to an area for the show you wanted to see at least 45mins early. No area around the ship for a good walk the promanade deck only went up each side of the ship and very narrow. The market dining area we felt left left a lot to be desired. most food cooked in oils or butter, no plain or steamed food, no sandwich making facilities. Even though there were several area's of choice the food daily was same, same. The resturaunts were fantastic especially the pizza and sympony dining.the hamburger bar on the deck was good too. Too many people just walking in the dining area's without washing there hands. worry about nova virus with poor hand hygiene.The excursions were fantastic and the tour guides very good value for money and saw a lot of the islands. The ships staff getting you on and of the ship did a fantastic job with the number of people most of them very pushy and rude to the staff and other passengers. We went on this cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding had a fantastic day but because of limited entertainment seating indoors when the weather was too cold to sit on deck we spent most afternoons in our cabin watching the TV . could have done that at home.will go on another princess cruise but will go on a smaller ship. Getting on and off the ship was expidited with reasonable speed at the begining and end of the voyage. couldn't fault that. Overall feeling was that the ship catered for the Chinese and American market rather than the Australian. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Nil
My friend who has not cruised wanted a 3 day experience. As a 4 time cruiser the food was appalling cold, hard to put a fork into and no taste, bland and unappetising. No beverage package available. My friend doesn’t have a credit card ... Read More
My friend who has not cruised wanted a 3 day experience. As a 4 time cruiser the food was appalling cold, hard to put a fork into and no taste, bland and unappetising. No beverage package available. My friend doesn’t have a credit card as was paying cash as her load and go card was not accepted everywhere else but P&O cruises. Beds hard pillows too soft. Staff unfriendly and not helpful except our cabin staff, 1 bar staff, spa staff and 1 pantry staff member. I also had the privilege of catching up with ex work members on the cruise for the same reason and also appalled by the cruise. Good thing was leaving the ship. On exiting I have never had to take my own bags off a ship until Jewel. I will never sail P&O again and word of mouth is a powerful tool. My survey has not received by email so I am voicing my dissatisfaction on behalf of me and ny friend. I have been informed jewel is being sold off but any P&O experience will not be on my radar. You need to go Royal Carrabien and a good experience and upgrade you services. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Of our many cruises, the one we took years ago on the Noordam is the only one we cannot remember. Having sailed her again, we think we understand why. It was a plain vanilla cruise, good vanilla ice cream, just not exciting or ... Read More
Of our many cruises, the one we took years ago on the Noordam is the only one we cannot remember. Having sailed her again, we think we understand why. It was a plain vanilla cruise, good vanilla ice cream, just not exciting or tremendously memorable. Embarkation was reasonably fast and our room was ready, which was appreciated. The first glitch happened when we decided to leave the ship briefly to look around the area. No one mentioned that the US government now requires picture ID to reboard ships in US territory. The port agent, not a HAL staffer, asked our cabin number, checked it against a manifest dating to five hours before we had boarded, and refused us boarding, despite the valid cruise cards around our necks. We instructed her to call the ship, and she reluctantly took their word for it that we were paying cruisers. So, if you are in the US, bring picture ID anytime you leave the ship. Boat drill was mildly bizarre with our officer sounding like someone from Costa Concordia as he said that if we should hear the abandon ship whistle, to stay in our cabin “and not get in the way.” We hope that was a lack of English skills, but that would be eerily “Costa” too. Oh dear. The main dining room gave us a good table, a good meal and reservations for the rest of the cruise. Oddly, they put us at different tables every night for a few nights and then assigned us back to the window table with waiter Rana for the duration. Since that was the best of our various tables, we were pleased. Noordam has a marvellous “walk right around it” walking deck. Only the Westerdam’s, which has drinking fountains, is better. There is no more smoking on the walking deck, which is lovely. It’s too bad that they take away all of the chairs and cushions so early. It wouldn’t cost a cent to let passengers enjoy that deck for another hour every night. Our cabin was the old style with lots of storage, though drawers were mostly at floor level. It wasn’t HAL’s fault that our balcony neighbours talked loudly, non stop, which made conversation or reading, or even listening to headphones, impossible. HAL’s Achilles heel, though, is plumbing. Whether it’s a single bucket catching a leak from the ceiling on Westerdam or what seemed to be sewage being vacuumed up in a corridor on Maasdam years ago, a HAL cruise will always have some plumbing issues. Usually the cruise is good enough that it doesn’t really matter. Our cabin had issues with lukewarm bathwater, a dripping shower head, a tub stopper that neither kept the water completely in nor let it drain completely out, and a troublesome toilet. We finally got one acceptable bath on the last night by turning the water to the hottest possible setting and running the water at half volume. Theoretically, by the way, the tub drain works by turning the coverplate on the overflow, and the shower diverter must be pulled up and also turned. There is no nightlight in the bathroom, but they are often too bright anyway and a phone works well. We did appreciate that the room was set up so that nobody had to have the bright light from the hall that shines in from under the door in their eyes as they lay in bed. When you have experienced this, it is delightful not to experience it. Breakfast in the Lido was always a disappointment. Things were never quite ready, never quite up to scratch. There was no evidence of any management presence. Goodness knows what they were calling whipped cream, but it was a lot like the whipped butter, which was not much like whipped butter. A breakfast in the restaurant was the only way to get a decent waffle, warm and crisp and with something like real whipped cream. Lunch in the Lido was another story. At lunch, management was visibly in action and they ran a tight ship, so to speak. Food was ready, hot, and reasonably tasty. Selection was fine. The Asian and the salad bar were always good. Sugar free ice cream, which is often freezer burnt on cruises, perhaps due to low demand, was so good that we wondered if the amaretto really was sugar free. Those strange little mousse things that always show up in sugar free were actually tasty a couple of times. This is not something that many cruise ships can do. The Dive In and Pinnacle were both as good as they claim. Except for the back deck, the Lido staff are very good about offering drinks but didn’t aggressively push the booze, which was appreciated. There is no hard selling anywhere on this cruise, which is another very large plus. On the negative side, you couldn’t get a good scone at tea, and one day we couldn’t get a table for two. They were “out” of them. We never saw the lava cake, (one of the best desserts at sea) and not once, but twice we had bar staffers banging on our door wanting to exchange items they didn’t want in the bar for items from our mini fridge. We wouldn’t have minded except that they acted more like SWAT teams taking down terrorists than people wanting favours. It was not smooth. On the upside, the macaroons in the Explorer’s Lounge, a.k.a. Library, were wonderful. There were more books than we have seen in a cruise library in many years. We got an okay scone there one day, too. The two rooms are large comfortable, quiet, and much used. Because it is still on the third floor, they haven’t messed with the Crow’s Nest. The ship, itself, is hard to beat. So, with this excellent old ship, why was it just a good cruise? One thing that seriously impaired our comfort was the nearly toxic cleaning product that was lavished on our cabin twice in an eight day cruise, so clearly it wasn’t carpet cleaner. We have no allergies, but it made our cabin very unpleasant for hours even with the balcony door open for ventilation. Anyone with allergies or even sensitivities would be sick. This is another thing that wouldn’t cost a cent to fix and could well keep us from sailing an otherwise great cruise line again. The Noordam is a great ship, but with a few problems and no pizzazz, though the chocolate surprise night was a nice try. It was a good cruise, but not much more memorable than our first cruise on the Noordam. Like the bathwater, it was better than lukewarm but just didn’t quite hit the mark. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our first time cruising on the Oceania. We chose this cruise because it started in Papeete and ended in LA, so we only had one long distance flight. Overall, all transfers, flights, the ship, ports of call, food everything was ... Read More
This was our first time cruising on the Oceania. We chose this cruise because it started in Papeete and ended in LA, so we only had one long distance flight. Overall, all transfers, flights, the ship, ports of call, food everything was perfect. The food was good and we enjoyed the specialty restaurants. We did five ship excursions. There was only one of those excursions that we were disappointed in. The tour director was not very good and took us to the caves in Bora Bora prior to 10:00 am so there were no lights in the cave (they come on at 10:00 am and the guide should have known that). My husband almost fell as we tried navigating using the light on our cell phone. The casino was empty most of the time so it wasn't really fun to be there. But obviously, that was the fault of the ship. We had a fabulous time on this cruise. We met wonderful people, enjoyed that part of the country which we had never seen, and enjoyed all the sea days. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I am glad this was only a 3 day sampler. I read dozens of reviews prior and decided people must be super fussy, that after all the cruise line info detailing how wonderful everything is, the reviews detailing how awful everyting is must ... Read More
I am glad this was only a 3 day sampler. I read dozens of reviews prior and decided people must be super fussy, that after all the cruise line info detailing how wonderful everything is, the reviews detailing how awful everyting is must be wrong, people must be too demanding. Staff were hurrying at 8.30pm to take food trays away, there was nothing available after that. We got a "PIZZA" delivered first night, it was crust, a wipe of tomato paste and six pieces of salami, no cheese nothing else on it and it was wet and sloppy like it had been in water or something. We paid for a balcony cabin, bottom of door to balcony and hinges were rusted, decor was like Las Vegas in the 1960s, all brown and dark, staff we saw, although we did not approach them for anything, were surly to passengers who did request something. We ate at the so-called restaurant on the second night, main meal consisted of a scrape of balsamic vinegar, ONE PRAWN and one undercooked potato in the skin. I AM NOT JOKING. No butter, no bread, I simply could not believe it. Brochure said dress up for dinner, they were letting in people in tee shirts, shorts and thongs. Made a mockery of dressing up. Went to back of ship, several lounges had books or towels on them, (this was 7.30am) things had been left there overnight as they were all wet. Hokey entertainment, in total a truly disappointing experience. I will never cruise again. Wont go on about everything else. But now I believe what people write about their cruise experiences. Breakfasts were good though. Only meal that was satisfactory. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
To start with we are loyal Royal Caribbean guests, however after going on 5 cruises on Allure, Harmony, Ovation, Explorer of the seas we wanted to try out another cruise company just to see the difference in standards. We also got this 2 ... Read More
To start with we are loyal Royal Caribbean guests, however after going on 5 cruises on Allure, Harmony, Ovation, Explorer of the seas we wanted to try out another cruise company just to see the difference in standards. We also got this 2 night comedy cruise on scoopon for a bargain rate so thought .... why not...... well.... lets start with the positives. (Btw this was a 2 night comedy cruise from Melbourne to Sydney) THE GOOD : Boarding and disembarking was easy and fast. Service is both terminals was wonderful. (I will note we were delayed 30 mins disembarking the ship due to customs, but thats not P&O's fault) Due to the smaller size of the ship its very easy to navigate and we did not have to use the lifts once. The comedy gala was fantastic and we went to every show - there were about 5 shows over the 2 days , this was the only entertainment available other than live music in the bars . Service at the bars was very fast and reasonably priced. THE BAD : SHIP: The ship is really showing its age and a-lot of the public areas have had no attention to the wear and tear of the furniture, seats were worn, chipped and some are broken. Floor under the lovely astro turf is uneven and lumpy. The room itself was clean, and a good size, however containing everything that was in the room when they purchased the ship off the last company its old, dated and the lamps were broken and held together with sticky tape. FOOD: I can only compare this to Royal but the food that was included was horrible. The items in the "Pantry" were the same items that were available in the dinning room. Food was cooked many hours before it was serviced and was only warm with that taste "that its been re-heated". Outside of the breakfast, lunch & dinner hours there is no other options for a snack unless you want to pay for it. (When we walked past a station of nuggets, chips and hot dogs at 4.30pm we asked the lady if we could just get some nuggets as we missed lunch, she rudely told us that it was for children only and we would have to wait. I would understand if there was 50 children waiting however there was no-one anywhere near and seeing there was a tray of 300 nuggets i don't think 6 would have made much difference. SERVICE: Service was very hit and miss and the Main dinning room has no dress standards - their was a mix of suits, singlets, flip flops , shirts (and even saw a guy were a suit with flip flops) ACTIVITES : Everything except for the shows are NOT INCLUDED and are at an additional cost. we did not take part in these so cannot comment but $29 for a 30 second zipline was not our cup of tea. OVERALL : We won't be going back to P&O however it was good to experience another side of cruising. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Last Cruised in - 1980 , P & O Oriana, Catch up with friend on short cruise from back then. Find out what Cruising in 2018 Was like. Excellent time on Carnival Spirit, All Service was good , ship was good , Crew Good, ... Read More
Last Cruised in - 1980 , P & O Oriana, Catch up with friend on short cruise from back then. Find out what Cruising in 2018 Was like. Excellent time on Carnival Spirit, All Service was good , ship was good , Crew Good, Ship was easy to get around on , to all relevent facilities.food in buffet area very good. Especially enjoyed made to order Omletes for breakfast, Empire Restaurant excellant with Your Time Dining option. Drinks a little bit expensive side , but what heck most pubs in Sydney charge too, Carnival bars catered for Aussie Beers , on Tap , which was a plus , Tooheys , VB , xxxx, Plus their own brew Thirsty Frog. ALL bars had table service for lazy time people , Only one disapointment, was Shore Excursion to Cascade Brewery facility was not operating, but was a Saturday. $100.00 ouch. Cost of cruise was good. Good time had will cruise again. On Carnival or P& O etc Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The crew, security and cleaning staff were all stellar. Melbourne folks are an absolute blast to party with. Carnival Liberty sells more alcohol than any other ship in the fleet largely due to the good folks from Melbourne's love for ... Read More
The crew, security and cleaning staff were all stellar. Melbourne folks are an absolute blast to party with. Carnival Liberty sells more alcohol than any other ship in the fleet largely due to the good folks from Melbourne's love for celebrating life to the fullest! If your looking for a glass-half-full trip then this is the one. It's also largely suitable for families, we could see no evidence of any impropriety.. just great great times. Truffles restaurant was great and they would break the dinner up with their dancing cabaret through the enthused diners. We didn't really try the buffet up on the Lido deck except for cooked breakfasts. The staff were so very courteous and helpful. They made the whole experience very personable one which I really love. The best advice I can give is don't try to participate in all the activities all the time - you will exhaust yourself. Just pace yourself and give yourself a little buffer to go and enjoy the view of Bass Straight from the observation deck. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because the price was unbelievably cheap and it turned out to be a very good cruise. I was surprised how nice the ship was after reading some of the comments on Cruise Critic tearing the ship apart saying the ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the price was unbelievably cheap and it turned out to be a very good cruise. I was surprised how nice the ship was after reading some of the comments on Cruise Critic tearing the ship apart saying the ship looks old, cabins look outdated etc. But I found the cabin that I was in to be quite large and it was an inside cabin at that and very modern, the rest of the ship looked quite good and plush. I especially liked the lookout lounge in the Dome it was fantastic and it took me back to when I used to travel on the old Oriana and I would sit in the lookout lounge in the late afternoon watching the sun set and sipping on a Bourbon and Coke waiting for dinner. Pacific Eden took me back to my younger days and they even had a great piano player playing songs and people sitting around the piano singing or just getting into the beat and dancing same as the Oriana. The piano was in the the mix bar. I found this ship to be quite modern and stylish even for her age. The ship is not too big and not too small just the right size with a comfortable amount of passengers. I found the Pantry was small with less tables than the Pacific Explorer but the Eden didn't have the same amount of passengers either but to my surprise there was never any problem getting a table in the Pantry and the other passengers on board where very polite and not reserving tables and I think this made a difference. The food in the Pantry quite nice and they had different items on each day. The Main Dining Room was very nice but the menu there needs a bit more selection. I came across some passengers who reckoned the food was not as good as the food on the RCL, Princess and QE. and I tried to explain that they were comparing a 3 star ship to 5 and six star ships and the price difference too. There is entertainment all night long and so yes it is a funship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was the third cruise we have had on le Boreal and L'Austral. All have been excellent, This cruise was to the Sub antarcic Islands from Dunedin via the sounds and ending in Wellington NZ. As the ship was being repositioned from ... Read More
This was the third cruise we have had on le Boreal and L'Austral. All have been excellent, This cruise was to the Sub antarcic Islands from Dunedin via the sounds and ending in Wellington NZ. As the ship was being repositioned from Wellington to Sydney we were offered a free cruise to Sydney. The expedition could not be faulted as the weather and the seas allowed us to land on all the Islands where it is permitted. This we were told was exceptional. Even the cruise across the Tasman was akin to a Manly Ferry trip. We actually landed on both days as per the itinerary at Macquarie Island. Many of the expedition guides visited many times and had never achieved both landings. Some years were impossible to land at all. We also landed on Campbell Is and Enderby Is which were amazing. The entire operation was exceptionally managed and organised and minor tweaks were necessary to avoid some bad weather ahead of us. The Itinerary was completed with only one Zodiac outing cancelled due to unsafe waters over the loading deck at the Antipodese Is. Landing was not allowed there by NZNP's anyhow and it was a Zodiac inspection anyhow. The ship spent some time circumnavigating the islands so we could see the abundant bird life but missed the close up experience penguins and seals which we seen everywhere else. We had seen so many of these previously we didn't really miss much. All in all the entire expedition was amazing.Bio security was adhered to so nothing was conveyed to the Islands that would affect the ecology. Even no fresh food was allowed ashore. Things changed at Wellinton where many passengers left the ship to be replaced by people taking the 4 day cruise to Sydney. Is was to be a no frills cruise but developed into a big swill cruise with many of the new passengers overindulging in the open bar. They were not typical of the many passengers we have met and enjoyed on previous cruises who are mainly interested in the theme of the cruise - expeditions not boozing to excess. The cabins were comfortable and well serviced. As we were repeat passengers laundry was included. Dining was excellent at all meals. We preferred the more casual dining on Deck 6 which is buffet. The staff there were so accomodating and friendly where we found the dining in the formal dining room more formal and patronised by the more affluent wishing to be waited upon. The food is identical. Service is also more formal. There are no set dining periods or allocated seating. It is as you wish during the opening hours. On deck 6 bookings are often required due to popularity particularly if weather permits and as out-door dining is possible it is often extended to poolside. Each day there was a specially prepared dish available on deck 6 prepared by an exceptional chef (Jerome). Roast suckling pig,roast beef and lamb as well as a steak tartar to die for as well as prawns and scallops and many others. These meals are prepared for both lunch and dinner. Soups are always amazing.Wines are provided, red,white and rose at lunch and dinner which are reasonable but the more exclusive wines which are also available are expensive. Entertainment is restricted to 4 females and a male dancer and their performance is excellent.and if weather permits is performed on the pool deck. Otherwise it's in the theatre. For the more physical active a small gym is available to work off the extra weight that is so easy to put on.. Spa and massages are available. The lounges are comfortable and have singers or pianists playing at set times which are always advised in the daily schedule. Lectures are provided most days by one or other of the on-board guides, naturalists and scientists and are always most interesting and appropriate according to the areas being visited. Briefings and weather forecasts (if appropriate) are held before dinner regarding the next day's activities. In the sub-Antarctic they were were more than interesting and always gave us an appreciation of what we may expect be it good or bad. We have always found the cruise/expedition more than good value for money. The fact passenger size is limited to according to the size of the expedition and guides. Generally around 200 plus or minus a few depending upon how many people are permitted ashore which is dictated by the authorities managing the sites. Zodiac transfers are a breeze and access to/from the ship excellently achieved with ships crew amazing. Announcents are in French and English as there are usually more than a few French passengers on board (and they rule). It is after all a French owned ship. We have Been there and done that now three times and we will not travel with any other company based on ship size and passenger service. Many of the passengers and expedition staff formerly travelled or worked on the Orion which has now left Australian shores. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My wife and I, plus two friends, chose this cruise on the recommendations of several friends who had sailed Holland America many years ago. Then itinerary appeared to be very interesting and since we cruise often we decided to go on this ... Read More
My wife and I, plus two friends, chose this cruise on the recommendations of several friends who had sailed Holland America many years ago. Then itinerary appeared to be very interesting and since we cruise often we decided to go on this 39 day (Sydney to San Diego) cruise. The flight from S.F. to Sydney was comfortable by Quantas and embarkation was well managed by Holland America. Once we set sail the problems started to occur. The Madam is an old ship with many problems. Many days we, and our neighboring cabins, were without hot water. Calls to the desk did not seem to resolve the ongoing problem. The ship dining services are quite understaffed. While the staff is very courteous, there is just not enough of them to attend to the passengers. The four of us boarded the ship in fine health but within a few days we, and it seemed like half the ship, was coughing continually. A trip to the ship's clinic to purchase a bottle of cough syrup resulted in a small four ounce bottle for $24 US. The ship then went into a quarantine mode. Everyone was coughing and wheezing! I bet they sold a bunch of those $24 cough syrup bottles. Several ports were severely delayed in disembarkation due to tender boat issues. They never did get that resolved! Half the washers and dryers in the laundry rooms did not function. This caused a lot of wasted time and frustration on the ship.The ships leaks badly: it leaked often in the showroom ( on us and others) and it leaked in the buffet, on our food, while we were eating.The staff was unable to do anything other than place buckets to catch the water! The topper, to some of us, was the televised channels listed and promoted the Winter Olympics, to begin on a certain day. That day arrived and the Olympics were not televised!!! I called the desk and was told the HAL will not televise the Olympics, even though ESPN had that capability. Now that is really cutting corners!!! In conclusion, I found the crew and staff to be very accommodating and friendly, but they can only do so much? HAL has got to be less concerned about ROI Return On Investment and more quality of experience focused. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The South Pacific Islands and Easter Island had been on the bucket list for years, and we finally decided to take the plunge, sailing from Lima, Peru to Papeete, Tahiti on our favorite cruise line. Unfortunately it became apparent several ... Read More
The South Pacific Islands and Easter Island had been on the bucket list for years, and we finally decided to take the plunge, sailing from Lima, Peru to Papeete, Tahiti on our favorite cruise line. Unfortunately it became apparent several days into the cruise that some folks were suffering gastro illnesses, which turned into a full blown outbreak of Noro virus. The crew did their level best to staunch the spread, but, alas, we all know how insidious that illness can be. As I said, the crew did their best. And I'm happy to report that most of the passengers with whom I had contact made the best of a bad situation. Perhaps we were just lucky, but none of my new-found and old friends got sick. Guess we were careful about washing hands and using sanitizers provided everywhere on board. Just wish all had done so! As I just said, we made the best of the situation and were able to enjoy a fabulous cruise, and we were not disappointed. As I mentioned, Easter Island (Rapa Nui, its traditional name) was on our itinerary for a two day opportunity to visit the island. We were fortunate to have as an on-board lecturer James Grant-Peterkin, a long time resident of the island. He was great, and each of his lectures turned out to be standing room only! And a group of CC members (ourselves included) had pre-booked the two day tour on EI with the tour company he owned, Easter Island Spirit, which certainly did not disappoint us in any way! I'm sure many of you know just how 'iffy' it is to be able to go ashore on EI due to the sea swells usually encountered in this area of the Pacific, but I'm happy to report that the Marina was blessed to be able to accomplish this on not one, but both days. An experience not to be missed! Two days later we had the residents of Pitcairn Island board the ship with offerings made on the island. A great opportunity to meet these hardy folks. Our on-board experience on this cruise was exceptional, which we have come to expect on Oceania (discounting the MINOR inconveniences of not having use of the self-service laundry and coffee machines). The entire staff who worked like dogs to control the noro, from cabin attendents through upper staff members, retained their cheerful, friendly attitudes. I'm sure the additional sanitizing duties had them all worn out, but you would never see it either in their faces nor their attitudes. They all deserved our gratitude, not our criticism! The Marina was in her usual pristine condition - again discounting the noro, which was not the ship's fault, but rather the fault of those passengers who either picked up the bug on their flights or neglected rudimentary personal sanitation procedures. All dining venues continued to please our personal preferences, and service was exemplary. Kudos to all! Will we be back? OF COURSE! In closing, I just want to point out a few items that folks here seem to blame Oceania for both of which are, and will continue to be, out of their control: boarding in Callao (Lima's port city) is not an Oceania shortfall; rather the blame lies with the port authority which owns/manages the port. And secondly, the outbreak of noro which is solely attributable to the passengers failure to practice hand washing/sanitizing, and to report illness promptly! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our third cruise with P&O and our our 13th in total. There were four of us on the trip (a 4 day comedy themed cruise from Auckland to Sydney), my wife and I and my sister and brother-in-law who were taking their first ... Read More
This was our third cruise with P&O and our our 13th in total. There were four of us on the trip (a 4 day comedy themed cruise from Auckland to Sydney), my wife and I and my sister and brother-in-law who were taking their first cruise. Our overall impressions were not great. Whilst the entertainment provided by the five “resident” comedians was good and a couple of the chances to discuss comedy were excellent, the rest of the cruise was disappointing, the service was patchy and the crew weren’t particularly engaging or seeming to enjoy themselves. Dining The food was a particular issue, the pantry is very poor quality, my brother in law described it by saying you’d be very disappointed if you received similar at the food court in your local shopping mall. Some of it was almost inedible (I had an oatmeal for breakfast one morning that had clearly been made by someone who had never seen oatmeal before, it was cold and had a soup like consistency). The dining room was of better quality but only slightly and the amount of selection available had diminished significantly from our two previous P&O voyages. We dined there for dinner twice and lunch once and the organisation of the groups turning up was pretty shambolic especially on the first night when although we had booked a dining time it was just chaos trying to get in. We dined once at Salt and that was of a really good standard although at an additional $49 pp you would hope so! Accommodation We had both booked ocean view cabins on level 9 which were fine and the Jewel (along with the Dawn) have some of the best designed showers at sea with plenty of room in them. Entertainment Staff I was interested to note that P&O had changed the title of the cruise director (which sort of makes sense actually) to entertainment director. It’s a bit of a damning indictment that just a few days after the cruise I can’t recall her name and she was practically invisible the entire trip apart from introducing the evening show. One of her offsides (Steven) was far more visible and if I hadn’t known better would have assumed he was the cruise director. Misc The constant charging for every minor addition was pretty annoying and although I get that it is at the budget end of the scale, it felt like you were being nickel and dimed at every point, even the wellness lectures were a thinly disguised chance to sell over priced orthotics. I was disappointed for my sister and brother in law who had really been looking forward to the trip especially as we had been bugging them to come on a cruise with us for years but left feeling like they had a really low budget experience. On the up side the boarding and departures were very well organised and for once boarding times were actually enforced by the shore staff in Auckland resulting in manageable queues and an easy boarding experience. Even as an entry level cruise I struggle to give this more than two stars and that will unfortunately be our last P&O (Australia) cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
HOLLAND AMERICAN CRUISE 11/06/17 A few months prior to our cruise we consulted our Holland American Cruise Consultant, Amy, who kept us up to date on last minute offers and any information that might be helpful to us. Boarding was ... Read More
HOLLAND AMERICAN CRUISE 11/06/17 A few months prior to our cruise we consulted our Holland American Cruise Consultant, Amy, who kept us up to date on last minute offers and any information that might be helpful to us. Boarding was as smooth as I have experienced over many cruises. We had access to our cabin immediately. After reading the many horror stories about the Holland American Line ship Maasdam we kept our reservation with some trepidation. Upon entering our cabin we were pleasantly surprised to find everything spotless and in excellent condition. After our first day on the cruise all was good, No negative issues. Our two cabin Stewarts are great. I used the Wi-Fi in our cabin and it was “cruise ship super slow” as expected. So far so very good! Other reviews will follow. Ten days into the cruise. We have had meals in the dining room, the Camelitto restaurant, the cafeteria style restaurant and room service. The food in all venues was excellent as was the service. We have no complaints about the food selection quality, quantity or service. We have had interaction with many of the staff and all have been professional, helpful and very cheerful. The ship itself is fine, she is a beautiful vessel. We can’t understand the comments that she is ready for the scrap yard. These folks must have been going around with a magnifying glass looking for issues to complain about. The entertainment is fine for a cruise ship; we live in Las Vegas so our idea of live entertainment is skewed to the “over the top” end of the spectrum. Twenty days into the cruise we are still very happy with the ship and crew. The shore stops leave much to be desired but this is not the fault of HAL, the stops after Hawaii – Pago-Pago, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia are places with some interesting things to do, but primitive. How many native villages do you want to see? Disembarking in Sydney was fast and easy with a very efficient shuttle to the airport. Overall I give this ship five stars. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I chose the option of a cruise so I didn't have to negotiate the tedious rigors of airport security and the daily pains of finding a place to eat and another to visit to fill in my holiday. I work long hours normally and get very ... Read More
I chose the option of a cruise so I didn't have to negotiate the tedious rigors of airport security and the daily pains of finding a place to eat and another to visit to fill in my holiday. I work long hours normally and get very little time off so the wife and I wanted a holiday that was out of NZ and stress free. The Vanuatu Explorer certainly achieved this. While the ship itself is a bit tired, they do well with what they have. Service and staff were excellent. Atmosphere of the ship itself fantastic and we finally got the rest we deserved meeting a lot of good Kiwis in the process. It is true that you need to be careful as there are cash traps, once on the ship you are tied to the boat and reliant on the prices there in which are a bit excessive. On the whole however our first cruise a success. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We did a New England cruise on the Jewel in 2010 and had a wonderful time: Staff was friendly, entertainment was great and food was outstanding. Sad to say that none of this applied to the cruise we just completed: Embarkation: We were ... Read More
We did a New England cruise on the Jewel in 2010 and had a wonderful time: Staff was friendly, entertainment was great and food was outstanding. Sad to say that none of this applied to the cruise we just completed: Embarkation: We were directed into the wrong line up as attendants were not aware of the priority check in for diamond members. First impressions: The ship appeared in good condition. The decor might be a bit dated, but it was functional, comfortable and clean. The cabin: The first big disappointment. The cabin was very small with insufficient space for luggage. But what grossed us out immediately was the filthy carpet. So bad that we did not want to take off our shoes! We were told that it was scheduled for replacement next year but that did not help us now. O'Sheedans: Touted by Norwegian as the 'wildly popular' pub turned out to be the wildly unpopular replacement of the Blue Lagoon 24hr fast food joint which we all loved. On our first visit we waited 40 minutes for a waiter before we got up and just left. A few days later we tried it again, and this time we got fast service - grouchy, but fast. But the food was awful. The spinach artichoke dip looked more like wall paper paste with a taste to match. I could not eat it. The food: Although there were a few bright spots (great croissants, roast beef and some fish dishes), the food ranged from mediocre to lousy. Sometimes luke warm, sometimes heavily salted, sometimes long waits and sometimes not resembling what the menu said. The entertainment: The Burn The Floor dance group was spectacular. Most other shows were cruise ship average. And the comedians were mostly Australians with heavy accents so we could not understand them. Port services: This cruise had a lot of tendering and this worked very well. What was missing was any information about the port, like the little map you used to get to see where they drop you off. Even worse, in some ports we were told it was unsafe and too long a distance to walk to town from the port. They wanted us to buy their bus service. Turned out the walk was 0.6 miles on a nice sidewalk - totally enjoyable and safe. The staff: It looked to us that this ship had a higher than normal amount of crew members with issues. This was particularly the case in the food serving areas. In summary, we feel that in their quest to become the lowest price operator, Norwegian has crossed the line of what we consider acceptable food quality and service. We will not be back anytime soon, at any price.Thanks for the good memories of days past!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise because of itinerary (ports of call). There were a lot of sea days, but past experiences told us that we would have decent entertainment and events to fill the time. Wrong! Holland America, has cut back so ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of itinerary (ports of call). There were a lot of sea days, but past experiences told us that we would have decent entertainment and events to fill the time. Wrong! Holland America, has cut back so drastically on the quality of the cruise experience, that we would avoid travelling with them again. We paid substantial money, and did not get decent value for it. The nighttime entertainment on our 31 day cruise, included 4 evenings with juggling acts (that were appropriate for a child's birthday party), a movie that was featured twice, the ships own singers and dancers that did their 3 shows, twice, as well as some Australian singers that were promoted as professionals of high calibre, but may have been appropriate as lounge singers. Gone are the days of afternoon entertainment and live music on the Lido deck. I was told that this has been taken away frome all Holland America's fleet. The Sailway parties are now unhosted, so they never get started as a party, and the only music for them is not age appropriate to the crowd, and is only over the PA system. There are no more on deck parties, as they have had in the past, and forget about any organized events like they have done in the past with horse races and decorating the horse or karaoke. Sincerely, you can stay home and read or play bridge at no cost, whereas they charge a bundle to supply a chair for you to do this. The portion sizes of meals have shrunk, although you can always order more, but you pay an additional cost to eat in their other restaurants, and the food in no better. Their beef meals are outstanding, but be prepared to be disappointed with overcooked and mushy fish. Five out of six fish meals I ate, including in the premium restaurant were overcooked, and these are professional chefs! Be prepared to pay $13.50 per person per day, for gratuities, plus an automatic 15% gratuity added to all drinks, which are already overpriced. Don't expect to find anything more than a mediocre bottle of wine for only pennies under $30. Keeping in mind that they purchase all their alcohol, Tax and duty free, they still charge prices equivalent to mid to high-end market prices. We asked for the daily paper to be delivered to our cabin. Never saw it. We booked and had written confirmation for dinner nervous reservations at a premium restaurant, they screwed up the date. We had our Australia visas all lined up and printed. They told us that one of ours wasn't registered, but for $35, they could do that for us. When I proved it was all in order, they discovered it was another passenger that wasn't registered for the visa. This after I waited in a long line up to prove my point, and I am not sure that I got a sincere apology. The best ports of call seem to have very limited stop overs, and some secondary ports have long ones. Ship excursions are priced significantly higher than the equivalent tours purchased directly from local vendors. It seems that this cruise line constantly has their hand in your pocket, once you have paid for the trip and boarded the ship. The well to do, like to be ripped off. Those of us of average means seem to get ripped off as a result. Many of the free seminars, are just sales pitches to promote the over priced spa treatments, or to sell you their "snake oil" health and beauty products. All in all, for value for money, there are better options available than Holland America. Shame on their management for down grading what was a great Company! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Firstly, we had an amazing 34 night voyage. The crew and friends we made were the best part of the trip. The dining room, restaurants, shops, bars, casino and all of the staff working in these areas were wonderful and we wouldn't ... Read More
Firstly, we had an amazing 34 night voyage. The crew and friends we made were the best part of the trip. The dining room, restaurants, shops, bars, casino and all of the staff working in these areas were wonderful and we wouldn't change very much at all. Our cabin was excellent, although the Neptune Suite on the Noordam is no better or worse than the Owners Suite on Royal Caribbean ships we have cruised on. The food on HAL was generally better than on RCI The wine list on RCI is better The entertainment was on a par, as was the casino, although the Texas Hold-em was an electronic game not a real dealer. There were a couple of things that we found disappointing. The on-board singers and dancers could have been a lot better. The disembarkation process for suite guests could have been much better. Despite having priority we were still faced with long queues. The ship board activities were almost non-existent. This wasn't such a big issue for a long cruise as we made lots of new friends and found ways to amuse ourselves. I'd be unlikely to take a shorter cruise (2 weeks or less) with HAL. Other than the sail-away party, there were no on-deck activities either during the day or in the evening. America's Test Kitchen was very disappointing. It seemed to be focussed on people who had never cooked before. The nightclub was deserted on every night. I was told they plan to move this when the ship gets refurbished. This will be a good thing. Only BB Kings and the Piano bar had any signs of life after 9pm in the evenings. The Cruise Director and staff only seemed to appear once each day - during the morning Coffee Chat. Not sure what they did for the rest of the day, but we didn't see them. On the whole, we had a great time, and next time we consider a longer cruise we'll definitely look at HAL, though probably not the Noordam. For any cruise up to 3 weeks in length, we won't be looking at Holland America. My wife and I are in our early 50's, so maybe this isn't the cruise line for us yet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I would rate the Noordam excellent for the stewards responsible for room, dining, and buffet. The ship was clean, food good and service excellent. BB King club was great. The itinerary, weather and seas were perfect for us. The problem ... Read More
I would rate the Noordam excellent for the stewards responsible for room, dining, and buffet. The ship was clean, food good and service excellent. BB King club was great. The itinerary, weather and seas were perfect for us. The problem with our balcony. An outside vent was so strong in odor we couldn't open the door for even a moment. After twelve days they finally covered it with tape and plastic that took five minutes. It fixed the problem but I still can't believe it took constant phone calls to the front desk to get them to do that. You could also smell the odor in other parts of the ship but not as strong as our balcony. If Holland would have fixed the problem when it occurred I would have been fine. Like I say it took 12 days. Sour note on the trip. Lost a lot confidence in Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017

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