285 Sydney (Australia) First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

This was our first ever cruise with any company and it has put me off any future sailing with RC. I went on board with an open mind after reading many poor reviews about this ship. Unfortunately, most negatives were confirmed. Too ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise with any company and it has put me off any future sailing with RC. I went on board with an open mind after reading many poor reviews about this ship. Unfortunately, most negatives were confirmed. Too crowded. Too long to wait for any activities if they were not already booked out. Very short times on activities due to the number of guests they are trying to accomodate. (1 hr wait per activity the norm) Think your getting something special with the drinks package including premium coffee but there are so few places to get a decent coffee expect a 30-40 min wait at peak times. No real dramas with other beverage availability but some venues need more bar staff to reduce wait times. Food quality was quite inconsistent. Some was good and some was poor. Most was pub grub at best. Even in the 'extra fee' restaurants we were disappointed. Felt like RC is out to bleed your wallet at every opportunity. We had a travelling companion that needed some antibiotics from the medical centre. A consultation and a few pills later... a bill for $400 US? Trying to get off for the day at a port, now that's an experience. Expect delays after delays and total chaos trying to get 5000 people through one gangway and everyone wanting to be the first ashore. Ovation gangway rage was brewing. Trying to get a decent seat near a pool... Set your alarm for 6 am. Want a decent seat at a show you've booked.... Get there an hour early or you'll end up trying to look around a 400mm column in the Royal Theatre or be stuck up the back of Two70 with a huge designer lamp blocking your view to the upper level stages. Forget about seeing the performers on the lower stages unless your in the front 2 rows. The robot bar is the ultimate gimmick. It doesn't create drinks anywhere near the standard of a decent bartender and spills 15% of your selection trying to get it in the plastic cup. Most times I walked past, it was being re-stocked or had broken down. And the one that most people don't expect... This ship looks like a tsunami couldn't influence it's bulk. Wrong! Ovation is quite influenced by a swell as low as 3-4 metres. It's just too damn top heavy so be prepared for some extra rock 'n roll. With the huge amount of guests on board and the chaos we experienced in calm controlled conditions, one might question their ability to efficiently handle an emergency situation. On the positive side, If you do get a decent seat for any entertainment you should enjoy the talented performers. The band 'Rock The Boat' is one of the tightest and most talented covers bands you'll find anywhere. The Dream and Legs were also great. Pixels... well, got a crap seat so couldn't see much of that. Most of the staff are very friendly and efficient and will bend over backwards to try and please you. The accomodation is spacious, modern and comfortable but any announcements can't be heard inside the well insulated cabins. Dumb! Dumb! Dumb! Should be a speaker and volume control or TV override so you don't have open your cabin door to hear any announcements. Most people I spoke to on the ship about their experience had similar opinions to us and most said they won't sail again on Ovation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Terrible customer service. Had to line up in huge lines for food everyday, lines for kids club (waited about 45 minutes the first day and they tried to pass me someone else's child to pick up). My Children hated the kids club, they ... Read More
Terrible customer service. Had to line up in huge lines for food everyday, lines for kids club (waited about 45 minutes the first day and they tried to pass me someone else's child to pick up). My Children hated the kids club, they barely interact with the children. Terrible food and not much variety. I will never go on another cruise again. We paid for a suite which was quite expensive and wouldn't say the trip was worth it. Didn't cater for my Gluten Free child, I ended up having to walk back and forth between the restaurant and buffet to ask someone to cook my child something GF and every time they passed it off to someone else and said we cant do that for you. We disembarked at port villa and flew home as the customer service, food and overall state of the boat was terrible. Will not be recommending carnival to any friends or family. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
As it was my first cruise I did not know what to expect. I found the whole experience a joy. The ship is well set out with everything easy to locate. The cabin was quite roomy & well maintained with friendly & courteous staff. The ... Read More
As it was my first cruise I did not know what to expect. I found the whole experience a joy. The ship is well set out with everything easy to locate. The cabin was quite roomy & well maintained with friendly & courteous staff. The main dining room was a bit crowded at times but with over 2,300 guests it was still great. The Matre'd and wait staff were great, friendly fun it was a pleasure to dine there the food was great. We also dined at the neuvou restaurant where once again the service was fantastic the menu was varied & the food first class, portion sizes perfect for $45.00 great value. Entertainment was generally good. One particular band "The Band of Shipsie's" was fantastic with a great & varied playlist. Other activities were good. I could not fault the service provided by all levels of staff. The ports & shore excursions were good with local guides very knowledgeable & humorous. We did not travel with children but they seem well catered for. As this was my first cruise I would not hesitate in going again. Once again a great experience! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I am writing to advise other potential future customers for a P&O Cruise and the treatment they can expect. This is a account of many issues that occurred on our cruise that completed on the 27th May. Cruise J624 on the Pacific ... Read More
I am writing to advise other potential future customers for a P&O Cruise and the treatment they can expect. This is a account of many issues that occurred on our cruise that completed on the 27th May. Cruise J624 on the Pacific Jewel. We organised a holiday voyage to join up 3 separate family's as we all live apart from Melbourne up to Townsville. As we had kids, were advised to book real early as only a limited amount of children are allowed on board, due to this we had payed full price as this cruise was organised over a year ago so no discounts. On arrival at our cabin on departure (16th May) in the corridor outside our room was 5 blower/driers going and a strong smell of heavy deodorisers. The next day we awoke to a large commotion going on outside our door, the cabin had a pool of water flowing in under the door and seeping in to under the table some 2 metres inside the cabin. The cabin cleaner knocked on our door and told us a leakage had sprung from the clean water main outside the cabin and not to worry. About 20 minutes later the room started to stink and we found out the leakage was raw sewage! I went into the corridor and P&O staff were using a 10 metre long sewage snake on the pipes in the wall behind our cabin. The whole family including kids had been walking through this mess it to access the bathroom! The 5 P&O workers outside our door knew it was sewage and lied to us. We were finally offered a downgraded cabin a week later we accepted. My kids, wife and mother had to sleep in a cabin stinking of sewage. This sewage issue was obviously a ongoing issue from a previous cruise and not adequately fixed. Other issues. 1/ we booked 2 ad joining cabins, we were separated. 2/ kids club, we chose P&O over other cruise options as kids club advertised for 2 to 6 yo. We tried to book out now 2yo in and were told by kids club staff this was not possible as all children attending must be fully toilet trained before they can attend? As our 2 year old is not toilet trained he could not attend at all! This is not made clear and only when you review the fine print is it pointed out. The small compensation paid onboard for 3 adults (our child not included,,why) to us over this issue was the same as the 5 adjoining cabins, but they only had raw sewage outside the cabin, not over 2 metres inside the cabin, this leaving the cabin stinking and ongoing air dryers required to be in our room. Since our return I have been constantly trying to get adequate compensation from P&O. Have finally been offered another $750 in total for our cabin of 4 on top of the on board compensation of about $450 and a $200 payment for a room downgrade. Have spoken to a few legal services and have been told as it happened on a overseas registered ship in international waters, it's not like a simple small claims tribunal claim. Think VERY seriously about taking a future voyage. A lot better holiday options out there. The onboard staff look like walking Zombies, can walk pass the reception desk and see the same faces dreaming of better places to be, the cabin attendants, food staff all look totally burnt out from working 16 hour days. The whole first week I must have visited the reception desk about 20 times trying to get my family out of that cabin and had to deal with their pathetic but well practiced customer "conflict resolution" tactics. I watched the same women on reception run behind the counter every time I was in the line as she did not want to deal with me. She preferred her co workers to handle my inquiries (yes I know you did!) Would love to hear from others on our voyage down on deck 5. The beautiful islands we visited were amazing but all of the issues we all had in our time on the Pacific Jewel and your staff completely spoilt it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Our cruise was the first for my wife and I, and our first time away from the kids so our first holiday as just a couple again. My folks are massive cruisers, they do 2 or 3 a year all over the world so we had a wealth of advice to draw ... Read More
Our cruise was the first for my wife and I, and our first time away from the kids so our first holiday as just a couple again. My folks are massive cruisers, they do 2 or 3 a year all over the world so we had a wealth of advice to draw from. We chose a South Pacific cruise on the Carnival spirit as the dates suited and we got a great rate on an Ocean Suite. The cruise visited Noumea, Mare and the Isle of pines. The itinerary wasn't as much of a consideration for us as we were looking forward to just enjoying each other and relaxing. One thing I will say is that the itinerary next time will be a be a big consideration. Port days are busy, 3,4 or 5 in a row will be hectic, look for a day at sea or two in between a couple of ports. We found the days at sea the most enjoyable and relaxing! Embarkation was smooth and quick, obviously helped by having priority boarding with an Ocean Suite. One thing about the décor on the Spirit is that it's out there and probably takes a little time to get used to, but I think that adds to it's charm in a way. I overheard another passenger describe it as "Like an RSL on steroids" that made me laugh as it is a very appropriate analogy. Had no problems with the restaurants and the food was good. We had anytime dining which suited us so we usually didn't go to dinner until about 8pm. Obviously if you have kids then an earlier set time would suite.Service was great and the staff attentive and polite. We made use of the fine dining restaurant, Nouveau a couple of times and it was well worth it! There were quite a few kids on board but generally they were well behaved and no issue really. We did make use of the adults only area called Serenity on the rear deck of the ship quite a bit but if you want to get a Pod or deck chair you have to get in early. The spirit is known as a family orientated ship so don't whinge about the kids on board, you should know that well before booking anyway if you research properly. I won't say much about the ports other than they were pleasant and pretty. Noumea was pretty boring as we arrived on a sunday and nothing was open! The bus tour we did was Ok! The choo choo train seemed popular and those we spoke to said Aimadee Island was worth the money! We made good use of the comedy club, some great comics had me in stitches (adults only sessions) and we used the bars a bit but not a lot. Didn't catch any of the shows but stuck our heads in once or twice, seemed ok and well attended. Our Cabin stewards were amazing, especially Mr G (Glorioso) polite and attentive and knew everybody on the deck by first name! In summary, a wonderful, relaxing holiday. The ship does not pretend to be high end, but what it does offer is a value for money holiday, if you have higher expectations then maybe book with Princess or Celebrity or similar. If you have a good idea what to expect and understand the general demographic of passengers you will appreciate Carnival and the ship. We will be looking to cruise again with Carnival with the kids next time! We learned that a cruise is what you make of it, if you go with preconceived ideas you may end up disappointed, if you go with an open mind you will likely end up pleasantly surprised. Can't fault the cruise line, the ship or the crew! A great cruise, we loved it! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We were fairly nervous first time cruisers who decided to take a shorter (8 night) cruise to test our sea legs. Based on a recommendation from a friend, we were incredibly happy we chose to cruise on Celebrity Solstice. The ship is truly ... Read More
We were fairly nervous first time cruisers who decided to take a shorter (8 night) cruise to test our sea legs. Based on a recommendation from a friend, we were incredibly happy we chose to cruise on Celebrity Solstice. The ship is truly beautiful with wonderful appointments and I've never experienced such amazing customer service from every staff member we encountered. Maybe this is usual service on a cruise? We can't be sure but we certainly noticed the difference after disembarking and re-entering the real world. Dining: The main dining room is a marvel of logistics. Each night there was a different (if limited) a la carte choice. The food was good but not great. But, considering the huge size of the dining room, I'm amazed that they managed to provide even good food. I would highly recommend (actually, you're completely mad if you skimp here!) booking for the specialty restaurants. We went to Murano (French) and Tuscan Grill (Itallian). Both were truly exceptional and worth every extra penny spent. Entertainment: I thoroughly enjoyed most of the shows in the evenings. Only one wasn't to my taste. There was plenty on offer from the usual bingo and trivia to the more exotic eg an excellent glass blowing exhibition. Children's club: Apparently, there were about 180 kids on board. The kids' club must have been great because I hardly noticed them! Any negatives? Well, considering this ship is trying to attract a more upmarket crowd, the average age of cruisers is likely to be middle aged and above (yep, that includes me.) My only real whinge is that all of the chairs every where seemed incredibly low. For those with dodgy knees and back (me again!), I found it incredibly difficult to get out of them. I also met many others who had the same complaint. My only other negative cannot be blamed on Celebrity. I'm embarrassed to admin many Australians are very ugly travellers. Seriously, did you really need to be slurping on a stubbie of beer at 8.30 in the morning? It's a shame that the loud and appallingly drunk Australians are the ones you really notice......because we also met some lovely people on the cruise. It's just that the drunk ones are more obvious. Will we cruise again? Yes, I think so. Although, we'll more likely consider European or north American with more port stops for future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
My wife and me (late 40's early 50's) just returned from our first cruise just a 4 night cruise from Sydney to Tangalooma island and return,we had our 2 adult children and their partner's for a total of 6 of us in 3 sea view ... Read More
My wife and me (late 40's early 50's) just returned from our first cruise just a 4 night cruise from Sydney to Tangalooma island and return,we had our 2 adult children and their partner's for a total of 6 of us in 3 sea view rooms on P and O's pacific Jewell which i believe was partially refurbished in early 2015. After paying our deposit i started to do a bit of research and found a lot of negative reviews especially regarding the food so i was not expecting to much but i was pleasantly surprised. Boarding the Pacific jewell was a breeze because it was not leaving Australia their was no customs hassles,they still x-rayed our carry on and put us thru the metal detectors but from the time of arrival at the White Bay cruise terminal ($ 75.00 for a maxi taxi from central train station for 6 of us) to the time we were in our rooms would have been 30 minutes max,15 minutes later we were having lunch in the Pantry with a selection of Australian food roast beef and vegies today,Fish and chips,Chinese,Indian curries,fruit,and of course dessert. their were 6 different counters arranged in a semi circle and you joined the que at whichever counter you wanted, picked out what you wanted and they dished it up on a plate for you, you could go to as many different serverys as you wanted even eat dessert first.Their was also a pizza bar $9.00 and a burger bar not sure of the Price.. The quality of the food ranged from so-so to quite good, if you got something that you did not like you just left in on the table for the friendly staff to pick up and went and tried something else,because the pantry is open from 0630 to about 9.30am for breakfast and 11.30 to 2.30 for lunch and 5.30 to 8.30 the ques are not to long maybe 4 or 5 mins. Breakfast was really good,coffee,tea,fruit juice, scrambled eggs.omlette,poached eggs,fried eggs bacon pancakes,pastries,fruit etc etc. After lunch we went for a wander (it takes a few days to work out where everything is) and had a few drinks before we gathered for our safety briefing.The alcohol prices were not to high $6.00 for a stubby of midstrength,Carlton Dry $6.95, Caronas about $7.50 i think,their were a variety of other beers spirits about $10.00 a shot and lots of cocktails ranging from about $12 to $16 ther was one bar we found the Orient which had a few craft beers and ciders on tap but unfortunately they were served in plastic schooner "glasses". when we booked our cruise we recieved a bonus of free soft drinks so not sure of the price of soft drink..their was also the Waterfront restaurant which was free as was the pantry we tried that one night while the food was good it took a long time to be served so we did not go their again,the other 2 options were the Lunar Asian Restaurant $29.00 0r the Saltwater grill $59.00 we did not try either of these.if you went on a 7 night or longer the pantry might get a little repetetive. The cabins were roomy enough with a king sized comfy bed a TV plenty of cupboard and hanging space,a desk, while you could only fit one person at a time in the bathroom it was not to small the shower was also a good size. The day at Tangalooma resort was the highlight of the trip for us a beautifull sunny day we hired a few kyaks for $25 for 90 mins swam at the beautifull beach ate prawns had a few beers before us boys went on our Quad bike tour which was a bit slow for us but still ok,the girls went and fed the Dolphins which they said was unorganized and not as good as they had expected. We only went to one show which was a magic show and was ok.Visited the Casino a few times Roulette, poker,Black Jack,and pokies. Chilled on the back deck read a book.Ate to much.. The disembarkation was quick and hassle free as well. Summary;; we all had a great time you can do as much as you want theirs lots of organised activities or just chill around the pool or one of the deck bars, we found 4 nights good 6 or 7 would be great any longer i think i would get a bit board, we had great weather sunny and calm seas which also helped..I would go again and probably will.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My grandmother used to go on cruises all the time and as kids, we would go down to circular quay to see her off. So, of course i always wanted to go on a cruise. The opportunity finally arrived and I had 4 set criteria when booking. It ... Read More
My grandmother used to go on cruises all the time and as kids, we would go down to circular quay to see her off. So, of course i always wanted to go on a cruise. The opportunity finally arrived and I had 4 set criteria when booking. It didn't matter where the boat travelled, how long it was for and no thought was given to any drinks deal or shore excursions or mini bar or private bathroom or if there was a swimming pool or anything else. I wasn't thinking about anything else but these . Must be within my budget - Absolutely must depart from the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay. - Absolutely must have a balcony - Absolutely must have a double bed. From reading, I already had the idea that there was only single beds but they could be put together to form a double bed. This thought nearly backfired. To get the best deal possible, I chose guaranteed balcony, thinking it didn't matter about the room as it would have a balcony and I could have the beds put together and the boat would depart from Circular Quay so everything met. Unfortunately, after I had already paid the money for the cruise, the paperwork came through and said guaranteed balcony room, "Twin Beds Do Not Convert to Queen". The paperwork also noted that my room number may not be allocated until day of boarding. About 2 days later though, a room upgrade notice came through with my room number 6149 and noted on the paperwork "Convertible Twins" Multiple people on board told me that Carnival is good but P&O is better but to appreciate the difference, I needed to travel on P&O. I also met multiple other people on board who had sailed on many other ships and had found their home at Carnival. It was my first cruise. I was happy with my room, happy with my balcony and happy with the ship. Embarkation was easy. I had chosen 1pm to 1.30pm. As usual, I arrived hours early. I was there at about 11.30am. Saw the luggage drop off point. As I walked into the drop off area, a man approached me and took my bag off me. i was then able to go and eat lunch with my sister while we waited for the check in. At about 12.45 or so, when I was getting ready for my 1pm, the lady at the door said i could go in now. There was a huge queue to go through immigration but the queue moved very fast. Then the next queue was the check in again a huge queue that moved very fast. Because I had already checked in online, all they had to do was give me my sail and sign card. When I walked onto the ship, there were people milling around every where. I had no idea what to do so just went and found my cabin. My luggage was at the door. I opened the door put the luggage on the bed and started filming the room Because of comments online, I had made a decision before boarding that I would not be using the internet as it is too expensive and slow. Well it was way too expensive in my opinion so i never used it. Some people told me they used it mid cruise to keep in touch. Pay for 24 hours, use it in the afternoon then check for replies the next morning. I had this idea that with more than 2000 passengers on board I would never get into a swimming pool or a spa bath but in the serenity area (for 18 yrs and over), although there were always people in the spa bath, there was hardly anyone in the pool. Then 2 times out of 4 visits to the gym (for 18yrs and over), there was no one in the spa bath there. I paid for bottomless bubbles but would not do it again. $79.75 for the 11 day cruise ($7.25 per day). A can of soft drink was only $2.75. I only averaged about 2 cans a day and only then because I had paid for the bottomless bubbles. There was really no need for any soft drinks because - For free in the morning there was juice at the lido deck buffets - For free all day from the lido deck buffets, there was ice, water, real lemonade, iced tea, coffee, hot tea, dairy milk, soy milk and hot chocolate. - The lido deck buffets used special cups which you saw being used all over the ship in places such as the fountain cafe and the Pharaohs Palace. So obviously other passengers were not wasting money on drinks If you still wanted a can of soft drink, you could just pay for a soft drink at one of the bars I laughed my head off in the comedy club. Some one on cruise critic complained that they used the F word in the comedy club. Well I guess there should have been plenty of warning. The shows were rated PG and 18+. In the 18+ comedy sessions, you should expect way more than the F word. I enjoyed every show I saw in Pharaohs Palace. The best show for me was the lady Magician. I think it was called Miss Houdini. I like trivia competitions and there were about 5 trivia competitions every day including a super trivia that ran the whole tour. Our team came third in the super trivia. The prize for each trivia competition was a piece of shi(p) on a stick I enjoyed playing mini golf, when it was available. There was often a sign stopping access to deck 11 saying too windy. This also where the exercise track is. Not that I would jog on an exercise track but I do like to walk for exercise so deck 10 became my exercise track. I am guessing a complete circuit is about 250 metres. As I was walking on deck 10, I would sometimes be passed by joggers. There was so much to do on board that there was not enough time to do all the things I wanted, especially at night. So, I had to prioritise and leave out the least most favourite things. I read a review on cruise critic where some one complained about weight challenged men gorging themselves on the Lido deck. I thought of that every time I filled my plate at the Lido deck buffets. There was a lot to choose from, and If I could eat it, I did. I made sure I got my moneys worth! I had issues but they were all sorted. 1. It was raining when I dropped off my bag. When it arrived at my room, it looked like it had been for a swim. I don't know where they put it after i dropped it off but the drop off was under cover. Other people had issues with wet luggage too. All clothes in the top of the bag were "partially" wet. So, I hung them up in the room to dry and emptied everything out of the bag so it could dry out too. I am not sure how it came in in conversation at the Guest Services but they immediately offered me free laundering, including ironing, for all the affected clothes. But I declined and told them the clothes would be dry in the morning anyway. 2. On the second morning, after exiting the bathroom, there was water in the room near the front door. I rang Gerald the room steward who came immediately and arranged for the problem to be fixed. When I arrived in the room later that day, I had a note appologising and a free fruit basket with wine and cheese. 3. On the third morning I had water in the room again. This time they gave me $125 credit to my account. 4.I am lactose intolerant. Breakfast and lunch dining were not an issue at all. There were way more choices than i could eat. It was just an issue in the evening. I advised carnival before hand and before sailing received an acknowledgement on a Gift and Services summary noted as follows "01 5504 Lactose Intolerant" Naturally, I assumed that on my first evening in the dining room, they would already know about this. They didn't. The waiter went through the menu with me and told me what I could and couldn't eat and I made my selections. He said that the next night, I would have a separate menu. The next night with the same waiter, his comment in question form.... Oh, you have an allergy sir? No special menu and we went through the same thing again. What was actually happening is that all the food i wanted, i couldn't eat and all the food i could eat, i didn't want. When on the third night my meal was a bland pork steak with nothing to help it go down, I decided that was it. I would just dine at the lido deck. This did not turn out as expected. My second or so night dining on the lido deck instead of dining room, as often happened, the servers behind the counter would put the food on the plates. So a very pleasant and helpful gentleman says to me try some of these balls, they are very nice. I asked if they have milk or cream. Sorry sir yes. So, I said well lets start with some rice. The next item. sorry sir. The next item some peas. Then the next then the next then the next and so on every single item at the buffet had milk or cream in it. I ended up with a plate of rice and peas. I went down to guest services to ask them where I could find food to eat that i did not have to pay for. The lady at guest services gave me a free $10 drink voucher and asked me to take a seat at the bar while they sorted it out. When they got back to me, they asked me to see the maitre De in the dining room. I said I would rather not. They then said go straight back up to the lido deck and ask for the assistant Maitre De. Which I did. He was very helpful. he arranged for some food for that night then brought out the dining room menu for the next night and said tell me what you want to eat and they will make it for me without and milk products. There was nothing on the menu i wanted to eat. I thanked him for his time and said I would look after myself. The assistant Matre De did follow up with me every time I saw him after that to make sure I was getting on OK I already knew about Guy's burger joint. I already knew it closed at 5.30pm but 5.30pm was an acceptable dining time for me. So for every other night, except for the last night, I ate at Guy's Burger Joint. I got the plain burger from Guys Burger Joint then filled it with toppings from the toppings bar. The toppings bar had mushrooms, raw onions, fried onions, bacon pieces, lettuce, tomato etc. I was very happy. However, if I still felt a bit hungry afterward, I would wander into the buffet and see what there was to fill up on Filling up is where the maitre de from the dining room found me on the second to last night. She said she had tried to contact my room. which was true, there was a message on the phone which I had not retrieved. Then after no contact with me by phone, she decided to look for me in the ship. She said she contacted the assistant maitre de to see if he knew where her James was and the assistant maitre de had said your James is here. The Maitre De from the dining room said If I came back to the dining room, she would cook me what ever i wanted. Starting that night. I was already full but we agreed I would dine in the dining room the next night. I asked for calamares as the entree and pork adobo as the main meal. There was so much squid in the bowl when it came out it was a meal in itself. They had run out of pork but brought out the most delicious chicken adobo I have ever tasted. 5.I was twice charged for things I never had. Because some one had complained on cruise critic about over charging, I decided to check charges on my account every night when i got back to my room. This was easy enough. Turn on the TV, choose check account from the menu, enter folio number from sail and sign card, confirm name. Then every transaction since day 1 was shown, including the balance. So on about the first night the comedy club was open, there was my drink I ordered followed by a charge for a drink I didn't order. You have to sign for all the drinks. However, at the comedy club, the waiter does not take your sail and sign card, he just notes the folio number off the card. So i presume at the register, they inputed my folio number by mistake for some one else drink. Anyway, it was instantly refunded by guest service. 6. The next time there was an extra charge on the account, I went to guest services. They said it was for a can of coke and a glass of wine in the dining room. I informed them that I had bottomless bubbles so had no need to pay for a can of coke and that I had stopped using the dining room and the Assistant Maitre De could confirm that. They instantly refunded the money but I believe this also triggered action with the Dining room Maitre De. Everytime I had an issue, Guest services would follow up to ensure that the matter had been resolved satisfactorily You don't have to use the shore excursions offered by carnival spirit. But if you are late back from a trip arranged by yourself, you wave goodbye to the ship. If you are late back on an excursion arranged through the ship, they hold the ship. I liked the Jewell of Fiji tour but checking on line, it appears I could have done it for about aud$50 less than the cruise charged me. There was no choice but visit the beach on Mare. And even then, we were told not to swim or snorkel because there were stinging jelly fish that day.The Noumea in a nutshell tour is a complete waste of space. On arrival in Noumea, there was an announcement that for anyone who had not arranged a tour, there is an 8 stop aud$20 tour you could do. I would have much preferred that. Disembarkation was way easier than i expected. We were asked for our preferences near the start of the cruise. We had to indicate if we had flights to meet, if we wanted to take off our own luggage or if the would do it ourselves. We had to Indicate a preferred time to disembark between about 7am and 9am. I said I wanted 9am and would take off my own luggage. When the assignment came through. It was 8.30 with a departure zone they would call out when it was time. There was also a set of instructions. I was a bit disappointed with the time but when i attended the disembarkation briefing, they said they hoped to have every one off by 9.15 so obviously they would not want people getting off at 9am. In the end, I was walking to the pre departure area about 8.20am when i heard my zone called and instead of getting to sit and wait, walked straight off the ship. In the terminal, they only wanted my landing card and did not even look at my passport. Too bad if i was a terrorist. After exiting the passenger terminal, i took the travelator back up to the level where the taxis are and caught a taxi. I looked at my phone as we drove off in the taxi. It was 8.36am 99 percent of the crew I encountered offered excellent service. Would I travel on Carnival Spirit again? Most definitely!! I had difficulty finding pricing before I left, for those who are interested in pricing on board, I made a post at reply number 8 in this thread on trip advisor https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g1-i10703-k9322763- Carnival_Spirit_pricing_on_board-Cruises.html Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I am writing to thank Carnival cruise line for a wonderful trip. We are a family of four and we have two kids with special considerations. One is highly anxious and the other is Aspergers and I cannot express how helpful and understanding ... Read More
I am writing to thank Carnival cruise line for a wonderful trip. We are a family of four and we have two kids with special considerations. One is highly anxious and the other is Aspergers and I cannot express how helpful and understanding Carnival was. We were not aware till we boarded that we were given priority status and were escorted on board and to tenders. We also had a phone to keep in contact with the kids if needed. Thank you so much for your understanding and for making our cruising so much less stressful. As for the cruise. It was great. We had two balcony rooms on the 8 th floor and our rooms were great with flat screen TVs and 2 movies a day. We had queen beds and a sofa in each room and their was plenty of storage and several shelves in the bathroom. The suitcases fit nicely under the bed. Tip pack half as many clothes as you think. ( We didn't use half) The food was good but meals at trifles were excellent as was the service. The entertainment was good at the show and there was always some thing to do. The kids enjoyed the kids club and made friend easily and were happy and entertained daily. The drinks were a little dearer than a bistro but beer starts at $ 7:50- $ 8:00 a beer and $33 a bottle of wine . The cocktails are about $10 you can't take alcohol on board in Australia. Ports Mare good for snorkelling only really. Beautiful beach with lots of local food and drink to buy cheaply. However only down side is there are 2000 others with you. Villa is great for shopping. Look in the stores and this is the place to do duty free. There are great tours here. Get a cab... There are plenty around negotiate though and walk away if not happy with the price. All cars are cans overt there. Cascade water fall and blue lagoon nice. Noumea is very civilised plenty of tours on offer once off the ship. Lemon bay nice too. Just watch using credit card to pay as they can put a maximum or minimum service charge and they don't tell you which so you need to ask. Isle of Pines is great for snorkeing. Choose opposite near the island great snorkelling near island rocks. There are plenty of tours her too. For our first cruise we loved it. Thanks carnival Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Room service A1 (faultless), Food A1 the variety is exceptional Breakfast, Lunch & Diner ( pizza is 24 hr), Service on Board A1 Faultless :-), Entertainment Brilliant Although they could use more Australian music Acts, Staff on board ... Read More
Room service A1 (faultless), Food A1 the variety is exceptional Breakfast, Lunch & Diner ( pizza is 24 hr), Service on Board A1 Faultless :-), Entertainment Brilliant Although they could use more Australian music Acts, Staff on board from the room service to the Captain very friendly and Approachable (faultless). The Giant green water slide is a must :-), the ship tour is a must. Shopping on board, check your prices, some product is in $-US, know your conversions Mare & Isle of Pines beaches sensational,( the people live an uncomplicated life yet so happy :-) ) Vanuatu & Port Villa a but more Westernised, the people on all islands are so friendly, prices of food in Vanuatu when converted to $ Aus is expensive, Big $. Pay the extra for a balcony or a (opening ) window room, if you like fresh air. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Hubby, 3 kids (3, 8 and 9) and I had a great time. We were on deck 2 with no balcony (at our request) and it was perfect. We had interconnecting rooms, which the door between could be left open. When you shut the door, you couldn't ... Read More
Hubby, 3 kids (3, 8 and 9) and I had a great time. We were on deck 2 with no balcony (at our request) and it was perfect. We had interconnecting rooms, which the door between could be left open. When you shut the door, you couldn't hear the kids watching tele in the next room and could sneak an extra hour's sleep! The rooms were also quiet from other cruise noises such as nightclubs. You could not fault the service at every level. The shows were great except for the last comedian but there were other things on that you could do instead. My 8yo son loved kids club, 9yo daughter thought it was ok - only went a couple of times. 3yo son refused to go!! You can organise a babysitter to come to your cabin, but organise it early as they book out. It was US$19/hr for all 3 of my kids. We loved the family selfie scavenger hunt (running around to various locations on the ship taking selfies), music trivia and The Quest game show was hilarious! I'd highly recommend the speciality restaurants. We bought a 3 meal package upgrade and tried Izumi, Chops Grille and Giovanni's Table - they were all excellent. We got 2 cases of water delivered to our room which was great. We only had 3 bottles left at the end of the cruise. We didn't get a drinks package. We took the allowed quota of wine with us and with our onboard credit, didn't need the drinks package. You can buy it onboard if you change your mind. The ports were great. It was Good Friday when we were in Noumea do not everything was open. We did the Tchou Tchou Train tour which was great. It was challenging to get to the beach after our tour - not many taxis and the hop on hop off bus was going to be AU$70 which we decided was more than we wanted to pay. I believe you can do the local bus but we were worried about it being a public holiday and not getting back to the ship on time. We did the glass bottom boat tour at Mystery Island. It was great but we saw almost as much snorkeling off the beach. The locals also offer day tours when you get to the island - very reasonably priced and easy to organise. My daughter had her hair braided on Mystery Island which was cheap - $4 for 4 braids. I think a full head was $15. Isle of Pines front beach is my most favorite beach I've been to in the world. We also snorkelled at the back beach around the rock which was great, but the current was strong so we went back to the front. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was my first cruise and I really enjoyed it! I'm 20 years old. I travelled with my grandparents, parents and brothers (14, 13 and 5) and there was always something to do that we enjoyed. My brothers loved all the outdoor ... Read More
This was my first cruise and I really enjoyed it! I'm 20 years old. I travelled with my grandparents, parents and brothers (14, 13 and 5) and there was always something to do that we enjoyed. My brothers loved all the outdoor activities such as the rock climbing, flo rider and iceskating. My parents loved going to the different bars and trying different drinks and my grandparents enjoyed the trivia and other activities. I liked going to see the nightly entertainment at the theatre, the ice spectacular show and the iceskating as well. One of the best parts about the cruise I thought was the food! We had my time dining so we mostly dined in the Sapphire dining room. Most of the food was excellent and one night I ordered a main, didn't like it and they were more than happy to bring me out something else. The service was very quick and the two waiters that we had every night for dinner were absolutely incredible (Rostan and Michael)! They always went above and beyond to cater for us, and were so friendly and welcoming! They definitely made the cruise better as we looked forward to seeing them every night and it was sad saying bye to them on the last night! Our cabin was nice and tidy, not very big but we didn't mind as we were only in there when we were sleeping. The room attendants were very good. The Isle of Pines is really beautiful! We just snorkelled and swam in the beaches. In Noumea we walked around the city and then took a train up to 2 lookouts, I enjoyed it and it was fun hearing about the history and what it's like to live in the city. Our last port, Mystery Island was quite lovely as well. We such snorkelled and swam and looked at the markets. Overall, the staff are very good and are always accommodating to your needs, the food is amazing! Some days I ordered two breakfast's and deserts because I just couldn't decide what i wanted! The Windjammer is also a good place to grab something to eat although it is very busy but they have good food in the buffets. Johnny Rockets is also another must! We also did the Mystery Dinner at Chops Grille but found that it went way to long (longer than they said it would), so we missed out on the entertainment and other activities that they had that night that we really wanted to go to. It's fun just exploring the ship, doing the different activities, or just relaxing by the pool. Our fellow cruisers were also what made the cruise enjoyable as everyone onboard seemed to have a great sense of humour! Our check in and leaving the ship process was relatively easy and quick! Sometimes the elevators take a long time so it is quicker to just use the stairs (also helps to walk off some of the calories!) Would definitely recommend The Explorer of the Seas and I would love to go on another cruise in the future! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My wife and I travelled on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Pacific Cruise between 21 March 2016 to 30 March 2016. We both considered the Cruise as the holiday of a lifetime. We were lucky to have a spacious Ocean view Suite ... Read More
My wife and I travelled on the Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas Pacific Cruise between 21 March 2016 to 30 March 2016. We both considered the Cruise as the holiday of a lifetime. We were lucky to have a spacious Ocean view Suite with balcony. We could not have wished for any better. The ship is full of attractions from the promenade deck with the numerous shops and bars, entertainment venues where you can watch a top line show every night. Dining in the Sapphire Room was like dining in a five star restaurant every night. Wonderful pools where you could watch a movie or watch a live act. I would recommend the beverage to anyone travelling with Royal Caribbean. I could not commend the staff on board highly enough for their friendly and helpful nature. It seems unfair to single out individual staff members but it would be remiss of us to not mention the excellent service provided by the following staff. Our Dining Room waiter Rogelio Almongura. The best waiter that I have met Rogelio is a great asset to Royal Caribbean who could work in any 5 star restaurants in Australia. John Radin who when saw us coming into the Dining Room had drinks waiting for us on our arrival at the table and took care of our drinks over Dinner. I Made Yusanta who also provided good service. Head Water Maxson Goes for his attentiveness ensuring that everything was to our satisfaction and ensuring we had everything we needed Our wonderful Room Attendant Constancio Faria who constantly kept us guessing in relation to what animals out towels would be made into every night. Thank you Royal Caribbean and the wonderful crew of the Explorer of The Seas for a wonderful holiday. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our first cruise and on the recommendation of others, this ship was the only one to go on. My husband and I are both early to mid 50's and were looking for a trip with everything. Boarding was a breeze, met with a champagne ... Read More
This was our first cruise and on the recommendation of others, this ship was the only one to go on. My husband and I are both early to mid 50's and were looking for a trip with everything. Boarding was a breeze, met with a champagne and then toured the ship, which is so big! Had a beautiful lunch at OceanView Cafe. We had booked Aqua Class and were very happy with all the amenities, beautiful veranda over looking the ocean and when sailing in to ports, what a view! Our cabin attendants Mariano and Raj were just fantastic. So helpful and quick, very efficient, nothing was ever too much trouble.. We were close to the gym and Spa facilities. The gym was fully equipped with all that you need and then some. Even offering classes everyday. We loved the persian gardens, with the Steam, sauna and aromatherapy rooms, we were there nearly everyday. We also enjoyed a wonderful massage each. Staff very friendly and ever so helpful. The dining room with Aqua is Blu for breakfast and dinner. This was a highlight of the trip. The level of service is impeccable. You are greeted by the lovely Diana, who was extremely professional, friendly and a most gracious hostess. Seated at a table with such a wonderful view each morning for breakfast and greeted by the exceptional waiters Iman, Tony and August (007)& Bonny ,remembering just the little things that make you feel special. All the staff there were so attentive. Breakfast was amazing always, beautiful food and accommodate special needs if be. Dinner what can I say, was truly amazing. The chef is brilliant, dinner everyday was different with a few favorites as well. Lobster was sensational as was the frogs legs, enjoyed every meal there. The range of food caters for all. Our sommelier Milo was awesome, nothing was too much trouble and was very attentive to all of us. Had a exceptional dinner at Tuscan Grill, this definitely was such a wonderful experience, Elyas was a standout for us, this gentlemen was just the most wonderful person and went out of his way to make our experience there a memorable one. Our night there was spectacular and the food just amazing! Tracey the appetizer and salad chef even came out and spoke with us. Before dinner having a cocktail at either of the many bars to have a drink. Watching the guys at the Martini Bar make cocktails is fabulous.. Talented for sure. We had the premium beverage package so pretty much all is covered. Then off too a show! Every Night something different the cruise director Peter is just wonderful and talented himself, but the shows were really good and enjoyed them immensely. Great singers and dancers. great aerial show as well. Loved Chiko, he is brilliant talented man. Beautiful pianist Kim and comedians, even opera! The range of entertainment was fabulous. Visiting all the islands and leaving the ship was so effortless, they really are very efficient. When waiting for the tenders to go back to the ship, staff were offering cold drinks and iced wet towels for people. Service always with a smile. Swimming in the pools during sea days and relaxing was most enjoyable, always a waiter to serve you and lunch at the ocean view cafe, food there was great only had lunch there a few times but it was really good, Sushi, fresh made caesar salads to order, pizza, fresh made asian noodles, so clean... Staff always handy with hand disinfectant! I could write forever, but I will leave here and we were so happy with our experience we have booked NZ to Sydney in January 17 and so look forward to it. I can see why people rave on about this ship, was just such a fantastic holiday. Do not hesitate you will not be disappointed Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We have recently returned from a 12 night South Pacific & Fiji cruise aboard Voyager of the Seas. I had read some negative reviews here but can say I have no idea how they managed to complain about this magnificent ship. I guess you ... Read More
We have recently returned from a 12 night South Pacific & Fiji cruise aboard Voyager of the Seas. I had read some negative reviews here but can say I have no idea how they managed to complain about this magnificent ship. I guess you just can't please some people. It's a large ship with a lot of people on board, occasionally you had to queue for things but nothing to bad, I've waited in longer queues at my local McDonalds. Getting on the ship didn't take to long, you can drop your bags off early and come back later if it looks like a long wait. We had breakfast and dinner in the main dining room each day. The food was great. The staff for the dinner sitting were fantastic. I would recommend tipping them every couple nights through the cruise, we gave them A$10 each every couple nights. Once we did that we seemed to get better service than those on nearby tables. There was plenty to do on sea days. We did the rock climbing wall, flowrider and mini golf quite a few times. We also spend a lot of time around the pools on the pool deck. The shows each night were fantastic and should not be missed. The ice skating show was also simply amazing. We had the premium beverage package. If you like a few drinks I can't recommend it highly enough. Given your average cocktail costs US$10 (A$14) it doesn't take many drinks a day to cover the A$73 a day we paid. It also includes bottled water, over the course of the cruise we probably drank around 80 - 90 bottles of water (8 a day between us) which was worth around $350. The added bonus is no bill shock after the cruise. We are booking another cruise on this ship for next year and recommend it highly. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Deck 11 On arrival we opened the draws next to bed to unpack our clothes when I noticed dirt & hair in the draws as well as the table tops, I wiped these out with my own sterile wipes which I bought on board in which I then called the ... Read More
Deck 11 On arrival we opened the draws next to bed to unpack our clothes when I noticed dirt & hair in the draws as well as the table tops, I wiped these out with my own sterile wipes which I bought on board in which I then called the housekeeper supervisor to bring it to her attention in which she stated the room was rushed cleaned because of the quick turnaround & apoligized, hair was also present in the bathroom. Included in our booking was a bottle of champagne on arrival which was not there. The total each for this room was $800. The Pantry was the same food every night with not much variety, eggs were served cold in the morning in which we told the supervisor who tested them & apoligised. The I Love Burger Pizza shop was a discrace advertising a gourmet burger in which the mince was of low quality & the bun all soggy and gross looking. The Mini suite was the biggest nightmare as it is directly above the ships main deck 12 where the pool & entertaining area's are, the floor surface is deck wood & the tables,chairs above were dragging on the wood 24/7 in which just vibrated & made constant ridicilus noise 24/7 in which you could not sleep at all, you could also clearly hear people walking above This went on every night. The rooms also had very thin walls in which you could hear the people in rooms & there TV's on at every stage of the cruise. For the money we paid it was a rip off & nightmare of a holiday, Do not book these mini suites if you want a decent night sleep. The exiting of the ship was not organised as Mini suite guests have priority exit but this was delayed & other groups had left first... Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
General: I took the cruise on the Arcadia 1-17 March 2016, Sydney-Brisbane-Yorkey’s Knob (Cairns)-Alotau (Papua New Guinea)-Manila-Hong Kong. The Arcadia caters largely for the over-65s, mainly British clientele, some of whom seem ... Read More
General: I took the cruise on the Arcadia 1-17 March 2016, Sydney-Brisbane-Yorkey’s Knob (Cairns)-Alotau (Papua New Guinea)-Manila-Hong Kong. The Arcadia caters largely for the over-65s, mainly British clientele, some of whom seem to spend most if not all the year cruising. Pricewise, the cruise is good value. Perhaps because of that, the ports of call were not particularly interesting and nor was the entertainment on board but if you want a relaxing time at sea, this ship will satisfy. Incidentally, I found Alotau one of the more interesting stops but I didn’t take any of the package shore excursions – I booked my own in advance through the local travel agent, Villink, located in the Alotau International Hotel. It was less touristy, the car was air-conditioned and I believe I learned more; and it was at a lower cost that the similar on-board shore excursion on offer. Don’t expect decent WiFi even if you are willing to pay the extortionate price charged for WiFi use on board – speeds are very slow, so at 50p a minute, best to wait to the next port of call to log-in. There were two safety alerts (a fire in an elevator; smoke from the incinerator) during the cruise. They were efficiently dealt with though I don’t understand why passengers were woken at 3.00 AM to tell them of the first alert (without further instructions or directions being given). Unless passengers are instructed to do something or to act in a particular manner (even it is only to stay in the cabin), I can’t see the purpose of ruining their sleep, causing panic (some passengers commented that they were concerned), or create unnecessary interest that might obstruct the crew (some passengers wanted to see what was happening). If this is an established safety procedure, it is a bad one and needs to be rethought. There is Sunday Christian worship and regular Christian Fellowship meetings take place. No other faiths are generally catered for though Jews do get to meet for the Jewish Sabbath. Observant Jews and Muslims need not apply (see ‘food’ below). The ship is generally well run, though I did get a sense of complacency, especially as regards the kitchens/restaurants. Overall, the ship is of the quality of a 3-star hotel but occasionally rises a notch higher. It needs to be said that most passengers were happy with the ship. Pros Friendly, efficient cabin stewards. Most staff are friendly and helpful. Dining options are adequate and cuisine quality acceptable, though not exceptional. Complaints do get actioned and rectified. P&O has been in the business a long time so knows what to expect – embarkation and disembarkation at ports of call are generally efficiently handled.. Good value for money overall (though some shore excursions are over-priced). Self-service laundry facilities are available on board (though cramped and insufficient for overall demand – be ready for some frayed tempers if you have not cleared your machine immediately after it has completed its cycle). There some nice, comfortable places to sit and while away the time looking out to sea, in particular the Crow’s Nest at the front of the ship. Cons Entertainment is basic and not generally high quality though there were some acts that were so good (e.g. Fogwell Flax) that the Palladium Theatre could not accommodate all demand. The films screened are basically DVDs (not in HD) and start times do not always accord with the printed schedule. The programme of talks is adequate and one or two even interesting but overall, worthy rather than stimulating. The scheduling was also not ideal as the talks frequently clashed with teatime etc. (see below). The talks had no relationship to the places being visited –e.g. on the history of Australia, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Hong Kong etc.. Of course, there is a Port Talk before each port of call but that is more about sights, shopping and shore excursions, with modest historic background. The food is generally unexceptional. The ship does not cater well (at all?) for people with special dietary needs For example, it was not uncommon for 50% of the eight main course dishes on offer to contain pig products in some form (of the 4 main course choices during one lunchtime, 3 had pig products in them); and no effort was made to keep such products separate either in preparation or presentation from other dishes. There was usually one vegetarian option (out of 8) for dinner in the Meridian dining room. It is easy enough to keep pig products separate from others, to use a different griddle for grilling pork from other meats etc. but no such effort is made. Although most of the clientele might be reliving the 1960s and 70s, there is no reason for P&O not to make an effort to accommodate the 21st century (see also comments on electrical sockets and wifi). Also there doesn’t seem to be any great effort to give a taste of the cuisine of the ports to be/just visited (other than Australia). For instance, Papua New Guinea produces cocoa, coffee, bananas, fish, sago, cassava, yams – none of these appeared on the menu. Of the two main restaurants, the Meridian provides a silver service dining experience. The food can be good but too often is below par (e.g. sometimes microwaved and, consequently, dry and unappetising dishes often served lukewarm). There is also an element of complacency evident in the preparation – e.g. a mass-produced tart base is used for too many dishes. One particularly egregious example was a ‘macaroon tart’ which was the offending tart base filled with something that tasted like ‘Angel Delight’ with half a macaroon biscuit shell on top. The same tart base (a typical mass-produced casing used for quiches, tarts and anything else that comes to mind) was used two days later for a rhubarb and apple crumble ‘tart’. Cooking for large throughput is not easy and complacency has to be guarded against. One thing about the Meridian – it opens very late for breakfast (07.30 when in port, 08.00 on other days). Bearing in mind the age of the ship’s clientele, elderly folk who have difficulty sleeping, this is far too late. Also, on port days one wants to disembark as early as possible. A start one hour earlier would be better. The Belvedere is self-service and gives too much the impression of a staff canteen, in choice of dishes, layout and even smell. The quality varies from mediocre to passable. Access to the food is also not always easy – try pouring the soup without spilling it! A few design and style changes could easily make it a lot more appealing. The smoothies on offer are far too sweet (like most things on board, at least for my taste) – not really smoothies as I know them. With so many elderly passengers, diabetes might be a problem that needs to be more widely addressed (it’s not just sufficient to offer the occasional diabetic pastry). The specialty restaurants (Ocean Grill, Sindhu) are both good but the menus are fixed for the duration of the voyage so a couple of visits will mean you’ve exhausted the dishes you want to eat (or that don’t appear elsewhere on the ship). I was a little surprised to find that the Sindhu did not use tablecloths. Tea time was very short, lasting 45 min so if you arrive late, expect to be rushed out. Scones were usually acceptable, though sometimes stale. Clotted cream was served, so full marks (in the Meridian only) for this. It was impossible to find a decent cup of coffee on board. There were 3 establishments claiming to serve Costa Coffee (admittedly, not the best of the international chains) but if they were representative of Costa Coffee generally, then it’s time for a change. Why can one not get a decent espresso or cappuccino elsewhere? The attempts at cappuccino in the main restaurant were more like coffee dregs soaked in warm water and then swamped with milk. The baristas need some proper training. I also object to the misleading WiFi sign appearing at these 3 establishments – there is no free WiFi on board and the WiFi in the Costa Coffee places is the same as that for the ship as a whole (and available only at great cost). Drinks – the price of on-board drinks is comparable to what can be found in the UK (outside central London). The duty and tax savings are, therefore, not passed on to the passengers. Although good hygiene is important, the anti-bacterial gel that was not only offered at the door but almost forced on diners entering the restaurants, made one feel rather like being at school or hospital ward (doubly unwelcome when one takes into account the average age of the passengers). More effective would be issuing facemasks to people with coughs and sneezes! It was all a bit too much. And the injunction to wipe down machines after use in the gym was usually obeyed by the passengers but often ignored by the staff themselves. The gym is an adequate size/ well-equipped considering the age of the passengers, but might become inadequate if the average age fell by say 10 years. Incidentally, the gym is open between 08.00-20.00 only. As there is little or no supervision in the gym, I don’t understand why opening hours are not extended (to, say, 07.00-21.00). The Library has a reasonable stock of classic and modern fiction but not much in the way of good non-fiction (a lot of books on birds and a big collection on, often outdated, travel guides. In some ways this is understandable in view of the cost of books these days). There is comfortable seating in the library itself but there could be more of it. Although the Arcadia’s ‘Helpful Information’ claims that cabins are equipped with British style electrical sockets, in fact there is only one such socket in the cabin and generally the ship has US-style sockets throughout. Adapters were supplied by Reception (after the deficiency was raised as a concern). The ship lacks also an adequate number of power points in public areas to meet the needs of the modern age, for charging phones, computers, tablets, cameras etc.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was my first cruise with Royal Caribbean, being a celebration of my 85th birthday. In all, some 27 persons were in our group. All but one of my offspring and family!. Altogether, we had 5 generations in our party. This trip was also ... Read More
This was my first cruise with Royal Caribbean, being a celebration of my 85th birthday. In all, some 27 persons were in our group. All but one of my offspring and family!. Altogether, we had 5 generations in our party. This trip was also a celebration of the birthday of the youngest member, who was 2 yrs old during the voyage. Our party came from both Queensland and NSW, And thus had arrivals throughout the day, Sailing at 7pm allowed all to make their arrival in the same sailing day, saving additional accommodation expenses.The early morning return docking also facilitated onwards travel. Embarkation and disembarkation went without any 'hitches'. I must congratulate all of the staff on board ship. There was always a pleasant smile and forthcoming answer to any query, and their dressing and appearance meticulus . Food was excellent, available 24/7, and at no extra charge. If more up-market dishes ( ie, steak/seafood, etc. ) were required, this was available from some of the specialty Restuarants in the Prominade, but at a charge. All staff spoke excellent English. The 'Voyager' had not long before undergone an extensive refit, and in appearance was in 'new' condition. Every facility was in perfect condition, and there were no annoying failures, such as electrics, lifts,etc. Our party members utilized several grades of cabin/suite, and were comfortable at all grades. Room service was exemplary. As an octogenarion , some of the ships entertainment facilities were untested - such as the rockwall climbing and waveriding- but neverthless provided some entertainment as a spectator. Other members of our group very much enjoyed other evening entertainments. The only feature of the cruise that was less than perfect was the charging of a full fare rate for my 23 month old 'great great grandson', who shared a cabin with his mother/family, and consumed very little food nor used other ship facilities. I think that a 'Reduced' fare for minors should be considered by Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Just completed a 10 night cruise on the Carnival legend, what a great holiday! For a budget holiday I was very impressed. As I spent a lot of time on this site researching before my cruise I thought I would give as many hints / tips to ... Read More
Just completed a 10 night cruise on the Carnival legend, what a great holiday! For a budget holiday I was very impressed. As I spent a lot of time on this site researching before my cruise I thought I would give as many hints / tips to benefit others :) Cabins: We had interior staterooms 1190 & 1186 on the Rivera deck (lowest deck) the rooms were really roomy from my perspective, if you think small hotel room then you'll be happy. The queen is singles pushed together but that didn't bother us. The bathroom is small but meets the needs. Not having a window didn't bother us either, made it really dark for naps during the day after a few cocktails. We didn't spend much time in the cabin anyway. Our cabins were mid ship so we didn't really feel the sway of the boat, only on really wavy days. The stewards are awesome and make your room up at least twice a day! Our kids loved the different towel animals left on their beds every night. Seasickness: If people tell you that you cant feel the sway of the boat they are lying! I am not prone to travel sickness but felt crook the first day, my wife and kids where really sick the first 24 hrs. We took the pharmacy drowsy seasickness medication and was fine after the first 24 hrs (I didn't feel drowsy at all from this medication at all) the ginger travel calm worked well for the kids, tip: my 7 YO cannot take tablets so we ground them up and mixed with honey which worked well. We heard if you can start taking the meds 2 days before getting on the cruise it is really beneficial, I will remember that for next time. Food & Drink: Drink prices: Cocktails with 2-5 shots in it $9.75 - $10.75 Beer $7.50 - $9.00 Spirit $8.35 (scotch & coke etc) Wine $30 - $50 / bottle Can of coke - $2.75 They had the bottomless bubbles (soft drinks) for $5.50 /day for kids and $7.50 / day for adults but we didn't get this as our kids like water and juice more, they have drink stations everywhere with ice, water, lemon squash, tea, coffee, hot chocolate. Icecream & pizza is included and available 24/7, pizzas are really good, made fresh. Buffet is typical buffet, good selection but gets old quick. Truffles restaurant is included and is very good, 3 course meals for dinner every night, food is decent quality and the waiters are really good, great with the kids. Nouvou restaurant is ok, we had 1 dinner here but for an additional $40/ person we steered clear. Kids Club: Wow the kids absolutely loved it, they wanted to go all the time! The staff were amazing with the kids. Ship activities: So much to do every day, literally things going on from 8am - 12am Nightclub was pretty crap, DJ failed to deliver a decent set Stage shows pretty good but mostly 70s- 80s music Comedians were great, so funny, get there early because they were always packed Pools and spa's where nice enough but a bit small Waterslides good for the kids Adults serenity area was nice but always packed out Shore activities: **book your shore excursion once you get to the island, give the locals your cash, e.g. Mystery Island the snorkelling safari was $80 pp through carnival and $20 pp once on the island** Snorkelling gear is $90 to buy on the cruise and about $20 to hire on each island All islands except AU dollars so no need to change currrency Mystery Island is great for snorkelling get your souvenirs and hair braiding here as it is the cheapest for everything. We went back to the boat for lunch and still had time to go back for a snorkel. Isle of Pines was good for snorkelling food & souvenirs on the island are pricy but still not too much, $3 for a coconut, $6 for a packet of twisties. Mare was my favourite, water was crystal and Yejele beach is the best for reef snorkelling the fish are amazing and the coral still has some colour. You need to buy the bus ticket to the beach on the cruise boat for this trip as there is nothing else to do on Mare. Heaps of food to buy for lunch and $4 beers from the locals :) Noumea was good but more for shopping not for swimming, we did the bus tour for $20 pp which allows you to hop on / off at 7 stops. Overall For my first cruise I was really impressed, best value for money holiday I have been on. Take the kids they will love it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
A total cost of $412 for 3 adults and unlimited food in Pantry and Waterfront for a 2-night cruise Sdy-Mel in a inside cabin. It is definitely value for money. We did not spend any other money during the cruise. We came back Mel-Syd via ... Read More
A total cost of $412 for 3 adults and unlimited food in Pantry and Waterfront for a 2-night cruise Sdy-Mel in a inside cabin. It is definitely value for money. We did not spend any other money during the cruise. We came back Mel-Syd via jetstar costing us $195 for 3 tickets at off-peak hour. Read a lot of negative comments before department and some of them were true but over exaggerated. It is true that food from Pantry and Waterfront sometime average sometime good! Try to avoid peak hour then you can enjoy more. I prefer Waterfront as we are being served 3 meal course but you can also order extra. WaterFront is more relax as only the waiters walking around to serve the customers. Pantry is a lot more crowded and a lot of customers walking around to get food from different counter and the cleaners keep clean up the tables so that the table always clean and ready for next customers... Ice water, tea and coffee is free whole day in the Pantry. Juice is free during breakfast. Breakfast is hot if you get the one they just cooked and transferred to the serving counter. Sometime I ask for freshly made toast when they are not busy. Pantry is a lot busier for Breakfast and Lunch and a lot quieter during dinner as some people willing to pay for extra to try out other restaurant. Tips - eat every meal in Waterfront; if not full or satisfied then head to pantry to top up. Waterfront has ice-cream for desert as well and they taste above average. Cabin is clean and spacious with 2 single beds and one softbed. No fridge - which is mentioned in the booking but not a lot of people aware of it. Except housekeeping was done in the evening for our room as the staff were overloaded! Other common area - it looks good and still feel very new. Pool is crowded on a hot day as the pool is a very small one - definitely not for lap swim! Just keep in mind : this is 3-star (particularly with the cost I paid) and do not overexpect too much.... Work out the food cost if you buy it separately in a normal food court or the RSL type restaurant - then you know you are being served fairly during the cruise! Remember to enjoy the break and do not compare too much! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
As a first time cruiser without having any other shipping line to compare with I would have to say there a few things that could be improved. -Food/Service: Overall the service from all staff was very good, food in the Sapphire dining ... Read More
As a first time cruiser without having any other shipping line to compare with I would have to say there a few things that could be improved. -Food/Service: Overall the service from all staff was very good, food in the Sapphire dining room was of a good standard, however my husband and a friend both had a slightly rare roast lamb meal and both contracted food poisoning from it, this is known as both were ill for a few days after and my friends husband and myself were not ill at all. If it was a gastro bug (as the staff stated) then one can expect to come down with it when sleeping and sharing a room with our partners. -Safety: Staff need to address the sea conditions and the effect it may have on the family swimming pools, as I had to leap from my sun lounge to rescue a small child who was drowning (2ft under). The next morning the pool was closed when in fact it should have been closed the afternoon before. NB: this ship does not have any Lifesavers. Perhaps a spa could be converted to a water fountain for the small children to use as the pools DO NOT have a childrens wading area that is safe. -Daytime entertainment: The adults only pool would do with some music, maybe just background music. Dont waste your time going to the farewell parade, it is aimed at very young children. Money: this is a cashless ship that use US $, (ships exchange rate 62c, my bank 72.3c, so when asked if you want RC or your bank to do convert, its obvious which way to go. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
1. I contracted diarrhea on arrival in Noumea, suspect under cooked lamb the night before, seen nurse and was confined to room for 2 days and told by phone I would be compensated 2 days (implied refund) I was then okay but a day or so ... Read More
1. I contracted diarrhea on arrival in Noumea, suspect under cooked lamb the night before, seen nurse and was confined to room for 2 days and told by phone I would be compensated 2 days (implied refund) I was then okay but a day or so later it came back and they tried to confine me again and they also told me there would be no compensation at all so this meant 4 days out of my cruise wrecked and I couldn't get to talk to someone of authority, they tried to blame everyone but ship, strange but the lady part of the couple we traveled with also had the lamb but only ate half of it was also sick but not quite as bad, but having cruised before she knew she would be confined to room so kept quiet. I basically never get sick from food and can eat almost anything. 2. Entertainment ordinary at best, adults only pool never had any music at all and everyone we talked to thought the same, that some mellow background music would have been good, also this pools bar closed at 6pm. The main pool had entertainment, like leaving Mystery Island, beautiful day, about 6pm and they put a kids movie on ridiculously loud, talk about atmosphere, and movies were put on everyday at 6pm, I really don't think people were interested, music much better. Other main entertainment I seen was ordinary but I missed the ice show which my wife and friends enjoyed. Farewell parade which was hyped up was atrocious, you would think it was for 3 year olds. 3. The exchange rate on ship was 62c to the dollar which was a ripoff. 4. Pool bars were often under staffed and it took forever to get a drink also there was almost never wait staff around pool taking orders. Our friends have previously been on P&O and Carnival and they certainly put Carnival ahead of Royal, pity they don't have drinks package. I think that its ridiculous that a cruise ship sailing out of Australia uses nothing but American dollars and suspect its a way of price gouging (exchange rate). Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was my first cruise, and I went with my 3 year old daughter,and it was her first ever holiday. We really enjoyed our time on the explorer. We flew to Sydney from Adelaide and as soon as we got to the dock, we had friendly staff ... Read More
This was my first cruise, and I went with my 3 year old daughter,and it was her first ever holiday. We really enjoyed our time on the explorer. We flew to Sydney from Adelaide and as soon as we got to the dock, we had friendly staff take our luggage and direct us where to go, despite the fact we were an hour early, it only took like half an hour to get on board, which was surprising due to the mass amount of people waiting. I found that all the staff were so friendly and welcoming, and for the whole duration of the cruise they all made a big fuss of my daughter every time they saw her, she loved all the attention. She had 2 favourite crew members, who were always in front of the windjammer during meal times. The first day we went and explorered a little, and was so pleased with all the amenities on board. We mostly ate in the windjammer, which I really enjoyed, and my daughter did too,the food was always tasty and they had a few things that were always there and was a fair bit of repetition with food, but always had a couple of new different things. My daughter is very fussy so the specialty restaurants were not ideal for us. We did dine at the main dining room twice, which was great, the food was amazing, and the staff were so friendly. But I didn't like how long we had to wait, it took at least an hour between entree and main one night, and my daughter doesn't have that kind of patience, and because it felt like a fancy environment I felt uncomfortable when my daughter would get impatient and bored, so I preferred the windjammer. (She didn't eat her meals both nights we went to the MDR) We went to johnny rockets for lunch one day, and I loved it, the staff were great, and was funny seeing them do a dance mid meal. My daughter didn't eat her food, just had a milkshake (which was yum!!) I usually don't like burgers, but mine was amazing, I loved it. And the cheesy fries were so good, didn't look nice but they were very yum. I didn't put my daughter in kids club, I signed her up for it on the first day, but didn't end up using it, I wanted to enjoy our holiday together. We went to most of the shows (mainly didn't go to the comedy ones) most I liked and a few were a bit meh, but it all depends on taste. My favourite show was "fast forward" We also went to the ice show. I absolutely loved it, as did my daughter, it was very impressive west they could do on such a small bit of ice, on a moving ship! We spent a lot of time on deck 12 at the bar (I don't drink, but was a nice spot) also as a smoker I was able to smoke there. Was very relaxing to just sit and watch everyone on the pool deck, and soak up some sun in a uncrowded spot. We attempted to go in the pool once, but it didn't go well, as I used the ladder whilst holding my daughter and once we were in I realised it was too deep and I couldn't touch the bottom, so pretty much felt I was going to drown as I couldn't hold my daughter and tread water, was pretty scary trying to get out (a friend told me later that there was a shallow end, but the ladder was in the middle, so that's only how I could get in) So we made the most of port days and went swimming there. We were in a South Pacific cruise and went to isle of pines, Vila, mystery island and noumea. I loved mystery island, it was my favourite, as it was beautiful weather, the locals were friendly and the water was great. I also liked isle of pines as it was breathtaking beautiful, but very very hot. We enjoyed swimming in the crystal clear water. I did not like Vila at all, it was very scary and daunting, especially having a small child with me, we had locals hounding us for a ride and wouldn't take no for an answer and would follow us. I did not like it at all, so I only spent like half an hour there, I got my daughters hair braided, looked at some of the market abs went back to the comfort of the ship. Noumea I didn't really do anything as the friends I had gone with didn't have enough money to pay for a tour, and I didn't want to go alone. So went for a walk and looked in a couple of shops, then headed back to the ship, I feel I really missed out on seeing the beauty of noumea, if I was to go again I would definitely do a tour. My favourite part of the whole cruise was definitely the people, the crew and guests were so friendly (only had 2 encounters of rude guests towards me) my daughter is usually very shy, as am I, but everyone would make a big fuss of her, and talk to her,that by the end of the cruise she had grown so much social confidence, and her speech had improved too. I chatted to quite a few people, and met some interesting people. I think if I was to cruise again, what I would do differently is, choose better travel companions.... Most likely would go just my daughter and I and hopefully convince my partner/her dad to join us, but very unlikely lol. Also another part I enjoyed was, I actually lost weight on board, I think it was eating regular meals (and not binge eating) and walking so much (I walked so much that my brand new shoes soles were all torn up by the time we got home!) I would sail Royal Caribbean again for sure. But also curious at what other cruise lines have to offer for kids, not just the kids club, as I'm pretty sure if I was to cruise again I wouldn't use the kids club again. I tried to go to the spa and see if they would do a little pedicure for my daughter, just something fun we could do together, but they said they couldn't accept anyone under 16 due to liability or something. So would have been good if they had kid activities on board,merit hour having to use the kids club. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
The voyage started in Sydney and called the various islands and anchorages a ship of only this size is capable of , with the Zodiacs on board ferrying passengers across to remote places in the region if tender service not an option , this ... Read More
The voyage started in Sydney and called the various islands and anchorages a ship of only this size is capable of , with the Zodiacs on board ferrying passengers across to remote places in the region if tender service not an option , this worked quite wel We found the staff very capable and instructions both in French and English well presented and all explained in detail in most cases the day before , the Australian expedition leaders knowledgeable and a bit of Aussie humour to flavour the experience !it was the vessels and Ponant's first experience exploring the Barrier Reef. Passengers mostly from France , My guess 60 percent and the remainder Aussies , some Anericans and other Europeans , actually a great mixture and it seemed they all enjoyed each other's company. The Ship is fairly new and cabins and beautifully appointed , comfortable beds , a flat screen TVs with all the English channels , a mini bar well stocked and replenished daily at no cost and included in the open bar policy , however be mindful of the suites , they might have a fold out couch serving as a king size bed , best to check this out if you prefer 2 singles The cabins on deck 5 very quiet and no noise from other passenger cabins nearby . The vessel boasts 2 restaurants , all open sitting , the on deck 6 more casual and booking for dinner is essential due to the limited space , the one on deck 2 very nicely appointed and seats all if required , the senior officers and Master occupy their own table apart from Welcome and Farewell dinners , The vessel has an open bar policy that includes most drinks, cocktails , wines , fancy a gin and tonic or a Martini , a Brandy after dinner , not a problem ! We experienced 2 Wine tastings , one in French and one in English , very knowledgable and presented , the stock of top wines is also on display and available from the restaurant in deck 2 . Numerous activities during the day , what ever you fancy from Quizes to Can Can shows at night in the theatre and with the amount of passengers not a busy excercise , the ship also has an open bridge policy most of the time if you fancy a look where all the action is . Food , plenty , not silver service though , not sure if that still excists nowadays , there is a Butler service if you want to dine in private , the French tone is prevellent of course and if you like this style , these sort of cruises won't disappoint , The Master and Officers are French , the crew in general a mixture of Fillipino and Indonesian , and all English speaking . Embarkation / Disembarkation not a problem , yes 4 o'clock for a 6 pm departure , what's the fuss? Your luggage tagged and delivered to your cabin and vice versa when going off . The staterooms on deck 3 don't have an totally open veranda as on the top,decks , there is a reason for that as you are closer to the water line, just a safety thing, and so are the doors towards your veranda not full length , same thing . Overall a beautiful ship , no pokies , no casino,no rowdy teenagers ! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
What a great cruise we had to New Zealand on the Carival Spirit. I was travelling with 3 other adults & 2 kids. The staff on this ship are amazing!! giggles Emma the cruise director was very welcoming as was Desi the Matried in the ... Read More
What a great cruise we had to New Zealand on the Carival Spirit. I was travelling with 3 other adults & 2 kids. The staff on this ship are amazing!! giggles Emma the cruise director was very welcoming as was Desi the Matried in the Empire restaurant. Our stewards & dinner waiters were exceptionally great, we sure will miss their friendly & professional & prompt service....oh & the guys at the burger joint always made sure I got my vegetarian burger! We loved Desi's 'showtime' at dinner & the kids looked forward to a dance with the waiters every night. The staff really get to know you by name & you leave feeling like you are part of the Carnival family. Nothing was ever too much trouble for anyone. Just like to mention some exceptional Customer Seevice: Our team head waiter Goran in the Empire Restaurant was very professional, friendly and nothing was ever too much trouble. From the moment I mentioned I was vegetarian he was straight on to it and always looked after me & my fellow travellers... We asked to be seated at his table every night and were pretty sad when we didn't have him as our waiter if our usual table was occupied. Our stateroom steward, Glorioso ("Mr G") was very polite, friendly and professional. Our rooms were always kept beautifully clean and tidy and we loved getting a nice surprise every day - a animal made from a towel. The little surprise really brightens up your day and is so clever & the kids loved it. Thanks all for everything you did for us! I will definatley be cruising on Carnival again! Hope to cruise with you all again!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016

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