1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Hawaii Cruises
  4. Hawaii Cruise Reviews

49 Sydney (Australia) to Hawaii Cruise Reviews

Embarkation went well, ship looks spectacular from the outside, and owing to it advertising it had had a recent refurb, our expectations were high. Assisted boarding was easy and pleasant. Cabin 8218 was lovely apart from the fact you ... Read More
Embarkation went well, ship looks spectacular from the outside, and owing to it advertising it had had a recent refurb, our expectations were high. Assisted boarding was easy and pleasant. Cabin 8218 was lovely apart from the fact you need 2 arms to open the door and also the door leading to balcony. My bed was very uncomfortable, pillows were good. Bathroom was well set out and the shower great. As we're our cabin staff. Disappointed in the lack of amenities for disabled passengers. The only electric operated doors I found was on deck 2. And then you had to hobble back to the door to lock. We saw many people at least in the over 70's age bracket. No grab rail in the bathroom, doors extremely heavy to open, grab rail in most toilets around the ship, low chairs everywhere. We spoke to senior passengers who had fallen, in their bathroom, in lounges, allegedly slipping on something. The decor was oppressive. So glitzy and dark, obviously dated. Maybe the refurb was eluding to the near new carpets in some areas. Entertainment was generally of a good standard. It was pleading to see that they had meet up groups for differing categories of people, including people from LGBTIQ groups. Good to know. I could not comment on the shore excursions but I can say I was very disappointed with the use of tender boats on Moorea. If we had been able to stay one more day in port at Papeete people with a disability could easily have used the ferry from Papeete. That would have been awesome. The distance between islands is miniscule! On the last 5 days at sea we were advised that sav blanc was running out and passengers had to now buy by the bottle and carry that around with you. When lodging a complaint with Guest Services we were informed there was no complaints forms. We would receive a survey to fill in and complain there. Over these last 5 days we also found out they had run out of red wine, apple cider and coke zero. Crazy! On board purchases were hugely expensive. 5 photos cost over $100, WiFi social media only, 208, if you wanted unlimited it was another 100 plus! If you wanted higher speeds it was another 200. We heard from entertainers they paid 5! Service was hit and miss with the dining experience the worst. We had dine at anytime allocated to us, deck 3, Truffles Restaurant. There were long lines to wait in, then you were given a pager and waited a minimum of 30 mins, then allocated a table, waited a further 20 mins to be served. Food was generally nice, but not hot. Often no drinks were offered so they lost money there. Yes all drinks except ordinary tea, cost you! Drinks packages were very expensive, except for bottomless bubbles, which was out of a tap, never a can. Laundries were on most floors but all machines except x1 were out of order. Laundering of clothes through the ship was well priced at around $25 per bag. The buffet dining, generally was OK. Many of the staff were not efficient however, instead ignoring customers and chatting among themselves behind the baine Marie's. Food generally was hot. Similar to washing machines, there were many breakdowns causing very long lines at tea and coffee machines. Toast was not ready, and then there was no butter. If there was butter there was no little jars to put it in! Wait wait wait, making the lines longer. Fine dining at their Nouveau Restaurant was fantastic and I can highly recommend, as was the high tea we attended. Beautiful. Any business in this day and age, who does not want customers feedback, in my mind, says they disrespect and discount legitimate concerns. Surely any business wants to know and respond to concerns. Not so Carnival Legend apparently. That is really sad. The running out of sakes of wine by the glass is a good case in point. If it was that popular they would know that opening a bottle and selling by the glass, would recoup more money for their trouble and satisfy customers. Crazy stuff. I for one will never sail with Carnival again. Sick of the lines, sick of warm dinners, sick of tea obviously made from water from a hot water service rather than heated cold water - tasted terrible. And no quality system in place to handle complaints in this day and age is ludicrous. Lifts were speedy and reliable, tv service was OK, WiFi depended on access to satellite so if cloudy it was super slow, an outbreak of the cold hit the ship and first there were around 400 passengers affected, then 1000, then at least 1500. Many visited the ships doctor. Some contracted pneumonia, collapsed lung etc. It was an epidemic. I do not know what they were advised but it would have been ideal if they had all been advised to stay in their cabins! It spread like wildfire. I might add that one of our wait staff the second night dining in Truffles, had a heavy cold and was sniffing and coughing while serving dinner! Why isn't this sort of thing supervised? In summary no more Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first time on a Carnival cruise ship. We had the opportunity of a great fare that was too hard to turn down. Despite the initial shock of the dowdy dark mixed themes interior, we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise mostly due ... Read More
This was our first time on a Carnival cruise ship. We had the opportunity of a great fare that was too hard to turn down. Despite the initial shock of the dowdy dark mixed themes interior, we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise mostly due to the happy staff and crew. We additionally loved the fact that Carnival generously provides FREE FRESH bean coffee which none of the other cruise lines we've travelled on have done. There was a happy vibe from all staff and crew. We particularly loved the crew being involved in the fun dancing during our dining. The Carnival Legend band - CIA were a knock-out highly talented band that were very interactive with the audience and provided a lineup of great songs. They were very down to earth and blew us all away with their professional talent. This band could fill venues outside of a Carnival ship. The buffet had lots of variety. The icecream and pizza was available 24 hours and we were very thankful at times when we had been dancing for hours and wanted something late after the buffet had closed. We loved our Carnival cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The dining room was amazing we had wonderful service and great waiters the stuff were amazing very kind and caring they always encourage others. The waiter were the best people on the ship they were ning, kadek and edgardo I would totally ... Read More
The dining room was amazing we had wonderful service and great waiters the stuff were amazing very kind and caring they always encourage others. The waiter were the best people on the ship they were ning, kadek and edgardo I would totally do it again and the 18 days seem long but it went very quick. There is so much things to do on the ship. Definitely go/go again. I got a bit windy but you can’t help that. The entertainment was astonishing they were amazing the shows were the best I have seen and great people to talk to the senses in the shows were great you just can’t describe how good it was to watch with the dancers and singers all the other shows were great for kids although the comedy could be a little better I beginning comedy people for kids were good but it got worst from then on they have great food on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
An interesting cruise. Embarkation went very well and quick - very efficient. Decor inside ship is very dark - if I had a choice I would paint all the dark brown areas a light off white colour. But it is what it is. If you are a ... Read More
An interesting cruise. Embarkation went very well and quick - very efficient. Decor inside ship is very dark - if I had a choice I would paint all the dark brown areas a light off white colour. But it is what it is. If you are a regular cruiser on RCL or Princess I believe you will be disappointed with Carnival - it is a step down. The main complaint I have is that the food was of a lower quality and variety to that I have experienced on RCL and Princess. The Lido deck food was much below that found on Windjammers and Horizons. I didn't mind this cruise as I wanted to see Tahiti but several first time cruisers expressed disappointment and much of that due to long at sea periods of 6 days and 5 nights. I quite liked the daily news sheet known as Fun Times compared to RCL and Princess daily sheets - very few conflicts with daily activities and easy to read. The movie screen in theatre was small and not enough movies were shown on cruise. Went to a "meet and mingle" - waste of time - no one mingled and I had the unfortunate circumstance to sit next to a fellow who said one word. Did chat with a lovely USA couple from California though and I saw them from time to time during cruise. One aspect that was first class was Cruise Director Jen Baxter - a pocket dynamo who was on the go non stop - so much fun. Her cruise directing staff were also so much to be around - remembered one's name and always said hello - the best overall cruise directing staff I've experienced in 13 cruises to date. One of the senior officers named Eric was also very friendly and helpful. Thought the singers and dancers were pretty good but backdrops for shows were better on RCL and Princess. Also RCL and Princess have live bands supporting them rather than machine music. Many of the shows were of high quality although at least one comedy show was pathetic and he didn't get a second chance. Dining was satisfactory but menu selection was average to be kind. Occasionally service was a little slow as well - fortunately we had 2 lovely couples at our table which made for excellent conversation. If you like trivia competitions you will not be disappointed and very competitive with some smart people participating resulting in high scores - sometimes perfect scores. There were occasional accusations of cheating in scoring as people were allowed to make own papers - should be marked independently although recognising it should be for fun mostly as prizes are cheap and should not be taken too seriously. We were meant to go to Fiji but cyclone meant it was impossible so ship went to Tonga instead - excellent effort by ship to look after passengers safety and also provide an alternative shore visit. Shore visits to Noumea, Tonga, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorée and Hawaii were all good and plenty to see and do at each port. Thought ship prices were slight more expensive than RCL and Princess. Alcohol prices are excessive but all cruise lines charge excessive fees - my local RSL and Club are cheaper. There were quite a few children on this cruise but not an issue. Although there were quite a few sea days the daily program was quite full. The ship is need of some repair and is due to go in for a 2 week maintenance in a dock shortly - if you closely at ships side a lot of paint is pealing and back to bare metal. Cabin was fine and good room steward. If I were to rate Carnival I would suggest 3 to 3.5 star whereas RCL and Princess are 4 star. Thought the enrichment lectures were of high quality and informative. Often too windy to play mini golf which was a shame. Disembarkation was sloppy - US and Canadian passengers getting priority and there was a long due by the time customs officials started. Some people took over an hour to get off. Would I travel Carnival again - if price was right and itinerary was somewhere I wanted to go then perhaps but would not be my first preference. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We were excited to go - as we had previously 3 times taken repositioning voyages across Pacific with other Cruise Lines...This one had a Great choice of route via Polynesian islands ... Unfortunately in the balance this ship had poor ... Read More
We were excited to go - as we had previously 3 times taken repositioning voyages across Pacific with other Cruise Lines...This one had a Great choice of route via Polynesian islands ... Unfortunately in the balance this ship had poor food , poor organization - virtually no port or travel information " Libray sent us the wrong books " , ask X as I have no information about this ... X says ask Y or just wait and ask the people at the dock as we don't know, " The folks at Customer service usually just said " We do not know " No weather information , very limited cabin TV stations , no newspaper summarys of international news, Extremely expensive InterNet connections which failed to work once purchased, No flexability in Internet rates even at end of Cruise ... no specials, complete disorganization disembarking ... After a couple days on board , Any passenger with whom we spoke who had cruised before - all expressed great dismay at the Staff's lack of responsibility to follow through or get information for us when requested as well they all were disppointed with dining room sit down Food quality...as it was nice to read selections but prepared poorly ... Exercise gym for services usually supplied for free to keep passengers occupied like Tai Chi or yoga classes ... on this ship were only available for package at quite expersive cost just under an additional $ 200 a person ... worse of all they scheduled the 3 classes - yoga, Spin and Boot camp all in a block ( 730-930 am ) so you would have had to be a Iron Man to utilize the classes ! I tried and found that the person running the classes reguarly discouraged " drop in's" saying every time -" you MUST Buy a complete package no individual classes - not even one to sample the package " ... This meant that the classes had few people - probably none after a little while - so " instructor " could have a break instead of 'teaching ' Instructor was also very distant and not a very pleasant Yoga teacher - it was more like a exercise class then a calm reflective time - worse yoga class I have ever experienced in 40 years ... Table Teniis - ping pong Table was located outside on deck with extremely strong winds which was made even more impossible to play because the vents from AC blew directly onto Table making path of ball erratic every time ! When I suggested they move the Tables to more suitable location - they replied that " It works well when we are in the Carribean ..." Since the next 4 months the boaat was no where near the Carrribean ... basically the reply was a polite version of "forget it- don't bother me * ... Similar responces of " Why bother us ? we just work here - ... were received when suggesting changes to " Exercise schedule " etc. by the Customer Service staff ... they even told me not to give them a handwritten report -with some positive suggestions which I had adressed to " The Captain " ... because "he would not care...." Entertainment many nights was low quality comedians... although dancing and singing shows were of ok quality ... Entertainment Director worked hard at getting crowd enthusiastic but for me it reminded me of being in a High School Cheering section far too many times... In a more positive vein - Cabins were reasonablly large and well presented except tV's were tiny and old... Cabin staff and Dining room staff were very nice and hard working , Ship was very well maintained , cleaned regularly and quite fast - Captain made competent sea faring decisions such as to avoid a Cyclone bearing down on Fiji by stopping instead on Tonga ... Swimming pools were usual ship small size but all of them except 1 was taken over by children running and pushing each other so adults were forced to live in Stern area of ship Summarizing - Carnaval Legend repositioning cruise: was an excellent choice if you had children or are a Gambler or spend your time playing BINGO and Trivia all day but if you expect quality of Celebrity or Holland America ... best to avoid Carnaval ! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This cruise was amazing. All the ports were outstanding. The Solstice is in excellent condition. There were lots of activities for sea days: ukulele lessons, hula lessons, Maori Poi Ball dance, cooking classes, a passenger chorus, ... Read More
This cruise was amazing. All the ports were outstanding. The Solstice is in excellent condition. There were lots of activities for sea days: ukulele lessons, hula lessons, Maori Poi Ball dance, cooking classes, a passenger chorus, outstanding lectures (Pacific Ocean, WWII, Women of Pearl Harbor, Volcanoes etc). Blu and Oceanview Cafe were both great. Crossing the Equator ceremony was lots of fun.. Damian our CD was very entertaining. The crossing was smooth with only one day out of New Zealand a little bumpy with 15 ft swells. The Sail Away from Sydney is the most beautiful I have ever experienced. We sailed at night and the Opera House was all lit up. Unfortunately the new production shows are not very good with the worst one the supposedly "Mozart" show. The guest entertainers were very good. One of the best tours we took was on Oahu from Escape Waikiki Tours. Kevin was a high energy fun and knowledgeable guide and the warm breakfast donuts are not to be missed. He will tailor a tour to the size (2-14 people) of your group and include whatever you like, but his knowledge of secret beaches and views on the island really sets this tour apart. The other tour was "Patrick's " snorkel tour on Bora Bora. It was an amazing experience with snorkeling and a pig roast on a private motu (small island) with wine, champagne and beer. Definitely plan on staying in Sydney at least three days before the cruise. It's a beautiful city and there is so much to do. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Specifically chose this cruise as a means of visiting French Polynesia (Tahiti, Morea and Bora Bora). Booking, registration and embarkation all handled with ease - somewhat disappointed with the tired and dated condition of stateroom - ... Read More
Specifically chose this cruise as a means of visiting French Polynesia (Tahiti, Morea and Bora Bora). Booking, registration and embarkation all handled with ease - somewhat disappointed with the tired and dated condition of stateroom - corridors smelt musty and rooms were drab with brown curtains and dated timber furniture. Our particular stateroom also had a bad drainage smell which maintenance crew were unable to rectify - overall this ship needs quite a bit of work in and around the staterooms however the common centrum areas were generally bright and modern and provided a good escape from the rooms. Quality and abundance of food throughout the ship was excellent as were the efforts of waiters and all activities staff. Captain was particularly personable and always willing to greet guests and particpate in oboard activities where possible. All in all good value for money and would cruise again only being more particular in checking on levels of fitout and recent refurbishments before booking any particular ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Carnival Legend cruise. Sydney to Honolulu-1-19th April. Ship areas need updating. Garishly decorated. Family oriented Very casual. People in shorts and t-shirts at night time dining. Dress code not enforced. Kids’ club. Free ... Read More
Carnival Legend cruise. Sydney to Honolulu-1-19th April. Ship areas need updating. Garishly decorated. Family oriented Very casual. People in shorts and t-shirts at night time dining. Dress code not enforced. Kids’ club. Free ice-creams- yoghurt. Free chilled water 24 hours in Legends Bar deck 2 and opposite the adults’ pool area on Deck 9. Usual activities- trivias, casino, hula and cake decorating demos, jewellery/watch sales etc. Music trivias were the best with Jen. Staff monitor your alcohol consumption & will not serve people another drink once they’ve had 8, except on the 2 cocktail nights where people went crazy lining up as many drinks a possible. Hygiene: Hand sanitisers NOT in prominent positions & no staff reminding passengers to use them. Some not working. 600 Kids on ship. Some going up & down constantly at night in the central lifts or running up and down the corridors at all hours. Teenage boys running amok. Should have had a fit PE guy running an intense physically challenging program for them. The group leader not physically up to challenging them. Ok for the little kids. Small library. Instead of false books lining the shelves, they should have more real books. Label foreign book section as such. Food court: Sandwiches/ wraps station in Food court. Will make individual toasties on request. Pizzas 24/7. Lot of stodge: Hamburgers/ Quiche/pies/sausage rolls/chips/sausages daily for lunch. Asian style section in Good eats. Salad bar = ham/salami/mortadella& salads eg coleslaw, potato & tomato/cucumber/lettuce. Wraps/sandwiches in Deli section- will make wraps etc to order. Soup daily. Able to fill up water bottles from the drinks area using plastic cups. Bigger cabins- our obstructed balcony had a sofa that could be pulled out as a bed. No shower cap or body lotion provided. Enough drawers and storage space. Laundries- self serve on decks1, 4, 5, 6 &7. Two washing machines and 4 dryers in laundry. $3 for soap powder, $3 for a load, $3 for dryer. Swipe cruise card method. Nowhere to sit. Fold down ironing table & iron. Nowhere to hang ironing. Breakfast room service- not free like other cruise ships. Around $3 per item. Night time dining- Hand sanitisers not working ½ the time. Dress code never enforced. People coming in with shorts and thongs. Food= unimaginative. Boiled potato, carrots and broccoli. Enters were disappointing. Desserts were ok. Not as good as on Princess/ Royal Caribbean or QM2. Mexican Night fun, with food and dancing waiters. Duck breast- undercooked and skin not crispy.1/2 a quail stuffed with breadcrumbs. Fish dishes were very small. Adults only pool area, is small but a lot of cabanas facing the sea and lounge chairs. Be early. People reserving them at 6.30am! Showers and toilets either side of the bar. Two double hammocks under cover. Stops along the way No lectures b4 hand like on Princess about the things you can do yourself. No maps. 1st stop- Mare Island New Caledonia. No info beforehand. People are poor, relying on tourist trade. Little info onboard re money exchange rate. Tender boats take you to small port. Small natural pool area where locals swim off the volcanic rocks. Otherwise the usual excursions and $20 pp to be bussed to a beach 20 mins away from small port. Expensive for a big family. Mini buses not air conditioned- hot when it’s a humid 35C. Some trees and shaded areas but not enough for everyone on the beach. White grainy sand. Clear water. BYO water. Good snorkeling. Market items at small port of Mare like souvenirs, beads, bags, sarongs, Hawaiian shirts expensive- $25AUD. Wait till Honolulu where they're $9.99 in the ABC shops. Clean toilet block, but no toilet seats. A small café where you can buy beers and soft drinks. Suva; No info beforehand. There was a free shuttle bus into town, but we only heard about it, once we’d got off the ship. A- short walk into centre of city from dock. Shops take $AUD. Give change in Fiji $. Internet on 4th floor of mall in food court. Chemist, clean toilets & aircon. Prices in chemist same as Aus. Traffic slow- traffic jam. Can hire a taxi. . Very hot and humid in April. Tahiti: No info beforehand. Papeete= a bustling city. Lots of shops and pearl sellers. Shops will accept $US & give change in Pacific francs. Lots of touters once you get off the ship. $US30pp for a 3-4 hour trip around the island. Clean toilets, small internet cafe upstairs in the shopping centre, along the main street, opposite to where the cruise ship docks. They can connect your cell phone to wifi or you can use one of their computers which have French keyboards. Very hot and humid in April. Nice shoe, perfume, pearl& dress shops- pricey. A few $2 shops down narrow streets. Moorea: Tender boats. Clean toilet block adjacent to market selling false black pearls/ sarongs/hawaiian shirts etc. Very hot and humid in April. Tiny church. Two small supermarkets if you need more deodorant/toothpaste/razors/body lotion/thongs etc. Small café selling soft drinks & beer. Bora-bora. Tenderboats. No info beforehand. A big market operating as you step ashore selling false black pearls/ sarongs/hawaiian shirts/hats/shell necklaces etc. Very hot and humid in April. Small church. More market sellers on main road and various pearl shops. If you want real pearls go to the O.P.E.C shop on the main road. Friendly and knowledgeable staff speak French and English. Real pearls start from $US1000. They will x-ray pearls to show you if they’re real. Beautiful view of Bora harbor from their air-conditioned shop. A supermarket if you’ve run out of toiletries. Small art gallery & shops selling t-shirts & surf booties. A few cafes selling ice-cream and beers. Beautiful French soaps called Le Chat or Savon for $1.80 per cake of soap that make nice gifts. Maui-No info beforehand. It took from 9am-1.30pm for US customs to check passports & visas. You had to wait in line for a taxi who wanted $75 one way to the shopping outlets or you could walk to the mall across the road a 5-10 min walk from the ship & take a local bus for $4 to the outlets. You can get free wifi for an hour. ATMS. There’s supermarket selling cheap liquor and beauty products etc and you can get 1hour’s free wifi in the mall. Disembarkation at Honolulu took from 9-11.30am., since we were held up by people who didn't do their passport checks in Maui.Long queue for taxis outside. $20 for a 15min carbide to Waikiki. Most hotels wouldn't let you into your room until 2-3pm. Entertainment; Mentalist- mind reader and Magician were bad. The old 3 cup trick and card trick hopelessly outdated. Both used members of the audience in their acts, as time fillers. Singer of Sammy Davis jnr / Frank Sinatra was outstanding. One night- there was only a Simpsons’ trivia quiz. Juggler ok. Tribute to Motor City show: Great singing and dancing. Ventriloquist from US- very professional with 2 puppets. Tahitian dance troupe very professional. Nikki Bennet- fab Aus singer. Two time Olympian-American gymnast was good. Lionel Cole- nephew of Nat King Cole, good. Based in Sydney. Wore a strange khaki skirt, which he called a kilt. Own arrangements of popular songs! Epic Rock show was outstanding! The singers/dancers should have more than 5 shows in 19days. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
not enough variety and repetitive food especially breakfast , roast they make sure they serve it and minimal amount , kids take over whole ship, playing with elevators running up and down hallways and causing havoc, security doesnt control ... Read More
not enough variety and repetitive food especially breakfast , roast they make sure they serve it and minimal amount , kids take over whole ship, playing with elevators running up and down hallways and causing havoc, security doesnt control them let alone parents,on our time on there a kid got banned from kids club due to turning up drunk. spa pool all get shut down at 10pm, entertainment finishes not long after, most things to do on ship is same thing day in and day out, forget live bands they only have duo or solo,other cruise ships entertainment runs till at least 2-3am. on P&O it had a happy fun atmosphere, sitting top deck if a smoker forget having any music or dj, thats only in the section for non smokers. forget serenity area as so many adults reserve a spot around 6.30am which leaves no chance for pod seats.bar in serenity shuts at 8pm yet kids have an after care fun club that goes to 1am, spoke to many people, all said never again will they use Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We were invited to accompany some relatives on this ship, as they had never been to the ports or countries that the ship visited. The things that we remember most about the cruise ship, are all bad, except for the ports of call, where we ... Read More
We were invited to accompany some relatives on this ship, as they had never been to the ports or countries that the ship visited. The things that we remember most about the cruise ship, are all bad, except for the ports of call, where we did privately arranged tours, which were exceptional. Embarkation was terrific - put us in a really good mood to face the rest of the trip. We were among the first onboard, & our luggage arrived promptly. The decor of the ship hit us hard in the face - very dark & dingy & way overdone with accessories - too cluttered. We liked our balcony cabin, our steward was very attentive. All went well for the first couple of days, then we struck trouble at the dining room. We had "Anytime Dining", & on this particular evening, we waited for an hour to be seated. We were given a Buzzer, & told to stand nearby, which we did. There seemed to be other people entering the dining room without being given a buzzer, so after a while, my husband approached the attendant on duty, to remind her that we were still waiting - by this time there were other people who had also been given buzzers & were standing near us. Eventually, after an hour of waiting, we were called to enter the dining room, but there were still people after us who were left waiting. We did receive an apology the next day, & a plate of sweets (to stop us from making a complaint, we think). The disembarkation in the tender port of Bora Bora was a shambles, as a tender boat ran aground on the reef. This meant that the boat in trouble had to be hauled back onboard & replaced, all the while keeping passengers waiting to get ashore. More trouble happened in another port, with a tender boat refusing to start (not a good scenario if we were in real trouble). Upon arrival in Kahului, Maui, we were held up badly by the U.S. Coast Guard, & when we finally disembarked, there was no sign of a shuttle bus, but we had to walk quite a considerable distance to a local bus stop. Once there, the ticket officer ran out of tickets, as, she told us, the cruise line had failed to inform the bus company that the ship would be in port that day. She also said that the local bus company would have provided a shuttle service from the ship into the town, had they known of the ship's arrival. Disembarkation on our arrival in Honolulu was also a shambles, but we don't know if that was the fault of the ship's disorganisation or the U.S. Coast Guard officers. While onboard, we noticed a lot of drunkenness & very bad behaviour by the teenage passengers. As a non-drinker, I'm totally against these drink packages where a passenger pays one price & then is allowed to consume as much alcohol as he or she wants. Where was the "Responsible service of alcohol" onboard? Passengers who had already consumed too much alcohol, were still being allowed to consume more, & meanwhile, their teenage children were running rampant on the ship. As you can see, there were a lot of negatives with this ship, as we had plenty of other cruises (28 in fact) to compare it with. On a positive note, we found the dining room waiters to be very pleasant, & the meals were of a high standard. The nightly theatre shows were very average, but we still went along each night. I would recommend this ship to anybody who wants to party hard at sea, as they wouldn't have to drive home. As for us, we prefer a quieter & more organised cruise, with live bands as backing for the theatre shows & not pre-recorded music. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Cruise was planned with a family group of 8. We were very lucky with only the last cruising at sea day being rough enough to have to hang onto handrails. The ports of call were lovely with our favourites being Maui, very pretty, and ... Read More
Cruise was planned with a family group of 8. We were very lucky with only the last cruising at sea day being rough enough to have to hang onto handrails. The ports of call were lovely with our favourites being Maui, very pretty, and Moorea, where we swam with stingrays and sharks. Loved the Crossing the Equator ceremonial fun on board. The entire crew were excellent with special mention to our 2 dining room waiters Bong and Yudi, our steward, Elson and those Cruise team we mainly interacted with, Gayve, Robbie, Riccardo and Ricki. The meals were excellent though items repeated a bit more often than I thought they would and the cabin comfortable. Thoght the Cruise line arranged Excursions and tours expensive. In most places we found a similar deal at half the price A typically relaxing holiday where you very soon didn't know what day it was. Thank you Captain. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Have been on 10 cruises all have been great p&o also princess until we went on board the dawn princess tired rundown old. Ship.food was boring staff wonderful what a shame ship and cooks didn't match the lovely staff .nearly ... Read More
Have been on 10 cruises all have been great p&o also princess until we went on board the dawn princess tired rundown old. Ship.food was boring staff wonderful what a shame ship and cooks didn't match the lovely staff .nearly everybody on board was ill with a virus hospital staff so busy with all the sick passengers.had cruise booked for next October when it returns as p&o.pacific explorer.have cancelled this booking would be to concerned about being on this ship again make sure you have travel insurance if boarding this damp smelling ship shame on you princess good luck p&o.had queen size bed which was comfortable but could not get up side of bed to narrow had to climb in and crawl up to get in and out ok if teenager not ok when in 70s.some cabins leaked from under swimming pool toilets frequently would not flush walls in horizon& vista lounge dirty needed a good scrub with hot soapy water.excursions were good .weather beautiful,passengers lovely , best result for this ship retire to scrap heap! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Having cruised previously with P&O UK, P&O and Princess, this was our first with Carnival. We chose this cruise as it fitted in with our respective holidays and the itinerary was one we had never been on before. We flew into ... Read More
Having cruised previously with P&O UK, P&O and Princess, this was our first with Carnival. We chose this cruise as it fitted in with our respective holidays and the itinerary was one we had never been on before. We flew into Sydney on day of departure and had Carnival Transfers to the ship. Embarkation was a breeze with our boarding passes being stamped Priority at the airport and we were able to board without waiting in long queues. To this we say Thank You Carnival. Once on the ship, our breath was taken away by the decor - dark, tacky etc, something we did not expect to confront us. We were also disappointed that there were no staff around to guide us in the right direction to our cabin. Not a pleasant experience at all but we managed and it turned out to be an adventure of discovery of the ship on a whole. We were also disappointed with the Muster Stations Procedures as all the other cruises we had been on, you were required to take your Life Jacket and they would demonstrate to you how to put it on etc. We piled onto the decks in lines and it was extremely hot, tiring and above all, very long. Our cabin, to our surprise was decent in size, had comfortable bed and pillows and a doona to die for. It was fitted out well, even tho the location of it was not to our liking. TIP: book a cabin midships if you don't like the motion. Food in the Restaurant was of poor/average quality .... the Speciality Restaurants were outstanding especially Bonsai Sushi and Nouvea. Loved the outlay of the Bistro, but like the restaurant, found the food to be of poor to average quality. Entertainment was of average quality - loved the band in Redfrog Pub, they were outstanding. Jen our Cruise Director was fantastic at her job and put her self out there, but her staff were a different story - smile and pretend you enjoy your job, don't act bored like you don't want to be there. If you love Trivia during the day, your on the right ship, otherwise daytime entertainment is pretty much non existent. The shows in the Theatre were OK but all ships are pretty much the same. Staff on the ship - our cabin stewards were unbelievable, Redfrog Pub staff outstanding, dining room staff average/poor, bar staff around pools average/poor, other bar staff average. No one really went out of there way for you which was really disappointing. Ports of call were outstanding, even Noumea, which we are not big fans of, but doing a tour of the countryside was just spectacular. We made the most of our cruise and met some wonderful people but to be completely honest, this was just an average cruise. Will we travel Carnival again, in one word, No! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The destinations lived up to expectations and we loved the mix of 'sea day' to on land where we got busy doing tours both independant and of the ship. So fortunate to enjoy fantastic weather most of the time. Hilo, Hawaii, ... Read More
The destinations lived up to expectations and we loved the mix of 'sea day' to on land where we got busy doing tours both independant and of the ship. So fortunate to enjoy fantastic weather most of the time. Hilo, Hawaii, Kona, Kauai and Maui were all fantastic destinations. We just loved mooching around our old holiday destination of Honolulu. Wiamea Canyon is a 'must see' and an island tour of Oahu is well worthwhile. Don't forget to have a Mai Tai on Waikiki Beach ! Bora Bora in Tahiti is great for honeymooners but the actual port is rather tired and shabby. Moorea is probably the most beautiful island we have ever had the pleasure to set foot on. We got on a random 4WD tour with 8 others and went through pineapple plantations, over brooks, up high to have magnificent views. In summary a fantastic cruise and one we would do again. No wonder this cruise books out early ! Happy cruising. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise on internet reports that Celebrity Solstice is an upmarket experience in cruising. The cabin was good. The crew were good. The shipboard experience was a let-down. No coin laundry; a debacle in tendering at Bay of ... Read More
We chose this cruise on internet reports that Celebrity Solstice is an upmarket experience in cruising. The cabin was good. The crew were good. The shipboard experience was a let-down. No coin laundry; a debacle in tendering at Bay of Islands where it took us over 3 hours to get on a tender. (Improved in later ports); main Dining Room food was a huge disappointment. Overcooked meals. Many dishes tasteless. We purchased a 5 night specialty Restaurants package. Murano and Tuscan Grille were excellent in menu, food, and service. Silk Harvest Asian Restaurant was a disaster - dried out whole fish, long overcooked duck breast. Drink prices on board were over the top!! Repeat Celebrity Solstice cruise guests reported that the standard of the ship was way below previous cruises. Another huge annoyance to a lot of cruisers was the expulsion from the only seaview lounge on the ship at 5pm to allow private access to a "higher paying" class of guest. No more Celebrity!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We had to toss up between a Good or Very Good rating - why - mainly because of the Main Dining Room experience of an evening. The service was good however the food was far from acceptable, especially after sailing on RCL's Legend of ... Read More
We had to toss up between a Good or Very Good rating - why - mainly because of the Main Dining Room experience of an evening. The service was good however the food was far from acceptable, especially after sailing on RCL's Legend of the Seas in December, which is one of their older ships sailing however had much more appealing food in their Main Dining Room with absolutely no complaints. When the Solstice's Maitre D and the Sous Chef visited our dining table towards the latter end of the cruise to ask about the food, the Sous Chef blamed Australian Beef for the poor quality. Not a good thing to do! It was like waving a red rag to a bull saying that to Australians! After all, we do export to Japan, so questions need to be asked as to was it the cuts purchased by the staff, quality of what they chose to purchase, their actual supplier, preparation or cooking of the beef (and other meals) that resulted in substandard meals. Even a butcher on the cruise was complaining. We were not the only ones as many who had sailed on her before were bitterly disappointed after previously wonderful experiences. And the quality and presentation of the food overall was not just about beef. One example is I personally had Beef Goulash for a starter, there was one piece of beef the size of a small finger nail in the Beef Goulash, the rest was liquid. Another example was having Beef Cheeks which was predominantly full of fat which I couldn't really spit out sitting with a table of other people. The Creme Brûlée was the same nearly every evening whereas on other ships they actually make different flavours. The food was just average at its best. We had been allocated 8.30pm dining which is too late for me, therefore the first thing we did was to head to the Dining Room to plead for 6pm dining (due to my illnesses) which we were told may be unlikely as it was already fully booked with people requesting 6pm from 2 years earlier whereas we had recently booked. It was a pleasant surprise the next day receiving advice they had a table for us and we dined with some wonderful people who we plan to keep in touch with. It may or may not have been the food offering, however, this Dining Room was 'at least' 25% empty the majority of the time. This is the first time I have criticised a cruise after sailing on many. More specifically because this cruise was on my Bucket List as I have terminal Illnesses and I really wanted to sail on Celebrity while I could as I had heard so many wonderful things about the line. Even the bread on the table was predominantly a white loaf sliced in a basket, whereas on Legends, the Assistant Waiter would come around with a tray full of a beautiful variety of freshly baked rolls and bread to offer. Solstice felt more like a cafeteria in this regard. We chose to dine at one of their Specialty Restaurants, Muranos, a couple of times and the food, as well as their service was superb. Their fillet steak melted your mouth and was also Australian. No excuses there! There are two other Specialty Restaurants on the ship which we also heard good reviews about. The Buffet was probably the best we've experienced with a great selection of food. No complaints there however I needed to eat where there was a less likelihood of picking up bacteria or a virus due to my low immunity and not the ships attempts to maintain excellent cleanliness in every area of the ship which they did. Oh, and room service was very efficient with good quality of food. And, there are other places offering food in different parts of the ship that seemed to be well accepted by the guests. The other thing we must comment on was that we chose this same dining room for breakfast and lunch and could not complain about anything at these times. The other reason for our questionable rating was the tendering, for example when we tendered off The Bay of Islands NZ, we were not able to disembark the ship by tender boats until around 12.30pm when half the day was gone so it really impacted on our visit and restricted what we could do and where we could go. This was despite us obtaining our tender tickets around 9.05am when they started distributing them at 9am. Must have been a lot of people there early! There were many many annoyed and frustrated people at this time. The other tendering ports still had minor issues however the staff had made great improvements from the Bay of Islands. Also, we had to hand in our Passports prior to arriving in Tahiti and 'that' was a big mess too, resulting in guests queueing for at least 40 minutes or more, then the reverse when collecting them prior to visiting Maui and going through the US Customs on the ship. There 'were' better options to be considered for this process rather than alienating and inconveniencing guests, such as a deck at a time, or not all on the same day (for handing in the passports), or pre boarding Immigration Inspectors at the earlier port (may be cost and space prohibitive but...) These things need to be addressed if the ship wants to maintain a questionable 5 Star experience which we expected and were really looking forward to. Now I've got that off my chest, which I do hope has now been addressed, the ship and cruise was really nice. Externally there is a bit of tiredness showing and the balconies need new furniture, however 'she' is going in for some upgrades in September which can account for this so no real issues. The cabins were comfortable, clean and had everything we needed. The service overall was excellent. The entertainment in the main theatre was also excellent (best we've experienced). The Cruise Director Ben again excellent, funny and Australian!! The Lectures we attended were excellent especially Chelsea who is a young, vibrant, enthusiastic and knowledgeable marine biologist. We didn't avail ourselves of the shore excursions and chose to do our own thing on shore as we had visited these ports before, we just wanted to sail on Celebrity! Ports were also excellent (bad luck about the overcast weather in Tahiti not allowing the beautiful colours of the water to be exposed). We both couldn't help but wonder why the ship has the natural grassed area on Deck 15, which is roped off anyway. It seems to be a waste of space with few passengers seeming to avail themselves of the deck itself. The Glass Blowing and a bar is on this deck and worthwhile visiting...otherwise.... The ship itself presents well, is easy to navigate (internally), has a lovely spacious lounge and bar area overlooking the ocean views where Trivia is played of a day but where you can relax with a book to read in comfortable seating. Two lovely pools, internal and external which appear to be well maintained. The theatre is beautiful and there is an additional smaller theatre next to it for smaller activities, bingo, lectures etc. There is really nothing lacking in these areas. The shops are central, between the main dining areas and theatre and alongside the casino area. There were not many children on this particular cruise, however those that were on it seemed to be well behaved so obviously well cared for by the staff. There appeared to be lots of activities in the latter part of the evening for those who could stay awake LOL. We were off to bed after dinner and the 9pm show however the ship was still 'alive' at this time. Embarkation and Disembarkation ran smoothly. No issues here whatsoever. Overall, we did really like and enjoy the cruise but the food issues really spoilt it for us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary. It included 5 ports of call we had never visited (2 in New Zealand, Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora), and ended in our favorite travel destination, Hawaii. The length was about what we wanted and of ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the itinerary. It included 5 ports of call we had never visited (2 in New Zealand, Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora), and ended in our favorite travel destination, Hawaii. The length was about what we wanted and of course the capability to visit 3 islands in French Polynesia made this cruise very attractive. The Solstice is a fantastic ship and the crew is outstanding. We were very impressed with the entire ship, especially the theater and the Solstice crew. Boarding in Sydney was very easy. We dropped out luggage off early the day of departure and then spent several hours in The Rocks area since that was market day. Our only issue with sailing day was the muster drill. Our muster point was on deck 4 promenade and it was very chaotic trying to get everyone's attention and maintain it during the drill. The drill lasted rather long, ending at 5:50pm, which was pushing early dining at 6pm. The sailing time of 6:30pm also conflicted with those of us with early dining so we had to make our first choice of the cruise--attend sail away or go to main dining. Our cabin on deck 3 (ocean view) was very nice and our cabin attendants were 2 of the best we've every had. A hit attraction for this cruise was the presence of the Polynesian team of 4 from Hawaii that taught several courses including ukelele (which I took). lei making (my wife too) and also performed on many occasions including crossing the equator ceremony. On board lectures were very informative. I want to call out Chelsea Behymer, the on-board naturalist, in particular. She has a passion for her subject area that made her lectures come alive and made you want to learn. Entertainment was top notch for the most part with the Solstice singers and dancers our favorites. Another highlight was the ANZAC memorial at 6am the day we sailed into Hawaii. A special thank you for Ben the cruise director for coordinating and directing that effort. Immigration and customs was conducted at anchor at Lahaina since that was the first port of call in the US. It went well for us US citizens as most of us were through immigration and on the tender by 10am. Disembarkation in Honolulu was one of the smoothest I've ever done. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was my first cruise alone in 33 years. The Sun Princess is a lovely ship, a little dated, sure and the bed headboard and curtains in my cabin were well past replacement (and cleaning) date! The staff were not accommodating of a ... Read More
This was my first cruise alone in 33 years. The Sun Princess is a lovely ship, a little dated, sure and the bed headboard and curtains in my cabin were well past replacement (and cleaning) date! The staff were not accommodating of a single woman - particularly in the Horizon Cafe and the Crooners Bar. Often I sat for the entire meal without any service, only to watch a couple come and sit beside me served immediately, drink Sir? Cultural differences perhaps? Anyway, Princess, if you want to attract Australian women on your cruises you had better do a lot of Cultural Awareness Training of your wait staff on the Sun Princess. (remember: I paid exactly DOUBLE for just ONE person - plus balcony) The Cabin Steward was a great guy who made my tip special, often putting 2 or three chocolates on my pillow and creating a Butterfly from my negligee. However, the standout staff member was my Room Service Steward, Christie from the Philippines. Always cheerful and understanding - interested in my days activities - just a wonderful human being. The fine dining restaurants had super service - lovely wait staff. One thing I will mention is the overcrowding in the tenders - it was very hot and Aussies are large people - we were forced to crowd into the tenders making it very unpleasant for all concerned. The extra scanning I received when getting back onboard kept 'desensitizing' my room tag and when hot and tired I had to keep going back to the Customer Service desk for a new tag, very frustrating till I worked out what it was!!! The gym could have had a few extra cycles, and a few less walking machines - after all you can walk around the deck. Sickness abounded: Despite a flu injection prior to departure, I picked up a nasty throat infection which ruined my Hawaiian ports visits. Then, one the way home to Sydney I developed bronchitis. I am still recovering from that cough which was so bad it dislodged my retina! It was a really Sick Ship. Owing to others coughing I avoided most of the shows in the Princess Theater, but from reports they were mostly quality acts. There are a lot of activities and no one could complain that there was nothing to do. I spent a lot of time on my balcony, enjoying the view, listening to my music and reading. The balcony had two reclining chairs and a small table - quite often I enjoyed a bottle of wine and dinner out there enjoying the views. There was no trouble using the laundry facilities, as I did not go near them, did all the washing in my cabin handbasin, more than adequate. There was plenty of hanging space and lots of hangers. Soap and towels were replaced when necessary and the bed linen was kept immaculate by Arnel. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My husband and I booked our 5th Carnival cruise to celebrate our 4oth Anniversary and were not disappointed. Our previous 4 cruises with Carnival have incled two sailing the Carribean, one in the Mediterranean and one down to the Mexican ... Read More
My husband and I booked our 5th Carnival cruise to celebrate our 4oth Anniversary and were not disappointed. Our previous 4 cruises with Carnival have incled two sailing the Carribean, one in the Mediterranean and one down to the Mexican Riviera. The Legend was first launched in 2003 by Dame Judy Dench and then was refurbished in 2009 to update for its move to Australia. We disembarked in Bora Bora after 12 great nights due to work commitments so did not sail the additional 6 days to Hawaii but feel 12 nights was enough for us as we prefer cruises with more stops and less days at sea. We had 5 stops at Noumea, Denaru, Papeete, Moorea and Bora Bora. We spent 5 nights and 2 lunches at their specialty restaurants to give a balance to dining at Truffles Restaurant and Lido Deck. Carnival offered a full programme throughout the day so we could be as busy or as laid back as we wanted to be on our sailing days. It would be great to see more dining options for guests and I believe most would be happy to pay that extra. The Japanese Restaurant didn't seem to be all that popular with cruise guests and I believe if it was replaced with their Italian restaurant that is onboard other Carnival boats they would find this a better option both financially as well as popularity. This was one of the cleanest ships I have ever cruised and the staff were very friendly and helpful. The decor in the general areas and Lobby is somewhat outmoded and definitely needs a complete refurb as the "Las Vegas 80's"" look is definitely out. We has a balcony suite right near the lifts overlooking the lifts to the Lobby and find this a great location for us. Shows were enjoyable and thoroughly enjoyed our Chef's Table dinner. Well worth the $75pp inluding all wines. It would be good to see wine & beverage packages offered on the Legend like what is offered on other Carnival ships. Adults only Serenity Pool and Bar area was most enjoyable area and while in cruising days we used this area to relax quite a lot. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
we stayed in Sydney the night before the cruise. I was amazed just hoe close to the pier we actually were. On the day of boarding we had plans to look around the rocks markets as we were told we couldn't board until our cabin level ... Read More
we stayed in Sydney the night before the cruise. I was amazed just hoe close to the pier we actually were. On the day of boarding we had plans to look around the rocks markets as we were told we couldn't board until our cabin level was called which wasn't until about 15.00. We took our bags to the pier at about 11.30 and were suddenly whisked along with everyone else and ended up being on the ship by 12.30. We were quite happy with that. We went to see our cabin and found that they had put us 2 single women who had specifically asked for single beds into a double cabin. We were asked how we wanted the room planned and when we came back after lunch were happy to see the room had been rearranged exactly how we wanted it. For the next 5 day until Picton the weather was pretty rough. As for indoor activities there was not a lot to do. Only what they had planned for a normal day. They had a picture theatre that only held 40 people. If you didn't get there first you didn't see it until the afternoon and that was if you stood out front half the day. it was suggested on more than 1 occasion by many people that if they had played the move in the theatre a lot more people could have had something to do, or even had a few more screenings through the day.The service from all the staff i had to deal with was absolutely fantastic. Everyone we had to deal with was pleasant and polite. Our cabin steward was so happy and helpful. We had My Time Dining and found the food choices excellent and the wait staff very good. We also dined at a couple of the speciality restaurants where we found the food and the prices very good. The entertainment was not what i expected.They advertise that they have broadway like shows but through the whole 18 days all they had were singers, magician a hypnotist and a couple of comedians. Totally annoyed by that. Overall i enjoyed the cruise but i think 18 days is way to long especially with so many days at sea with bad weather and not much to do. The only real fault with the cruise was the fact that the public toilets were always not working or closed for repairs most of the time. Overall the ship and all the staff made for an exceptional Holiday. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our third cruise on the Radiance. We had a very sociable and energetic Cruise Critics group which made for a most enjoyable cruise. Embarkation - Although passengers were given different boarding times depending on the deck ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Radiance. We had a very sociable and energetic Cruise Critics group which made for a most enjoyable cruise. Embarkation - Although passengers were given different boarding times depending on the deck on which their cabin was situated, it seems that this was ignored by many passengers and certainly not enforced by RCCL. It took a little over an hour to embark but our luggage arrived without delay. Service - as usual, the staff were fantastic. We had excellent service from our dining room stewards and cabin steward, all of whom were anxious to please and could not do enough for us. We liked the way that care was taken to ensure that we were seated with the same waiters every night even though we had My Time Dining. Itinerary - We thoroughly enjoyed all the ports of call and the leisurely nature of the cruise and highly recommend it. We did not take any shore excursions organised by the ship, preferring to take the excursions organised by Cruise Critic members. Picton – we did a Marlborough winery tour which was most enjoyable ($65). Included was a visit to the Makana Chocolate Factory where we were able to sample and buy from their expensive but delicious range. We stopped for lunch at the Allan Scott Winery which was extra. Wellington – having visited Wellington before, we spent the day at the Te Papa Museum, where we took a tour for about $7 and then attended the Gallipoli Exhibition which was fabulous and highly recommended to anyone with an interest in World War 1 history. The exhibits were created by the Weta Workshop (which works in the film industry) and were incredibly life like. We were told that this exhibition will be open for 4 years. Papeete – we joined other Cruise Critics members at the Intercontinental Hotel (an inexpensive taxi trip away) where we purchased day passes which were 12,820 XPF (about $75) per person and included an excellent lunch. We spent the day swimming, enjoying the beautiful surroundings and sipping cocktails as the sun set. A magical experience. Moorea – is beautiful. We took one of Albert’s island tours again organized by a Cruise Critics member. I purchased some very reasonably priced Tahitian pearls in the local market. Bora Bora - was jaw droppingly gorgeous. We took Patrick’s tour, also organized by a Cruise Critic member, at a cost of about $125 per person, but worth every cent. We went on motorized outrigger canoes carrying about 12 people, first to an area which was about 4 1/2 feet deep, just inside the reef, to swim with reef sharks, sting rays and many tropical fish. Even non- swimmers were able to join in the fun here. Patrick’s staff were very attentive and took care to ensure that even the non- swimmers had an opportunity to touch a sting ray and observe the sharks. We then went to a coral garden where it was much deeper. We went to Patrick’s private motu for a Tahitian luau lunch which was very good. Patrick even performed a fire dance for us. The scenery on the way to and from the motu was wonderful. Everyone I spoke with said that this tour was the highlight of the trip and it is highly recommend to both swimmers and non- swimmers alike. We took our own snorkeling equipment and reef shoes. A word of warning – the washroom on the private motu was very rudimentary and the toilet didn’t flush most of the time and there was no running water for washing hands! Dining - Meals in the main dining room were nicely presented but, in our view, somewhat bland. Windjammer had many different types of food on offer, but was fairly repetitive. I enjoyed the breakfast buffet and the fact that you could have eggs cooked to order, but found the food at lunch time very average. We never had dinner there. Izumi and Giovanni’s were very good. Samba, whilst good, was not really to our taste - too much meat. We dined twice at Chops Grill. On the first occasion the steward mixed up my steak with the larger steak ordered by my husband; this was unsatisfactory since we prefer our steak cooked differently. On the second occasion we had a very nice dinner. Unfortunately Chef’s Table was disappointing. This is marketed as a premium experience, however, the food, whilst good, was served lukewarm and at least some of the wine was less than premium. No menu was provided until we requested it and we also had to request teaspoons with our coffee. Little things but we expected better. RCCL ultimately responded to the criticism in an appropriate manner for some of the group. However, it is unlikely that we will return. Murder Mystery Dinner at Giovanni’s - the food was good and hot, and it was an entertaining evening, however, in my view it is somewhat overpriced at $55 per person. We did not dine at Rita’s Crab Shack, the somewhat bizarre reincarnation of “Rita’s Cantina” and we did not observe or hear of anyone else who dined there either. The prices and the fact that it is partly open to the weather (which wasn’t favourable a lot of the time) may have deterred passengers. This and the hot dog café are both poorly utilized spaces. The Ship - Radiance is a beautiful ship and overall, it is clean and well maintained. However, I am sad to report that it is looking a little tired in some areas. We noticed the change between our first cruise on Radiance in 2011 and now. For example, some chairs were heavily stained and looked quite grotty, in particular in the Champagne Bar. Carpets need replacing in some areas and the cabins are looking a bit dated. We had a balcony cabin on Deck 7 which was pleasant and comfortable, but the balcony was not private because the “stripes” and frosting on the screen between our cabin and the next had deteriorated. Also, rust was visible on some superstructure visible from the balcony. Storage in both the cabin and bathroom is good even for a longer cruise. Others have commented on the tiny showers and sticky shower curtains! On every cruise we have noticed a few more cutbacks. Now dressing gowns are not provided, unless requested. Radiance has serious plumbing problems. Our toilet was not working on the first day and then intermittently after that. Two out of three public toilets were not working outside the main dining room for several days. It was a similar experience elsewhere on the ship. Cruisers need to be aware that the view from some of the balcony cabins on Deck 7 is limited by the canopy over the life boats below. This means that you cannot look down at the sea immediately below. We tried on several occasions before we left and upon embarkation to upgrade our cabin, but RCCL refused unless we paid about $1500 more, even though there had been a considerable price drop and we had paid many hundreds of dollars more than superior cabins were selling for at that time. RCCL should not discourage repeat clients from booking early and should apply the same more generous booking conditions to Australian passengers that are applicable to US passengers. We will consider booking with other cruise lines, which have more generous booking conditions to Australian passengers in future. Laundry - There is no self-service laundry facilities on board. Every 5 days or so passengers are given the opportunity to have a bag of washing done for USD30. This has increased from USD20 since our last cruise on the Radiance in 2013, which I think is a bit steep. This is a “wash and fold” service and does not include shirts, dresses etc. which are itemised separately. Entertainment - Unfortunately the first 9 days of the cruise were cold, windy, rough and often wet. The decks were sometimes closed. However, there was limited entertainment offered during the day. The evening entertainment was varied – some of it was very good and some of it not to our taste. The same “Broadway” type shows have been presented for many years now. It would be helpful if a list and time of the shows was published on RCCL’s website. There is already provision for this, but no information posted. This would assist passengers in making reservations for dinners. It is surprising that the “Broadway” type shows were not repeated on other nights of what was a long cruise. The “enrichment lectures” were non – existent with the exception of one or two given by volunteer passengers. The “health” presentations, held it seemed on a daily basis in Centrum, were a thinly disguised attempt to persuade passengers to part with their money for expensive spa treatments and products. I was impressed with RCCL’s recognition and commemoration of ANZAC Day (the Australian/NZ Memorial Day) and the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. The night before ANZAC day a red poppy was left on the pillow of passengers and both a dawn service and later service were attended by the ship’s officers and passengers. It seemed fitting that we should be commemorating the Gallipoli landings in a ceremony held at sea. RCCL made breakfast available in the Windjammer earlier than usual to accommodate those who attended the dawn service. Well done! Disembarkation – Guest Relations would not sell us transfers to the airport as we had a 12.30 domestic flight and they said that they could not guarantee that we would make the flight. So we had to carry our substantial luggage through US Customs and off the ship ourselves. We had no difficulty in getting a taxi and we made it to the airport by 8.00am! All in all, this was a very enjoyable cruise with beautiful ports and a great group of people, but Radiance deserves some money spent refurbishing her so that she shines once again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I am an Elite cruise member thus I have done numerous cruises with the Princess fleet as well as many other cruise companies This was by far the worst and less enjoyable cruise I have done in many years The entertainment was POOR and ... Read More
I am an Elite cruise member thus I have done numerous cruises with the Princess fleet as well as many other cruise companies This was by far the worst and less enjoyable cruise I have done in many years The entertainment was POOR and amateurish The whole cruise was of a poor quality and overpriced regarding excursions In the first 3 weeks we only had one hour of dancers performance in the main stage at night and the cruise director and his assistant were nicknamed Dumb and Dumber because thy did absolutely nothing At lunch time they played a lousy, untalented band around the pool and the noise was so loud in order to hide their lack of talent. YUK. Most people walked away so when one came back. your lounge chair had been stolen and towel taken away by the crew. There were only 5 members in the entertainment crew thus the activities were NON EXISTENT Food was good and service was also good. Ship was in bad need of a good makeover The passengers were 98% Aussies and we had no news from home for the 35 days, just TV news from the USA and Britian Will not be back in a hurry Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was my first trip with Celebrity Embarkation very good with no hitches Cabin was good but no tea /coffee facilities? Ship was excellent and being on deck 12 access was easy to everything No laundromat facilities? ... Read More
This was my first trip with Celebrity Embarkation very good with no hitches Cabin was good but no tea /coffee facilities? Ship was excellent and being on deck 12 access was easy to everything No laundromat facilities? Gymnasium was good with plenty of equipment and clean towels Food in the Dining room was excellent however bistro food was noticeably below average as the trip progressed Only one decent Coffee shop (Lev 5) with constant lines of people most of the time? Entertainment was very average with exception of The Circus Solei night which was outstanding. On deck activities were nearly non existent. Too many 'at sea' hours spent on deck with most people sound asleep with their mouths open!! 30 min of dancing at lunch time is not enough to keep passengers interested nor indeed was a single guitarist singing to 500 people, mostly asleep. People needed to DO stuff. One passenger threw a a blow up ball int the pool and instantly the pool filled up with people having fun...Really!! Instead of putting on entertainment each evening in the theater, Celebrity would run a movie which you could watch in your suite anyway Highlight of the cruise was rescuing the two stranded yaughtsmen from the island I thought the costs charged on the ship for drinks were nothing short of obscene. The dining room would happily charge upwards of US$55 for for wines which could be purchased in Australia for AU$10 !!. Beer was costing US$8.50 for a bottle. Scotch and cocktails up to US$15 On shore Excursions, if booked on the ship, were heavily loaded. I booked all tours on shore. One tour cost $155 if booked on board, $50 on shore, with full fare paying passengers sitting along side us on the tour? There was a Hawain get together on deck at 10.30pm on the night before we disembarked in Honoloulu.? Why not a couple of days before hand, earlier start and lots of great music and Hawain dress up and maybe get your dance performers involved? It was the opinion of quite a number of passengers that Celebrity was intent on doing the minimum required for the cruise and at the same time suck as many dollars they could from their passengers. Celebrity....this was our first experience with you and it will be our last A super Ship does not always mean a super cruise. It is the people and the experiences that will be remembered Celebrity... You need to look very closely at your competitors...and learn Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Well this was our first cruise on Celebrity (first two on RCL) and our longest cruise. It also had by far the most amount of sea days, so we were curious on how this would play-out. Unfortunately the friends who put us onto the trip ... Read More
Well this was our first cruise on Celebrity (first two on RCL) and our longest cruise. It also had by far the most amount of sea days, so we were curious on how this would play-out. Unfortunately the friends who put us onto the trip cancelled prior to departure, so it could have been a long, long trip. Starting at the beginning, the embarkation was reasonably painless, we were aware that you can really embark whenever you wanted, so we dropped the bags off at the collection area and went for a stroll. Once the lines were down a bit (and this was early afternoon) we boarded. Quickly got our all important seapass, cleared customs, checked through security and were onboard - 20 mins tops. We then proceeded to check out a couple of bars and waited for the rooms to be ready, which was also quite quick, and we were ready to go (well the bags showed up by about 4ish). Food - this is all important. Now I could say that when I got home I had actually lost a kilo (and no that wasn't from the gym) and you'd think the food was poor, but on the contrary, there was plenty of food and generally very good. We ate at all the restaurants, Tuscans was our favourite, a bit more of the style of food we eat out on in Australia and the service was top notch. Muranos service was excellent, but the food was a little rich, and Silk Harvest was good, we enjoyed the food, but missed the mark a little - maybe we had expectations of a full on Japanese style, while it was a bit of a mixture. The MDR - well we only ate there about six nights, we picked the select dining times and pre-booked our times online before departure - a good idea. Unfortunately we did not get the dining experience we had had previously as we did not get the same waiters nor were we able to chat with the same people each night - something we liked from previous cruises. The dining room looks good, but it is a bit cramped and the décor a little 'too white and shiny'. Couldn't complain about the standard of food. There was a reasonable selection, it all tasted pretty good and the staff were very attentive to my wife's dietary needs that we had alerted the company to prior to departure. Bistro on Five was also pretty good, but only if you like crepes and baguettes. We did go a couple of times as it was a bit of a change, and they were open to alternative suggestions on the menu. A good location if everywhere else is busy. The Oceanview café was actually quite good, there was plenty of selection, and we found the quality of the food to be of a good to very good standard. It was busy at times (2800 people do get hungry at breakfast and lunch), but there was always a seat available. Dinner there was actually quite good, a good selection, they'd cook steak, chicken and fish to your requirements, and you could eat at your own pace - and not too busy. If you are a tea person - bring your own tea bags, and the freebie juice would make the best athlete a diabetic overnight, dilute it with some water (we were diluting it 50/50 or better). Lastly was Café al Bacio - we must have lived there. The staff were very friendly (I know its their job, but...) great cups of coffee and tea, cakes and gelato (thanks Jayne). It could be quite crowded though, so pick your times. At all eateries you were expected to clean your hands, some people complained about this, but for an 18 day cruise, and no norovirus outbreak - it is a precaution we should all adhere to! Overall, food wise, we had no complaints, except for there was too much, and too rich....oh and what's with the American bacon - we prefer ours the 'English way' please. Ok that's the important part over. There were number of downsides, drinks at the bars were expensive (compared to RCL and the real world). This saved us some money as we didn't drink much at all (we had the non-alcoholic premium package - fantastic value), but we were not paying $A20 for a premium cocktail, $A12 for a martini, $A12 for a mid range beer and anywhere from $A12 - 22 for a glass wine. We also thought the shops were also a little pricey and lacked variety over the 18 days, but that's what they are there for. We did organise a 'cultural walk' of the bars for a group of people, and the Events Co-ordinator and the Food and Beverage managed were very supportive. (This was actually a very good thing). Another area that let the ship down was the medical centre - unfortunately their bedside manner leaves a little to be desired when we needed their assistance one mid afternoon, the nurse was more concerned about making sure the bill was paid rather than assisting my wife who was in extreme amounts of pain. Make sure your travel insurance covers this (because of the pain the bill brings). The Doctor was quite good though, and we were sorted fairly quickly. Internet - don't get me started, this was a rort, I know we were in some remote areas, but the they still kept flogging the package even though they new the data rate was very low - 13mins to check a bank balance! On the issue of money, the onboard tours seemed quite expensive, and we found cheaper ones on the wharf. Overall Celebrity did seem to be more expensive onboard than RCL had been in the past (even allowing for the exchange rates). And I wont even mention the Spa prices! Back to the good things. The Cruise Director, his offsider (Ben and Pete - or should that be Benno and Peteski) and their teams did go to a lot of trouble to organise events on the long days at sea. There was plenty of variety (including the standard bingo etc.) and the presentations by Mike (general info) and Ann (locations) were quite interesting (and varied), there were also several matinee shows during the trip. We had a crossing the International Dateline Party, a crossing the equator ceremony, Polynesian dancing show and other events to fill in the time. There was live music at times around the pool, in the atrium and on the lawn area during the day, and more live music in the evenings in several of the bars. They did try to vary the style, but it was 18 days long! The Corning Glass show was great to watch, and the evening shows were, overall, quite good and entertaining. The cruise company show team put on some really good performances in the theatre but also upstairs in the Sky Lounge. The afternoon talent show was great with several outstanding performances by three of the crew members. We spent a lot of our time though just sitting around the pool, our room or a quiet area of the ship (and there was plenty of them) reading, listening to music or having a doze. We even had the chance to watch the crew conduct a SAR for two yachties, this delayed us by 16 hours, but the crew (probably with permission from head office) turned up the 'steam' and we were only two hours late to Maui - thanks skipper. The cabin we had (veranda deck 8) was neat and tidy, and well maintained by our cabin attendant (thanks Santanu) and his offsider. Minimal noise, room service was reasonable, but not as good as Oceanview, and a good selection of movies to watch when relaxing in the room. It was really good to relax, read a book, listen to music watching the endless ocean float past! Service - the service from all the crew members we encountered was very good. They were always with a smile on their face, and a 'how are you' on their lips. At some time we spoke to, or were greeted by, all the senior staff, and they were open to questions and comments. This was definitely a highlight, the low part of this was the way some of the passengers treated the staff - some people are so rude and selfish. Only negative here was there needed to be more bar staff during the peak hours to cater for the demand, and everyone should wait their turn when it is busy! Again the rudest people on the ship were some of the passengers. Disembarkation - this did not always run smoothly. We were tendered out in a number (most) of locations, and getting off the Ship by tender is a drawn out process. Sometimes there was a number system, a couple of times there were not. We got over this by not having any tours booked (we expected delays) and just waited out the rush by having a late breakfast etc. Customs and Immigration in Maui took a long time, and we were amongst the last to be processed (again we expected it and weren't to phased), but there are better ways, and the final disembarkation in Honolulu also took some time, but again we hadn't planned anything that required us to rush off, but we were in the final third and still off by 9am. Would we do it again, YES - we had a very relaxing time, the service was great, the food of a high standard and the room met our requirements. We beat the crowds by not joining in the rush, and generally had a laid back time of it all. We reduced our onboard expenses by opting for the non-alcoholic premium pack, and not going to the Spa, and only having a few drinks (if you are going to have more that five - six drinks a day look at the alcohol packages - you can buy them onboard after you sale, a great idea by Celebrity). The ship was in good knick, clean and tidy, and there were plenty of places to relax, and heaps of good food. Yes the average age of the passengers was 50-60 (with some older, but still some in their 30s), there were a number if kids and teenagers (what to do to keep them busy for 18 days?), but they seemed to be well catered for, but that's what the solarium is for if you want to escape, but they all seemed to have a good time as well. And, yes there was some downsides, but most of that revolved around money, rude passengers and queues to get off the boat; overcome by some prior planning and patience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was the second time we had been on this ship and I loved it even more this time around. We had a suite and a premium drinks package and I felt very looked after and spoilt. The staff are generally very friendly and helpful and our ... Read More
This was the second time we had been on this ship and I loved it even more this time around. We had a suite and a premium drinks package and I felt very looked after and spoilt. The staff are generally very friendly and helpful and our cabin was clean comfortable. They take great pains to keep the ship clean and keep people healthy. The food is great and the various restaurants are terrific. They have a new restaurant for suite guests called Luminae which is wonderful. Bora Bora and Moorea are to die for. Water like a warm bath and fantastic snorkelling. I would do it all again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click