91 Sydney (Australia) Holiday 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
We went on the 12 night South Pacific cruise from Sydney on 23 December. It was our 7th Celebrity cruise but first from Australia (all the others were from US/Caribbean ports). We have also been on Silversea, Oceania, Royal ... Read More
We went on the 12 night South Pacific cruise from Sydney on 23 December. It was our 7th Celebrity cruise but first from Australia (all the others were from US/Caribbean ports). We have also been on Silversea, Oceania, Royal Caribbean, Princess and Carnival. We are Celebrity Elite level members. Here is the good and the not so good. Cabin Attendant – Excellent – Our cabin attendant (Gabriel) was superb. He was always efficient, smiling and helpful. Our departures were noted and our cabin made up immediately. Tenders – Excellent – Tenders were used at Isle de Pines and Mystery Island. On previous Celebrity cruises tenders have been a problem. On this cruise there were only short waits and even long queues moved quickly. The reason was simple – whoever was in charge used up to 7 lifeboats to provide a high frequency service from two boarding platforms. This was a problem from past cruises fixed – let us hope the same approach is adopted on other ships. Photo Shop – Poor – Bring your own camera and take your own photos. Avoid the photo packages. On previous Celebrity cruises the photo packages were good value by skilled photographers. On this cruise we felt there was no skill or art involved and the resulting photos were poor quality camera work such as parts of heads cuts off. Delays and stresses even getting the package USB on the last night suggested incompetence. Shuttle Bus – Excellent – Noumea – Often a problem on other cruises this, like the tender issue, was solved by whoever was in charge by having plenty of buses in Noumea running a high frequency service so there were no waits. Main dining room (Epernay) – Very Good – We had recently been on much higher priced Silversea and Oceania cruises. The food in the main dining room on Solstice was better than the main dining room on each of those cruise lines although not up to the standard of the speciality restaurants on those lines. Celebrity remains the best food in the mega ship market. Service in Main Dining – Excellent – Our waiters (Valentin and Iryna) were excellent and helpful. Seating in Main Dining – Poor – We are Elite Celebrity members but for some reason got about the worst table in the middle of the bottom level of the dining room. We used to get much better tables before we reached the Elite level. At no stage were we aware of the presence of a maitre d’. Coffee – Poor – The coffee throughout the ship is terrible. Café Bacio does not live up to the hype with poor service, attitude and coffee. Coffee was bitter and too hot. Children – Being an Australian school holiday cruise the ship had over 3000 passengers with lots of children (and prams). Most were well behaved but a few insisted upon pushing all the buttons in the lifts and gangs playing chasing games around the corridors on treasure hunts posed a hazard. Smoking – As non-smokers we were pleased that overall the smoking on board was only a minor inconvenience. Walking/Jogging Track – A design flaw of the Solstice is that the jogging track runs around a deck used for sun lounges and often during the day is hard to use because people put their sun lounges across the track. Whilst not as bad as on other cruises this was still an issue and the staff did not move sun lounges off the track. Sun Lounges – Most of the passengers being Australian it was shade rather than sun that was in demand. There were plenty of lounges available in the sun and sometimes in the shade. Unfortunately there was a lot of saving of lounges by passengers who rarely used them or who put belongings on adjoining lounges to stop them being used and give themselves extra space. This did not appear to be policed by the staff. Ocean View Buffet – Excellent – Huge and at times overcrowded it is usually possible to find something to eat from the wide range. The effort made for Christmas and New Year was spectacular and greatly appreciated. Sushi – Not Good – On previous Celebrity cruises Ocean View Café had reasonable sushi in the evening. Now that is gone. Instead there is only a Sushi café on level 5 which costs extra. Embarkation – Good - Surprisingly quick and efficient. On board 25 minutes after arriving at pier at 12.30pm. Unfortunately we were not then allowed off again that afternoon to spend any more time in Sydney and had not been warned this would be the case. Disembarkation – Good - At 6.40am there was a huge line for walk offs which commenced at 6.50am and went so quickly we were at Sydney airport at 7.20am. Itinerary – OK – Australia is a long way from anywhere which means too many days at sea. There were 6 days at sea and only 5 ports on this cruise. Cabin – Clean and functional the cabins are good for the price. Hygiene – Problem – Whilst there is hand washing lotion everywhere the system for obtaining beverages (sodas, water or alcoholic) seemed likely to be very efficient at spreading disease. You have to hand your seapass to a waiter who swipes it and hands it back and then does the same with someone else’s seapass and on it goes. The system needs to be contactless with the passenger simply waving their seapass. Beverage Packages – Poor – Even if the beverage package you purchase includes the type of drink available in your minibar you get charged again if you take it from the minibar. If your package includes Coke you cannot take the can of Coke from your minibar. Your package only allows you to get one drink at a time from a bar even if that drink is water or soft drink (and each time your seaspass is handled by a staff member who is handling lots of other seapasses and bottles and glasses handled by other passengers). At times the brand of bottled water sold was undrinkable. Internet – OK – Internet costs extra still unless some minutes are included in a deal or because of your status. Speed was fair. Security – As an Australian holiday period cruise there were a lot more passengers in the 20-40 age group than on other cruises, many of them appearing to consume vast amounts of alcohol. Given the amount of alcohol consumed security did a very good job of keeping it a safe cruise. It is certainly far safer than going out in an Australian capital city at night. Entertainment – Disappointing – Apart from Aussie Boys the acts and Celebrity in house entertainers were below the standard expected out of US ports. Movies – Some nights recent release movies were shown in Celebrity Central which is a comfortable cinema. Overall we were impressed. Christmas and New Year were made special which they have not been on some other cruises we have been on. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Firstly a bit about us: we are 45 (husband and wife) who loves to travel and cruise, we are not hard to please people, we like the beach, we like to drink a little, we normally cruise as a couple but sometimes we cruise as a family (with 2 ... Read More
Firstly a bit about us: we are 45 (husband and wife) who loves to travel and cruise, we are not hard to please people, we like the beach, we like to drink a little, we normally cruise as a couple but sometimes we cruise as a family (with 2 kids currently 19 and 21) and sometimes with our friends. We live in Australia but we were born in Portugal and Brazil. This was our 7th cruise. We booked this cruise 10 days before departure, it was a last minute decision we booked the last cabin available being an inside cabin (1055 level 10) and we paid AUD$5,900.00 for it. I have heard hat Celebrity was on the same level as Princess Cruises (we cruised with Diamond Princess and we really liked the ship and the service) and a level higher than Royal Caribbean (we did Radiance, Rhapsody and Voyager) so I was expecting a beautiful ship,with great amenities and outstanding service. It was a Christmas, new years and my husband birthday. Because we are Paltinun level on RC (almost emerald) we had the "Select" tier on Celebrity. Upon arrival, around 3pm, we boarded without any delays or queues, as almost everyone were already in the ship. We went direct to our room. The room was a good size, and good set up, the only improvement would be a nice picture frame or a mirror on the wall opposite the door to give some focal point as one opens the door. The shower whithout the curtains was a big relief, and the best bathroom i've had on a cruise. The only thing we found on our room was a print out with some "special events" for the select members. On the day of those events no invitation was sent to the room so its easy to forget and miss those events. My husbands birthday was during our cruise and nothing was said or given, not even a card saying happy birthday, not a cake or no one wine him a happy birthday. Very disappointing. The ship was on its full capacity, and we noticed it on the pools, and during lunch and breakfast. Breakfast closes at 10am and with only 2 hours to serve breakfast for over 3,000 it was a dogs breakfast, queue for bread, queue for eggs, queue for everything. Same history for lunch. The food was not presented in a nice way, it was like they were feeding the army, bland food and not very nice to look at, no decorations. The hours of service should be increased when the ship is full to accommodate and serve everyone in a nice manner. The lunch was supposed to end at 2.30pm but they start removing the trays around 2.10pm and all is removed but the pasta and pizza only after that. We tried the main dinning room for two nights but the food was not special, and we decided to have dinner at the buffet. The seating area isn't big enough to accommodate all guests during meal time. The only time one could use the buffet wihitout having to fight or queue for food was at dinner time when most guests where at the min dining room. The entertainment was a hit and miss, and we did walk out on few show and didn't turned up for others. With only 3 swimming pools, one indoors for the oldies. And 2 outside with the children taking over was not possible to use it at all. One of those outside pools should be for adults only and the other for the kids. There isn't many activities happening and after 11pm the only option is to go to bed, because there isn't anything to do. The ship is okay and being a new ship to should be stunning. The excursions where very overpriced. The Captain was the best thing on the ship, Captain Tesos is a people person and e is always around the ship and happy to have a chat and take photos. I wouldn't cruise with celebrity again based on my experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Have to say our room attendant, waiters and drink waiter staff of an evening made a trip amazing, nothing was too much of a problem and they went beyond to make a cruise memorable. Overall our cruise was great, ship was spotless, food ... Read More
Have to say our room attendant, waiters and drink waiter staff of an evening made a trip amazing, nothing was too much of a problem and they went beyond to make a cruise memorable. Overall our cruise was great, ship was spotless, food was great, entertainment of a night some were great others alright then some that we walked out on, everyone's tastes are different, what we don't like others may love, overall a very relaxing 12 days. Now for the downside, I would suggest you not get involved in the up sell. I was lucky enough to win a spa prize which was for a $100 US dollars treatment, was really looking forward to this but when attending I was told the treatment was $168 US dollars ok that find but you have to pay Gratuities on your prize which was $29.53 US dollars, sort of left a bad taste in my mouth, then they tried to sell me products at a price of $880 US dollars odd, yeah right. They also have guessing competions in regards to Jewellery and watches, you are lead to believe that is what you are going to win, wrong, what you receive is a very cheap piece of cheap jewellery eg, pretend Pandora bracelet that they sell for roughly $19 US dollars Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was my first time on Princess cruises, and I must say i was not disappointed. On the first night at dinner I was sat at a table of other solo travellers all aged between 64 and 86. I have no complaints regarding the Dawn Princess, ... Read More
This was my first time on Princess cruises, and I must say i was not disappointed. On the first night at dinner I was sat at a table of other solo travellers all aged between 64 and 86. I have no complaints regarding the Dawn Princess, yes she is showing signs of wear and tear but aren',t we all as we age. Christmas was very well done especially for the children. New Year was so much fun up on the pool deck.I would choose Princess in a flash and recommend them to anyone asking my opinion.If I had to gripe it was that my cabin was smaller then other cruise ships I have been on.I loved Jo LIttle, Babbba and Fusion class acts in the Theatre.A huge thank you to our waiters Tyrone and Raj, you certainly made mealtimes pleasant. Also to Runiel who kept my cabin spotless he was always smiling The problem I had with my lights was fixed promptly and.the follow up from customer service very good.especially the chocolates. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The reason we choose this cruise, well just to be away from the family for a change over the Christmas & New Year and we were not disappointed The ship & crew were fantastic, the food again was really, really great with plenty ... Read More
The reason we choose this cruise, well just to be away from the family for a change over the Christmas & New Year and we were not disappointed The ship & crew were fantastic, the food again was really, really great with plenty to choose from The ship was decked out in Christmas decorations & New years eve was a blast, with great entertainment on the Lido pool deck Fiji was not to our liking due to the locals being a little over the top. Mystery Island was a blessing however. Maybe we should have done some shore excursions as some of the other passengers did and were very pleased with their decision. Also met up with some great passengers and had a very good time. We had a great choice of food with goose for Christmas eve & the Pinnacle grill was fantastic with great food & service. To sum it up, we loved the cruise, the staff, the service and the people. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Wow so much to say. came into Sydney harbour by river ferry coming around the back and side of this amazing ship. Boarding was a breeze a few rather long queues but that was to be expected as the ship had to board three and a half thousand ... Read More
Wow so much to say. came into Sydney harbour by river ferry coming around the back and side of this amazing ship. Boarding was a breeze a few rather long queues but that was to be expected as the ship had to board three and a half thousand people. once we were finally through the Embarkation process walking across the gangway was so nerve racking wondering what is the ship going to be like? what awaits us just around the corner? when we got around that corner and set foot on-board the truly amazing M/S Emerald Princess we certainly were not disappointed it was beautiful as it was a Christmas cruise there was tinsel Christmas trees and all sorts of other decorations everywhere which was a lovely touch. Now to the cabin my first time in an interior cabin so didn't really know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised the cabin was roomy well designed and actually quite a pleasant room although the bathroom as always with cruise ships was tiny. The Dining OMG the choices for dining on-board was incredible, three dining rooms, three specialty restaurants plus the buffet, Café Caribe, the grill, a pizza place/ ice-cream place and a fantastic little café in the Atrium called the International Café a tip book early for Crab Shack, Share and Crown Grill all of which are very popular this can be achieved through the stateroom phone by pressing the dining reservations button or by calling 6219 from any phone on-board (only the stateroom phones have the speed dial function). entertainment and activities the night-time shows is unfortunately where Princess fell short personally I found some of them to be rather amateurish I personally quite enjoyed the Princess signature show Magic To Do although they could have done more to hide the wires, the activities were quite enjoyable especially the trivia which my family spent a lot of time at all in all the entertainment and activities were abit of a let down (the Trivia was fun though). The service WOW each and every crew member was pleasant smiling happy to help you in anyway possible always with a huge smile (especially in the case of Kefang who worked at the international café as a buffet steward she was always smiling) the cruise director Duke and the assistant cruise director Matt were hilarious always cracking jokes and making fun of each other a true delight to be around. The ports and shore excursions WOW WOW WOW New Zealand is an incredible place a truly breathtaking country starting off in the Bay of Islands right up the top of the North Island we did the Waitangi Estuary by sea kayak shore excursion kayaking up to a small waterfall and back with a short break a 2 hour shore excursion truly amazing next was Auckland an unfortunate let-down very much like Sydney not really anything truly exciting there this was followed by the best port of the entire cruise Tauranga where we went to the Tamaki Maori Village just outside Rotorua what a day we were on a bus for about 90 minutes from the berth at Mount Maunganui to Tamaki both the guide and the driver were always cracking jokes and telling us about the areas we were passing which made the bus trip quite enjoyable then we arrived at Tamaki we were met by a traditional Maori welcome ceremony where the Maori warriors made sure that we came in peace and weren't going to attack them which was quite a show we then went into the village and were split up into small groups at which point we went to different huts to learn different things about Maori culture and history which was rather interesting and fun we then went to learn about a traditional hangi which is a Maori way of cooking after this we moved the meeting house where we were entertained through a number of Maori performances including the famous haka and a performance of a Maori love song called Pokarekare Ana after this it was meal time where we enjoyed a traditional Maori hangi feast which was delicious once this was over we had a bit of time to browse the gift shop and take some photos of the village before it was time to head back to the ship we said goodbye to Tamaki and headed out to the bus we then commenced the 90 minute return journey to Mount Maunganui berth where our ship was docked during this trip we were given a bit of a private performance with our guide singing some Maori songs until we reached Rotorua and she was dropped off we then went for a drive through the nearby gardens and had a look at a rather large building within the gardens before continuing our journey back. next was Christmas Day which was a sea day transiting between the north and south islands Christmas day was quiet and relaxing which was nice it was also a formal night there was Santa's arrival Christmas carols and much more our next port was Picton where we went on a hike and scenic cruise up the queen charlotte track and sound which was beautiful after this relatively easy hike and scenic cruise we were dropped off in the Picton township and had a bit of a look around a market and the town which was quite a nice quaint little rural New Zealand town right on the water which was lovely. Our next port was Wellington which is of course New Zealand's national capital and an awesome city first thing we did was get the famous cable car up the hill and walked back down through the botanical gardens which were really pretty after this we walked around the great city and had very necessary retail therapy we also enjoyed some on NZ's famous fush and chups as they would say we returned to the ship happy and content after a great day looking around an awesome city. next was Akaroa a quaint little French town quite a nice place actually at this port we did the double decker bus tour which was quite enjoyable during this tour we travelled form Akaroa to the famous hilltop hotel for a photo opportunity and pit stop we travelled through a number of quaint little towns the view from the hilltop hotel was breathtaking right over the many bays. Next was our final port of the cruise Dunedin a lovely small Scottish city with quite a lot to see including a Cadbury chocolate factory (the obvious highlight) as well as a great little Scottish shop quite a nice little southern New Zealand city. our final day in New Zealand was spent on a scenic cruise through the absolutely amazing Fiordland National Park through the dusky doubtful and breathtaking Milford sounds a truly breathtaking part of an amazing country. The next day was New Years Eve and of course it was party time and also the cruises third and final formal night they had three different on-board venues with parties celebrating New Years they were the Piazza, the Wheelhouse bar and the Explorers Lounge the Piazza had a live performance form the Emerald Princess party band (Liquid Blue) and a gold and silver balloon drop at the stroke of midnight a great night all in all. Our final night on-board was when my family went to the Share by Curtis Stone specialty restaurant located on deck 16 aft a truly amazing restaurant the six course meal was exquisite and the service was impeccable and the restaurant itself was beautifully designed. all in all a very very enjoyable cruise would definitely recommend Princess Cruises to anyone who wishes to have a relaxing luxurious and enriching cruise. Disembarkation was a breeze as well in and out of the terminal in less than half an hour. Would I travel with Princess Cruises again in short yes definitely although it is not my kind of line as I prefer to have activities galore, water parks, water slides heaps of pools a young persons fun cruise I would definitely go with princess again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We are 2 women. I am in my late fifties, my travelling companion in her seventies. Originally my parents (also in their seventies) were to join us for the cruise in the adjacent mini-suite, but had to cancel at the last minute due to an ... Read More
We are 2 women. I am in my late fifties, my travelling companion in her seventies. Originally my parents (also in their seventies) were to join us for the cruise in the adjacent mini-suite, but had to cancel at the last minute due to an urgent health issue. This has no bearing on my review of this particular cruise. My companion had never cruised or left Australia before. I am an experienced traveller, often solo. This was my first ocean cruise. Previously I have cruised for up to 14 days on a small ship expedition off Kimberley WA coast and a river cruise in Russia. We are both of average fitness with no mobility problems. We chose the New Zealand itinerary over Christmas for the ports and shore excursions available around New Zealand sailing out of Sydney Harbour and the personal recommendation of at least 6 people regarding Princess Cruises. We used the Princess Sydney Airport shuttle bus both ways. Both the embarkation and disembarkation process and passenger experience was severley compromised by poor communication, lackadaisical service and in fact misinformation on the part of Princess staff/contractors on the ground and on board ship. We had been upgraded to Club Class - thank you - but were not informed of this until we had been standing in various queues for more than 3 hours at the Sydney terminal. There was nothing on the Cruise Personaliser and we or our travel agent were not informed. We were told to get into one queue and then another and then we were appartently in the wrong queue. Honestly this mob could not run a chook raffle. We were even told at one point that they had run out of trolleys - "go and look after your own bags" - after being told by another Princess staffer that they would be looked after between getting on the bus and cabin. Then after considerable panic, some nice young man turned up with more trolleys. The beginning of the cruise was marred considerably as it took my companion the first 3 days to get over it! Disembarkation was just as disorganised. We had done everything we had been told - as always - to the letter. We were called "light blue 6" so we made our way to where we were told only to be told by Security to "wait until you are called" We said "We have been called". We made our way down to the luggage and mine went missing for more than an hour. Another woman and I were both given "lost luggage vouchers" before some sheepish young bloke turned up with my bag. As far as i know, the other woman is still waiting. Cabin (mini-suite) OK, maitenance very poor. Shower/bath outlet blocked so showering in ankle deep water that took up to 20 minutes to drain (after 2 minute shower) - plumber materialised 48 hours after complaint - apparently no one had noticed prior to this. Speaking to other women on cruise - this is the first thing that they check - they clean their own outlet pipe of hair and other debris left by previous occupants! Yuck!!!!! Toilet broke while room steward on time off (Day 5 Auckland). Bowl overflowing and down back wall. Managed to stop before the dirty deluge reached the carpet, after wading in - not happy. Paged steward - no answer - pager clearly not put through to anyone else. Contacted Passenger Services and demanded help - not taken seriously. Plumber took 3.5 hours to arrive. Strange little man came to mop up water - did not clean bowl. Eventually saw supervisor 3 days later, who called me a liar - not a high point Princess! Complimentary bottle of cheap wine not really appreciated after that experience! Food repitive, average, sometimes poor - inedible - even CS Share. Room service - most times something - like milk - left off tray. Entertainment disappointing. High point of trip - the marvelous Ana (Club Class dining room hostess). Perhaps Princess need to make her a trainer in customer service and common sense! On-shore excursions generally as expected although expensive for what is provided. Akaroa - Southern Alps including train to Arthur's Pass. As with all the excursions considerably overpriced. I might be nice to at least get a biscuit to go with the cold weak coffee. Disappointing when driver left an elderly couple behind with their bags and coats still on bus after 5 minute photo stop. They could both be clearly seen by all of the other 20 passengers on this particular bus hurrying back to whithin 2 metres of the bus front door! Driver told repeatedly, but they were left to catch up at next stop an hour or so later on another bus - not good enough! Driver's name - Gary. He was clearly seen being interviewed for the "Reflections" DVD for this cruise. In Dunedin after city tour, bemused when "complimentary shuttle bus back to ship" costs $10 NZ one way! Bemused when on boarding found "gift for you" card for prepaid internet access. Apparently they were the "only cards that we had printed". People who had prepaid drinks packages had to ask for refunds as it was cheaper to arrange on board. Far too often there were language problems including incorrect drinks orders - or perhaps just convenient excuse for appalling service. Most of captain's and other announcements not audible from inside room. Some were - why not all? Told by steward to "open the door". If it is important enough to make an anouncement about then it needs to be heard throughout the ship. Sometimes by the time I realised that there was an announcement going on and got to the other end of the long skinny mini-suite to open the door - the announcement was over! The biggest bugbear was the door to our cabin / mini-suite. One or both of our cruise cards needed to be reactivated no less than seventeen (yes 17) times for the 14 days or our cruise to operate the door. Strangely the magnetic strip worked just fine for everything else - only the door was a problem! Just as well as my companion used hers to spend an awful lot of money in the ship's retail precinct. That was the only time except overnight on the bedside table away from lights etc. that she removed the lanyard from around her neck - as for both of us. She doesn't actually carry a phone and her bag did NOT have a magnet! It got to the stage that my companion would not leave the room without me for fear of not being able to get back in. We made contingency plans so that we did not miss various bookings because we couldn't get timely entrance to our room. Each foray into the queue at Passenger Services took from 5 - 30 minutes. Yes - I timed it! Yes, I, in particular do understand the concept of magnets, phones etc. as I hold post-graduate university qualifcations in medical physics. Other passengers also had problems with their doors and batteries etc were replaced - particularly if at least one of the passsengers was male! I have never had this problem before and no - I do not believe that this was our fault. Twice we were told that this would be checked out - it was not and of course on the last morning of the cruise my companion's card ceased to work yet again - right on queue! It was particularly disheartening to see our cabin steward and one of his nasty little mates appearing to have a good laugh at my elderly companion attempting to gain entrance to her own room and failing. It may be fine in some cultures to treat middle-aged and elderly wormen as invisible - not in mine. Please remember that it is my generation and older particularly in Australia and like countries who DO have the disposable income along with the opportunity, health and fitness in retirement to use it; but we are choosey where we spend it - and we are becoming silent no more regarding poor service and downright rudeness. "Princess Cruises - Come back New"...................... Princess Cruises - Come back broke and disappointed! Princess Cruises - don't come back at all! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We chose this cruise as we had sailed on Holland America before and wanted to be away at Christmas. We were not disappointed. Embarkation was trouble free with quick access to the ship. We sailed this time in a forward cabin 704 which ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had sailed on Holland America before and wanted to be away at Christmas. We were not disappointed. Embarkation was trouble free with quick access to the ship. We sailed this time in a forward cabin 704 which is an accessible cabin. Cabin was spacious but found being forward was noisier that being mid ship or stern with the sound of the ropes and anchor noises. During rough weather the waves tended to go up into the anchor area and caused this to bang against the boat. This did only happen on two occasions during the trip. We ate most of our meals in the Rotterdam room and out attendants, Hendra and Juli could not be faulted, they were friendly, professional and helpful. They did everything they possibly could to please. Noel, our sommelier was friendly, knowledgeable and was always at the ready to supply our drinks. The staff in the Crows Nest and Mix Bar were exceptional. Overall the crew seemed happy and engaging. Although the entertainment is more low key than in some of the more family orientated ships like RCA, Princess or Celebrity, we found the entertainment more than enough, after all this is a place to relax as well as enjoy oneself. The trivia times were great fun, with A/Cruise Director Joep being a great compere. There was plenty to do on board if you wanted to, I had great intentions of checking out the cooking demonstrations in the culinary arts centre, but never got there. There is a well stocked library which has many board, card games and relaxing cafe and lounge in which to play them as well as trivia, movies, shows, art auctions, a casino, dance classes. I enjoyed the size of the ship, it was the friendliest ship I have ever been on, this goes for fellow passengers and crew. One of the reasons for choosing Holland America was because there was no flow rider, ice skating rink, no needless bells and whistles and therefore not too many children. Those that were on board enjoyed the Hal's Kids Club and were on the whole well behaved and well mannered. The ports were great and most of them had shuttle buses (including accessible ones) to take you to information centres in the city centres. Also many volunteers were on hand to assist. Only port I had a problem with was Tauranga due to my mobility but local port authority kindly drove us to the port entrance. Overall, I think more should be done about facilities at ports but this is not a Holland America issue. Having travelled on RCA earlier in the year and being on board with a large amount of people having to wait in line was a problem. There is also a lack of room in the public areas due to adding in paying restaurants and making these areas smaller. This is not the case on Holland America, no waiting for lifts, plenty of room in the public areas if there was an activity happening. Smaller ships have their advantages. Debarkation went smoothly. Overall we had a wonderful relaxing and enjoyable holiday and would step back on board in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
15th Cruise (2nd on RCCL) in our 50's. All previous reviews about Voyager are mostly correct. If you have a Suite or are Diamond status or higher then you can escape the crowds generally. LIFTS These are always crowded with long ... Read More
15th Cruise (2nd on RCCL) in our 50's. All previous reviews about Voyager are mostly correct. If you have a Suite or are Diamond status or higher then you can escape the crowds generally. LIFTS These are always crowded with long waits and are very hot. WINDJAMMER On Sea days it is very difficult to get a seat. Food is generally OK with lots of variety. Desserts are average. Announcements are made for you to move out once finished  eating. Walking areas like public freeway traffic. COFFEE Coffee from Cafe Promenade (Starbucks) is good if customised but has no table service area. Service was quick with short queues generally. LOUNGES AND BARS Due to $80 Million refurbishment there are less lounges and bars to sit in (due to addition of extra cabins) REFURBISHMENT (EXTRA CABINS) Ship CANNOT cope with the extra people they have added. Ship's original capacity 3138 has expanded to 3700-3900 SAPPHIRE DINING ROOM We had 6pm seating. Menu changed every day (also menu has a Classic - Always available selection) Very good variety. Temperature problems with food - Soup - luke warm and Fish never hot. After making a complaint to Head Waiter all future meals on our table were always hot and service significantly improved. JUNIOR SUITE Very comfortable (Cabin 1612) lots of space and well maintained by cabin steward. ENTERTAINMENT Very lacking. Two nights in La Scala theatre there were no shows on (only played a movie). Only two main production shows. The singers/dancers had an easy cruise. The rest were guest entertainers with mixed standard (please avoid the Hypnotist - unless you want a nap) GYM Equipment is good and reasonably large area. Plenty of cardio equipment. Music is way too loud for comfort. Noisy spa in centre of gym area. Some staff with attitude. DIAMOND STATUS LOUNGES Excellent - especially to escape the masses. One lounge on deck 14 and a Diamond area for breakfast and lunch in the Sapphire dining room (deck 4 left side at rear). ROYAL PROMENADE Nowhere to sit. Too crowded on theme nights. Dancing is impossible - the area blocked by crowds standing around or through traffic. No view of the ocean. SUMMARY If you need to cruise on RCL then the Radiance of the Seas is a much better choice. Voyager has a public crowd feel about it. Better still try another line (CELEBRITY or PRINCESS) for more intimate cruising. COST CUTS by RCCL: No free lobster night. No baked alaska night. No chef's parade. No chocolates on pillow. No toiletries for balcony or lower. Windjammer closes at 9pm (no supper provided). No fruit carving demonstrations , ice sculpting or cooking demos. No enrichment classes. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Where to start..... Having cruised on Radiance last year, and knowing this ship had been overhauled, we were really excited and had huge expectations. Because our last cruise was so good we talked up RC and how good their ships were. 7 ... Read More
Where to start..... Having cruised on Radiance last year, and knowing this ship had been overhauled, we were really excited and had huge expectations. Because our last cruise was so good we talked up RC and how good their ships were. 7 people, all first time cruisers and 1 being the mother in law booked to come on with us. For us being Crown and Anchor members, check in was excellent. 2 of our friends however had to wait 3.5 hours in line to get on. This is not acceptable at all and yes they were in their designated time slot. So we all head to our cabins. Ours was really good, no complaints there, at first. 2 of our friends had booked a suite and we were very supised to see how basic and small it was, especially for what they paid. As I said, ours was really good except that the air con did not seem to work and the fridge was not cold. Luckily the weather wasn't very good and it didn't get hot. First thing we noticed was that the staff didn't seem as happy as the Radiance staff. Then the line ups started. They were ridiculous, having to line up like cattle to get a feed. Even in the dinning room where we made reservations, we still had to wait upto 45minutes. 2 of our friends waited 2 hours fo their table. What a joke. Even waiting to speak to someone from guests relations had massive lines every day. Dont try and get a decent quick coffee, you'll wait ages for that too. Only one cafe on the whole ship which also serves the Ben and Jerrys icecream. They didn't tell anyone until near the end that you could purchase coffee from the Schooner Bar or Windjammers. The coffee is horrible, definately not worth the money but is better than the brown water they give you for free. The food in Windjammers was horrible. Definitely not what we got on the Radiance more like P&O. It was the same slop every night. The dinning room wasn't much better. Same food, just dressed up. The food in the restaurants however was amazing. We ended up eating at them everynight instead. Yes, we had to pay but it was well worth it. If your looking for a relaxing child free cruise, then forget Voyager. The place was overrun with them. Their junior curfew was 1am, how ridiculous is that. They were running all over the place causing havoc. They were even in the bars. When we questioned why children were in the bar at midnight whilst adults were drinking and having adilt conversations, we were told that they are more lenient around that time as there weren't as many guests around. Serious. There was even a case where a elderly person had their arm broken by being knocked over from a child running around unsupervised. My husband and his friends witnesed a brawl in the arcade between 2 unsupervised boys that had to be broken up by security. This just isn't good enough. Another thing we encountered was not alot of general beer. On the Radiance there was all the beer that you get at the pubs, clubs etc. My husband asked for a tooheys extra dry, none, carltons dry, none. The were told it was coming in 2 days from Singapore! So they started drinking Caronas, they ran out on day 5. Everytime they asked when the ship would be restocked they were told in 2 days. They never resocked anything. We also noticed around day 8 that the cocktails were being iced up heaps. One thing we were really impressed with RC was that they were not shy with their alchol nips. Not with Voyager. I had one cocktail that had no alchol in it at all. There are so many things that went wrong, it was just a nightmare. They were definitely understaffed and over populated. A few staff members we spoke to told us that most of the staff were miserable and couldn't wait for their contracts to end so they could get off. Everyone we spoke to felt the same. We did not encounter one person who had something nice to say. There were even numerous people that got off and flew home. I wanted to but unfortunately my husband does not fly, so I had to stay on until the end. You can imagine how bad we felt for our 7 friends who we brought on with us. This cruise has ruinen their thoughts on cruising again with 4 of them saying they will never cruise again. Voyager has alot to answer for.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My wife and I travelled with our family - children and grandchildren - we had cruised before but none of the others had.  The cruise was terrific in that the grandchildren were well catered for - food, entertainment, port activities - but ... Read More
My wife and I travelled with our family - children and grandchildren - we had cruised before but none of the others had.  The cruise was terrific in that the grandchildren were well catered for - food, entertainment, port activities - but you MUST remember to take you own reef shoes, goggles, snorkel and flippers - thankfully they did.  The adults enjoyed the experience and the benefits of cruising life - including the kids club and kids entertainment/activities.  Our reading said the ship had a re-furb in 2011 - our daughter suggested it was a 'soft' re-refurb as there were parts of the ship that still looked 'tired'.  Staff were polite and reasonably friendly but seemed to lack the 'zest' for their jobs - it was like they were going through the motions.  Having said that we were super impressed by our waiters in the Cascades Restaurant - they were brilliant - they were patient with the children and attentive, knowledgeable and courteous with the adults.  The same could not be said for the fee-for restaurant Chops Grille - the meal was quite good but the service left a lot to be desired, mainly due to being short staffed, very short staffed - I had no qualms about tipping in Cascades but didn't even consider it in Chops - give it the Chop.  We had anytime dining but because of the size of the group were able to secure a regular time slot but our observations were that there was always a wait to be seated if you didn't have a booking - no matter what size your party was - at better choice may have been set time where the dining room/area seemed to be slightly better - but we did have the best waiters/servers you could ask for.  My wife and I continually compared this cruise with the cruises aimed at the adult market and we did find that it didn't compare but we were there for a family holiday and in that sense - mission accomplished. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We have just returned from our holiday aboard Voyager Of The Seas and it was outstanding. The food was varied and delicious, with a different menu every night. The service was personal and outstanding.We had 2 waiters (Imade and Leo) who ... Read More
We have just returned from our holiday aboard Voyager Of The Seas and it was outstanding. The food was varied and delicious, with a different menu every night. The service was personal and outstanding.We had 2 waiters (Imade and Leo) who were fantastic and catered to our every whim.The cabin was large and spacious and very comfortable. The entertainment and facilities were fantastic.The cabaret show was one of the best we have seen. A perfect holiday Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My family and I recently went on a cruise on Voyager of the Seas to New Zealand, leaving the 9th December from Sydney and returning on the 20th of December. This is our second cruise with Caribbean, the first being on Rhapsody of the Seas, ... Read More
My family and I recently went on a cruise on Voyager of the Seas to New Zealand, leaving the 9th December from Sydney and returning on the 20th of December. This is our second cruise with Caribbean, the first being on Rhapsody of the Seas, which we absolutely loved. Firstly, we all thought that the ship itself was pretty amazing. The facilities and the overall look of the ship were fine. It was very clean and our room attendant was really lovely and nothing was too hard for him. Unfortunately, that’s where the positives end. This cruise was SO incredibly crowded. We had to line up for up to half and hour just to get a cup of sub-standard coffee. The Windjammer was completely over crowded for every meal. It was impossible to hold a table and leave it to go and get seconds, as upon our return it was ALWAYS snapped up by other passengers. The food in the Windjammer was very average at best. The food in the restaurant, however, was marginally better. There was no actual little cafes available for during the days when meals weren’t available to us in the buffet or restaurant. The only place we could get snacks was along the Promenade and that food was rubbish. On Rhapsody they had lovely little beef rolls and salads to snack on during the day. The service was completely different to our first cruise. On Rhapsody, we had wait staff constantly asking us if we needed anything. We didn’t have to walk through the crowds to find a drink. With the Voyager, it was the opposite. We could barely ever find available (not-run off their feet) staff to ask for things or direct us to places. Waiting for lifts became a nightmare and in the end, I used the stairs - this is the first cruise i've ever been on where I was forced to lose weight, not just from using the stairs everywhere, but also the lack of good decent food. (so i guess that had it's positives) I enjoyed the spa days that i had on board. I had four or five various treatments done and even though they were all lovely and relaxing, the hard sell at the end was VERY annoying. One lady even sat silently staring at me after her sales pitch, until I’d made a commitment to purchase the products (which in the end i refused to do). The service was so stretched to its limits, that I even had the gratuities reversed, something I have never done before. I then made sure the people who deserved our tips, received them.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Will this was my second time on the The Rhapsody and 4th time with RCCL and I must say that I was VERY disappointed. RCCL to save on cost have changed a few things around and I feel not for the better. Basically they were more like a P ... Read More
Will this was my second time on the The Rhapsody and 4th time with RCCL and I must say that I was VERY disappointed. RCCL to save on cost have changed a few things around and I feel not for the better. Basically they were more like a P & O / Carnival cruise than a RCCL cruise so yes they have gone down a notch. Now not that I drink alot but the thing I found disappointing on the Carnival Spirit was the way they had Nip pourers and they even had measuring jugs for Wine - whereas, the RCCL line did not. To my surprise they have introduced this now (apparently within the las 3 mths) as a cost saving messure as told to me by the Bar Staff. Also one of the highlights use to be the singing of the Reastaurant staff near the end of the cruise - this has also been cut out. On RCCL they have a Fundraiser called "Save our Seas" T-Shirts and they sell them for $10 and you do a 1km walk with the Captain and his cruise. Well this was the first RCCL cruise that this did not happen as I supposed we were not good enough to walk with Captain Gustav.....The last time I was on The Rhapsody was April 2013 and this time the so called "Broadway" showa were exactly the same and the other supporting shows were mediocre as best - Very Disappointing indeed. The saving grace as always id the Main Restaurant and Dinner each night was enjoyable. I am hoping that RCCL will pick up their standards otherwise, I will have to find a new Cruise Line to travel. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I have just returned from a Christmas cruise on Voyager of the Seas to the South Pacific To say it was a disappointment is putting it mildly. The food in the main restaurant was of such poor standard that most people opted for the ... Read More
I have just returned from a Christmas cruise on Voyager of the Seas to the South Pacific To say it was a disappointment is putting it mildly. The food in the main restaurant was of such poor standard that most people opted for the Windjammer buffet (half of the seating was closed off nearly every day) and was closed from 3pm to 6.30pm. The menu hardly changed for the whole cruise and there was no special menu for Christmas day at all. Breakfast was always the same. The temperature of the hot dishes was nearly cold most of the time. The queue for espresso coffee (to be paid for) meant a wait of over half an hour sometimes. There was no provision for specialty morning or afternoon tea. The lifeboat muster on the embarkation day was a laugh. The crew checked the cabin off but did not cross off the number of guests in each cabin. Hopefully in the event of a real disaster the system would have improved. This is my eleventh cruise and the first with Royal Caribbean and will be the last with them. Embarkation procedure worked efficiently probably because of the online checkin. Debarkation was efficient, probably because everyone was anxious to get off this ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean, but our first from Australia. We have previously done a European Cruise on a Voyager Class and a trans Pacific with Celebrity Cruises. Boarding was straight forward, we arrived at about 1pm ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean, but our first from Australia. We have previously done a European Cruise on a Voyager Class and a trans Pacific with Celebrity Cruises. Boarding was straight forward, we arrived at about 1pm and only had to queue for about 5-10 minutes to check in, but the line was moving constantly. Passport control was straightforward and we found ourselves on the ship in no time. Rooms were available when we boarded so we went to check out our cabin. We had booked an aft corner balcony 8168 on deck 8, and it was fantastic. It is a normal balcony room on the inside, but the balcony itself is at least twice the width and half as deep again as a standard balcony. It is set up with 2 lounges as well as 2 chairs and a table. It was great sitting here on sea days watching the wake, and seeing the Islands slide by. The only negative would be that because it doesn't have much of an overhang above, it's quite exposed to the elements, so it got very wet when it rained and quite hot on sunny days. Our cabin attendant was fantastic, very friendly and new our names right away. He did great towel animals too :) We had my time dining, and with just the 2 of us we were always able to get a table with only a few minutes wait. We usually ate at about 7pm most nights when we went. I had heard from other people they were having issues getting seated but we personally didn't have an issue. We tried all of the specialty dining except chefs table, and as a whole enjoyed it, although I found the quality of the paid restaurants is no longer so much better than the main dining room, so found the extra fee a little steep. I probably wouldn't go to them again next cruise unless I had OBC. They have also recently changed the menus and they are much smaller than I remember. I found the General layout of this class ship confusing, I know it's a smaller ship than Voyager class but I found the shops area very cluttered, the flow of people around the ship very restricted and some things plain hidden away. For example the pub could only be accessed from midship by walking through the casino, Rita's Crabshack and Izumi were wedged up the back of the windjammer and you had to walk through them to get to the outside seating for windjammer. But then they have a huge space for a hotdog stand and another restaurant on an upper deck where you have to go outside to reach. I much prefer the layout of Voyager. Entertainment I found pretty good, I enjoyed going to the different trivia but did sometimes find them scheduled at a time when most people were at dinner. Martin was a fantastic trivia host, but there was an American guy who sometimes did it and I didn't like his style. And I often found the questions very American at times, even though there were only 200 non Australians on board. I also found the lack of a good communal space difficult for some events, on Voyager there is the ice rink area, on Radiance anything large was done in the colony club which only has a small amount of seating near the central area, otherwise you are sitting quite far back with lots of columns and balustrades in the way, it made participating in lots of things impossible. Ports were very good, I loved all the islands and we just organised our own thing in each port, which was very easy to do. Just make sure to bring your own snorkel equipment if this is what you want to do. The day we were at mystery island it was horrible weather and the crew did a great job of putting on extra activities to cater for most people staying on board. On a whole I enjoyed this cruise very much, there were some minor things wrong but nothing to ruin a holiday. I would cruise on Radiance again but I do prefer the Voager class a little more. But the things I didn't like about Raidiance is probably the things another person would love, it's just a personal preference I guess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Where to begin? Being seasoned cruisers and having done the Radiance last year,we had a couple of expectations surrounding this cruise. Beautifully refurbished ship,Christmas happy people all having a nice time....Wrong!! We and a group ... Read More
Where to begin? Being seasoned cruisers and having done the Radiance last year,we had a couple of expectations surrounding this cruise. Beautifully refurbished ship,Christmas happy people all having a nice time....Wrong!! We and a group of others literally ran off the ship and all stated never again in a month of frosty fridays in hell would we sail on Voyager again,if at all RCCL. Embarkation was 100%. A steady slide downhill from then on. Our junior suite was on level nine,in a good location,but thats it. We weren't looking for fault as on Radiance there had been little to complain about,just kick back and enjoy. Oh,no,not on this sorry ship...the first thing noticed was the unvarnished handrails on our balony,complete with sticky patches of plastic protective coating that lazy workers had failed to peel off(it came off easily i might add). Filthy glass doors,and deck(i cleaned those doors myself,after the cabin steward had a go and gave up). Black mould in the shower,which after 5 days was removed and re siliconed. Patches of rolled on flat paint(aprox 20 of these)on the living area ceiling covering tiny scratches!all these patches were around 20 x25cms each! But more to the point,the ceiling was satin finish,so you can imagine what they looked like,way worse at night...positively shameful standard of work. Not all our drawers had been re-lined(a swanky part of this refurbishment, i believe),so maintenance arrived with a box cutter and roll of sticky to do this. The reason id said something was because there was hair and such still in the drawer from the previous holiday makers. The first time we met our cabin steward,he informed us of his income,really do i need to go into any more detail regarding that?apart from unrequired information and an unacceptable thing to do. After day 5 we politely(as always)asked if we could please have clean sheets and our room vaccuumed,as it had not been done since we boarded.. this was met with a statement that it had been done...were not stupid,so could clearly see it had not been. This sort of malarkey carried on until customer relations were spoken to yet again and the situation sorted. We received a bottle of cheap red wine "for our discomfort". I mean,lets face it,our cabin is always immaculate,because that's how we choose to live,so are not hard to look after! Anyway we were assigned a new steward who was just lovely and did a great job...but no monkey towels and treats for us because i guess they were not pleased we has to complain so often,to get a mediocre result really. As for mealtimes,well i think that if you're reading this then you will know that all other comments written by my fellow reviewers are 150%true. Theres nothing i can add except,over populated ship,understaffed and lack of dining areas...actually a god awful experience. We found a lot of English language issues. We were told very firmly by the Australian customer relations assistant that"UM..they actually have to pass a test,so of course they speak good English",so ok,use it then! May i say that the gals in the high end shops were not only helpful,but cheerful and so obliging...consequently,i spent a heap of money on luxury items that i cannot buy where i live..YAAAY!! Bar staff could not have cared less,and depending on where you went,depended on the price and size of wine glass served,but,tell you what..being female ensured that any men standing at the bar did not get served before females! Very little to do really on this cruise,unless you were into noisy kids,shrieking unsupervised teenagers,or in pools that were most undesirable places to be. Most definitely lacking in anything to do for peaceful adults who wish to spend time reading,or just relaxing. So we found ourselves often driven back to our cabin,and hey,lets face it,that wasn't the best place,was it?? We knew there would be a ton of kids on board,but i question the parents who allowed their unruly kids to run riot,all over the ship continually,to the point that we are surprised there wasnt an emergency overboard...do not think that when on board,your horrid kids will be out of your hair and supervised...make no mistake,they will not, Instead they will be annoying other passengers who have paid a lot of good money to put up with them. I asked my Husband who is a construction company site manager,what makes a building/structure such as Voyager feel so sad and just not work? He said that a building has to have a soul,has to be put together by people who care..or it just wont work. Sadly Voyager is one of these such structures..a huge tank of people all sailing round in what sounds and feels like a 40 gallon drum.. I think Mr.Goldstein needs to take a good hard look at attention to detail,how his staff work and feel and make a lot of changes. And sometimes that can only come from the top and work its way down...and we all know what that means. We would have to be really keen to do RCCL ever again Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Well just got back from a wonderful cruise on the Century and i am so glad I didn't pay too much attention to the negative critics because we had an absolute ball. The embarkation went quikly and smoothly with a warm and friendly ... Read More
Well just got back from a wonderful cruise on the Century and i am so glad I didn't pay too much attention to the negative critics because we had an absolute ball. The embarkation went quikly and smoothly with a warm and friendly welcome both on land (Sydney) and on Ship with a refreshing drink. The crew cannot be faulted in any way always there and ready to attend to all our needs. Food to die for fresh and must go to grand restaurant you will feel like a king/queen. Our cabin was an inside quad (two bunks and a double, just ask for the two beds to be joined) on deck 8 midship (room 8067), perfect location close to restaurants, theatre and other lounges, we never heard a sound and slept like babies. The house band rocks as all entertainers.. the pool area is kept clean and there is always a spot in the sun or shade without having to fight for it. The port stops (Neumea, Mystery Island, Suva, Loutoka and Isle of Pines) were great the weather only turned on one stop but still managed to get off for a wonder, Neumea is not that exciting on sundays and holiday everything shuts. We never book excursions with the cruise as it is dear and there are local tours as soon as you get off the ship you can bargain for and are the same exoerience. The islands do take AUD but bring small change for Isle of Pines, Fiji and Mystery Island as they tend to not always have change. Celebrity only deals in USD so be prepared .. they do take AUD but when you cash in your credit at the end of the cruise (if dealing with cash) you might be left with a couple of USD in your poket. Teens club was great, my teen boys had a ball and have made great friendships.... All in all the best cruise we have been on and all thanks to the high standard of service and friendliness of crew. Thank you Century Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
The ship was beautifully decorated with an xmas theme. We enjoyed the first half of the cruise as we chilled out and relaxed, however due to a lack of activity range on board, the second half was deadly boring. On board activities were ... Read More
The ship was beautifully decorated with an xmas theme. We enjoyed the first half of the cruise as we chilled out and relaxed, however due to a lack of activity range on board, the second half was deadly boring. On board activities were aimed at rest home level, and were regular. i.e. knitters group, craft group, bridge players group, and on it goes! There was little of interest for anyone under 50 years old and there were no new activities during the cruise. The cruise director was dreadful. He appeared lazy and stale. His jokes were weak and he repeated them often. He was rarely seen during the day and came on after each show in the evening, and many people just walked out when he came on. The singers and dancers were great, but unless you enjoy ballroom dancing and associated music, there was nothing else to do in the evening except gamble at the casino which became expensive, or drink too much. They had one deck party during the entire cruise which was great, but needed more. We love good music but there was only the princess band which had a large brass section so could be hard to listen to, a duo who where almost karaoke with their electronic backing, a quartet which played classical and the band which occasionally played on deck who were painfully out of tune and untalented (only ok to listen to after large quantities of alcohol). The nightclub mainly played disco music. Occasionally they screened concerts by good bands like tina turner or U2 on the big screen which were great, but often at 10am?? The food was amazing. Fabulous, fresh, tasty, great selection, cannot complain. We had an inside cabin which was quite adequate for us, but the beds were very hard and a bit lumpy. The itinerary sounded good, but all of the Fiji ports were just that - ports or small towns. No little islands with sandy beaches and good snorkelling and swimming unless you paid for an excursion. New Caledonia ports were good though. In general the best staff were the lower ranking ones. They couldn't do enough for you, although it soon transpired that if they put one foot out of place they were disciplined. They wouldn't even let us fill our own wine glass from the bottle on the table, or they would end up in the office of their superior. The supervisors, however in general were not great and could appear arrogant and unhelpful. Typical of such a hierarchal organisation. I would have happily fired a few and promoted their subordinates. Overall I definitely would not travel with Princess again. They have dated and slipped behind in a hugely competitive market where there are superior ships and experiences available. My advice to Sun Princess is get rid of your Cruise Director and find someone with some fresh ideas and some get up and go.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our tenth cruise,5th with celebrity twice on Solstice.Did this same so called Christmas cruise 2 years ago.Last time it was very good this time terrible.Did not mention FATHER CHRISTMAS ,who is this CRINKLEBUM that so called ... Read More
This was our tenth cruise,5th with celebrity twice on Solstice.Did this same so called Christmas cruise 2 years ago.Last time it was very good this time terrible.Did not mention FATHER CHRISTMAS ,who is this CRINKLEBUM that so called cruise director JC was always on about?Did not see FATHER CHRISTMAS giving gifts to children as was the case on the other CHRISTMAS CRUISE.The CHRISTMAS fare on Christmas day for lunch and dinner was non existent. There were no party hats, bonbons,tinsel or anything on the tables, PITIFUL. Regarding food, Epernay dining rooms food was very average but staff as always were very good,food deck 14 Oceanview cafe was less than inviting with little choice and variety, 3 food bays with same food on all. In my humble opinion JC is not employing quality entertainers( AUSSIE BOYS AND NEIL DIAMOND ENTERTAINER) excepted.There were other issues, these were the main ones. Many other passengers commented about the lack of Christmas cheer. If u are not going to celebrate CHRISTMAS, then dont advertise it as a CHRISTMAS cruise!!!!!!!! We have friends two couples, who are contemplating this cruise next year, will advise them to think again and check if SOLSTICE will celebrate Christmas next year. Standards on Solstice have definitely dropped. THE BEAN COUNTERS ARE CERTAINLY ABOUT. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My husband and I went on New Year’s Eve cruise leaving Sydney 29 December 2014 on the Voyager of the Seas for 14 nights around Fiji and New Zealand. Last year we did a similar cruise for New Year’s Eve on Princess around Fiji and New ... Read More
My husband and I went on New Year’s Eve cruise leaving Sydney 29 December 2014 on the Voyager of the Seas for 14 nights around Fiji and New Zealand. Last year we did a similar cruise for New Year’s Eve on Princess around Fiji and New Caledonia and enjoyed it so much we wanted to experience it again. Overall we had a great time on Voyager but there was a lot to be desired. We read up on the Voyager of the Seas and liked that it had an $80M renovation although included 700 more passengers. Ultimately, this made the cruise overcrowded which was a common complaint amongst passengers. The promenade was beautifully renovated/amazing space but with designer shops, 1 pub and small 24 hour café. Embarkation was easy. CABIN Our deluxe balcony cabin on Level 8 was big and comfortable with a three seater couch. Lots of cupboards and storage space. This was a big plus for us. FOOD Overall the food was of a poorer quality compared to other cruises. (Anything for RCL to save a dollar). Windjammers was newly renovated but not enough seating for the extra passengers. The food was very average and much the same food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It started to feel like a cafeteria. The only food that served 24 hours was a small café with pizza, cakes and coffee which did not cater for over 3,000 passengers. Coffee was awful. The Sapphire Dining Room was beautifully renovated but the meals were hit or miss. Waiters were great. I once ordered Venison but was told it was really beef! Chicken Cordon Bleu was a dry crumbed chicken. Lacking presentation. No lobster night but you could order lobster each night at a cost of US$40! Gone are the Bombe Alaska and theme nights. Bars were all understaffed with so many more passengers it became a common waiting game. Drinks were expensive and I noticed many cocktails had no prices on them. Surprise, surprise! The pre paid drink packages were all based daily and not the entire cruise which made it expensive. New Year’s Eve was great! A formal night. Party on the pool deck with a live band and the promenade was crowded with balloons falling down at midnight. Something to remember! ENTERTAINMENT A common complaint amongst passengers was “there is not much to do”. Lots of karaoke with finals at the end which was really good. The Love & Marriage Game is always fun. There was 3D movies (with glasses) in the La Scala Theatre but not enough over 14 days. One afternoon a really good film was cancelled as the rights to the film had expired so we watched half an animated movie. Not good enough! The theatre was under used during the day. A new smaller screen has been addedd on the pool deck for afternoon movies but was noisy from the pools and obstructed viewing. They could have had music videos during the day and make it lively. There were movies some nights around 8pm but who wants to sit outside in the cold. The Ice Show was really good but the live theatre each night was hit or miss. Out of the 14 nights we enjoyed the hypnotist, Rod Stewart impersonator and Mario Queen of the Circus but everything else we found pretty average. I went along to a card making class which consisted of a kit and make it yourself. I also went to a Ladies Pamper Party one day in the gym but was all about trying seven different facial products and trying to sell them. Also free health seminars in the gym and then signing up for more US$$. Amazed that the gym was free! There was a terrific big round spa in the gym which we used with pleasure. I enjoy reading on a cruise but the library was more of a walk through with noise everywhere and no quiet spots on the ship to read except for the cabin. STAFF Staff are a credit to the Voyager with all staff being friendly but they work long hours for smaller pay. This includes waiters, cooks, cleaners, barmen etc but I can’t say the same for the entertainment crew. I think they could have done better with the activities. NOTE that Voyager of the Seas and all RCL cruise prices are in US dollars so don’t forget to convert to Australian currency throughout the cruise as you will get a nasty bill at the end of the cruise. As with all cruises a plastic Sea Pass (Credit Card) is used and your spending can be viewed on the TV. Lots of unhappy customers at the end of the cruise complained about the bill. We conservatively spent just over $700 but was actually $1,000 Aussie dollars. At a Q&A with the captain a passenger asked why there is no chocolate on the pillow any more which he then replied… with the renovation you need to cut costs somewhere. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves but Voyager of the Seas and also Oasis of the Seas which we have previously done is all about BUMS ON BEDS, spending US$$ and not value for money. PORTS Latoka and Suva, Fiji These ports were not worth visiting. It would have been so much better to see the Fijian islands. Both are very poor and underdeveloped cities. Full of the same Indian shops and were told many times to watch our bags. Very unwelcoming. We have been there before and unless you want to see the real Fiji you need to take tours which can find off the ship. Cruise tours are way overpriced. Note that all ship prices are in US dollars so don’t forget to convert throughout the ship. Auckland, Tauranga and Wellington, New Zealand Having been to NZ before we took the Hop On Hop Off in all three cities.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was my first cruise, so I really have nothing to compare it to. There were 20 of us, on this xmas 2014 cruise. The Voyager was lovely, found it to be really clean, and the service exceptional. Both our restaurant attendants were great ... Read More
This was my first cruise, so I really have nothing to compare it to. There were 20 of us, on this xmas 2014 cruise. The Voyager was lovely, found it to be really clean, and the service exceptional. Both our restaurant attendants were great even knowing individually what food you liked and how to cook it before you could order, after the first night!. Our room attendant looked after the room constantly with the slightest change of mess cleaned up, as soon as you left the room. They didn't supply shampoos etc. though, which could have been included, however if you asked for them, there they were as soon as you got back to the room. The entertainment was average, with the magician being really good and funny. I didn't enjoy the singing shows that much, but some of them weren't my thing. The bars for the Quiz shows did get a bit crowded, but you did get to meet new people this way, which was a positive. The windjammer food was good, but with not a lot of variety, but then I don't eat seafood, eat quite plainly, so not really fussed if there was any extravagant choices. More service could have been provided around the pool decks, for those who drank. In the 9 days I still did not get to see the whole ship, too busy enjoying the activities, and relaxing. The café on deck five was a great food and meeting place, thoroughly enjoyed the food and coffee, and was a good viewing place for the street activities. If you didn't get enough food on this ship, you must have been blind or busy. Madagascar 3D was a highlight in the theatre, well worth watching. Overall it was well worth the money, and hardly had to spend a thing on board, would go on again. The only critism I could make was the lack of Xmas theme going on, Xmas day was in port, and when you got back on wasn't really much different to any other day, apart from the food where xmas food was available, and a tree and a few decorations. Would go on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was my 6th cruise, 1st time on Royal Caribbean. I had heard lots of good things about RC so I was a little disappointed. Firstly I agree with some of the comments others have made here; greatly under staffed in areas. Whilst the staff ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise, 1st time on Royal Caribbean. I had heard lots of good things about RC so I was a little disappointed. Firstly I agree with some of the comments others have made here; greatly under staffed in areas. Whilst the staff do their utmost, they are run off their feet. Most mornings there was a 30 - 40 minute wait for coffee at the Cafe and the quality of the coffee was appalling. My biggest complaint would have to be the quality of the food and cocktails. I purchased a drinks package prior to departing. If I had know that all cocktails are pre-mixed out of a carton I probably would not have done so. They were horrible sugary, artificial tasting crap! I tried to think up cocktails that might not come out of a carton and decided on a caprioska to be told they had no limes, then mysteriously on the last day, they had no lemons only limes!! Go figure. Even some of the food tasted like it came out of a packet. Eggs benedict served with a packet mix sauce and most of the desserts were a gelatinous packet mix concoction. Christmas lunch / dinner was a disappointment as stated by others. the entertainment was disappointing also. No sailaway parties and Christmas and New Year were celebrated in the centrium which was only a small are where a few could actually join in leaving the rest of us to hang over the railings on the upper levels watching and not being able to join in. why not have it up on the deck pools side where there was a lot more room and also not so stuffy and hot?? it didn't make sense. Having been on P&O, Princess and now Royal Caribbean I would say P&O have the best value, food and drinks. Royal do have a nice ship and Princess... I think I'll wait another 10 - 20 years before I go back on one of their cruises. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
I have recently returned from a 14 day New Years Eve cruise to Fiji and New Zealand with my husband and 11 year old daughter. Having previously sailed with P & O, which we enjoyed, we were really looking forward to our cruise on a ... Read More
I have recently returned from a 14 day New Years Eve cruise to Fiji and New Zealand with my husband and 11 year old daughter. Having previously sailed with P & O, which we enjoyed, we were really looking forward to our cruise on a 'bigger and better' ship. To say that we feel let down by the experience is an understatement. The trip started well, embarkment was relatively easy (although we did have our power board taken off us before boarding), and we explored the ship, excited at all the new features. However, when I took my daughter to book her into kids club, I was warned that it was 'first come, first served' as there was over 900 kids on board. This was the start of what turned out to a very unenjoyable experience. Let's start with the kids on board. Despite seeming to have so many options for the kids to do, in reality there was not much at all. The ice skating rink was only open for the passengers to use a handful of times in the 14 days. The rock climbing wall was only open a few hours a day, and as such, had very long waits to get on. The flowrider had height limits, and therefore only teens could do the stand up, and only over 10's the body boarding, which was also open limited hours and had very long lines. With the kids clubs full, the kids had nothing to do, and a ship full of bored children resulted in kids hogging the spas, playing up in the pools, running amok in the hallways and stairwells and playing around in the lifts. Speaking of the lifts, with the Voyager's very expensive makeover, came a lot more cabins and therefore a lot more passengers. This made the ship very over crowded. The lifts on the ship cannot cope with the extra passengers. Many times we would have to wait over 5 minutes for a lift to arrive, and then we would find that it was already packed full. I would have to say that I used the stairs more often than the lifts as it was usually the only option (I wouldn't normally mind using the stairs, except I have a knee injury, and needed panadol and neurofen to help me to sleep each night because of this). The overcrowding (and lack of staff) was a problem thoughout the ship. Everything that you wanted to do, or buy, required a lengthy line up. The only (half) decent coffee on the ship (the free coffee tasted like dirt), was at the Cafe Promenade. Here the lines were up to 20 metres long, with only 2 staff serving (this counter also served the Ben and Jerry's ice cream and the soft drinks). The coffee was also not cheap at $5.95 American (do the conversion). We ended up buying our own coffee at the first port. I had also paid for a soft drink package on the ship, but barely used it, as being served at the understaffed bars took so long that it was just easier to get water from the windjammer. The windjammer was also a disappointment. In 14 days the food barely ever changed (only when they started running out of food towards the end of the cruise). Breakfast was exactly the same every morning, and there was the same food served for lunch as for dinner, and this had very few variances. I am vegetarian, and I basically ate either pasta and sauce with salad, or vegetable curry, for lunch and dinner for all 14 days! (We don't eat in the restaurant as my husband gets seasick in the closed in room. On our last cruise we found that the buffet was a nice option). Now to the (lack of) entertainment. This was the biggest gripe that I heard on board. Every single person I spoke to complained about how bad the entertainment was. My husband was very excited that with the refurbishment, they were installing a big screen on the deck. My husband is a smoker, and on our last cruise he spent many hours relaxing on the deck watching shows on the big screen. Well he was extremely disappointed! In the first 2 days all that was played on the screen was Spider-Man 2 (5 times), and after that, there was 2 movies a day (the same movie at 4pm & 8 pm), and very, very rarely they put something else on for 1/2 an hour. The rest of the time the screen had 'Welcome to Royal Caribbean' written on it! New Years Eve was also a big disappointment! I have seen videos online of other cruise lines throwing huge parties, with acrobat shows (and similar) on the deck and was looking forward to what they would do (I really should have known better by then, as it was 3 days into the cruise!) Well, we went to the deck early to get a good seat, sat there for two hours, and at midnight we got a glass of champagne, a countdown from 20 and some popped streamers! Apparently in the promenade they had balloons! A band played on into the night, but that was it! The nightly shows were also lousy (the few that there was). A Rod Stewart impersonator who cleared the room, a very unfunny comedian, a classical pianist (not everyone's cup of tea), a boring hypnotist (spent most of his time on stage hypnotising people and ran out of time to do much else). The 3D theatre showed the same 2 shows for the entirety of the cruise, and although the ice show was brilliant, there was only one show performed 5 times to accommodate all the passengers. The trivia was in the very small bar areas and the larger Star theatre was unused for a large amount of time. Most of the 'things to do' on the cruise compass involved drinking, gambling or other ways to take our hard earned cash. To finish, I'd like to say that Never Again will we sail with Royal Caribbean, and my husband says that if he'd seen a P & O ship passing by, he would have jumped overboard and swum to it!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014

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