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564 Sydney (Australia) to South Pacific Cruise Reviews

First time on Ovation ( reason we booked ), so mainly went for the ride, which strangely turned out that way. We journeyed to tip of New Zealand, turned around and came back to Sydney due to Covid 19 problems around the world. As far as ... Read More
First time on Ovation ( reason we booked ), so mainly went for the ride, which strangely turned out that way. We journeyed to tip of New Zealand, turned around and came back to Sydney due to Covid 19 problems around the world. As far as we knew no one had it on the ship, that is till we all got off and went home and 3 days later told one Canadian was infectious last 2 days. So at the moment I am stuck at home for another week and a bit. Food at the Windjammer was excellent best every at a Bistro and easy to navigate around as all in one area. Entertainment was great especially the Mercury Rising show - fantastic best show ever. Other free food outlets were great - Fish and Ships, Pizza's were good with toppings unlike most free Pizza outlets, also few more food outlets around the ship. Captain was excellent with information to passengers. Bad points were prices, everything in US Dollars so supper expensive for anything, eg beers were about $12 up and wine glass about $20 up. On board alcohol duty free was more expensive then Dan Murphy's. Diamond Lounge was a welcome place to visit in evening as could not afford to drink at the bars!! All the shops were empty except for window shoppers, staff were bored as anything. No laundries so either pay astronomical prices for washing or do it in the shower or sink and take clothes you don't need to iron. Best part is we all get our money back so cruise was free or get 125% as credit for next cruise - now that is a good reason to go with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We were booked for 11 nights, 12 days for a round trip Australia to New Zealand. We were supposed to stop along the way at Mystery Island and New Caledonia before reaching NZ. However combination of a tropical cyclone and Coronavirus ... Read More
We were booked for 11 nights, 12 days for a round trip Australia to New Zealand. We were supposed to stop along the way at Mystery Island and New Caledonia before reaching NZ. However combination of a tropical cyclone and Coronavirus meant we did a round trip from Sydney and spent 6 nights, 7 days on board. All praise to the captain and crew for looking after passengers well being, the crew were very professional, very polite and accommodating with any request (full praise to our room attendant, Teddy, no request was too much trouble and done with a smile and with a positive attitude that it would be all ready for you when you got back to your stateroom - thankyou Teddy). Loved sailing on a brand new, modern, spacious ship. The public areas made you feel like you were in a fancy upmarket shopping centre. The star rooms (we had a balcony room) were modern and spacious. Loved that the dreaded shower curtain has been replaced by a modern screen. Lots of storage and had to get used to cabin doors that open outwards into the corridor, I felt like I was walking through a fancy hotel when going back and forth to our cabin. Lots of activities as you would expect on a cruise ship, including dodgem cars, roller skating, flowrider and iflow (skydiving in a tube). The Northstar (observation pod on a stick) was a new experience, pleased I did it but once you were up in the air, Northstar was a bit of a let down, the view from Northstar when it’s in the air was no different then the view you will get if you stand on the top deck of the ship and look out to sea. You have 5 minutes up in the air, time for a quick photo but that was it (just endless ocean around you). If you go on Northstar whilst at port, maybe better, you may get more to see than just lots of ocean. Food was in the most part average for buffet and restaurants. Typical food you would get in a Buffett on a cruise ship. Menus were similar between the different specialty restaurants and the main restaurant we ate in (anytime dinning in American icon restaurant). All the restaurants had the prawn cocktail. This dish was a disaster, 4 pealed prawns with the tails on, not dressed or marinated, sitting on cut lettuce, which was undressed and not pleasant to eat. You had a tomato type sauce but this was nothing spectacular. I think they should try and improve this dish or remove it from the menu. The crab cakes were really delicious and should be top entree pick.Steaks were really nice and were cooked to order, loved the side dishes. Did not taste the Japanese restaurant. However, the biggest let down on the ship was wonderland restaurant. This restaurant is themed all around the Alice in wonderland story. Your experience in the restaurant is really terrific. You get to use the special liquid to paint in the framed menu, to make the menu visible. The waiters are dressed like “mad hatter” characters and lead you through the total experience, from explaining the food, what each dish is made from and in what order you should eat each dish. There are 9 entrees on the menu but the waiter picks only 7 of them for you to try. Again the food experience was very different and special and even fun but the food was so “exotic “ that the meal was not enjoyable, (the clear tomato juice shot, served in a test tube was a bit gross) You get to pick your mains from the menu, entree and dessert is picked for you. For mains my partner had halibut fish in a bag. The portion was small, the fish overcooked. The dishes appearance when it reached the table was un - appealing. I had the beef. (Slow cooked for several hours). The beef was not pleasant to eat, stringy, tough, not enough sauce. Dessert was very nice and a bit of a show as it was a dessert wrapped in a chocolate ball, which melted to reveal what was within when the caramel sauce was poured on it. You get two. The other called “forbidden apple” was nice. Service in wonderland was very slow. If you want more drinks or in my case extra sauce, staff response was very slow, you had to wait for your waiter to come back from “entertaining” another table with the opening wonderland spiel before the waiter comes over to serve you. Eventually we got service from the manager. They either need to put on more staff and improve the menu or scrap wonderland from their ships altogether. Wonderland restaurant is an experience you would only do once, but currently not worth the money we paid to eat in the restaurant. We got the refreshment package, that was all non alcoholic beverages. With this package we got a special ovation of the seas cup (you get to keep at the end of the cruise). The cup is waiting for you in you4 room when you arrive. The cup has a chip in the bottom of it and the cup is bottom - less for drinks. You can fill the cup endlessly at any of the self serve soda stations on the ship. There was between 20 and 30 soda flavours in the machine and you could have one flavour or mix and match. Coke Zero with raspberry flavour was nice. This service is a nice touch. It was especially handy in the windjammer Buffett, the servers there are really busy with their work, so the self serve drink station was handy to get a drink quickly each time. The 24 hr pizza station was also a welcome touch. However, the draw back on food was the Buffett and restaurants all close at 9pm, so if you go to 2 different shows in a night, you may have to forgo dinner that night. Sometimes there were two shows to see at night so , you either eat dinner really early or skip dinner and have a late night snack of pizza. Transfers on and off the ship was smooth for the most part. On disembarkation day, we chose to take our own luggage off big mistake!. All the passenger lifts were constantly full in both directions, we waited almost an hour to try and get on a lift before we decided to carry our own, heavy suitcase, down from deck 11, where our cabin was to deck 2 where the exit gangway was. As so many passengers also were carrying off their own luggage and prams and wheelchairs etc, there were long bottlenecks and wait times to get off the ship. If you don’t want to have to carry your own luggage and want to get off the ship quick, then get the crew to carry off your luggage at th3 end of your trip to avoid long delays ( with nearly 5000 passengers trip to depart all at once causes delays) The adults only area “solarium” was nice but there was only wading pools in the adults only area. If you want a deeper pool, to swim in you have swim with all the screaming, noisy kids (not very relaxing). Choosing an adults only cruise maybe an option for those bothered by a ship with screaming kids. At least two of the pools were covered, meaning that you can swim in any weather condition. But lots of strong chlorine used, in enclosed pool area, very strong smelling and overpowering. Shows at night, movies, bingo and other activities all good. Overall experience is a very positive experience. Would definitely travel on ovation of the seas again, hopefully when cruising is back to normal and the ship is able to have port days on their trips. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
With the Corona Virus spreading rapidly, we were lucky to be able to cruise at all and were aware that things may change so we set out to enjoy our anniversary holiday with a positive frame of mind. We had an enjoyable day in Noumea and 2 ... Read More
With the Corona Virus spreading rapidly, we were lucky to be able to cruise at all and were aware that things may change so we set out to enjoy our anniversary holiday with a positive frame of mind. We had an enjoyable day in Noumea and 2 days on Mystery Island and quite a few sea days. We have been well compensated for the lack of ports. We were well fed, accommodated, and entertained . We did not find it too crowded at all considering the amount of people on board. Having not cruised with RC before, we were happy with all the facilities provided and the extras that were added recently. Some things are out of the cruise ships control and we don't know what is going on behind the scenes This world wide problem is affecting everything so make allowances and go with the flow at the moment!! Our only gripe was smoking on board. The areas allocated for smoking were too big and intrusive on other passengers especially the children.. Children are inhaling smoke around one side of the pool area.One whole outside deck was for smoking and it would blow inside and down through the stairwell and passages. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Good 2 days in Sydney before embarking. Excellent ports of call. Butler and room staff were perfect! Captain and staff were friendly, professional, informative, and reassuring. Restaurants and food, including in-room service, were ... Read More
Good 2 days in Sydney before embarking. Excellent ports of call. Butler and room staff were perfect! Captain and staff were friendly, professional, informative, and reassuring. Restaurants and food, including in-room service, were exciting and well presented. Can't imagine how butler service could be improved. Entertainment was good, not excellent. Staff night was the best. So good to see youth of the world with talent, enthusiasm, and camaraderie. The world is in good hands. The workout facility was very adequate. We met and talked to many people on the pool level. The only disappointing aspect was the shore excursions. Although there is no way to see the country in one week without traveling by ship, the bus rides in each port were exhausting. If I were to offer comments to a friend asking about the Sydney to Auckland trip, I would suggest a private car with another couple and tour guide for most stops. Seeing and hearing about the highlights, walking the streets, meeting the people, eating lunch in restaurants, and visiting shops in the many towns would be far superior to traveling by bus with a few large group stops with orchestrated demonstrations. The day trips are more like looking at a travel log on television than actually visiting a foreign city. If there were no other options to the shore excursions, I would not recommend this trip. Regent has an excellent on board experience but the reason I travel is also to meet and see the world. The current format for shore excursions does not provide this. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have cruised with P&O Australia before, with mixed results, so we were a little hesitant about booking this cruise. But the price was outstanding and the OBC too good to refuse. Having just got off the Sun Princess a month ... Read More
We have cruised with P&O Australia before, with mixed results, so we were a little hesitant about booking this cruise. But the price was outstanding and the OBC too good to refuse. Having just got off the Sun Princess a month before, we were immediately "at home" in our cabin (balcony, deck 11, forward). In fact, on waking up a couple of mornings I had to remind myself were on the Explorer and not a Princess ship! As they used to say about shoes, our cabin "was well worn, but worn well". Jomon and Komang did a sterling job of keeping everything clean and working well — and were always bright and sparkly as well. The only "fault" we had on one day was a distinct lack of hot water, but I think that was related to a ruptured steam pipe in the engine room that caused a minor emergency. The food was pretty much hit-and-miss. We ate mainly in the MDR because we actively dislike the "Smash-and-Grab" (buffet). The menus were quite extensive but became a little repetitive by the end of the cruise. Having said that, there is only a limited number of ways you can serve eggs for breakfast, for example. Generally, the food was tasty and filling. We also tried Angelo's and Dragon Lady and would rate them satisfactory rather than excellent. Luke's served excellent burgers for a light lunch (extra charge). We didn't go to 400 Gradi, the pizza place — nor did many other people! I never saw more than 8 people in there at any one time. And, despite that, they still insisted on shutting down the thoroughfare to the forward areas — a minor annoyance but unnecessary, in my view. I think the entire area is being revamped in the current refurbishment; it was covered in plastic when we left. We booked the Love Riot show and dinner option. What can I say! The menu was I feel too adventurous and lacked organisation. (The seafood bisque, for example, was burnt/over-salted and near as damnit to inedible.) The show itself was in a similar vein. The contortionist was great; the male pole dancer ditto, but the rest was a lot of flashing lights and "music" and commentary at a volume that fell just short of painful. It was disjointed, with little flow. Full marks to the guys and gals for their efforts, but it was ... juvenile ... to say the least. And PS: Fishnet tights with holes in them are NOT a good look! As for drinks, bottles of wine are quite reasonably priced. Cocktails about $13AUD — except when I asked for a gin martini, straight up, no vermouth. This apparently caused minor conniptions and I was charged for two separate shots of gin, which came to $20. The same thing WITH vermouth was $13 — I gave up and drank margaritinis instead ... Service everywhere was with a smile. We couldn't have asked for better. Ports? Well, being from Western Australia, we're pretty "Asia-ed-out", so nothing special there. Some minor irritations with shoreside medical inspections for coronavirus, but they were there for a good reason. The skipper was incredibly protective of the passengers and insisted checks be done onboard, which they eventually were. (We had no reported cases onboard.) He was most upset when we had to put all those with Chinese passports ashore in Cairns; they were not allowed to stay onboard. Would we go again on Explorer? Sure. The value for money is hard to beat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise as we had been on Ovation previously, and knew it would provide enough entertainment for our kids and grandkids. Although the grandkids (five of them, aged 4 to 15) did not go to the kids club, there was enough on the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had been on Ovation previously, and knew it would provide enough entertainment for our kids and grandkids. Although the grandkids (five of them, aged 4 to 15) did not go to the kids club, there was enough on the ship to keep them engaged and happy. Embarkation in Sydney went without a hitch, and by 11.30 we had found a table in the Windjammer and had our first cocktail. We then explored the ship, and the looks on our kids and grandkids faces was a joy to behold. Because we were a party of 11 we stuck with My Time dining in Silk, and the food for the most part was top shelf. Our wait staff (Jerrold and Jan) were fantastic, remembered everyone’s names and could not have done more for us. Nothing was too much trouble and they made our dining experience one to remember. We had four cabins on Deck 10 forward, and they were nice enough. Our cabin attendant Aldrin did a great job, keeping all our cabins immaculate, always with a smile on his face. We attended most of the shows - some hits, some misses. Pixels kept the kids entertained, but we had seen it before and knew what to expect. We had a crack at most of the activities, including ifly, North Star and dodgems. As many other reviewers have mentioned, the queues at times were horrendous, but hey, you’re on a cruise, so just enjoy the people watching! Our ports of call were Noumea, Mystery Island and Brisbane. We found Mystery Island to be the highlight, way more to do there than expected. Beautiful beaches, friendly locals and crystal clear water. Noumea was ok, we’d been there before and knew what to expect. A lot of people didn’t get off in Brisbane, the main reason being that the port was a long way from anything, and Royal had the hide to charge us $25 USD pp for a shuttle into Brisbane - a lot of cabbage when there are 11 of you. Whilst I appreciate that there is a cost involved to organise the coaches, I'm certain it wouldn’t have been $40 AUD pp, just another example of profit being put before all else, I suppose. All in all it was a great trip, and a fantastic first cruise experience for our family. We will certainly cruise again with Royal, and I’m sure our kids will as well. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
we decided to try an more elegant n new ship.majestic n that she was beautiful new n elegant the renewal of vows was the best thing we chose to do if you get the chance do it well worth it . the staff n captain put everything together ... Read More
we decided to try an more elegant n new ship.majestic n that she was beautiful new n elegant the renewal of vows was the best thing we chose to do if you get the chance do it well worth it . the staff n captain put everything together beautiful . just make sure you have friends n family with you for photos. there was good n bad with our cruise like you get on most cruise ships.we done 14 nights n went to fiji , amazing. i would NOT recommend this ship if you are a smoker.or younger. there is very little to do for kids..or younger adults. i would recommend CARNIVAL. as smokers we were made to feel like we had a disease or something we were verry isolated especially on deck 7. were they refused to come out n serve us because we were smokers. we were excluded from all the entertainment out on deck 7 .the good thing about been isolated on deck 7. we meet the most amazing group of people . we all hang out together they made our trip FRIENDS FOR LIFE.. also coffee cards need to change they charge you for coffees you dont even buy or if you want an extra shot they charge you for 2 coffee..our cabin was amazing . love the big balcony n the fact you can choose movies for free. toilet was to close to door. no room other than that couldnot fault our cabin.. room service was excelent .. for food.. personaly we will stick with CARNIVAL. unless smoking areas change.. we would recomend if youy want an awsome tour n tour guide in savusavu.. ELAYNE. BENNET.cheap kind caring . well worth it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose this cruise as part of a move over offer. We had cruised previously on the Majestic Princess in March 2019. Cruise itinerary looked interesting although this time of the year temperatures 30C plus did not encourage us to take up any ... Read More
Chose this cruise as part of a move over offer. We had cruised previously on the Majestic Princess in March 2019. Cruise itinerary looked interesting although this time of the year temperatures 30C plus did not encourage us to take up any shore excursions. Prefer traditional dining but allocated anytime dining due to late booking. Required to make a booking daily to guarantee a table and time although after first few days you could roll up and get a table with minimal delay. Food and service very good albeit little change from March previous. Enjoyed a meal at the crown grill however less impressed with Harmony restaurant and avoided La Mer bistro (no privacy walk through thoroughfare) Alberto's pizzaria and noodle bar for lunch worth a visit. Private dinner on the balcony was excellent and well worth the $125 cost per couple. The party band evolution were excellent and first production show "Fantastic Journey' was also outstanding. Overall the standard of entertainment was higher this cruise than in March previous. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We sailed on the majestic princess to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji from Sydney. Embarkation was smooth, super quick and easy. Best we have seen yet. The ship itself is amazing, so so big. Are room wasn’t ready yet but that ... Read More
We sailed on the majestic princess to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji from Sydney. Embarkation was smooth, super quick and easy. Best we have seen yet. The ship itself is amazing, so so big. Are room wasn’t ready yet but that was alright, we went and purchased our drink packages and headed to lunch in the marketplace, the marketplace was a bit crazy and hard to find a seat for the first probably 2 days, after that people seem to eat at different times or used a lot of the other options available, eg: burgers, pizza, other restaurants, as it seem to settle down after a couple of days and we had no problems finding a seat. After lunch we explored the ship, how amazing this ship is. My favourite place where I spent a lot of time during the 14 night cruise was the hollywood club. Cool and peaceful (no children aloud in this area). We finally went to check out our room which was a balcony room, midship on the 15th floor (marina deck) amazing views from here. Although small ( compared to the mini suite we had last time) it was all that we needed and made ourselves at home for the next 2 weeks. Emergency training conducted and we were off to the sail away party. We were at sea for the first 2 days and this is where we first became disappointed with the activities/ entertainment staff. I thought at first that maybe we had just been super lucky on our first 2 cruises to get amazing entertainment teams that were funny and well ENTERTAINING, that made you want to go to everything on offer as you knew you were going to have a great time and come away laughing as you never knew what they were going to get up to. But as the cruise went on and the more we spoke to other guest we soon realised that NO it wasn’t just as, The entertainment team on this cruise were not as good as on other ships, (No I shouldn’t say not as good, as at times they could be funny and entertaining) but I really don’t know how to explain it, we and others were just really disappointed with what was on offer and things that you did go to were just ok. As I heard one guest say, we (the guests) have to provide our own entertainment on this cruise. Not good enough for the money we pay. Other then that we still had a great time, other entertainment such as the performances in the theatre, and the musicians in the piazza were excellent. The destinations we visited were amazing and well worth the visit. The tenders on this ship are new, spacious and much easier to get on and off. Housekeeping as per usual - amazing, these people do not get paid enough for what they do, our steward Eric, couldn’t do enough for us. I paid to have access to the enclave in the lotus spa everyday. How amazing is this place, well worth the money - TIP - buy the package on the first day when they are doing the tours through the spa, you get it cheaper. Getting back to the entertainment, 2 things we did look forward to and I did hear other guest say the same thing was the Australia Day party, fantastic idea but why would you have it at 9:45 at night after people have been on shore all day. I would of loved to go but after a full on shore excursion that day I was exhausted as I’m sure other were too. Then came the Latin dance party, another great idea, again late at night, for what reason I do not know. This one I did stay up for, it started, the professional dancers and singers from princess came out to perform, performed one song, it started to rain so they went off. Now fair enough I wouldn’t want to see them get hurt, however it rained for a couple of minutes and then it was alright for the guests to get up and dance on the dance floor so why couldn’t the others come back and finish there performance. A lot of disappointed people soon went back to there rooms or on to other things. Finally the time came to disembark back in Sydney, I know it sounds like I didn’t have the best time on this cruise but I still absolutely had a great time just a little disappointed. I still as always never want to get off, I could so live on a cruiseship and have often dreamt of working on one (maybe one day I will ). Disembarkation was just as easy and smooth as embarkation and we headed off to our hotel just down the road for a few days site seeing in Sydney. I watched the ship sail away again that night wishing I was still on there. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Most of the cruise was fine with the exception of some staffing issues. Bar staff were awful, it was difficult to get a drink a lot of the time, shore tours staff couldn't care less and didn't really know what they were ... Read More
Most of the cruise was fine with the exception of some staffing issues. Bar staff were awful, it was difficult to get a drink a lot of the time, shore tours staff couldn't care less and didn't really know what they were selling. Restaurant staff and cabin stewards were excellent and could not be faulted. Not a lot of activities for teens and the staff in the kids club were hit and miss. One day two of them seemed to be hungover and were moaning loudly that they didn't want to be there. They introduced the medallion class for this cruise and it had a lot of issues that impacted on the experience. This would have been a good addition if it worked correctly. Overall a neutral experience and may make me consider whether to cruise with Princess again. Hopefully the two new ships being launched are in the same class as Majectic. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
To celebrate our 45th anniversary we decided return back to the same itinerary as our First Cruise with Princess Cruises at that time on the new " Love Boat " Pacific Princess. So for this Occasion we picked the" Ruby ... Read More
To celebrate our 45th anniversary we decided return back to the same itinerary as our First Cruise with Princess Cruises at that time on the new " Love Boat " Pacific Princess. So for this Occasion we picked the" Ruby Princess ".14 days A Lovely relaxed cruise we chose Aloha Deck 12 in a Premium Balcony State room this time on the Starboard side first stop on itenary was new Caledonia then next Fiji however a tropical cyclone passed over the Fiji islands so the Ruby Dirverted to the island of Mare and the island of Savasuva was deleted from itinerary Sad as main reason we wanted to return to Fiji moving on the remaining itinerary was good stoped at Vanatau found knowing it best value for Duty free Perfumes and our favourite liquor. Princess staff were as always exceptionaly friendly and professional in their service at all restaurants bars and cafe's this trip the entertainment was very good several musicians and groups were on board and comedy shows Irish band "Emerald Tide" played in several bars several times a night thought the Cruise were very popular as it was school holidays there we lots of family's on board enjoying their vacation food in restaurants was again of a high standard we selected anytime dining and sometimes you had to que to get in without a booking the food in Horizon Court generally ok a bit repetitive and tables often were scarce if having meals at regular times special restaurants with cover charge were very good." We came home new " Booking our 4the cruise now with Princess to Aslaka and advanced to Ruby status we recommend Princess Cruises Media rated 3rd best cruise company world wide we do currently agree, two other cruise lines we cruised with do not compare. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We wanted to visit some areas of NZ within the comfort of a cruise ship. We chose Princess as the itinerary suited the time we wanted to go. The interior of the ship was lovely. There had been a refurbishment in 2018. Lovely new ... Read More
We wanted to visit some areas of NZ within the comfort of a cruise ship. We chose Princess as the itinerary suited the time we wanted to go. The interior of the ship was lovely. There had been a refurbishment in 2018. Lovely new carpets throughout and some new furniture. While we were on this cruise the Medallion was introduced. It was in the testing phase so we had to carry our cruise card as well. As you approached your cabin the sensor picked up that you were near and the door unlocked automatically. As this innovation takes off I can see many more positives. Sensor lights had been introduced into staterooms. When you got up in the night a little light at the bottom of the bedside table automatically came on as did the light in wardrobe area. The entertainment was very good. A young Irish band called ‘Emerald Tide’ had been employed by the ship for 4 months. They were excellent. Singing Irish folk songs and other popular contemporary songs. One of the girls in the band as performed Irish dancing ...she was very good. It was unfortunate that we were unable to visit Akaroa or Fiordland, however the weather conditions were not good .....nothing can be done about that though. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Anytime Dining was great - excellent wait staff, especially head waiter Joaquim. Wasn't as impressed at the Lido. In fact, the drinks service at the Lido seemed to dwindle markedly towards the end of the cruise. Medallion Class ... Read More
Anytime Dining was great - excellent wait staff, especially head waiter Joaquim. Wasn't as impressed at the Lido. In fact, the drinks service at the Lido seemed to dwindle markedly towards the end of the cruise. Medallion Class and associated apps were excellent. Particularly loved the 'find my friend' service on the app. Cabin steward was such a hard worker and so friendly - thank you Manu. We had a balcony on level 12 and were very happy with it. Aileen and Sticks - entertainment - were fabulous, as were The Sound. The ABBA night went off!! Plenty of enjoyable live entertainment. Loved the Heist on the High Seas interactive game! Enhances my cruise experience. Plenty of choices for shore excursions. Had a great time with cultural excursions generally, but there was one that performers seemed indifferent and performance was very short and embarrassing for both performers and spectators (Lifou). I would sail on Ruby again, no question. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We decided to have a family cruise with our grandchildren and this cruise fitted our guidelines the best. The two youngest grandchildren love Kids Club and the older teenagers enjoyed the entertainment, pools, quizzes, shows, etc. All ... Read More
We decided to have a family cruise with our grandchildren and this cruise fitted our guidelines the best. The two youngest grandchildren love Kids Club and the older teenagers enjoyed the entertainment, pools, quizzes, shows, etc. All were kept entertained throughout the cruise. We enjoyed the Ports of Call and even though our itinerary was changed because of the cyclone, the alternate port Mare was a very good substitute - a beautiful island. In the end we only missed Savu Savu and were able to see two ports in Fiji. All in all the trip was very enjoyable, the staff friendly, helpful, and always had a smile whatever their particular task. Embarkation and disembarkation were well run and did not take up too much time so we were able to start our holiday straight away. The ship had plenty of areas for entertainment, a peaceful meditation, food and more food, and facilities. Children and adults were taken into consideration with some areas being Adults Only for those not travelling with children. And yes we would cruise on Ruby Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Two families...itinerary and timing suited. Had a wonderful time.. Some highlights - Princess do ship board entertainment really well, the shows each night were varied and fantastic. Poolside food - Pizza, Tacos, Burgers were BRILLIANT! ... Read More
Two families...itinerary and timing suited. Had a wonderful time.. Some highlights - Princess do ship board entertainment really well, the shows each night were varied and fantastic. Poolside food - Pizza, Tacos, Burgers were BRILLIANT! Dining room food choice & quality met expectations... Only disappointment on any level was Horizons Cafe (May be spoilt having been on Holland America -their buffet is much better) it wasn’t awful though! Staff and general onboard experience was lovely! Children (x5 - 13-18yrs) had a ball - so lovely to have freedom, safety and security of the ship - parents truly able to relax! Had internet packages - worked Perfectly everywhere. We got to trial the new medallion class - was BRILLIANT - ordering drinks, able to see where family and friends (children!) were on ship is a big advancement. Both embarkation and disembarkation were perfectly managed. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Princess & cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise, even though it was in the school holidays, as a reward for our son going into Year 11. We have been on Voyager of the Seas before and enjoyed the activities- FlowRider and ice skating etc and also chose the ... Read More
We chose this cruise, even though it was in the school holidays, as a reward for our son going into Year 11. We have been on Voyager of the Seas before and enjoyed the activities- FlowRider and ice skating etc and also chose the destinations that were best for snorkeling. As there were 3 of us and we had a lot of snorkeling gear we chose a balcony cabin with an extra bed (8268). The extra bed came out of the ceiling above the top of the king bed, so you did have to watch your head, otherwise the room was as expected. Clean and in working order. We live the FlowRider and the staff on this activity are helpful and friendly. If you are going to give it a try do it early in the cruise as the lines get huge on the last couple of days. We had the Key so had a few advantages such as extra sessions on the FlowRider, Laser Tag and Iceskating rink that we enjoyed. This also made embarkation quick and because I booked 5he first boarding time we stepped in the ship at 11am. I got the Key for seats at the show but it wasn’t that busy at the shows as there is so much to do. Disappointing things were the removal of the sauna and indoor spa as part of the latest changes. The slide was fun though - hint don’t wear a rashy as it slows you down too much. The adult area is ok but you are treated like children - no drinks allowed in the spa even though they are in plastic glasses. We bought the drinks package and looked forward to frozen mango drinks only to find that the ship had run out of mango from the last two cruises. They did have strawberry which was ok but even ran out of this and Pina Colada and other options as the cruise progressed. The drinks package was still worth it to us but just be aware you may not be able to get your favourite drink. Different bars have different cocktails - R bar had a Let’s get Fizzical that you could only get there - so try different bars if you like variety. Our son made a lot of new friends on the cruise and had a wonderful time at the silent disco, pool parties and other activities. He enjoyed the teenage Living Room. There were a few bullies on the cruise and it was disappointing that the ship couldn’t control these kids but my son was old enough to deal with them when they approached him and keeep away. The cruise ship did disembark a couple of young adults that were fighting on the first night so they do deal efficiently with inappropriate adults. The entertainment was good in general and varied. We have seen the hypnotist before and the show was similar to 5 years ago. Also the adult comedian did a general show in which he did make some inappropriate jokes during the general show and repeated half of his adult show for the general show. One of the comedians was not that great. Some good and some not so good. There were heaps of activities ( Trivia, lectures of all types, ballet classes etc) to choose so it really is up to individual taste. In general I would recommend this cruise for the ages from teenager to an adult wanting to try out the activities on offer. A child too small for the slides and FlowRider will miss out on a lot. We chose the 5 night dining package and enjoyed the three specialty restaurants and the main dining room.Service and food in all restaurants was great. Unfortunately we ended up with the 5pm dining,which was a bit of a rush to get to (especially if you are on the a FlowRider), but gave us the rest of the evening to enjoy shows and sit in High Notes for a drink. Think about your dining chose - early, late or My Time at the time you book. We enjoyed all of our ports: Noumea - turtle tour at Signal Island - book online before you go. Excellent. Mare - took the bus to the beach and snorkeled - we did swim past the bouys Lifou - Jinek Bay snorkeling (bought the tickets from the locals for $15 each for the morning session to 12:30pm) is definitely worth it and the water hole in the cave Louganville - a local took us to Chaampagne beach which was beautiful, the Riri blue hole which was fun and cold and Million Dollar Point which is great for snorkelling. This replaced Isle of Pines as their chief had passed away. Villa - we did 2 dives which we organised ourselves - Wreck and bommies. Mystery Island - lovely island but the snorkeling wasn’t great that day as the currents were strong. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We needed a break after a very busy year and decided to try a cruise for the first time. Not being sure what to expect, and not being sure if we would enjoy it, we were very pleasantly surprised that there were plenty of places to escape ... Read More
We needed a break after a very busy year and decided to try a cruise for the first time. Not being sure what to expect, and not being sure if we would enjoy it, we were very pleasantly surprised that there were plenty of places to escape the crowds on the ship, the Pacific Explorer. We are both 60 ish and travelled as a couple without any children. During the cruise (8 nights) we did not feel overrun by kids, or forced into small talk with other guests, there were no forced activities, and the food was great. The ship was in good condition, with attention paid to keeping everything clean and tidy. We loved the Blue Room nightclub for its moody decor and live music, and also the Bonded Store bar for its stylish elegance and quite space away from the busier parts of the ship. Our cabin (oceanview) was compact but light and airy, and made very good use of space for storage. We had plenty of hot water for showers and the bed was quite comfortable. I had read reviews that the beds were uncomfortable but our room 8041 had a good mattress and pillows. Our cabin stewards Anup and Gab kept everything spic and span and were always there with a cheery greeting. The staff throughout the whole ship were friendly and helpful and added to the overall enjoyment. We found the included food at Dragon Lady and the Waterfont was of a very good standard, and was equal to or better than the other paid restaurants. We did not eat at The Pantry, it was just too noisy and crowded for us. The Taste of Salt degustation (paid for) was exceptional, and the serving staff made that experience even more amazing. We also did the paid for dinner with the Love Riot show, but found that meal to be ok but not great. The Dragon Lady high tea was also a highlight.The live shows were all very good with a wide variety of styles so there was plenty to suit varying tastes. Our only disappointment was the very small pools in the adult only areas, and the difficulty in getting a lounge to relax near the pools. The attendants did not seem to keep an eye on those 'reserved' lounges where no-one came near them for hours. But that seems to be a common problem! We will definitely do more cruises in future now that we have gotten over our initial concerns about crowds, noise, being overrun by kids, and standard of food. I only hope future cruises can match the experience we had on Explorer. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had sailed on the Splendor back in 2011 & the Carnival Splendor once again gave us a great cruise! The ship is bright and colourful like a Las Vegas casino resort & I like how they modernised the main pool area. The ship has ... Read More
We had sailed on the Splendor back in 2011 & the Carnival Splendor once again gave us a great cruise! The ship is bright and colourful like a Las Vegas casino resort & I like how they modernised the main pool area. The ship has some really good public places. The main pool area has a huge flat deck area between the pool and huge movie screen. This area is great for outdoor dance deck parties at night or other activities by day. It’s way bigger an area than I have seen available on ships much bigger than splendor. The buffet area on Lido deck is huge with an extra section of seating and food available on deck 10 aft. We never had trouble finding a seat to eat. The serenity pool looked great, although it was always very busy & I think there was enough space to squeeze in at least another 10-20 sun lounges in that area. Food was good everywhere. You can’t beat carnivals 24hr pizza. We had late dining in the larger Gold pearl dining room. Service led by the fab Desi was great and food was tasty and plentiful. We did a one off Italian dining experience in the steakhouse for $40 each and it was amazingly good. The mad hatters tea pary was also a hit with our group. Buffet food was great & the omelette station served up large well cooked servings. Avoid peak times though and lines are short. The bbq station inside deck 10 aft was awesome at lunchtime. The indian food out back was popluar, as was the deli. Coffee from the main cafe bar on deck 5 was pretty good & we loved the fresh squeezed juices from the juice bar also on deck 5. Drinks from all bars were made quite strong and prices reasonable. Entertainment – this was really good. The Spectacular theatre is large and comfortable. I miss the days of when Carnival had a house band/orchestra play in the stage pit along side the singers and dancers, but this playlist cast on board were brilliant. They had a good chemistry and their energy really came through their performances getting lots of wows and applause from the crowd. The El Morocco lounge would be one of my fav cruise ship show lounges. It is huge right at the back of deck 5. It has a funky décor, comfy lounges and a great place to watch the late night adult comedy which was always packed or to watch/play in the adult quest, etc. The nearby piano bar was also always good fun. The redfrog pub down on deck 4 is bigger than redfrog pubs on spirit class. Music Manilla playing in there were as brilliant as usual. There were some other great live acts playing throughout the ship too. Our cabin was a Spa balcony room on deck 10. We loved it! Slightly nicer décor than a regular balcony room and it was in a nice quiet corridor forward, and good views being nice and high. It was also only a few steps away from one of the front 'secret' decks for good views over the bow.This room gave us access to use of the large mineral hot tub and other steam rooms, etc, in the spa area. We don’t tend to participate in many on board activities preferring to just chill by day, but the usual things like trivia, etc, seemed to be well populated. The new water slides seemed a big hit. My nephew loved the green one so much he went on it over a 100 times! Finally, the crew were mainly all very friendly and smiley and their service was fantastic. The entertainment team were great and tried their hardest to keep guests informed and making sure people had fun. I smiled and laughed a real lot on this cruise and good memories were created. I wouldn’t hesitate to book another cruise on this ship again. I think Australia is very lucky to have a ship like this year round. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
It took a few days to get used to all the people (have been living in Alice Springs for 10 years) but once we got into the swing of where to go and what to do, we had a great time. We found plenty of interesting and healthy food to choose ... Read More
It took a few days to get used to all the people (have been living in Alice Springs for 10 years) but once we got into the swing of where to go and what to do, we had a great time. We found plenty of interesting and healthy food to choose from, and experienced excellent service (Nuka) at the Black Pearl Restaurant. We found the shows very entertaining and Lee was an exceptional cruise director. We loved hanging out at the El Morocco lounge for the comedy (impressed when new comedians came onto the ship half way). Our 12 yr old loved hanging out at his age group (Circle C) and enjoyed the varied activities on offer. The house keepers all seemed genuinely friendly. There was plenty to do and we found it great value for money for a family of five. We loved all the snorkelling on our island trips (including a small trip to L’escapade Island). We laughed a lot!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I went for the 10 night cruise to the South Pacific Islands and NZ on the ovation of the seas and it was a great trip. We had the oceanview balcony stateroom on Deck 8, this stateroom was a great size for the two of us with my partner ... Read More
I went for the 10 night cruise to the South Pacific Islands and NZ on the ovation of the seas and it was a great trip. We had the oceanview balcony stateroom on Deck 8, this stateroom was a great size for the two of us with my partner and my-self. The queen bed was very comfortable, TV size was great that sits on the wall in front of the bed, a couch to sit on, good size balcony with the lounge chairs. The bathroom was a little bit small and tight, the shower was a great size but the size of the bathroom didn't bother us as much. The housekeeping team had always ensured the tidiness of our room which is great, the only thing that lacked a little was that they only made the beds and picked up the dirty towels and replaced with new ones, they did not vacuum the room unless need-be and they don't wipe after tables or pick up dirt off the couch. I had to call in the housekeeping service to make the special request to vacuum the floor and the couch as there were sand from our Island ports. Otherwise they did a great job with the cleanliness of the room. The ship it-self is a huge ship, we were on the starboard aft side so it was a bit of a walk going here and there which we didn't mind at all as we enjoy exploring the ship. There were a lot of different dining venues, activities, bars, shops, chill out areas, pools, theatres, you name it! this ship has everything. With the activities, they have the north star capsule, rip cord by ifly, flowrider surfing simulator - these things needed to be booked prior, as soon as itinerary details come out. We had not known about booking these through the app until we got onboard when the staff were explaining about this feature. We unfortunately had missed out on the rip cord and flowrider because when we wanted to book it through the app, everything had been booked out and that it was only a matter of lining up for the hours where reservations weren't required. We hadn't booked the North Star either as it was fully booked and came to find that there were so many people who are going on the ride twice or even more as they had booked themselves a few times. This is where Royal Caribbean need to limit guests to 1-2 rides per the cruise as it isn't fair to those that didn't get to try on the activity. My partner and I had to line up for over an hour during the no reservations hour that they offered this activity, whilst others had already gone on it 4 times which was not fair at all. The pool areas were pretty good but for a big ship, I found that it needed some improvements. Both main pool areas are constantly infested with kids and teenagers and it's difficult for the adults and elderly to want to have a swim or relaxation other than in the solarium, but the solarium is only about sitting around and not much of a swim, I found there were a fair bit of kids in the solarium still running about. I thought this needed some kind of an improvement to limit one pool area to children only and others to those over 18. The water park was also lacking as this catered for children under 12 only. There weren't much of any slides for older guests like carnival cruises offer, being a big ship I felt that this one should have catered more activities for water parks. The food on this ship was excellent, couldn't find any faults except for the dry bacons in the mornings but otherwise it's really good. I went on the P&O before and the food was horrible, this cruise line had definitely topped them and I enjoyed every bit of food that I had on board, it was great. The customer service from the windjammer market place and the main dining areas were excellent, couldn't find any faults as they were very attentive and very friendly, always met your needs. The downside for overseas passengers are that this ship charges with $USD, the conversion with their currency can be very pricey. $8 bionic bar drink meant almost $15 in $AUD each which is quite costly. My partner and I took out the deluxe beverage package with all inclusive except for alcohol, it was $35pp/day, quite pricey but if you think about it, they charge $8 USD per drink and by the time you get yourself a juice, a coffee, a milkshake, glass of coke, you'll be paying more than $35 anyway. The $35pp/day we paid via their website and in $AUD, do not pay this package on the cruise as they will charge in $USD, pay prior to boarding online. Shops are pretty good as there were a range of variety, still pricey but catered to passenger's needs and wants. Ports were Noumea - New Caledonia, Mystery Island - Vanuatu & Auckland - NZ. These ports were great. Noumea is the most expensive place I've ever been to in my entire life. 2 plates of burgers and chips with 2 drinks costed $80AUD later, a 1 hour jet ski ride costs $270AUD (which we did not pay for because it was way too expensive). We couldn't justify why this was. We ended up getting the hop on/hop off $10 tour to take us around town and had a swim at the beach. Mystery Island was amazing, loved every bit of the island and the people were friendly. Amazing grilled fish, wonderful massage, great atmosphere, cleanest beach. Auckland was also terrific, we went on the quad bike rides ($400pp later). It was surreal. The experience was amazing and the scenic tours were beautiful, went through the farm, the bush, the mountains, the beach, it was great. I highly recommend this Ovation of the Seas, I had a fantastic time. Please don't hesitate to message me if you need anymore specific information about my experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our first cruise ever with one teenager. We decided to do a cruise because I don't like flying and it was recommended by someone. The ship is relatively new - launched in 2016 and looks amazing. We had a stateroom with a ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever with one teenager. We decided to do a cruise because I don't like flying and it was recommended by someone. The ship is relatively new - launched in 2016 and looks amazing. We had a stateroom with a balcony which was small but perfectly formed. Our stateroom attendant was unfailingly cheerful even though he never seemed to get a break. We decided to purchase the Key, a priority program and skip the line pass that included the Zoom internet package. We mainly bought this mainly to skip the line with activities, which it was not very useful for (see below) but it was useful for onboarding and disembarking. Not sure if it was worth the cost. The activities such as FlowRider, NorthStar, IFly, bumper cars and roller skating were pretty amazing given this is all on a ship, but the lines are long if you did not have the Key and even with the Key we could only skip the line once a session. There are 5000 passengers on board. Sometimes this is not apparent but sometimes it did get very crowded. There were countless attempts to separate your money from your wallet, ranging from art auctions to high end shops to lots of sales and "opening specials" on thousand dollar jewelry which did get a little tedious at times. The price point for the beauty and massage service, Vitality Spa, I thought was rather high as it is easy to find a Thai style or hot stone massage in Australia for 60 AUD, as opposed to the 190 USD being charged onboard. The gym was enormous but even so could get very crowded. There were free stretch and core classes, although again these could get crowded and occasionally started early which I found a little irritating. I thought that the shows were quite good, with professional dancers and singers and the Cruise Director was very amusing. We found the complimentary dining more than adequate with US style service. The Windjammer was the biggest buffet I had ever seen. Cant comment on the alcohol as I don't drink. This ship is full of Aussie passengers - the construction business must be good as there was a preponderance of cashed up tradies and their families. Some kids ran around like they were in a caravan (trailer) park and would press all the elevator buttons. There were a couple of craft activities that simply consisted of a staff member handing out a craft kit. No real instructions to speak of which I found disappointing and again this often started early and was often crowded. Our main problem was the teen clubs called The Living Room for 12 to 14 and Fuel for 15 to 17. There seems to be this expectation that teens were simply let loose until up to the curfew at 1 am, to roam around at will, which I thought was highly unsafe given the population was equivalent to a small town. There were scheduled activities for teens aged 12 to 14, but after about 8 pm there were a few gangs of boys that roamed around checking out the young girls, some of whom were allowed to dress with long fake nails, low cut crop tops and false eyelashes. As I had a 14 year old daughter, I was not impressed. She loved meeting the other kids though and it was difficult to drag her away. We did our own shore excursions. Noumea was not that exciting although we did a bus tour which was interesting. Mystery Island was beautiful, but suddenly overcrowded by 5000 passengers! We ended up taking a village tour to Aneityum Island which was very interesting and much less cramped. We did the Hop On and Hop Off bus at Auckland and spent most of our time at the Auckland museum. Overall my impression was that was a surprisingly good holiday. This cruise liner catered for all types of passengers, although with a strange combination of high end exclusive marketing trying to persuade a somewhat downmarket customer base to spend up big on their vacation. The ship is quite spectacular and the service from the international crew was excellent. The teen area was our major concern and may be a deal breaker for us in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were family group of 23 on this cruise, ages ranging from 79 to 5. There were many large family groups, which was great, as it was Australian school holidays. This was our 5th cruise with RC. The check-in and bag drop in Sydney on ... Read More
We were family group of 23 on this cruise, ages ranging from 79 to 5. There were many large family groups, which was great, as it was Australian school holidays. This was our 5th cruise with RC. The check-in and bag drop in Sydney on embarkation was seamless and easy. The ship is huge! Our cabins were spacious and very clean. We had a lovely balcony which added to the spaciousness of the cabin. The cabin was serviced twice daily and our attendant went out of his way to make our stay memorable. Its a pity we didn't realise how large the was before booking cabins, I would definately book cabins closer to the elavators especially for older people. I enjoyed the long walks on the ship as I managed to get plenty steps in! The Windjammer, where we went to for breakfast and lunch was busy, but you could get tables within a few minutes. The variety of food offered was extensive and chef Joseph was wonderful in accommodating special dietary needs. The staff were friendly and the service incredibly efficient. We had dinner at Chic restaurant and there our waiters and the head waiters were outstanding in the service they provided. All the staff went out of their way to attend to our every request. All the staff were polite and helpful and RC should be proud of having such good staff. There is such a wide variety of food offerings on the ship that you would never go hungry. Pizzas at Sorrentos always went down well! With such a large number of passengers it is only expected that the teenagers were going to queue for activities such as the Flowrider, bumper cars, roller skating etc. The queues for these activities were quite long. The iFly and North Star should be booked immediately on boarding. The adults enjoyed the relative peace of the Solarium. The Pixel and I love legs shows were really good. We enjoyed all the shows and parties at 360. The resident band......well it could be improved, everything they sang sounded the same. The two comedians were average at best. I think that this 10 night itinerary should have had one extra port. One sea day too many. Noumea was really nice and the beaches and swimming good. Please note South African cruise passengers did not require visas for New Caledonia. We spent weeks trying to ascertian this before our departure and could not get an answer from RC, the French Embassy, South African International Relations department, the Government of New Caledonia and various other sources. I wish that we had know that Mystery Island did not offer any foods except barbecued crayfish. No cool drinks, no bottle water, snacks were available at all. There was not very clean looking boiled tea offered by the locals. The island is beautiful, snorkelling and swimming excellent. I would suggest that when you stop in Nomea, visit the supermarket and buy snacks to take to Mystery Island. Definately take your bottled water. Auckland was a lovely quiet, clean city which were toured using Auckland Scenic Tours who provided us with private mini buses for our group. Knowledgeable and informative tour guides. All of us thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and there were activities for all ages. My biggest gripe was the cost of wi-fi. Buying wi-fi for 23 people was not feasible and we had great difficulty trying to find each other and the kids. We generally met at meal times. RC should should seriously think about how to make communication amongst the passengers easier. I kept complaining that it was as if we were on parallel holidays because we could not find each other outside of meal times! The app should include What's App for passengers or cheaper wi fi. In 2020, it can't be a problem to have connectivity for cruise passengers. I would definately go again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We joined the ship in sydney as part of a bigger trip from the UK visiting friends. Along with another couple from Australia we were advised at the port on embarkation day that we would not be stopping at Mare (our first port) due to a ... Read More
We joined the ship in sydney as part of a bigger trip from the UK visiting friends. Along with another couple from Australia we were advised at the port on embarkation day that we would not be stopping at Mare (our first port) due to a technical issue which meant the ship had to stay anchored to fix the problem. We were not impressed as this now meant a 10 day cruise only had 3 ports! Bizarely apart from the letter issued at the dock nobody, including the captain or CD mentioned it! and the crew were very reluctant to say anything about it. Boarding was very quick and we walked straight on. Its the smallest ship we've sailed on with Carnival although we didn't really notice it was much smaller. The ship layout is nice and we particularly liked the large size of the red frog, large stage and dancefloor for what turned out to be the best cruise band we've ever seen (Music Power) absolutley fantastic! We had a balcony cabin on deck 6 midship. The cabin was fairly standard but quite tatty in places. The TV didn't work and we had to call maintenance 3 times to get it resolved. Our cabin steward never came to introduce himself as always happened on previous ships. In fact we never saw him until day 3 or 4 which was very unusual! We had to keep asking for things such as laundry bags because he'd forgotten to leave them etc, we put some laundry in a bag to get done, he never collected it and we had to go find him to get it taken away, also had to chase him to return it! The daytime activity schedule was bizarre, all guest participation events i.e trivia, games etc seem to all be held before midday, then, in the afternoon nothing was happening! weird! Also strangley the CD held 'music trivia parties' at 3.45pm?! very strange, these are usually held in the evening and gets everyone singing and joining in, nobody seemed that interested in the middle of the afternoon! The food in the main dining room was very hit and miss. some nights it was terrible and the menu was rubbish. The lido buffet was always better for dinner and seemed to have more options. As always seems to be the case on carnival ships the lunch options seems endless, might be an idea to open the iguana cantina or guys burgers in the evening a couple of nights to offer another option. Overall we had great fun on the ship mainly because of the people we were with and the rest of the lively fun australian crowd. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Main-court dining was first class - 3 levels of seating with two serving times which coordinate well with showtimes. Pot-luck with who you sit with as not many tables just for a couple. Even so, you may get a table with nice people so ... Read More
Main-court dining was first class - 3 levels of seating with two serving times which coordinate well with showtimes. Pot-luck with who you sit with as not many tables just for a couple. Even so, you may get a table with nice people so great for social mixers. Fresh menu each day and also standard regulars. Meal sittings are for two hours so there is no rush. Food on level 11 promenade is buffet style self-service. Average 'fodder' standard and seating is a major issue at lunchtime, particularly when the main dining rooms are closed on port days. Central mall on level 5 done very cleverly and affords shopping, a pub, a pizza / burger 60's style cafe. 4th floor has schooner bar - comfortable and plenty of seating, does crowd out with ad-hoc quizzes, though only for a short while. Next to this there is a large casino and also star lounge which is comfortable and relaxed, affording activities such as quizzes, bingo and quiet entertainment in the evenings. The main theatre is on levels 3-5 and there is plenty of seating for the many of guests and even late-comers should be able to squeeze in. Entertainment was good without being spectacular. Also an ice-rink on level 3 - Very talented group with their own styles and great variety of the shows themselves. Downside is limited room so you will have to get there early. Outside there is plenty of space for lounging though the loungers are tightly packed to cater for so many people. The quiet area is very good but is full from early morning and people save seating areas. Plenty of fun upstairs for young and old alike - Putting, basketball, surfing, flumes etc. Headache concern is the amopunt of people. Expecially tender-boat service. Despite best endeavours it is a long process back and forth. Luckilly we had great weather but waiting an hour if inclement on an unsheltered island would have been an issue. Other headache is the constant selling mantra and meanness with water etc. Any way to get money out of you they will try. I go on holiday to get away from the hard sell so this was very annoying. All in all though, very good indeed and up there with the best of our cruise experiences. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
As a 59-60-year old couple we were not the target market for this cruise which is families with children. For many this is their annual holiday. Even so we still enjoyed ourselves. The ship itself is looking a bit dated now having launched ... Read More
As a 59-60-year old couple we were not the target market for this cruise which is families with children. For many this is their annual holiday. Even so we still enjoyed ourselves. The ship itself is looking a bit dated now having launched in 2001. There have been refurbishments however the theme and cabin interiors are looking tired. We opted for ‘Your Time Dining’. On the first and second nights we were given a buzzer and told to wait outside until a table was available like in a cafeteria or a pub. The wait time on the second night was 30 minutes which we felt was too long and so we were offered a move to Late Dining at 7:45pm which solved the problem. We felt being suite guests we should have been treated better in the first place. Crew and waiters were very good, especially in the main dining room. There were a lot of unsupervised children and teenagers running around which is inconsiderate and unsafe for elderly people. It can be quite noisy in places especially on deck 9. It’s probably not the best cruise option for couples looking for a quiet time. The ports of call were all good, however like most cruise lines the shore excursions are overpriced. We opted for less expensive tours directly with the locals on arrival. There are buses, minivans and taxis available in most locations. $AUD are accepted virtually everywhere. Embarking and disembarking was managed quite well, even at the water shuttle stops. There were two wine packages available, we chose the value pack at $185 for five wines which we thought was quite good value. We thought the drinks package at $119 per person per day was expensive and is obviously intended as a deterrent. Drink prices are reasonable overall and in $AUD which is good for the Australian market. There were three internet packages available – social, value and premium. We chose the value package which provided access to most websites, email and social media and was good value at $216 for the whole 12-day cruise. Performance was adequate. The Carnival Hub app is useful for keeping a watch on your account, ship time, what’s happening onboard and chat if you want it (extra cost). Christmas Day lunch was well managed and good fun if not a little rushed. The shows, activities and entertainment are of a good standard and are quite well suited to children and adults. There are a wide range of food options, generally of good quality. There are also many poor nutritional options such as pies, chips, pizza and burgers which were more popular than they should have been. The evening dining room service and food we thought was very good. Apart from priority boarding, suite guests receive little extra. We did have a $500 cabin credit from the initial booking. We had a good time on the cruise however would probably look at Viking or similar next time which is adults only and has more inclusions in the base cost. For the ladies – take hair conditioner if you don’t want to rely on the conditioning shampoo in the dispensers. No personal items such as body lotion or vanity kits are provided. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019

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