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2 Sydney (Australia) to U.S.A. Cruise Reviews

We sailed Aqua class, room 1579, on our first cruise, we had wanted to see the Bay of Islands and Bora Bora, so this was a perfect way to do it. We figured if we did not like cruising, we were heading to Hawaii, so what did we have to ... Read More
We sailed Aqua class, room 1579, on our first cruise, we had wanted to see the Bay of Islands and Bora Bora, so this was a perfect way to do it. We figured if we did not like cruising, we were heading to Hawaii, so what did we have to lose! The ship was just beautiful, not one of the wood panelled fossils or a 'you will have fun' type of places, just a sophisticated atmosphere. There are several bars with comfy chairs to relax in, and lots of reading nooks as well. The pool area has two pools and an area for entertainment/fountain, and of course a pool bar. There is also an indoor pool which is cool on very hot days, and warm on the days heading to NZ when it was a bit cool for outside swimming. One thing that really impressed us about the ship is the level of cleanliness, its spotless, and kept that way constantly. The Aqua class rooms have plenty of space, and storage, no need to bring shoe hangers etc. for your bits and pieces. The shower is smallish, of course, but has lots of jets, so is quite comfortable. Bed is a queens size, two chairs and a table on the balcony, water and cold tea is supplied daily, and we were very comfortable. Fresh fruit is supplied daily, and we had champers on arrival. I have read comments that there was nothing to do on the ship, well all I can say is you were not looking The activities were varied, from the usual games to presentation/talks, to learning the Hula or euk, or how to take better photos. Of course, every activity is not for everyone, you just go to what you are interested in. We loved Chef Richard's cooking classes, he is a really funny guy. The pool was a focus for entertainment in the afternoons, and the lounges in the evenings. Staff were terrific, friendly and quick to help. We loved the Blu restaurant, which is for Aqua class only, it is smaller and more intimate than the big dining room. Food was excellent, with an ever changing menu and portion sizes were not large. This meant we did not feel too full even when we had 3 courses. Breakfast in Blu is lovely each morning, and I often had muslie made at the table, but the eggs were delicious too. But what makes Blue even better is the wonderful staff, who are clearly top of their profession, and who work together to make sure each and every guest is attended to according to their needs. Whatever guests want is supplied, and they pay particular attention to guests on their own to ensure they have a great experience. We bought a drinks package, which was well worth doing on a cruise where there are so many days at sea. If I was taking a cruise where we were off the ship on shore every day, I would not bother with a package. But I did enjoy the martini bar a bit too much! We did not eat in the specialty restaurants, as we did not see the need, and their menus seemed a bit too heavy for us, but others did and all seemed to have a great time. We did eat in the buffet for lunch, and there was plenty of variety. We had a great Indian curry one day, as good as we make at home. Most days we had salad, cold cuts or fresh made rolls and sat on the stern of the ship at the bar for a couple of hours admiring the view and chanting to people we had met. The day after we left Auckland the buffet had fresh prawns, mussels and oysters, which explains why we could not get any in NZ! Apparently we bought the market out of them. One group of friends had the right idea, they just sat together eating fresh seafood and drinking champagne for the afternoon. Evening entertainment was varied, we went to a couple of shows we were interested in and really enjoyed them. Of course not every show was for us, so we just skipped them and sat for the evening in one of the lounges where there was entertainment. The ship had a jazz group, a solo singer who sang more contemporary songs, a band that played dancing music, and a duo who sang a wide range of music. Something for everyone I think, and we enjoyed them all at different times. Getting on and off the ship was easy, we had no problems, unfortunately the US customs process is slow, and that meant many people did not see much of Maui, as this is where the immigration etc is done ON THE SHIP. You cannot disembark without going through the process. We only did one shore excursion with the cruise line, at Bora Bora we went to the Lagoonarium. This was fun, thanks to the staff on the ship, who took us to another spot to snorkel as well. The Lagoonarium is tired, lacks fish (its mostly sting rays and sharks) and the grounds have not been kept well and are starting to get unsafe. It quite rocky to get in and out of the water and the rocks had a lot of moss on them, which meant a couple of people fell. There are better snorkelling trips that are on offer. In Morea we booked a day pass at the Hilton, which has its own area for snorkelling, and a lovely pool etc. it included lunch, and we had a great day. I do not think this is a cruise to take kids on, there is not enough for them to do, look for a line that is more family orientated. In summary, we loved the cruise, and felt we had value for money. Celebrity have a motto of modern luxury, which exactly describes the trip. In hindsight I would probably do the cruise in reverse, and fly to Hawaii then cruise home. Just saves on luggage weight hassles. Our luggage was damaged in both Sydney and Honolulu so I have had to buy a new suitcase, which is why you have travel insurance I suppose. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
My wife and I joined the Queen Victoria on the 11th March 2015 for the return passage to New York, arriving on the 25th April 2015. It was my present to her for her 70th birthday as a once in a lifetime experience. Whilst I must commend ... Read More
My wife and I joined the Queen Victoria on the 11th March 2015 for the return passage to New York, arriving on the 25th April 2015. It was my present to her for her 70th birthday as a once in a lifetime experience. Whilst I must commend the ship for its presentation, the quality of the food and the service provided to the "guests" as Cunard wish to call us, there were faults in the following. My wife and I took this cruise because it was for the senior person of our age and the dress code required formal and informal nights. As usual there were "guests" that did not enter into the spirit of the dress code and were allowed, by the staff of Cunard, to enter the dining room and the Lido in the wrong clothing. When I asked the matre de in the restaurant why this was being permitted, I was informed that the dress code had been relaxed on the return journey as it was relaxed on the outward journey. No body from Cunard informed us. The cost of the excursions were greatly overpriced and it was cheaper to arrange transport at the port. The cost of seeing the ships doctor was far to expensive at $92.75 for the preliminery consultation. I experienced wax in my left ear and was informed by the doctor that I had an inner ear infection, at the same time was informed that I should insert cotton soacked in olive oil into my ear three times per day and that would remove the wax.!!!!!!! My ear was cleaned by the nurse which solved the problem, but no medicine was given to me for the inner ear infection. My wife contracted the "Carnival Cough", as I and our friends also contracted in varying degrees, which lasted for the last three weeks of the cruise and totally spoiled that and the places we wished to see. On comming home my wife was admitted, via my 999 call, to the local hospital and was diagnosed with double pneumonia and on a points scale of 1-10 she was a 9. The next stage was intensive care. My wife spent one week in hospital and it will be another 5/6 weeks before she will hopefully recover. There were many, many "guests" on that cruise that suffered from the "Carnival Cough" and we know of friends that we made that when they returned home they to had to have anti-biotics from their doctors. This is a very serious matter that Cunard must prevent and not treat the "guests" as cash cows, $92.75 to see the doctor is far too expensive. We heard of a "guest" having to spend his holiday money for the doctors bill. The ship must be cleaned before it returns to cruising as those future passengers may well contract the "Carnival Cough". Read Less
Sail Date March 2015

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