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Jacqueline H

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  • 570 Helpful votes
  • 1 Cruise review
  • 3 Cruises

Ovation of the Seas

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  • Overall

    5
  • Food

    5
  • Entertainment

    5
  • Cabin

    5
  • Crew

    5
  • Price

    5
  • Value

    5
Feb 2017

"Amazing ship, staff, entertainment and food."

We loved every moment of our cruise on the Ovation of the Seas. Embarkation took 10 minutes from kerb to ship (just as they state on their website!). We were a bit concerned going on this ship from some of the negative reviews we had read but we need not be. The ship is just wonderful. It is BIG but is so well laid out we never had trouble finding our way around. The cabin was a great size with plenty of storage. We loved having a balcony and even better a kettle in the cabin so we could make a cuppa first thing in the morning and enjoy it out on our balcony. The bathroom was compact but well set out and very functional. The decor throughout the ship was just lovely. We loved every meal we had. Generally we had breakfast in the Solarium Bistro, lunch in the Windjammer Buffet and dinner in the American Icon. The food was fantastic and plentiful, you will ever go hungry. There is an icecream station on the pool deck plus a hot dog van in the Seaplex as well as Sorrento's pizza (we only went here once and weren't great fans of the pizza but freshly made they would probably be yummy), Cafe Two70 and the Promenade Cafe (which is open 24/7). We didn't eat at the Extra restaurants as we were very happy with the places we ate at. The facilities and entertainment were just fabulous, the show The Dream was incredible. We went on the Bumper Cars, North Star and iFly (we prebooked the North Star and iFly before our cruise but you could also book once on board). I was amazed how well run everything was with 4,000 passengers. We didn't go on the Flowrider but watched it many times - it did look fun! The tendering service was well organised as was when we docked. If people listen to the staff and follow directions things run smoothly it is only when you get ignorant, rude and selfish people that slow things down. The pool areas are great, we especially loved the Solarium. This is the 16+ pool area. I think if you go with the attitude of looking for things to complain about you're never going to enjoy yourself. It is an incredible ship which we found very hard to find any faults with. The staff in all areas where so friendly, efficient and happy to help whenever they could. We loved our cruise and hope we are lucky enough to go on the Ovation of the Seas again. It is a spectacular ship!

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  • Cruise Name: Ovation of the Seas
  • Destination: New Zealand
  • Sailed: January 2017
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Geoffrey

Contributor

  • 446 Helpful votes
  • 1 Cruise review
  • 2 Cruises

Noordam

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  • Overall

    4
  • Food

    5
  • Entertainment

    4
  • Cabin

    5
  • Crew

    4
  • Price

    3
  • Value

    3
Nov 2015

"14day Noordam"

We took the 14 day re positioning cruise from Honolulu to Sydney on the Noordam. This was only our second time on a cruise ship and the thought of such a long time on the water was a bit daunting. This concern soon disappeared. As with our first cruise, we chose a balcony cabin which we really made use of. Leaving Honolulu, the first 5 days straight were at sea, and many hours were spent on the balcony just watching the ocean pass by. The weather was near perfect and often we had glass out seas. The Noordam exceeded our expectations in almost every way:, food, service, facilities, activities etc. The common areas on Decks 2 and 3 were great for a quiet read, coffee or a drink at one of the bars. The 5 o'clock happy hours with two-for-one drinks were also a good time to get together with the new cruise buddies. Our only disappointment was the band playing live music, which did not live up to their billing of "BB King All Stars". However, for the age group of most passengers on the ship, I'm pretty sure there was plenty of good entertainment throughout the cruise. Especially good was the comedian and ventriloquist, who would have had many people coming back for multiple shows.

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  • Cruise Name: Noordam
  • Destination: South Pacific
  • Sailed: October 2015
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Gary W

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  • 422 Helpful votes
  • 1 Cruise review
  • 5 Cruises

P&O - Pacific Dawn

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  • Overall

    5
  • Food

    5
  • Entertainment

    5
  • Cabin

    4
  • Crew

    5
  • Price

    5
  • Value

    5
Jan 2017

"First P&O cruise"

This was my first cruise on Pacific Dawn & I had no idea of what to expect. The first day was overwhelming with the amount of people moving around but is settled down on the second day after we had explored the ship. The staff are wonderful and always willing to help. Its an easy holiday if your life is hectic, Get aboard, relax, get fed, room cleaned, entertainment always happening. We found unlike most holidays were your looking for a place to eat lunch/dinner & sightseeing or things to keep you occupied a cruise is easy all you could want in one place, no driving! We will be going on another cruise this year. The Food is fantastic and plenty on offer. We enjoyed the night time Entertainment & late night movie in the show room. Bingo is a laugh. You can be around people & socialise if you feel or stay in your room relax & enjoy a movie. The staff are wonderful always happy to help. Room Staff did not stop working, your room was cleaned the moment you left, Shoes neatly in a row, clothes picked up off the floor. Easy no brainer holiday. No cash on board just swipe your cruise card pay on the day of departure.

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  • Cruise Name: P&O - Pacific Dawn
  • Destination: South Pacific
  • Sailed: December 2016
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Jason B

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  • 416 Helpful votes
  • 1 Cruise review
  • 1 Cruises

Carnival Spirit

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  • Overall

    4
  • Food

    4
  • Entertainment

    4
  • Cabin

    3
  • Crew

    4
  • Price

    3
  • Value

    4
Jun 2014

"Carnival Spirit, 10 nights South Pacific"

We just returned from the Pacific Islands 10 night cruise (May 2014) on Carnival Spirit, who our two children 8 & 10. First cruise for all of us and we really enjoyed it. Good food, great staff (from waiters, bar staff and Cabin Stewards) and things were very well organised when it came to boarding and disembarking the ship, whether it was the 4 ports of call or when boarding in Sydney and returning. Carnival have staggered check in times where you pick your preferred time to board, (not sure if other ships do it, but I’m told Carnival are the only ones) and it works a treat. We turned up about 45mins before our check in time with our bags already tagged & our luggage was taken off our hands for us outside the Passenger Terminal. That frees you up to walk around for a while without all the main luggage while waiting for your check in time. When that time came it was all very efficient and we were on the ship in under 30 mins. Same with disembarking at the ports of call. There’s a tendering system where you go and collect a numbered ticket when you’re ready to go and they’ll call your number when the tender boat is ready. We never waited more than 20mins. They run about 4 tender boats constantly ferrying people to the islands, you turn up when called and the boat is waiting for you. Food ranged from good to excellent (never had a bad meal) Buffet has a wide variety ( too much to list here, but it’s good quality), you can have anything from the usual hot food right through to a salad bar, fresh Pizzas made to order (24/7) and sandwich bar where they’ll make fresh wraps to order or a simple toasted sandwich. Also 24/7 ice-cream by the pools. Empire Dining room for Main evening meal also good to excellent. Some meals were better than others, but never a bad one. Waiter staff are very attentive and professional. If turning up for a pre-selected dining time (either 5.30 or 7.45pm) you’re looked after straight away. The first night our kids ordered some drinks and the next night when we tuned up, the drinks were already there waiting for them. Little things like that which impressed us. When you do order, it’s never more than 10-15 mins for each meal to come out. Some great entertainment as well during the meal, usually just after everyone’s mains. Some of the waiter staff sang on a number of nights and they were brilliant, with all the waiter staff dancing as well. I’ve read some reviews where people described it as ‘annoying’- some people are obviously hard to please no matter what! What it did offer was a great atmosphere and was never overdone, it made the evening even more enjoyable Breakfast you can also have in the Empire Room (where you’re waited on) or head up to Deck 9 to the Buffet which we did most mornings. Having breakfast at the buffet means being able to enjoy the wide ocean views while having a big breakfast! Once again a large variety as well as fresh omelettes made to order Great deck side BBQ as well (Fat Jimmy’s) at lunch time, with really nice food. We also had dinner one night in the 5 star Nouveau Restaurant up on Deck 10. That’s an additional charge at $40/head, but great value for 4 courses and the food is EXCELLENT. It’s worth doing at least 1 night there. Beer (close to schooner size) average $8 a beer, cocktails around $10, kids Mocktails $6 and softdrinks $2.25 each (large). Best value though is to buy the kids soft drink package at $5.50 day and its unlimited refills. We didn’t let our kids drink soft drink non-stop, but if they had one throughout the day and 1 at dinner, plus the odd extra here and there, the $5.50 day is well worth it. If we fancied a soft drink as well, we’d simply have one of the kids go up and get it for us. You can buy the adult’s soft drink package at $7.50 day, but why bother when you can have one of the kids go on an undercover mission and get you a soft drink as part of their deal! Cabins were serviced twice daily if you leave your little service request thingy on the door, so we always came back to a tidy cabin. Nice hot showers with good water pressure in the cabins as well! Pay the extra and get a balcony, it’s nice to have the fresh air and the ability to sit outside and take in the views in privacy every now and then. Try to avoid booking shore excursions on board the ship and do your own thing, as they’re notoriously expensive. The Mele Cascades for eg is about 20 mins out of Port Villa & is a fantastic must see, however if you book on board you’ll be charged $86 AUD /adult and $56/child to book the ships tour. We caught a taxi when we arrived in Port Villa (they’re all there waiting for you looking for your business) and paid a total $80 Aud for the 4 of us. For that our friendly Taxi driver ‘Max’ drove us through town pointing out some sights and took us all the way to the falls. We did have to pay our entry to the falls when we arrived ($25 AUD/adult, $15/child), but still saved us $120 in total compared to booking an ‘organised tour’ on the ship. He then waited 2.5 hours for us while we walked up and swam, then took us to a local village ( not the one they sell on the ship) where we had our own personal tour and tribal dance. He then took us back into town and dropped us off while we had a look around the local markets. We made our own way back to the ship for $15 for the 4 of us on one of the local mini buses that keep passing through town offering you trips back to the ship. Mystery Island & Lifou mainly consisted of swimming and snorkelling- but both very nice spots. Beautiful clear water. Once again you can pay for some local tours once on the islands, but we didn’t bother. Lifou you can walk up to the old Church as well as a great look out, and then head back to the main beach and swim (for free). There is a coral snorkelling are on the back side of the island which is a protected reserve, which you need to book tickets for on the ship ($18.50/adult), spoke to some people who did it and said it was beautiful. The only tour we booked on board was the yellow ‘Choo Choo’ train tour of Noumea- manly because the kids wanted to do it. This was the only one of the 4 port days where we booked a tour. It was expensive at $199 for the 4 of us, but was actually quite good. It was 2hrs in duration, picked you up and returned you to the ship ( we chose to get off in town on the way back) showed us all of the main sights of Noumea with a couple of ‘look out’ stops and also included fresh pastries and cold drinks at one of the stops. The guide was also informative. BUT—here’s a tip. Get on the free shuttle bus that Carnival operates to take you from the main port (it’s a container terminal) into the Visitors Centre in town ( about a 5min drive) and you can book a ‘green train’ tour from there, that does exactly the same thing for just over half the price! We only discovered that after booking the one on board the ship. The green train tour is a little shorter at 1.5 hours and doesn’t include the snacks as far as I could tell, but is the extra 30mins and snacks worth the extra $$?? We would have done that if we’d known. Otherwise catch the town’s shuttle bus where you can jump on and off for about 10-15 bucks a person I think. On our last day at sea we did the ‘Behind the Fun tour’, which is 3 hours long and takes you through a lot of the restricted areas of the ship (including the theatre, Galley – where you get to enjoy freshly baked pastries, Engine Control room, staff quarters, food stores) and finally the Bridge, where we got to meet the Captain, had our photographs taken with him and had the opportunity to ask questions. At $95/person it is expensive- but worth every cent. If you plan on doing it, book it on the first day, as they’re limited (only 2 tours on the last 2 sea days) and they sell out quick. Would we do another Carnival cruise?- absolutely If you’re high maintenance and need constant entertainment than maybe a cruise isn’t your thing, but if you’re happy to chill out and take it easy for a while, taking in in the cruise experience and slowing down your pace a little while out at sea on the non-port days, then you’ll enjoy yourself. Having said that though, there’s still plenty of activities arranged every day and you can do as little or as much as you want. Eli the Cruise director was very informative & good humoured. Communication on board was always excellent, keeping guests informed on the where, what & how of things to ensure everything ran smoothly. Some fun pool side competitions as well, on our last sea day we had a live ice sculpture demonstration by the pool Complaints? None really. The only minor ones would be the pre-cooked toast at the buffet was like rock! There’s toasters scattered around so you can cook your own toast, but not enough of them. All the fantastic sweets on offer seemed to disappear from the buffet around 2.30-300pm, and then re-appear around dinner time. So if you fancy afternoon tea by the pool later in the day, grab some before the buffet closes. The Empire Room though did have ‘Tea Time’ which was 3-4pm, we didn’t get to that but assume that was a cake/coffee/afternoon tea type of thing. We had a great time and for the money was very good value. We look forward to the next one!

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  • Cruise Name: Carnival Spirit
  • Destination: South Pacific
  • Sailed: May 2014
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Marie-Annick

Contributor

  • 401 Helpful votes
  • 1 Cruise review
  • 4 Cruises

Sea Princess

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  • Overall

    4
  • Food

    5
  • Entertainment

    1
  • Cabin

    5
  • Crew

    4
  • Price

    5
  • Value

    5
Jan 2017

"Bingo!"

Beautiful ship, lots of wood work, it made us think what the Titanic must have been like. The food was glorious, some of the best dishes I have ever tasted, we had dinner in the dining room every night because of this and didn't bother with the special restaurant and couldn't possible imagine they would be better. The massage in the spa was such good value for the price. the staff were attentive and so knowledgeable. We loved the beer garden half way through the cruise, I am now drinking Zibbibo Rose back home! And for Bingo novices we won the Jackpot! who can believe it! We attended both Wine tasting and I was amazed at how knowledgeable the crew were about their wine choices. they were also very funny and certainly kept us laughing all the while teaching us how and what to drink. Met some great people, loved our room, even had my hair done and was fascinated to hear all about the life of the crew behind the scenes. Boarding was so easy and the casino was always a lot of fun. We cannot think of a better way to spend our holidays, everything at our finger tips but full on relaxation at the same time.

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  • Cruise Name: Sea Princess
  • Destination: Australia
  • Sailed: January 2016
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