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Sail Date: December 2018
Loved everything. Service was great especially our room steward and main dining room. Some bar staff not as friendly but speed of service was okay. Not a big fan of windjammer but loved the dining room and pizza qt cafe promonade. ... Read More
Loved everything. Service was great especially our room steward and main dining room. Some bar staff not as friendly but speed of service was okay. Not a big fan of windjammer but loved the dining room and pizza qt cafe promonade. Plenty of dining options to find something to taste. Entertainment directors could have been more entertaining. Missed a sailaway party and more bands live music on the pool deck. Shows were of a high standard. Overall staff were amazing and it was a holiday of a lifetime. The embarking disembarking was speedy. Some wait for tender boats but not too bad. Islands were all wonderful and snorking was the best we have experienced. Mystery island was the family favourite. Touch touch train on noumea is highly recommended. Isle of pines 2 hour sighseeing train (booked on island) was also recommended. Dont miss the cave it was a highlight. Will be cruising with royal caribbean again! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
On the 28th December 2018 we embarked on a New Years cruise with P&O (the prices for this particular cruise were double if not triple normal prices due to the time of year). The dramas started when we paid for priority checkin however ... Read More
On the 28th December 2018 we embarked on a New Years cruise with P&O (the prices for this particular cruise were double if not triple normal prices due to the time of year). The dramas started when we paid for priority checkin however our tickets did not list this, it wasnt such a big issue, however at the time we didnt know this was just the start of the many issues we would experience. First day on the cruise one of our suitcases never arrived to our room, after calling reception we were told to wait and they will contact us back once they have tracked it down. 1.5 hours later sitting in our room waiting for a call back we called receiption to find our bag was there and we could come down and collect it. CABINS The first 3 days at sea were rough (with approx 6 foot waves) which is not uncommon however the front of the boat was particulary bad and majority of the time we could not be in our rooms due to the severity of the movement. Now to give you some background prior to this cruise we were on another cruise with RC which was in the middle of a cyclone with 8 foot waves and had little to no issues with our room which was also located at the front of the boat so it seems this particular boat with P&O may of not be of the same standard mechanically. Our room was on level 11 (pool 12 and pantry 14) which was a great location however levels 5,6,7 are also great as they are close to bars , reception and shops. Cabins were clean and liveable however they do not reflect the standard you would expect when paying a minimum $6k a couple (interior room) on new years. They are the original cabins and corner rooms are particulary smaller. If you are particular with pillows make sure you take your own as they are not the best. The rooms do have a safe and fridge and a great little sensor light for night time toilet trips. They also only have 1 australia power point , 1 european power point and 1 US power point. The rooms do have a hair dryer however they are very basic. Overall we were fine with our rooms however during our trip the toilet blocked up , lost all power and lights in our room at 12am in the morning and also had issues with the door locks not recognising our cards. A special mentionto the room attendents who do an amazing job , are very fast and are friendly. FOOD Not to bad, same as most cruise boats. We liked lukes , dragon lady and the cafe for cakes and tea. We love how P&O have set up the pantry as it stops alot of food being touched by other guests and limits food waste. Special mention to 400 grandi , great food , amazing staff and a nice quiet place on the ship. STAFF We were extremly lucky to experience great staff at the ocean bar , the cafe and 400 grandi. They are extremly helpful and accomodation. ENTERTAINMENT For a New Years cruise entertainment was limited however for a standard cruise it was not bad. Love riot was a great show (approx $15 per person) it was well worth it. Please note P&O seem to limit any adult only shows for 9pm and 10pm at night which wasnt always the best if you have a port day the next day. Please note lawn bowls and slides are not open permently only certain hours. PORT DAYS / TENDERS For locations with a port it was very simple and quick to get off and well organised. For ports which required tenders it became a bit of a mess and for one of our ports we waited 1.5 hours and then gave up getting off. Some people waited over 2 hours to get off and no explanation was given. After speaking to people who were lucky to get off we found guests on the beach kept snorkeling in the tender lanes which would then hold up the boats. P&O didnt seem to get these people out of the water or issues warnings to causing delays for other guests and some guests didnt even get off. SHORE TOURS We were lucky enough to do a great snorkelling tour in Santo which was well worth the money. However the couple we were travelling with did a village tour on another island and it was nothing like the tour summary and they did not learn anything from it. GUESTS Possibly some of the worst behaviour I have seen. Many of the guest were extremly rude , self centred , would push past or push in lines and we even experienced guests permently calling our room at 1am even though they were told they were calling the wrong room. Kids where still running around after 9pm and would often fill up the lifts or press all buttons inthe lifts. Our last morning there were kids outside our cabin door screaming at 5am with parents who did not care (our room was out of the way). The experience which really sent us over the edge was this one lady which we had to ask 4 times to move so we could sit down on the first day and book restaurants. We then had to ask her another 6 times to move so we could get up from our seat. I also experienced a lady at the gym who proceeded to push pass me and tell me she was waiting for a tredmill and she was next in line..... mind you i had been on the equipment for a good 5 mins before she appeared from somewhere having a cry. Please note the gym gets packed out and runs out of room and equipment duringthe mornings. Overall terrible behaviour and this doesnt even go into the fights , yelling and crappy comments we heard being shouted between guests and at the poor staff. LEAVING THE BOAT You are told to put your bags outside your room between 4pm and 8pm the night prior. Please note no where do they say you can self assist and take your own bags off but you can do this and it will get you off the boat faster. We got off the boat at 740am (we were told 720am for group 1 and 2). When we finally got off to collect our bags, our bags where not out yet and we had to wait atleast 30-40mins for our bags to come through. If you are being picked up or have a flight please keep this in mind. LIFOU If you are travelling to Lifou please note you need a ticket for jinek bay. If you do not get a ticket you will not be able to snorkel. Even though this is plastered everywhere we watched many people ignore this and walk in 30 degrees heat to the bay to then be disappointed. Quick tip, everyday you get a newsletter , make sure to read the back page for sales and spa deals. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my second NYE cruise upon the Jewel, my first being 5 years prior, and boy, was this one a let down. Cheap and nasty holiday and a far cry from how they used to be. Food was bland, dry, over-cooked and recycled. If you wanted ... Read More
This was my second NYE cruise upon the Jewel, my first being 5 years prior, and boy, was this one a let down. Cheap and nasty holiday and a far cry from how they used to be. Food was bland, dry, over-cooked and recycled. If you wanted quality, you were forced to pay for one of their restaurants. Entertainment was boring and often had me looking for something to do for 3-4 hours at a time. There was an excessive amount of trivia which is cheap to run. DJ Josh had terrible song choices and it only improved when Miguel took over. The Big Screen on Deck 14 gained more black dots across its screen across the duration of the cruise. By the end, we couldn’t see a thing and it wasn’t worthwhile watching movies! The Dome was dead and everyone got kicked out by 1am, not 3am as it used to be. The music wasn’t anything you could dance to. People were unnecessarily being RSA’d for “drinking too much” when they hadn’t. There wasn’t any communication about gastro outbreaks even though I heard through crew that people had be confined to their cabins. Some friends in other cabins found mould in their showers and bed bugs in their mattresses. This was disgusting! Some of the crew in the Waterfront were rude and arrogant. Honestly, I think they’ve given up as this ship as been sold. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarking from Port Melbourne ,fantastic ,as was Disembarking..So fast.Cabis old but cannot compalin as it was comfortable and only spend part of time there.Always cleaned and room cleaning people such as Prince and Mary very good on Deck ... Read More
Embarking from Port Melbourne ,fantastic ,as was Disembarking..So fast.Cabis old but cannot compalin as it was comfortable and only spend part of time there.Always cleaned and room cleaning people such as Prince and Mary very good on Deck 10 evens. Food is disgusting ,All Asian and Indian ,everything has flavouring ,even baked beans,,,,,,,,,Chicken ,ham and beef etc always dry,,given a few more days ,you could light it up with match as it is very dry. Had to go to bar outside of PANTRY to get orange juice even though there was abar in the PANTRY. then we had to queue up outside at bar where Pool is to get an orange drink ,but P and O made sure plenty of alcohol available in PANTRY.,,No Mocktails,,It seems that the P and O mob want us to live on watered down alcohol drinks. No bodt coming around to ask if we wanted drinks when we were in the PANTRY,,COFFEE is so gross,Better coffee available at Service Stations better than this RUBBISH, Same old problem with TABLES,Have to have someone sit at table while partner goes to get small meal then the one at table has to go and get something over and over again,,,,WHY aren't there Trays so we can put 2 meals on it and save not being able to have meal with each other,,,,,,,,,,,,Staff always overworked but very good at jobs. laundry,you have to have Australian dollars to use Washing machine and Dryer,$3 for washing machine ,$3 for dryer, which you get dollar coins from Level 5..Detergent machines not working,Have to go to level five for a $1 packet. Feel sorry for staff there as they are doing great job with we passengers and extra work load,Artists in longes played same music every day of cruise,Cant they learn different songs ? Mathew and other guy doing trivia etc very good,bingo expensive and no one to show how to play it.No body at hand cleaning stations to make sure people disinfected Hands at events,,,,,,,,,,,,Just lucky no Virus going through ship.Staff at Waterfront very good ,but menu repeated over and over again.Staff wonderful there.TOURS,some not worth it especially the one at akaaroa where you go to hilltop pub, Pies etc cold when the Tour bus arrives and pastry items have to be warmed up,,WHy no Baimarie there at Pub,they know buses coming,Wated time there.Wellington Tour also disappointment,,Went to Look out and spent short time there and then went to Botanical garden Rose Garden,,,,,Jus a eating place and coffee place then just few minutes to see the small garden,NOT WORTH PAYING FOR.,The train trip through gorge pretty good.as is walking tour in Hobart, on our Hobart ticket ,it said to go through Terminal and go outside to meeting point,No one there.Tour guides decided to have people meet in the TErminal and no signage to let people know where new meeting area was,Considering tours are not free from P & O ,there should be a better system,Just a Pole and sign naming Tour would suffice.If doing Tours ,find some one who has done them before as you will be disappointed some times.,,,,,,,No seating in the various some times so have to stand up.............P & O seems to be Alcohol oriented and not interested in non drinkers...........Emergency Medical of patient occurred,Announcement over PA went over and over again ,took a long time for Emergency Team to arrive to level 11.The patient had to be airlifted to Helecopter,The Captain crew and Helecopter crowd fantastic doing this job,..........Standard of P & O gone down as some of Photo people arguing with Cruisers and wrong information given by Tour manager at Marquee,and they argue about iD required even though announcement says what is required,,,,,,So few thing required by P & O to make Cruise more enjoyable but it seems that P & O believe that we will cruise with them and accept what they dish up.........We are not Asian so please put more European food in Main dining room, Seriously ,the food is disgusting,,,,,,,More Pasta etc would be great but get away from Asian food ,So much waste when people cannot eat it. ,,,,,,,,pHOTOS bad systm.photos not discounted and supposedly P & O do recycling and proud of it........Seems strange that all Chemicals and paper gone into printing photos then the unwanted photos shredded,Would be better to sell photos very cheap and have photos bought then shredded,I Dining area ,there are high Stools and benches for people,Too high for Kids and people with hip problems..Just a matter of time when somebody falls from these stools. We have been on Princess and P & O before but would not go with them again and would not recommend P & O to anyone now,Pacific Dawn was great many years ago,,, as I have mentioned ,P & )O taking us for granted,,,,,,,,,we went on tour of Galley,We followed the guy down escalator ,kept walking up escalator then through,revolving door,,and back into Waterfront restaurant.no signage or explanation of how galley works or of amount of food consumed of galley tour,Not a word spoken Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my second cruise. Maybe the bar had been set very high as my first was on the Disney Wonder and that was 5 star all the way. Boarding was easy and smooth. First hiccup was being greeted by 3 separate tables selling merchandise as ... Read More
This was my second cruise. Maybe the bar had been set very high as my first was on the Disney Wonder and that was 5 star all the way. Boarding was easy and smooth. First hiccup was being greeted by 3 separate tables selling merchandise as soon as you are on board and a lot jam happening instantly as everyone purchased lanyards for their cards. Once clear we headed for out room. We were on deck 11 in a mini suite. The room was great no complaints, yet, keep reading. I checked out the balcony and noticed everything was covered in salt and bits poop all over the chairs, not the most welcome area. As we boarded early we headed to the pantry for lunch. This is the onboard buffet. It's setup really haphazardly. Instead of one continuous counter, it's broken into many sections, each forming it's own line and making it very difficult to move around. One drink station also ment a 10 minute wait per drink. Food was ok, but had no chance to sample it all unless you wanted to queue for hours. Next we roamed the ship getting our bearings. They layout is pretty good but you can see the age, lots of rusty spots, the odd bucket catching leaks (we were still docked) and the promenade deck also covered in salt. Finally we departed, we chose to watch feom out room as we went under the gateway bridges, the party on the pool deck 12 all cheering. It was about this time we noticed if anyone danced or ran on the deck above our room, We heard everything. If we hadn't of bought ear plugs we never would have slept. Dinner was booked in the restaurant. Again a 20 minute queue at our scheduled time didn't really make sense to us. Food was good but not great, portions a bit lacking, didn't go back for dinner again. Went to the show that night, this was excellent. Dancing and singing was fantastic and extremely entertaining. Next day, breakfast we tried the restaurant again. I had eggs Benedict and struggled to find the sauce. Squbbling maybe but hey, we paid good money for this. We shared a table with another couple, grest people, highlight of the morning. Next was kids club. It opened at 10.30, such a late start. We dropped off our 7 yo only to be told we had to collect her at 12pm as they closed then for 2 hours for lunch. So rule out trying to plan anything for yourselves if you have kids. She didn't go back again. Bingo in the afternoon was very entertaining as was catching a movie on the outdoor screen. Be warned if you have kids and they want to swim. The pool is quite small and young age to climb right down into it, you have to go in with them, you can't see them otherwise. Also I found the fact every day numerous ladies found it necessary to sunbake in gstrings, topless, right next to the pool, which had kids everywhere appropriate kinda sad. Don't get me wrong, they view was great but really not the place. Ship needs a proper adults only area. Also one of two smoking areas is also right next to the pool, be warned if you have athsma issues like my wife. I smoke but always went to the designated area on the promenade. A walk around the upper top deck soon reveals the age of the Dawn. One part of the deck sunk half a foot when I stepped on it, everything has been painted over so many times it doesn't look good. The crew were a mixed bag. Room attendants were great and thorough, no complaints there at all. My daughter loved the towel penguin they made. The restaurant waiters were almost polar opposite to the point of almost rude. Basically move you along as fast as possible as there isn't enough tables for everyone, never checked drinks. Staff in the buffet were friendly, always smiling, but the often limited English caused a few issues. Quite a number of times I would have to repeat myself or id just get a smile back. Bar staff generally good but always flat chat so never time for them to offer that little bit of extra service. To sum it all up, food, terrible. Most tasted bland, if you didn't have a booking you went hungry, no food after 9.30pm unless you laid. 20 minute wait for a paid hotdog, Seriously. Buffet a real fight to get anything including a table or drink. Cabin, excellent but stay on deck 10 or lower if you like some peace and quiet. Staff a mixed bag. Entertainment for me was best part of cruise. All well done and very enjoyable. Will I sail again with P&O? Never, We'll take an extra 12 months and cruise from the USA again with Disney. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Wanted to have a Christmas and New Year at sea, Princess did every thing to make the season of the year very good, Service and friendly crew made the trip very good. Destinations were very good. Excursions bought on board were a little ... Read More
Wanted to have a Christmas and New Year at sea, Princess did every thing to make the season of the year very good, Service and friendly crew made the trip very good. Destinations were very good. Excursions bought on board were a little expensive bur very good except for the Chu Chu train excursion in Noumea audio did not work proberly and you felt they wanted to get the trip over and done with. Policing of dress code and Children on board of children not done efficiently by crew as was the taking over of spas by children, also not showering before entering pools.The Movies under the stars children a problem again parents not controlling them, had to tell children to sit down and be quiet as could not hear movie finally gave up and watch movie in cabin, food at buffet was not hot and crew hard to find for service. Also had trouble trying to get a table, gave up in end and ate in dining room Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this as the port of embarkation and timing met our needs otherwise would go Oceania. THE GOOD: The entertainment was great for our age group. Lots of soul, R & B, and rock 60’s and 70’s. Shows, though, are ... Read More
We chose this as the port of embarkation and timing met our needs otherwise would go Oceania. THE GOOD: The entertainment was great for our age group. Lots of soul, R & B, and rock 60’s and 70’s. Shows, though, are not Broadway – like, elaborate productions as found on many other cruise lines, but were still quite good and entertaining. Ozzie’s really know how to party and the crew dancers work extra hard joining in. On this cruise the house band horns joined in on deck with the regular dance band and were present at other parties. Never saw this before on other cruises. Great fun. Exercise room adequate: machines, dumbbells, two weight benches. Dining service and stateroom service were fine. Fruit and vegetables were fresh and readily available, as was coffee, tea and ice water. Vegetarian offerings were good. Though I do eat meat, I stuck with mostly the vegetarian dishes as they were quite good. Enforced washing of hands with soap and water breakfast and lunch. Six taps available so never a line. Free tokens(for some) self-serve laundromat and ironing. Other wise about $9 a wash and dry. Boarding was quick and painless. Bags arrived promptly. The bed and pillows were the best that we had ever slept with in 40 years of cruising. Air conditioning in cabin and throughout the ship worked well and was comfortable. Much needed in the heat and humidity of Fiji. Tendering was efficient. Long lines coming back except later in the day. Stifling hot, no air in the tender the first time. Getting on and off the boat was efficient. THE BAD: Meals were edible. Lamb chops and stews were good. Otherwise nothing gourmet, many were not prepared correctly: Cesar Salad was not REAL Cesar Salad, Cioppino was not REAL Cioppino. Roast beef was edible but no flavour. Fish was O.K. as were some deserts. Bacon, sausages etc were cold, chewy unappetizing. Eggs were O.K. Fruit, cereals were available. Dinner buffet was uninspiring, no international offerings, a total disaster. Only a few decent French wines available, some at a decent price. For some reason the soups and sauces were a gelatinous, glutinous mess, thick and goupy. Of course the way to make them would be by a reduction. The cheese plate consisted of what appeared and tasted as a commercial “Kraft” variety. No Creme Caramel most nights (disastrous omission as that is my favorite!) No outdoor barbecue, no outdoor poolside band / dancing. Huge television in mid ship section where outdoor pool was. Extremely noisy movies etc so much so that we had to find the only quiet place mid aft mid deck. BRING NOISE CANCELING HEAD PHONES!!! Forward there is a quiet space but they charge $20 / half day. Islands were interesting but do not take the ship’s overpriced offerings. Go on the Island and check out what there is. Be adventurous! Drink package at over $80 a day outrageous as are wine and beer prices. Beware of prices on land also. $7 for 250 ml beer! Again outrageous rip off. Just be prepared to pay the price if you drink. No flutes of champagne were handed out on New Year’s Eve as on every other line we have been on! The ship “nickel and dime” you to death. Next they will probably charge you for poolside towels. THE UGLY: First sight of ship…...”I’m going on this rust bucket?”. Rust dripping from port holes, anchor chain, water line, balconies, balcony table. Hey USE SOME PAINT, WHITE PAINT!! Problem: Worn, threadbare carpets in trafficked areas. Simple Solution: Replace them!! Paid extra for a balcony. Cramped sardine can opening. Rusting throughout including tiny table. Crippling chairs, no room to swing a cat (about all that you would want to do there.) Eat al fresco? Lose your appetite quickly. Romantic dinner? No romance here, just brown stains. We were with Princess before so we knew what to expect but this is the only cruise that fit our port and time frame. Also Loyalty Islands were something new for us. For others with greater expectations, STAY FAR AWAY! This is not what luxury priced cruising should be, and it is luxury priced. No bargain here! No pretensions but still a lot of fun, not stuffy but required two “formal nights”. Many did dress in tuxedos but many did not. Australians and New Zealanders are exempt from tipping, everyone else has to tip (added automatically to your credit card). COMPLAIN and get this credited back, otherwise you are stuck with a $250 charge. This is a discriminatory and unfair practice. Either everyone tips or no one tips as a requirement. Maybe a class action suit will wake them up! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We like the Radiance and got a suitable deal. We have been to the islands many times so the ship was the attraction rather than the destinations. The weather was mixed and this was given as the reason for the slow tendering processes, ... Read More
We like the Radiance and got a suitable deal. We have been to the islands many times so the ship was the attraction rather than the destinations. The weather was mixed and this was given as the reason for the slow tendering processes, although it seemed that too few tenders were being operated. The ship is still in good shape and lifts operated well. The decorations for the festive season were fantastic and the cruise director, John, and his team did a great job. He is one of the best that we have seen and he even did an afternoon tribute to Neil Diamond which was very good. The general shows were a mixture of very good to moderate but the movies were very limited and repetitive. The overall presentations for Xmas, New Year were wonderful. Few complaints about the food in any of the restaurants although a little repetitive. However, have to congratulate the wait staff who are all great, cheerful and willing to serve. These Filipino and Indonesian waiters are a great advertisement for cruise lines, including RCCI.We always had pre-dinner drinks in the diamond or concierge lounges and the waiters soon got to know us. These lounges are great draws for RCCI. Disembarkation was fast, ahead of time, and plenty of taxis at port. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We enjoy being away at this time of year. This is our favourite ship as it is not too big. The crew are very friendly and helpful. This ship is showing signs of ageing but this does not take away from the experience. We met some lovely ... Read More
We enjoy being away at this time of year. This is our favourite ship as it is not too big. The crew are very friendly and helpful. This ship is showing signs of ageing but this does not take away from the experience. We met some lovely people and really there was nothing to complain about. We did not have a meal in the mdr we did not like. As neither of us walk very well we were taken on board by wheelchair and it only took 20 minutes to be on the ship and likewise on our return a very efficient service. We had a cabin at the rear of the ship which was a mistake really. The balcony was great as it was sheltered and large enough for a table and two chairs plus two loungers, but it was a long walk to the lifts. We booked a grand suite for the beginning of December 2019 to New Zealand and got a great offer on board with the Next Cruise people Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise for the deal & the opportunity to revisit the South Is & the Fjords which are amazing, the weather was perfect, raining enough for the waterfalls to be running & the weather cleared as the ship entered the ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the deal & the opportunity to revisit the South Is & the Fjords which are amazing, the weather was perfect, raining enough for the waterfalls to be running & the weather cleared as the ship entered the Sounds. Embarkation was a breeze, 1pm & straight onto the ship in 15 mins, disembarkation was a bit slower but easy enough, off the ship by 0830 after a hearty breakfast in the MDR. The transit across the Tasman Sea & return was smooth, the weather was perfect all the way until Day 8 when the wind & sea swell picked up as the ship headed up the west coast. Food & Bev; i enjoyed breakfast in MDR each morning, lunch was usualy a snack in the Park Cafe which was mainly meat, salads & fruit, occasional visit to the Windjammer which provided plenty of variety but i don't think it was fresh by the time i got there around 145pm (avoiding peak hour), the Park Cafe is a better choice. Dinner was mainly in the MDR, here the dishes were a bit mixed, some nice, other's were sometimes overcooked (e.g. the fish), but overall happy with meals in MDR. The service by staff was great in the MDR very willing to please, if not happy with meal just ask for a replacement which they readily provide. The price of Alcohol drinks is a rip off, $13 USD for a glass of Cab Sav, go figure, make sure you take onboard the max. alcohol you are permitted. The drinks packages don't interest me, i have the occasional coffee or coke, water you can refill at the drinks terminal around the ship, just fill a glass & pour into your container to fulfil health requirements by not putting your bottle directly onto water tap. Entertainment: the music around the ship was very good, 4 piece contemporary band & usual piano, guitar man in the pub, guitar & violin playing the Jazz Standards, the 2 piece Dance group. The theme nights went well, the 70-80s night & the Almost NYE party in the Centrum were good fun. The production shows in Aurora were the Piano Man & the City of Dreams, the former a bit tired the latter was a very enjoyable show. The Singers, Dancers & Show Band were excellent, they played the American Songbook in the Colony Club showing how polished they were with Count Basie style ensemble pieces. The featured artists ranged from poor to excellent for me, with plenty in the middle such as comedians etc. The Michael Jackson Experience was great, the audience could not get enough of TJ Capolla as MJ, he works hard & deserves credit for a entertaining show. Plenty of movies around the ship, top deck, the Cinema & Aurora Theatre. Plenty of dance classes to attend & learn some new moves, salsa, samba etc. The Cruise Director John Blair i liked a lot, I thought he handled the CD position very well, farewelling passengers as they disembarked was a nice touch. Excursions & Ports; the ports are all great, we got off the boat & wandered around the ports at our own pace, the Excursions from the boat are too expensive for me, you can book ahead for train trips at Picton & Dunedin. In Wellington we were lucky to see the Terracota Warriors ( at least about 30) at the Te Papa Museum. The ship is 17 yrs old being refurbished just a few years ago. I enjoyed the ship, its easy walking from the front to the back of ship, staff are always wiping down the handrails & cleaning the ship. The Solarium is an adults only area with a pool & spa, you can get a meal almost all day & night here, nice area to chill out. The gym is very good, all the equipment works & a good area for a stretch. The Centrum is the central place for most entertainment due to cool conditions on top deck. Plenty of sport facilities from basketball, mini golf, climbing wall. The only enrichment was a talk from a Parks Ranger when the ship was at the Sounds, unfortunately for me i could not make out much of what he was saying even in the lecture in Aurora, i'm sure he had plenty of interesting stuff to talk about. A fellow passenger i spoke to was very dissapointed there were no Bridge games, she advertised it on the "whats on" board but got only one person interested for a game. The Vitality Spa provide a much needed massage & a $50 voucher appeared in our room by about day 4, my companion enjoyed the massage & treatment. The Cruise Critic meeting went well, CD John conducted this with soft drinks & snacks provided, a 10 min mix & mingle was fun, 1 min talk then move to next & so on, a good way to find someone who lives in an enjoining suburb as it turned out. The Crown & Anchor meeting in the Colony Club was ok, the usual Captain & Crown & A speak. I thought the captain was invisible with this exception, i dont recall seeing him around the ship at all, ( i did not get to Dancing with the Stripes). The staff were excellent, guest services, cabin steward, dining room staff, very happy with everyone i came into contact with. The Parade of Flags by all the 37 (?) nationalities on the ship was a blast, pictured below. This is my 7th cruise with RC & i have enjoyed them all, would i go again ? yes, I'm a cruise junkie, enjoy meeting people from all walks of life & different places. Value for money RC suits my budget, but I would chose a more modern ship & try to avoid aft cabins if possible. Ovation is only 2 yr old with all the bells & whistles, Explorer & Voyager have the Ice Skating shows. Read Less

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