rckymtnsparrow

rckymtnsparrow
Third Mate

Joined: 10/23/2013
2
Cruises
2
Reviews
5
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About rckymtnsparrow



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rckymtnsparrow's Past Cruises

Insignia

February 2016 - Insignia to World Cruise

Insignia

January 2016 - Insignia to World Cruise

First and Last Time with Oceania

rWe took the 35-day leg of this around the world trip from Cape Town to Singapore. We decided on Oceania because of the itinerary they offered on this leg of the trip.

The problems we had with Oceania just getting us transportation to Cape Town should have been a hint of what was to come. We wanted to book a 3-day pre-cruise tour through Oceania, and did so; but then they couldn't get us on a flight to get us there in time; really?  So we ended up having to cancel that safari and wind land 3-day event. Disappointed greatly with that.

There were many problems with this cruise, mostly on the ship, but also with some ports. So much to say...

1st:  Regarding the ship - it is an older smaller ship, with a lot of problems. While we were on it, they had (in  addition to a norovirus-like epidemic) a horrible leak of pool chemicals (sulfur hydrochloride, I believe) which forced us out of our cabin for a couple of hours and was awful to breath in. We didn't hear anything definitive from the captain for several hours - some communication would have been advised. After he finally did make an announcement it was never mentioned again. No "we apologize for the inconvenience and have a drink on us" or "can we make that up to you?". Nothing. The woman in the suite 2 doors down from us had to go to the hospital as it caused breathing difficulties for her, even though we were all exposed. It stunk our eyes, chests, throats, noses - etc. We were advised that it wasn't toxic, but when we asked what it was they said they didn't know. (So how do they know it wasn't toxic?) All I can say about that is that it hurt physically throughout our reparatory systems.

2nd:  The cabin next to our suite had a bathroom leak which leaked into our cabin, causing a sopping wet carpet for several days. It still was soaking wet when we disembarked in Singapore at the end of the trip. Again, no apologies for anyone about it.

Next, let's discuss the attitude of the officers and staff.....

1st: We were on one 35-day leg of the 180-day Around the World Trip. It seemed that the ship's officers and crew catered mostly to the "180's" (as we came to refer to them), and couldn't have cared less about there rest of us. For example - the 180's were given unlimited internet which many of them just stayed connected to full-time. That made it nearly impossible for the rest of us to get on the Internet. Extremely frustrating. Also, they charged 95 cents a minute for internet service, and sometimes it took more than 30 minutes just to get connected! What a joke, and how cheesy of them to charge us that kind of $$ when more than half our time on the Internet was just trying to get connected. Super expensive, we spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars "on" the Internet.

Next, the 180's got free laundry. The rest of us had to pay (despite the fact that we were even in a suite). We've never had to pay for laundry on any other cruise line when you book a suite - again they were nickel and dime-ing us. Additionally, at one point during the norovirus outbreak, they closed the laundramat altogether, meaning that the only way to wash clothes was to pay to have that done; really?

The 180's also were given free excursions, even overnight ones - the rest of us paid dearly.  

All in all, we were NOT made to feel like we mattered at all to this company on this cruise. You know the ads (for other cruise lines) that refer to being treated like queens and kings on a cruse? Well, that was so NOT the case on the Oceania Insignia.

Now, let's talk about the ports of call and excursions --

1.  There were several really depressing, dirty ports of call that should not have even

     been on the itinerary - Maputo, Mozambique for example. Really filthy and urine

     smell everywhere. We did a walking tour there, and couldn't wait to get back on the

     ship.

2.  Several of their excursions had questionable guides. Some of them never shut up

     for hours, and on one, when several of us were trying to sleep toward the end of 

     the long tour, the tour guide came around the bus and in a VERY LOUD voice        yelled "NO SLEEPING". (A similar thing happened with another tour guide, too.)  3.  Several tour guides wanted to sing for us (heaven help us), and as if that wasn't

     bad enough, they were insisting that we all sing with them - songs we didn't know &

     in one case, a language none of us spoke.

4.  We went on a total of 5 game park excursions - not once did we see any elephants

     or big cats (lions or cheetahs). That was really disappointing as it will probably be       the only time we will ever have that chance again in our lives. The tour guides said

     it was because by the time the ship docks at the port and we get to the game

     preserves, it's late morning and most of the animals are already resting. Perhaps if

     Oceania wants to offer these excursions, they should plan to get to the dock earlier

     to ensure that their customers actually get to see some game. (Shimba Hills Park      was the most disappointing - we saw VERY little in the way of wildlife.)

Entertainment and casino.....

Entertainment was disappointing - no shows - just 1 or 2 performing artists with the ship's 5-piece back-up bank. We (and most passengers we talked to on the ship) prefer the shows.

Casino - nice staff, but they didn't offer even one Slot Tourmament - while every day at sea a Black Jack Tournament was offered.

 

Lastly, the food.......

I would have rated this cruise only 1 star but because the food was so wonderfully delicious and beautifully prepared, they got an extra star in the rating. It was very difficult to resist the temptation to overeat. The dining room service was slow (perhaps due to missing staff suffering from the virus that was so prevalent), but the staff was very good and friendly. Standouts were Neil and Anatoli (sp??)

 

Should also mention that Andy and Tammy were excellent and really took good care of us while on tours and on the ship - not an easy task with so many elderly people on board.

 

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Ocean Princess

September 2013 - Ocean Princess to Other (Asia/Africa/Middle East)

TERRIBLE SHIP - TERRIBLE CRUISE LINE

We were on the Rome to Singapore cruise - 28 days.  We researched the ship and from all input determined that a back (aft) suite would be the best......it was also one of the most costly cabins on the small ship. Every day, we were treated to black soot coming down on our deck from the smoke stacks up above. It was also very noisy since the outdoor dining/smoking deck was right above us. We asked and were moved to a lower level back suite - but there we had so much noise & vibration that it was difficult to sleep during the entire cruise. Add to all this, the food was mediocre, we ate in the better restaurants almost every night (at added cost). The service was fine, until due to port travel circumstances beyond our control, we missed the boat in Kuala Lumpur - the last port of call before disembarking in Singapore the next morning.

We went through hell to go through a long and costly immigration problem, and then to find a last minute flight to get us to Singapore to meet the ship at 7:00 a.m. the next morning. We were there before the ship, but despite our strongest efforts and that of the Singapore Port Authority staff (who were very helpful), Princess would not let us get back on the ship to retrieve our belongings. At first they told us it was a Singapore security regulation, then when we told them that was a lie, the security officer from the Princess turned and left us standing there. 

About an hour later, 3 people showed up with our belongings - hastily thrown into open canvas bags in some cases - with expensive jewelry just loose on the bottom of the bag (which had come from our safe). 18 items were missing we determined days later, but Princess would not reimburse us for even 1 - what a bunch of thieves!  

We are avid cruisers and thought we'd give Princess a try - got the best suite on the ship - and this is how they treated us. They really blew it by not letting us get back on the ship to retrieve our belongings. We might have been new regular customers for them, but after being treated like suspicious dogs, we'll NEVER cruise on another Princess ship again. 

They are a terrible company and do not really care about their passengers - UGH!!!

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rckymtnsparrow's Tips

Insignia Insignia - Older ship, so be prepared for things to go wrong, they will! Spoke to so many passengers who were unhappy with their rooms - leaks, smells, etc... The card room was very well equipped with mahjongg, puzzles, all kinds of cards and games.....better than most!
Safaga (Luxor), Egypt - ALSO CANCELLED - THERE WENT OUR ONE CHANCE TO SEE THE PYRAMIDS - THANKS TO THE IDIOT CAPTAIN...
Aqaba (Petra), Jordan - THIS STOP WAS ALSO CANCELLED, A REAL BUMMER FOR MOST ALL THE PASSENGERS. EVEN THOUGH PETRA WAS OPEN THAT DAY - UGH!!!
Ocean Princess Ocean Princess - CAPTAIN WAS SNOOTY SORT AND REFUSED TO ATTEND VARIOUS MEETINGS REGARDING THE UNNECESSARY CANCELLING OF OUR STOP AT PETRA. THREE PORTS OF CALL IN ALL WERE ELIMINATED FROM THE ITINERARY - THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT ONES - PETRA AND 2 IN EGYPT. OVER 350 PEOPLE WERE SCHEDULED FOR PETRA, MUCH PASSENGER ANGER!

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Recent Activity

received a helpful vote on their Insignia cruise review - First and Last Time with Oceania

followed a discussion, What menu item do you really look forward to on a cruise ship ?, on the cruiseline forum.

replied to the discussion, What menu item do you really look forward to on a cruise ship ? on the cruiseline forum.

received a helpful vote on their Insignia cruise review - First and Last Time with Oceania

received a helpful vote on their Insignia cruise review - First and Last Time with Oceania

received a helpful vote on their Insignia cruise review - First and Last Time with Oceania

shared a quick tip for Insignia"Older ship, so be prepared for things to go wrong, they will! Spoke to so many passengers who were unhappy with their rooms - leaks, smells, etc... The card room was very well equipped with mahjongg, puzzles, all kinds of cards and games.....better than most!"

added Jan 4, 2016 cruise on Insignia to their profile.

reviewed their World Cruise cruise on Insignia and gave it 2 stars!

reviewed their Other (Asia/Africa/Middle East) cruise on Ocean Princess and gave it 1 star!