We chose this cruise because we liked the places it was going to go, some of us wanted more seatime to take advantage of all the activities offered onboard, we were able to use FF miles for our flights and the timing though not perfect for us was doable. Our concerns were that Cunard might be more formal than we wanted to be on vacation and I have to admit it was. Dressing for dinner and the shows every night required packing a lot of clothes. I'm not sure I would choose Cunard again.
5 out of 5
Excellent. We arrived early but were allowed to board with no problems.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
Dining room staff great and very accommodating to our tastes and needs though often not quite our kind of food (I prefer more low starch vegetable, lean proteins with their own taste, no sauces and few carbs). Buffet had nice options but was often crowded, service variable.
5 out of 5
Loved zumba, line dancing, shows, lectures, Pat on piano, band Equinox, string trio, theatre orchestra, rock n roll night in Queen's room. Often felt obliged to buy something in order to listen to music in some venues though I can't drink alcohol and don't drink anything but water between meals for health reasons. Fitness center & spa staff arrogant, rude on my 4 occasions to interact with them. Center usually crowded. Bridge lessons conflicted with dance exercise times. Would have been nice if offered twice a day so we could have participated. Wifi was available at a cost of nearly $50 for 120 minutes but it was so slow it took sometimes 15 minutes just to download and open a few emails and some would not open at all. We found we needed to be in one of the computer centers for the best of the poor wifi service.
3 out of 5
This was one of the faster places to get the wifi that was still very slow. I was at least able to connect and return a library book online here. We were directed here the first day to sign up for wifi and told staff would be very helpful. This was not the case. Librarian said to come back in 2 hours, computer technician was eventually helpful but at first seemed to think it was asking too much to request help and told us to just do this and this. When I was not able to do it and we requested help again, he did provide assistance. Somehow they seemed to not understand they are there to provide service and the written instructions of how and where to do things don't match what is actually provided when you seek help.
5 out of 5
We enjoyed the stage shows and only missed 2, a magician and a vocalist who we were able to hear on another evening. We enjoyed Pat on piano usually in the Golden Lion , band Equinox on deck or a club and favorite was their night in the Queen's room. We enjoyed the string trio, theatre orchestra. Queen's room orchestra good but male vocalist often grating. Often not our preferred music but there were other choices just not as nice a venue. Trivia was fun but so entertainment and UK centered it left us a little behind but we had fun anyway and was certainly not interested in winning a bottle of wine as we don't drink it.
4 out of 5
Discovered very late that this was the best place to get wifi. We could not get it in our cabin and it was very slow most places, but the fastest slow was here.
Service and Staff
4 out of 5
Benny, room steward was excellent, always friendly and attentive. Our waiters Gusti, Emil and head waiter Seby were also great, very helpful and accommodating. Other personnel often disappointed. One person at tour desk very helpful for purchasing an excursion, another completely unhelpful working out issue for disembarkation so we would leave at same time as travel companions (she said they would just have to wait for us outside) but pursor's office told us how we could leave at the same time, no problem. See above re: spa and fitness center staff. Young man there rudely told me weights should be returned to rack-I assured him that was my intent as soon as I was done using them. I don't know why he thought I wouldn't??? I asked about the health assessment offered that day per a poster (what is it, when is it?) and the young woman was also rude. She finally said it was not offered today so I politely suggested she take down the poster. I asked to have a message relayed to my sister in the spa, but in spite of assurances she said she did not receive it. Finally I admitted to a manicurist who asked me as I was walking by whether I wanted to sign up, that I had never had one due to fear of fungus. Rather than gentle persuasion, she became immediately defensive and rude, missing an opportunity to possibly convince me it might be safe. I would love to have both a manicure and pedicure if I could be sure it was safe. Some staff in the Lido were very helpful and others seemed to think people at their tables were a bother. I was appalled that I often saw them slap new place settings on a used table without washing it off.
4 out of 5
I didn't give much thought to the layout and design. There was certainly effort made to keep areas clean and common areas maintained. Plenty of hand sanitation stations offered.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
We thought the size was generous and liked the layout of our cabin more than one of the balcony cabins we saw. That felt too close in how it was designed, particularly the entry. With no polarized outlet in the bathroom I had to use my waterpik at the desk and the ice bucket as a "sink". At one of the ports I was able to buy an inexpensive basin which was much easier. I think if anything like that was available to loan me, the steward would have said so. He was very apologetic I couldn't use it near the sink. Bath is quite small especially the shower. I usually turned the water off while I washed, but had to have a washcloth to be able to turn it back on once my hands were wet. If ever redesigned, levers would be helpful. Our cabin could use some maintenance as carpet was stained and one of the closet doors did not have a firm latch so it wouldn't stay closed on a couple of the rough nights. We did not think to report it though probably should have.
Don't think you need to take enough clothes for the whole trip. The laundry facilities are very nice though busy so you can certainly wash and reuse underclothes, workout clothes and basics that you can mix and match. Soap is provided.
We love Honolulu and have been there many times so wanted to just go to the beach which we did and loved being in the ocean at Waikiki near the Royal Hawaiian. There were lockers that we could rent nearby and we changed at the hotel near the lockers.
We did the Essence of Upulu. It was a disappointment. Guide was excellent, but the stops were pretty lame. I was afraid to eat the lunch as improper temperature of potato salad and meat. Toilets and changing areas need updating and for the cost and the # who participated I would think that could be done. Swimming nice, but no waves so not as fun as Waikiki. Our bus was full even though we weren't late so we had to sit apart for the first leg, then someone agreed to change. Some couples had split up so each could sit by a window leaving just single seats. Bus was pretty underpowered. They did provide plenty of bottled water on this hot day but I would not recommend the excursion, at least would not have done it had I known what it would be.
We did an excursion we arranged with ShipMate. Again a great guide who also drove. Some stops seemed to be just to pass time while part of our group went to the Polynesian spa though she shared a great deal about Tauranga during that time. The lunch was good, too much food though. The Maori village was a treat. Again a very knowledgeable guide with great sense of humor, great show on a stage so everyone could see. Beautiful voices.
We visited the Treaty Center on our own and then shuttled into town. I wish I had know the cost of the Center and that we were supposed to get a discount. We paid the full $50 each then learned later others only paid $40, but it was worth it. Tour was excellent with a well educated knowledgeable but very humorous guide. The show was pretty good but difficult to see unless you were in front and not everyone could be in front outside or after they took us inside. Museum was worthwhile to visit. I bought a scone for lunch there. Very nice rest room facilities. They have reinvested in their facilities. I would highly recommend it. It was great to find free wifi at an ice cream shop in town. I did in less than 5 minutes what would have taken 20 of my expensive minutes on the ship.
We signed up night before to do the walking tour excursion. Again, a great guide. She was knowledgeable, considerate of providing bathroom breaks with nice facilities, tried to keep us in shade as much as possible, took us to interesting sites and shared information about The Rocks and other things we might do in or near Sydney and how to do them. It was worthwhile and worth the $20 each.
After a very helpful person at the pursor's desk told us it would be no problem to leave at the same time as our travel companions, it proved to be much easier than we anticipated. It was fairly organized, our luggage was pretty easy to find though not all right together it was grouped by deck at least. Unfortunately our prepaid travel arrangements did not work out and caused some distress. Those were made with Delta . After many emails, it sounds like I will get a refund. The local transportation we ended up taking was actually much cheaper.
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