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  #1  
Old July 15th, 2006, 08:30 AM
rack62 rack62 is offline
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Default Pacific Star - disaster

My wife and I have just returned from a P&O cruise around the Pacific Islands, departing from Auckland, New Zealand. We have been on four cruises previously, one with Royal Caribbean and three with Princess. This was our first and I think that you will pick up from this report that it will definitely be our last P&O cruise.

The ship itself is called the Pacific Star, it is 25 years old but has been refitted. It is dated, it is grubby and compared to Princess it is a very poor cousin. The crew were the most unfriendliest we have experienced and we felt more like school children than adults. You were told what you could do, where you could sit it just was not relaxing what-so-ever. They have just installed 500 cameras on the boat and there are security guards everywhere. This would be OK but they donít leave you alone, two of our party were "carded", meaning that your cruise card no longer allows you to purchase drinks. One of our party was given a formal warning about indecent exposure, guess what at a Pyjama party! Same scene, the security guards publicly march you outside and in front of all get their little black book out and lecture you. Now I am 43 and a company director, I have never experienced such appalling Customer Service in my life.
Our room was filthy, it had not been cleaned, there was all sorts under the bed and in the bin. The cabin staff made you feel like they were doing you a favour when you asked them for something. Half way through the cruise we were no longer allowed to serve our selves at the buffet and had to be served, because there was an outbreak of something and many people were confined to their cabin. The food was average, very average.
The entertainment was excellent an the dancers/singers were the only P&O ambassadors in the ship! The destinations were very good and the snorkeling awesome!

Believe me, you do not want to take this cruise, it will put you off cruising for ever. I would be more than happy to share our experience in more detail if you want to contact me.
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  #2  
Old July 15th, 2006, 05:02 PM
howsthis howsthis is offline
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Hi rack62, it's a shame you didn't enjoy your trip. I have only cruised on the Pacific Sun and could not find one fault with the ship or crew. It was clean, extremely so, the food was first class, and our room was spotless. I can only think that with the 'Mrs. Brimble' case that they have become very security minded. Don't let one experience on one ship put you off the whole fleet.
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  #3  
Old July 15th, 2006, 08:04 PM
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Rallo Rallo is offline
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Oh dear - this is the first really negative review I have read about the Pacific Star which I have been looking forward to sailing on in September. Everyone has said the food was fantastic, the Stewards very friendly even remembering your names, and the cabin cleaning done on a regular basis. What's going on? The beefed up security and CCTV don't worry me as that can only be a good thing. I hope our holiday in September is not a disaster after all the planning, saving etc that has gone into it.
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  #4  
Old July 15th, 2006, 08:13 PM
firstimercruiser firstimercruiser is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rallo
Oh dear - this is the first really negative review I have read about the Pacific Star which I have been looking forward to sailing on in September. Everyone has said the food was fantastic, the Stewards very friendly even remembering your names, and the cabin cleaning done on a regular basis. What's going on? The beefed up security and CCTV don't worry me as that can only be a good thing. I hope our holiday in September is not a disaster after all the planning, saving etc that has gone into it.
Rallo, this person probably just had a bad personal experience or went with too high expectations after travelling Princess and RCI. It's best to go with an open mind and make your own judgements once onboard, that's what I will do. I'm on the first one out of Brisbane on the Star's return season on 19th August, and I'm really looking forward to it. There are a lot of people here with good experiences on the Star, I'm sure if it was so bad, we would have heard more about it.
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  #5  
Old July 15th, 2006, 08:45 PM
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Tinalou Tinalou is offline
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Hello rack62.

I am sorry you were disappointed with your cruise. You must feel very let-down and unhappy.

Have you perhaps considered making a formal complaint to P&O and addressing all these issues in a letter to them? I'm sure that they might consider a formal apology and possibly a reimbursement or incentive to cruise with them again? It's worth a try.

I hope that your next cruise is a happy, relaxing one.
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  #6  
Old July 15th, 2006, 08:52 PM
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Rallo Rallo is offline
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Your right firstimercruiser. I will make my own judgements. I haven't cruised for 25 years so I haven't much to compare it to and am easily pleased. It's just that we are a large group and I am the main organiser so I will feel responsible if it turns out to be a disaster.
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  #7  
Old July 15th, 2006, 09:21 PM
strawberrypatch11 strawberrypatch11 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rallo
Oh dear - this is the first really negative review I have read about the Pacific Star which I have been looking forward to sailing on in September. Everyone has said the food was fantastic, the Stewards very friendly even remembering your names, and the cabin cleaning done on a regular basis. What's going on? The beefed up security and CCTV don't worry me as that can only be a good thing. I hope our holiday in September is not a disaster after all the planning, saving etc that has gone into it.

I definetely wouldn't worry either. I have been on Pacific Sky and Sun and never ever seen cleaniness issues or rude staff! In fact the staff are so friendly and gracious that they will bend over backwards for you. Don't worry, you will have a teriffic cruise.
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  #8  
Old July 15th, 2006, 11:09 PM
rack62 rack62 is offline
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Default Formal Complaint

Hi Tinalou, I have just posted a formal complaint the the CEO of P&O Cruises and will let you know the response, if any.

Just to be clear, I dont have a problem with the security or the extra cameras, what I do have an issue with is being treated like a school child. There was a 70 year old that was told she could not drink anymore! If cruising has changed beacuse of security issues then it is indeed a shame as we love cruising!

I have copied this to others that travelled so that you get feedback more than just mine.
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  #9  
Old July 16th, 2006, 12:25 AM
suey suey is offline
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It is a shame that you had such a dissapointing experience as my own on the Star and other P & O ships has been excellent. I have never had a problem with staff and the cleanliness of the cabin, if my cabin was not clean when I arrived I would immediately contact the pursers desk and have someone inspect it.
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  #10  
Old July 16th, 2006, 01:07 AM
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Past it Past it is offline
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Sorry your cruise wasn't up to your expectations,I know its a bit hard to come down from a 5* to a 3* but you knew that when booking. The room should be clean though.I suppose you took these issues up with the Purser right away,then it can be documented and fixed.In regard to the Camera and Security,they should have no impact on your cruise.If everyone is behaving ok.What exactly did the 70 yo do to be blacklisted? For P&O to lose money on drinks there has to be more to this. Its a bit harsh to knock the whole ship and company without giving some details
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pics of the Med cruise on Voyager of the Seas
http://picasaweb.google.com/aussiecruiser
CLICK on Picture for South Pacific, Pacific Sun May 06 also Pacific Sun Feb '05
Past Cruises:
Fairstar May 64 Maiden Voyage: Southampton-Melbourne
Fairstar Mar1 91 :Sydney, Noumea,Suva,Dravuni Is.,Mystery Is.,Vila
Pacific Sun Feb 05: Sydney,Vila,Noumea,Mystery Is.,Champagne Bay,Lamen Bay
Pacific Sun May 06: Sydney,Lifou,Vila,Mystery Is.,Isle. Pines
Voyager of the Seas Sept 06: Barcelona,Marseille,Villefranche,Livorno,Civitavec hia (Rome),Naples,Barcelona


Rhapsody of the Seas:8th Nov 2010 to South Pacific, Noumea,Mystery Island, Luganville ,Champagne Bay,Vila, Is. of Lifou, Isle Pines on Rhapsody of the Seas

Pics of ship:http://picasaweb.google.com/aussiecr...eat=directlink


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  #11  
Old July 16th, 2006, 01:22 AM
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karmac karmac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Past it
......,I know its a bit hard to come down from a 5* to a 3* but you knew that when booking.
That's exactly right Brenda. the old saying "you get what you pay for". However, I didn't think of our cruise on the Sun as 3*. I thought the service & food was far better than that. As for the cabin, it was spotless and someone came into fix something one day that we didn't even know was broken. The cabin steward had noticed it while cleaning & reported it. We had clean sheets & towels everyday, even when I hung the towles on the rail to show that I was happy to use them again. As for the security (ie cameras and stopping passengers from buying too much alcohol), it seems P&O just can't get it right. They are copping so much flack with the Brimble case and now they're trying to stop it from happening again and passengers aren't happy.

Karen
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Good friends are worth more than money in the bank - that's what I always say

*SS Australis-Sydney to Southampton-28th July -31st August 1975
*Tss Fairstar-Coral Sea Cruise-6th September-22nd September 1986
*Pacific Sun-N611-2nd April-13th April 2006
*Pacific Dawn-W735-9th November-23rd November 2007
*Pacific Dawn-W909-20th March-6th April 2009
*Pacific Dawn-W929-21st Oct-31st Oct 2009
*Pacific Jewel-J029-22nd Sept-30th Sept 2010
*Pacific Jewel-J030-30th Sept-10th Oct 2010
*Rhapsody Of The Seas-3rd Feb-6th Feb 2012
*Pacific Sun-N211-17th Mar-19th Mar 2012
*Pacific Pearl-P225-20th-23rd July 2012
*Pacific Pearl-P233-5th-8th Oct 2012
*Pacific Pearl-P324-8th-17th July 2013
*Voyager Of The Seas-10th-13th January 2014
*Celebrity Solstice-17th-20th January 2014






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  #12  
Old July 16th, 2006, 01:42 AM
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Past it Past it is offline
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karmac,I'm not knocking Sun I loved my cruises,but it is 3* in the world of cruising thats a fact.The service is first rate I agree.You only had to look around you to see things eg like dated furnishings,wear and tear,paint,rust.the lifts had graffitti scratched on the mirrors. I know these are all small things in life but that is what makes a differerece between a 5* and a 3* whether a hotel or ship It will be interesting to see what reviews say from Dawn Pax, especially those that have done others
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pics of the Med cruise on Voyager of the Seas
http://picasaweb.google.com/aussiecruiser
CLICK on Picture for South Pacific, Pacific Sun May 06 also Pacific Sun Feb '05
Past Cruises:
Fairstar May 64 Maiden Voyage: Southampton-Melbourne
Fairstar Mar1 91 :Sydney, Noumea,Suva,Dravuni Is.,Mystery Is.,Vila
Pacific Sun Feb 05: Sydney,Vila,Noumea,Mystery Is.,Champagne Bay,Lamen Bay
Pacific Sun May 06: Sydney,Lifou,Vila,Mystery Is.,Isle. Pines
Voyager of the Seas Sept 06: Barcelona,Marseille,Villefranche,Livorno,Civitavec hia (Rome),Naples,Barcelona


Rhapsody of the Seas:8th Nov 2010 to South Pacific, Noumea,Mystery Island, Luganville ,Champagne Bay,Vila, Is. of Lifou, Isle Pines on Rhapsody of the Seas

Pics of ship:http://picasaweb.google.com/aussiecr...eat=directlink


http://picasaweb.google.com/aussiecr...eat=directlink

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  #13  
Old July 16th, 2006, 02:57 AM
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Skyrules Skyrules is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rack62
The ship itself is called the Pacific Star, it is 25 years old but has been refitted. It is dated, it is grubby and compared to Princess it is a very poor cousin.


Compared to which Princess???? Yes, compared to Diamond or Sapphire Princess you are probably right - but then you would have paid a hell of a lot less to go on Pacific Star than you would have to go on these bigger ships.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rack62
They have just installed 500 cameras on the boat and there are security guards everywhere. This would be OK but they donít leave you alone, two of our party were "carded", meaning that your cruise card no longer allows you to purchase drinks. One of our party was given a formal warning about indecent exposure, guess what at a Pyjama party! Same scene, the security guards publicly march you outside and in front of all get their little black book out and lecture you. Now I am 43 and a company director, I have never experienced such appalling Customer Service in my life.

You can thank 8 charming "gentlemen" from Adelaide for most of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rack62
Half way through the cruise we were no longer allowed to serve our selves at the buffet and had to be served, because there was an outbreak of something and many people were confined to their cabin.
Probably an outbreak of Norovirus brought on board by a passenger. If these measeures weren't put in place a lot more people (maybe you included) might have been sick, and then really had a reason to complain about not enjoying the cruise.

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Southern Australia (6 nights)


Christmas & New Year South Pacific (12 nights)
__________________________________________________ ___
February 2014 - Aurora
November 2013 -
Pacific Dawn
February 2013 - Aurora
Dec 2012/Jan 2013 - Celebrity Millennium
July 2012 - Pacific Dawn
February 2012 - Rhapsody of the Seas
April 2011 - Pacific Pearl
December 2010 -
Pacific Dawn
September 2010 - Pacific Sun
March 2010 - Pacific Jewel
December 2009 - Pacific Sun
June 2009 - Dawn Princess
January 2009 -
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September 2008 - Pacific Dawn
March 2008 - Pacific Sun
September 2007 - Pacific Star
March 2006 - Pacific Star
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  #14  
Old July 16th, 2006, 03:29 AM
rockie rockie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rack62
My wife and I have just returned from a P&O cruise around the Pacific Islands, departing from Auckland, New Zealand. We have been on four cruises previously, one with Royal Caribbean and three with Princess. This was our first and I think that you will pick up from this report that it will definitely be our last P&O cruise.

The ship itself is called the Pacific Star, it is 25 years old but has been refitted. It is dated, it is grubby and compared to Princess it is a very poor cousin. The crew were the most unfriendliest we have experienced and we felt more like school children than adults. You were told what you could do, where you could sit it just was not relaxing what-so-ever. They have just installed 500 cameras on the boat and there are security guards everywhere. This would be OK but they donít leave you alone, two of our party were "carded", meaning that your cruise card no longer allows you to purchase drinks. One of our party was given a formal warning about indecent exposure, guess what at a Pyjama party! Same scene, the security guards publicly march you outside and in front of all get their little black book out and lecture you. Now I am 43 and a company director, I have never experienced such appalling Customer Service in my life.
Our room was filthy, it had not been cleaned, there was all sorts under the bed and in the bin. The cabin staff made you feel like they were doing you a favour when you asked them for something. Half way through the cruise we were no longer allowed to serve our selves at the buffet and had to be served, because there was an outbreak of something and many people were confined to their cabin. The food was average, very average.
The entertainment was excellent an the dancers/singers were the only P&O ambassadors in the ship! The destinations were very good and the snorkeling awesome!

Believe me, you do not want to take this cruise, it will put you off cruising for ever. I would be more than happy to share our experience in more detail if you want to contact me.
Maybe exposing yourself, whether it be at a pjyama party or not really isn't a good idea.
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  #15  
Old July 16th, 2006, 04:01 AM
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Skyrules Skyrules is offline
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Damn, I posted a detailed reply to this but it seems to have disappeared.

I wanted to say that I didn't mean to sound critcial or dismissive of rack62's review in the post I've already done on this topic.

My experience of Pacific Star was completely differnent to that which he's describing. Admittedly my cruise was before the security/behaviour crackdowns resulting from the coronial enquiry into Dianne Brimble's death, and we also didn't experience a Norovirus outbreak.

But 90% of the staff we encountered were excellent at their job, and the 10% that weren't excellent certainly weren't rotten. We were greeted, but name, by several staff who'd been on Pacific Sun when we sailed on her in June 2005, and even some staff who didn't know our name, could remember what deck/cabin we were in on Sun.

Most of the security/behavioural controls that have been introduced only bring the practice on board cruiseships in line with practice on land. Why should securiity and behavioural standards go out the window just because you're on a cruise ship?

Kym
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Southern Australia (6 nights)


Christmas & New Year South Pacific (12 nights)
__________________________________________________ ___
February 2014 - Aurora
November 2013 -
Pacific Dawn
February 2013 - Aurora
Dec 2012/Jan 2013 - Celebrity Millennium
July 2012 - Pacific Dawn
February 2012 - Rhapsody of the Seas
April 2011 - Pacific Pearl
December 2010 -
Pacific Dawn
September 2010 - Pacific Sun
March 2010 - Pacific Jewel
December 2009 - Pacific Sun
June 2009 - Dawn Princess
January 2009 -
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September 2008 - Pacific Dawn
March 2008 - Pacific Sun
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  #16  
Old July 16th, 2006, 04:33 AM
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AuzzieCruiser AuzzieCruiser is offline
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Here is something I found. Not too bad I say for a few extra dollars!!
So you don't have to pay too much more for a 5* ship


Return economy airfares with Air New Zealand from BNE / MEL / SYD

1 Night at Crowne Plaza, San Francisco
11 Nights cruise accommodation onboard Dawn Princess

Meals onboardOnboard

Entertainment

Onboard activities

5 Star service

Princess Theatre and Vista Lounge

Gym, pool and fitness area


Room service and 24 hour dining option


Port charges & Government taxes



Prices are:
18 October 2006
Cabin Grade
Inside (from)$2,299.00
Outside (from)$2,599.00
29 October 2006
Cabin Grade
Inside (from)$2,299.00Outside (from)$2,599.00
9 November 2006
Cabin Grade
Inside (from)$2,299.00Outside (from)$2,599.00
20 November 2006
Cabin Grade
Inside (from)$2,299.00Outside (from)$2,599.00

Itinerary
Day 1 Depart San Francisco
Day 2 At Sea
Day 3 At Sea
Day 4 Mazatlan, Mexico
Day 5 At Sea
Day 6 Acapulco, Mexico
Day 7 Ixtapa (Zihuatanejo), Mexico
Day 8 Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Day 9 Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Day 10 At Sea
Day 11 At Sea
Day 12 Arrive San Francisco

Sorry about the formatting, or lack thereof!!
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Happy Cruising Everyone.
Jarrod.

Up next:
Brilliance of the Seas ~ Scandanavia & Russia 19th August 2014

followed by:
Brilliance of the Seas Transatlantic cruise via Iceland 31st August 2014


Past Cruises:
Radiance of the Seas ~ South Pacific March 2012

Carnival Valor ~ Western Caribbean August 2011

Rhapsody of the Seas ~ Sydney to Honolulu April 2010

Rhapsody of the Seas ~ Perth to Sydney March 2009

Rhapsody of the Seas ~ Sydney to Perth February 2009

Pacific Sun ~ New Caledonia October 2007

Diamond Princess ~Mexican Riviera October 2006

Voyager of the Seas ~ Western Caribbean October 2005

Celebrity Infinity ~ Alaska June 2004

Facebook Group - Australia & NZ Cruise Addicts and other friends from all over the world
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  #17  
Old July 17th, 2006, 07:54 PM
KathR KathR is offline
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Unhappy

Just to add to the discussion.

Having been on 6 cruises now, Marco Polo, Grandeur of the Seas, Grand Princess, Coral Princess, Norwegian Spirit and Pacific Star, I have to say that the Pacific Star was the only disappointment, the others were all absolutely terrific cruises. Even though I wouldn't go on an older ship like the Marco Polo again (having then been spoilt on all the luxury liners), you couldn't fault the food, entertainment, cost, tours and service.

The Pacific Star sadly lacked any sparkle. The ship is 25 years old and has recently had a refit. The refit must have been in the public areas, because the buffet restaurant is a very dated canteen style and the cabins are looking tired.
In it's favour, the entertainment was superb! The Cruise Director, Dan is one of the best I have come across. The shows were excellent!

The food is very average. Club Bahia is well worth a visit ($20 pp cover charge) to have food cooked especially for you that is hot and freshly prepared as opposed to the canteen style mass catering downstairs in the Bordeaux.

There are 2 pools, both of which were filled with freezing cold sea water, and therefore not used by any of the passengers. Consequently, the 2 small heated spa pools were all full to busting with mainly children in them.

Security was oppressive. Decent people seemed to have their cards 'stopped' for really minor offences and we saw many people being seemingly 'reprimanded' by Security Guards on a power trip.

The alcohol policy is a shame. Most people like to enjoy a pre dinner drink in their cabin without having to pay the earth for it. We have always taken our own wine on board, but not this time, it gets confiscated on check in and you are forced to pay the $25-30 AUD for a half decent bottle of wine on board.

I know they are doing what they think is best in the light of the Brimble case (or are they?), but hang on, this is a holiday and people want to let their hair down a bit. I saw no-one who was behavingly badly, no streakers, sex in the open, aggression or even anyone openly intoxicated, yet there seemed to be plenty of controlling going on by Security.

Sorry if this review disappoints people, but the board is here for people to express their open and honest opinions.

Those people I talked to on the cruise who were cruising for the first time seemed to really enjoy, and that has always been my understanding too..
Regular cruisers get harder and harder to please

Cheers and enjoy cruising..

Kath
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  #18  
Old July 17th, 2006, 08:07 PM
howsthis howsthis is offline
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quote [Decent people seemed to have their cards 'stopped' for really minor offences ]

It might make us understand better what you are saying if these 'minor offences' were explained. Could you give us an example please? I really would like to know because I have only been on the Pacific Sun and it was fantastic.
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  #19  
Old July 17th, 2006, 09:05 PM
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aussiedisneyfan aussiedisneyfan is offline
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After having now sailed on one of the American cruise ships I can say that our Aussie ships don't compare in some respects. I feel that the staff are as friendly helpful, the quality of the performers/entertainment are as good except perhaps the showiness due to size constraints.

Our ships are certainly older and more run down, but I still find them overall clean and comfortable. I have always found enough food to keep me happy (fussy eater). However, the American ship did have a lot more choices on offer. If you are expecting 5 star standards when booking a 3-4 star holiday then you may be disappointed.

I will still happily travel on our ships, after all a lot of the time the holiday is what you make it.
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Mercury - Mexican Riviera - 6 April 2007
Pacific Sun - N722 - 15 July 2007
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  #20  
Old July 17th, 2006, 09:11 PM
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karmac karmac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathR
I saw no-one who was behavingly badly, no streakers, sex in the open, aggression or even anyone openly intoxicated, yet there seemed to be plenty of controlling going on by Security.


Kath
Maybe the fact that there was "plenty of controlling" going on was partly the reason for no bad beahviour.
Having said that, on my cruise where security probably wasn't as tight as it is now (although I considered it to be adequate) there was still no unruly behaviour.
And Kath, I appreciate your honest opinion of your cruise, as you said, these boards are here to discuss cruises, positive & negative aspects. I guess your biggest problem was the fact that you have cruised luxury liners previously but as someone pointed out, you knew when booking that you were going on a 3* cruise not a 5* and therefore should have been prepared for less luxury.
Although I have not sailed on luxury liners before I don't really have any inclination to in the future.I much prefer the less formal, more casual way of holidaying.

Karen
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Karen

Good friends are worth more than money in the bank - that's what I always say

*SS Australis-Sydney to Southampton-28th July -31st August 1975
*Tss Fairstar-Coral Sea Cruise-6th September-22nd September 1986
*Pacific Sun-N611-2nd April-13th April 2006
*Pacific Dawn-W735-9th November-23rd November 2007
*Pacific Dawn-W909-20th March-6th April 2009
*Pacific Dawn-W929-21st Oct-31st Oct 2009
*Pacific Jewel-J029-22nd Sept-30th Sept 2010
*Pacific Jewel-J030-30th Sept-10th Oct 2010
*Rhapsody Of The Seas-3rd Feb-6th Feb 2012
*Pacific Sun-N211-17th Mar-19th Mar 2012
*Pacific Pearl-P225-20th-23rd July 2012
*Pacific Pearl-P233-5th-8th Oct 2012
*Pacific Pearl-P324-8th-17th July 2013
*Voyager Of The Seas-10th-13th January 2014
*Celebrity Solstice-17th-20th January 2014






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