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#42
Maui, Hawaii
6 Posts
Joined Oct 2015
I'm looking to celebrate my birthday next year with an Australian circumnavigation cruise. I see that both Holland America - Maasdam and Princess - Sun Princess are both offering about 30 days in October 2016.

I'm trying to figure out which trip would be better.

Can you help me compare to evaluation what would be better for my needs?

I love ballroom dancing, educational programs, & seeing the unique natural offering (animals, Great Barrier Reef, etc). I live in Hawaii, so looking for different natural beauty.
My travel partner is a winemaker, so wants tours, tastings, anything to do with wine, onboard and excursion. He also plays tennis & does yoga, as well as a lot of walking/hiking. He is from LA, CA.

What I've figured out so far, reading reviews:
Both ships are older, but have been re-furbished (Maasdam in 2011, Sun in 2013 I think). Sun has about twice as many passengers, and has long lines for most/all things. Sun is a larger ship. Food has mixed reviews for both.

Some questions:
It is a long cruise, so I assume both will have minimal family appeal, but what about age in general? I am a young almost-65-er and single.

Does either ship have dance escorts, as I enjoy ballroom/Latin dancing? Does either ship offer this?

What about the ports - they differ, so what would give the most wine tasting & Great Barrier Reef (our two priorities)? Bali port or Papua New Guinea? More days in Tasmania or less? Help!

What about clientele? Sun mostly Aussie I have heard? Maasdam is what?

Prices on board on Sun in AUD, Maasendam in USD - does one give US citizens more value?

Looking at balcony cabin, so comparison of amenities or size or layout?
Inclusive features? At this point, there aren't any "deals", but as we move forward will either line offer internet, alcoholic beverage, tipping, or other attractive discounts? What should I "hold out" for? Can I book, then qualify for the deals, or only on new bookings?

When would be best to start looking to book? How do I get a "deal"?

What haven't I asked that would help me decide on the cruise company? I have taken 1 Alaska cruise previously with each. 2006-Princess (very disappointed in the quality especially the food) 2010-Holland Am (loved it! but no ballroom/Latin dancing - too short a cruise for dance escorts).

Oh, btw, my birthday will happen in Melbourne (with Holland) and arrival day (with Princess) - will either line do anything to help me celebrate? (I turn 65).

Thanks for any and all help you can give me!
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#43
Nsw
61 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Not sure if it's allowed, but advice on who to book through. I am in the unfortunate position of living in a town that's monopolised by one particular travel brand full of young folks who have less knowledge of cruising than i have and were only pushing P&O for their kickbacks. I did book online, purely based on price. Wish I had some guidance on which cruises are family friendly.
#44
Australia
51 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
I do need HELP please. We are cruising on the Azamara for 35 nights on the Azamara Journey on 20th April 2016. This cruise doesn't appear on Azamara's list of cruises and yet it is only a few weeks from starting. We have tried many times to add it to the list (even our travel Agent has tried) but we are unsuccessful. I'm sure you will know to add this cruise. We haven't had any trouble communicating through previously started cruise roll calls. Thanks
#45
2 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Why is there so much repeated questions without answers on here?

If anyone can become a travel writer then who do we contact?

Where is the best cabin to book so you don't get sea sick, have people running aroudn in front of the cabin, noises and kids driving you mad? Anyone care to answer all questions at once? Thanks.
#46
Nsw
61 Posts
Joined Jan 2016
Originally posted by shipaway38
Why is there so much repeated questions without answers on here?

If anyone can become a travel writer then who do we contact?

Where is the best cabin to book so you don't get sea sick, have people running aroudn in front of the cabin, noises and kids driving you mad? Anyone care to answer all questions at once? Thanks.
Cabin in the middle lower down is less rocky, pick a floor that doesn't have as many cabins, less foot traffic, but check what's above and below you, you don't want to be below a pool area with parties and scraping deck chairs at all hours, or near a pub, bar or theatre where music may be heard nearby. Do you have a cruise ship in mind?
#47
2 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Any ship that isn't P&O or has the name Princess ???? tagged to it.

As a senior I'd like to be able to find a cabin that has a window without paying single supplement. I can't find any. Does anyone know of any Senior Single Cruises that cater for us mature ladies who choose to travel alone?
#48
Sydney, Australia
366 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by shipaway38
Any ship that isn't P&O or has the name Princess ???? tagged to it.

As a senior I'd like to be able to find a cabin that has a window without paying single supplement. I can't find any. Does anyone know of any Senior Single Cruises that cater for us mature ladies who choose to travel alone?
You need to book well in advance to get the single cabins on the few ships that have them, or cruise out of peak season to get no single supplement deals. River cruising is best for no SS. Here are two articles with tips for ocean cruises:

http://www.cruisecritic.com.au/articles.cfm?ID=1675
http://www.cruisecritic.com.au/articles.cfm?ID=419
#49
Sydney, Australia
366 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by shipaway38
Why is there so much repeated questions without answers on here?

If anyone can become a travel writer then who do we contact?

Where is the best cabin to book so you don't get sea sick, have people running aroudn in front of the cabin, noises and kids driving you mad? Anyone care to answer all questions at once? Thanks.
Sorry for the late reply - this old thread was not being monitored. If you'd like to write about your cruise, you can do a review. Scroll halfway down this page to Write A Review, choose you ship and rate it for up to 4 million people to read!
http://www.cruisecritic.com.au/reviews/

Lower deck, mid-ship is best for avoiding seasickness. Quiet cabins depend on the ship as they are all designed differently so you need to look at the deck plans to see what is above and beside you. Check out the deck plans for lots of ships here: http://www.cruisecritic.com.au/cruise-deck-plans/

You can also read passengers' reviews of their cabins: http://www.cruisecritic.com.au/membe...cabin-reviews/

Good luck!
#50
Sydney, Australia
366 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by tickityboo
I do need HELP please. We are cruising on the Azamara for 35 nights on the Azamara Journey on 20th April 2016. This cruise doesn't appear on Azamara's list of cruises and yet it is only a few weeks from starting. We have tried many times to add it to the list (even our travel Agent has tried) but we are unsuccessful. I'm sure you will know to add this cruise. We haven't had any trouble communicating through previously started cruise roll calls. Thanks
This is the best roll call for your cruise: http://boards.cruisecritic.com.au/sh....php?t=2286208
#51
Sydney, Australia
366 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by Cruizeee
Not sure if it's allowed, but advice on who to book through. I am in the unfortunate position of living in a town that's monopolised by one particular travel brand full of young folks who have less knowledge of cruising than i have and were only pushing P&O for their kickbacks. I did book online, purely based on price. Wish I had some guidance on which cruises are family friendly.
Royal Caribbean and Carnival Cruise Line are other family-friendly brands.

Try an online travel agency for advice - then it doesn't matter where you live, as they can speak to you by phone nationwide. You can look up the most experienced CLIA-accredited travel agents that specialise in cruising here: http://cruising.org.au/top-200-cruise-agents.asp

If the website address is blocked, google Australia’s Top 200 Cruise Consultants.
#52
Sydney, Australia
366 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by DancingCats
I'm looking to celebrate my birthday next year with an Australian circumnavigation cruise. I see that both Holland America - Maasdam and Princess - Sun Princess are both offering about 30 days in October 2016.

I'm trying to figure out which trip would be better.

Can you help me compare to evaluation what would be better for my needs?

I love ballroom dancing, educational programs, & seeing the unique natural offering (animals, Great Barrier Reef, etc). I live in Hawaii, so looking for different natural beauty.
My travel partner is a winemaker, so wants tours, tastings, anything to do with wine, onboard and excursion. He also plays tennis & does yoga, as well as a lot of walking/hiking. He is from LA, CA.

What I've figured out so far, reading reviews:
Both ships are older, but have been re-furbished (Maasdam in 2011, Sun in 2013 I think). Sun has about twice as many passengers, and has long lines for most/all things. Sun is a larger ship. Food has mixed reviews for both.

Some questions:
It is a long cruise, so I assume both will have minimal family appeal, but what about age in general? I am a young almost-65-er and single.

Does either ship have dance escorts, as I enjoy ballroom/Latin dancing? Does either ship offer this?

What about the ports - they differ, so what would give the most wine tasting & Great Barrier Reef (our two priorities)? Bali port or Papua New Guinea? More days in Tasmania or less? Help!

What about clientele? Sun mostly Aussie I have heard? Maasdam is what?

Prices on board on Sun in AUD, Maasendam in USD - does one give US citizens more value?

Looking at balcony cabin, so comparison of amenities or size or layout?
Inclusive features? At this point, there aren't any "deals", but as we move forward will either line offer internet, alcoholic beverage, tipping, or other attractive discounts? What should I "hold out" for? Can I book, then qualify for the deals, or only on new bookings?

When would be best to start looking to book? How do I get a "deal"?

What haven't I asked that would help me decide on the cruise company? I have taken 1 Alaska cruise previously with each. 2006-Princess (very disappointed in the quality especially the food) 2010-Holland Am (loved it! but no ballroom/Latin dancing - too short a cruise for dance escorts).

Oh, btw, my birthday will happen in Melbourne (with Holland) and arrival day (with Princess) - will either line do anything to help me celebrate? (I turn 65).

Thanks for any and all help you can give me!

Some answers to your questions.

1. Longer the cruise, older the passengers. A circumnavigation will be almost all retirees. At 65, you'll be among the youngest.

2. Holland America has dance hosts; Princess does not.

3. The USD is much stronger than the AUD so you will get great value on both.

4. Just keep checking Cruise Critic and the cruise lines' websites for deals. If you wait too long, it may sell out!

5. When you book, you can tell them it's your birthday - they might surprise you
#53
Sydney, Australia
366 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by Tigerlily75
As someone brand new to cruising, I'd like more info on choosing a cruise line that would suit me best. I'd like to know the differences between the cruise lines, who their target market is, if they cater well to different age groups, families, young people, old people, rich people, "regular" people (haha - as in I'd feel totally out of place on Cunard, for example!), entertainment wise, etc etc. Would my teen enjoy Celebrity, and Princess? More in depth on which cruise suits which kind of person, I'd really appreciate that kind of thing.

I'm going on Carnival very soon, but many of their itineraries are the same, so even if I love them, I'd like some other options.

I'd also love a look at reviews, ie I find myself getting put off by many bad reviews of almost all ships (!) and would love a "review of the reviews", how genuine are they, are they fair. For example I like the idea of P&O's itineraries as well as their advertising of ship amenities, but then I read reviews and it puts me off. Then I see by people's signatures, many long time cruisers having sailed them repeatedly, so can they really be that bad?

We recommend reading a lot of reviews with an open mind! What is bad for one person is not a big deal for someone else. We have lots of feature on Cruise Critic comparing the cruise lines. Sign up for our e-letter to get them first: http://www.cruisecritic.com.au/newsletter/
#54
Sydney, Australia
366 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by Kinkacruiser
Hi Louise (or any Princess fans)
Re the 24 day cruise "South Pacific Grand Adventures" in May next year (yes, we're booked).... is this a new release? Looks great and a perfect length for us.
Lucky you! The itinerary isn't new - has been offered for a few years.
#55
Sydney, Australia
366 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by crochetcruise
Hi, new and physically disabled cruiser here, travelling independently on the Golden Princess November 11, 2016 in a Window Suite, sailing Sydney-Melbourne.

I am Legal Blind and carry a magnifying Monocular lens to read signs with if needed.

As a Suite passenger, even though I'll be a Blue Card newbie-well everyone had to take their first cruise at one time-I'm eligible for Priority Embarkation.

Some questions I personally would like to know the answers to:

Is there a marked specific area at the Overseas Passenger Terminal please?

I have my cousin able to bring me to the ship, how far into the Terminal is she able to come with me?

I have balance problems and use a Rollator wheeled walking frame so loathe escalators especially when carrying a suitcase strapped to the front of the walker-almost fell in a supermarket after going up to the 2nd floor-a concerned staff member showed me the lift which I hadn't seen, and it's now VERY well marked!

Is there a lift in the terminal as I've only seen the outside of the Terminal on the web and I already know to have a clipboard folder with all Embarkation paperwork in and a pen with a string taped to the top and tied onto the clip so I can't lose it-I'm NOTORIOUS for losing pens!

Re souvenirs a friend is looking for a card wallet that zips open and has pockets to take multiple cards-does anyone know if something similar is available on the Golden Princess and an approximate price for my budgeting (intended Birthday/Christmas present for her, she's an absolute Got Everything lady so when she showed me her current wallet which is starting to come apart, I decided to try and get her a replacement on the cruise, Any excuse to explore and photograph the ship eh?

Other souvenirs I'm interested in the Australian price of are; Princess Teddy Bears; monogrammed pens; mugs; caps; lanyards-what colours are available; tshirts and sweatshirts, and the Gift Services boxes of chocolates-I can only get the US price and am allowing 20% extra for safe budgeting.

Oh, the price range for Cocktails would also be useful for budgeting-I see I can get the Soda and More Package but not the All Inclusive Beverage Package on the Sydney-Melbourne cruise Also pricing the minimum Internet package, Speciality Dining-Crown Grill, Sabatini's and hopefully the Crab Shack, and the photo credit. Funds will be taken as pre-paid On Board Credit and a separate Casino Credit, which I understand is redeemable so I have back-up funds if I get a good run on the souvenirs

Will be watching this thread with keen interest. I shall report back in mid-November 2016 with a comprehensive report from the point of view of a Disabled Passenger complete with photos.

Crochetcruise

Glad you found all your answers! Can't wait to read your review, crochetcruise. We don't get enough reviews by disabled cruisers, but I am sure lots of people will be interested in your experience. Here's the link for writing your Golden Princess review: http://www.cruisecritic.com.au/membe...lden-princess/

I sailed on Golden Princess from Sydney to Melbourne and loved it - it was celebrating my 50th cruise! Have fun
#56
Sydney, Australia
366 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by The_Big_M
P&O Australia is a completely separate line from P&O UK with its own ships, hence the distinction.

Princess Australia isn't a separate line, and just operates as a subsidiary locally like Royal Caribbean and some others. Not the same demand (and on the topic of demand the P&O Aust forum is generally pretty quiet, even with that greater purpose.)
You're right Big M!

You could always start a thread in the Princess Cruises board called: "AUSTRALIANS ON PRINCESS CRUISES - LET'S TALK HERE!" or something like that
#57
Sydney, Australia
366 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by turnbacktime123
Hi Louise I do like to give good suggestions and reasonable feedback from my cruises. I also ring up the cruise company and speak to someone from the post cruise sections. At times the post cruise survey which the ship sends you via the email can take you awhile to finish. I get disappointed that you can take the time to fill out these surveys and send and there seems to be very little or no response. I hear this comment a lot from other cruisers and they decide not to do them. Our Cruise Directors tell us this is one way of crew members getting promotions. I think it's disappointing that this information is not being addressed in a different way.
Hi turnbacktime, and sorry I was not monitoring this thread! Cruise lines definitely read all those surveys but it would be hard to reply to them all - hundreds of thousands are filled out every year. Your responses are used to shape future policies, decisions, changes - so you might not get a direct reply but you might see your ideas in action! And yes, in some cases, if you praise a crew member, it does help them get their contract renewed. Writing reviews on Cruise Critic also gets your message out there. Cruise lines read the CC reviews too. Another way to get a response is to go to the Captain's talks held onboard some ships. You can ask questions or give feedback and get a reply from the captain or cruise director standing right in front of you! Check your ship's daily program/newsletter to see when it is held.
#58
Sydney, Australia
366 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by Adidas4fun
For me, given the number of local cruises I do (with another booked) I'd really love to see a section on port calls and possible activities, cruise ship sourced versus independent.

For example I've been to Noumea many times, twice on a ship and soon to be thrice - what havent I done that could be interesting?
We do have a section of port reviews! http://www.cruisecritic.com.au/membe.../cruise-ports/

You can look up Noumea, for example, and see our expert review as well as passenger reviews and ideas.

http://www.cruisecritic.com.au/membe...oumea-cruises/

Sorry for the late response, I wasn't monitoring this thread
#60
Sydney, Australia
366 Posts
Joined Oct 2014
Originally posted by MicCanberra
I would like to know how to get invited to the special functions they have on board cruise ships when in port (Sydney).
Become a travel agent or cruise writer

You can call cruise lines and ask their policy for ship inspections. Also, ask your travel agent as sometimes they take their favourite customers (especially if they think you're likely to book a cruise with them!).