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Pacific Star, R627 Review


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Hello everyone. Well, I'm finally back from my holiday, so very shortly, I will write my review for R627. I also want to let you know, that, from now on, I will be posting as my webshots name "Tgard76" as I'm no longer a firstime cruiser. :p

 

Trevor

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Hi Trevor! - The Flasher is back ? it is so good to see a message from you - we thought that you had stayed on one of the Islands - we are looking foward to reading your review

 

Peter & Cheryl

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This review will be in a few parts, that way, you can start to read it before I've finished. Also, it might allow the page to download quicker.

 

Let me say, right from the outset, that I had a wonderful time on my cruise. There were a couple of very tiny issues, but nothing that would even go close to spoiling my cruise. As a firstime cruiser, I'm not sure what the average time for embarkation/disembarkation etc is, but to me, it all seemed fine. Please let me know if the time it took was good or bad so I know how long it should take. Ok, here we go.....

 

 

Embarkation.

We got to the Roma St. Transit Centre at about 7:45am, hoping to be on one of the first buses to the new cruise terminal. We found out straight away that there was going to be a delay of about two hours, but were on the first bus due to leave at 12pm. So we went for a bit of a walk to have some breakfast then ended up in the bar at the transit centre at about 10:30. After a few pre-cruise drinks, we wandered up to the coach level at about 11:35 and discovered they were loading the first coach early, which we managed to get on.

 

It didn't take too long to get to the cruise terminal, and by 12, we were off the coach and waiting in line. The line wasn't too long, probably about 200 or so meters, but it kept moving. The first thing we did was the health questionaire. We were given the cards on the bus, so we just had to hand them to the staff as we walked through the door. Then it was through security, then passport and ticket check, then we got our cruise cards and linked our credit cards to it then on to the ship. All in all, it took about 50 minutes from the time we got off the bus to when we were on the ship. The line was constantly moving, so we really didn't notice the time, maybe it was just the excitement of being there.

 

Brisbane's Cruise Terminal.

It's hard to make an informed decision about the terminal, as it's still not finished and I've never been through one before. There were partitions up everywhere as hallways to guide you through, to me, it looked like a maze. There was only one x-ray machine and metal detector for everyone to go through, but we were going through it fairly quickly. On to the check-in desks, they were there but the were still cables hanging down around them, probably for lights and to alert passengers which desk to go to next. I'm sure once the terminal is completed and they speed up procedures, it's going to be a very nice place. At least it was airconditioned. To board the ship, you go up a flight of stairs to a long glass walkway. You can see the ship on one side of you as you walk along, and on the other side, it looks as though there is a viewing place for family and friends to see you off. Then it's accross an aerobridge style gangway onto the ship. There are little beagle sniffer dogs everywhere as well as cruise staff greeting you and the photographer halfway along the walkway with his palm trees set up for your embarkation picture.

 

Onboard and Sailaway.

By 12:45, we were onboard and starting to relax. First we went to check out our cabin, which was nice. It seemed very clean and comfortable. We had a twin on Aloha deck, cabin 7034, about 20 meters from the midship stairway and very close to the Casablanca Lounge. We met our cabin stewards, Monica and Steven, who told us if we needed anything, to just call. They showed us how to work the cabin safe, which by the way, didn't work. They called maintenance and within half an hour it was working.

 

After dumping our hand luggage, it was on to the Lido Deck Aft and the Outback bar for some lunch and a very cold beer. As we were delayed and departure was pushed back to approx 5pm, it gave us some time to have a look around and get aquainted with the ship. After an hour or so, we were back at the Outback bar enjoying a few more cold beers waiting for sailaway.

 

At about 5pm we started pulling out. I was expecting sailaway to be more of a celebration than it was, at least a band or some music, an announcement or even a blast of the horn, but there was nothing like that. By the time we had been pulled into the middle of the river and turned around, it was time for us to go down for dinner, so we missed going under the bridge and out into the bay.

 

Stay tuned for part 2....

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Also that's probably the only thing wrong with 1st dinner, you tend to miss the best parts about leaving Syd or Brisbane (altho leaving late doesn't help). If you're into sunsets, you'll often miss the best part of them also.

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I was expecting sailaway to be more of a celebration than it was, at least a band or some music, an announcement or even a blast of the horn, but there was nothing like that.

 

i think they may have stopped blasting the horn after my cruise. they made a big thing of it then it got stuck on for 10 mins while the crew scrambled to turn it off.

 

what time were you supposed to sail? My cruise in december leaves at 2pm and i dont want to be missing leaving the city because of dinner and leaving late.

 

cant wait to read the rest

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Here's part 2 of my review for Pacific Star, R627 "Island Indulgance".....

Food.

Overall, I found the food onboard Pacific Star to be of very good quality. For breakfast, I ate at the buffet on Lido Deck, usually at around 9:30am. The lines were ok at this time, however, I did find the hot dishes a little cold. I can't make comment about breakfast or lunch served in the dining room, as I never ate there for those meals. Basically, as soon as breakfast finishes at about 10:30, they start preparing to serve lunch which starts at 11:30. The lunch buffet is served at the buffet on Lido Deck 9 Aft and the Pizzeria/Grill on Lido Deck 9 Midships. Everyday, the lunch menu was different, with all sorts on offer, the only regular things served were hotdogs, hamburgers, pizza and fries, served everyday at the Midships buffet.

Dinner in the Bordeux Restaurant was excellent. Every night was a different international theme, with dishes representing each country being served. It was all very tasty, cooked to perfection with very good presentation. The staff in the dining room were very friendly, although, I don't think our waiter "Santo" could speak much English, as he never spoke to us and just nodded when we asked for something. Our Junior waiter "Annand" was very friendly and always up for a bit of a chat. Every night of the cruise was somebody's birthday and the 23rd of August was mine. If you want a big birthday cake, you need to give them at least 24 hours notice and it costs $15. They do, however, give you a small cake, like a cheesecake/tart with a candle in it and a few waiters gather around to sing happy birthday. I had to tell them it was my birthday and ask for it, but it was nice anyway.

Drinks/Bars/Lounges.

Due to new restrictions, they don't serve alcohol in the bars between the hours of 4am and 10am. I thought alcohol onboard was quite expensive, pretty much the same price as bars/pubs ashore. ($5.50 for a glass of bourbon and coke or $4.50 for a stubby of VB) I have a drinks/cocktail menu which I will scan and post on Webshots very soon, along with all the copies of Pacific Daily from the cruise. I'm not a big drinker of cocktails, but had one though after someone here recommended it. I had an M&M, but didn't really enjoy it. Each to their own though, different people, different tastes.

Depending on your tastes, there is a place onboard for you to sit back and relax and enjoy a drink. My favorite place was the Casablanca Lounge on Promenade Deck 8. The staff here were very friendly, remembered my name and what I drank, from the very first meeting. They played a wide range of music, from the inhouse music television channel during the day, to music DVDs in the late afternoon/early evening, and a DJ at night from 10pm to 1am, playing all sorts.

The Outback Bar on Lido Deck 9 Aft, is a very relaxing place for a drink, this was another place I liked to hang out. There are great views off the back of the ship as you sit and have your drink, although, this is also where the Lido buffet is, so it can get a bit crowded around the peak breakfast/lunch times. There's plenty of shade here if you want to get out of the sun, or there are tables and chairs in the sun as well. Lido Deck 9 Midships is where you'll find the poolside bar. It is always crowded here during the day and very hard to find a table. At lunchtime, there is music played either from a DJ or a live band.

The Starlight Lounge on Promenade Deck 8 Forward, is the place for dancing. In the evening after dinner, here they played the more easy listening sort of music, a good place for a drink if you want to just sit and relax. A lot of the time, there was a band playing older songs for the "Adults" to get up and dance to. I didn't spend much time here during the evening so can't really say much about it. After 1am, the Starlight Lounge becomes the nightclub. most nights, there weren't too many people in there, but, the cruise was made up of a lot of older people.

Duke's Piano Bar is also on Promenade Deck 8. I never went in there so can't comment on it.

Entertainment.

The Cruise Director on Pacific Star for our cruise was an older guy by the name of Michael Whitmore. He was a nice guy but didn't seem all that funny. Perhaps he's more suited to the older crowd. The guest entertainers were a singer called Roland Storm and a comedian called Martin Ralph. He wasn't too bad, quite funny and he did some pretty good tricks with some spinning tops and yo-yo's. The Pacific Star Entertainers were pretty good. Of all the show's they put on, I only watched the "Welcome Aboard" show on the first night, which was a taste of the Pacific Star Entertainers and the guest entertainers.

They had the usual bingo, trivia, seahorse racing etc, which was quite fun. Didn’t win anything though. And they had the Marriage Match game wich was very funny to watch. Night 2, the first formal night, was the Captain's Welcome Cocktail Party where we met Captain Lorenzo Paoletti. If nothing else though, you get some food and a few free drinks.

That’s it for now, watch out for part 3 coming soon…….

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The Cruise Director on Pacific Star for our cruise was an older guy by the name of Michael Whitmore. ... the first formal night, was the Captain's Welcome Cocktail Party where we met Captain Lorenzo Paoletti. If nothing else though, you get some food and a few free drinks.

 

 

That’s it for now, watch out for part 3 coming soon…….

 

Does anyone know what happened to Dan Styne - cruise director on the Star in June or his deputy? Or the captain - Marco fortezzi??

 

Cheers Rach

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Trevor great Part 2, hanging here for part 3. I feel like I'm with you on each of the decks enjoying the same things. Was a bit apprehensive about the Star for some reason (the Sky was just great so comparisions are going to be inevitable), but am now really excited and looking forward to cruising on her.

Keep the report coming!!!

 

Kerri

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Hi Trev

 

The deputy cruise director was Nathaniel - he was really tall (I'm only 5 foot!!) with short blonde hair. he used to love making fun of Corina during during bingo about her lisp.

 

Cheers Rach

 

Nathanial was great - he was one of the Pacific Star Entertainers on our cruise - he looked so out of place - about a foot taller and 3 feet rounder than the other entertainers. Good to hear he's moved up in the ranks to deputy.

 

We had a young lass called Ellen, as deputy on our cruise. She spent the cruise in the shadow of Dan Styne and his ego and didn't really get a look in, she was nice though.

 

 

Kym

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Ellen was a pretty quiet girl. Can just imagine the being a shadow compared to Dan.

 

We had Shona and Adrian in January. Nathanial certainly did look out of place as a dancer.

 

I was disappointed that Shona had left Star by the time we sailed in March - she'd been the Cruise Director (with Demo as Deputy) on my two previous cruises on Sky and Sun, would have been good to make it the hat trick, but alas she'd left to prepare for her marriage to Demo.

 

I found the big difference with Dan was that he took on everything himself - and Ellen was left to be his gofer and do all things that didn't involve him playing to an audience - whereas Shona & Demo worked as a team. Maybe it was just because they were also a couple.

 

Kym

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Enjoying the review Trevor

I'll post my review of R626 when you have finished yours.

It will be interesting to see if we shared the same views

I looked for you at the terminal but we were one of the first off the ship

cheers

Den

 

Not happy with you Den, you broke the ship and made us leave late. :p

 

Trevor

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