We chose this ship 3 years in advance because of the itinerary and we were sailing back to back for the second cruise.
We reserved Continent Suite 8043 as it seemed to suit our needs of more space and being midships. Unlike one of the previous reviews, when we entered our suite, we were impressed with the amount of space we had with plenty of storage. We had chosen to have a suite with shower only and we found the bathroom very adequate. We thought the decoration was very inviting, being light, bright and airy. As there were no formal evenings, the wardroom space was good as were the large drawers and the cases fitted easily under the bed. We felt very comfortable during our 31 nights on board and we were well attended by our butler, Xavier, and the stewards.
We found the dining format to be very acceptable whether in Discoveries, Windows or on the patio. Because of the standard of these main dining areas, we did not find going to the speciality restaurants a particular treat. Throughout the long voyage, we found the staff to be so friendly but not over familiar and they all worked well together. We were most impressed with some of the senior officers, such as Philip, the hotel director, who always seemed to be visible and ready to assist at all times. One felt that the caring attitude started from the top and cascaded down. The complimentary drinks were surprisingly acceptable so rarely did we bother to buy any others and we were not pressurised to buy an 'upgrade'.
Having booked this cruise so far in advance, one of the attractions was to visit Broome in the Australian summer (we have been there twice in the winter) but the itinerary was changed such that we stopped at neither Broome nor Exmouth so had three days of sailing from Komodo to Geraldton. As we were the first cruise ship to stay overnight in Geraldton, we were given an enormous reception by the town who made us so welcome. We have never experienced such a welcome before and neither had the ship's crew.
Although giving a poor rating for 'enrichment activities', it was for the first cruise but the second cruise we would give it a 5 for Professor Johnson on Music. My wife is not musical but I persuaded her to attend the second in the series and she enjoyed the rest..
Wonderful, very pleased with the spaciousness and layout. Have booked into the same number suite on Journey on our next cruise.
Did not goon the Dragon tour as too much walking involved. Went to Pink Beach and village but not prepared to transfer from an awkward local boat to a small dinghy to be transported to the beach so stayed on board with four others. Village people friendly but not trying to sell anything but some people would have found walking along the jetty to be a little hazardous.
Great reception given to the ship and the townspeople could not do enough to make us all welcome.