With Reuben Goossens
Cruise’n’Travel Journalist / Cruise Reviewer
& Maritime Historian
Ships that Call Australia Home in 2013 & 2014
Including those who spend the Summer Months Here
P&O Cruises Australia MV Pacific Pearl is seen here at anchor off
Australian’s have certainly taken to the
idea of going on a ocean cruise and passengers numbers have proved that
bookings are ever increasing, and it is for this reason major cruise companies
are sending their finest and largest ships to our shores!
Below there is a list of the many ships that
are either based in our waters for the summer season, or based in
For good value cruising from the east coast
P&O Cruises have proven them selves for a good 70 years, and today they
operate three fine ships. First there is my favourite of the three the
delightful MV Pacific Pearl,
as she has some of the best facilities and lounges of the three P&O Cruises
ships, but best still, she has the most deck space per passenger! Then comes
the beautiful Pacific Dawn
I will now commence with my favourite cruise company, which commencedHolland America Line!
In Australia & New Zealand during the Summer Months is the time that one of the ultimate luxury cruise lines, yet one that I have found to be one that remains most affordable, will sail from our shores. This company is one of the oldest and grand shipping companies in the world and it is known as having the “Spotless Fleet.” - Holland America Lines (HAL) that is a company with some 140 years of passenger shipping experience.
In addition I would like to point out that
Holland America Line has won more “Best Cruise Line” and “Best
Cruise Value” from
For the 2013 & 14 summer season the much
larger and glamorous
In addition you will sail on a much newer ship by years and the magnificent Oosterdam has vast open and shaded deck space compared to the old ships operated locally of which many are very short on deck space, especially considering the number of passengers these ships tend carry! Also, HAL ships have a huge sliding glass dome (located up on Observation Deck) that open and closes pending the weather over the forward swimming pool on Lido Deck, thus providing perfect swimming no matter the weather, and believe that is important when cruising around New Zealand where it can be rather cool even when it is supposed to be summer!
Please Note: All the aforementioned issues are very important when one considers a cruise and thus it is important that you consult a Cruise Specialist who is not on the “incentives” list by various cruise lines, for those who are will talk you into the cruise product that will make the agency the most profit!
I recommend that you could contact me, as I am not commercially based and receive nothing from anyone as I stand on ethics! I do however have several agents that I know to be the best Cruise Specialists, who will look after you, and I will happy to recommend them, for then I will know that you are being well looked after. But, you need not tell then that you even looked at my site, etc!
More about Oosterdam’s facilities:
super luxury 82,000-ton
will join the
Photograph provided by
The 290m (950ft) long ms Oosterdam embodies Holland America Line’s focus on the upmarket cruise vacations, for the minute you step on board this amazing ship you will discover such touches as a huge Waterford crystal globe displayed in the three story Atrium, and you will find an extensive use of crystal, marble, inlaid wood and brass throughout the ship. Then as you go out on deck you will discover that much loved full wrap-around teak promenade deck, something that is missing on most modern ships these days! In addition, you will discover the famed HAL’s long standing tradition of the ship’s extensive fine art works that is scattered through out the ship, even in the hallway to your stateroom, and that something that most people always tend to talk about long after their cruise is the company’s signature statement on their ships, which is the constant use of fresh flowers that is found in every public venue (except in the Showroom) and it is simply beautiful!
The ship has some fifteen lounges and bars including the spectacular three level Vista Lounge/Showroom/Theatre. Atop forward of the ship is one of HAL favourite’s the huge “Crows Nest” that offers a superb ocean views over the bow and both sides of the ship, this venue is one of the most popular on board, and on the starboard side aft section it also contains the ever popular “Explorations Café” for that perfect barista coffee and that little sweet bite! There are a host of superb dinning options, the two level Vista Dinning Room for your three meals per day, or you can go to the massive Lido Restaurant Buffet for the same three meals, and coffee is also available there all day. Other free options are the Terrace Grill, ice creams, and the Italian Canaletto Restaurant. However, should you want to do some really very special, then you MUST try the Pinnacle Grill, I have and it is out of this world and worth the small additional charge! This meal is not only beyond perfection, but it is more of an event!
The Oosterdam even has a “Culinary Arts Centre” complete with a demonstration kitchen offering interactive gourmet cooking lessons. Also available is a “Digital Workshop” to learn new computer skills from a Microsoft “Techsperts.” And not to forget the younger generation, the Children’s and youth clubs are simply rated as the best at sea and are separated into separate zones depending on ages!
Enter my feature on her and discover the ships superb modern semi art deco interiors and staterooms:
Page One: Holland America Line – Introduction Page
The author’s 2010 - ms Volendam Cruise Review
And the ms Amsterdam Ship Review
visited ms Amsterdam in
Also read our Holland America Line - Cruise News Updates - Page
Celebrity Cruises: 5 Star Ships:
Desire the very best in everything, then the MV Celebrity Millennium is for you as she offers ultra luxury cruising in 2013!
Celebrity Cruises operated two of their superior luxury ships during past summers such as the delightful and elegant 71,545-ton MV Celebrity Century that and the massive 122,000-ton 2,850 passenger MV Celebrity Solstice, which is the largest cruise ship to be ever based in Australian waters! The facilities on board Celebrity ships are simply beyond sublime and in a more stylised modern form very much like Holland America Line, I highly recommend both of these companies, but Celebrity does not have the history and grand class of Holland America Line that is something that just cannot be found on any modern cruise line! But, for those who love the glitz and the glamour, vivid colour and somewhat over the top American style décor, you will find it on these two luxurious ships!
However, the MV Celebrity Century will not be returning as Celebrity will be sending another of their super ships Down Under! The new arrival will be the magnificent 90,238-ton, 1,950 passenger GTS Celebrity Millennium and she will be cruising out of Australian waters and join her larger fleet mate MV Celebrity Solstice. These two ships will bring a whole new style of cruising to our shores and these will set the standard to follow in modern luxury cruising!
The MV Celebrity Solstice is the largest ship based in Australian waters during the summer months, although the MV Queen Mary 2 will be the largest when she visits
This huge ship has just 2,850 passengers. Compare that to the 88-500-ton Radiance of the Seas, which has just 170 less passengers, yet she is a massive 33,500-ton smaller
For interest, the superb
For interest, the superbGTS Celebrity Millennium is the flagship of the Millennium Class of cruise ships, and her sister ships are the Constellation, Infinity and
Amazingly the Millennium has a restaurant that contains original wooden panels that were used in the RMS Olympic, being sister ship to the ill-fated RMS Titanic and HMHS Britannic. These wooden panels were removed and preserved when the Olympic was sold to the breakers back in 1936.
The ship offers a magnificent two level main dining room, named the “Metropolitan” and a buffet serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner up on deck 10. Entertainment includes the Grand Celebrity Theatre in which excellent musical shows, comedians, or big-screen movies can be seen. The theatre is also used for gathering people who go on excursions, as well as informative lectures, etc. Another place is the cinema, located on the third deck. This is also used for small gathering and informative talks as well as daily movies.
Enter MV Celebrity Solstice page with further links!
2 - Royal
Australia & New Zealand during the Summer Months
In Australia & New Zealand during the Summer Months: However, there are other excellent options including the more relaxed family minded Royal Caribbean International Cruises and their already popular 78,491-ton 1,998 passenger MV Rhapsody of the Seas, which will be joined by the larger 90,090-ton 2,500 passenger MV Radiance of the Seas for the 2013/14 summer season. These ships are to say the least ALL and VERY AMERICAN, having all those typical new things once not found on a ship, but now becoming more popular for a family style ship, such as rock climbing walls, skating rings, huge over the top and glitzy atriums, but for those who do not mind the Americanisms and the abundance of children on board, they are great value for money and the service, food and entertainment is very good and I have receive good reports! Although they are certainly not my cup of tea!
superb 90,090-ton MV Radiance of the Seas is seen in
Photograph by & © Walter Pless
The MV Rhapsody of the Seas a great ship for the young and the young at heart! Her interiors are spectacular!
MV Rhapsody of the Seas is seen here departing
by & © 2010 -
Enter - MV Rhapsody of the Seas feature
Princess Cruises Australia: 4 Star: a Carnival Australia Company.
The intimate explorer MV Ocean Princess
There are additional sailings on the
116-000-ton, 2,670 passenger MV Diamond Princess, and
the only ship I really like, the delightful intimate 30,200-ton, 670 passengers
MV Ocean Princess that will soon
disappear and head for another company! Thus there is a remarkable variety of
cruise s available, from Around the World and grand Pacific voyages, and the ever
popular Pacific and
3 - P&O
Australia & New Zealand Year round: OK, we have
looked at upmarket ships (well Princess is debatable), as well as the family
market with Royal Caribbean, but now we are heading for an old favourite
P&O Cruises Australia. Although P&O is not exactly top end of cruising,
however, having said that, I have cruised with P&O many times and
have found it great value for money and have had a most enjoyable time. The
problem with some people is that they judge companies according other ships,
but sadly they also tend to forget that they may well have paid a whole lot
more than on a P&O cruise! I believe that in general P&O offers good
value for money, for I have always found that the food has been very good, the
service is extremely friendly and the entertainment is great, OK, it is a cheap
operates three much loved regulars, such as the well known and ever popular MV Pacific Dawn based in Brisbane, MV Pacific Jewel and the MV Pacific Pearl based in Sydney.
The Pacific Pearl will also operate from Fremantle and Auckland New
Pearl evening departure from
As I said previously, P&O continues to offer good value for money, good service, food, and entertainment and my cruises with P&O Australia have always proven to be excellent. P&O’s cruise ships range from 63,500-ton (Pacific Pearl) to 70,310-ton (Pacific Dawn & Jewel). Each ship has their special individuality and features and yet no matter which ship you sail on, P&O Cruises Australia does have some of the best children’s and youth facilities available. Over time I have received a good number of reviews from families who sailed on the MV Pacific Dawn from Brisbane, and their children simply loved the facilities and the parents were overjoyed that they were able to totally trust the staff and facilities and have time to themselves and they felt that the ship was never over run by kids! I always recommend P&O Australia as it is a well run Cruise Company being one of Australia’s longest running cruise lines!
As I have already indicated, the only problem I find is that both the Pacific Dawn and Pacific Jewel are ships that have insufficient deck space compared to the passenger numbers they carry! Then on one of the open aft decks, is closed to the general passengers, as it is an optional (Pay for) “Oasis” style garden, where adults can get away from every one. Thus, getting away from every one can be an expensive hobby on P&O Cruises Australia, or you will have to fight for a spot at 4.30 am for a deck chair in the shade – but they won’t be set out yet!
Dome” on board the MV Pacific Dawn, an excellent ship
– A ship with delightful lounges and bars and a great pool &
are the two pools and
In Australia & New Zealand Year round: We have now come to the family medium class “younger set” and “family & kiddie” cruise market, with Carnival Cruises (USA) ship to be sent Down Under.
The 88,500-ton MV Carnival Spirit will arrive in Australia later this year and she will offer facilities just right for her special type of clientele, and I mean that it will cater to the entire family as well the Aussie day long drinkers and I am sure it will do its job well, even though it may not sound like the best mix. But the truth is that is the clientele they will be aiming for, the bottom of the market! In other words, this cruise reviewer will not be seen dead on her!
Spirit Class Ships
Although a large ship, but the Carnival Sprit with her passenger capacity is somewhat high I feel for her size
In addition her décor is rather American in style regardless her being “Australianised”, therefore she may be a little over the top in some of her venues
However, she does have a very attractive library and one other lounge in particular, but most are very typical Carnival in style - very American!
The Carnival Sprit was the second Spirit Class ship built in 2001.
Carnival Cruises Australia will be permanently
But considering there has been a massive slump in the American market for a number of years, Carnival knew that the Australian market is simply booming and thus they saw an opening in our lucrative and growing cruise market and decided to send one of their older ships from 2001 (what’s new) MV Carnival Spirit and she was the second ship built of eight Spirit Class ships, four for Costa Cruises and four for Carnival, although she was Carnival’s first Spirit Class ship, thus her name. However, for her size she does have a rather large guest capacity operating with up to 2,680 passengers. Remember that the Holland America Line ms Oosterdam being much the same size only accommodates 1,960 passengers that is 720 less!
Carnival has advised me that prior to the ships arrival in Australia she will be fully refitted and I was told that she would be completely “Australianised” and fitted with a brand new “Water Park” that will be installed that will incorporate a huge thrill slide and splash park that will be known as “WaterWorks.” It is said to have a massive vertical drop and this will be not just be brand new to carnival but a first for any cruise ship in the world. Thus she should prove to be an extremely popular ship for the younger set and families, although I am not as yet too sure if she is the most suitable ship for the older generation and those who like things with a touch of class, for that is something that Carnival knows nothing about for her décor and style is hideous, except for the odd room. But if you are young at heart and enjoy fun, Why Not?
Enter the author’s NEW Carnival Spirit feature
Fine Cruise Ships visiting
The following ships, either call in once, twice, sometimes three times a year:
Of course, I have not even started to mention
the many ships that will visit our ports on various occasions, for there are
many, including the ultra luxury ships of Silversea (5+++ Star)
that has an extensive fleet of super luxury boutique ships. Seabourn (6
Star) this company also has a fine fleet of superb boutique ships. Then
there is Orion Expedition Cruises (5.5 Star) who operate two
smaller but luxurious MV Orion and MV Orion II for the ultimate of expedition
voyages, Then there is Cunard’s MV Queen Mary 2 and MV Queen Elizabeth (Cunard
= from 3.5 to 5 Star, pending on grade and dinning facility) what I do not
like is the class system. Next comes my beloved P&O MV Oriana & MV
Aurora (P&O UK = 4 - 4.5 Star) and the much newer and larger
(yuk) MV Arcadia, as well as my ultimate favourite cruise line Holland America
lines (HAL = 5 Star) with their fabulous world explorer ship the
elegantly appointed ms Amsterdam. In addition there will be visits of ships visiting our region such
as the Italian MV Costa Delizosa (Costa Cruises =
3.5 Star), the senior cruise ship MV Saga Ruby, the apartment block
at sea the MV The World, as well as the ship known as the most luxurious
afloat the MV Europa (5+++ Star). Then there is
These are all inclusive ships of all dinning options as well as drinks, butler service and a number of special land-based tours
Simply nothing compares if you are after a special voyage of discovery designed the connoisseur of cruising and life!
is one of the famed Yachts of Seabourn the MV
This is one of the famed Yachts of Seabourn the MVSeabourn Odyssey seen at anchor
Seabourn and Silversea have much in common as they serve the very top end of the cruise market with super luxury ships
And have suite only accommodations and an all inclusive operation. All ships have a stern door that will open up and create not only a pool,
but a diving platform and boating activities that are carried on board the ships.
Enter my Seabourn Yachts feature
and other remote and exciting areas! Their new arrival is the Orion II, and both ships offer the ultimate of luxurious standards for smaller vessels!
Enter my MV Orion feature
horrid Carnival Vista Class ship -
P&O Cruises England MV Oriana is simply superb as she is the last ship of the fleet that seem to retain some real P&O Heritage
somewhat newer sister
the Oriana. But it has been said that Carnival may get rid of the best ship in their P&O fleet due to “modernization” That would be tragic! So sail on Oriana while you can!
For be assured they will replace her with yet another huge square box, like P&O’s hideous new fleet!
ms Amsterdam one of two of
HAL luxury world explorer ships, the other being the
View the author’s ms Amsterdam ship review just down the page
With any of the Carnival cruise companies as well as many of the other lines on the East Coast, I have noticed that there are many special fares on offer and that on so many advertisements they tend to have that annoying little *asterisk and when you read that super fine print at the bottom, you will note that the fare mentioned only applies to cruises numbers x, y, z, which are frequently cruises departing within a few weeks, or a year or so away, thus bookings have been so heavy that most cruises are already fully booked and there has been a few cancelations on a cruise due to depart in several weeks and there are low booking on a certain cruise twelve months on! Don’t be fooled by this idea of getting a better deal of last minute bookings for you have to be lucky to get one when you actually need it! Once that is how it used to be, but these days there is usually a big waitinglist and on many cruises they actually close the waitlist. So, be wise and book as soon as you know when you have your holidays and book the cruise of your choice NOW!
Many have asked me, “What are your
recommendations?” To be honest the answer it is not that simple, for
it depends on your circumstances, and I suggest that you write me with your
details, are you a couple, your age, are you a family and send me your
children’s ages and how many, etc. Also, a few of your likes and
dislikes, port priorities, do you like luxury, or an more informal atmosphere,
as well as your preferred port of embarkation, being Sydney, Brisbane,
Melbourne or Adelaide and Fremantle, although latter two obviously have limited
choices of destinations, being either Asia, and coastal voyages. The majority
of ships depart from
Bon Voyage in 2013 and 2014!
--Cruise & Ship Reviews--
A Special Ship Review by the author - November 2010
ms Amsterdam seen in Sydney International Passenger Terminal in November 2010
Photograph provided by & © 2010 Holland
Having sailed a superb cruise on Holland
America Lines (HAL)
ms Amsterdam Atrium features the three decks high “
Photo by the author © 2010
I was also blessed to enjoy some lunch in the restaurant, which proved to be typical HAL, thus simply superb and sheer perfection just as experienced on my previous cruises with them. I had to tear myself off this ship and hope to sail on her in the future for she does have an ambience that is very special, and she does operate some unique world voyages, ideal for those who love to explore the world!
Please Note: ms Amsterdam will again operate several great world explorer
voyages and visit
Enjoy the ms
For the latest HAL news updates – ENTER … Holland America Line - NEWS
their modern and delightful interiors, filled with art and fresh flowers!
1872 to 2000
1993 to 2015
Enter the MV Celebrity Solstice page
Enter the MV Orion feature
Enter the MV Rhapsody of the Seas feature
Carnival Cruises: Carnival Spirit
Seabourn: Seabourn Yachts
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