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Explorer Dream

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Some recent press releases refer to this ship as a 'new' ship entering service with Dream Cruises.

In actual fact she is the now 20 year old Star Cruises, "Superstar Virgo" being taken over and undergoing an extensive refit before going into service with Dream Cruises.  She is scheduled to do round trips out of Auckland and Sydney late 2019 and early 2020.

Reading recent reviews from CC members sailing on her as Superstar Virgo the reviews are not very complimentary so we can only hope that there will be a big improvement under Dream Cruises.

The cruises seem to be all of seven days and the prices seemed reasonable until I went into the website and found that gratuities were quoted at sng$21 per day.  Also from the reviews when under Star Cruises the gratuities were not removeable.  This sng$21 equates to nz$23 times 2, times 7 equals to nz$322 for the week, so not so much of a bargain.  Was thinking of taking the family of five and that would make it $805 more.

Dream Cruises don't seem to know that we, downunder, don't like added (compulsory) gratuities and I think they might well find this out.

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I cruised on her as Superstar Virgo. Was nothing wrong with the ship itself, just the Asian way of doing things was a bit peculiar and frustrating. Presumably, with a full compliment of Aussies/Kiwis and sailing in our waters, the vibe and processes will hopefully be different....otherwise, it won't have a very long stay here.

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15 hours ago, vozzie said:

Just reading the publicity on this move down under and, reading between the lines, the main clientele is planned to be Asian customers on Fly/Cruise packages.

 

https://www.traveldailymedia.com/explorer-dream-cruises/

 

That's just marketing for that audience. Conversely there is this for local audience.

 

https://latteluxurynews.com/2018/11/22/sneak-peek-at-dream-cruises-explorer-dream/

 

They have a local office and local pricing so are not just marketing offshore.

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The quoted prices do not seem that bad at first but then it certainly isn't a bargain either. $972 for seven days and the gratuities ($147) added on top is not great. Would need to see the itineraries and price offerings after a few cruises.

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Nothing there grabbing at me to do it. The Tassie cruises are likely the ones that would interest me most and at around $400-$450 pp per night in a balcony (and thatt doesn't include grats), seems a way too high for my liking.

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4 hours ago, vozzie said:

You can see itineraries and book here:

https://www.dreamcruiseline.com/en/plan-your-holiday/itineraries/depart-from-australia-or-newzealand/

 

e.g. 7 night Syd-Queensland-Syd....Balcony.$1500 each plus $20 each gratuities per night.

Had another look at this.  The ads. say a price, but when you into booking some astronomical total price comes up and you still have to add the gratuities.

These short cruises only work for people living near the port.  Once you add airfares from provincial cities (astronomical) plus taxis, etc. then the real cost is expensive.

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Hi I’m booked on Explorer on 17 Nov and paid only $1,100 including gratuities for a travelling solo in an inside cabin with hopes for a reduced upgrade on the day. I’ll let you know how it goes :)

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Question: Travelling on 8 Nov 2019, BNE - SYD.  Anyone else have trouble checking in on the website?  Travel Agent reported there was an issue with the website but the Cruise Line blamed me for the issue and suggested I try a different web browser.  So much for 45 years in IT.  I guess I learned nothing!

 

I have very little confidence in enjoying the cruise, given the poor start to date.  Poor to no response from the Agent and little help from the cruise line.

 

Can anyone give me some positive news about a recent trip on the Explorer Dream in or near Australia?

 

Is anyone going on the 8 Nov 2019 trip that would be happy to chat in BNE?  mozzie4 at gmail dot com

 

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Here's some good news...if you are a smoker....smoking IS permitted on balconies !

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50 minutes ago, vozzie said:

Here's some good news...if you are a smoker....smoking IS permitted on balconies !

No.  That's not good news.  I suppose they allow smoking in the interior of the ship also; say the casino?

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30 minutes ago, AussieNationalCapital said:

No.  That's not good news.  I suppose they allow smoking in the interior of the ship also; say the casino?

Yep in the casino

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On a recent cruise on Sapphire Princess one area of the Casino was reserved for smokers as well.  I wonder if this will change when in Oz waters.  Smoking in the Casino I could cope with but smoking on a Balcony not for me.  So will definitely give Explorer Dream a wide berth for now.

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