1 independent reviews for New Zealands Subantarctic Islands cruise, including Macquarie

Reviews for New Zealands Subantarctic Islands cruise, including Macquarie

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review 2 Dec 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The wildlife.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Don't go on this ship: it is old and uncomfortable. Booking a mini-suite was expensive and turned out to be most inconvenient. It was certainly good having ones own toilet and shower, however the bed arrangement was terrible. The bed was enclosed in a box with only a small corner free for getting in or getting out of bed. If one had to get up in the night one had to wake one's partner to get out of bed and back in again, as one had to climb over one's partner to get out of the bed. There was plenty of room in the main cabin area for the bed to be free standing in the main space with the convenience of 2 sides and the end being open, as any normal bed is; with both sides having a bedside tables. (There was no space for a bedside tables in the box - none at all!). The bench seat and the table from the main area should have been in the area where the bed was. More hooks on the walls for wet clothes would also be helpful - there was plenty of space for this. There was also limited handhold rails in the cabin and in the bathroom. We were often smashed against the walls as there was no-where appropriate to hold on in the rough weather. Storage space was good. We felt that the cost of this cabin was far too much considering that it was so inconvenient. We would never book a trip on this ship, or its sister ships again. I can provide photos if required.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It supported conservation and had minimal environmental impact. The expert staff were very good, but few of them knew how to give everyone on zodiacs reasonable viewing. This severely limited one's ability to take video and photographs in what was already difficult conditions. And one staff member persisted in driving the zodiac at a very fast speed, especially when returning to the ship, which on choppy seas or big swells made the journeys very uncomfortable. It was totally unnecessary to speed, as several minutes added to the tour would be neither here nor there and would be much more comfortable for the passengers. On one occasion another staff member even told this person to "take it easy". Lectures were informative and interesting. The tour leader was very personable and well organised. The meals were not of a standard commensurate with the cost of the vacation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fair.

Read the operator's response here:

We are disappointed to learn that Ms Fooks’ experience did not live up to her expectations. We have a transparency first policy when marketing our authentic, small-ship expedition voyages and our passengers’ safety and comfort are our main priorities. Built in 1984 for polar and oceanographic research, our expedition vessel Spirit of Enderby accommodates a maximum of just 50 passengers and has recently undergone a refurbishment to increase their on-board comfort levels. However, the very nature of expedition cruising and choosing to explore the most remote and seldom visited islands, means passengers can sometimes feel out of their comfort zone, particularly when we encounter rough seas. With over 30 years experience operating expeditions in the southern ocean, which is renowned for its heavy seas, we are very familiar with the requirements for sailing in these waters. Our cabin configurations have been designed with this in mind to create the safest and most comfortable spaces within the cabin parameters, while our on-board heavy seas mantra “One hand for yourself, one hand for the ship” reiterates the need to keep safe at all times while moving around the vessel. We are grateful for Ms Fooks’ feedback regarding cabin handrails and hooks and it is something which we constantly monitor to ensure the ideal combination between safety and comfort. We are very proud of our exceptional staff whose tireless efforts ensure safe, memorable, educational and exciting voyages for our passengers. During Zodiac cruises we endeavour to give everyone an equal opportunity to record and enjoy the scenery and wildlife, where safety and conditions permit. We would have hoped she would have noted her issue so it could have been dealt with during the voyage. While well below guideline speeds, we can appreciate the conditions may have made this unpleasant for her and all of our drivers are trained to consider the individual comfort of each passenger. We are also extremely proud of our galley of international chefs who, occasionally under trying circumstances, create hearty, international-quality cuisine which is regularly cited among the voyage highlights of our passengers.

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