Astor is a charming small sized intimate cruise ship with a good variety of amenities on board to keep you entertained, even on longer voyages around the world. She would be the perfect choice of ship for those who prefer a more traditional cruise experience. The atmosphere on board Astor is certainly very welcoming and the crew seemed particularly friendly and attentive.
Weighing in at just 20,606 gross tonnes, Astor is a small sized cruise ship carrying no more than 600 passengers. Originally launched in 1986, Astor was extensively refurbished in 2010 and is currently joint operated by the German cruise operator, Transocean Cruises and the British cruise line, Cruise & Maritime Voyages.
Passengers embark the ship on Atlantic Deck, which is where you’ll find the Reception, the Shore Excursions Office and the Concierge desk. Promenade Deck, which is the next deck up, is home to many of the passenger amenities on board Astor. Located at the forward end is the Astor Lounge, which is where the evening entertainment and performances take place, along with lectures and presentations. The lounge is quite large for the size of ship and offers plenty of comfortable seating, although some seats face away from the stage and other have slightly obstructed views, most however offer a good vantage point to catch an evening performance before or after dinner.
Located on the starboard side of Promenade Deck adjacent to the forward passenger stairwell is the Card Room. Here passengers can find a choice of board games and puzzles. Immediately opposite on the port side is the Library, which is quite bright making it an inviting place to relax with a book whilst the world goes by. Just a few steps away from the Library is the Computer Corner, where you can catch up on your emails whilst you are away should you wish to do so. However there’s just 4 computers situated here.
If shopping is your thing there are plenty of places to browse on board Astor, especially for a ship of her size. There are a number of boutiques selling everything from chocolates, t-shirts, perfume and fine jewellery. Near the boutiques you will also find the Photo Gallery and the future cruise sales desk where you can book your next cruise whilst still on board!
Mid ships on Promenade Deck is the nautically themed Captain’s Club. It’s the perfect place to relax with a pre-dinner drink in the evening, catch up with friends or enjoy a snack or two after lunch when afternoon tea is served. Either side of the Captain’s Club is a spacious open and bright walkway with large windows offering a great view from the generous amount of seating here. It’s probably a little quieter than the Captain’s Club if you wish to escape and enjoy a drink with a sea view.
The Waldorf Restaurant is located at the stern and is the main restaurant which operates an early and late fixed sitting for dinner. Lunch is also served here but is fixed sitting too. Breakfast is also served here daily. There’s a choice of table sizes, many seat more than 4 but if you prefer to dine alone there are a number of tables for just 2 should you want a more intimate dining experience.
Nearby to the main restaurant, located either side of the aft stairwell, are two speciality restaurants, however these differ somewhat depending which cruise line is operating the ship. When operated by Cruise & Maritime Voyages the Admiral’s Restaurant serves Asian and Indian dishes as well as stir-fries from Singapore and Malaysia. The Commodore’s Restaurant is a Mediterranean styled eatery offering classic Italian dishes. Whilst operating under TransOcean Cruises, the Admiral’s Restaurant is renamed the Romantic Dinner, which offers a more exclusive formal dining experience, with fine wines and mouth-watering cuts of meat. The Commodore’s Restaurant becomes the Toscana Restaurant but still serves Italian cuisine and delicious pasta dishes.
One deck up above on Boat Deck you will find the self-service buffet, Übersee Club. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as late night snacks you’ll always find something tasty to eat. There are a number of counters serving both hot and cold foods as well as a hot drinks station and scrumptious desserts! When the weather is nice guests can choose to dine al fresco on the outdoor aft deck around the swimming pool. The pool is quite a decent size and would certainly be inviting on hot sunny days. Located near the pool, but only open when the weather is behaving is an outdoor bar. There are plenty of tables and chairs to relax with a drink when the weather is right!
The outdoor promenade deck is also located on Boat Deck. It’s quite spacious and offers a number of sun lounges to lie back on and soak up the sun. Unlike other traditional classic cruise ships the promenade does not wrap around. Back inside at the forward end of the Boat Deck is the Conference Centre which is somewhat hidden, not that everyone needs to find it. It is quite a large venue and is no doubt also used as a chapel for religious services.
Overlooking the swimming pool one deck up on Bridge Deck is a large outdoor sun terrace which offers additional outdoor seating and comfortable sun loungers. Heading inside you’ll discover the German themed Hanse Bar. It is a great hideaway and features lavish dark woods and brass fixtures. The bar opens right out onto the sun terrace where there’s a canopy covering part of the deck with stylish new outdoor seating to relax with a drink in the shade or keep out of the wind and rain when the weather isn’t quite so nice.
Also located on Bridge Deck is a small but nevertheless bright and spacious Gym. It features a number of exercise machines, treadmills and a small free weights area. It also offers quite good views over the port side of the ship. If keeping fit and active is your thing, there are more energizing and fun activities on the Sun Deck. At the stern there are some traditional deck games, such as shuffleboard and deck quoits. For something a little more challenging mid ships just in front of the funnel is a larger sports court which consists of two tennis courts. The area however can also be used for football or basketball. Behind the sports court netting, there is a small outdoor covered area which features a table tennis, a dart board and even a punch bag should you need to swing a few hits. The Sun Deck also features a wraparound jogging and walking track as well as a forward deck overlooking the bow, which must be perfect for sail away.
For something more relaxing head down to Carbic Deck which is home to the Spa Oasis. The wellness centre consists of a beauty salon, hairdressers, sauna, treatment rooms and even an indoor pool! A number of comfortable sun loungers surround the swimming pool along with four heated tiled spa lounge chairs to quietly relax on. The Spa Oasis is the perfect place to hide away and relax and unwind, especially when it’s not so nice outside on deck.
Talking of relaxing, there’s plenty of comfortable accommodation to choose from on board Astor. Despite carrying no more than 600 passengers the ship offers 15 different categories of cabins, so there’s something to suit nearly everyone’s budget. There’s a choice of Standard Twin Inner and Standard Twin Ocean View cabins some of which sleep up to 4 passengers. For those with a larger budget there is a wide range of suites on offer from the Superior Suite Inner right up to the Senator Suite and Astor Suite which feature their own private balcony. These suites however are the only 3 on board which feature balconies. If a balcony isn’t available or out of your budget you might find the Premium Suite Oceanview cabins on Atlantic Deck to be just as nice. Although these cabins do not feature a balcony, they do however offer two large floor-to-ceiling windows and are extremely spacious and include a lovely sitting area by one of the large windows. There’s even 4 Single Inner and 4 Single Oceanview cabins for solo cruisers.
In summary, Astor is a charming small sized intimate cruise ship with a good variety of amenities on board to keep you entertained, even on longer voyages around the world. She would be the perfect choice of ship for those who prefer a more traditional cruise experience. The atmosphere on board Astor is certainly very welcoming and the crew seemed particularly friendly and attentive.