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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
A very interesting, rejuvenating and memorable 24-day last segment of 2019 World Cruise Pacific Princess Cruise Review by romyfernandez My wife and I did not take the complete 111 days 2019 World Cruise with Pacific Princess (PP), ... Read More
A very interesting, rejuvenating and memorable 24-day last segment of 2019 World Cruise Pacific Princess Cruise Review by romyfernandez My wife and I did not take the complete 111 days 2019 World Cruise with Pacific Princess (PP), Jan 3-Apr 27, Ft. Lauderdale to Ft. Lauderdale for two reasons. 1) We had been to almost 93% of the first 87 days, from Ft. Lauderdale to Cape Town in our earlier cruises. 2) We needed time to prepare our 2018 income tax returns in Canada due April 30. While we had been to Barbados, Guadeloupe and St. Martin several times in the past, we’ve not been to Cape Town, S.A., Luderitz, Namibia, Walvis Bay, Namibia, St. Helena (U.K. Territory, Natal, Brazil, Fortaleza, Brazil, and Devil’s Island, French Guiana, interesting and historical ports in this voyage. This had been in our bucket list for quite some time. Luck was in our side when due to a cancellation, Oceanview stateroom 4056 was available for our taking on January 28, 2019. Having cruised with this ship three times in the past, involving a total of 60 cruise days, we knew what to expect on this boat. Pacific Princess continues to live up with Cruise Critic’s assessment as the Best Small Cruise Ship. An intimate ambience with the amenities of a larger ship, this old but elegant beauty sails the world. With only 670 guest capacity, the 423 guests completing the 111 day world cruise, many had become intimate. We were a couple of 141 guests who joined the last segment of the cruise at Cape Town on April 3rd, disembarking at Ft. Lauderdale on April 27. What we didn’t expect was Oceanview cabin 4056 would become our home away from home for 24 days. It is one of only two staterooms with wheel chair access. As such, it has more floor space than our balcony staterooms we stayed in mega ships in the past – approximately 280 sq ft of total room space. The washroom and bathroom area was about 56 sq ft, of which the shower area was about 20 sq ft, the largest shower area we’ve had in our many years of cruising. There was a grab bar near the sink. There were two grab bars and an emergency call button near the toilet bowl. And there were four grab bars in the curtained shower area and a collapsible seat for physically-challenged guests. Immediately next right to our cabin was the Passenger Service Desk, the Shore Excursion Desk, the Destination Expert Desk, the Purser’s Foyer area with beautiful furniture and furnishings, which we considered as our living room where Arts & Crafts Classes, Carpet Bowls Challenge and other indoor sporting events were held. The impressive ala Titanic stair case joins Deck 4 and Deck 5 Atrium where big events were held, including Champagne Waterfall Night, and Easter Eggs Exhibits. A short walk on our hallway to the left was a small but reliable Medical Center. Pacific has only two lifts—FWD and AFT. Being on midship location, from our cabin just required a short walk to either lifts to reach public areas on Decks 4, 5, 9, 10 and 11. Being a small ship, we could easily walk from AFT to FWD or vice-versa with ease, and use the lifts or walk up the stairs from our deck to Deck 9, where the Panorama Buffet Restaurant, Pizzeria, BBQ Grill, ice cream parlor, the Bandstand, pool bar, the pool (only one and small), whirlpool, Internet Cafe, Card Room, Lotus Spa and Fitness Center are located. Gangway for going off and boarding the ship was often located on Deck 4 FWD, a short walk from our cabin. Gangway for tender was located one deck below, Deck 3 FWD. Having also cruised with other cruise lines, we always enjoy the food served in the buffet and main dining restaurants on Princess Cruises, especially on this voyage. Good and friendly service is the norm that can be expected from every cruise lines these days. But having our stateroom steward, our waiter at the main dining room, and many dining staff in the buffet restaurant coming from our native country was a bonus, who treated us royally and pampered us with their friendly and outstanding housekeeping and dining services, making our cruise pleasant, relaxing and memorable. The guest performers at showtime at Cabaret Lounge were all great and entertaining artists. Being a small ship, PP did not have a production show of its own as being shown in Princess bigger ships. As the norm with smaller ships with other cruise lines, PP has farmed out its production shows to Belinda King Creative Productions (based in Southampton) whose professional singers and dancers (former ballroom dancing winners with ballet and gymnastic training) always dazzled the audience with their every performance. On this voyage, we enjoyed the informative destination talks and slides shown about the ports we were about to visit and the various interesting and informative enrichment lectures, both held at Cabaret Lounge and replayed the following day on cabin TV. At this lounge, they also showed new movies with free popcorn every time the ship was at sea (the same movies replayed in Cabin’s TV the following day). The synopsis of all movies shown was available at the Library or at Passenger Services Desk. One of the unique services provided by Princess only on world cruises was the availability of five abridged newspapers available at Passenger Services daily to keep up with current events while away from home—USA Times, The Canadian, Britain Today, Australia Today ,and European News. At the end of the cruise, Princess also provides each stateroom informative “Log of the Cruise,” summarizing the ports covered, distance (Nautical Miles) sailed from embarkation to disembarkation and speed (Knots) between ports for every cruise that other cruise lines do not provide. On a cruise, one can be active or lazy. Many of the 423 guests completing the 111-day are ‘senior seniors’ who retired to their cabin after the first showtime at 8:00pm. Given our ‘junior senior’ age (79 and 73), we attended events that still gave us enjoyment, and did our own things to have the relaxation we needed after the last harsh and extremely cold winter we had in Canada. To enrich further our travel experience, we booked for shore excursions on places we’ve not visited yet, organized by Princess (which the ship will wait for any unexpected delay returning to the boat). It was worth every penny we paid for them. Cape Town, S.A.: We were disappointed our prepaid excursion to the summit of Table Mountain was cancelled on April 4 as it was raining hard that day. Instead it was replaced with a visit to South African Museum and driving tour of the seacoast which we did not see much because of the bad weather. Because the replacement tour was short by 1.5 hours of what we paid, as a good will Gesture, Princess offered us 75% discount! Our tour of the museum for one hour was not wasted. Apart from the floor having dinosaur exhibits we failed to cover (we’ve seen lots of them in Canada and USA), we covered three floors showing stuffed mammals and birds of South Africa, vicariously enjoying the experience of having taken African Safari excursion. Part of the museum was about Nelson Mandela, Tata Mandiba to the South Africans. Again, we saved time and money going to Johannesburg to visit Mandela’s Museum. Luderitz, Namibia, an isolated town built on a rocky promontory. Visited Felsenkirche (the Church on the Rocks): and Goerke Haus, a grand estate dating to the early 1900s that has been restored to its former glory and authentic period furniture and furnishings, a historical old mansion also sitting on a rock. Walvis Bay, Namibia (another German colony): Many in our group climbed Dune 7, the highest of the famous massive sand dunes that line the coast, an experience of a lifetime. Even attempting to climb part of the dune is a lifetime experience. Visited Mondesa Township, a village just a few kilometers from the resort of Swakopmund (where Angelina Jolie delivered one of her daughters), but a world away, less developed and less familiar to Westerners. Explored the real Africa-immersing ourselves in its people and authentic experiences. St. Helena, (UK Territory in the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and Brazil where Napoleon Bonaparte was last exiled [he escaped on his first two exiles], died and buried, although his body was returned to France in 1840): Apart from climbing Jacob’s Ladder, built in 1829, with 699 steep steps connecting the lower Jamestown(Capital) to Ladder Hill Fort above, we also had the Napoleon Experience visiting Longwood House, his final residence during his 6 year exile on the island from 1815-1821. The house is now a museum (no photos allowed) maintained by France showing the bed he died, medals, handwritten manuscripts, and other memorabilia. Visited his well preserved tomb (1821) located on a beautiful, serene rain forest. Also visited The Plantation House, a handsome, Georgian-style house built in 1792, as the country residence for the Governor of the Honourable East India Company, now home to the Governor of St. Helana. The Plantation Grounds are home to Jonathan, a Sychelles Giant Tortoise, approximately 187 years old, considered to be the world’s eldest living reptile. Natal, Brazil, the 400-year old “City of the Sun”: Visited the largest cashew tree, close to the beautiful Pirangi Beach. Measuring 1,640 feet around, it’s earned a place in the “Guinness Book of Records.” It can be a misnomer though. It’s not a one-trunk tree, like the giant Sequoia trees. The main trunk is more than 125 years old, its roots underground, however, spreads and sprouts as new trunks covering the 1,640 feet enclosed mini-park for this phenomenal tree. Fortaleza, Brazil, Brazil’s 5th largest city, formerly a Dutch fortress built in 1654: Lovingly nicknamed the “city of light” for its sun-filled days, drove through its many, long stretch of beaches, where the locals and tourists flock all-year round. Drove through its historical buildings downtown. And a stop for almost 50 minutes in Central Market, a 4-storey building, where souvenir items abound for purchase at a discount after bargaining! It was the last stop where the women in our bus, including my wife, said they needed more time! Note: Local craft markets in Namibia and Brazil didn’t accept U.S. currency. To exchange US $ into local currency with Passenger Services on the ship, there was a commission of US$4.50 per transaction. As well, local craft vendors in these two countries we visited, hardly spoke English. Pacific Princess will still make the 2020 World Cruise for Princess Cruises. However, Island Princess with more guests (2,200) and balconies (700+) will make its debut making the 2021 World Cruise, covering 111 days, cross the equator 2 times, 50 destinations, 14 late night calls, 32 countries, 34,000 nautical miles and 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. For business reasons, Island Princess is replacing Pacific Princess in sailing around the world. With more cabin rooms, the guests will also benefit in that compared with Pacific Princess with lesser guest capacity being a small ship, the cruise fare will be lesser sailing with Island Princess. To entice guests on this voyage, Princess had special but limited time offers – 2021 World Cruise Early Booking Benefits for guests still on board the PP and before disembarking at their final destination, Ft. Lauderdale or L.A.: Free Onboard Credit (by stateroom category), Free Gratuities (by stateroom category, Free Wi-Fi, Free Air (by stateroom category), Free Stateroom Location Upgrade, Free Specialty Dining (up to 4 dining), Free Wine: Up to four bottles worth $32 per bottle, and Princess Cruises Captain’s Circle Launch Savings up to $1,000 per person discount applicable to all stateroom categories for guests completing the 111-day voyage (FLL/FLL OR LAX/LAX), or 97-day voyage (LAX-FLL). Because of the above tempting early booking benefits, when we disembarked Pacific Princess at Ft. Lauderdale on April 27, 2019, the 2021 World Cruise with Island Princess was almost or practically sold out! As of April 27, 2019, contrary to circulating rumors, Princess Cruises does not have any plan of selling Pacific Princess after she completes its 2020 World Cruise. Whatever the fate of Pacific Princess after that voyage, my wife and I could cherish we’ve been part of her cruising legacy. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We joined Queen Elizabeth on the 20th April in Cape Town. We had travelled on quite a few cruises on Queen Mary, but wow we were blown away by Queen Elizabeth. From the moment we stepped aboard, our holiday began and it was wonderful ... Read More
We joined Queen Elizabeth on the 20th April in Cape Town. We had travelled on quite a few cruises on Queen Mary, but wow we were blown away by Queen Elizabeth. From the moment we stepped aboard, our holiday began and it was wonderful the entire journey. From the food in the Lido to the Brittannia, we could not have asked for more. The shows were wonderful, with the exception of one show. Our entire experience was superb and we so look forward to being able to travel on Queen Elizabeth again. The cabin was in a lovely condition. It was really easy to navigate through the ship without getting loss. I certainly recommend a holiday on Queen Elizabeth. The staff on the ship were only too happy to go the extra mile, whether it was in Brittannia or at the buffet in the Lido. The friendliness was absolutely superb. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
The itinerary was the most appealing factor.a chance to go to Okinowa,Egypt, Taiwan and Brunei very juicy UnfortunatelyCunard cancelled all four and a very short time before we sailed Christmas Eve we received the email This ... Read More
The itinerary was the most appealing factor.a chance to go to Okinowa,Egypt, Taiwan and Brunei very juicy UnfortunatelyCunard cancelled all four and a very short time before we sailed Christmas Eve we received the email This is one big con trick and there should be a fraud investigation Will send further reports as an update each month Long journey to board at. soon ,v.tired wrong keys given at check in --- not a great start Ship is living on it's very fine PR. Certainly nowhere near top quality. choice of dining is Britannia ( formal or semi formal.... jackets must be worn to respect other guests.. Cobblers people want to feel relaxed and it's never that in the dining room The only other free dining is the King's Court which offers 3 star buffet. Otherwise Cunard follow their policy of a great big hand in your pocket. Greedy,greedy company. Lidl wines at £5 sell at £32 on board after just 2 weeks menus are being repeated. Calibre of meats and fruit mediocre. One bright spark for us is a young Mauritius gent called Marco in Atlantic Room who has been great for us Bridge on ship has been as well organised as everything else, in other words -poor Lectures are superb. Tours seriously overpriced Cunard have been un contactable and unapproachable. eg we wrote to Cunard on 10th Dec 2016 and again 3rd jan 2017. We as Diamond Members (top category)have been totally ignored not even a short acknowledgement. So damned rude Entertainments Director is a pretty girl but quite honestly hopeless as ED Cunard have now lost Maril & myself as guests on their ships.the treatment of the elderly and informed is wicked and uncaring. Dr Mrs Brian Silverstone. London Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
We had food not prepared correctly and some almost raw in Polo In Toscanna they even forgot our bread and we canceled our last reservations in those two venues. Service was slow in the Terrace sometimes as long as 20 min. Signature ... Read More
We had food not prepared correctly and some almost raw in Polo In Toscanna they even forgot our bread and we canceled our last reservations in those two venues. Service was slow in the Terrace sometimes as long as 20 min. Signature sandwiches (ex: Pannini) were not prepared correctly in Waves. We only had quality meals in the Grand Dining Room. With welding on deck 10 and 11 for almost two weeks it was noisy and the deck on 11 was still not clean after 35 days Events were poorly scheduled and unless you likes lectures the seas days were boring during the day. With all the sea days there was Neptunes party and the boat competition and that was it for the pool. No country fair no officers challenge no Oceania Olympics. Entertainment at night was not up to comparison to regular Oceania cruises We had 4 nights where the sole evening entertainment was a movie. Three more nights were evening entertainment was watching passengers dance or participate in silly shows. I don't consider that up to Oceania standards for the main entertainment event for the evening. I am sure other passengers were ok with this but other Oceania cruises we have been on ran circles around this cruise!!!!! This cruise really felt more like a shakedown run. We felt we did not get our moneys worth If this is the way World Cruise segments are handled then I will have to reconsider in the future Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Meals and service were very good. An over abundance of tables for two. Cabin was well maintained by friendly and helpful staff. TV and internet worked well and a DVD player in the cabin with the ships DVD library gave an alternate to the ... Read More
Meals and service were very good. An over abundance of tables for two. Cabin was well maintained by friendly and helpful staff. TV and internet worked well and a DVD player in the cabin with the ships DVD library gave an alternate to the entertainment which was sorely lacking. Room service was prompt. Staff in general very helpful and pleasant to deal with. Itinerary was good, shuttle busses were good to town. Pre cruise itinerary was good, items given free on board with the package purchased were appreciated. "Free Air" is far from free, Itinerary offered required 40 + hours of travel, we paid to get what wold have been in our minds a shorter and less expensive routing. This was our first Oceania, not really worth the extra Luxury Pricing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
First i want to say "Thank you!' to everyone on the previous world cruise segment who cancelled this portion of the cruise, which allowed my wife and I the chance of a lifetime at a wonderful price! Seems Princess changed many ... Read More
First i want to say "Thank you!' to everyone on the previous world cruise segment who cancelled this portion of the cruise, which allowed my wife and I the chance of a lifetime at a wonderful price! Seems Princess changed many of the original ports of call due to the Ebola crisis. Since we didn't know of the original itinerary anyway, the trip and price were perfect for us. The Ocean Princess (nee Tahitian Princess) is on its last legs as a Princess cruise ship. It is being sold to MS Cruises in early 2016. Even still, the cabins and public areas were kept up and we very much enjoyed our time on this small ship. The staff and crew were marvelous, especially our cabin steward and the singers and dancers who doubled as the Cruise Director staff. Even with 16 sea days, we were never bored. Dining was excellent, but a little repetitive the last two weeks. The nitpicks are the nickle and diming that occurs now since Carnival took over. Many ports had shuttles that charged $8 or Euros to get from the port to the downtown area and another $8 to get back - ridiculous! These should be free or very minimal. Embarkation was difficult due the South African immigration checks that were needed, and some port stops (Namibia in particular) were ridiculous due to an inexperienced and overwhelmed immigration staff. The port stops were both interesting, adventurous and, in one case, down-right fascinating. Stops included Luderitz and Walvis Bay, Namibia. For my money, we could have skipped Luderitz and made Walvis Bay an overnight stop so we could have experienced the Namib desert dunes at Sunset and Sunrise. The dunes are the draw here and they were more, much more, than i expected them to be. Our choice of Sandwich Harbour 4x4 (off ship tour company) was perfect and we had a wonderful time. Luanda, Angola was an adventurous stop. This was a first for the Princess line and, despite all the hype and warnings from the port lecture, we found it a nice place to visit. It is a former communist-aligned country and they were devastated by a very long civil war. Now it is an Oil Oligarchy and the downtown area is booming, slowly pushing the slum areas out of the city and building high-rises everywhere. There are not many colonial (it was a Portuguese colony) buildings left due tot he war, but the old fort (now a war museum) was very nice. I wouldn't return, but I found it a very interesting stop and enjoyed it. Sao Tome/Principe is another former Portuguese colony of the coast of West Coast of the African Congo area. When the Portuguese pulled out in 1975, the economy took a tumble and it is just now regaining its footing as a tourist destination. Still riddled with poverty, many eco-resorts are being built and the Taiwanese Government is investing heavily. The US maintains a (secretive) communications area on the island. A nice day stop and the only tender port. Our crossing the Equator ceremony was postponed due to rain, but they held it a few days later and it was a lot of fun. Cape Verde is a misnomer of an island nation as they have been suffering a drought for the last decade and the main island (Mindelo) hasn't had a drop of rain in 18 months - even the palms are dying. However, we had a wonderful (off ship0 tour and, like Sao Tome, they, with Dutch and Eurozone help, are bringing the island up to tourist standards. Water will be a problem, though. Tenerife in the Canary Islands was a very nice stop. We just flagged a cab and went for a ride around the island. Madeira is absolutely gorgeous! I'd stay a week here the next visit. Casablanca and Rabat in Morocco were great stops. Very enjoyable tour as well. Ceuta, Spain was our first ship excursion - overpriced and crowded with a couple silly stops (a waterpark, really???) But the guide was nice and after the non-walkers left us, we had a good tour of the fortress. Malaga is excellent and we highly recommend the "free" walking tour offered from the square. Lisbon is always a great port (we have been many times as we have friends who live near there), but Princess really needs to plan a longer stay there. However it is one of the best sail-aways you will ever experience. Rouen France was a fantastic treat as we sailed up the Seine and actually ported right in the City not at Le Havre, so we had a bonus river cruise on the way out. We again took a ship tour to Giverny and Monet's gardens and home. A great guide, but again an overpriced, overcrowded group function. We made port in Dover and went our separate ways. There are a lot of things to like about a small (800 passenger) ship - more ports and less tenders, getting to know your fellow passengers and crew. There are some things that don't work - 24-hour service is nearly non-existent. Less choices for activities, bars, snacks etc. Overall, this small ship experience was excellent and we will miss having this option in the Princess fleet. Read Less

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