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The main reason for doing this cruise was to revisit the Solomon Islands. The fact that it included various PNG Islands and Vanuatu was a bonus. We had sailed on Sun Princess previously and were interested in seeing how the upgrades had affected it. We usually book inside cabins in the midships area and this time we tried out a cabin in the aft end. All up, due to the very calm seas we experienced, the movement was minimal and noise and vibration was purely background. The cabin was not huge but had plenty of space for our needs and storage was quite adequate. Embarkation in Sydney was very smooth and our bags reached our cabin quite quickly. As is always the case, the sail away through Sydney Harbour was great. The sights never cease to provide pleasure, it is one of the greatest harbours to sail from and sail into. While it is 21 years old and does show its age to some extent Sun Princess is still a very comfortable ship to cruise on. The addition of the Curtis Stone restaurant Share was something of a mystery to many people. The cost of $39 per person was misleading for most as, in fact, you only needed to pay that price to receive sufficient food to feed two people comfortably (hence the name Share), and if you wanted something more it could be purchased at the a la carte rate. The food and service was well worth the extra you paid. At the same time there was a sample dish, not from Share, available most nights on the menu for the main dining rooms. The Kai Seafood restaurant was not well patronised and appears to be aimed more for the Asian market. For Australian tastes it could easily be replaced by the lost Pizza Cafe which was always well utilised. Food in the Horizon Court was plentiful and fresh and it was always popular for breakfast and lunch. Food in the main dining rooms was good but not spectacular, the quality was fine but there seemed to be something lacking but it was indefinable The Ultimate Ships Tour, whilst appearing expensive, was good value and very interesting. At the end of the tour you had a top line bathrobe, 5 photos, an apron, a note pad with your name on it and a photo frame delivered to your stateroom. Nibbles and drinks were served in the galley and on the bridge. There were plenty of activities available on sea days and the lectures by the former Kiap, John Hucknell and his wife Morag, were very interesting and very well attended. The shows put on by the ships singers and dancers were well presented and it was difficult to get seats even if you went to the theater straight after dinner. The guest entertainment was a mix of comedy, magic, singing and instrumental. Some acts were good whilst others were not that great. This is quite common on most cruise ships. The crew on Sun Princess were excellent, they were happy and provide efficient service even when at times things were very busy. They would greet you with a smile and a hello as they passed you in the ship and would stop and have a talk it time permitted. Our cabin steward was extremely efficient and always happy and loved to have a chat about his home, his family and what was happening in his country, we had plenty of laughs with him. The ports of call were good and there were a good variety of shore excursions. On some islands there were no excursions due to the infrastructure, but they were not required either. The local islanders were extremely friendly and welcoming and the beaches and shorelines were very picturesque. It might be good PR for Princess to advise passengers doing these cruises that gifts of items such as readers and other educational books would be very well received on the islands. We did the Battle of Milne Bay excursion in Alotau, The Vocanological Observatory Tour in Rabaul and the Fire walking Tour in Luganville. Given the region we were travelling in these tours were well run and very educational. This cruise was a very happy cruise, passengers mingled happily and tables were shared with total strangers in both the Horizon Court and the International Cafe with many conversations being had, it was rare to not find a table where people were not conversing. This is a cruise we would do again, the island and their residents were so welcoming and friendly and the scenery was most enjoyable.

Paradise isn't lost; you can cruise there.

Sun Princess Cruise Review by wrvrwego

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2016
  • Destination: South Pacific
  • Cabin Type: Interior
The main reason for doing this cruise was to revisit the Solomon Islands. The fact that it included various PNG Islands and Vanuatu was a bonus. We had sailed on Sun Princess previously and were interested in seeing how the upgrades had affected it. We usually book inside cabins in the midships area and this time we tried out a cabin in the aft end. All up, due to the very calm seas we experienced, the movement was minimal and noise and vibration was purely background. The cabin was not huge but had plenty of space for our needs and storage was quite adequate. Embarkation in Sydney was very smooth and our bags reached our cabin quite quickly. As is always the case, the sail away through Sydney Harbour was great. The sights never cease to provide pleasure, it is one of the greatest harbours to sail from and sail into.

While it is 21 years old and does show its age to some extent Sun Princess is still a very comfortable ship to cruise on. The addition of the Curtis Stone restaurant Share was something of a mystery to many people. The cost of $39 per person was misleading for most as, in fact, you only needed to pay that price to receive sufficient food to feed two people comfortably (hence the name Share), and if you wanted something more it could be purchased at the a la carte rate. The food and service was well worth the extra you paid. At the same time there was a sample dish, not from Share, available most nights on the menu for the main dining rooms. The Kai Seafood restaurant was not well patronised and appears to be aimed more for the Asian market. For Australian tastes it could easily be replaced by the lost Pizza Cafe which was always well utilised. Food in the Horizon Court was plentiful and fresh and it was always popular for breakfast and lunch. Food in the main dining rooms was good but not spectacular, the quality was fine but there seemed to be something lacking but it was indefinable

The Ultimate Ships Tour, whilst appearing expensive, was good value and very interesting. At the end of the tour you had a top line bathrobe, 5 photos, an apron, a note pad with your name on it and a photo frame delivered to your stateroom. Nibbles and drinks were served in the galley and on the bridge.

There were plenty of activities available on sea days and the lectures by the former Kiap, John Hucknell and his wife Morag, were very interesting and very well attended. The shows put on by the ships singers and dancers were well presented and it was difficult to get seats even if you went to the theater straight after dinner. The guest entertainment was a mix of comedy, magic, singing and instrumental. Some acts were good whilst others were not that great. This is quite common on most cruise ships.

The crew on Sun Princess were excellent, they were happy and provide efficient service even when at times things were very busy. They would greet you with a smile and a hello as they passed you in the ship and would stop and have a talk it time permitted. Our cabin steward was extremely efficient and always happy and loved to have a chat about his home, his family and what was happening in his country, we had plenty of laughs with him.

The ports of call were good and there were a good variety of shore excursions. On some islands there were no excursions due to the infrastructure, but they were not required either. The local islanders were extremely friendly and welcoming and the beaches and shorelines were very picturesque. It might be good PR for Princess to advise passengers doing these cruises that gifts of items such as readers and other educational books would be very well received on the islands. We did the Battle of Milne Bay excursion in Alotau, The Vocanological Observatory Tour in Rabaul and the Fire walking Tour in Luganville. Given the region we were travelling in these tours were well run and very educational.

This cruise was a very happy cruise, passengers mingled happily and tables were shared with total strangers in both the Horizon Court and the International Cafe with many conversations being had, it was rare to not find a table where people were not conversing.

This is a cruise we would do again, the island and their residents were so welcoming and friendly and the scenery was most enjoyable.
wrvrwego’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin ID B733
Cabin was compact but at the same time did not feel crowded. There was plenty of storage and suitcases could fit under the bed. Bathroom was very compact and taller people might find the toilet a bit close to the door. Shower was bigger than expected and did not feel overly cramped. The new beds are very comfortable and much appreciated.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews