Diamond Princess Cruise Review by Dee Dell
After traveling 22 hours from NJ and having a lovely flight business class on Air New Zealand we were excited to join our 7th cruise (a first with Princess) in Auckland - even though it was 7AM our enthusiasm was high - soon to be drowned by the "in-hospitality" room set up by Princess for the prepaid transfer from airport to ship - We were trundled unceremoniously to a cold convention center dining room and left to "munch" at 7AM on coffee, tea, water and cookies - yes, cookies - maybe we are conservative but cookies after 24 hours of travel not a hint of a continental breakfast and worse yet, toilet facilities were 2 floors away and now, in a strange city, dead tired we were told there were restaurants etc nearby if we chose to leave the convention center - the Princess rep, Nick, was annoyed at our dismay, and we were further annoyed to find that we were literally within walking distance of the pier where there were many easily accessible places to relax and get a bite to eat - even a lovely Hilton Hotel where some of us would have gladly rented a room for the day while waiting to board rather than sit at a dining room table with no amenities and a Princess ground staff merely interested in keeping us confined. Well, we thought this is not Cunard, not Regent and not Holland American (our previous cruise providers). On board we found a lovely cabin, poor cabin service, a wonderful dining room staff and less the wonderful food,a Lido deck that was reminiscent of a college cafeteria and many sea days with nothing spectacular to do unless you paid an extra fee. Tours were outrageously high priced and offered less than one would expect for the money (many other passengers agreed). Getting a TV schedule was difficult. All in all would we cruise Princess again - NO, based again on the fact that our prepaid transfer to the airport in Sydney was a complete disaster and no one from Princess was at the airport to 'help' as promised with airport staff telling us that "they always say they will be here but they never are". Think twice before you go on the Diamond (which by the way is really the old Sapphire because the Diamond burned and the Sapphire was renamed - bad luck the ship's crew says - We say just a bad choice.
Dee Dell’s Full Rating Summary
We had a AA mini suite - closet was huge, balcony was great, we were on Dohphin Deck about mid ship it was convenient there was no noise - cabin amenities were fine other than the 2 TV sets were mounted so high that you got a stiff neck watching.
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