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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
A trip on memory lane did us decide to take a 4 weeks cruise on the Sun Princess, it was the first ship we ever cruised on in 2005 so we thought we new the ship. Now after almost 13 year it was not the same anymore. We fluw al the way from ... Read More
A trip on memory lane did us decide to take a 4 weeks cruise on the Sun Princess, it was the first ship we ever cruised on in 2005 so we thought we new the ship. Now after almost 13 year it was not the same anymore. We fluw al the way from Holland to Sydney a long trip. We stayed two days in Sydney before the cruise, but the next morning we heard by coincedence, the ship would say a day later, never got any message from Princess, nothing, just from here say. So we had to book another night in a hotel. We sailed the next day, the cruise was around New Zealand, back to back Sydney. the first stop was cancelled because off the late departure from Sydney. We had a somewhat unfriendly steward, but yeah you cannot be everybodies friend. After the first 14 days we had to move to an other cabin, okay no problem. We had to go true trnsit to go back on the ship, two hours standing and waiting for the clearence to go back to the ship. The second cruise was the dream of my husband, the Fiji islands. From the 8 stops we saw three, the first two were beautyfull bounty islands lovely weather swimming in the bay. The third was Suva, that was a dirty ugly harbour the smell was awful. We stayed for an hour outside it was not a nice city. The next two stops were because of the weather not to approach with tenders so we did not see these islands. We just went by. After these islands more people began to feel sick, the flu was onboard, noro virus also. We both got the flue, got 5 days quarentine and had to see what to eat and drink from roomservice. That was not nice. A bill from the doctor off $800,00 was the result. Nice thank you. We had a week to recover becauce our trip was not over after 4 weeks, that did not work. This vacation was a special trip, my 65 birthday. I blame Princess Cruises for the sickness on board, in the 4 weeks we were on the ship I never saw anyone from housekeeping to clean the toilets floor with a mop. Not once. In de corners was a brown line smelt and it was indeed pis. The toilets were under maintanance or very smelly the ladie that clean the toilets wipe with a dry cloth the lid of the toilet flushed it and that was all. The toilets at the pool, It was a Nightmare. Pis everywere, at the last day we went out friends off ours stayed for another cruise, they were all asked to leave the ship and dont come back till 5:00 PM big cleaning maybe? It was a cruise never to forget but not because we enjoyed it. The ship is so dirty its a shame the asked the money they did. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Three week tour of Australia and New Zealand in January 2018. I am 63 and my husband is 65. We splurged and flew Business Class with Air New Zealand. What class! Our land tour of Australia was arranged through Kensington Tours. ... Read More
Three week tour of Australia and New Zealand in January 2018. I am 63 and my husband is 65. We splurged and flew Business Class with Air New Zealand. What class! Our land tour of Australia was arranged through Kensington Tours. Loved the small groups. Visited Sydney, Yulara (the Outback) and Cairns. 7 nights and 8 days total. Boarded the Sun Princess on Saturday 1/13/18 in Auckland. We had room B404, a mini suite. We love the size of the mini's and especially the ones on the Sun. This is the "square" shaped mini not the long thin mini. I much prefer these as they feel larger. With the long thin mini you have to walk past the end of the bed (very narrow) to get anywhere in the room. The Sun Princess is old and is showing its age. We found lots of things that could be done to make her feel nicer such as the carpet in our room. The carpet itself appeared rather new but it hadn't been cut to fit the room. Next to the sliding door the carpet just curled against the edge. Very sloppy. See picture. Next day was Bay of Islands. We took the Princess excursion - Puketi Kauri Forest, KeriKeri and Meetinghouse. The meetinghouse was the highlight of the tour though it was all beautiful. The next 3 days were at sea. It was supposed to be only 2 but we hit some weather. 30 to 36 foot waves at the worst time. Not fun. BEWARE THE TASMAN SEA! Sydney was next. Since we had been there earlier on our trip we took the ferry over to Manly Beach and walked around The Corso. After another day at sea, Sunday found us scenic cruising in the Fiordlands. The weather was decent. Cool with some sun and a little overcast. Overall beautiful and worth the trip. Reminds me a lot of Tracy Arm in Alaska. Same kind of majestic beauty. Monday was Port Chalmers/Dunedin (dun - eadun). We took a tour with Good Company Tours. Because our time in port had been shortened, our roundtrip train ride to Taeiri Gorge became a one way train and one way bus. It actually worked out better as we got to see more of the beautiful countryside. Our next port was Wellington. This was my favorite port. Very walkable city. We walked over 7 miles according to my phone. We took the free Princess shuttle to downtown. We headed down the street and found the cable car. Beautiful trip straight up the side of the hill. Great shot of the bay and downtown from up there. We opted to walk back down through the Botanical Garden. You end up in the government section of town but you are only a few blocks back to where you were dropped off. We continued walking down the shoreline and went to Te Papa, the national museum. Fantastic! We probably spent over an hour and could easily have stayed 3 or 4. Wonderful display about Gallipoli. Wednesday was Napier. Caught a shuttle to town and walked around. Very pretty town in pastel colors. We also visited the National Aquarium of New Zealand. Next was Tauranga. We took the ships tour to Hobbitton. I was a little skeptical at first but this tour was worth every penny. It is an hours drive from the ship with not an awful lot to see on the way. Once there I must have taken about 100 pictures! Our guide was Nikko and he did a fantastic job of telling stories of how it was built and the filming of The Lord of The Rings movies. Back to Auckland. Here is where Princess screws up. This cruise is actually 3 possible cruises. You can get on in Sydney and come back to Sydney. You can get on in Sydney and get off in Auckland. You can get on in Auckland and come back to Auckland. We did Auckland roundtrip. There were NO disembarkation tours for those of us getting off in Auckland. As I am from near San Francisco, this left me with 11 (yes, eleven) hours to fill till my flight with no help from Princess. We talked to a number of people who would have bought something to fill the hours til their flight to the States if Princess had provided it. The only thing Princess offered for purchase was a bus to the airport. It left at 9 am. My flight was a 8 pm that night. We walked off the ship by 9 am and went over to the Ferry Building about a block away. For $10 NZD per piece, we left our luggage with the place that sells tours. We then bought tickets for the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus. We spent the rest of the day touring on our own including a long stop at the National War Museum up on the hill. Well worth the time if you have it. Back at the harbor, we bought tickets for the Sky Bus to get us to the airport. We had to walk about 1 1/2 blocks with our luggage to get the bus but our price was $36 NZD for 2 people. I was told a taxi would be at least $95 NZD. This trip was a bucket list trip and we are both so glad we did it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Four of us travelled, had own staterooms for 2 couples. Spacious rooms. Participated in lots of activities as scheduled on the Patter. Able to plan day and night. Delicious food with lots of variety to choose from. We decided not to ... Read More
Four of us travelled, had own staterooms for 2 couples. Spacious rooms. Participated in lots of activities as scheduled on the Patter. Able to plan day and night. Delicious food with lots of variety to choose from. We decided not to over indulge so only had breakfast and late dinner. Ate very healthy meals every day. Staff service the best we have experienced from being served drinks, clearing tables and immaculate staterooms. Absolutely loved our time on board. Had spa, swim, massage, acupuncture to name a few of the things we indulged in. So much to do. Activities for all ages and tastes. Great atmosphere, great crowd to sail with. Friendly people sailing and willing to share experiences. Exceeded all of our expectations. We appreciated the small, little things like chocolates left on our pillows, lights left on in our stateroom if we went to a late show. Our steward became our go to person for advice and information. Embarking and disembarking quick, organised and efficient. Excursions were fun and informative. Thoroughly enjoyed the tour guide Steve for the Lord of the Rings excursion. Already planning our next cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Cruise overall was good. Not spectacular, but good. This was our fifth cruise with Princess, and we were a bit disappointed with the myriad of “little things” that occurred or didn’t occur on the cruise. Such as, no “happy ... Read More
Cruise overall was good. Not spectacular, but good. This was our fifth cruise with Princess, and we were a bit disappointed with the myriad of “little things” that occurred or didn’t occur on the cruise. Such as, no “happy hour” in any of the bars on the ship. Several of the lifts were “under maintenance” for extended periods. Some public rest room areas were a bit unkept. Cabin TVs not working for most of the cruise? (Though they did credit guests for this). So the cruise was just not up to the level of what we had expected from Princess. On the positive side, entertainment was great! The ships singers and dancers were very good. We went to most of the main theater shows and were pleased with all of them. Other entertainment through out the ship was also very good. The food was up to par for Princess. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners were Princess quality. We ate at both Sabatini’s and Sterling Steak House and were very satisfied with the speciality dining. Though I did not like the “attitude” we got from the server at the Trident Grill when we asked for a few more French fries. What’s the big deal? There were three of us and all we wanted was maybe 25 cents worth of more French fries! And there wasn’t anyone behind us in the line. Itinerary was great! Fijordland cruising was spectacular! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We went on this cruise because we wanted to join our friends and see New Zealand and Australia. There were too many (five) days at sea and not enough things to do that interested my husband and I during the day. Glad we had a balcony ... Read More
We went on this cruise because we wanted to join our friends and see New Zealand and Australia. There were too many (five) days at sea and not enough things to do that interested my husband and I during the day. Glad we had a balcony because it was difficult to find a place to sit in the public areas when at sea. This will be the last large ship we will go on because there are too many people (3000). Would rather go on a cruise that includes everything instead of paying extra for beverages, internet, shore excursions. Suppose the base price appeals to more people and families. The Diamond Princess needs an update. Food was ok and service was fast and friendly. We had no trouble with making dinner reservations in the different dining rooms. The entertainment was average at best. Getting on and off the ship was efficient. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Because we have cruised previously.with Princess and found them to be faultless ——except for this cruise..Because of the following,toilet holding tank dumping at sea is this a usual procedure? Strong toilet stench coming from vents ... Read More
Because we have cruised previously.with Princess and found them to be faultless ——except for this cruise..Because of the following,toilet holding tank dumping at sea is this a usual procedure? Strong toilet stench coming from vents espcially on the STBD side at deck 7 level. No Happy hour on this cruise.previous cruise have had these. Blue smoke coming from funnels especially in Picton and the Fiords.(l was told this was impossible by on of the Offices.photo evidence to prove. Cruising NZ one would of had our famous Green Lipped Mussels on the menu -but no. Coffee on this ship was terrible as voiced by many passengers. Due TV being down no idea where we were duriing the cruise very few reports from the bridge unlike previous cruises. Very unfriendly waitress from Ukraine on one Overall definately not in the same street. Feed back from Princess will definately be a factor for using this cruise line again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I like sailing with princess,the food was excellent,ports were good and getting on and off the ship was easy. The television did not work well,and the internet was very slow and not worth the cost,e.mails were difficult to send and ... Read More
I like sailing with princess,the food was excellent,ports were good and getting on and off the ship was easy. The television did not work well,and the internet was very slow and not worth the cost,e.mails were difficult to send and receive.staff aboard ship were excellent and service was very good.The evening shows were repeats of previous cruises,guest performers were mediocre In spite of a few negatives I would say princess are still a very good cruise line The internet package needs reviewing with allowances being allowed for slow speeds which adds to a inflated cost,overalll the internet is just a money raiser The shore excursions are efficiently handled,but onshore sight seeing tours are cheaper and are just as good,but princess tours stress the safety and time aspect should something go wrong on shore.the new hygiene procedure on the diamond was excellent,but staff should be stricter with people who will not comply. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise to do something out of the ordinary for New Year's Eve. Granted, we still ended up spending the countdown in our room, away from the crowds, but it was magical. The ship is so smooth, apart from a little rockiness ... Read More
We chose this cruise to do something out of the ordinary for New Year's Eve. Granted, we still ended up spending the countdown in our room, away from the crowds, but it was magical. The ship is so smooth, apart from a little rockiness here and there. The staff are attentive and dedicated to their roles, helpful whenever you needed anything. The entertainment that we got to participate in was awesome, but we simply could not sample everything. The food was almost always amazing. But the coffee was pretty pathetic. Oh well, you can't win them all. Some real barista training would NOT go astray, but if that's all I can complain about on the cruise, then I'm doing pretty well. The Lotus Spa staff were incredible, they made me feel special, and seemed to take enormous pride in their jobs. I came out each time (every sea day I treated myself!) feeling wonderful. The staff of Sabatini's were simply lovely, even sending me some crackers and apple to my room when I had to cancel dinner one night due to some seasickness. Cruise Director Marcus was always happy to help, and very approachable and friendly. The main entertainment staff were simply lovely, including Ryota, Kaori, Ian and Yumi. Their enthusiasm and energy were so joyful to watch. I will always look back on this trip with so much happiness. Thank you so much for a wonderful experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
To experience being on a cruise ship..We found the service to be excellent..the cabin steward and the restaurant staff were amazing.. The cabin was a bit small for four people..but adequate.. The on board spa treatments were too ... Read More
To experience being on a cruise ship..We found the service to be excellent..the cabin steward and the restaurant staff were amazing.. The cabin was a bit small for four people..but adequate.. The on board spa treatments were too expensive, but the staff were friendly. The productions of dancers and singers was excellent. The food was amazing.. just needed a few no dairy options maybe for dessert.. The host Marcus was entertaining I only wish there had of being a bit more upbeat music to dance to, a guitar or rock music..but i didnt get to the nightclub..because i thought it was only for the younger group.. The destinations were great..our family enjoyed all the destinations..Picton especially put on a really warm welcome.. Hygenie standards were high The piano and violin players were really classy.. The family enjoyed table tennis..and the outdoor movies..blankets provided if needed.. Robes supplied if u needed to walk to the pool from cabin..sauna and spa great... Just needed a bit more music in places.. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
We wanted to experience a New Years eve doing something different and out of the ordinary. The Daimond Princess was the only ship departing Auckland on the 31st December. Been first time cruisers we thoroughly enjoyed our cruising ... Read More
We wanted to experience a New Years eve doing something different and out of the ordinary. The Daimond Princess was the only ship departing Auckland on the 31st December. Been first time cruisers we thoroughly enjoyed our cruising experience, we found all the staff friendly and helpful. Yes it was NZ and Australia school holidays but found the children didn't worry us at all. The ship was that big there was plenty of room for everyone. There were a couple of swimming areas for adults which we found sufficient enough. Our cabin A429 could of been a little bigger as it was one of the cabins that accomodated up to four people but I suppose the whole idea of the trip is not to be cabin bound. Our beds were clean and comfortable and had no complaints about how our room was serviced. The Ports and shore excursions we thought were very well organised and the shuttles were a great idea. We had a 7:45 dining time and found this suitable for us, we dined at the International every night with great food and our waiting staff were fabulous. Plenty of entertainment every night and the shows were well performed with some very talented people. The only dissapointing thing about the cruise was that we didn't get to see the Captain. Our whole experience will leave us with great memories on board a beautiful ship. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was our first time cruise and were on board the Golden Princess from Auckland to Sydney via Bay of Islands. Cruising was never high on our agenda but as a 4 night experience and a bucket list tick off we gave it a go. See Ratings ... Read More
This was our first time cruise and were on board the Golden Princess from Auckland to Sydney via Bay of Islands. Cruising was never high on our agenda but as a 4 night experience and a bucket list tick off we gave it a go. See Ratings below. Cabin- perfectly adequate with balcony, Baja 436. Having never cruised before we thought it was good although a lot of regulars said the cabins were looking tired and the ship was due a refurbishment next year. Service in the cabins, making beds, cleaning etc was amazing. Dining- it was OK. Choice of buffet or service. We went buffet for breakfast and there was a good range of food. Evening, either 'roughing it' with buffet or service. Food was good and waiters in the service areas were excellent . Embarkation and disembarkation- for us was a breeze, well organised in Auckland and Sydney. Enrichment activities- have no idea what that was about? Entertainment- Can't really say much here as we only went to the cinema once and missed the stage shows as we were not conversant with checking out times and programs..... Family & children- Fitness and recreation- Onboard experience- not a lot going on outside during the day as the weather was just a bit on the chilly side, so very quiet. Also the covered Pool area was OK, most people reading or doing jigsaws. Could always grab a pizza, burger or hotdog if you got bored!!! At night, well the activity areas, ie drinking, just simply not for us. Don't get me wrong, we enjoy the drinking bit but when you have a permanent music assault on the ears it becomes unpleasurable. Albeit Jazz, Piano, an amateur band (good practice for them) and a few other players. Just nowhere to go to get a bit of peace and quiet, (if there was we never found it) library was OK. It obviously suits a lot of the travelers otherwise they wouldn't be saying they enjoyed it and going back, although a lot of them did say they were looking forward to disembarking after 34 days or so (for me, I would be suicidal). Nah, just not our cup of tea!!! Too homogenised for our taste. As an aside, it was interesting to hear folks talking about the amount of deaths and broken limbs suffered on these cruises, quite an eye opener!!! Public rooms- is that the conveniences or the main centre of the ship? If it is the main centre..... not a seat to be had, the regulars know the German protocols, throw a towel down to claim your space!! Service- just amazing. Cannot fault the effort put in by the ships crew and they all deserve medals for putting the effort in to keeping the passengers happy. Ten out of ten. Shore excursions- can't really comment. We disembarked for a few hours at the Bay of Islands and enjoyed it, well organised with the shuttle. Didn't do any of the organised trips. Value for money- at NZ$500 per night per cabin for four nights, I would say no, but for those that enjoy these cruises I leave it for them to make comments. Drinks prices could be addressed, duty free and still paying ott shore prices!!! Limited wine selection. But I guess these cruises are all about making money, just don't scratch your head for too long otherwise someone will find a way of making you pay. Had to do it as it was a bucket list tick the box thing to do but seriously it is not for us. I am sure the majority of cruisers will enjoy being molly cuddled and flunkied over, but what a blinkered outlook on life. Thank you Golden Princess for confirming our views on cruising. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was a cheap 4 day jaunt across the Tasma from Auckland to Sydney. We had travelled on the Golden 2 years ago and enjoyed ourselves so was keen to see what it was like again. Overall the cruise was good with great service and still ... Read More
This was a cheap 4 day jaunt across the Tasma from Auckland to Sydney. We had travelled on the Golden 2 years ago and enjoyed ourselves so was keen to see what it was like again. Overall the cruise was good with great service and still a reasonably good standard of food throughout the ship. The entertainment particularly the production show was very good and very professional. We went up to the drinks for elite passengers the first night and was bitterly dissappointed with the level of service as the bar was very quiet but we waited 15 mins for a drink and then sat for a good 30 mins again with dirty plates and empty glasses on our tables before we had to get up and find a waiter to serve us and even then when they brought our drinks back we had to ask them to clear the table as they were about to walk away. We took it up with the bar manager later that evening and had much better service from then on, We all thought considering we were elite passengers they would have made sure we were looked after right from day one. Also the cabin steward stuck his head in the door on the first evening and we never saw him again for the rest of the cruise and didn't bring us any bathrobes which was difficult when room service breakfast arrived. Only a few niggles but overall Princess are great value for money and far better than a lot of the other mid range products. Our friends we were travelling with had not travelled with princess before and also booked a obstructed view cabin but got upgraded to a mini suite which we thought lucky them but at The same time thinking that princess would upgrade their elite passengers first as it makes you wonder why the loyalty program is there. Our cabin E517 had almost a full ocean view so would reccomend. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We decided to do this small cruise as a perfect relax to break what has been a very busy year. Embarkation was a breeze as this was a stop on a longer cruise so only about 200 got on at the same time. From Customs to the ship in under 10 ... Read More
We decided to do this small cruise as a perfect relax to break what has been a very busy year. Embarkation was a breeze as this was a stop on a longer cruise so only about 200 got on at the same time. From Customs to the ship in under 10 mins. We took a cruise on the Emerald earlier in the year and although the ships were approx. the same size, the Golden seemed to have far more space and felt perfectly limited for a great passenger experience. Did not really go to any of the entertainment save the daily trivia, but did venture out and sadly went to the Blues Brothers show which was pretty average. Friendly staff and definitely the best food we have encountered on a Princess ship. I would highly recommend this ship and will be looking out for another adventure on her in the near future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
I grabbed a four night cruise from Auckland to Sydney for a change from flying and thoroughly enjoyed my little maritime interlude. Most of the other passengers had either done the complete 100 or so days or half that from New York. ... Read More
I grabbed a four night cruise from Auckland to Sydney for a change from flying and thoroughly enjoyed my little maritime interlude. Most of the other passengers had either done the complete 100 or so days or half that from New York. They seemed to be an older crowd and a contented and relaxed lot so all was well. I didn't bother with the Dining Room and ate in the Horizon Buffet for my meals. I was very pleasantly surprised at all they offered. This ship has traditional first and second sitting in the Dining Rooms and 5.30pm is too early for me and 8.30pm is too late. Obviously I have been spoiled by my MyTime dining on so many of the other cruise lines and ships. The Tasman was a bit wild and we sailed a long way south to avoid a swirling weather pattern but that didn't delay us and we avoided the worst of the weather and arrived on time. I am due to spent 12 nights on Sea Princess in October (Fremantle to Singapore) and back in an outside cabin again. I'm very much looking forward to this trip on the lovely Grande Dame of the Seas. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We took this particular cruise ship as it was going to places we would never have got a chance to see otherwise - French Polynesia mainly. Our expectations were high and they were met. Embarking was easy at Auckland - virtually walked ... Read More
We took this particular cruise ship as it was going to places we would never have got a chance to see otherwise - French Polynesia mainly. Our expectations were high and they were met. Embarking was easy at Auckland - virtually walked right on. We booked an obstructed view cabin and we were more than happy with it. Although the view was partially blocked we did get a good amount of natural light coming in. The room was spotless and our steward was wonderful. Fresh towels all the time! Although some parts looked a bit tired it didn't matter because everything was so clean. We couldn't believe there was so much food available- you could eat 24 hours a day if you wanted. We had booked the Anytime Dining and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The food was good, at times very very good. The waiters, on the whole were great, pleasant and entertaining when you wanted (there will always be a few exceptions to the rule). The service was excellent. It took awhile to get used to all the hand washing required but as no one came down with any stomach bugs, I guess it worked! We tried the pizza (excellent) the Hamburgers (great), the ice cream (not so), the International Cafe (excellent) and the Horizon Court (also excellent). The Pub Lunches were a great idea and very popular. We did not try the specialty restaurants as we would not have been able to do justice to the menu - we are both quite small eaters. The entertainment was very good - the string trio that played late afternoon was amazing. Some of the acts in the theatre were of an extremely high standard, but unfortunately some of them were pretty awful. It didn't really matter as we always found something to do. The shore excursions were booked online before we left and we were very satisfied with them and gave good value for money. No problems getting off or on the ship by the ships crew and security. We went to quite a few art auctions and found them entertaining and enlightening. The only gripe I had was the high pressure sales in some of the onboard shops - especially the Effy jewellery - they would not leave you alone to look without pressure to try this and that. Sometimes it is nice to look and not buy all the time. Most nights there was a leaflet left in your mail box talking about more sales! There was a good selection of items in the other shops case you forgot to pack something and the Vines store had everything you may have forgotten - from bug spray to indigestion tablets! The internet and library were both busy but we never had to wait, and the internet package we purchased was reasonable considering we were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean! The passengers were on average over 60 on this cruise but there were a few younger families and about half a dozen kids - honestly, we did not even notice that they were there. We would ask that the PR staff take a look at the ages of the people travelling and plan accordingly - we are not into rap and teen music! We would definitely sail again on a Princess cruise ship, including the Golden Princess, should the opportunity arise. Thank you for a great memory. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
Always wondered what a world cruise would be like, 105 days... would we get bored? Would we get tired of the food, the cabin, the ship, the people??? No!!! We could have stayed on board and done the trip again. The food was ... Read More
Always wondered what a world cruise would be like, 105 days... would we get bored? Would we get tired of the food, the cabin, the ship, the people??? No!!! We could have stayed on board and done the trip again. The food was incredible from the dining room choices ...lobster, pheasant, juicy steaks,wonderful soups , appetiser and desserts. The Buffett selection was huge and very high quality as were the other eating places. Well catered for Australian and New Zealand tastes Entertainment was a bit of a mixed bag but overall was of a high standard and good variety. Daily lectures were mostly very interesting and the movie selection also good ,watched a few movies under the stars and enjoyed the experience wrapped in blanket and eating hot popcorn. This was one of the best things we have ever done. Although not perfect,( but then what holiday is) we found Sea Princess and the crew to be very enjoyable. The destinations we went to were so many of the places around this incredible planet that we wanted to see and do it in a short time frame too in comfort and be able to relax between ports instead of rushing to airports and time wasting , delays etc. We have already booked two more cruises with a Princess and await with great anticipation to cruise again and meet many more wonderful people Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was our second cruise on the Golden Princess and not a lot had changed in 12 months. Apart from our cabin steward, who was great, most of the other staff we dealt with seemed to be suffering from the after effects of the big storm in ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Golden Princess and not a lot had changed in 12 months. Apart from our cabin steward, who was great, most of the other staff we dealt with seemed to be suffering from the after effects of the big storm in the Tasman Sea on the way from Melbourne. We joined the ship in Auckland, boarded just after 8pm (instead of 1pm due to the bad weather) and weren't even allowed a quick meal before we were hustled away for a lifeboat drill. On the previous cruise the spa pools round the swimming pool weren't working properly. This time, I asked someone in the spa pool how it was and they still weren't working properly so I flagged that. The TV programme was terrible with no written programme so you couldn't even plan to watch something good. The worst part was feeling that because we joined the cruise in Auckland (advertised as an Auckland to Auckland cruise) we were there on sufferance. There was no welcome letter from the Captain, no information on ports or trips were given to us at the beginning of the cruise and when we reached Melbourne we got no map of the city at all. We had to ask at the desk and they printed one off for us. At every end and turn we got "Aussie, Aussie, Aussie" shouted at the audience as if there weren't over 200 Kiwis on board as well as other nationalities. We had a wedding anniversary on board and met a couple who married on the same day so we decided to have lunch together to celebrate. We had a note from the ship saying that if we told our waiter of the occasion they would provide a surprise. On exiting the dining room I asked about "the surprise". I was told we had to bring the note to get the surprise, as if the ship didn't have a record of it. In short, I would not travel on the Golden Princess again. We have travelled on the Diamond Princess and it was great and we're booked on that for our next big cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2017
This was our 1st cruise as elite members , we were looking to be fed ,watered and entertained as well as our last 14 cruises, with just maybe a little more service or recognition .we are average working class people who enjoy cruising for ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise as elite members , we were looking to be fed ,watered and entertained as well as our last 14 cruises, with just maybe a little more service or recognition .we are average working class people who enjoy cruising for our hard earned money. We highly disappointed with the emerald princess We live in new zealand , chose this cruise to see the fiords and visit hobart . Not disappointed with aspects of this part of the cruise , but as to the ship itself ,not happy at all . The vibration thru some parts of the ship are very questionable & daunting . The elite status gave us a 1 time mini bar which we were informed pre - cruise we could change for 2 coffee cards . when tried to do on board , they told us could not be done , they have never heard of such nonsense. We did not use any other elite entitlements after that, due to any more disapointments. This is probably our last cruise with princess, have really enjoyed the last 15 years with them, but sadly it has ended in a negative. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this cruise for the opportunity to see NZ and Australia. We did not think that that the ports of call were at all interesting. Fjordland National Park cruising was disappointing (after having seen fjords of Norway especially) ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the opportunity to see NZ and Australia. We did not think that that the ports of call were at all interesting. Fjordland National Park cruising was disappointing (after having seen fjords of Norway especially) I expected to see more beautiful countryside in New Zealand, but found that it was very bland. I guess that a person should tour through interior of NZ in order to experience the cultural side and the beauty. We will not travel back there to do so however. Ships excursions were costly and not as good as other places we have cruised to. We did think that The Emerald Staff did a good job in organizing the disembarking and re entry to ship from tours though. We ate in The Crown Grill once ...vegetables were not tasty, potatoe was dry, steak was decent, but not above average. The overall food temperature was "warmish" The service was a little slow. The experience at Crown Grill did not encourage us to try other specialty restaurants. We found that the food was much more tasty at The Buffet, even though it was crowded most times. We found that the local people of NZ and AUS were some of the most friendly arouind the world. But cruising NZ does not give a person a good view of the country. Our overall experience of this trip was below average. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We wanted a Cruise that would in compass New Zealand and Australia, Princess fitted the itinerary adequately. However although we enjoyed the cruise overall we felt that it didn't reach our expectations and lacked the little bit ... Read More
We wanted a Cruise that would in compass New Zealand and Australia, Princess fitted the itinerary adequately. However although we enjoyed the cruise overall we felt that it didn't reach our expectations and lacked the little bit extra appeal that might make us automatic returning customers. As this was our first Princess cruise we are not sure whether it was just this particular Ship Emerald or the general cruise line itself? The ship seemed difficult to find ones bearing at times and to get to specific area like the Share Restaurant and Adigo Bar. The dining arrangements were much the same as other cruise lines, we were anytime dining in the MichAelangelo restaurant. The food was good the menu was much the same every evening and was lacking in variety, the restaurant staff lacked etiquette at times and would clear your plate before your partner had finished their meal something I would expect in the Horizon Restaurant which in fact was the exact opposite. Both Speciality Restaurants the Crown Grill and Share were enjoyable and made up for the disappointment in the other restaurants. Everything about Horizon restaurant was terrible probably the worst we have accounted. We did book some excursions and these were good but heavily over priced as normal for cruise lines, however the debacle at Gisborne with the tenders due to the rough waters leaves a lot to be desired, not that anything could have been done about the weather and safety was paramount but the the lack of water, shelter and basic information to let people know what's going on was poor. We found that thoroughout the cruise the lack of visibility of ship officers was noticeable compared to other ships which seemed odd particularly when things might be going wrong and safety might be of some concern. Like the Tender debacle mentioned above, people standing all the way up on either side of staircases whilst watching or listening to events in the Auditorium during rough sees us only asking for an accident to occur it was probably by sheer luck nothing occurred. Oddly the announcement over the ships intercom warning people to hold on to rails during rough sees seemed pointless if they are obstructed as I mentioned above. Overall we had a good cruise not great it could have been considerably better but this was lacking on this particular Princess Ship, not sure we will try Princess again it would have to have a spectacular destination and itinerary and probably a different ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This was my 4th Princess Cruise (also been on Avalon, Azamara, Oceania, HAL, Voyages to Antiquity). My 1st Princess cruise was in June 2012, did a 12-night British Isles aboard the Caribbean Princess in an obstructed OV (felt ship itself ... Read More
This was my 4th Princess Cruise (also been on Avalon, Azamara, Oceania, HAL, Voyages to Antiquity). My 1st Princess cruise was in June 2012, did a 12-night British Isles aboard the Caribbean Princess in an obstructed OV (felt ship itself was too big for British Isles itinerary but overall a very nice experience); 2nd was in Dec 2012, a 15-night Hawai'i cruise (L.A. round-trip) aboard the Golden Princess (inside cabin). I will never forget this cruise because of the great Hawai'i cultural facilitators who taught us how to play the ukulele and hula dance, and highlight for me was performing in the Farewell evening Passenger Talent Show with 70 other ukulele playing passengers; 3rd time was in Nov 2013 on a 15-night Panama Canal Full Transit cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to L.A aboard the Island Princess, excellent all around experience in an inside cabin. This review is for February 2017, we sailed aboard the Emerald Princess for 12-nights from Auckland to Sydney: The itinerary was impeccable, the food was very good, but over-all it really felt like Princess cut back on the little things that used to make Princess a cut above the rest. For example, this was my 4th "wine-tasting" event ($13 per person), and for the first time, it did not include the "complimentary shot glass" at the end with the dessert wine - This s very minor, but the biggest thing that our cruise was missing on board was a live, full time, port expert lecturer. This time, the only way to get any port information was to watch the tv in the cabin, which re-ran old episodes of a previous port lecturer, which would have been fine, except that the taped lectures were in reverse order of our Auckland to Sydney ports. We relied heavily on the kind locals at each port to give us port information and maps (as the Princess Patter cartoon maps emphasized shopping). Only when we were cruising in Milford Sound did they finally bring on board a "NZ park ranger" to talk over the public address system. Unfortunately, the PA system was very hard to hear and it didn't help that 2 very rude ladies from Spain insisted on screaming in my ear as they talked to each other the whole time, so I could not hear a word of the Park Ranger. When I asked them "por favor, I cannot hear" they spoke even louder to each other, ignoring others around us trying to hear the park ranger. Another disappointment was the Specialty Dining at the Crown Grill. We decided to forego the extra expense when their menu clearly emphasized "only one item per course per person" which was a change from 2012 when we 4 were allowed to try multiple dishes per course, and thus we were able to try almost everything on the menu as we shared our plates. Also, this was the smallest inside room I've every experienced - D123 (Deck 9, Forward). There was only one straight-backed chair that came with the vanity/desk, and no other chair/sofa in the room, so we had to use our lower twin beds for seating. Luckily we are not "room service" people, so we did not need the extra seating, but it did feel very cramped. The room steward parked his cart near our cabin but that did not bother us, especially as he was very attentive and quick in his duties. The closet space and bathroom space was adequate for 3 of us (as we are light packers). The service of all staff we encountered: servers, hosts, maitre-d's, room stewards, passenger service officers, casino staff, International Cafe servers, are all beyond reproach. While Princess corporate management may have cut back on little extra touches and niceties for the passengers, the front line staff is consistently excellent in professionalism, manner, and attention to detail and prompt service. I most highly commend our maitre'd, Carlos from Spain, for his kind attention to my daughter who has a "peanut and all tree-nuts" food allergy. He reassured her food safety for lunch and dinner every day by nightly presenting her with the next day's menus so that she could pre-select her meals, and the cook-staff ensured her food was not contaminated. Regarding the talent on-board, the Princess cast only presented 3 times in 12-nights, and the various talents brought on board for a show or two were average. While there was no crew or passenger talent show, we did enjoy the cooking demonstration presented by Executive Chef Giuseppe Pollara with Matre D'Hotel, Luigi Pascale. All ports in NZ & AU are fabulous and very easy for us to do on our own. In Akaroa, we booked with Princess the "Swim with the Hector Dolphins" excursion for $199 US. The local outfit was beyond reproach and told us before suiting up: "on this morning's excursion, no Hector Dolphins were spotted, and very unlikely you will be able to swim with them this afternoon", and they gave up the option of a lesser non-swimming excursion (with little prospect of seeing the Hector Dolphins) or a FULL REFUND. They were very kind and honest to let us have the option in advance. (ps: you can book direct with BLACK CAT CRUISES in Akaroa Harbour for a little bit of savings versus booking through Princess, the ship docks right in Akaroa Harbour). We are getting ready for our next Princess cruise, 29-nights aboard the Pacific Princess sailing Nov. 23, 2017 from Venice to Ft. Lauderdale. Bon Voyage, and happy and safe sailing to all. ps: the only reason I rated the Embarkation in Auckland as "Terrible" is because they had all non-VIP wait outside the port building in the blistering sun & heat until 1pm embark time (in all my other experiences we were always sheltered indoors). I did not mind as this gave me 2 hours to explore Auckland waterfront while my husband found shelter in a cafe, but there were some elderly people who had to sit hodge-podge anywhere they could find outside the Princesss port building as they were not allowed inside, and there was very little shade to be found outside. Passengers with privileges were allowed to embark at 11am. There was quite a bit of confusion all around, and when 1pm embarkation began for the common-folk, the queue was very disorganized, a bit helter-skelter, until we got up the escalator to the check-in counter. Everyone was very polite through-out, just disorganized. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
I chose this cruise because it has been on my list of places to visit all my life. I am a gardener and have always heard of the unique horticulture in New Zealand and Australia. Staying one night at lovely affordable Crown Plaza Hotel near ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it has been on my list of places to visit all my life. I am a gardener and have always heard of the unique horticulture in New Zealand and Australia. Staying one night at lovely affordable Crown Plaza Hotel near the port in Auckland I had plenty of time to see the city and prepare for the cruise. The embarkation process was one of the smoothest processes ever. The port was so easy to get to using Uber and everyone was so kind and helpful. I have cruised on the Emerald a couple of times and was not disappointed on this one either. The chef is excellent and prepares the most delicious foods. The activities onboard and excursions were fun. I visited some of the ports on my own which saved money since I knew what I wanted to see. I visited Christchurch in Akara thru the ship tours since we still cannot dock there due to the earthquake damage to the docks several years ago. It was worth every dime. I had a comfortable balcony cabin on deck 14 mid-ship. It was quiet and close to everything. The service was top notch by all the crew. I stayed 3 days afterward in Sydney which was plenty of time to see the sights. I bought a Opal Card and traveled all over public transportation (subway, train, bus, ferries) for 40.00. This cruise is much too far for me to do again since I live in the US. But, it is very popular among Australians and New Zealanders. I spoke to some of them that had done this same cruise as many as 10 times. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
I couldn't find any fault with this cruise. I overnighted at the Mercure Hotel in Auckland and boarded the Emerald Princess the following morning. There were no problems and I loved my outside stateroom on deck 5, near the art gallery ... Read More
I couldn't find any fault with this cruise. I overnighted at the Mercure Hotel in Auckland and boarded the Emerald Princess the following morning. There were no problems and I loved my outside stateroom on deck 5, near the art gallery - a perfect position for all activities. The cabin was as expected, with great mattress/pillows giving me a good night's sleep. However, I wish they'd replace the shower curtain with a screen. We were blessed with perfect weather with the exception of seas turning nasty in the afternoon at Gisborne (didn't think much of this port) which delayed the tender operation and made for a scary return journey. I went on a private tour in Gisborne with Gisborne Tours and I wouldn't recommend them - very unprofessional and over-priced at $120. No information or commentary was provided. However, my private tour with Relaxed Tours in Dunedin was fantastic. Everyone enjoyed it. Seven hours with a knowledgeable driver and tour guide for just $70 - a bargain. I booked the Sanctuary for the scenic cruising and it didn't disappoint. Milford Sound is spectacular. The meals remain a highlight on Princess cruises (much better than P&O and a little better than Royal Caribbean). Anytime Dining operated without a hic-cup and I rarely had more than a few minutes' wait for a table. Theatre entertainment could have been better although the Scottish pianist in the Crooners Bar was hilarious - his jokes had the passengers crying with laughter. The singers/dancers remain fantastic, and the cruise director was one of the better ones. All in all a fantastic cruise and I'm looking forward to my next time with Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2017
Going to New Zealand and Australia was a big "bucket list" thing. The Princess cruise/land tour was awesome. We booked an inside cabin since we had mostly port days and spent the day at the Sanctuary during the Fiordland ... Read More
Going to New Zealand and Australia was a big "bucket list" thing. The Princess cruise/land tour was awesome. We booked an inside cabin since we had mostly port days and spent the day at the Sanctuary during the Fiordland cruising. It more than met our expectations. We used Princess excursions because we have found that they have already screened their vendors for the most reliable and knowledgable guides. We once used a van off the pier on a stop on a Panama cruise and the tour guide did not provide any admittance to venues and after fact checking some of the information I found he made things up as he went along. My time is to precious for me to waste so I won't short change myself again and waste my precious time to save a few dollars. The excursions from the ship are now memories I cherish. The land tour in Australia, The Ultimate Outback, had us being cared for as VIPs. We came home knowing we had the best experience possible for the time we had there. The representative/tour guide managed everything for us at every stop. Our rooms were high quality and the meals that were included were wonderful. I came home knowing so much about the Ausie and Aborigine cultures. It was also fun staying at The Four Seasons in Sydney, because I never book five stars. We were able to get extra time through Princess at their rate. Since it is a lot of effort to get from the USA to that part of the world this cruise is a way to make the most of your time and experience the unique part of the world down under. If you have time for the land tour it will be icing on the cake. Read Less
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