1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Princess Cruises
  4. Princess Cruises Cruise Reviews
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This is a cruise to connect with the dawn princess coming from sydney on the 9/02/17 .embarkation was no problem because there were only 430 new passengers in auckland . We had a shore tour before we got on the ship . It was a bus trip to ... Read More
This is a cruise to connect with the dawn princess coming from sydney on the 9/02/17 .embarkation was no problem because there were only 430 new passengers in auckland . We had a shore tour before we got on the ship . It was a bus trip to davenport with a ferry trip back to the ship on your own ,all in all a very good tour . This was our first cruise with golden princess to test the ship for the future . We just had 11 fantastic days on the dawn princess !! we had fixed dining ,and staff working in the dining room were excellent ,but the meals were not the same standard as on the dawn . Horizon court was fine . The general layout of the ship not very passenger friendly on a short cruise.. 90 % of staff very friendly 10% did not want to be there . disembarkation was a shambels . When things went well they told you so every opportunity , when things did not go to plan they did not tell you untill after the event . We had people passing out in congested hallways leading to the meeting areas. As we got to the luggage pick up area one small peace of luggage was missing , having booked seats on the airport shuttle we had to go and catch that bus . On the bus we talked to several people that had luggage missing ,all the same color and number tag. i contacted princess the next day ,they knew nothing about it . Left all the information required to contact me as soon as they had news of what happened . At this stage 48 hours no news . Overall not a nice experience !! Will we Sail on Golden again "Not likely Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
because this cruise departed auckland and returned to auckland first to melbourne down to the south island of new zealand travelling via milford sound , dusky sounds port chalmers ( dunedin), akoroa ,wellington, gisbourne ,tauranga , ... Read More
because this cruise departed auckland and returned to auckland first to melbourne down to the south island of new zealand travelling via milford sound , dusky sounds port chalmers ( dunedin), akoroa ,wellington, gisbourne ,tauranga , auckland travelled alone on this voyage on the golden princess cabin chosen was inside due to economics but next time would choose balcony small but well appointed and comfortable quality bedding clean and tidy cabinets showing some signs of wear ( drawer knobs loose ) Dining : a truly remarkable experience -- wide variety of styles and and top notch food , attentive staff , nice ambiance , Entertainment : broadway production quality well staged - fantasic audio system crystal clear although could do with turned down a notch Activities : endless and varied no one could be bored changing daily Service : your wish is our command type deal nothing too much trouble 24hrs a day attentive obliging friendly staff Shore excursions : well organised , syncronised, knowledgable staff very hot day in akoroa tenders used to take to shore on return at jetty while waiting for tender chilled facecloths and chilled water served ( nice touch ) overall a gratifying experience - top chefs very attentive staff international cuisine and a very clean tidy ship with accent on hygene Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This cruise suited our dates, and length of time. I also thought for a first cruise, a bigger ship would be best. Princess also appeared to have a consistent acceptable standard, and generally very good reviews. The Golden Princess is an ... Read More
This cruise suited our dates, and length of time. I also thought for a first cruise, a bigger ship would be best. Princess also appeared to have a consistent acceptable standard, and generally very good reviews. The Golden Princess is an older ship and I was pleasantly surprised at how presentable most areas were for its age, but this ship needs a renovation and we were not the only people who thought so. Our mini-suite cabin was immaculate and clean, and steward service excellent. I did not choose the position of our cabin on the Dolphin deck, but can vouch for this level as in having uninterrupted views from balcony to the water and for being extremely quiet. The coffee was the International Cafe was top notch and of a generous portion. We could not find fault with any dining or bar service. Preferring the dining rooms for meals, we only ate at the buffet twice and while the food was just OK (I felt like I was eating in a very busy shopping centre food court), it was the musty smell coming from either the carpet or surfaces that was very off putting. I was hoping our two available dining rooms for anytime dining would be different from one another in food and decor, but being almost identical, this same environment every night became a bit tiring. The food was very good, with small portions. We ate at the Crown Grill one night, and it was my favourite meal of the entire cruise, the exquisite food and the setting. I was disappointed with the Sabatini restaurant and the food, it just felt like an extension of the dining rooms. The food at the International Cafe is set up for those who want sweet, unhealthy fare. I was disappointed that I could not get a savoury healthy slice of loaf or muffin with my coffee and had to resort to a quiche or salad instead. We expected more roving musical or performing arts entertainment throughout the day, of which there was none. Only three theatre performances had the wow factor, and the general music provided on the ship is definitely in favour of those born in the 40's and 50's. We did not do shore excursions but explored on our own, and enjoyed these days. The general procedures getting on and off the ship were smooth and with good organisation. We did not travel with children. Yes, we will cruise again, but not for a while. I will most likely look at another cruise line. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We are a retired couple cruising for the 4th time on Princess. This trip was on my husband's bucket list. We booked 10 days in Australia through a private travel agent--had excellent hotels except in Ayers Rock. The ship ... Read More
We are a retired couple cruising for the 4th time on Princess. This trip was on my husband's bucket list. We booked 10 days in Australia through a private travel agent--had excellent hotels except in Ayers Rock. The ship condition was shabby. Many of the chairs in the public areas were simply worn out--dirty with cushions that were flat and hard. Activities were just okay. They usually had one special activity each day, but the rest were repetitive and not well attended. Service was generally good. We did not use any port and shore excursions due to the exorbitant cost. We took private tours in Picton (Jade Tours) and Akaroa (ES Tours). In the other ports we used public transportation or walked. We took a wine tour in Picton that was excellent - 5 wineries and the candy factory for about 1/3 the price of the ship's equivalent and twice the wineries. In Akaroa we went to Christchurch and it was quite good. The Diamond is definitely due for refurbishing! Our bed and pillows were hard and lumpy. The lamps were corroded, the hairdryer overheated every time I used it. When got to our cabin there was a terrible odor around the bathroom and closet. We complained, and while they were responsive to our complaints, it took 3 or 4 days to get rid of the odor. When we asked about moving to another cabin, they said the ship was completely full. We thought the entertainment was quite good--some better than other, but that's partly a matter of taste. We encountered bad weather and were unable to get into Dunedin and the Fjords, which was very disappointing, and led to 4 days at sea in dreary weather and rough seas. The captain made the right decision, I'm sure, but the 4 days at sea were boring. I didn't feel they did much extra to provide entertainment. That also meant that the planned evening entertainment was repeated, but that wasn't awful. We do feel Princess was very fair about the missed port and Fjords--they refunded our port taxes and gave us a generous credit toward our next cruise. Disembarkation. Behind schedule, and it was pouring rain. My luggage was obviously left sitting in the rain, because everything in my bag was wet when I got home 24 hours later. My husband's bag was not as wet, a book he packed in the outside pocket of his bag got quite wet. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We finally made it to New Zealand! This was on our bucket list for a very long time. We had sailed the Diamond one year ago to Asia/Japan and love the ship and found it to be in very good shape, we did not see worn out or torn furniture ... Read More
We finally made it to New Zealand! This was on our bucket list for a very long time. We had sailed the Diamond one year ago to Asia/Japan and love the ship and found it to be in very good shape, we did not see worn out or torn furniture and it was very clean and tidy. We love the little Asian design touches around the ship. We have sailed this class of ship before on Princess and like how familiar it was. We can always find a cozy place to sit where we are out of the main throng of passengers. Skywalkers was our go to place to read or work on our photos with our laptop. We love the aft of the ship for quiet places to be. Mornings and evenings for sunrise and sunset up on the decks were lovely. We ate at the Lido and Trident Grill for all of our meals and would take our plates outside to sit where it was quiet and watch the wake of the ship. We found the food to be consistently hot and there were many choices including international dishes and theme nights for England, Brazil, Mexico, Greece and Asia. There is always enough food for any type of dietary needs you might have. The cookies are delicious and we would take a some wrapped in a napkin back to our cabin for later. I thought it was very smart of Princess to remove the items from the mini refrigerator in the cabin so it makes room for whatever you want to put there. We used the spa for a package including the hot tile loungers, saunas and Jacuzzi every day and will do so again on future cruises. We have experienced Suite, Mini Suite and Balcony and this is the second time we have had an Inside Cabin. It will take a lot for us to book a balcony in the future because we really like the inside. I shut the door and it is dark and quiet! We always choose our cabin near the aft so it is quick and easy to access the decks. We used the laundry room on off times for others....like at 7 am when everyone else is asleep. Having cruised 10 times we know what we like and don't like. We read the Patter to see where everyone is going to be and we go the opposite direction. Sometimes it feels like we are the only ones on the ship! We do book FCC (Future Cruise Credit) for each of us when we are on the ship. If you are planning on another cruise it is a great value. Pay $100 per person and you can book a cruise within 2 years and you get that money back in OBC (On Board Credit) It is a Win Win! We used the coffee card for specialty coffees and were happy with the taste and choices. The only ship excursion we took was to Hobbiton and we loved it. Normally we book our own privately. Service from the crew was as always good. As hard as they work and still have a hello or smile while doing their very best is amazing. I have one more thing to add. Due to severe weather we were not able to call at Dunedin and also missed Fiordlands National Park. The Captain was looking out for the passengers and was professional and timely in his announcements and information about the changes. We heard people complaining but in my opinion ..........they don't know what goes into mastering a ship. Princess was more than generous with a 25% off of a future cruise from the cost of the one we were on. It was weather related and per the contract, they don't have to compensate passengers anything. That was customer service! Thank you Princess! Our next cruise is in a year..........to The Mediterranean ! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We have cruised on this particular ship on 3 previous occasions and love it. The Golden Princess is a large ship and has everything you could possibly want. We had a mini suite and this is the first time our cabin was forward. ... Read More
We have cruised on this particular ship on 3 previous occasions and love it. The Golden Princess is a large ship and has everything you could possibly want. We had a mini suite and this is the first time our cabin was forward. Everything about the Golden is great. We enjoyed our meals in the Donatella dining room, the staff were fabulous as was the food. We went to the International Café on deck 5 everyday to enjoy the coffee and treats, which they had a great variety of. There was plenty of great activities on board, you could do as much or as little as you wanted and the entertainment was very good. We went to bingo most days and loved the trivia sessions. Also enjoyed some of the activities held around the pool area. The food in the Horizons for breakfast was great, whether you wanted continental or cooked. Disembarkation was extremely smooth and on schedule. Overall, we can't speak highly enough of this particular ship and of Princess in general. Staff were friendly, professional and helpful. Can't wait for our next cruise Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was the first half of 2 back-to-back cruises on Golden Princess. The embarkation process in Auckland was very quick (although there were only about 100 passengers joining). Our cabin on Deck 6 was "Partially Obstructed ... Read More
This was the first half of 2 back-to-back cruises on Golden Princess. The embarkation process in Auckland was very quick (although there were only about 100 passengers joining). Our cabin on Deck 6 was "Partially Obstructed View" but there was a good view of the sea through some steel framework for the life-rafts. The cabin was generally good, although the bathrooms are a bit tired, and the showers about as small as you could imagine (with clingy plastic shower curtains that were a bit short and kept depositing water outside if knocked). The food was as good as I've had on 20+ cruises with excellent variety and choice. I don't recall one disappointing dish on the cruise. The entertainment was OK, although the 'rock' band were a bit mixed depending on what they were playing. The only problem we had was getting clarity from Customer Relations on the process when we were continuing on the following cruise, but this was tempered by the fact that they had upgraded us to a balcony cabin four decks up! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
I am a 23 year old male, single and a full time student. Decided to treat myself to a little holiday, and started to research cruising. I took the plunge and booked myself on the Golden, for a short row over the Tasman from Auckland to ... Read More
I am a 23 year old male, single and a full time student. Decided to treat myself to a little holiday, and started to research cruising. I took the plunge and booked myself on the Golden, for a short row over the Tasman from Auckland to Melbourne. To be completely honest with you, after experiencing a cruise - I will never go back to land based holiday's. Embarkation in Auckland was fantastic and smooth. I arrived at 11.00, dumped my luggage and proceeded to the passenger area. Filled all my forms in, and sat there with my heart pounding for the next 20 odd minutes, until we were given the all clear to start boarding. The process was smooth and easy, and I was on board, in my cabin by 12. It certainly was overwhelming, travelling on such a big ship as my first cruise. It seemed to take forever to walk from one end to the other down the "never ending corridors" but I didn't mind the long walk - gave you chance to burn off the 15 times you'd eaten during the day. The ship was presented beautifully. I especially fell in love with the Piazza, having my morning coffee at the International Cafe. The Piazza was also host to a lot of social gatherings, and certainly had a lot of fun here. The food I thought was fantastic. I only ate in the MDR on one night, and unfortunately missed out on booking at table at the Crown Grill, so ended up eating in The Horizon Court buffet for the rest of my dinners. I found the food in the buffet to be fantastic - everything was cooked perfectly and seasoned to perfection. I also thought the redesigned layout helped the flow of passengers and having only one entry and one exit kept everyone in an orderly fashion. I also particularly liked Prego's Pizza - traditional American style pizza which was delicious. The Trident Grill, was, OK. The entertainment was, again, fantastic. I enjoyed Pearson & Harvey, who were a comedy duo from Australia. Combining a range of performances from song, to instrumental and of course comedy - contributed to a brilliant show. They performed twice, each time with different material. I also thoroughly enjoyed the International Crew Talent Performance on the last night ... definitely a must see! Unfortunately I didn't get chance to see the production show Motor City. The staff throughout the ship were amazing. Ever so polite, attentive and ready to help you with whatever you needed. My cabin steward, Dindo, was my knight in shining armour during my cruise. I was also impressed that it didn't take long at all for the bar staff to know what you drink! Cruise Director Neil and Assistant Cruise Director Corey ensured we all had a great time. My only gripe is the fact that you get penalized when you travel solo. Having to pay double is ridiculous and quite frankly a rip off, however I am not going to let that discourage my from my next cruise! Overall, a brilliant and fantastic holiday for me. I was so sad when I disembarked, and am thinking about my next cruise while I write this review. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
As a frequent cruiser with Princess I have noted a number of changes from my last cruise. On this cruise two thirds of the passengers were on their first cruise with Princess. The average age group was much lower than other cruises I ... Read More
As a frequent cruiser with Princess I have noted a number of changes from my last cruise. On this cruise two thirds of the passengers were on their first cruise with Princess. The average age group was much lower than other cruises I have been on. The price of shore excursions was excessive. The Captain's Circle party now only invites Platinum and Elite Members and while the invitation indicated the party would be from 7:00 pm to 7:45 pm the drinks were stopped at 7:15 pm when the Captain stated talking and the party had finished by 7:30 pm. an obvious method of reducing costs. It was very difficult to get a seat in the theatre for the first performance after about 30 minutes before the show started. Entertainment overall was very good Embarkation and disembarkation was very well organised. Service onboard was excellent. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My husband and I are both first time cruisers so were not sure what to expect. We got on in Auckland, we live there so just got dropped off, embarkation was so smooth, we were on the ship in half an hour and our bags delivered within the ... Read More
My husband and I are both first time cruisers so were not sure what to expect. We got on in Auckland, we live there so just got dropped off, embarkation was so smooth, we were on the ship in half an hour and our bags delivered within the hour. We had an interior room in the middle of the ship. Perfect, no rocking. Ours was slightly bigger as we had the wardrobes at the end of the room. Bed made with fresh sheets every day, turned down at night, towels changed 2x day. Service from all the staff was amazing, so polite. One waiter we had was a bit grumpy, think he needed to move on and get off the ship. Photos - if there is a package deal take advantage of it, - we did and ended up with amazing photos, formal and casual. We did anytime dining so got to meet new people every meal. Once we had dinner in the main dining room when it was our anniversary, we got a cake and they sang happy anniversary to us. Excursions, we did our own thing except my husband did the weta workshop tour thru the ship in Wellington. In Dunedin we did do the Larnoch Castle tour which also included a hop on hop off ride around the city. That we went to the information site and booked. Entertainment, we went to a variety. Check your daily patter and highlight what you would like to do or you will miss out on things, We went to the Crown Grill and Crab Shack - both which you pay extra for $25pp and these restaurants are well worth the money. Disemarkation day - again so quick and simple. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Thankfully we only did a short 6 day crossing from Auckland to Brisbane which was the end of the world cruise. On a positive note the food was acceptable and the shows were of a good standard with a couple of good comediennes and the ... Read More
Thankfully we only did a short 6 day crossing from Auckland to Brisbane which was the end of the world cruise. On a positive note the food was acceptable and the shows were of a good standard with a couple of good comediennes and the one production show had good vocal and music but no sets and very poor costume selection ( what has happened to the big productions and lavish costumes?). The ship itself is very tired with a lot of the lounge seating in the crooners bar where the springs had gone in all the fitted lounge settees which mad for very uncomfortable cocktail times and the arms on the armchairs were worn and almost threadbare. The cocktails were very weak and almost seemed to be watered down even thought they were $13.95 each ,after a couple of nights we decided not to waste our money on sugar water! The waiting staff in the bars and restaurant were very efficient and friendly and made an effort to please the customers. Our cabin was very tired and not the cleanest with us finding old soaps still in the shower box from the previous passengers and dirty shower curtains and a rusty drain hole, tissues not replaced when empty and hand smudges on the prints on the walls and mirror. In the men's bathrooms there were also no tissues for blowing your nose and they all smelt badly of urine. If we had paid to have been on the world cruise we would have been very disappointed but being only a short cruise it wasn't worth making a fuss over . We are elite passengers but more and more are getting dissatisfied with what ships Princess send down for the Australian and NZ market. We are off next week to join the Golden Princess from San Fran to Auckland and hope that being an Americam based ship the standard will be better if not it may be our last Princess cruise and spend our money on HAL or Crystal. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
We took a cruise on the Diamond Princess from Auckland NZ ending in Sydney Australia. We had some good experiences and we had some disappointing ones...please allow us to share: Pro's: 1. Great food, did not tire of even after 12 ... Read More
We took a cruise on the Diamond Princess from Auckland NZ ending in Sydney Australia. We had some good experiences and we had some disappointing ones...please allow us to share: Pro's: 1. Great food, did not tire of even after 12 days 2. Some good head waiters in select resturaunts...find them and you will get great service...get the wrong ones and you will be disappointed if not insulted. 3. Antidotally, the age of fellow cruise members were closer to 70...if you are under 60 you may not like this. 4. We had great cabin Steward but ran in to some bad ones. Con's: 1. Some bad egg head waiters and cabin stewards 2. Cheap watches sold that after day one broke. 3. Shore excursions...we took 5 excursions (one in every port)...all of them had a cattle herding mentality, being herded, rushed, often with no time for bathroom breaks, gift shops, and not being rushed. Some rude tour guides. Princess Cruises has done a sub par job of managing and monitoring their shore excursion contractors. Brought up issues to tour and customer service managers aboard the princess and they failed to satisfactory remedy. Our advice, if you have the time and eneryg, go on your own and avoid the Princess shore excursions. 4. Cabin maintenance is poor. We had an inop AC, burned out lights, balcony door would not properly latch, rubber residue in toilet, and problems with noises and hardware missing off balcony curtain and slider. It took three attempts to management to correct all the discs, the final of which happened on day 10 of the four day tour. We saw several other cabins where their toilets overflowed (nightmare) and the elevator buttons are sticky. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
After cruising the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska and Tahiti, our next "bucket list" location was to visit Australia and New Zealand. We booked our cruise on the Diamond Princess which cruised from Auckland to Sydney with scenic ... Read More
After cruising the Caribbean, Europe, Alaska and Tahiti, our next "bucket list" location was to visit Australia and New Zealand. We booked our cruise on the Diamond Princess which cruised from Auckland to Sydney with scenic cruising thru Fiordland National Park. We booked a balcony cabin (Caribe 335) with the larger balcony (which was used extensively). We had enough frequent flyer miles to fly business class - but this would have required an additional 10 hours of flight time and switching airlines at least twice. Instead we flew thru LAX to SYD in free economy class seats which we upgraded to "Economy Plus," and loved the additional leg room. Note - we did purchase a day pass at the Delta Club at LAX, and used their shower facilities before boarding our 15 hour flight to Sydney. After arriving in Sydney, we caught the last of our four flights to Auckland. Clearing Customs and Immigration we met our driver from Corporate Cabs to take us to our hotel. This worked out beautifully as our driver was waiting for us as soon as we exited the terminal. With a pre-arranged price of $85 (NZ) there wasn't a surprise charge due to rush-hour traffic delays when we arrived at our hotel. We stayed at the Hilton in Auckland which is right next to the wharf. The room was clean and included a small refrigerator (but no microwave). The staff was helpful, courteous and arranged two tourist activities before we arrived. However, the first thing we needed to do was find a grocery store to pick-up some items for the cruise which we didn't want to pack due to already full suitcases. We found a 24 hours "Countdown" about a 5 min walk from the Hilton with only 1 turn required. A simple and safe walk even after traveling for almost 2 days. The next morning we took a 3 hour city tour of Auckland. It was perfect in length and with only 2 other couples on the mini-bus it was the perfect tour size as well. After dropping us back at the hotel we walked around the wharf area (2 min walk) and had lunch at one of the many restaurants in the area (we counted 12+ to select from). We then walked the area around the wharf to get some fresh air and stretch our legs. There happened to be a fire/rescue demonstration that afternoon which was simply fun to walk around. For dinner we arranged thru the Hilton, a sunset dinner harbor cruise. There are several dinner cruises - so be careful which one you select. Some of the cruises are on large catamarans with 100+ people. We selected a sailing cruise with a total of 14 passengers and 2 crew. Dinner was pre-ordered and prepared by a local restaurant. After "motoring" to a different area of the marina, we stopped and ate dinner in a sheltered area. The crew (for good reason) didn't want to serve dinner while under sail -- the dishes tend to slide on the table too much for most customers. After dessert we raised the sails and we were under way for about 45 - 60 minutes sailing around the harbor. Anyone who wanted to assist the crew was encouraged to do so - it was a great way to end our first day (and Valentine's Day) in Auckland. When we returned to the Hilton, there was a note in our room advising us that the Dawn Princess will be arriving the next morning, and to ensure our privacy we should draw our curtains. This is well documented on most message boards that while the Hilton is located right at the wharf, some guests are surprised to see ships docked there, and then find their views restricted. I can confirm that when a large cruise ship is berthed alongside of the hotel, your views will be blocked. I was surprised how close the ship is actually to the hotel ...we could pass drinks to each other. There was no reason to hail a cab to the other berth to board the Diamond Princess. We simply rolled our suitcases for 5 minutes to board the Diamond Princess (there were a total of 3 ships in port that day). From the time we left the Hilton, until we were in our cabin was perhaps 30 minutes (to include stops for pictures). Below is a review with the following categories - the ship, the food and shore excursions ... each with my subjective letter grade. While we are "Platinum" members with Princess, we have also cruised twice on Oceania, once with Celebrity and once with Royal Caribbean. The ship: "B" The Diamond Princess is certainly beautiful and looks/feels like other Princess ships. The Dawn Princess which pulled up next to the hotel - at least from the outside - is in need of a new paint job. Obviously, I couldn't see the inside - but would have been embarrassed if I had recommended the Dawn Princess to friends. The recent dry-dock updates to the Diamond Princess are evident throughout the ship. A couple of nit-picking items: There is no International Cafe or Vines - we missed both. The carpet has been replaced with a new color scheme in many areas of the ship- but not in all areas. Odd. Our stateroom had the new large flat screen TV, the bed was very comfortable (no need for the old egg crate covers). Laundry - you can now use your cruise card to purchase tokens right in the Laundry rooms. Four washers and dryers on our floor, $3 per wash and $3 per dry. Wash time approximately 35 minutes, and dry time about 55 minutes. The food: "B" We had pizza several days - but without the Caribbean sun it just didn't taste as good eating in the NZ fog. We used traditional dining - while the menus are familiar there were slight tweaks. We tried both the Sterling Steakhouse and Sabatini's. Both dinners were good, service was very attentive. However, we just didn't feel we received additional value of $25/person. Again a good dinner - just didn't find the value. Our waiter in the International dining room - Kumar was OUTSTANDING! Shore excursions - all booked with Princess. Tauranga - Wai-o-tapu Valley & Rainbow Springs - C+ This was a nine-hour excursion where we viewed a geothermal area (think Yellowstone) with paths which ranged from 30 - 90 minutes. We then boarded a steam paddle boat for lunch while we cruised around a lake. Lastly, we visited Rainbow springs where we saw native trees, a stocked trout pond and viewed a handful of Kiwi's. Our tour was perfectly timed - but the thermal springs area was very crowded as we were leaving. Since there are many groups doing this tour - the order varies with different buses. Some of the buses did the lunch/cruise last which was after 2PM. Akaroa - Tranz Alpine & Arthur's Pass - C Another 9 hour day of which 6+ hours are on a bus. You journey across the Canterbury Plains, stop at a farm for tea and snacks and end at Arthur's Pass. You then board a train for a 2 hour train ride back down the mountain where you meet the bus for the ride back to the ship. There is a box lunch on board (no indication what you were eating - a concern with those with food allergies). Lots of sitting this day with little "activity." Note" our rail car had a distinct mold odor - which drove the use of an inhaler within 2 minutes of boarding. Dunedin - Nature's Wonders and Otago Peninsula - C (Argo part A) The drive to Nature's Wonders was scheduled to be 75 minutes. It was an easy 90 minutes as our bus didn't have a 1st gear which made it difficult for driver. We arrived at Nature's Wonders and boarded an 8 wheel Argo (think ATV). There were 6 passengers to each Argo plus their driver. We visited a seal rookery, and then we observed penguins from a distance. This was all about protecting the environment and the animals. Very nice. We then boarded the bus back to Dunedin. Total time observing the animals - maybe an hour out of the 5 hour excursion. There is an opportunity to stop in the center of town and take a $10 shuttle back to the ship. We didn't do that. We did walk around Port Chalmers where the ship was berthed instead … which was a mistake. Hobart - Russell Falls, Meadowbank & Wildlife - B+ Another full day excursion. We boarded a bus and visited Russell Falls. This was a nice 30-45 minute walk in a forest where you ended at the falls. Very nice. We did observe "tree kangaroos," and other wild life along the path. We then went to a winery for a quick tasting followed by lunch. Again, all very nice. After lunch we saw a sheepdog herding demonstration and shearing. Watch your step - and make sure you clean your shoes before boarding the bus to the Bonoring Wildlife Park. At Bonoring (a wildlife sanctuary) you see koalas, Tasmanian devils and there must be 100 kangaroos you can interact with. While all other animals are protected in the sanctuary - the kangaroos have free range. You are encouraged to feed them (using the feed found in numerous buckets throughout the park) Melbourne - River Cruise, Healesville Sanctuary & Wine Tasting - B+ A full day in Melbourne. It started with a 2 hour (?) bus ride to Healesville Sanctuary. The extended bus ride was due to early morning rush-hour traffic. This sanctuary was much larger and nicer than Bonoring. Many more types of animals, and exhibits. They had volunteers at every turn in the path to assist you or answer any questions. We then went to a winery for a tasting and fabulous lunch. Too bad they don't ship back to the US. Our final stop for the day was a quick river cruise along the Yarra River in the central business district. The excursion would have been rated an "A" - the river cruise dropped it to a B+. Sydney - we pre-arranged our own day with Real Sydney Tours. A+ (would like to go higher) Disembarkation was a breeze, although we were 15 minutes late getting off the ship. We had exchanged cell phone numbers with our guide (Naomi) prior to leaving for the cruise, and called her as soon as we exited customs and immigration. She picked us up in a Mercedes Sprinter (?), and we were off to explore Sydney. After a quick history lesson about Sydney, we were crossing the harbor bridge and off to the Featherdale Wildlife Park. The ride to the park was an opportunity to get to know each other, and Naomi ensured all 4 of us were engaged in the dialogue. Arriving at the park we found the parking lot full. No worries! Naomi found a spot for our van, quickly obtained our tickets and we were off to explore the park with our own “zoologist.” We bypassed the 5 busloads of tourists at the first exhibit, as Naomi knew the 2nd exhibit was the star attraction. There we found koalas waiting for us to take pictures with them. Guides were there to ensure everyone had a chance to take a few pictures but kept the line moving. Then we were off to feed the kangaroos. Our personal “zoologist” made sure we understood the differences between the species, and took amazing pictures of the tour that would later be sent to us by Real Sydney Tours. The Park was amazing and so was Naomi. After that we visited the Olympic village, and then headed to a ferry stop to catch a ride back to the famous Opera house. Naomi timed our arrival to within 5 minutes of the next ferry - ensured we had tickets, handed us a basket of snacks and drinks and provide directions of where to meet after the ride was over. As we ended the ride Naomi texted us directions, to include a map of where to meet. Then out of the city to the suburbs with amazing views of the city, and lunch. A perfect stop was planned with quick service, reasonable prices and a view of a local beach. After lunch we visited Bondi Beach for some after lunch "eye candy," and then off to Centennial Park. A quick snack at a picnic table wrapped up our day. Nothing rushed, activities timed to perfection with an engaging guide. The BEST “excursion” of the cruise. Naomi then dropped us at our hotel - the Sydney Hilton right in the central business district (CBD). The staff was helpful, the hotel clean and the room cool. Shopping and restaurants were all within walking distance. We also arranged a car to the airport which arrived right on time the next morning. For us, the hotel was in the right location, with the amenities we needed for an evening stay. Would definitely stay here again if we were looking for a room in the CBD. Overall a good vacation. We definitely will continue to cruise with Princess based on itineraries, and if we were cruising as part of a multi-generational family vacation. However, we will continue to also cruise with Oceania when looking for a completely different cruise experience.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
Diamond Princess: February 15, 2015 Auckland to Sydney. Mini Suite D522. Ages 65 and 72. Much research and decision making went into arranging the details for this marvelous trip. For us the priority on a cruise is the port experiences ... Read More
Diamond Princess: February 15, 2015 Auckland to Sydney. Mini Suite D522. Ages 65 and 72. Much research and decision making went into arranging the details for this marvelous trip. For us the priority on a cruise is the port experiences and the comfort of the ship. Pre-cruise: One early decision we made was to take a lunch time flight from our local airport to Los Angeles and stay overnight near LAX before taking a 9 pm flight on Air New Zealand to Auckland. Our choice was the Embassy Suites North LAX that has a very efficient free shuttle to and from the airport. On the morning of our Air NZ flight we took advantage of the nearby Ocean Express Trolley to go to Manhattan Beach. We extended our stay at the hotel until 5 pm that allowed us to have an afternoon nap and shower. We flew to Auckland in Economy class on Air NZ and after a glitch, on their part, in the booking we ended up in bulkhead seats. The seats were extremely narrow! I took a sleeping pill (after consulting with my doctor) and slept for about 6 hrs. Our requested low-fat meals were delicious and lots of water and juice was available. On arrival in Auckland there was lots of walking to get through immigration and customs to the Super Shuttle that took us to our bed and breakfast. Auckland: Sunderland House bed and breakfast was fabulous! It is in the Herne Bay area of Auckland and a 5-minute walk to the outer link bus system and several close-by restaurants. I was expecting Auckland to be on a flat coastal plain – the big surprise was how hilly it was with quite steep streets. We certainly found muscles that had not been used for a while. Our first afternoon was spent at the Auckland Zoo that has free flight aviaries showing the native birds of NZ ecosystems. Lunch at the zoo cafe included the first of many NZ meat pies and ginger beers (non-alcoholic). The following day we went via ferry to Waiheke Island and ended up on a Sculpture Walk http://sculptureonthegulf.co.nz that is held every two years. The walking track was beautiful with amazing views of Auckland and other islands but very rigorous for those of us who are not used to hilly terrain. (I quickly learned that we needed to allow double the time if we ever asked how long it would take to get somewhere). We were most glad to see the wine and food tent at the end of the trail. Our last full day in Auckland took us to the War Museum for the Maori exhibits and an afternoon sailing at the Maritime Museum on the schooner “Ted Ashby”. As it was Valentines Day we ate at Andiamo, a lovely Italian restaurant in Herne Bay. The following morning we walked down to the beach at Herne Bay and then headed to the cruise terminal. Cruise: Embarkation was well organized and flowed well. It took no more than 30 minutes from dropping off luggage to being on board. The Diamond was a new ship for us and we had a port side mini-suite instead of our usual starboard so it took us a while to get oriented. (The port cabin was to allow us views of the opera house when we entered Sydney Harbor.) The mini-suites on the Diamond have bidets that we grew to appreciate. We were in the Vivaldi dining room on a table for two. Every evening the head-waiter gave us the menu for the next day and the chef prepared lovely low-sodium meals based on our choices. 40+ folks attended our Cruise Critic meet and greet that was on our first sea day. I like to have a cup of coffee mid-morning so if I host a meet and greet I provide (at my cost) tea/coffee service for the group. Three senior officers attended as well as the dynamic cruise director. The hour flew by quickly as faces were put to names and new friends were made. One of my favorite places onboard was the Japanese Bath. During the day swimsuits are required with the more traditional no-clothing approach in the late afternoon and evening. We went to a few shows on sea days but mostly watched movies in our cabin after a long day in port. Hubby tried the gym but found the machines too complicated. (At home he goes to a gym 3x a week). Excursions: We prefer small group excursions so primarily use independent vendors. Tauranga: As recommended on Cruise Critic we had an excellent Jim Archer tour that took us to a beautiful beach viewpoint where we saw fishermen at work, a Kiwi farm where we sampled fruit and drank juice, and a Maori cultural center at Rotorua. Jim was a fount of knowledge. Extended description http://www.archertours.co.nz/Tours-NZ/Cruise-Ship-Shore-Excursions Akaroa: This is a tender port so we decided on an easy day and went on the two hour Cityline/ French connection tour. It took us in and out of bays, stopped at Barry’s cheese factory where I purchased cheese for pre-dinner snacks, and up high on the coastal road to a bar/restaurant with tremendous views and time for a quick lunch. Dunedin: As I’m a biologist I had to go on a tour to see the Royal Albatross and Otago Peninsula wildlife. We were in a group of 12 folks with Elm Wildlife. What a fabulous day but did we ache afterwards! Extended description http://www.elmwildlifetours.co.nz/our-tours/cruise-ship-shore-excursion Scenic cruising Fiordland: Fortunately the seas were calm, the sun was shining, and we were able to enter all the beautiful fjords. Milford Sound is stunning. Sea Day: The Australian immigration folks did individual checks of everybody’s paperwork by appointment in one of the dining rooms. It took about 10 minutes to wait in line then be checked. Customs is done when exiting the ship in Sydney. Hobart, Tasmania: This excursion was arranged for by a Cruise Critic roll call member so most of us knew each other. It was our only drizzly day. First we went to Mt Field national park for a walk (downhill) on the magnificent Tall Trees trail with huge gum trees and an understory of tree ferns. We disturbed a type of kangaroo that lives in the forest and he/she took off into the underbrush. The trail ended at Horseshoe Falls with a short walk to Russell Falls and then along a stream to the car park. It felt like a scene from Jurassic Park. Our last stop was at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and a lovely picnic lunch. Bonorong is a special place where you can get up close with the animals. They had guides at each area to explain the needs of each animal group. A volunteer was feeding baby wombats while we were there. Extended description: http://www.eyeseetasmania.com.au/bonorong-wildlife-sanctuary-and-mt-field.html Melbourne: Princess excursion Yarra River Cruise, Gardens, and City Tour. After a drive into the city we went on the Yarra River cruise; Coffee and tea was served. The commentary on the cruise could not be heard well; thankfully our excellent guide filled us in afterwards. We then had an enjoyable time at the Fitzroy Garden and Conservatory. The Shrine of Remembrance was most poignant. My grandfather fought with the British Forces in Gallipoli so this was a special place for me to visit. . At our request the tour bus dropped us off before the pier and we walked along the beach for a while before returning to the ship. Sydney: I woke up at about 5:00 am to see where we were and to my amazement we were about to sail by the opera house –wow! After the photo-op we went back to bed for a while then a 7:00 am breakfast in the dining room before a 9:00 am disembarkation. Customs was fairly speedy and we then wheeled the luggage to our hotel –the Park Hyatt—that is next to the Cruise Terminal. (We stayed here due to getting a Chase Hyatt card.) It is a beautiful hotel with impeccable service. After a walk around the Rocks, and lunch in a harbor café, we had a nap before our evening at the opera. “Madama Butterfly” was a dream come true….. Afterwards, with all the city and harbor lights twinkling, we strolled back around the harbor to our hotel that sits under the end of the harbor bridge. It was a memorable end to our cruise experience. Post Cruise: When I booked our return airline tickets I was able to get Premium Economy tickets on Air New Zealand for $200 each above the cost of economy. The same glitch that occurred on the outbound flight placed us in regular not preferred seats on the Sydney to Auckland leg of the journey but as it was a short-ish flight that was okay. For the Auckland to LAX leg we were in Premium Economy and what a difference that made! We had wide adjustable seats with lots of legroom. Service was definitely a step up from Economy and very enjoyable. We both slept well. Again we spent the night at the same hotel near LAX but our bodies did not seem to know what time of day it was so we did not sleep well at all. The next morning we repacked our bags and sent everything through as checked baggage on our next flights (Southwest). Thankfully we had arranged for a car to pick us up at our local airport and we were back home for dinner. It has taken me about four days to get over the worst of the jetlag and from experience I know it will be about two weeks before I’m totally readjusted to the altitude we live at. Would I recommend this cruise – absolutely! Our only regret is not being able to spend more time in New Zealand before the cruise began.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
Diamond Princess January 22nd-February 3, 2015 I am a Platinum cruiser, and this is my 5th voyage on the Diamond, 3rd time this trip, and last time was 2012. Diamond Princess has had a recent $30 Million refit, now aged 11 years old. She ... Read More
Diamond Princess January 22nd-February 3, 2015 I am a Platinum cruiser, and this is my 5th voyage on the Diamond, 3rd time this trip, and last time was 2012. Diamond Princess has had a recent $30 Million refit, now aged 11 years old. She remains our favorite ship, in excellent condition, the food and entertainment still of a consistent and good standard. Firm recommendation to anyone wanting a good quality, big ship cruise experience. My critique, is based on my many cruises and any criticism is aimed only at seeking improvement Embarkation Ship boarded at Auckland. Received excellent boarding service assisted by being allocated the “preferred line” as a Platinum member, and getting there early! The ship in general The Diamond Princess is a lovely large ship, sister to the Sapphire which we have also sailed on. Diamond was launched in 2004, and remains in excellent shape. The refit in late 2014, added a Sushi specialty Restaurant, unfortunately charging al-a-carte prices, a large Japanese Bath house, and minor changes to the Buffet restaurant .116, 000 tons, 2700 passengers and 1200 crew. Some people aboard found the size of the ship a little overwhelming and they thought a smaller ship would be more to their liking. We can understand that but we like the larger ships with more people and facilities and choices on board. Although there were approximately 2700 passengers on board we never felt crowded. Used the Gym fitness machines each day, great to see Princess unlike Celebrity Solstice do not drown you out with music in the Gym and I also had flutter on the Casino, which offers plenty of options for those who enjoy the gambling opportunity. The Gym did not open until 7am, and I believe it should be open from 6am. Exercise before eating makes sense. An irritation and also unsafe practice, was children under 16 were allowed to use the Gym, supervised by parents. What is supervision, I saw a couple of mishaps with 5-8 yrs. olds, and kids under 16 should not be allowed in the Gym, with powerful machinery etc. Change your policy Princess, someone is going to get hurt in that environment and the Gym is not a playground. Waiting for an 8 year old to finish the treadmill, while Mum talks down the other end of the Gym is poor customer service, and I saw two tumbles from the cross trainer during this cruise by kids, one which looked quite serious e.g. bloody nose and a bruise Princess cruises add a USD 11.50 a day per person amount to your bill and that covers your tipping for the total cruise. This is done so that people employed on the ship who are not in direct contact with the ship can also receive something. If you don’t like this idea you can negotiate with the Pursers office to have the amount reduced if you wish, and envelopes for tips are available. If you are using several appliances in your cabin at the one time it might be an idea to bring an adaptor board, as there is only one general plug. This is a USA type plug so if you are coming from another country you will need to bring an adaptor. We were extremely impressed with Sky Walkers nightclub and daytime lounge, which is situated at the back of the ship 18 floors up. At night-time it is a disco after 10.30pm and during the daytime is a restful area for reading and just watching the sea. On days when the sea is rolling you can sit on the side wing and look right down the left side of the ship to the Bridge and notice the pitching motion of the ship. The chairs in sky walkers are extremely comfortable. During the daytime you can always get a seat there for reading or quiet time. The other bars and public seating areas of the Diamond were excellent, roomy and stylish. Excellent Piano playing throughout and a string quartet of females were pleasant on the eye and played great music. The library on board is too small, with the Internet facilities spilling over into the library, limiting seating. A Reasonable range of books available. The Internet café is roomy and is taking over space previously for library users. Both are needed, and the balance between books and computers needs review. As mentioned the internet café is large with lots of computers. We never had to wait to get on a machine, you pay but not unreasonable prices Floor shows in the evening, and specifically the Dance Company and singers was excellent. They did 4 presentations, equal to Conrad Jupiter’s stage show levels. The support entertainers covered a wide range from Sinatra crooner type, to Dolly Parton Remembrance show. Overall the formal and stage entertainment was of good quality, all part of your travel package Solid range of late release movies shown on upper deck or available in room. Good work here Princess, my wife watched more than a few while reclining in the cabin. Good range and up to date selection. I missed on this 12 night cruise, the formal history or geographic lectures of the past, but the live commentary on the Sounds, while cruising the Fiords, was world class Excellent range of cooking demonstrations, wine tastings excellent range of choices every day, including the usual bingo, table tennis, bridge games. Art shows were very visual. Soft freeze cone ice-cream available at no cost, a nice touch. The weather conditions throughout were favorable and no rough days at all. However motion sickness is a real issue on NZ/Aussie cruises. This can be addressed by planning e.g. good range of patches/tablets if one is prone. The reality is cruises in this part of the world are not calm, e.g. Pacific Princess 2004 we had two days of Force 6/7 seas, and reasonable sea motion is a reality in this part of the world. Dining Traditional 1st or second sitting evening dining room sitting versus anytime dining are great options. We prefer anytime dining, and there were 4 choices plus the 24 hour buffet, plus the open-air Trident grill and Pizza bar. We dined most days buffet breakfast in the Horizon, often had lunch in the traditional dining room (not available in the evening for anytime diners) and then at night, in one of the 4 anytime restaurants. Menu in each is the same as traditional dining restaurant, but we liked the change of waiters, décor and loved being able to eat anytime in the evening between 5.30pm and 10pm. If you had not booked, there was sometimes a small wait, but no great problem. Two specialist restaurants available. Sterling (steak) restaurant with $25 surcharge per person was not great value, but the specialist Italian restaurant at $25 surcharge per person was excellent. The new Sushi restaurant had great décor, but having to pay al-carte-prices, needs addressing If you are on 1st or 2nd sitting dining you must dine in the International dining room although you can book into the 4 Anytime dining rooms ( 24 hrs. change notice)if you wish for a change. If you are on anytime dining you can only go into the 4 specialist dining rooms and not the International dining room in the evening. addition The buffet at Horizon Court on deck 14 was good value, the new dessert and Asian option component done as part of the refit, adding a new dimension to this dining facility. Everything seemed fresh, lots of choice and we thought the food tasted fine. Open most hours was great. Service was good tea, and their breakfast buffet top class A nice touch was English High tea served by waiters in white gloves 3.30-4pm served daily in the Pacific Moon dining room. Room Service Available 24 hours at no charge limited menu but pleasant. Our cabin We had an inside stateroom on the 11h level.B202. Very pleasant. We made the decision not to have a balcony cabin, Apart from saving money, cruises in this part of the world are often affected by weather, rain or wind, and that limits use of the balcony. In Europe a must, but not this part of the world. The design of the cabin made good use of mirrors to enhance the feeling of light and maximize space. The open space wardrobes without doors provided plenty of hanging and excellent storage space for our requirements. The room configuration made it seem very spacious. Our main cases fitted side by side quite comfortably. Bedside lights have dimmer switches. Soaps and towels were changed twice a day. Bathroom shower pressure excellent. There is a safe in every room and our cabin had a fridge. Outside your door on the side is a letterbox with your cabin number on it so that the any newsletters or other information can be left for you. If you wish to drink bottled wines in your cabin Princess seem to have no problems with you purchasing wines or champagne and bringing them on board at embarkation (Small print says 2 bottles). You can take these wines into the dining room but you will be charged an USD15.00 corkage fee. They charge for spring water in your cabin so we always take a water bottle with us and go up to Horizon Court and fill the bottle up with fresh water from there. A minor complaint was we could hear voice transfer from Cabin B206 next door. Not impossible but a nuisance PORTS OF CALL Mt Maunganui, Akaroa and Port Chalmers were the NZ Ports. Due to our local knowledge and pat cruising did no NZ shore excursions? The Mount Maunganui mooring was right at the town centre, so walked off and explored this lovely seaside town and I walked the hill. At Akaroa I walked around the lovely Town. Port Chalmers was a great sunny day, and I discovered a local lookout and a great church, both which overlooked the moored Diamond Princess, and I found a couple of the village antique shops interesting. No stress here. Shore excursions are great and there was plenty of choice for those aboard. They are time consuming and you pay a surcharge for everything being done for you, but Princess does it well. FIORDLAND The 12 nights Diamond Princess cruise- weather permitting cruises through the Fiords. We struck a lovely day and entered Milford Sound early in the morning. Magnificent. Then visited Thompson and Doubtful Sound. We had lovely weather on this day, A magnificent part of the world, and the trip was worth it for this magic day alone. MELBOURNE The ship docks at Station Pier the port for Melbourne, which is a little way out of town. Again you have a choice of doing your own thing or taking tours. If you want to travel around on your own there is plenty to do. We would suggest you get off the ship and walk to the end of the pier near where the tram stop is. Purchase a metro pass costing AUD 6.50 per person, which allows you unlimited travel on the buses, trams and trains around Melbourne for the whole day. It will take you about 20 minutes to travel into the centre of Melbourne on tram 109. On your return to ship look again for tram 109 to Port Melbourne. About 2 stops before reaching the Collins Street - Elizabeth Street stop which is in the centre of the city you must get off the tram and go to the top of the Rialto tower for a great orientation view of Melbourne. You then must visit the famous Victoria markets about 3 stops from the centre of the city. Melbourne is a city of Parks and Gardens so a walk through Fitzroy Gardens is a must. St Kilda to the south a busy café scene is worth a look as is Lygon Street to the north a mecca for restaurants and the café society. We are very familiar with Melbourne, so this time Shirl took the Tram and went shopping, and I walked to St Kilda and back. HOBART Arrival in Hobart is at Constitution Dock about 10 minutes’ walk to the centre of town past the docks where the Sydney to Hobart yachts arrive. Again there are very good tours of the city and surrounds arranged by Princess. I visited the Tasmanian Museum. Good! Disembarkation Getting off the ship at Sydney was well organized and no issue We thoroughly enjoyed the Diamond Princess, rated by Berlitz Guide to Cruising 20015 in the top 20h best Large Cruise ship. Princess offers great all round value. A good product. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
The meet and greet at the airport was excellent. Transfer to the ship was excellent with the driver being very courteous. Upon arrival at embarkation we were shown directly to the counter to check-in. Because we had a transfer, our bags ... Read More
The meet and greet at the airport was excellent. Transfer to the ship was excellent with the driver being very courteous. Upon arrival at embarkation we were shown directly to the counter to check-in. Because we had a transfer, our bags were taken directly to our stateroom although a little late. The cabin tags had obviously been ripped off and the staff did not know what stateroom we were in. It was only by chance that we noticed our bags sitting in a staff area on our level that we got our suitcases delivered to our room. Maybe Princess needs to find some other way of tagging bags, except by having to staple the tags onto your suitcases etc. Maybe a plastic tag where you can then write your cabin number that can then be attached to the bag. Overall check-in was smooth. All staff oat embarkation were courteous and efficient. The cabin D326, was spotlessly clean with plenty of hangers to hang clothes. The bathroom was spotless. The sliding doors to the balcony could have been cleaned. Overall cabin experience was excellent, Subin, our cabin steward was always helpful and polite. Thoroughly recommend him. The public areas of the ship were spotless. All staff were friendly and efficient. The only thing that disappointed us was the Horizon Court dining area. Plastic (melamine) cups and plates and bowls. These have to be washed just like china, can't see why china wasn't used. Food was good but not outstanding. The bread and rolls were so nice, could easily get hooked on them. Afternoon tea in the Pacific Moon was excellent - try their scones, yummmm. The overall food dining experience in the any time dining was OK. But all restaurants, apart from the specialty restaurants, were all the same. Not quite sure why the restaurants are given different names, Santa Fe, Savoy, Pacific Moon, Vivaldis, when they serves exactly the same food. It would be nice if they had one or two difference specialities each night in each restaurant. We dined in Sabatinis which was excellent. The food was very, very good. We also splashed out and booked the Chef's Table, to celebrate a birthday, and this was well worth the money. To see behind the scenes and then be served this amazing food from the Chef and great wines from the Maitre D was outstanding. Would do this again if we travelled on Princess. The Japanese bath house was very relaxing. the Lotus Spa, I would give a wide berth to. It is so overrated for the prices they charge. I had to halt my massage as I felt that the girls seemed very disinterested or gave the feeling that she was learning. Having massages on a frequent basis at home, I know when I am getting a good massage. This was appalling. At one stage the girl was leaning on the wall with her foot on the bath. After ceasing the massage after 15 minutes I was to find out that she was or had not been well. I refused to pay for the massage. I was offered an alternative the next day with an extra 15 minutes but it left a very bad feeling, so I refused. The pool areas were always clean and plenty of staff. The only thing I thought was very dangerous was glass bottles of beer being allowed into the spa baths. Not just a one off but quite frequent. Not a good habit to get into and staff should not allow this. Entertainment was a bit staid and we only went to two cabarets on the 12 nights. I really think they need to look at this. The daily activities were OK, we enjoyed the trivia games. The piano bars were the best places to be. We were quite happy just relaxing by the pool and going to the Skywalkers bar for a place to hide away from people, although you would not think there were over 2000 people on board. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the Diamond Princess and would happily go on another cruise with them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2014
We celebrated her 10th anniversary on this cruise and we found her in great shape except for the really bad beds. As always the food was terrific, staff were excellent and itinerary incredible. Warren Smith is a wonderful cruise director ... Read More
We celebrated her 10th anniversary on this cruise and we found her in great shape except for the really bad beds. As always the food was terrific, staff were excellent and itinerary incredible. Warren Smith is a wonderful cruise director and the activities were well planned and well attended. Even the seven sea days between Perth and Thailand seemed to pass way too fast. My friend and I were two of only 120 Americans among mainly Australians, who as always are great fun to travel with. She is now in dry dock in Singapore undergoing major renovations and I hope they are replacing the worn out mattresses while they install a Japanese style bath house and Sushi/Thai specialty restaurant!! Our next cruise will be on the new Regal and we are looking forward to sailing on a new ship. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
We did the back to back Auckland-Sydney- Auckland cruise.It was the best cruise we have done [finally made it to elite on the 2nd leg,which helped & our 1st time in a balcony cabin,which made a huge difference].Before we boarded we ... Read More
We did the back to back Auckland-Sydney- Auckland cruise.It was the best cruise we have done [finally made it to elite on the 2nd leg,which helped & our 1st time in a balcony cabin,which made a huge difference].Before we boarded we were sent a couple of emails warning us of a delay in sailing due to a norovirus outbreak on the previous cruise.That turned out to be good news as there was little sickness on both the cruises we did. Embarcation was the quickest we have encountered todate [they must be getting the hang of things].The cabin was spacious,well layed out & in a great position on the ship.  great location,pretty quiet,except in real rough weather when the sliding door & walls of the cabin creak quite a bit.A spacious cabin although I don't know how large size passengers get on in the very small shower cubicles [they are the same throughout the ship].Would definitely take this cabin again. All of the crew were very friendly,helpful & seemed happy.Our 1st port of call was Tauranga where we encountered the windiest I can remember for this port,it was so bad the ship could not pull away from its berth,so we stayed until 3am & therefore missed out on the next port [Akaroa],the sea was a bit rough [so other passengers told us],but the cabin location meant we did not feel it that bad. Other than that it was smooth sailing,the shows on board were so so,although the Freddie Mercury impersonator was really good [& he was a kiwi to boot],certainly got the crowd involved.The disembarkation at the end was even quicker than when we boarded,so all in all a great holiday. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
My husband and I had an amazing vacation on the Diamond Princes. A week or so before our cruise, we were notified that the Norovirus had struck about 60 passengers on the ship and that a full cleaning of the ship would take place before we ... Read More
My husband and I had an amazing vacation on the Diamond Princes. A week or so before our cruise, we were notified that the Norovirus had struck about 60 passengers on the ship and that a full cleaning of the ship would take place before we embarked. That was probably a blessing, as when we embarked, we were impressed on how many "Prell" dispensers were around and as our vacation began, we were happy to see that the crew was dishing out our meals at the buffet. Great start to solving the spread of disease. Good prevention measure. Prell dispenses for everyone to use as plates and silverware were handed to us individually by a crew member. I will not go into great detail as to our everyday activities, as cruising to us is the ideal vacation, and we take advantage of all the ship has to offer. We met some wonderful people. We were treated with the utmost respect and kindness by every single crew member, and were given updates as needed as far as time, weather, ports, etc. One of the things that really impressed us was the decision the Captain made to avoid a storm at sea and as a result, we missed a port, but in the end, we sailed with the least impact from the storm as possible. Even traveling 150 miles north of the storm, we had 27 foot swells, so we could only imagine had we hit the storm head on. I did feel ill after dinner, but never actually got sick. People all around were so helpful and suggested we call Medical. We did and the came to our room immediately. Turned out I was suffering from Vertigo, and lying down took care of it all. But the response was amazing and I greatly appreciated it. The big screen TV on deck was one of my favorite things, as well as the Casino. We enjoyed Bingo, but I was a bit disappointed when the next number that would have been called had not someone won the $2200 jackpot would have been mine, and the fact that my husband lost a $500 tournament by one chip, but the fun of the games and the entertainment by the crew was wonderful. The atrium entertainment was relaxing and we loved every minute we spent there. Of course, pictures and internet are there to make money, however, I think they were a bit overpriced. I believe that lower the price, sell more, make more, but that is just our opinion. All in all, we were thrilled with our vacation, with the activities on the Diamond Princess, the food was sensational, the service divine and we would not hesitate to book with Princess for our next cruise. Our room steward was the kinds, friendlies young man and showed concern when I was not feeling well. He was so pleasant and the room was kept spotless all the time thanks to him. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
My experience on the Sun Princess Dec 8th - Dec 21st had good moments and bad moments I was on a cruise from Auckland to Auckland and I got onto the ship thinking I was getting on the ship at the 'beginning' of a cruise and ... Read More
My experience on the Sun Princess Dec 8th - Dec 21st had good moments and bad moments I was on a cruise from Auckland to Auckland and I got onto the ship thinking I was getting on the ship at the 'beginning' of a cruise and getting off at the 'end' of a cruise. It wasn't until I was on the ship and noticed that my cruise card had the wrong disembarkation date on it that I discovered that I was technically on bits of two different cruises. This is something that Princess could have let the Auckland passengers in on (there were 300 of us) before we got on the ship - as most of the Aucklanders that got on were under the same impression as I was - I still would have done the cruise but it would have been better to know as I would have arrived at the terminal earlier to get onto the ship earlier. Firstly the weather was fantastic and the crossing of the Tasman - there and back - was the smoothest trips I have ever had and I have crossed the Tasman 8 times My cabin steward was fantastic and the head waiter, waiter and junior waiter at my table in the Regency dining room were also fantastic The chefs/cooks in the International cafe were excellent as well That is probably where the positive ends I normally don't eat in the buffet but I did have to on 2 occasions and I found it to be just awful. The food was horrible and I found it difficult to find more than 3 mouthfuls of food that I wanted to eat. That is really only where the bad started I was on the ill-fated Norovirus outbreak cruise and I am guessing they are still in the middle of the outbreak now. The benefit of a norovirus outbreak is that everything is served to you - right down to little packets of salt with dinner. The bad thing was that the staff became so over worked that the service became surly. I understand it is so much more work having to do all of the serving BUT it's a cruise ship - it's the perfect environment for Norovirus to breed so they should be used to it or at least prepared for it (My dinner service was exceptional every night - so why couldn't the other meals be the same) I have food allergies and I have to say that I was quite disappointed with how the kitchen handled this. I was given a menu every night for the following night by the head waiter and I thought it was so if there was something that I wanted to eat and it had the food I was allergic to in it they would change it so it was ok for me. With a citrus allergy I have issues with a lot of sauces and I found that if a sauce contained citrus they just didn't use it - which meant that a couple of times I had very dry meat or fish so I ended up having to order something else. Also a couple of times the kitchen served me food with citrus and the only reason I didn't end up with it was because of my amazing waiter and junior waiter catching the mistake before it got to me. All the ports of NZ were awesome and being a Kiwi and getting to see places I have never seen before was great. The entertainment was ok - the shows would have been amazing if the dancers had been a little better at their jobs. I have seen a couple of shows on other Princess ships and they were spectacular with the right dancers. The male and female singers were excellent though. They made the shows better because of their excellent singing. As the average age of my cruise was 62 for the first half and 57 for the 2nd half the music was more suited to an older crowd so I didn't really get into all of the other shows and performers - I am in my 30's so a little bit of music for my kind of taste would have been great. I did find the cruise director to be very funny though. I always liked his little 5 mins of jokes and banter at the end of the shows in the Princess Theatre. One thing I did find quite annoying was the people constantly at us to buy stuff, up sell etc - telling me I really should buy a coffee card and when I would tell them that I don't drink coffee they would still try to sell me one???? Getting your photo coming off the ship, going onto the ship - they can get quite aggressive about it. Why should I have to wait 5 mins while you take photos of 10 other people when I am NOT going to buy an overpriced photo When we arrived in Sydney this was the most badly organised port I have ever experienced and I have been on 9 cruises with lots of ports. My mother and I booked a shuttle from the ship to Circular Quay (this was through the ship) $20 each and was a pick up at the ship at 0900 and a pick up at Circular Quay at 1400 the only other option was pick up from ship at 1000 and pick up at Circular Quay at 1500. As my mother has mobility issues this seemed like the best option as we were going to get on a train and the train is right there. First issue of Sydney is that we were directed into the Customs queue and not the transit passengers queue - I questioned it and was told we should be in the customs queue. It was already 0900 and our shuttle was leaving at 0900. We spent 20 mins in the queue and finally got out to our shuttle - half of the bus was in the queue where I was so the shuttle hadn't left yet. We didn't get on our way until approx 0930 and the driver informed us before we got on the bus that he would be dropping us off at the opera house and picking us up from the opera house at 1300. I disputed that with him and advised that we had been told 1400 for pick up. He said it was 1300 and if we weren't on the bus at 1300 he would leave without us and we would have to find our own way back to White Bay. As I got on the bus I asked a couple of people that I had become friendly with if they thought pick up was 1300 or 1400 and they all said 1400. We were not given an option to stop at circular quay as we had been advised and there is not much but the opera house where we were dropped off. I asked the driver how far away a shopping mall was from where we were and he pointed up a hill and advised 'a couple of blocks' I advised my mother has mobility issues (asthma) and can't walk up hills like that where else could we go. He advised as a favour he would drive us to the shopping mall a couple of blocks up the road (another 12 - 15 people also took him up on this) His idea of blocks and my idea of blocks are a little different - it was about 4 or 5 kms and most of it was up hill. The mall he took us to consisted of stores like Gucci - so definitely out of my price range. We spent about 2 hours in a cafe at the mall as there wasn't anything else to do. We headed back to the Opera house and we arrived early so we didn't 'miss' the 1300 deadline. Well the bus didn't even show up until 1315 After I got back onto the ship I went and spoke to the excursion department and was spoken to by the women who I think is in charge, She advised me that it was my mistake that I got the pick up time wrong and she didn't care when I advised there was a full bus of people who thought the same as me, she apologised to me saying that she was sorry I got the wrong idea???? Ummmm really??? Not sure that is an apology - she wouldn't even touch on the fact that the driver would only drop us off at the opera house and we were advised by the 2nd bus load of people that there should have been 4 different drop off points not just one and after a number of people had complained they started refunding people who had to get taxis - but we didn't get a receipt for ours so didn't get a refund. The excursion dept would not consider refunding anyone for the actual shuttle. I certainly hope Princess looks at that company and/or driver and re-consider their contract and the excursion department needs to look at how they speak to passengers and explain what the excursion entails and if they get it wrong they need to acknowledge it and just refund the money because of their screw up - it's not like it was a $200 excursion. Over all I had a great cruise - I met some awesome people and had lots of laughs with them and received some awesome service from some of the crew. The bad bits wont stop me going on more cruises as they are what you make of them. I just think the bad needs to be pointed out as well as the good!!!   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
One of my favourite cruises is around NZ plus a port or two in Australia. So as to round off a rather problematic year with personal family problems I decided, for the third time, to do this cruise again. My fourth with Princess and my ... Read More
One of my favourite cruises is around NZ plus a port or two in Australia. So as to round off a rather problematic year with personal family problems I decided, for the third time, to do this cruise again. My fourth with Princess and my first with Sun. I found Sun Princess, by comparison with many other ships I have been on, rather difficult to get around. I never did find two on the Loungers on very upper decks. Of the lounges I found they were just ordinary and quite boring. The overall decor I found drab - there was a lack of colour throughout the ship. My balcony stateroom on Caribe (Grade BD) suited me excellently. (I had sole occupancy of a 2 bedded stateroom). I was extremley glad that I did not have to share with anyone becuase if I had have it would have been hell! It would not accomodate two persons comfortably - but as I said ideal and perfect for one. My stateroom steward was fine but little niceties like pen and notepad were absent until I asked for them. My morning Room Service steward was one of the most courteous fellows I have come across and commended him for it. As a foodie I really enjoyed myself. Having Room Service Breakfast every morning and either Lunch at the Pizzeria or (when available) in the Dining Room. I hate buffet style venues. My only quibble with the food was the steaks. Not ggod at all. Perhaps that is why the Sterling Steakhouse was popular. I intended using the venue but somehow it's location did not appeal to me. It seemed to be part of Horizon which put me off. I guess the reason for at least one Japanese appetiser and main on the menu each meal was leading up to when the ship would be based up in Japan. They made a nice chainge. Enteratinment was so-so. I find the behaviour of many attendees at the shows disgusting. If they want to talk why don't they stay out of the room is just one example. The staff on the Purser's Desk were fairly lack lustre. One girl in particular was just plain arrogant. To summarise - an enjoyable cruise but a little disappointed in the Ship. Overall it just wasn't up to the usual Princess standards. Perhaps it was catering for a different market to what I am used to.   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
Beautiful weather and calm seas made for a lovely cruise. Auckland - Stunning weather - All shops close by, Overnight accomodation 1 min away, Embarkation - Local Security staff do not understand what preferred check in means, it was only ... Read More
Beautiful weather and calm seas made for a lovely cruise. Auckland - Stunning weather - All shops close by, Overnight accomodation 1 min away, Embarkation - Local Security staff do not understand what preferred check in means, it was only the intervention of a Princess Cruise Line Staff member that saw us being about to enter this area. Tauranga - Another lovely day - easy walk to downtown Mt Maunganui. It was a hard slog walking to the top of the Mount but worth the challenge. Good information area on your way out of the port supplied by the locals. Napier - Free buses put on to take you downtown returning every 10 mins. There are lots of interesting sights along Marine Parade so its worth a walk down. This Port could be a full day as there is a lot to take in just in the local environment. Wellington - Not such a nice day and it felt a bit of an effort to get down to the shopping areas if you are on foot. However if you do get around the Waterfront on a nice day - it is simply charming to walk around to The Museum of New Zealand. Akaroa - just a little harbourside village really. Worth a look if you haven't been there before. Dunedin - We had Good Company on our TOUR - which we organised privately Fiordland - It was really raining but that made the waterfalls all the more spectacular ! Sydney - Generally one of our favourite stops - however we sat in the Terminal (after being told we HAD to leave the boat - NO REASON REALLY) for THREE HOURS. Princess Staff avoided eye contact and were not forthcoming with reasons why we had to sit there. This was made all the harder by the fact that people were coming off the ship for TWO hours after we had been made to leave. Next time - I would stay in my cabin and let them find me . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
After sailing with other cruise lines in the past and having a blast, we decided to sail with Princess for the first time due to the itinery they offered over the holiday period. Biggest mistake I have ever made. I don't normally ... Read More
After sailing with other cruise lines in the past and having a blast, we decided to sail with Princess for the first time due to the itinery they offered over the holiday period. Biggest mistake I have ever made. I don't normally complain and have spent just as much time writing raving reviews on here about our other great cruises, but this was a disaster. We checked our bags in at the luggage drop off at 10 am and went and did some final shopping in Auckland and then checked in to the ship at 12pm. Check in and embarkation was quick and smooth. 2 of our three bags arrived sporadically throughout the day. Cabins are much smaller than we are used to and showers are tiny so don't even think about this ship if your a bigger person. 6 pm and our bag still hadn't arrived. After several requests to our cabin steward and the ship due to leave the dock I was told "don't worry" by our steward with quite a bit of attitude. As the ship was pulling out I call the steward to ask him to find out if my bag was at least on the ship, to this again the response I got was "don't worry". At this stage I was worried and was fed up with his flippant attitude and asked him to find my bag as this was the luggage that had all of our clothing. No more than 2 minutes later there was a knock on our stateroom door where our cabin steward was standing with our missing bag which he felt the need to throw at me and walk off without saying a word. I was dumbfounded, and contacted passenger services to complain about what had happened. And we hadn't even left the heads yet. Let's just say the service didn't get any better. The ship ran out of white wine on day 2 of a 12 day Christmas new year cruise. Most of the bars closed at 7pm and others didn't open till 5 forcing you to walk half the ship to get a drink. One afternoon I was in the Churchill lounge reading a book and felt like a drink so had to go to the casino as it was the closest bar open and asked for a glass of Pino Grigio. The girl behind the bar quite sharply responded " we don't have any" and after looking me up and down added " the only bottle of white wine we have here is $70 a bottle", as if I couldn't afford it. As we were travelling with my partners family we decided to try Vivaldi's on night 2, the head waiter was extremely rude and denied us entry to a half empty restaurant because we were on anytime dining. Last I was led to believe anytime dining means "anytime". We did find out later that Vivaldi's is the only restaurant on board that has a policy of anytime starting at 8:15pm, however the waiter should have handled it much better. All the staff with very few exceptions, seemed like it was an effort and a hindrance to carry out the simplest of tasks. Christmas Day was a non event apart from Santa being in the atrium for 2 hours for the kids in the morning there was nothing special organised. Christmas lunch was had in the buffet and the only thing that even made it slightly Christmassy was sliced ham. Dinner was a bit better with sliced turkey and pudding in the dining rooms, which made a few people on the ship, including me, sick. The choice of food was non existent throughout the cruise and felt like we ate the same things for 12 whole days and the anytime dining rooms all served the same food, which we found out later is not normally the case. The dining rooms were also extremely hot and overheard severally passengers complain. The wait staff were clumsy and frequently got orders wrong. We did, however, participate in the chefs table, which I would highly recommend as it's well worth the money. New Year's Eve also bearley happened. The top decks were blocked off from about 8 pm so no acces to the forward smoking area was allowed and all of the outdoor bars closed at 7pm. We thought we'd try sabatinis (a $25 per head specialty Italian restaurant) for New Years. Food was good but found out later that evening that the same menu was served in the anytime dining rooms at no extra charge so I would like to know what we paid the extra for. The only thing organised was a ballon drop which went off early so we missed it. The atmosphere was less than celebratory. The only place to go was skywalkers nightclub which again was way to hot and the crew pretty much took over the club once their shifts finished. It was the first New Years ever that I bearley made the countdown before I went to bed, extremely disappointed. The entertainment onboard is certainly left to be desired, if you could find it at all. There was nothing on the open decks and the quality of what was available was ammiature. For the first time ever we actually considered disembarking early. The final straw for us was on the last night. I cracked my head open getting into the pool. After having it attended to by a paramedic and being told it only required a few band aids, woke up the next morning to a blood soaked pillow. I went down to the medical centre to have it looked at before disembarking to be greeted with " oh YOUR the guy from last night" with a snide tone. After being assessed by the nurse, who was one of the few polite people on board the doctor came in and assesed the wound. Never before have I been judged so much in my life. After a clean up and some steri strips the head of security came in. Let me tell you this guy needs a job in Guantanamo Bay. Falling short of calling me a lier, he stormed out and slammed the door. I have never been so humiliated in my life. Oh and they charged me $200 for the experience. This was the worst holiday of my life and will never travel with Princess Ever again, and if you want to enjoy your holiday that you spend your hard earned money on, I suggest you don't either. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
Diamond Princess 23rd December 2013 to 4th January 2014 Auckland to Sydney Embarkation The Auckland cruise terminal was very efficient. Check in and embarkation was quick and smooth. Being relative early around 11.00am we had an easy and ... Read More
Diamond Princess 23rd December 2013 to 4th January 2014 Auckland to Sydney Embarkation The Auckland cruise terminal was very efficient. Check in and embarkation was quick and smooth. Being relative early around 11.00am we had an easy and flawless passage, being on ship within 45 minutes. The cabin was ready as soon as we boarded the ship and our steward was an absolute delight. First Impressions We quite often cruise over Christmas – New Year period to get away from the rat race. This cruise was a big disappointment. As soon as you get on board you are hounded by staff trying to sell Wine Packages, coffee cards, soft drinks packages, wine tastings etc. not a pleasant experience. All the staff with very few exceptions seemed like it was an effort and a hindrance to carry out the simplest of tasks. Even getting the attention of a drink waiter was an effort some nights. We had Christmas Day and New Years Eve onboard so there is a premium to pay for the extras. But! There were some very good decorations throughout the ship but no extras. Christmas Day consisted of Santa being in the atrium for 2 hours. Christmas lunch was a few slices of ham. Dinner wasn’t much better but we were offered sliced turkey and pudding. New Year's Eve also barely happened. Some of the outside areas were blocked off early in the night for some unknown reason and the outside bars closed early. The atmosphere was less than celebratory. A balloon drop for New Years Eve was probably the extent of it. Both days are done better by other lines. Hygiene Where are the hand sanitizers? This was the third cruise line we had been on in the last 18 months and by far the least hygienic. The public areas don’t seem to get cleaned down at regular intervals and dispensers are only near the food lines. On a previous cruise with another line you were not allowed to board the ship until you had sanitised your hands, this should be standard across the cruise industry. Shore Excursions Everybody knows you pay a premium for tours booked through Princess. New Zealand tours are modified to cater for the cruise industry, cutting short some journeys so that you are back on time. Those who booked private tours generally failed to meet the departure times because of the slow disembarkation of 2000+ passengers. So in that respect the Princess tours suddenly seem better value. On this cruise we booked two tours and found them both to be excellent. A little overpriced but still worthwhile. Akaroa: Dolphin watching harbour cruise. We were on a small boat that was moved around a lot by the swell. Quite a few people were seasick. But we did see dolphins, seals and penguins so the object was achieved. Port Chalmers/Dunedin: Taieri Gorge Railway and Lanarch Castle. We were very impressed with the train trip through the gorge. The staff were great and very informative and the meals were good as well. Same for the castle, the driver was very good and we had a very comfortable coach. All in all a great day. Ports Tauranga: A very easy going port, a NZ beach town, with lots of shops and quite enough to occupy the day. We walked around and stayed in the port area. There is a great walk up the nearby knoll with spectacular views that fills in a few hours. The beaches in the area are also spectacular. Akoroa/Christchurch: Lyttleton is still closed. Akaroa is the alternate stop and tenders are used to get you ashore. It's a very quaint harbour village. If you want there is a bus available on shore that will get to back and forth to Christchurch. Judging by the crowd at every coffee shop, café and restaurant, I figure that most people agree with me that coffee onboard is pretty bad. It’s an easy walk around the village with plenty to see for a few hours. Check out the fudge at the market, it’s fantastic. Port Chalmers/Dunedin: We boarded the train straight off the pier and spent the entire day on a tour. Hobart and Melbourne: I’m an Aussie so I’ve been here hundreds of times. The yachts from the Sydney to Hobart yacht race were still in town and available to walk around the piers to have a look. Food The biggest disappointment! Based on previous cruises the food standard has fallen to a lower level, in all of the outlets. This is the first cruise I have been on where in the main dining room two main courses and one desert were inedible. This was a first for me to send back meals because they weren’t good enough. Plus some of the food choices at the buffet were substandard as well. International Dining Room I prefer to eat at a regular time, so we enjoyed the same company each night at our table. The standard of service for our table was not the best we have experienced, on a number of occasions the waiter did not deliver the correct menu item ordered and the meals were also returned. But my biggest bugbear was the head waiter made no apologies for the poor food, but just explained that she would provide the feedback to the chef. Entertainment Well below par. I’ve seen better shows at my local club. Another disappointment! The bands were very good and very personable. As a dancer it is important to me that the music caters for my feet, and to a large extent these guys did that. I’ve got to say that ship has the best dance floors of all the ships I have been on. Overall This is meant to be a five star ship. But it did not meet my expectations of five stars and struggled to meet four stars. I would need to think long and hard before I book another princess cruise. The service levels were low and the cruise was not up to scratch. Our diner party, both platinum travellers, on our table were also very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
The reason I chose the diamond princess was so I could escape all the madness that surrounds Christmas . So husband and three adult children set of and what a wonderful time it was. No worries about what to eat on Christmas Day, who's ... Read More
The reason I chose the diamond princess was so I could escape all the madness that surrounds Christmas . So husband and three adult children set of and what a wonderful time it was. No worries about what to eat on Christmas Day, who's house to go to, who to invite, who not to offend. The most relaxing and enjoyable Christmas for a long time. Food is in abundant, shows entertainment and organised activities are plenty, but also time to relax as much as you want also. The cruise staff are a pleasure to watch in action and certainly make you feel special . Nothing is too much trouble for the wait staff and again they are in abundance . recommend this cruise for anyone with children as again they have young clubs on there and all day activities. Most of the children on board were well behaved some got a little bit loud at times. The best thing was having no internet connection so everyone you met on decks did not have their face in a phone so had to make conversation with you and look you in the eye. Recommend to anyone.   Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise