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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
MAJESTIC PRINCESS We did this trip for our 25th anniversary. Thanks to the Princess staff for the lovely banner and balloons. EMBARKATION was poor due to us receiving the wrong wharf information. We had Prince’s wharf in our ... Read More
MAJESTIC PRINCESS We did this trip for our 25th anniversary. Thanks to the Princess staff for the lovely banner and balloons. EMBARKATION was poor due to us receiving the wrong wharf information. We had Prince’s wharf in our itinerary but the day before we received an email telling us it was now Queen’s wharf. After being dropped at Queens Wharf, we had to trawl our suitcases through the busy ferry terminal to get to where the ship actually was on Prince’s wharf. Not sure what that was all about. Once at the right place everything went very smoothly. DISEMBARKATION was good. We booked the Princess airport transfer as it was only a few dollars more than public transport would have cost us and meant we were basically ship to airport (without getting too wet). Cabin L228 Cabin was comfortable and our steward Gomez was excellent. Bed was comfortable to sleep in but pillows were poor. One feather, one foam. I dislike feather but foam was not firm enough for me. Bathroom was extremely tight and neither of us are large people. Plenty of hanging space but not many drawers. Small fridge in cabin. Two USB ports but neither worked. Windows in need dire of cleaning, very annoying when going through the fiordlands. Also deck balcony glass impossible to see through and as you sit at a low level very annoying. The buffet marketplace is well set out so people have areas to go for what they want. Food choices ever changing and difficult to get to try everything or you would explode. Food is enjoyable, plenty of choices for all tastes. Just lacking seasoning but that is understandable due to the numbers aboard. Dining rooms are well decorated and spacious. Found food to be bland and either under cooked or over cooked. I have dietary requirements and tried to speak to the maître de as requested on the first and second nights in dining room. This did not happen and I was given food I am allergic too. After this everything was sorted out for me in the dining room. Harmony restaurant was enjoyable and worth the money. People we met liked the Le Mer food. Lots of small food places to get burgers, hotdogs, ice cream, noodles. Bakery cakes looked superb but were sometimes not quite as tasty as they looked. Loved Alfredo’s on deck 6. Great pizza and veal tortellini. Drinks packages are available but you need to work out for yourself if they are worth it. We didn’t buy one. Plenty of places to sit and read, have a drink, or play games. Laundry facilities on are all decks 7-15 at rear of boat. Some are larger than others. Very easy to use as you swipe your ships card to buy tokens for washers and dryers and powder, bleach and dryer sheets. Could do with more dryers though as wash takes 30-35mins and dryers 40-45mins. Causing a backlog waiting for dryers. The ship itself is clean and quite pretty. Crooners lounge was always good for a quiet pre dinner drink. Crown Grill was more pub like and livelier. Did an English pub lunch on two occasions which we never tried. Hollywood adults area on deck 17 at front was relaxing. The pool and hot tubs were lovely. Lounge area lacking enough of the comfortable loungers. Smoking area is outside on 17 starboard and if you forgot and went out the wrong doors you got a face full of smoke. Main pool area is spacious but busy on a sunny day. Liked the skywalk. Overall the ship was well appointed and enjoyable and we would sail on her again. Crew were overall polite but not overly friendly like other cruises we have been on. Downside. Usual problems with finding a seat at certain entertainments. Atrium activities and Princess Theatre shows especially. Something needs to be done as some people were saying they had seen the early show and went again for the later show. This left people standing in the aisles which blocked those sitting at the back. Surely a ticketing system using your cruise card could be designed so you could only get in once unless there was space. Spoke to a staff member but felt I was being humoured. Another staff member did come and move those standing in our view. Would travel on this ship again. TAURANGA Ship actually docks at Mt Manganui so you need to get shuttle or taxi into Tauranga itself. Just walked off ship. Nice seaside area with good coffee shops. We walked to the top of Moturiki Island then had a coffee. This is main port for Hobbiton which we had done prior to cruise. WELLINGTON Went on free shuttle into town. Rode cable car to top of hill then walked down through Botanical gardens. Stopped for a cup of tea in the rose garden then had a stroll to Old St Pauls church then we caught shuttle bus back to ship after a short ride around Wellington. AKAROA You tender in at this port so allow time if you book a private tour. We had organised to ride a V8Trike with Marty. We did the 1hr ride which was great. We then had lunch in town, lovely fish and chips and green lip mussels. Very easy to walk around this small quaint town. DUNEDIN Unfortunately we did not make this port due to a fog bank which caused us to miss the tide to get into dock. FIORDLANDS Cruising through the three sounds on a beautiful sunny day was wonderful. The ship cruises one way through DUSKY and DOUBTFUL sounds then has to turn around in MILFORD sound. Meaning you see everything twice or everything from your balcony. HOBART We booked a ship shore excursion to Mt Wellington and the Botanic gardens. We had to clear customs here which held the tours up by a small amount of time. Whilst enjoyable and I thought good value for money, I felt hurried in the gardens and we lacked time on Mt Wellington. The tour was booked as Mt Wellington then Botanic Gardens and we planned to spend extra time at the gardens then make our own way back to the ship. This obviously didn’t happen as we did the gardens first. DAYS AT SEA are relaxing days or there was plenty going on if that is your choice. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This is a very large ship however we never encountered a crowd! Seriously. We did pay extra for Club Class dining so that we could be seated and eat whenever we wanted to; this worked really well for us. Although the food was not ... Read More
This is a very large ship however we never encountered a crowd! Seriously. We did pay extra for Club Class dining so that we could be seated and eat whenever we wanted to; this worked really well for us. Although the food was not necessarily better in Club Class (we ate some very nice dishes at lunch from the buffet). We took part in activities like trivia and observed the game shows; the evening comedy show was excellent! We didn't use either of the pools (the outside pool is small and always full of kids) while the adult pool is indoors, but it looked nice. There was always a quiet place to sit and read -- or just watch the ocean go by. Staff were friendly and very helpful. One important tip: Princess gives a $100. ship board credit for US military -- active duty and retired. NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE. I booked the cruise from Australia and was told I was ineligible. After talking with the Future Cruise staff on board -- I am eligible -- but the Sydney Princess office gave me the wrong information. Not impressed -- and no ship board credit. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Having had a few clients that were not impressed with the Majestic Princess (I am a TA) I but my hubby choose this cruise for the main reasons that it was a new ship, we get to cruise NZ again and spend Christmas on board.The ship is ... Read More
Having had a few clients that were not impressed with the Majestic Princess (I am a TA) I but my hubby choose this cruise for the main reasons that it was a new ship, we get to cruise NZ again and spend Christmas on board.The ship is large (143,700 tonnes) and the only time it felt crowded was in the World Fresh Market Place (normally called Horizon Buffet on most of the other Princess ships). There was a mix of Aussies, Kiwis, Americans, Canadians and lots of Chinese folks and everyone got along well. We had a Balcony (BD category) D709 which had a huge balcony and it was "double" the size of other balcony staterooms below and above us. It was also situated near the aft lifts and near enough to the laundry if you needed that as well. My only issue with these type of staterooms is that you do not have a couch to sit on (I believe these are only in the Mini Suites and Suites) so you will have to put up eating your food either on the bed or out on the balcony. The food as good considering the amount of people the Majestic had to pump out all the time. All of the eating areas were meticulously clean and there was plenty of staff on duty all the time. We had our breakfast delivered each morning and would have a quick bite to eat at lunch from the World Market Place. Also tried the hamburger bar once and the soup from the Noodle bar. There were no dumplings being offered this cruise from the Noodle Bar (besides those in the soup). A few times I saw people eating the Lobster (additional price) and it looked good. We ate dinner in the Alegro Dining room each night and always enjoyed the food. My one complaint is that Princess has released a new wine list for this ship and the prices seemed to be very expensive compared to the other Princess ships that I have cruise on. Example - a bottle of Aussie Shiraz was selling for $56. There was no extra service fee added so that was a bonus. Also remember when any Princess ship is based cruising ex Australia the currency onboard will be AUD$. The entertainment was good but the Princess Theatre was always packed so you had to arrive early if you wanted a decent seat. Overall it was a nice cruise, we got to visit NZ again and were blessed with good weather (stunning weather when we cruised through the Fiords). Well done Princess. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose the cruise for the destination as we wanted to be in Sydney for the New Year Celebration and the cruise ended on December 30th. I was very disappointed in the Lotus Spa on this ship. I booked a 90 minute massage and upon my ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the destination as we wanted to be in Sydney for the New Year Celebration and the cruise ended on December 30th. I was very disappointed in the Lotus Spa on this ship. I booked a 90 minute massage and upon my arrival was shown to the co-ed “relaxing” area. This was not a spa atmosphere - more like a doctor’s office waiting room. No nice bathrooms to relax in, not even in the treatment room. Totally co-ed. No free use of whirl pool, sauna or steam room, but you could buy a week pass for $199 to use them (The Enclave”). Was told by spa personnel that this ship wasn’t like the other Princess ship spas and they needed to control the amount of people using the spa whirlpool, etc and that is why they charged for them. However, the message was wonderful! Just wish I could have relaxed before my message. Felt very disappointed about that. Hollywood Pool Club was Adult only, no charge and it was lovely. Very relaxing and serene and no charge. I just chose to lounge and read a book. We did pay extra for Club Class but did enjoy not having to wait at all for a table for anytime dining. It was really nice to have a special section reserved for Club Class. The waiters were phenomenal! We sailed over Christmas and felt that they did a wonderful job with Christmas decorations and celebrating Christmas. Christmas Carols were sung and everyone joined in. On Christmas morning Santa appeared in the atrium and had a gift for every child under 12 yrs. Every child got to take pictures with Santa and his helpers. It’s a beautiful ship but felt crowded in the corridor the public areas. Personally, too big of a ship for me. Will definitely use Princess again but will sail on the smaller ships. Our ages are 59-65. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This cruise was our 'move-over' cruise from 2016, so we were upgraded to a Club Class Mini Suite. We combined this with the New Year cruise so had 25 days aboard the Majestic! We have been on many New Zealand Australia ... Read More
This cruise was our 'move-over' cruise from 2016, so we were upgraded to a Club Class Mini Suite. We combined this with the New Year cruise so had 25 days aboard the Majestic! We have been on many New Zealand Australia cruises, so for us the ship was the destination. We also had the pleasure of cruising with friends we met on the Diamond in 2010, plus introduce another friend to the pleasure of cruising. Embarkation was easy, although dropping off the luggage in the morning was a mission due to the traffic on the wharf. Also dropped off our Aussie friends at the same time (11am), who boarded and they were in their cabin before DH got home (12 kms away!) When we embarked it was fast and smooth. Ship: Lovely new ship with a slightly weird layout due to being configured to the Chinese Market. Same layout as Royal and Regal but some areas used differently. Found it easy to get our bearings and the electronic signage all over the ship was great. Vines became our pre-dinner hangout (with tapas provided) and Crooners our after dinner spot, and before and after shows as it was adjacent to the lower access to the Princess Theatre. TIP: wheelchair and walker users - there are areas on the lower level of the Theatre where you could sit and be in close proximity to the stage, which was wonderful. Cabin B433 - Accessible Club Class Mini Suite Lovely large cabin with angled balcony which was sheltered because of the forward decks being further out. Heaps of space and heaps of storage. Has a pullman bed and large pull out sofa (great for a family of four). Hardly saw the steward and the service did not seem to be any more than a standard cabin. Dining: Dined a couple of times in Club Class and then gave up as no one seemed to share and our friends were Anytime Dining, so joined them instead. BUT dined there each day for breaststroke as there was always a queue and we could go straight in without waiting. Service was amazing. Menu no different to the other MDRs. Entertainment: Great shows and entertainers. Went to all but a few, usually to the late show as it was easier and less crowded. Crooners and Vines: Barman were fantastic - great service and great fun. Crown Grill - wouldn't bother again as the atmosphere was missing and frankly the meal no better than the MDR La Mer - wonderful (try and get a window seat). Food amazing and so was the service. Our gluten free friend was well catered for. Alfredos - great Pizza and fantastic desserts. Sometimes there was a queue and a wait time on the pizza but that was no biggie. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I want to share some very good aspects and some not so good issues. Start with the good then bad and finish with the ugly. The good was the buffet, Hamburger grill, fitness center, and some of the service. The bad was one of our shore ... Read More
I want to share some very good aspects and some not so good issues. Start with the good then bad and finish with the ugly. The good was the buffet, Hamburger grill, fitness center, and some of the service. The bad was one of our shore excursions "The Train Ride" to no where and stop at stops of nothingness ( it was a waste of money and a wasted day). The ugly is what I call it when you go to the service desk three to four times to get information or fix an issue and receive different advice or information every time from a different representative. We had the same issue with the activity crew in trying to do a simple activity such as volleyball. (little help and different answer when you did talk to the activity crew). If I was to sum up what the cruise was like is to say "This one is for retired people." Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We left Sydney in glorious sunshine at an early 3.30pm. Boarding was easy and efficient. The overall condition of the ship was good, older but perfectly acceptable and no way near the condition some reviews indicated. We stopped at 6 ports ... Read More
We left Sydney in glorious sunshine at an early 3.30pm. Boarding was easy and efficient. The overall condition of the ship was good, older but perfectly acceptable and no way near the condition some reviews indicated. We stopped at 6 ports and cruised around Fiordland for a day which was brilliant. It rained at all ports except 2 and rained pretty much the rest of the time- no fault of the ship/cruiseline. This did not really affect our enjoyment of the cruise. We have tried 3 other cruise lines and this unfortunately was the worst for food we have tried so far. The choice of food in the Horizon buffet was very limited and the lunch and breakfast options changed little each day - this became monotonous very quickly. There was a buffet line each side of the ship but they served the same food. The main dining room was better, but personally I found the dish selection again uninspiring with a lot of seafood dishes and not many meat options on the menu. I like seafood but my wife does not and I could see her point of view. Ships aircon seemed to make the ship warm then cool then warm again all the time. The shows were of a good standard, with a variety of acts. Entertainment during the day was good but not as good a Royal Caribbean. I thought the drinks prices for cocktails was high and the amount of alcohol in each drink was not generous- I tried a few. The staff were great and hard working. All the passengers we met had a great time and we arrived back in Sydney to glorious sunshine. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Great ship and crew. Unfortunately the weather was not good. Food good. Recommend the pizza , noodle bar and international cafe for lunch and coffee and teas. Cabin we had was long and narrow but plenty of hanging space, bed and pillows ... Read More
Great ship and crew. Unfortunately the weather was not good. Food good. Recommend the pizza , noodle bar and international cafe for lunch and coffee and teas. Cabin we had was long and narrow but plenty of hanging space, bed and pillows very good . Bathroom small but shower a reasonable size. Theater entertainments were top quality and enjoyed them very much, The show Encore was just like the shows use to be like . One tip . Not a lot of seats, get there at least 3/4 of an hour early and an hour early for Encore. Film were up to date and plenty of them. For hearing impaired people the TV in the cabins have captioned films. As usual Art auctions, face lifts, feet info, the same old stuff on all ships now. Shops are all very expensive. So by passed them. Spa still double the price what you can get at home. Internet expensive and very slow. Drinks prices between $7- $15 . Wine labels not the best and they ran out early of the best one, bottled water $3.25, coffee and teas about $3.. All in all a great trip around New Zealand. Did our own things on shore. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this particular cruise because Australia/New Zealand had yet to be checked off our bucket list AND we wanted to try out the Majestic Princess. My husband and I have cruised 20+ times with Princess and generally know what to expect ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because Australia/New Zealand had yet to be checked off our bucket list AND we wanted to try out the Majestic Princess. My husband and I have cruised 20+ times with Princess and generally know what to expect on their ships... or at least we thought we did. We were in for a few surprises! Everyone told us to spend our time in New Zealand and not to worry too much about Australia, so we stayed four additional nights pre-cruise in Auckland and only one night post cruise in Sydney. Our Auckland hotel (Mount Richmond) was near the airport and was a real pit. It was clean, but it was also noisy, uncomfortable, and had crappy parking. Thankfully, we were only ever there to sleep as we rented a car and drove several hours each day to take in the sights and activities available. New Zealand is Awesome! With the exception of Auckland, the cities are all beautiful. Around every corner we discovered scenery more breathtaking than what we had just seen. We visited Hobbiton in Matamata, toured the glow worm, Aranui, and Ruakuri caves in Waitomo, visited the Hamilton Gardens (in Hamilton), and of course did a general tour of Auckland. We had a great time sampling ice cream (my fave) and trying excellent restaurants in several cities. Pro tip- In NZ, they have an ice cream flavor called Hokey Pokey. I'd never heard of it and I REALLY know ice cream. It's basically vanilla with butterscotch candy pieces mixed in, and definitely worth a try. So fast forward to embarkation day... We had purchased a transfer from the airport to the ship through Princess. We returned our rental car and reported to baggage claim to find the Princess Rep. (around 11am). The rep says "We're getting ready to load the last shuttle. Did they not tell you what time to meet us?" Um, no, they did not. In fact, I was worried that we were going too early! I guess it's good we got there when we did. So they hurry and march us to a holding area, which they sometimes do, and we wait for another 30 minutes or so before loading us onto the bus. And then the fun really begins! We're told that our transfer also includes a tour of Auckland (Yea! I'm being facetious, I could not have been less pleased). So what should have been a relatively short ride took 3 times as long. Plus the driver tells us up front she's not a tour guide, but she'll do her best. She was right, she was NOT a tour guide. Evidently, the port was overwhelmed with people boarding so they told the busses to stall. Had I known, I would have grabbed an Uber. Once we finally got to the port, it was complete chaos. The lines were not managed in anyway and it seemed like a mob without order. In retrospect, I believe 60% of the passengers on this voyage were first timers and that could have contributed to the confusion. But Princess could have done a better job. In general, I believe most cruises are as good or bad as your attitude, so I'll just list some of the major differences that surprised us (most not in a good way). 1. No Gelato bar! Anywhere! Not even a little mini station at the end of the International Cafe. Did I mention my love of ice cream? Sad, sad day for me. 2. No Prego Pizzaria! What?! Now hubby is sad too. Pizza on deck has always been one of our favorites and it has been replaced with a noodle bar. 3. No night club. Some ships have Skywalkers, the Regal and Royal have Club 6, the Majestic has nothing. I believe I mentioned ice cream? Those calories don't disappear on their own! They did use the atrium as the night club starting at 11pm but it lacked the ambiance of a dedicated club. Just not the same... 4. The jogging track was a joke! I don't know how to describe it except too narrow, full of obstacles, and pretty much useless for jogging. You could walk it successfully, but that defeats the purpose. 5. Abbreviated menu in Alfredo's. Alfredo's is still wonderful, but they have removed the salads and most of the appetizers that we have enjoyed in the past. I hope this isn't a fleet-wide change. 6. Drink packages are only available on embarkation day. Since when?! Note to self: no matter how busy you are unpacking, attending muster drills, meeting people and checking out the ship... get your darn package the first day or you're out of luck. (Pro tip- you can still order prior to your cruise, I just forgot to do it). 7. What happened to the Princess luxury bed? It wasn't in my mini suite that's for sure! The bed was so uncomfortable I even tried to sleep on the couch one night. It wasn't any better. 8. How can the newest ship in the fleet still have the old crappy internet?! Really?? I was surprised that the medallion concept had not been integrated into this ship, but really annoyed that they hadn't at least upgraded the internet. Seriously. 9. I did check out the menus at Le Mer and Harmony, but neither really appealed to us. We do LOVE the Crown Grill though and usually go 2-3 times on every cruise. 10. I maintain that the live orchestra is one of the best things Princess has going for them. We love it! They also had wonderful entertainers including Chris Watkins who we've seen before and thoroughly enjoy. 11. Our cruise was over Halloween and they offered make-up application to those who signed up in advance. It was great! I was going as Cleopatra and they did a much better job than I could have done with it. 12. And of course, ice cream! For those who do not know, Princess makes all of their ice cream from scratch each day and they have some really interesting flavors, but they are only available in the dining room. So many new flavors on this trip!! My hubby and I have been trying and rating all the ice cream on our last few trips and I will post that list separately. :) Beyond the above mentioned differences, everything was as expected. The food was excellent, the shows were good, I always book our tours independently and disembarkation was a breeze. Pro tip- if you book this same itinerary (Auckland to Sydney) get a cabin on the port side. We had the best views through the entire cruise! We only stayed one additional day in Sydney but I wish we had stayed longer. Our hotel was the Meriton Suites (Campbell St.) in Chinatown. We reserved a studio which had everything you can imagine including a dishwasher and washing machine! Not necessary for one night, but cool to have the option. There was much more to do and see in Sydney than what we had time for. I guess we'll have to plan another trip! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Having sailed once before on Princess's former Dawn Princess to Alaska 20+ years ago, we selected this New Zealand/Australia 13-day cruise precisely because of its stops in New Zealand and Australia and because of our fond memories of ... Read More
Having sailed once before on Princess's former Dawn Princess to Alaska 20+ years ago, we selected this New Zealand/Australia 13-day cruise precisely because of its stops in New Zealand and Australia and because of our fond memories of our previous Princess experience. We were NOT disappointed. The ship provided 5-Star Service by the dining room staff in the Club Class anytime dining room, The chefs prepared 5-Star Food taste, quality and presentation in the Club Class anytime dining room. Our stateroom steward provided 5-Star Service in our Club Class mini-suite stateroom. The additional space for a sitting area and couch in our Club Class Mini-Suite made ALL the difference in the world to ensure we had the extra space in our cabin to fit the additional seating area and couch. Without a couch and seating area inside one's cabin, your only other sitting area is on one's bed. The ship itself is only 18 months old, and my one complaint about this brand new ship is that it lacked any of the new on-ship experiences of other cruise lines with water-slides, surf waves, or any other physical activity areas. The ship was clearly designed for an older, more passive-activity crowd (over 60), without any walking paths around the ship, or the physical fitness or physical activities offered elsewhere. I give the ship itself 4.5 Stars, and it would have earned 5-Star IF it had these modern activities onboard. At age 55, I guessed we were about the 20th youngest guests out of 3600 total guests. For a 13-day cruise, it was definitely an Older (75+) More Mature group of patrons with plenty of canes, and not as many wheelchairs or walkers as I expected. Our visits to the smaller cities of New Zealand were definitely the highlights of the cruise, as were the many relaxing At Sea Days. We signed-up for any used every other day the relaxing and quiet Spa Pool called the Enclave, as the ocean air temperature was ALWAYS too cold to use the ship's free outdoor pool. Debarkation in Sydney was a piece of cake, but Embarkation in Auckland was way too crowded and stressful. Embarkation in Auckland had NO signs directing people to obtain or staple one's luggage tags to one's bags. Embarkation in Auckland had NO signs to the Baggage Drop nearby. The worst aspect of Embarkation in Auckland was the absolute crush of 2000+ people who all arrived to check-in at 1230PM. There was No Separation of Priority/Club Class/Suite check-in from the 'normal' check-in, where at least 1500 of those 2000 guests should NOT have been there at 1230PM. As Americans, the last aspect of the cruise we enjoyed was the 25-30% discounts we enjoyed from the strong US Dollar against the 25-30% lower cost of the Australian currency used for all cruise ship onboard charges. Our cruise was about 50% Americans (which surprised me being so high). I highly recommend the New Zealand & Australia cruising destinations and recommend the Majestic Princess for a quiet, almost child-free cruising experience. It really was great all-around. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Have always wanted to visit Australia & New Zealand even though a very long plane trip. Decided to do it while we could and it did not disappoint. Our first disappointment was upon arrival on the ship to find the only excursion we ... Read More
Have always wanted to visit Australia & New Zealand even though a very long plane trip. Decided to do it while we could and it did not disappoint. Our first disappointment was upon arrival on the ship to find the only excursion we booked had been cancelled. We found the excursions to be terribly expensive for what you get which is mostly more time on a bus than seeing the actual site. The next disappointing thing was the extremely SLOW internet service and long lines to get into the very small and crowded internet café, only 2 computers to use and they crammed a small library in as well which was always jam packed with people having internet issues so no place to sit, relax & read as in libraries on the other Princess ships; we were told this ship was geared to the Asian Market and they didn't think a library necessary. It took anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour to post one thing on the internet all the while using precious minutes! It is interesting that Princess has such a large fleet yet they offer no internet for free as other cruise lines have begun offering. There was no Sports Bar as on other Princess ships which normally wouldn't be a problem for us except husbands Alma Mater was playing a big game and we couldn't get it. Positives: Ship is beautiful, staterooms nice, entertainment was top knotch especially the large production shows~~must better than former cruises. The Piazza is gorgeous and we spent a lot of time there enjoying the different musicians; some of the game shows they had there were quite silly for adults but we just stayed away. Food great as always although the Horizen Food Buffet is extremely large but no signage as to what is where so we only ate there once as you spent most of your time going up and down rows trying to figure out where specific foods were, except the Bakery which was well marked. By the time you had to go down many rows to get a complete meal your food was cold. We did not do any of the Specialty restaurants this trip because instead of the $25-$30 upcharge advertised on Princess website, we were finding they were all $45 which is pretty high when the dining rooms offer such variety and quality. Also some of the Specialty Dining Rooms were very open (one facing Piazza) so there was no opportunity to experience a quiet, romantic dinner. This was our 7th Princess Cruise and we will definitely stick with them, just feel on this ship there were issues that needed addressing~~maybe this is just what is to be expected on a ship with 3600 passengers (our first on one this large and will try for smaller ships next time) All the crew was fabulous and very customer oriented and pleasant which is greatly appreciated. One frustrating thing was the room accounts. They were not clearly understood. Example: our $400 excursion that was cancelled was directly to our credit card when booking and not on our shipboard account. Yet instead of automatically crediting this charge back to our credit card they broke the amount up into random amounts on mine and my husbands account and applied to shipboard credit yet total wasnt $400. Then took different amounts here and there; in the end it ended up correct but it took 3 people working the customer service desk to figure it out. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Embarkation was the quickest I've ever experienced! Literally took less than 30 minutes - disembarkation was also the same. Amenities and stores on board were above expectations and the staff were all very lovely and friendly. ... Read More
Embarkation was the quickest I've ever experienced! Literally took less than 30 minutes - disembarkation was also the same. Amenities and stores on board were above expectations and the staff were all very lovely and friendly. Balcony cabin was amazing - only hiccup was the steward leaving a ladder in our room for some reason which took a while to get removed. The main dining room had an excellent array of food choices - our waiters were a bit slow/cold but it didn't put us off from returning each night. The trivia and outdoor movie nights onboard the ship were my favourite - also loved the Halloween balloon drop and the many Halloween decorations! Only disappointment was the karaoke rooms being closed - would have loved to enjoy this acitivty with my fellow passengers. Shows were of a very high calibre and the music around the ship was also very good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise as it provided something different from Asia and the South Pacific. The ports of call were all excellent and recommended. Our wait staff in the dining room were a great combination and made the cruise for us. On ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it provided something different from Asia and the South Pacific. The ports of call were all excellent and recommended. Our wait staff in the dining room were a great combination and made the cruise for us. On the downside we found that the drink prices (particularly spirits) were grossly inflated for this cruise when compared to other Princes cruises that we have been on. By example, so if you like a shot of Bundaberg rum and a can of Coke , it will set you back AUD $17.25 ( almost enough to warrant a royal commission). It was alo very disappointing to find out that the "Happy Hour" is no longer available. This was a big let down as it provided a great opportunity to interact with other guests on a daily basis. They also need to look at the minimum bet on the roulette as $10 is unrealistic as was evidenced by the empty table most of the time. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We started in Auckland, NZ and ended in Sydney. There were three stops in Australia and we wanted to see as much as we could. This is a wonderful trip but do not wait until you are too old ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We started in Auckland, NZ and ended in Sydney. There were three stops in Australia and we wanted to see as much as we could. This is a wonderful trip but do not wait until you are too old to do things because the tours can be pretty walking intensive. Scenery in these countries is wonderful. Auckland is worth an extra day. There are many beautiful beaches, parks and gardens to visit. A trip up the Sky Tower is also fun. Tauranga is the second port and a chance to see the native Maori tribal village. Also there are the thermal wonders and geysers. Wellington is easy to get around and do by yourself. Go up in the Cable car and walk down in through the botanical gardens. Also the Te Papa museum is worth a look. Great exhibits. Shopping is good here also. We went from Akoroa to Christchurch to see the area and the Cardboard Cathedral. At Dunedin there is a half day train trip to see the gorge which is great. Again the countryside is beautiful here. Then the ship travels through the Fiordland National Park and we had a sunny clear day and it was really a highlight of the trip. In Hobart, Tasmania we elected to go to Mount Fields Park for a walking tour of Russell Falls and the tall trees. If you love animals, go to Bonorong Wildlife Preserve to actually be close to the animals,..wombat, kangaroo, tasmanian devil, cockatoo bird, kookabura, and koala. In Melbourne there is plenty to do. You can go to the wineries or just visit the town or head up the Ocean Road for spectacular scenery. Sydney is also work and extra day as you will see lots of history if you go on a walking tour. Get out and meet the locals these countries are full of lovely friendly people. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The cruise from Auckland to Sydney was a piggy back on the tail end of the Sea Princess around the world cruise. So for us it was a alternate way of travelling back to OZ after a couple of weeks in Nth Island of NZ. Boarded at the main ... Read More
The cruise from Auckland to Sydney was a piggy back on the tail end of the Sea Princess around the world cruise. So for us it was a alternate way of travelling back to OZ after a couple of weeks in Nth Island of NZ. Boarded at the main Auckland harbour and able to get on earlier than scheduled with only a fairly short wait. No fuss and pretty straight forward baggage drop off and processing as only a couple of hundred guest embarking at this port. Spent 4 nights crossing the ditch to Sydney at a leasurily pace with a little bit of bump at one point but hardly noticeable. So uneventful trip over. We really liked the ship's layout and decor, the boat is probably an older generation but we found the condition whilst not Premium Luxury was at a very good standard. we also found the size/capacity to be about right for our tastes - not too large (as the trend) but also not to small. As Goldilocks would have said "just right". Generally, throughout the ship we found the service by all staff to be excellent and no complaints. The captain did make a regular 12 midday announcement which was a nice touch and informative. The bulk of guests on the ship had completed 102 days of their around the world cruise almost entirely Aus/NZ mix. Most were getting off at Sydney or Brisbane and from chatting with a few of them - I think the cruise was well received and enjoyed. A few had enough but some didn't want to get off the boat. We found the dinning experience on board at the main dining rooms was very good and substantially better than on the Norwegian Jewel (christmas cruise) or Carnival Spirit. We travelled on the Ruby Princess to Alaska and found the dining on that ship was slightly better the the Sea Princess but still a nice experience. The Whisky Bar was a nice touch and we availed ourselves of the opportunity to try a few different offerings. The entertainment on board - from our view seemed to be selected to cater for the passenger demographics - and we managed to enjoy a couple of the shows that were well patronised. We did find a bit of an issue trying to locate a good seat around the boat to relax/read - I think this was due to the less than inviting weather (cooler/cold) that discouraged use of the main outdoor decks/pools etc. But this was not a big issue. Overall we had a lovely relaxing few days on board the Sea Princess and very happy with the service and comfort provided. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We both wanted to cruise the NZ fjords, so chose this cruise . Weather impacted so we missed one NZ port and Melbourne too, so that was disappointing, but they cannot control the weather... Cabin was nice, clean and roomy. Food was ok ... Read More
We both wanted to cruise the NZ fjords, so chose this cruise . Weather impacted so we missed one NZ port and Melbourne too, so that was disappointing, but they cannot control the weather... Cabin was nice, clean and roomy. Food was ok - not the best we have had..but not the worst either....seemed slightly aimed at the Amercian market. There were alot of Americans on this cruise. Entertainment was good. The onboard shows were good, and some of the vistor acts were great. Wasnt fussed on the Robbie WIlliams act, or the Adele - not my kind of music but did enjoy very much The Forever everly tribute. Ship was clean and staff were very helpful. We didnt do the arranged port excursions, but overall enjoyed the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were fine. The scenery through the fjords was magnificent..well worth a visit...the public rooms were nice and we enjoyed using the pool. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our 2nd time on Diamond Princess and 2nd time with Princess Cruises. We have completed 7 cruises altogether. Our favourite time on our cruises have been the pre dinner drinks, most often we visit the bars where we feel most ... Read More
This was our 2nd time on Diamond Princess and 2nd time with Princess Cruises. We have completed 7 cruises altogether. Our favourite time on our cruises have been the pre dinner drinks, most often we visit the bars where we feel most welcome and the bartenders have a likable nature and sense of humour, also happy hours help too. On this cruise there was only one bar that gave us the experience we enjoy, Romel and his team were so good at creating an atmosphere and making people feel very welcome, hence we met so many new people at this bar, and there were no happy hours at this one, so we paid full price, but it was worth every cent. The rest of the cruise was relaxing, but did lack the wow factor, officers weren't that visible, the captain wasn't that dynamic, not like others in our past cruise experiences, he sounded professional though and with a cyclone passing through, good to know stable, slow & steady was at the helm. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Three week tour of Australia and New Zealand in January 2018. I am 63 and my husband is 65. We splurged and flew Business Class with Air New Zealand. What class! Our land tour of Australia was arranged through Kensington Tours. ... Read More
Three week tour of Australia and New Zealand in January 2018. I am 63 and my husband is 65. We splurged and flew Business Class with Air New Zealand. What class! Our land tour of Australia was arranged through Kensington Tours. Loved the small groups. Visited Sydney, Yulara (the Outback) and Cairns. 7 nights and 8 days total. Boarded the Sun Princess on Saturday 1/13/18 in Auckland. We had room B404, a mini suite. We love the size of the mini's and especially the ones on the Sun. This is the "square" shaped mini not the long thin mini. I much prefer these as they feel larger. With the long thin mini you have to walk past the end of the bed (very narrow) to get anywhere in the room. The Sun Princess is old and is showing its age. We found lots of things that could be done to make her feel nicer such as the carpet in our room. The carpet itself appeared rather new but it hadn't been cut to fit the room. Next to the sliding door the carpet just curled against the edge. Very sloppy. See picture. Next day was Bay of Islands. We took the Princess excursion - Puketi Kauri Forest, KeriKeri and Meetinghouse. The meetinghouse was the highlight of the tour though it was all beautiful. The next 3 days were at sea. It was supposed to be only 2 but we hit some weather. 30 to 36 foot waves at the worst time. Not fun. BEWARE THE TASMAN SEA! Sydney was next. Since we had been there earlier on our trip we took the ferry over to Manly Beach and walked around The Corso. After another day at sea, Sunday found us scenic cruising in the Fiordlands. The weather was decent. Cool with some sun and a little overcast. Overall beautiful and worth the trip. Reminds me a lot of Tracy Arm in Alaska. Same kind of majestic beauty. Monday was Port Chalmers/Dunedin (dun - eadun). We took a tour with Good Company Tours. Because our time in port had been shortened, our roundtrip train ride to Taeiri Gorge became a one way train and one way bus. It actually worked out better as we got to see more of the beautiful countryside. Our next port was Wellington. This was my favorite port. Very walkable city. We walked over 7 miles according to my phone. We took the free Princess shuttle to downtown. We headed down the street and found the cable car. Beautiful trip straight up the side of the hill. Great shot of the bay and downtown from up there. We opted to walk back down through the Botanical Garden. You end up in the government section of town but you are only a few blocks back to where you were dropped off. We continued walking down the shoreline and went to Te Papa, the national museum. Fantastic! We probably spent over an hour and could easily have stayed 3 or 4. Wonderful display about Gallipoli. Wednesday was Napier. Caught a shuttle to town and walked around. Very pretty town in pastel colors. We also visited the National Aquarium of New Zealand. Next was Tauranga. We took the ships tour to Hobbitton. I was a little skeptical at first but this tour was worth every penny. It is an hours drive from the ship with not an awful lot to see on the way. Once there I must have taken about 100 pictures! Our guide was Nikko and he did a fantastic job of telling stories of how it was built and the filming of The Lord of The Rings movies. Back to Auckland. Here is where Princess screws up. This cruise is actually 3 possible cruises. You can get on in Sydney and come back to Sydney. You can get on in Sydney and get off in Auckland. You can get on in Auckland and come back to Auckland. We did Auckland roundtrip. There were NO disembarkation tours for those of us getting off in Auckland. As I am from near San Francisco, this left me with 11 (yes, eleven) hours to fill till my flight with no help from Princess. We talked to a number of people who would have bought something to fill the hours til their flight to the States if Princess had provided it. The only thing Princess offered for purchase was a bus to the airport. It left at 9 am. My flight was a 8 pm that night. We walked off the ship by 9 am and went over to the Ferry Building about a block away. For $10 NZD per piece, we left our luggage with the place that sells tours. We then bought tickets for the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus. We spent the rest of the day touring on our own including a long stop at the National War Museum up on the hill. Well worth the time if you have it. Back at the harbor, we bought tickets for the Sky Bus to get us to the airport. We had to walk about 1 1/2 blocks with our luggage to get the bus but our price was $36 NZD for 2 people. I was told a taxi would be at least $95 NZD. This trip was a bucket list trip and we are both so glad we did it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I like sailing with princess,the food was excellent,ports were good and getting on and off the ship was easy. The television did not work well,and the internet was very slow and not worth the cost,e.mails were difficult to send and ... Read More
I like sailing with princess,the food was excellent,ports were good and getting on and off the ship was easy. The television did not work well,and the internet was very slow and not worth the cost,e.mails were difficult to send and receive.staff aboard ship were excellent and service was very good.The evening shows were repeats of previous cruises,guest performers were mediocre In spite of a few negatives I would say princess are still a very good cruise line The internet package needs reviewing with allowances being allowed for slow speeds which adds to a inflated cost,overalll the internet is just a money raiser The shore excursions are efficiently handled,but onshore sight seeing tours are cheaper and are just as good,but princess tours stress the safety and time aspect should something go wrong on shore.the new hygiene procedure on the diamond was excellent,but staff should be stricter with people who will not comply. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was a cheap 4 day jaunt across the Tasma from Auckland to Sydney. We had travelled on the Golden 2 years ago and enjoyed ourselves so was keen to see what it was like again. Overall the cruise was good with great service and still ... Read More
This was a cheap 4 day jaunt across the Tasma from Auckland to Sydney. We had travelled on the Golden 2 years ago and enjoyed ourselves so was keen to see what it was like again. Overall the cruise was good with great service and still a reasonably good standard of food throughout the ship. The entertainment particularly the production show was very good and very professional. We went up to the drinks for elite passengers the first night and was bitterly dissappointed with the level of service as the bar was very quiet but we waited 15 mins for a drink and then sat for a good 30 mins again with dirty plates and empty glasses on our tables before we had to get up and find a waiter to serve us and even then when they brought our drinks back we had to ask them to clear the table as they were about to walk away. We took it up with the bar manager later that evening and had much better service from then on, We all thought considering we were elite passengers they would have made sure we were looked after right from day one. Also the cabin steward stuck his head in the door on the first evening and we never saw him again for the rest of the cruise and didn't bring us any bathrobes which was difficult when room service breakfast arrived. Only a few niggles but overall Princess are great value for money and far better than a lot of the other mid range products. Our friends we were travelling with had not travelled with princess before and also booked a obstructed view cabin but got upgraded to a mini suite which we thought lucky them but at The same time thinking that princess would upgrade their elite passengers first as it makes you wonder why the loyalty program is there. Our cabin E517 had almost a full ocean view so would reccomend. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We decided to do this small cruise as a perfect relax to break what has been a very busy year. Embarkation was a breeze as this was a stop on a longer cruise so only about 200 got on at the same time. From Customs to the ship in under 10 ... Read More
We decided to do this small cruise as a perfect relax to break what has been a very busy year. Embarkation was a breeze as this was a stop on a longer cruise so only about 200 got on at the same time. From Customs to the ship in under 10 mins. We took a cruise on the Emerald earlier in the year and although the ships were approx. the same size, the Golden seemed to have far more space and felt perfectly limited for a great passenger experience. Did not really go to any of the entertainment save the daily trivia, but did venture out and sadly went to the Blues Brothers show which was pretty average. Friendly staff and definitely the best food we have encountered on a Princess ship. I would highly recommend this ship and will be looking out for another adventure on her in the near future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
I grabbed a four night cruise from Auckland to Sydney for a change from flying and thoroughly enjoyed my little maritime interlude. Most of the other passengers had either done the complete 100 or so days or half that from New York. ... Read More
I grabbed a four night cruise from Auckland to Sydney for a change from flying and thoroughly enjoyed my little maritime interlude. Most of the other passengers had either done the complete 100 or so days or half that from New York. They seemed to be an older crowd and a contented and relaxed lot so all was well. I didn't bother with the Dining Room and ate in the Horizon Buffet for my meals. I was very pleasantly surprised at all they offered. This ship has traditional first and second sitting in the Dining Rooms and 5.30pm is too early for me and 8.30pm is too late. Obviously I have been spoiled by my MyTime dining on so many of the other cruise lines and ships. The Tasman was a bit wild and we sailed a long way south to avoid a swirling weather pattern but that didn't delay us and we avoided the worst of the weather and arrived on time. I am due to spent 12 nights on Sea Princess in October (Fremantle to Singapore) and back in an outside cabin again. I'm very much looking forward to this trip on the lovely Grande Dame of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
Always wondered what a world cruise would be like, 105 days... would we get bored? Would we get tired of the food, the cabin, the ship, the people??? No!!! We could have stayed on board and done the trip again. The food was ... Read More
Always wondered what a world cruise would be like, 105 days... would we get bored? Would we get tired of the food, the cabin, the ship, the people??? No!!! We could have stayed on board and done the trip again. The food was incredible from the dining room choices ...lobster, pheasant, juicy steaks,wonderful soups , appetiser and desserts. The Buffett selection was huge and very high quality as were the other eating places. Well catered for Australian and New Zealand tastes Entertainment was a bit of a mixed bag but overall was of a high standard and good variety. Daily lectures were mostly very interesting and the movie selection also good ,watched a few movies under the stars and enjoyed the experience wrapped in blanket and eating hot popcorn. This was one of the best things we have ever done. Although not perfect,( but then what holiday is) we found Sea Princess and the crew to be very enjoyable. The destinations we went to were so many of the places around this incredible planet that we wanted to see and do it in a short time frame too in comfort and be able to relax between ports instead of rushing to airports and time wasting , delays etc. We have already booked two more cruises with a Princess and await with great anticipation to cruise again and meet many more wonderful people Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
I chose this cruise because it has been on my list of places to visit all my life. I am a gardener and have always heard of the unique horticulture in New Zealand and Australia. Staying one night at lovely affordable Crown Plaza Hotel near ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it has been on my list of places to visit all my life. I am a gardener and have always heard of the unique horticulture in New Zealand and Australia. Staying one night at lovely affordable Crown Plaza Hotel near the port in Auckland I had plenty of time to see the city and prepare for the cruise. The embarkation process was one of the smoothest processes ever. The port was so easy to get to using Uber and everyone was so kind and helpful. I have cruised on the Emerald a couple of times and was not disappointed on this one either. The chef is excellent and prepares the most delicious foods. The activities onboard and excursions were fun. I visited some of the ports on my own which saved money since I knew what I wanted to see. I visited Christchurch in Akara thru the ship tours since we still cannot dock there due to the earthquake damage to the docks several years ago. It was worth every dime. I had a comfortable balcony cabin on deck 14 mid-ship. It was quiet and close to everything. The service was top notch by all the crew. I stayed 3 days afterward in Sydney which was plenty of time to see the sights. I bought a Opal Card and traveled all over public transportation (subway, train, bus, ferries) for 40.00. This cruise is much too far for me to do again since I live in the US. But, it is very popular among Australians and New Zealanders. I spoke to some of them that had done this same cruise as many as 10 times. Read Less
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
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