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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We have been on Star Princess before, and to Tahiti before, and combining the two as we did to celebrate our 55th wedding anniversary seemed ideal. Sadly it was not. The food on Princess has deteriorated so much I can't even ... Read More
We have been on Star Princess before, and to Tahiti before, and combining the two as we did to celebrate our 55th wedding anniversary seemed ideal. Sadly it was not. The food on Princess has deteriorated so much I can't even explain it. We ate in the main dining room only three times. On the first occasion one person returned their main course.... on the second three people returned their main course, and on the last occasion two people returned their main course. I have never been on a cruise where even one main course has been returned before. The menu has been reduced to such a level, starters including five bits of melon in a syrup, and one entrée I noticed was fajitas!!!! - in a dining room on a top cruise line. The buffet had quite a bit of choice, not all of it needed or necessary. Some staff were surly. A lady buffet steward was standing behind a counter full of bread rolls and I asked for two of the long ones. She said... the buffet over there is open now. I only want two rolls I said, nothing doing to them.. sorry madam... the buffet over there is open. So I went "over there" found a person in charge, brought him back to the counter and in two seconds had my bread rolls and walked away... WHY. Room service was something else. Most times we had a cabin breakfast (which was usually one of the port days when we had an excursion) the breakfast was fine, but not always. On three nights the main dining menu, and the food in the Horizon court (on one evening centred around German sausage) provided nothing for us so we went back to the cabin and ordered peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You would think this was impossible to mess up. No sireeee… ask for strawberry jam, you got raspberry, ask for brown bread and you got white, ask for 2 jugs of hot water and you got one, ask for four teabags and you got three. I kept an evening stole that creased easily over the dressing table chair, and one day when the bedding was changed it vanished. I thought the steward had swept it up with his laundry, but a search did not find it, then a couple of days later the steward asked me more about it. He said "in one of the waste bins in one of these cabins, he had seen something with like "dot dot dots" all over it... this I presumed was the dull metallic sequins on the stole. He had seen it in a bin, but not thought any more about it and thrown it away. At least Princess credited me the modest cost of this item. Two cocktails were around $23. I have discovered even I have a limit for not buying something I enjoy. We treated ourselves occasionally, and the first two margaritas we had were wonderful. On the first occasion the margarita was the cocktail of the day, so reduced, and this is what I asked for.... got a lovely cocktail, enjoyed it so much, asked for another the next day. This one came the same, and when I checked the bill had been charged the same, so on the first occasion my request for cocktail of the day had been ignored, but I let this pass. On the third occasion I bought these cocktails the guy just merrily tipped in the sour mix and syrup things (two different items), and halfway through the cocktails we realised they were wrongly made and quite sickly, but didn't bother to take them back at that point, although I did write to the front desk saying with cocktails so expensive they need to ensure strict quality control. Never even got an answer to that. Checked our bill each week and the second week somebody had had a quarter bottle of wine in Skywalkers bar, and it was on our bill. We never drank in that bar, but when I pointed it out to front desk they asked me "are you sure you never had it".....as if I would lie about $11. I did wonder how this had happened as now Princess do not give you receipts, as your card is digitally scanned. Later in the cruise I realised that serving staff look at the number on your card and remember it, inputting it manually, rather than scanning the card itself. Of course it just takes a seconds distraction for them to get two numbers mixed up, etc. and I wonder how many people checked their bill for this type of thing. Those I called the Crispy Critters, who thought a deeper shade of mahogany was a desirable tan colour, hogged sun-beds with the use of those plastic towel pets, which went on before 9am and stayed on all day. Crew never moved them even if the beds were empty for a couple of hours. Both my husband and I came back very poorly, seeking doctors advice the first day home. I understand from ship's gossip, that the chesty/throaty infection we got was doing the rounds of the ship from when it left Hawaii. My husband went to the Doctor which cost $250 (when it is a shipboard infection why should you have to pay?) The medicine he gave him did no good. One thing he gave him was a bottle of cough medicine, the same one of which was available in the ship's general shop for $7 less than he was charged. I didn't bother going as he was not impressed with the help he got. At some point in the voyage it was announced the ship had cases of Noro Virus. Not surprising, I saw buffet staff sweeping crumbs off tables with used napkins, and they wiped the tables with a wet j-cloth, leaving them soaking wet but probably not much cleaner. One show, The British Invasion, has been doing the rounds on Carnival Company ships for YEARS. We don't cruise every year and this was the third time we would have seen it had we gone. Entertainment was fair to middling, with some good acts and some mediocre. They had a duo who played violin and piano very well, and they performed in the piazza area every day, maybe three times a day. The first week was original, and they were good, but one got bored with the little joke of the pianist playing "chicken dance" and the violinist's little tricks of stopping, or speeding up, etc. Not only that, but if you wanted a cup of coffee in the piazza when they were on, forget it... people claimed seats up to 30 minutes before the show, which lasted maybe 30 or 45 minutes. Other original things they used the piazza for was racing wooden horses by the throw of a dice, beanbag tossing... and oh yes, just behind the piazza in the lift area they played "elevator roulette" when those really bored could bet on which elevator door opened first. The best show they had was the traditional dancing show they brought on board in Papeete. The pizza shop was mediocre unless you were lucky and got a freshly cooked slice. Princess achieved what I would have thought impossible and managed to combine the two most inedible things you can have on a pizza, burned cheese, and cold cheese. Burger bar was good, food was hot. Ice cream Sundae counter was fine, but frequently ran out of some of the sugar free versions of the ice cream. Ports of call, were fine, sometimes the ship was a way out, sometimes not. In Honolulu a taxi back from the centre of town cost us $24. Because we thought the two Samoan ports, Pago Pago and Apia, would not be that used to tourism, we took Princess excursions. These were over-priced for the content and disappointing. At the Tahitian Ports we did our own thing every time, and had a great time. We took a disembarkation tour of Los Angeles, visiting Santa Monica. This was good value and very interesting and the content was good. The only problem was they had the starting time as 0750. I know they want you off the boat early, but surely they could have given you a bit longer. Once on the tour the courier checked everybody's flight times, and it transpired that, even given the tour's normal time, one couple had been booked on who really should not have, as our arrival back at the airport was very tight for their check in time. Maybe this was why the other 50 of us had to have such an early start. Possibly the tour would have been a tad less rushed as well without this pressure. The captain was a wonderful people person. Put himself about the ship several times a day just on a walk through, but you got the impression he really cared about how Princess passengers enjoyed their cruise. My husband and I are vegetarian, which I add to be fair. Some days in Horizon Court there was nothing at all we could eat for lunch, unless you just wanted vegetables, which is why the pizza and burger place (veggie burgers)got used a bit more than they should have. Princess have had in the past the best itineraries and durations out of all the cruise lines, and whilst we enjoyed this cruise I have to stay we did it in spite of Princess, not because of them. We certainly did not come back "new" far from it, because we were fit and healthy when we joined the ship, and $250 richer for the doctor's fee. Sorry Princess, enjoyed the itinerary, hated the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this twice a year itinerary because we wanted to see Hawaii and French Polynesia. The Star is older but clean and a manageable size. Our obstructed view 8th deck cabin was conveniently located, and we had a pretty good view. I ... Read More
We chose this twice a year itinerary because we wanted to see Hawaii and French Polynesia. The Star is older but clean and a manageable size. Our obstructed view 8th deck cabin was conveniently located, and we had a pretty good view. I have to say that my husband is a picky eater so we chose the Horizon Court more than the dining room. When we went to the DR, the service was good. Entertainment: good comedians, OK singers. The entertainment staff were mostly English as a second language speakers and this negatively affected some communication and particularly the trivia questions, which were often awkwardly structured. But...Captain Bye Bye! We’ve never experienced a captain that mingled with the masses like Capt. Tuvo. He established a good rapport from day one. Each day he was out and about SPEAKING with the passengers. We looked forward to his noon reports each day, which he’d finish with: “Nevertheless, Bye Bye!” We enjoyed all the ports except, surprisingly, Papeete. It was dirty and heavily trafficked. It was the only port we wished we had less time, but it was the longest, probably due to resupplying. Would I do the same itinerary again? Yes, but I’d probably choose more independent tours. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We had planned this cruise for several months and this was the longest cruise and the largest ship we've ever been on to date. We were disappointed in the basic fact that there is very little benefit in being Elite on Princess when it ... Read More
We had planned this cruise for several months and this was the longest cruise and the largest ship we've ever been on to date. We were disappointed in the basic fact that there is very little benefit in being Elite on Princess when it comes to a trip like this one. First complaint, Elite gets a FREE liquor setup. The same liquor setup whether you are on a 4 day cruise or a 30 day cruise, geez, can they afford it??? What are your benefits? Free laundry, that's about it. I firmly believe that they cater to people that are in a suite and care less about everyone else on the ship. Kind of a reflection of the Titanic era where the suite people were treated like royalty ad everyone else was steerage.Once you are there, they could care less. All they care about is extracting as much money as they can while you are on board. The ports were definitely too small to handle to quantity of passengers delivered to them. Trying to dump 3000 elderly passengers in a port, via tender on top of it, in a town that has a population of less than the passenger population. I watched in horror over 2000 people standing line to get on the tenders for 3 hours in Lahaina, unacceptable. Answer was that there was another boat in port and they couldn't handle the traffic. Food was OK but had many of the same items, difficult to get something different. We managed to find a couple of very nice servers in the dining room and frequented their section which made that part of the trip much better. Also disappointed they had cancelled their happy hour in the Wheelhouse where you received a 2 for 1 drink of your choice. We were told it was cancelled because they were losing money. Simple math tells you it's impossible for them to lose money since everything is overpriced. I will mention that the ship's captain (Michele Tuvo) was definitely an asset to the cruise. One day, I ran into him on 8 separate occasions, he was always walking around the ship and taking care of business. We started cruising in 1977, we were on The original Love Boat 3 times and have been on over 70 cruises. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I love cruises with lots of sea days so we picked this one for that reason along with the fact we had not yet visited the South Pacific islands (Samoa, French Polynesia). Pros: - Captain Tuvo. Of all our cruises I have never met a ... Read More
I love cruises with lots of sea days so we picked this one for that reason along with the fact we had not yet visited the South Pacific islands (Samoa, French Polynesia). Pros: - Captain Tuvo. Of all our cruises I have never met a more perfect captain for a cruise ship. He was always very informative about activities and ship movements but even more so he was out and about constantly talking to people. One shipmate said he even stopped by her ribbon lei craft class and helped show her how to make the lei. - our aft suite cabin. Except for a few minor issues this was a great cabin with a fantastic steward, Rollie. Perfect for long sea days with warm, not hot, temperatures. Fully covered balcony. D737. - Club Class dining. This was our first experience with that and we enjoyed it quite a bit. We got to know the group that waited in this area and they were all great. Almost like having traditional seating but with the option of anytime dining. You got to know the staff much better and they knew you and your preferences. The made to order dish options that came with that service were almost always the best choice for that meal. (Mostly pastas and desserts). - Crafts. They had them almost every sea day and even some port days. I like the new SeaCraft concept of showing you a free new craft with a small kit but then selling small and large boxed kits for you to take with you to continue. I do wish they had a more difficult craft like macrame or crocheting that they taught over multiple days. It would work well on a long cruise like this. But all in all I enjoyed what they had. - Specialty dining. As always, Crown Grill was great. We also had the Crab Shack with King Crab legs. So much I couldn’t finish although I really wanted to. We will choose this again whenever offered, just bring a big appetite! - Pizza and Fresh French Fries. In port they didn’t serve club lunch so the pizza and fries on deck were my goto. So, so good. The trick with the fries is to ask for freshly fried fries and that you will gladly wait. Lots of people do this I found while on this cruise. - Deck bar. The one in the indoor pool area. The bartender would see us coming at certain times and have our regular drinks ready by the time we got there. Very impressive! Crew - no issues and most of them were friendly and helpful. Tours - no issues as we pretty much did our own thing in all ports. Cons: - Cabin issues. Main issue was the sofa/sleeper bed we were using as a sofa. Something was wrong, it was hard to sit in. We called them immediately and about 2-3 days later an engineer type person showed up and managed to level out the seating but it still was too low and stiff. We were able to use it but just not comfortable. Minor issue was one day at sea I was out on the balcony when all these “shavings” started blowing in from above. Got on me and in my drink. I called Rollie and he had it stopped and explained they were working on the deck above. It was cleaned up on my balcony by Rollie. It didn’t happen again. Weird they did it on a sea day. Just not thinking, I guess. Second minor issue was they did some sort of blackout test which took away the mid elevators for about two hours just as we returned from port...bad timing. But then we lost both AC and lights in our cabin for about 4 hours. Not good in a 90 degree port. Later we had another light loss same day as we returned to our cabin. It was fixed in about 30 minutes. These were minor in that they were resolved in a reasonable time with minimal impact. Just annoying. Food - Horizon cafe. We hardly used it because it was rarely good. The only things I had that were reasonable were some sautéed fish dishes and various burger patties/meatballs. Those both were seasoned well. Oh, and string beans one day. The rest was pretty bland and I eventually stopped going. Too bad, they used to be pretty good. Activities on sea days - hit and miss. No culinary shows, imo. Just a few piazza demos of drinks and chocolate making, bad location as minimal seating. One outdoor ice carving demo. What I missed was where the chefs would demonstrate cooking in a big venue. What they did do was a big show on the last sea day where it was mostly a scripted comedy and song and dance with minimal cooking. Not the same at all. Also, they could have offered classes beyond ukulele (already did that on Hawaii cruise) that spanned the four weeks. They did offer Spanish lessons but I know Spanish so not for me. This is somewhat minor as I brought my own activities but it would have been nice to have more group social class options available. I’ve noticed that this is becoming more of an issue as the years go by, cutting down on ship sponsored activities. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We picked this cruise for the South Pacific ports. Captain Tuvo was outsatanding - very friendly with a great sense of humor. His attitude was reflected throughout the crew. We had a mini-suite which was good, except for the love ... Read More
We picked this cruise for the South Pacific ports. Captain Tuvo was outsatanding - very friendly with a great sense of humor. His attitude was reflected throughout the crew. We had a mini-suite which was good, except for the love seat. We really enjoyed the extra room and balcony. The bath tub is a nice extra.Anytime dining worked very well for us, with good service in both dining rooms. Entertanment was good, but we missed the big production shows Princess used to have. We would have liked to had more educational type lectures on the many sea days. The entertainment in the Piazza was generally good, but the seating is very limited. Overall the cruise was very good except for a horrible experience with a Princess shore excursion in Somoa. The Island Drive and Tafatafa Beach excursion in Apia was not as advertised but the really bad part was the condition of the bus and the poor driving. Disembarkation was handled very well, There were a few delays but that was caused by Immigration, over which Princess had no control. We will try to sail with Captain Tuvo again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise for both the destination and the relaxation aboard a ship. One thing about the ship, it is quite small and there is only one other dining option which was the steakhouse, we didn't eat there but it would have ... Read More
We chose this cruise for both the destination and the relaxation aboard a ship. One thing about the ship, it is quite small and there is only one other dining option which was the steakhouse, we didn't eat there but it would have been good to have other food choices. If this was the first cruise we had done, we probably wouldn't go on another cruise. Luckily, we have been away with celebrity twice and there is absolutely no comparison. We certainly would not have wanted to be on this ship for any length of time, as there are simply not enough quality things to do, and very limited food options. We stayed in suite C747, the bed was comfortable, the balcony on the suite was a good size with good furniture. However, the suite we stayed in had a shower bath, (dreadful things), only one toilet, and the bedroom is not separate from the sitting area. The other rooms are very small, with no jug or options to make a cup of tea. The furniture in the suite was uncomfortable, and the vibrations at the back of the ship were really bad, felt like a train more than a ship. At night when we had more sea movement, the cabin doors in the bathroom rattled and banged about, given the shaking in our cabin and the noise, it was not the relaxing room we expected. We have been on the back of other ships and never had this experience. The air-conditioning was not very good in the room either, it was often too warm, we did complain but nothing came of it. They told us it was hot outside therefore the room couldnt be very cool. A lot of other people were talking about the bad airconditioning in the rooms as well. The meals in the Traviata dining room were mostly good, one of the meals was excdellent. The club class dining area in the Traviata dining room, all the waitstaff were excellent. The cafeteria on Level 14 was simply dreadful, there was not much choice. We have been on celebrity where their buffet had a lot more options, they cooked fish, chicken, steak etc. We loved this on both celebrity ships we went on previously, so the offerings in the cafeteria were a huge let down. We did have one nice vegetable curry there for a late lunch, when we returned from the island. They do have fruit though, so if you are too late for the other dining options, fruit is a good choice. As the other options are inedible. Staff were hit and miss, Manny in the bar on deck 12 was excellent. The other bar staff were not very friendly, and certainly not doing the rounds like they should be. The staff at the back of deck 14 closed early when they advertised the bar till 8, it usually closed at 7.30. They apparently needed the extra time to clean up. If it closes at 7.30, please advertise it as such. The staff at this bar seemed to be rushed and unfriendly. The spa was good, we had a few treatments and enjoyed them. The movie screen is in the middle of the pool deck, there were movies playing day and night and this is quite in your face, too loud if trying to have a drink at the bar by the pool. We also tried to bring pizza up from the pizza place downstairs, and they advised it would only be delivered to our room and could not be taken away, nor could we order pizza to be delivered to the pool area. They said if we did that, everyone would want to order pizzas there; seriously? The shows were very disappointing, there were a couple of comedians who were OK, the ship production shows were very average. Papua New Guinea was an excellent destination, we missed 2 ports due to bad weather, but the captain extended our stay to 2 days on the last stop at Conflict Islands which was excellent. We would have been really disappointed if we missed all the tender stops. So be aware of possibilities of missing the tender stops. So would we sail on Princess again? Very unlikely. After reading some other very positive reviews about this ship, I am wondering if we were actually on the same ship. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Outrageous wine prices $44-$60 a bottle profit is on thing but this is a corporate money grab shame on you Princess cruises. Beer one price $8.75 a stubby a glass of wine $11-$15 all other drinks $10.75-$15.75 per glass make sure you ... Read More
Outrageous wine prices $44-$60 a bottle profit is on thing but this is a corporate money grab shame on you Princess cruises. Beer one price $8.75 a stubby a glass of wine $11-$15 all other drinks $10.75-$15.75 per glass make sure you bring plenty of spending money. The meals are great and restaurant service is 5 star,if you are bringing children, single cone ice creams are $5 each, they were free on the Diamond Princess when last cruised. We will be looking for alternative options for our next cruise, do to the excessively drinks cost, these prices are out of control, unfortunately we missed two island stops and a straits cruise,due to bad weather, we are very disappointed, I think the itinerary is more suited for late March onwards do to monsoonal weather conditions, I would not recommend this trip for this time of the year to anyone. We had room service delivered to our cabin which was just perfect. If you enjoy a wine and you are thinking of travelling with Princess cruises, do yourself a favour, and bring your wine with you, and pay the $15 corkage fee, you won’t regret it. The tender service was fluid no real hold ups, the cruise tours are expensive, you usually can do a better deal at dock side. We renewed our vows whilst on board, you will need to pre book, it was an experience of a life time, the captain renewed our vows and signed the certificate, the library was turned into a chapel with all the trimmings, it was truly delightful, I f you want the extra photo package allow $399 extra, also the portraits 20x allow $2100 extra and if you want a truly very professional video allow an extra $1699 Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
it was the best way to get away board the Sea Princess any immediately in relax mode . This was our 8th cruise and 5th with Princess . Just a bit more class than the other Cruise Ships that we have been on. Definitely best Bars an Buffet ... Read More
it was the best way to get away board the Sea Princess any immediately in relax mode . This was our 8th cruise and 5th with Princess . Just a bit more class than the other Cruise Ships that we have been on. Definitely best Bars an Buffet . Particularly the Nook Whisky Bar . It had great ambience and Bar staff and wait staff (Derrick and Vanessa) went beyond their call of duty to provide patrons with above excellent service . Our stateroom attendant was a very accomplished steward our stateroom very well serviced( Melvin)always new towels even when I did not think we needed them. Beach Towels those boys did a magnificent job considering some Guests were using up to 5 or 6 Towels at a time. The Tender crews loading and offloading passengers in what was very difficult conditions at Conflict Island need a medal for bravery and dedication. The Captain I thought was the very best with informative chats at Noon and was very visible at times around the pool deck . A big mention of the Boys at Riviera Bar for a mighty effort to keep up a high standard of service for such a large number of Guests frequenting the area . I also think it is necessary to mention the maintenance crew who are working to keep the ship looking spic and span while we are sleeping e.g the smell of paint Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We departed from Brisbane which is our home port so did not need to do any exploring before we left. Embarkation was really quick this time and was relatively easy which was good. We have been on this ship a few times before so knew ... Read More
We departed from Brisbane which is our home port so did not need to do any exploring before we left. Embarkation was really quick this time and was relatively easy which was good. We have been on this ship a few times before so knew our way around easily. This time our balcony cabin was more to the rear of the ship and we noticed more engine noise than previously. We had traditional dining which started at 5:30. The wait staff were always pleased to see us and were very helpful with any extra requests. We found the menu a little unimaginative this time round however. The entertainment was always at 7.30 or 9.30 and you needed to get to theatre early to get a seat which was almost impossible with the early dining sitting. We would have to wait till the later performance if we wanted to see a show and then get there by at least 9.00pm. We only saw one show by the Princess performers which was excellent and the other entertainers were also worth watching, comedian and a female and then a male singer. The comedian was hilarious and not smutty at all. Apparently one entertainer was a no-show so the Cruise Director filled in. Matt Baker was a very talented and entertaining person. Unfortunately we did not get to the ports of Kitava or Kiriwina due to rough weather making tendering difficult. We did get to Alotau which had changed for the better since we were there 3 years ago. There was paving in the square as opposed to a rough road and a few more new stores. Rabaul was in difficulties due to a lot of rain and the roads were very rutted and with lots of very large potholes covering the roads making driving interesting. Conflict Islands was the jewel of the trip. A really magical tropical island. We had two days there to make up for missing two other ports. The owner has partnered with P&O to help with the infrastructure and is heavily involved in turtles and looking after the eggs and babies. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
My husband and I were keen to try a longer cruise with more sea days. Love that we can drive to Brisbane and cruise. W have cruised on the Sun Princess and missed the International cafe - the food was lovely there and who really needs yet ... Read More
My husband and I were keen to try a longer cruise with more sea days. Love that we can drive to Brisbane and cruise. W have cruised on the Sun Princess and missed the International cafe - the food was lovely there and who really needs yet another bar. The Traviata dining room was excellent, both food and service. Enjoyed the movies under the stars, zumba and the general ambience of the ship. The cultural festival at Alotou is very good and worth a visit. Its well run and there is alot of craft etc to buy. They all take Aus $ and in most cases prefer it, so take small denominations. Also suggest you take school supplies : pencils, pens, rubbers, rulers, exercise books and leave them at the timber building where the cultural festival is held - 1st room on left when you walk in. Its a community centre. They really need and appreciate practical help. At Raboul the volcano is worth visiting and so is the lookout. As the roads are very poor it can take quite a bit of time to travel much further. We hired a local taxi - (ranger ute) for $Aus 60 an hour for 2 couples. It was well worth it. The Conflict Islands were beautiful and had a lovely day swimming and resting. The average age of cruisers on this trip would have to be about 70, so bear this in mind. We were getting very bored by the music towards the end as it was aimed at them. The staff were friendly and always helpful. The shows were ok , the comedian - Scott Williams was very funny. The lectures were a great idea and were well attended, though it really feels like the entertainment needs to be switched up/revamped. Boarding and leaving the ship was very easy and well organised. Disembarking at Brisbane was quick and efficient. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Very enjoyable 11 night cruise to Papua New Guinea. The ship was great. We really enjoyed the dining experience every night, it was excellent. We could not disembark at two ports due to rough seas but we gained an extra day on conflict ... Read More
Very enjoyable 11 night cruise to Papua New Guinea. The ship was great. We really enjoyed the dining experience every night, it was excellent. We could not disembark at two ports due to rough seas but we gained an extra day on conflict islands which was great. You can do any of the shore excursions for a 3rd of price on your own so dont have to do princess ones. Just negotiate with locals at each port. Felt safe there. Visited local hospital in Rabaul which was a highlight as I am a nurse/midwife. Take your own snorkelling gear. All staff were very friendly and helpful. It was an older crowd on board. Not much to do after 11pm but that was ok. The entertainment staff were great. Shame there was no karoake in the bar areas like on most cruises just once in the lounge area. I do recommend princess cruises. All the staff seemed happy and looked after by princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
I chose this cruise initially because it left from my home port of Brisbane. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The Princess cruise ships are A1. You would be hard pressed to find a speck of dust on the ship. The cabin was as ... Read More
I chose this cruise initially because it left from my home port of Brisbane. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The Princess cruise ships are A1. You would be hard pressed to find a speck of dust on the ship. The cabin was as clean as a new pin and kept that way throughout the cruise. Dining was excellent, but I was turned away from the steak dinner because I wasn't adequately dressed. But this was no biggie because it would need to be an excellent piece of steak to get me into long trousers and whatnot on a tropical cruise in the South Pacific. Enjoyed the entertainment, but a decent comedian and singers who can actually sing a tune and not screech into the microphone would be a bonus. Movies were good. Activities were great especially the table tennis and carpet bowls. Some shore excursions were curtailed by bad weather but all in all were great. The gym had a good selection of equipment. Footnote: The trivia sessions could be improved by having 3 multiple answers to choose from. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I travelled with another seasoned cruise couple (over 80 cruises) and had a balcony room to myself on Deck 11. First thing I noticed was that - being out of Australia - it was decked out as from America - ok....they are from America ... Read More
I travelled with another seasoned cruise couple (over 80 cruises) and had a balcony room to myself on Deck 11. First thing I noticed was that - being out of Australia - it was decked out as from America - ok....they are from America but have been sailing out of Australia for years now. The majority of patrons were Australian so why were the shops etc - not Australian based, selling Australian good and snacks?? I had an issue with the food - in the BUFFET the choice was fine although I could not eat any of the preprepared hot food as it mostly came in plastic bags and simply heated and reheated. Who knows what was in any of it. The sweets looked great, were creative enough, although, again, I could not eat it after tasting some initially as, for example, the APPLE CRUMBLE was 10% apple, 90% crumble if you were lucky (shame). no icecream either. The premade coffee was disgusting ... and I am not too fussy .... but I saw them remove this premade coffee from under the dispenser and saw it premixed coming out of a plastic bag. I have never seen that before not did I ever think I would. I had no issue with the dining areas although you only had one choice of dining as such that was included in your fare. The paying extra restaurants were relatively empty for the 14 days. That tells you enough. Another thing was the entertainment. It was ok. The shows were nothing to write home about and the guest artists were good but again, not great. They only went for 1/2 hour - never experienced that before. You no longer sat down and you had to get up and leave again :-)) There were no movies in the movie theatre - instead they were all on top deck out in the weather. When they were on, the sound was so loud you could not hear anyone talking to you. Such a beautiful theatre too. I have been on another cruise where this theatre was used for movies (as it should) and the ambience and mood was fantastic. I left an item on deck one evening and on realising, went back early the next morning and it was not there. I reported it missing and was told it will be handed in within the next 24 hours or so. It wasn't so I requested security to look at the video of the area that night. Reception staff told me that it was not important enough an item (of no value to them) to have security go through the footage. Luckily, it was handed in days later and very suspiciously so. No matter ... I have it back. The excursions were good and well organised. shuttles to town centres were great, embarkation was fast, disembarkation was also fast. So ... would I go with them again - probably but I would know what to expect. Value for money????? To be fair - probably. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise based on itinerary primarily, followed by our previous positive experience with a Princess. Embarkation at Sydney was smooth and our rooms were ready at check-in. Luggage arrived to the cabins before dinner. ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on itinerary primarily, followed by our previous positive experience with a Princess. Embarkation at Sydney was smooth and our rooms were ready at check-in. Luggage arrived to the cabins before dinner. Staterooms were standard, storage adequate, bed was above average. Stateroom was reasonably clean, light fixtures dusty though. Entertainment options were above average (kept us busy and happy on those days at sea). The evening productions were very good, some excellent, and there were 2 options to see each night (timed so you could see both). We chose the “dine anytime” option which worked well for us....sometimes eating at 5pm....sometimes as late as 7:30. The food options were pretty good. They were able to accommodate our lactose intolerant friend as well as having gluten-free, sugar-free, and vegetarian options. We paid for the internet....turned out to be slow, spotty service but it eventually got the job done (I do not recommend a “—-“ minutes plan. That would be beyond frustrating!). We did not eat at the “specialty” restaurants. Not impressed by the menus or the extra charges. My observation was that they were wasted space on the ship as very few of the other passengers went to them either. Disembarkation process was also smooth and organized. Overall, I am very pleased with the cruise for the price (a good value for the $$ spent). We Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Having cruised quite a few times with Princess, the last time being an identical cruise to this going to Fiji in April 2018, we were more than happy to recommend them to our friends who had never cruised before, who came with us. Imagine ... Read More
Having cruised quite a few times with Princess, the last time being an identical cruise to this going to Fiji in April 2018, we were more than happy to recommend them to our friends who had never cruised before, who came with us. Imagine our disappointment and embarrasment to find nearly everything had changed noticeably for the worst over the previous 8 months. On a positive note, the carpet on the top deck had been renewed together with some new sun loungers. The staff remained as friendly & helpful as ever, albeit the restaurant staff seemed a little less professional and the captain managed to avoid the threatening cyclone by speeding up.Embarkation from White Bay in Sydney & disembarkation were both handled very well. On the other hand, on-board drink prices have escalated. A cheap bottle of wine in the restaurant was $29 - $32 and is now $46 - $52. A couple of dollars we can understand but not this price jump. A glass of wine now costs $15 - $16 and cocktails have increased from around $11 to $15. To add to this, lobster tails & surf & turf are no longer menu options but extras at $24.50; ice cream is no longer available in the Horizon buffet but on sale at the kiosk on deck & even the launderette has increased from $3 to $7.50. There is no longer a "Happy Hour". Whether this is to tempt us into buying the drinks package at $89 per person per day we don't know but one of the barmen confided that takings had fallen by half. If we were paying for improved service we would not mind so much, but the catering has taken a definite turn for the worse. The Horizon now features items such as meatloaf & boiled brisket as roast of the day and the other choices are well down on the previous cruise. Food quality in buffets is always variable but the quality in the Regency dining room has gone noticeably downhill. Food is usually overcooked, or maybe left to dry out while waiting to be served. My wife had an ongoing battle at breakfast to get eggs that were somewhere in between rock hard and running off the plate. On one evening, two of us ordered steaks cooked "medium", to be safe. One came done to death & the other had blood flooding the plate. After a while we stopped complaining as we felt sorry for the waiters whose fault it wasn't. There seemed to be fewer waiters in the Regency with regular waiters doubling as drinks waiters which probably accounted for service times often stretching right out. Again, maybe Princess want us to pay for the premium restaurants if we want good food. To rub salt into the wounds, the wc in our cabin would not flush. After a couple of requests, they managed to get it working but the following morning, with one of us desperate, it again would not work. In fairness they managed to get it working again but it limped through the rest of the cruise demanding several minutes of attempts if it had been left for any length of time. As the ship now looks very dated and has a liberal coating of rust and Fijian ports are not the most inspirational, our friends went home very disappointed. We have another cruise already booked this year with Princess, but if that is no better we shall not be booking another. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our 10th cruise with Princess. and other than the problems we had with our cabin, it was an enjoyable one. We were disappointed with Christmas dinner,even though it was enjoyable, Princess didn't cater for a traditional ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise with Princess. and other than the problems we had with our cabin, it was an enjoyable one. We were disappointed with Christmas dinner,even though it was enjoyable, Princess didn't cater for a traditional Australian Christmas meal, all of the staff were friendly and helpful, the food was fresh and very tasty wherever you dined. Drinks were a bit pricey, but your on holidays so enjoy.The shows were entertaining and cruise staff worked hard to entertain us. The ports that we visited were not what we were expecting, some were beautiful and others were dirty and hard to get around, we didn't go on any ship excursions, preferring to explore in our of time and pace. if we were to go there again we would definitely use the ships tours as they knew the best places to go, and believe me there weren't many. So all in all the cruising was enjoyably, a great way to spend Christmas and New Year. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this as the port of embarkation and timing met our needs otherwise would go Oceania. THE GOOD: The entertainment was great for our age group. Lots of soul, R & B, and rock 60’s and 70’s. Shows, though, are not ... Read More
We chose this as the port of embarkation and timing met our needs otherwise would go Oceania. THE GOOD: The entertainment was great for our age group. Lots of soul, R & B, and rock 60’s and 70’s. Shows, though, are not Broadway – like, elaborate productions as found on many other cruise lines, but were still quite good and entertaining. Ozzie’s really know how to party and the crew dancers work extra hard joining in. On this cruise the house band horns joined in on deck with the regular dance band and were present at other parties. Never saw this before on other cruises. Great fun. Exercise room adequate: machines, dumbbells, two weight benches. Dining service and stateroom service were fine. Fruit and vegetables were fresh and readily available, as was coffee, tea and ice water. Vegetarian offerings were good. Though I do eat meat, I stuck with mostly the vegetarian dishes as they were quite good. Enforced washing of hands with soap and water breakfast and lunch. Six taps available so never a line. Free tokens(for some) self-serve laundromat and ironing. Other wise about $9 a wash and dry. Boarding was quick and painless. Bags arrived promptly. The bed and pillows were the best that we had ever slept with in 40 years of cruising. Air conditioning in cabin and throughout the ship worked well and was comfortable. Much needed in the heat and humidity of Fiji. Tendering was efficient. Long lines coming back except later in the day. Stifling hot, no air in the tender the first time. Getting on and off the boat was efficient. THE BAD: Meals were edible. Lamb chops and stews were good. Otherwise nothing gourmet, many were not prepared correctly: Cesar Salad was not REAL Cesar Salad, Cioppino was not REAL Cioppino. Roast beef was edible but no flavour. Fish was O.K. as were some deserts. Bacon, sausages etc were cold, chewy unappetizing. Eggs were O.K. Fruit, cereals were available. Dinner buffet was uninspiring, no international offerings, a total disaster. Only a few decent French wines available, some at a decent price. For some reason the soups and sauces were a gelatinous, glutinous mess, thick and goupy. Of course the way to make them would be by a reduction. The cheese plate consisted of what appeared and tasted as a commercial “Kraft” variety. No Creme Caramel most nights (disastrous omission as that is my favorite!) No outdoor barbecue, no outdoor poolside band / dancing. Huge television in mid ship section where outdoor pool was. Extremely noisy movies etc so much so that we had to find the only quiet place mid aft mid deck. BRING NOISE CANCELING HEAD PHONES!!! Forward there is a quiet space but they charge $20 / half day. Islands were interesting but do not take the ship’s overpriced offerings. Go on the Island and check out what there is. Be adventurous! Drink package at over $80 a day outrageous as are wine and beer prices. Beware of prices on land also. $7 for 250 ml beer! Again outrageous rip off. Just be prepared to pay the price if you drink. No flutes of champagne were handed out on New Year’s Eve as on every other line we have been on! The ship “nickel and dime” you to death. Next they will probably charge you for poolside towels. THE UGLY: First sight of ship…...”I’m going on this rust bucket?”. Rust dripping from port holes, anchor chain, water line, balconies, balcony table. Hey USE SOME PAINT, WHITE PAINT!! Problem: Worn, threadbare carpets in trafficked areas. Simple Solution: Replace them!! Paid extra for a balcony. Cramped sardine can opening. Rusting throughout including tiny table. Crippling chairs, no room to swing a cat (about all that you would want to do there.) Eat al fresco? Lose your appetite quickly. Romantic dinner? No romance here, just brown stains. We were with Princess before so we knew what to expect but this is the only cruise that fit our port and time frame. Also Loyalty Islands were something new for us. For others with greater expectations, STAY FAR AWAY! This is not what luxury priced cruising should be, and it is luxury priced. No bargain here! No pretensions but still a lot of fun, not stuffy but required two “formal nights”. Many did dress in tuxedos but many did not. Australians and New Zealanders are exempt from tipping, everyone else has to tip (added automatically to your credit card). COMPLAIN and get this credited back, otherwise you are stuck with a $250 charge. This is a discriminatory and unfair practice. Either everyone tips or no one tips as a requirement. Maybe a class action suit will wake them up! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Wanted to have a Christmas and New Year at sea, Princess did every thing to make the season of the year very good, Service and friendly crew made the trip very good. Destinations were very good. Excursions bought on board were a little ... Read More
Wanted to have a Christmas and New Year at sea, Princess did every thing to make the season of the year very good, Service and friendly crew made the trip very good. Destinations were very good. Excursions bought on board were a little expensive bur very good except for the Chu Chu train excursion in Noumea audio did not work proberly and you felt they wanted to get the trip over and done with. Policing of dress code and Children on board of children not done efficiently by crew as was the taking over of spas by children, also not showering before entering pools.The Movies under the stars children a problem again parents not controlling them, had to tell children to sit down and be quiet as could not hear movie finally gave up and watch movie in cabin, food at buffet was not hot and crew hard to find for service. Also had trouble trying to get a table, gave up in end and ate in dining room Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Sea Princess has only changed a little over the years and she still impresses. First time inside cabin was excellent for napping and sleeping, but I'd still prefer a source of daylight. Cabin was neat n tidy every time upon returning. ... Read More
Sea Princess has only changed a little over the years and she still impresses. First time inside cabin was excellent for napping and sleeping, but I'd still prefer a source of daylight. Cabin was neat n tidy every time upon returning. Cabin Staff exceptional hardly ever seen but always available. Marquee Dinning was excellent, the service and food, Five Star. The lunch time Grill was a sensation, fantastic concept and an essential. Cafeteria, as usual neat clean always present with all foods for all times of the day, evening and night. Crab Shack and Steak House, are a must do. Curtis Stone's Share also an experience that should be done. Good Food, Good Wine, Good Family and New Friends. On n off the ship, not a problem, easy, quick and staff courteous and informative. On n off the ship via Tenders also trouble free and ran smoothly and effectively considering the numbers going ashore. Overall a great cruise. Staff from the ever informative Captain to the cabin attendant all helpful, courteous and able to answer all questions and all willing to provide suggestions and alternatives. First time away for myself and family over the Christmas / New Year period and found it totally enjoyable and a great experience, would love to do it again. Better half already sending me information regarding our next adventure. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
My partner and I had been discussing going on a cruise, so we decided on this 13 day one to the pacific islands. I know it might cost a bit more but I would recommend that people take a balcony room, it was fantastic, it was great to be ... Read More
My partner and I had been discussing going on a cruise, so we decided on this 13 day one to the pacific islands. I know it might cost a bit more but I would recommend that people take a balcony room, it was fantastic, it was great to be able to sit outside and enjoy the fantastic view and also be able to sit and relax while enjoying a good book or a drink. we were over the moon with the service from all the staff on board, especially our room stewards who had a thankless task, but kept our room pristine and also were very courteous and well spoken as well. The only down side for us was the excursions needed to be more imformative and if anything truthful, we had a couple of days where we wouldn't have been better organising our own days. We would recommend that people do a bit more research on the places that they are visiting and maybe are able to save some money by booking with the local operators, instead of booking onboard. But besides all that we have put a deposit down for a 2nd cruise hopefully in 2020, which says how great the cruise was, high recommend the experience. Bill C612 Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
The cruise on the Sea Princess was delightful. The Horizon buffet served a wide variety of food for everyone's taste and cooked food was hot. For example, one day we'd have herring, another stuffed eggs, smoked cheese, an array ... Read More
The cruise on the Sea Princess was delightful. The Horizon buffet served a wide variety of food for everyone's taste and cooked food was hot. For example, one day we'd have herring, another stuffed eggs, smoked cheese, an array of different salads. Wonderful choices. The desserts were delicious, just sorry there was never any cheese cake available but that is an insignificant omission in the scheme of things. The MDR service was excellent with friendly, experienced and obliging waiters. The food was plentiful and hot. Butter and homemade rolls were on the table every night. Christmas was also a delightful experience with the ship adorned with lights and decorations. It was a lovely time to cruise on this ship as they tried very hard to make it an unforgettable Christmas. Duke, the Cruise Director, was the best we've ever had on our many cruises. Full marks to Duke for his energy, obvious love for his job and even his singing prowess. He was awesome! The desk staff were always pleasant and obliging. The entertainment was great with plentiful shows, music for all tastes including pianists, violinist/cellist. The highlight of the ports was Conflict Island. A beautiful island with the most amazing underwater sea life. The finest snorkeling we've ever experienced! Loved the fact that Sea Princess DIDN'T have piped music throughout the ship (like Celebrity Solstice did on a previous cruise) to annoy and disturb us. We loved the quiet moments on the deck, in the buffet, corridors, etc.Overall the Sea Princess cannot be faulted except for a couple of concerns. Although the ship has hand basins at the two entrances of the Horizon buffet, we noticed that too many passengers were side stepping the washing and entering alongside the queue with no staff watching. This annoyed us so much (think cross infection/norovirus) that after complaining to the chief honcho in the Horizon and getting no satisfaction, I wrote to the Duty Officer expressing our concern and saying the staff were not performing due diligence with respect to hand washing. He wrote back thanking me and thereafter they tightened up on the passengers' washing. However, it wasn't long before we again noticed passengers avoiding the queue to wash hands, and again slipping quietly into the buffet area. In addition, two wash basins out of the six ( 3 on either side) were "under maintenance" for the duration of the trip. That doesn't help the passengers who are keen to get into the buffet. Hand washing needs a serious review. A lift was also out of action throughout the cruise. Another gripe is the Horizon coffee. It is the worst example of coffee we have ever tasted - I would hesitate to even call it coffee. I guess the ship deliberately gives passengers lousy coffee (coloured water) in the hope they will buy a package! The cabins are very small, the bathroom pint sized, however all were kept in a clean condition thanks to our room attendant. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Papua New Guinea was of historical interest as my father fought there in WWII. Alotau and Rabaul were of particular interest to us, we booked shore tours off the ship and can thoroughly recommend them. And Kitava, Kiriwina and Conflict ... Read More
Papua New Guinea was of historical interest as my father fought there in WWII. Alotau and Rabaul were of particular interest to us, we booked shore tours off the ship and can thoroughly recommend them. And Kitava, Kiriwina and Conflict Island were all beautiful with really good snorkelling and swimming. Both embarkation and disembarkation were very easy and quick, and our cabin was ready for us straight away. We chose traditional dining so ate in the same dining room each evening with the same people. Our stewards were amazing and very attentive. The food was great, and there was always something on the menu to suit individual tastes. The shows at the Princess Theatre were varied, some were great others not so much, plenty of seating but the earlier show time filled up quickly. Movies under the Stars was very enjoyable and a nice relaxing way to spend a few hours. We really enjoyed the whirlpool spas and pool on deck 14 at the back of the ship, adults only, lots of sunlounges, and quieter than the main pools and spas. Our cruise was over Christmas so the ship was decorated beautifully, very festive. Overall a very enjoyable 11 night cruise, can definitely recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose to cruise on the Sea Princess as it was a smaller ship for our first cruise and We had read good reviews. All our expectations have been fulfilled. The crew & staff were friendly, helpful & always with a smile. The balcony ... Read More
We chose to cruise on the Sea Princess as it was a smaller ship for our first cruise and We had read good reviews. All our expectations have been fulfilled. The crew & staff were friendly, helpful & always with a smile. The balcony cabin was spacious & comfortable. Dining was a feast of amazing variety & quality. We were entertained day & night by concerts, comedians and carolers ( Xmas cruise). Most of the shore excursions were educational & enjoyable, especially meeting & talking to the villagers & children. The ship decor was beautifully decorated with lots of very comfy places to lounge in. You can do as much or less as you want, even room service was a treat after a long day. We have already booked another cruise, again on the Sea Princess and have told our friends of our great experience, with all positive views. Disembarkation was less hassle than embarking on the ship, but perhaps that was because it was our first venture into port check in. Loved ‘ Movies Under The Stars’ up on the pool deck, views of sunrises from our balcony, and suppers at Horizons food court after a show. Thanks Sea Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We have sailed with Princess for 9 voyages, 8 of which were on Sea Princess. Every cruise has been filled with friendly outgoing staff, from the Head Waiters right thru to the Cabin Stewards. We were on the ship straight away and this ... Read More
We have sailed with Princess for 9 voyages, 8 of which were on Sea Princess. Every cruise has been filled with friendly outgoing staff, from the Head Waiters right thru to the Cabin Stewards. We were on the ship straight away and this time our luggage was there about 5 minutes after we arrived. We have had a balcony on every cruise but 1 and would have to recommend these cabins, they are spacious with fridge and a great balcony for some private moments. The entertainment is first class with something for every one's taste. We always go with the traditional dinning, because it allows us to get to know our servers and fellow passangers at our table. Well worth considering. In all the times we have cruised with Princess we have never had one complaint about the service we receive. The staff- even though they have to deal with some INTERESTING clients-always come through with dignity and respect ( much more than I would have). We do not do many of the excursions, but have heard a lot of positive comments. We do not travel with children, but think they must be well looked after because, when we do see them on the ship, they seem to be having a great time. We have only cruised on one other line, and they do not compare to Princess. We wil continue cruising-but only with Princess- for many years to come. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
My father served in Milne Bay , and Rabaul durning the war so I was very interested in these ports. We have been to Rabaul before and done the war tour. The islands and colour of the water is beautiful and just so pieceful. You have to be ... Read More
My father served in Milne Bay , and Rabaul durning the war so I was very interested in these ports. We have been to Rabaul before and done the war tour. The islands and colour of the water is beautiful and just so pieceful. You have to be prepared to give donations though as that is what they expect. It is such a beautiful cruise and the captain was outstanding and his staff were lovely. We really couldn’t fault any thing. We were the first princess ship to go to Conflict Island, that is absolute beautiful and the snorkeling is the best in the world (they say) If you haven’t done this one put it on your bucket list. We really enjoyed it and could properly do it again later. We did private tours on both those ports as I wanted to go to certain places which Princess didn’t cover. A great cruise could have been longer. Read Less
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