My partner and I sailed on the Star Princess out of San Francisco on 10/6/12 to Hawaii on a 15 day cruise. The convenience of being close to San Francisco and getting to and from appealed to us and was one of the reasons we chose this cruise line. This was a first for me on Princess although my partner has been on Princess many times. Getting on the ship and off the ship was very easy...they were so organized. We were impressed when we compared it to other cruise lines we have used. Princess did an outstanding job in that regard!
The ship itself was nice and easy for us to navigate our way around. The cabin was a little small for my taste and if we do it again we will get a mini suite to allow more room for a two week stay. Our cabin location was convenient to the elvators and the laundermat. Beds needed to be upgraded but cabin steward did everything possible to make it comfortable, including bringing a new mattress for one of the twin beds. Also brought egg crates for More
Activities were pretty standard (trivia, Bingo, lei making, etc.)and mostly didn't interest us except for Bingo. That was fun and we met all kinds of new people. The lei making class had sign-ups at 10:00 a.m.I was there at 10:05 a.m. and all classes were filled. I was disappointed I couldn't take the class. Maybe Princess should consider more classes on future cruises. I would also like to see some computer classes offered if at all possible. Maybe upgrading skills on Ipad or Iphones would be good topics.
The entertainment was pretty standard with comedians, Broadway type shows,Movies Under the Stars, etc. The comedian was outstanding and we saw him twice. The bar behind the Movies Under the Stars area was extremely noisy one night and very distracting. Loud conversations between staff and one very LOUD passenger was inappropriate in a movie setting environment.
We thought the food in Horizon Court was very good and ate their multiple times. We also ate dinner in the the dining room a few times and was pleased with service (except one night) and food.
With the exception of one private tour we took on Hilo, we just "winged" it in all the other ports. I didn't want our entire time in the different ports to be so "filled" with activities, we would be exhausted. It would be nicer if Princess just visited a couple of ports and stayed longer in each location. I don't know what constraints the cruise line has but that would certainly have been appreciated by us. Two days in Honolulu and Maui would have been better for us.
All in all, we had a wonderful time and we loved it; Princess did an outstanding job. I heard some people say they would be "glad to get home" but I could have stayed another couple of weeks!
We thought the service overall throughout the ship was outstanding! Never had to ask twice for anything. Less
Didn't get off ship in Ensenada before and nothing we really wanted to do. The port itself was nicely developed and appeared clean and convenient for those who wanted to get off the ship to go do things.
Tender ships in Lahaina were so efficient and prompt it was impressive. We just walked around town and took public transportation to shopping center. It was very hot so I wasn't really interested in doing too much else.
Kaui was beautiful....we just took a shuttle into a little shopping area and then walked around the beach adjacent to the Marriot. Didn't stay too long as it was pretty hot.
Honolulu was easy to get around with the Aloha Bus. Went to Diamond Head and then took a quick trip around the city. Went to the International Marketplace
and had lunch. Don't think I would go there again but had do it at least once. Went shopping in Ala Moana shopping center which had many upscale shops and one of the best Sears stores I have ever visited. Nordstrom's was also very nice.Nice Long's store to stock up on whatever you need and some GREAT prices on macadamia nut and other Hawaiian gifts.
Beautiful flowers to see at the orchid farm and to purchase if we chose. Worth the stop. Moana Loa location was fun to taste all the macs and the ice cream. Small coffee processing business was very interesting to hear how it all worked. Sea turles were very cooperative the day we were there and we saw five of them swimming and sunning themselves.