We wanted to find a cruise that either began or ended in Hawaii so we could spend some extra time there. Easier said than done. Most French Polynesia cruises begin and end in Australia or New Zealand and none that I could find included Hawaii. When I came across the Ocean Princess and an itinerary that included French Polynesia and Hawaii I knew this was the perfect ship for us. We are also not fans of large ships and try to chooses ships under 2,500 passengers.
The Ocean Princess is a lovely lady. With about 650 passengers you quickly got to recognize most of the passengers and crew. The ship has recently been refurbished and I have no complaints about the decor or cleanliness. The food was very good and well rounded with a lot of fish and seafood options which made my husband very happy. There were a couple of English Pub lunches which made a nice change from the daily buffet. Unlike other cruises we've been on the staff wasn't pushy and didn't make you feel awkward if you didn't want a drink. And thank heaven there were no art auctions.
There was a comment card in our room at the beginning of the cruise asking us to let them know if there were any things that they could improve upon. I found the library (which is the nicest one I've ever seen on a cruise ship and one my husband utilized a lot) and the main lounge particularly frigid, and from watching other passengers at the evening entertainment bundle up felt that I wasn't the only one finding it chilling. I put the card in the box outside reception never expecting to hear more but the next day I received a phone call from guest relations saying that they apologized and had spoken to engineering and would insure that the public spaces were less frigid. True to their word that evening there was a noticeable difference in the temperature. This was one of many small details that made this ship a winner in our book. The crew is especially friendly and accommodating. On the galley tour I complimented someone on the pastry chef who turned out the best almond croissants I'd ever had. He asked me to wait while he found the chef so I could thank him personally. I've also never seen a head chef who was as visible and approachable as the head chef on the Ocean Princess.
Small ship cruising isn't for everyone. There was only a small pool and no ice rings or climbing walls, but if you want a simple, enjoyable experience without a constant circus, this is the ship for you. In fact in the future we plan to see what other itineraries the OP has and follow her to another port.