Our family sailed the Star Princess in January 2013 through Cape Horn and it was a huge ship. We noticed the quality of food had improved and even the fellow passengers were fascinating, mostly from South America so I was willing to give Princess a try for a smaller ship- the Ocean Princess.
The small ship still had my favorite spots, a great gym, a buffet with outdoor seating, the Tahitian lounge for morning line dancing,belly dancing, bingo for my mom, a beautiful library, card room and specialty restaurants. I was impressed that they could maintain this variety on a small ship. The small size was perfect because my mom and I could get around easily and not get lost. The ship felt like the perfect size.
We arrived in Tahiti around 7 pm, used the transfer service and it was my clear the smaller ship was going to be a breeze after the Star Princess for registering and moving quickly into our room. Entering the ship we were greeted by adorable Audrey and we felt a warmth and welcoming that was very personable. This was important because this ship is at first glance polar opposite of the modern ships. I kept thinking ' think replica attempt of the era of the titanic.' Since we were going to have 5 sailing days in a row, through the equator, we decided to book a mini suite. The room was spacious with floor to ceiling windows the width of the room. It was luxurious and we settled in.
Here are my complaints.
1. The shower/bath is a step in and out. Both my mom and I felt very unstable in the shower/bath. The only safety rail was down by the bath tub. On the rocky sail days we decided to use the showers in the spa,which was fine, Our fellow passengers were not as bothered by this.
2. The major complaint is that Princess say they have Bridge master( game) for any sailings with more then 4 sea days. I relied on this fact when selecting the cruise. My mom is a bridge player and the only reason I chose a 5 day sailing is that she could play bridge and have classes. I learned that Princess Cruise Director, Frank, had not hired a bridge instructor for the past few sailings. I was really mad. They did publish time for bridge players to get together and that worked out, sort of.
In the end, we had so much to do and mom became the bridge master, teaching me and other passengers the game.
3.The dining room menu and food was not great. Not like the dining room menus or quality of the Star Princess. Breakfast and lunch were good but I had to bug them for nuts for my salad. They did have the poolside grill, which is a great staple, just needed more,staff because it got busy at lunch.
The staff on board!
Lunch time desserts ( unfortunately !)
Well travelled fellow cruisers
Beds were new, room was spacious a better layout then the big ships
Tea time / bar/ future cruises/ scholarship at sea / spa/ gym
Loved Island hopping, a great value and easy travel from California.