I really did not want to write a review as sometimes I think it is better to say nothing, but since you asked for one. Boarding was well handled at the White Bay Terminal our first time there, assistance with the luggage was also given now that we are 76 and 83.
Cabin was adequate the usual for Princess however one chair for two people is not enough. It is not comfortable to be sitting on a bed at our age to watch TV and if you wished to eat in the Cabin for some reason it was most uncomfortable. The little stool under the dressing table should be a chair.
To people who have not sailed before the food would have been OK however it was mediocre and we had to ask for extra vegetables as three asparagus spears or half a grilled tomato with meat is not a good meal. So we asked for extra vegetables and what we got each night was a plate of steamed or boiled tasteless vegetables night after night. This from a German chef and my background is German. COME ON. One night there was Indian food well by this time we had eaten what was available on the left had side of the menu several times during the trip, so we thought we would go to the buffet. At our age we cannot eat this spicy food and guess what more of the same, the little that was not Indian had already gone so everyone fled to the Pizza place which was packed. Really have some sense not everyone likes these specialised nights and they should provide less of it at the Buffet so that you have an option. We did not wish to eat at the Buffet at night and stand in a line and the dining room was 2/3 empty at night. People did not go to their tables even though they booked them and for the six at our table only 2 of them were there most nights the other two only showed up twice in 35 days, so no opportunity to meet anyone differnt. On asking the Maitre'd why if these people did not wish to use their allocation they could not allow others to join us is something we were unable to understand. A note to their cabin saying that there is a waiting list of people who would like your early sitting if you no longer wish to use this sitting so someone else could take their place, so for 35 days we had the company of just two people. People sitting around us had no one at their table either of 10 just 2 people sat alone so let them move over to ours, NO that cannot be done.
The beds were so hard after 3 days of not being able to sleep we found out through someone else we could get an overlay thank goodness as I had terrible pain in my shoulders and hips, so that was solved.
No newspapers. On every other ship we have ever been on they used to put out a small paper each day in the Library with the news of the main countries of the people on the ship, that was not available. Scrabble boards disappeared to rooms and never came back they had to make an announcement to retrieve them over the morning TV.
No shampoo in the bathroom and I was told I could use the Body Wash to wash my hair I just could not believe it so went with the Cabin steward and asked him to open his draw on his trolley and there it was, plenty of shampoo, things were never replaced without us having to leave a note each time or go and get it ourselves.
Then we come to the entertainment. In all our years of cruising without a doubt this was the worst. All local Club entertainers which we have seen time and time again throughout Australia and we know this circuit very well as one of our daughters used to perform on it. Only 3 of all the Australian entertainers were of a decent calibre, until the LA Princess company came on board in fact one Comedian was so terrible it was unbelievable. Talk about saving money no one from overseas. Really we don't want to have the same entertainment that we get at home when we go on holidays. COME ON.
Now we come to the last part. THE SMELL that permeated the ship for 2 1/2 weeks because someone had destroyed the enzymes in the toilet system. It was just awful with no explanation until someone we knew said a passenger who was an engineer had an interview with the Chief Engineer and threatened to sue so that finally they came clean and said there was a problem announcing it on the morning show. Can you even imagine travelling with that smell for one day let alone 2 1/2 weeks. Thank goodness we had a balcony and could open the door.but the wind was not always blowing the right way.
As for the movies on deck, where can you sit without this horrible noise and read a book by the pool, you can only go back to your cabin, as one side of the promenade deck had smoking and the other side was windy.
There was a Canadian couple on board she was a CEO of a rather large company and they had come to check out this cruise as friends of theirs wished to do it and they were so appalled about conditions and service in general she showed us the letter she had written to the Company. No ship going out of North America would dare to have these problems without firstly compensating their clients and secondly apologising. Regrettably a lot of Australians are first time cruisers and have only sailed out of Australia and have no idea of the standards set overseas that are required by clients in the northern hemisphere and think that which was served to us here is acceptable. We will never again travel any Princess or PO ship out of Sydney as they serve to the lowest common denominator and that is why you will see such a divergence of opinion on this cruise. The lady that we met who was a cleaner thought it was wonderful but then she had not been on a ship before. The other thing that shocked us was that there were a lot of disabled people on board who needed to use the elevators and could not walk the stairs and sadly a lot of our Ozzies had left their manners at home in doing the right thing in helping these people. Talk about Ugly (Americans) Australians. We were ashamed of them.
There are a lot more ships coming out of Australia now and a lot more competition hopefully this will make them improve their standards. NEVER AGAIN PRINCESS, TWICE WAS ENOUGH THE OTHER ONE RAN AGROUND IN VUNG TAU among other things and we thought that was bad luck.
Disembarkation went smoothly but a lack of Taxis had to call our own.
Shoe excursions we did two with the ship and they were OK, however in most cases we arrange our own before we leave to suit our own times and were especially glad that we had done this in Pago Pago as the ones arranged by the ship were very hot and uncomfortable for the older passengers and they came back very distressed. However we were extremely disappointed when there was none for the Isle of Pines and so did not get off the ship only to be told that there were buses available when you got there but it was deliberately not advertised by the ship as they would not make any money out of it and that is exactly what they did on the Dawn Princess when we sailed with her. At our age you do not get on a tender if there is no transport available just to walk around in the heat.