Star Princess Cruise Review by seadeck2: Whales and more whales
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Whales and more whales
we stayed the night before at Embassy Suites South close to LAX and were late arriving due to weather all along west coast. We flew in from Oregon. The hotel was nice, same almost as Embassy Suites FLL.
We took "Coolride" private car to pier. Great service! We arrived at the pier early (no traffic) at 9:30am and to our surprise their were porters ready to take our luggage right outside. We walked in and very friendly Princess greeters took us to a waiting area. Around 10:45am they called us by Princess Status to go to a line with your deck name on it to get checked in and get cruise card. Then we were directed to security screening and once through to our Elite lounge. This was set up very nice and they had ships staff attending it and answering questions. This was the first time ever seeing this and it was very nice. We were onboard around 12:30pm. I must say the Elite/Suite people were most rude as the greeters tried to get us to go to the ship in rows, however everyone More jumped up and seemed to be fighting for position to be first, we sat and watched in amazement as know one cared about adhering to organization-like at this point you are not going to get on the ship!
We had an aft covered mini-suite (first time without a full suite) E724 and contrary to reviews and posts that no noise is heard from this cabin we can assure you that you can definitely hear Verizon lounge below. Zumba started at 9am and the evening shows usually ran past midnight. Most of the shows were so loud ear plugs did not work, at least we did not need to attend the show, we only missed seeing the performer(s). So, if you can hear at all or have good hearing beware. I really enjoyed the mini suite, the layout with lots of room, loved the closet (better than full suite except Grand Suite), loved the shower in the tub combo over the full suite shower. Did not miss Sabatini's breakfast-not real fan of it. Did miss nice lounge chair on balcony and being able to order in from dining room, although we did save a lot of money on extra tipping by not having a full suite.
We had rough seas, promenade deck closed off, wind and rain, very cool weather going and coming.
As soon as we hit Maui (late morning) we saw whales everywhere, they were so close to the ship you could hear them breath. The whales breached in front of us as well. We took a whale watching tour with Pacific Whale Foundation in a zodiac and they have bench seats. This was the highlight of our trip. Then we walked around Lahaina enjoying the warm sun. Hilo we went with friends to Volcano National Park and walked and had lunch at the lodge and made a stop at Mauna Loa for macadamia nuts. Honolulu we went with friends and drove around the island, stopping at "Hawaiian Music" to watch the guys play ukulele's and to see what to buy next. We stopped for shaved ice and everyone was out as it had been pouring rain the past few days of our arrival. We stopped for lunch at a shrimp truck that was awesome and fun. Kauai we walked around by the pier and once onboard it rained and rained all day.
Ensenada stayed on ship, it was cool and windy in the morning, warming up by late afternoon. As soon as we docked in Ensenada their were so many seagulls all over the ship!! We enjoyed trivia (and wining) and meeting new friends on this cruise. The food was amazing as good as specialty restaurants in the main dining rooms as well as all venues. The entire staff was great. We saw whales at every port. This is one of my favorite cruises and look forward to another. Less
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Cabin review: E724
Covered Mini Suite on Emerald Deck Port side. Could hear every event that was in Verizon Lounge from 9am Zumba to the evening shows that went lasted from 11:30 to after midnight and everything in between. Not a room if you want to sleep in, nap or go to bed early. Earplugs did not work it really was that loud. We knew this could be an issue when we booked so we dealt with it, Loved the room (mini suites). Lots of storage, love the bath/tub combo and lots of counter space and storage under the sink, this was better in our opinion than full suite as we still had 3 shelves on the side of sink as well. Love the closet with long bar with long shelf above and closed door shelves to put things and plenty of full length mirrors. The safe is smaller than a full suite safe, but big enough for in ipad mini, not sure about putting an ipad in it. The 2 TV's were nice even without the curtain. It was nice to have a covered balcony as we could walk out on the rainy days and nights all but our 3 1/2 days in Hawaii and Ensenada were nice. Liked the location of this room, would try to book same room on Starboard side next time and hopefully no noise on Starboard?.