To all you land lubbers aka me! I have written just a few handy hints to help you on your cruise with Sea Princess having just completed a 4 day cruise from Sydney to Bris Vegas – “Brisbane” to those not from Queensland.
Embarkation, smooth easy as, have your id “identification” and your sea boarding pass which you have pre printed and you will be issued with a number. If you are priority, as in have travelled before, or are listed as a VIP then you get a given letter as opposed to a number, not rocket science. Priority goes first to board and those of us other meer mortals wait in line for our number to be called. Bit like the deli at your local supermarket only better!
After your number is up, pardon the pun, you enter customs, quick check to make sure you are not carrying more bubbles on board than allowed, which is one bottle, then off up the plank and onto the ship. As Tansie, a delightful London crew lass on board said whilst instructing many a dance - “easy peezie”.
Your luggage is delivered to your suite, room or abode. Now the hard bit, as always…. a little down side …. check your table reservations. IF you have organised a table for 2 or 10 or whatever, see the Maitre d’Hotel. WHY – cause if you don’t then even though you booked your dinning experience and confirmed it in writing with the cruise line, guess what – yip, its WRONG. Even if you have pre organised it and seen him/her there is no guarantee you will get what you booked. 5/10 there. I booked a table for 2 first seating and despite all my efforts got bumped to another sitting over 2 hours difference, which when it’s contrary to a years worth of planning is a royal pain! Bah Humbug I say. The Rigoletto is on Deck 5 its traditional seating the Traviatta is Deck 6 mixture of both.
So little hint go to see him or her, because if you don’t you are stuck with whatever you had allocated, even though its not YOUR FAULT. Grr Growl Sulk.
Once settled at the restaurant head to your room. The room attendants have actually put your luggage in your room. 10/10 for that saves the worry of cases going astray so much and its straight to your room. Very impressed that the cases turned up in the room before I did! Magic.
The shopping was limited for Sea Princess gifts, no snow globes and shop stock is limited. Perfume and toiletries are stock standard and not much by way of help offered in the retail department. I overheard many customers asking for items to be told they “weren’t in stock, on order but… sorry…” Mmm not good for sales 4/10. All currency used on board is AUS dollars so when you shop till you drop you don’t drop with the difference on the conversion rates.
There wasn’t a duty free liquor for take aways for home or gift purposes and clothing was basic, no swimmers on offer so if you had forgotten them, you were out of luck. Birthday suits not acceptable attire in the pool area.
Kids club sign up was a breeze fill out your form, attend the sign in and its no issue. I did find the staff wanting of personality but then I am a grown up, perhaps on a different wave length but a smile and cheery disposition like Miss Poppins would have been a little more encouraging. As such my child decided to decline the club and remain by my side. Those children who stayed and played I hear had a good time.
Grown up pool area, no kids and adults only - was shut. No escape there. Its on the top level looked good, never got to try it. Maybe next time.
If you are looking for atmosphere with music and dancing all the time then you will be a tad disappointed. I found it very stilted and different from other cruises where its music and smiles abound through the daytime. I did look around but its more reserved, so if you are looking for a quieter type of cruise, then this is for you. For a quite relaxing holiday, this is definitely a plus. In the evening however if you can manage to stay up after 9am or are an owl, then the place becomes alive with various dancing options. Classes through the day help polish the moves or if you are like me, just get up and do your thing. So if you hit the dance floor there is ample opportunity to do so.
Entertainment, awesome. Got to hand it to Sea Princess, Beatle Boys rocked, the show room ladies and gents, congratulations! They were all superb and put all they had into their shows. Hats off to them, they did the cruise line proud! The Beatles, well.... chair dancing was a must. Yes, I did sing, yes did embarrass my child and yes I didn’t care a jot. They are a must if you like the Beatles and off stage they are very approachable and willing to pose for photos. Sea Princess have definitely thought of the passengers there. Get a seat early for the shows though as the theatre has limited seating.
The buffet and other eateries staff were awesome! Plates cleared, drinks coffee, tea whatever, topped up constantly. If you are unable to get something due to ailment or disability, they were fantastic. Great service, good food. Italian and Mexican dishes were delicious. There is sushi but as I don't eat rice I can't comment but other passengers were in heaven. Presented well with attention to detail throughout all eateries.
If you are looking for signed books, merchandise from the Beatle Boys, the shows, sorry there wasn’t anything. The chefs made the BEST baked Alaska but unfortunately it’s a big secret which I for one wanted but couldn’t have - no book â˜¹. The vegies are in abundance, as are the fruits, so the kids old and young have no excuse, they are great. Varied foods throughout the café’s or restaurants so there is something for everyone.
The gym was great. Baked Alaska bottom isn’t my thing so off to the gym I went daily. Its clean, lots of fresh towels, TV’s etc – take your head phones for privacy to listen to the channels as the machines are noisy and quite sure other passengers don’t want to hear your tunes.
The spa and recreation staff were scarce. It would be nice to have a 2 min hand massage or special invite to see there wares. I might have been tempted but wasn’t, as the staff didn’t tout their wares too much. It’s in the daily patter but if you have to ask what it is, then the sale is kinda lost. If the spa is your thing then its up to you to go look.
Disembarkation rooster clock engaged for 7am check out. Up at 5am the buffet open at 5 ish to aid in the final rush for food before dragging our feet off the boat and home. Tags delivered to the room the night before attached and bags outside the cabin prior to 9am. Fast efficient collection and bags neatly stacked under cover for pick up when you sadly leave your home away from home.
One last little hint, pack your clothes in plastic bags before you pack your luggage. If it rains at the airport or trains station etc, then it will keep your luggage dry, even if you’re not.
Bon Voyage and hope I haven’t bored you but maybe helped you with my little dialogue.