Star Princess Cruise Review by speedlady: Just OK
Overall Member Rating
Embarkation: San Francisco
Nice itinerary but Princess failed to live up to the potential. We chose this cruise because we were going to be in San Francisco in May and it was the only ship leaving for Alaska from SF. We had cruised Princess once before out of 25+ cruises total.
I don't remember ever being bored on a ship before, but Princess offered very little in the way of enrichment activities and it was too chilly to use the pools (even the indoor pool). We even went to an art auction for something to do one day, but after listening to the high pressure pitch we avoided the other auctions for the rest of the trip. It seemed like everything was focused on selling us something additional. (We have found this to be true on most Carnival Corp cruises.)
Service in our cabin and in the dining room was pretty good. Our cabin steward kept our ice bucket full and our room cleaned up yet was unobtrusive.
Our waiter and assistant waiter provided good service. We chose traditional dining, More late seating, and asked to be seated at a table for 8. One of our favorite things about cruising is meeting new people at dinner. We were assigned a table for 6 and no one else showed up for the first 2 nights, so we asked to be moved to an adjacent table which had some empty seats but did have 4 lovely people. (The Amalfi dining room was sparsely occupied during second seating all through the cruise.) The food, however, was mediocre at best. There were several nights when most of us at the table had difficulty finding an entree to order from the choices on the menu. Since this was an Alaska cruise (and we saw the seafood truck unloading at the ship in one of the ports) we expected some nice seafood at dinner but were disappointed. If you wanted crab you had to pay $20 pp and eat in the "Crab Shack" in the buffet area. The seafood offerings in the "free" dining room were horrible.
We ate lunch twice in the "Brit Pub", both times disappointing. Our waiters disappeared after taking our orders on both occasions and never returned. Someone else served us the food but no one was paying attention to our water glasses. It was impossible to find anyone from whom to order dessert. If you weren't ordering alcoholic beverages they weren't interested in serving you. When we finally found a waitress who would bring us some water, she spilled ice cubes on the table, picked them up with her bare hands and put them back in the pitcher. Then she offered to refill my water glass from the same pitcher. Just unbelievable.
The theater is the usual Princess design with poor sightlines, small seats and long long long rows. The entertainment was mediocre. Usually we enjoy the production shows, but most of them were obviously done "on the cheap", with minimal costume changes and few or no set changes except for the very last show. The popular "adult" comedy shows were assigned to the Vista Lounge so there were overflow crowds.
We enjoyed having a nightcap in Skywalkers, which is underutilized. They should do more to promote this lounge as it is very nice with a great view but a little hard to get to.
The elevators on the Star Princess were the slowest we've ever encountered.
It will take a fabulous itinerary to get us back on Princess. Not saying we won't ever cruise them again, but they won't ever be our first choice. Less
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Cabin review: C516
The cabin was well located midship but not too close to the elevators noise-wise. It is smaller than most inside cabins we've stayed in on other ships, but adequate. There is no seating area, just the bed and a desk area with a desk chair. It was in decent condition. The shower, however, was miniscule. We are not large people, but turning around in that shower stall was almost impossible. There were adequate hangers and hanging space. We took a guaranty on this cruise and were fairly pleased with what we got, although we didn't find out our cabin number until 2 days before the cruise. And as usual with an older ship, not enough outlets.
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