This was our first cruise as a couple and so we approached it with a mixture of both excitement and anticipation, hoping that it would prove to be a complete rest, but interspersed with interesting activities. We were certainly not disappointed! Despite getting drenched prior to boarding, the actual experience of boarding was smooth and problem free. Once on board and settled into our lovely balcony stateroom on Baja deck, we quickly took the opportunity to get acquainted with where things were on the ship, snapping lots of photos of all the different entertainment, food and shopping areas. Our first meal on board was in the assigned dining area, but that was the one and only time we ate 'formally', so to speak. The range of food available throughout the ship, and especially at our favourite area, the Horizon Court, was amazing. We never tired of the range of food there, but also enjoyed a number of in-room dining experiences, pizza, and a lovely meal at the Sterling Steakhouse. More
Some of our other favourite times on board included Movies Under the Stars (which we enjoyed almost every night), the spa and gym (very handy to keep the kilos from rolling on as a result of all that fine food), educational lectures, art auctions, and the Platinum Photo Studio ( thank you, Emma, for an amazing job!). We found our stateroom very comfortable and, as first time cruisers, were very happy to have the balcony to sit quietly of an evening so as to enjoy beautiful sunsets with a glass of red! Sheer bliss! The room service provided by our steward, Jourard, was exceptional. Having the room cleaned and tidied twice daily was a real treat, and his friendly but non-intrusive nature was very much appreciated and just what was needed for the relaxing style holiday we envisaged.
Positives: in addition to the positives already mentioned, the staff all need commending as they were all very professional. The ship was kept extremely clean, despite it being an older vessel. We were very impressed by the emphasis on hygiene evident, whether that be with the compulsory hand washing with antibacterial hand wash before entering the eating areas, or the encouragement to wipe down gym equipment with alcohol wipes after use. Well done, Sea Princess!
Negatives: The change in itinerary could have been a negative (we see from other comments in CC that for some cruisers it certainly was), but for us it wasn't as the one port cancelled was one we planned to stay on board for anyway, so the credit to use on board was for us more than a fair recompense. The change in order of the remaining ports of call was not an inconvenience for us as we had not booked any tours in advance, but we could imagine it may have been disruptive for others.
We made use of the self-serve laundry but did find that the dryers were extremely slow!
Conclusion: Will we cruise again? Absolutely! And looking forward to the next time, now that we have some cruising experience under the belt. Less