Sea Princess Cruise Review by bruceoffer: A great first half and disappointing second half.
Overall Member Rating
A great first half and disappointing second half.
Embarkation: Perth (Fremantle)
This was a cruise that could be taken as a whole 26 days or could be broken into two halves Fremantle to Singapore (12 days) or Singapore to Fremantle (14 days). We chose the whole 26 day option and the first half of the cruise was great. Our cabin was a balcony cabin and we were really pleased with the standard and size of the room. Our cabin attendant Alfredo was excellent and nothing was too much trouble.We ate nearly 100% in the Traviata dining room where the food was excellent with a good selection of choices and very well presented. The wait staff were very attentive. friendly and professional. The only negative comment about dining was the Horizon Court Buffet which we found to be very hot, very noisy and the food was only pedestrian. The onboard entertainment was first class both from visiting artists and the ships own production crew. Drinks were well priced at all bars and outlets on the ship.
Now to the second half of the trip.
Approx half of the More passengers (1000 people) disembarked at Singapore and another 1000 joined the ship for the second half. From the time we left Singapore, those 1000 passengers doing the full 26 days noticed the price of drinks increase by 25 to 30 %. When we queried this with the ships information desk we were told that this was because we were now doing a separate cruise.
WRONG !!!!! We only booked one 26 day cruise not two separate ones.
Also after Singapore the calibre of the entertainment nosedived to the point where some night shows were almost empty of people. The Sea Princess production crew continued to put on good shows but all of them were repeats from the first half of the cruise so in effect, 1000 people had no entertainment other than the second rate artists who were brought on board at various ports.
The on shore excursions almost without exception were badly timed. They all looked good on paper but there was never enough time to do the things the tour brochures promised we would do. Some were actually cut short due to lack of time. There was never enough time for shopping and we were always given a unrealisticly early time to be back on board only to find the ship didn't sail for hours afterwards.
There was a debacle in Bali where some 800 people were all told to be back early to the port terminal for transfer by ships tender to the ship only to find that very few tenders had been made available and some people took 3 hours to get back on board. We suggest the tour director needs to get out on some of the tours herself and either put more realistic times on the tours or take the tours off the books if time is so tight.
The day time entertainment and activities also needed a little more thought. After 26 days of carpet bowls, bean bag throwing and golf putting every day, they quickly lost their appeal. Come on Cruise Director and staff. This was the dream cruise for a lot of people. Show a little imagination.
All in all the cruise was relaxing but the second half was saved only by the efforts of the wait staff and room attendants and the fact we had a balcony we could retreat to.
I should point out that our view of the second half of the cruise was not only our view but nearly everyone we spoke to who did the full 26 days had the same opinion. It was not very smart management from Princess Cruises to get 1000 people offside and to increase drink prices so drastically half way through a cruise was just stupid thinking.
Would we do it again ?? Yes but not the full 26 days. In hindsight we would have disembarked in Singapore, spent some time there and flown home. Less
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