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Pacific Princess Cruise Review by NormaBM

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Pacific Princess
Pacific Princess
Member Name: NormaBM
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Ship Facts: Pacific Princess Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Pacific Princess Deck Plans
Pacific Princess
I flew from Chicago, IL to Amsterdam to Nairobi. The flights are the worst

part of the trip-very long but worth it. There was a quick safari briefing

and a gift of a safari hat on the first day. Princess Cruise Lines contracts

with Micato Safaris for this land tour. The did a fabulous job of moving us

and keeping us occupied & comfortable.

We had a tour of Nairobi, a visit to Karen Blixen's house (Out of Africa) and

a visit to feed giraffes. What a great start! Since we would safari for 8

days before meeting the cruise ship, we had been told in advance to pack

separate bags. Princess stored the cruise bag and we didn't need to drag that

with us. That night there was the option of dinner at Carnivore. This

restaurant was such fun. Besides offering the usual meats, they offered

zebra (very good),ostrich (also very good)& Crocodile (tough).

The next morning, early, we left by land rover for Amboseli Nat'l. Park. We

did a game run on the way and saw so many of the animals we hoped to see. I

was amazed how close we could get. The lodge was what you would expect an

African bush lodge to be, rustic but comfortable. Food is served buffet style

with lots of variety and though not gourmet, pretty good. There are few to no

roads anywhere so be advised-bring a pillow to sit on.

The next morning we

were able to see Mt. Kilimanjaro from the lodge.

After a morning game run, we were on to Arch, Tanzania. We had the

afternoon off with an optional trip to a cultural center which turned out to

be a shopping trip.

Next day we flew from Arusha to Serengeti Natl. Park. With a game run along

the way, we saw many animals again in their natural habitat. The Serena Lodge

there was lovely and we spent 2 nights. One evening a group of Masai came to

dance for us. Very enjoyable. Our guide was very knowledgeable and every

evening before dinner shared information about what we would do & see the

next day.

After a morning game run again, we were on the way to Ngorongoro Crater. On

the way we stopped at Olduvai-area opened by the Leakeys where primitive man

was found. Given a talk by an associate that was interesting. Ngorongoro

Crater is the location of a large migration of Wildebeest & Zebra and we

drove in the middle of it. We had game runs every morning & afternoon.

The last stop on the Safari was to Lake Maynara. This is a lush, green area

compared to the dryness of Ngorongoro. Again many animals & birds.

From Lake Maynara, we drove to Kilimanjaro Airport in Arusha for a short

flight to Mombasa to meet the Pacific Princess.

Embarkation was smooth &

painless and I was glad to see my other suitcase in my cabin on arrival.

Have been on Pacific Princess several times and unfortunately she is showing her age.

The cruise was a nice place to recover from the busyness of the safari since

we had several days at sea.

Because of the problems in Zanzibar that port was

canceled and an extra day added in Male, Seychelles.

Unfortunately the extra day was a Sunday so even though Princess arranged

shuttles to take us into town, everything was closed. At least we got to walk

around a bit before going back to the ship. The next day we had a tour of

Male that was OK. There isn't that much there but they did the best they

could.

After 3 days at sea we stopped at Mahe, Maldives Islands. It is so small

there are no optional tours. You just go in & walk around. It was a holiday

so most tourist sights were closed.

Two more days at sea and a stop in Cochin, India. India is hot, dirty, smelly

and culturally hard for Americans. It is a very poor country and beggars are

everywhere.

Our final stop was in Bombay for the day until time to go to the airport for

the long flight home. With all the extreme poverty in India, the hotel was

incredible opulent. Unfortunately it was located in an area where there was

no place to go. Took a nap since our plane didn't leave until 3:25 AM.

Overall, I'm so glad I took the trip. The Safari was amazing and all I hoped

it would be. Since I love cruising, I enjoyed being on the water but the

ports were disappointing and the ship was nice but old, food OK but not as

good as it had been in the past.

In spite of all that, I recommend the trip. Princess does a classy job of

cruise/tours (I've used them for Alaska Cruise/Tour) and Micato Safaris was

terrific.

normabm@aol.com

March 2001

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