We are in our 50's and have had the opportunity to cruise a half dozen times before this trip. We looked forward to the experience of seeing Hawaii and Tahiti and sailing with Princess for the very first time.
We choose to take Princess air arrangements and arrived at about 3PM Honolulu time and were taken from the airport to the ship. Embarkation went very smoothly and we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. This was among the best embarkations that we had experienced in all our cruises.
Upon entering the ship we were not greeted by any crew but we found our way to our cabin on deck 7. There, we were greeted by our cabin steward. Marian was friendly and always courteous. Our cabin was well appointed, compact with a balcony which we used each and every day. I would highly recommend a balcony for a similar cruise. The shower was small but adequate. The food in the Panorama Buffet was very good and included hot selections, salads, fruit and deserts. We especially enjoyed the thin crusted specialty pizzas served in the afternoon. At dinner, we only ate in the Club Restaurant and opted not to go to the specialty restaurants. The food started out less than satisfactory for the first two sittings but improved after that. Our waiter and assistant waiter were excellent and added to our dining enjoyment.
The three production shows were well done along with the local folklore shows in Hawaii and Raiatea. We also enjoyed the group Elua who entertained us at the pool and again up in the Lounge in the evening. The remaining entertainment was not up to par in my opinion.
We chose to make our own travel arrangements while in Hawaii but purchased Princess tours on three of the four islands in Tahiti. They were a little pricey but no more than any other cruises we had traveled with in the past.
Overall, the ship was one of the smallest ships which we had sailed upon (only Royal Caribbean's Sun Viking was smaller) the result being we did experience movement in the open sea. This did not pose a problem for us but it did for others not used to it. This is one point to consider in booking this size of ship. Another perhaps negative item was the limited number of public areas onboard. For example a surprise to us was the number of children on board for this cruise. The ship did not have a room set out especially for the youth so they used the card room onboard.
Well how about some positives. Seeing there were only 680 passengers on board it became easy to identify other fellow cruisers and offer a friendly hello in passing. Another plus was the ship never felt full even though we were told it was at capacity. There were always several tables at the Panorama Buffet available, a recliner by the pool even on the days at sea and we seldom had to line up for anything except the odd tender. The ship is well appointed and finished in dark wood tones that give it a warm rich appeal. We loved the central staircase and the library on deck 10.
Would we travel on the Tahitian Princess or a similar ship again .... yes we would. We liked the size of the ship and the lack of crowds.
Oh by the way. It appears that this cruise is the cruise for honeymooners. We heard there were 30 newlyweds on board for this sailing.