Sun Princess Cruise Review by Peter Lea: Don't waste your money on Sun Princess

Sun Princess 2
Peter Lea

Overall Member Rating

Don't waste your money on Sun Princess

Sail Date: August 2009
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Embarkation: Other

This was our fifth Princess cruise and it will be our last. Previously we have cruised out of the US, Europe and England and Asia and Princess Cruises maintained a very high standard on all ships.

Sun Princess is the oldest of their 17 ships and is in need of a major refurbishment and maintenance. In our cabin, the window was rusted out in part and rust was evident throughout the ship.

Princess Cruises seemed to want to cater "down" to the Ozzie level - typical dress in the dining room and buffet consisted of blue builders' labourers singlets(vests), shorts and rubber flip-flops or sneakers. On a dress-up night, one passengers wore his Murwillumbah (New South Wales) bus company drivers' jacket complete with bus company logo and telephone number on the back to dinner.

At one port, one very, very old Ozzy turned to his wife and asked if she had her pensioner card and Medicare (national insurance) card with her "because they will probably be needed in this More new country". They honestly thought they were visiting another country rather than another port in Australia.

Princess Cruises was also up to its "rip-off" tricks - for example - charging $7 per person each way for a bus trip from Broome to Cable Beach in Western Australia, when the local bus company operated a more frequent service at $3.50 per person each way. And if you held an Australian seniors card, the fare was $1.50 per person each way and if you were a Western Australian citizen, there was no charge.

We are Ozzies, but we cringed at the behoviour of these senior Australian yobboes and at 66 years of age, were among the 10 per cent youngest on board.

Finally, we bought our cruise tickets out of the UK at 55% saving on the "price fixed" Australian rate.

What a shame Princess Cruises has fallen into the trap that P&O suffered - putting their oldest ships into Australia and lowering their standards. Less

Published 09/20/09

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Cabin review: CAA217

We chose our cabin carefully for value for money. Cabin A217 was next to the balcony cabins on A deck (deck 11) and had the same interior space as a balcony cabin if the balcony area is included. The only difference is that we had a large picture window rather than balcony and therefore had more room in the actual cabin than those who had paid substantially more for a balcony or min-suite cabins. The barthroom however was smaller than those on other Princess ships we have travelled on - Caribbean, Sapphire, Star and Grand - and I had to sit on the loo with the door open. The wardrobe area was much better designed than on other Princess ships we have been on.

Port and Shore Excursions

We visited eight Australian ports - Geraldton, Exzmouth and Broome in Western Australia, Darwin, Cooktown, Cairns and Brisbane in Queensland before completing the cruise in Sydney.

Don't waste your time visiting any of the Western Australian ports, although a visit to Perth and Fremantle is necessary if you are travelling to Australia.

We have visited all eastern seaboard port many times, but our favourite remains Brisbane because it is clean, fresh and modern.

Read 123 Brisbane Reviews

Cairns is also an excellent stopping off point for the Great Barrier Reef and some nearby island, the rainforest region and the nearby tablelands.

Read 72 Cairns Reviews

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Peter Lea
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