My wife and myself travelled on Sun Princess for the second time departing Fremantle July 19th,2009. The cruise was originally to stop in Bali, but due the bombings in Jakarta was diverted to Kota Kinabalu ( this was acceptable as the safety of passengers is paramount ). The visit to Kota Kinabalu did not eventuate as we had encountered bad weather for one night leaving Fremantle and this alledgedly put us behind schedule. We weren't advused of the change until the day we were due to dock and we were already sailing on a course to the west of Borneo. We were given Vung Tua as an alternative for half a day, but this was a very poor substitute. We were looking forward to leaving Vung Tua to sail up the Mekong in the daylight, but the ship had problems and we didn't until after dark. The official explanation was vibrations in a shaft, but it was obvious to everyone apart from the captain that we had run aground under the guidance of the pilot. When a ship comes to a shuddering halt and mud and rubbish spews from the stern near the screws you have run aground.
Embarkation at most ports was a disaster, at Port Kelang the gangway had been positioned and about half an hour later we had to stop embarkation as the gangway was too steep, again we were told the tide had come in, one would think they had been doing this long enough to know about tides. The dress requirements at dinner were a joke if you state long trousers are required then if someone turns up in shorts throw them out. One yobbo turned into a formal dress night dressed in a black T shirt with a dinner suit painted on and allowed entry. The captains welcome was a terrible show we didn't see a waiter to obtain a glass for champagne, apparently all used for the waterfall, other drinks were non-existent and when requested we were told more a coming, but they never arrived. The captain was hardly sighted as opposed to a previous cruise when the captain was always up and about and joined a number of tables for dinner. This may have been because he was accompanied by his wife and daughter on this cruise. The Port of Geraldton was continually made the brunt of bad jokes, both by entertainers, the captain and cruise director. Geraldton was the best organised port we travelled to, the tourist bureau had organised a free bus to the HMAS Sydney memorial, Princess cruises charged $20.00 return, passengers weren't advised by Princess of the free bus even though they were aware of its existence. We had three cabin stewards in the 21 days we were aboard, no explanation given. The bar stewards on level five and six were exceptional and we noticed that the standard of service had dropped markedly since a cruise on Sun Princess in 2008,partiuclarly in the dining area, perhaps something to do with the captain. We certainly wont be travelling Princess lines again for a long time, if ever.