Review of the Ocean Princess
February 2011-- Singapore to Shanghai
We took this cruise, as did everyone we spoke to, because of the itinerary --a truly great itinerary that takes in many of the great cities of Asia and other places as well.
And the itinerary truly is great.
This is a pretty small ship -- about 30,000 tons, and not new. Nonetheless it is well kept and charming in it's own way with dark woods and nice touches.
Crew -- by and large the crew is great. I know that some have argued that since the advent of automatic-deduct-from-your-credit-card tipping, service on cruise ships has declined. I will say however, that this ship had some of the best wait staff, and cabin staff we've ever encountered on over the dozen cruises that we've taken. The tour person and the port speaker were also very friendly and very good to deal with.
An exception to this good crew were the front office women at the main desk. We found them to be unfriendly and generally not helpful. This is an opinion shared by others on the cruise as well. I cannot imagine why a cruise company which hired such friendly and helpful people on other parts of the ship, would fail to address this issue.
Food in the dining room generally was a cut above the norm (although not at the 9th deck buffets) and very good in specialty restaurants (for an additional charge).
Entertainment was fine for a small ship--singers, dancers, comedians, etc. Not fabulous, but good enough.
It is worth mentioning at this point, and you probably know it, the the average age is pretty high on this ship-- I think most people over 65. That's not surprising since it is fairly expensive and takes a lot of time---neither of these factors generally available to young people. Having said that, the entertainment is pretty geared to that age group and I thought the entertainment generally popular.
The real stars of this cruise are the ports of call. Fabulous and interesting to visit, and the excursions cover many of the places you'd want to go.
Overall, despite some flaws, this cruise is extremely enjoyable and I strongly recommend it--and rate it 4.5 of 5 stars.