It was a nice little getaway. The ship was nice, a big improvement over the Pacific Star which was the last ex-Brisbane cruise we took but not even close to the Coral Princess from last year! Our main purpose was to celebrate my husband's birthday, get me to Platinum status and get FCCs for the 2014 Mediterranean cruise.
I booked the cheapest inside available GTY which was a K and we were first upgraded to an I, then a few days before the cruise to a BC!
I couldn't believe the price of the drinks! The "specials" were $10.95! And yet I saw so many people buying multiple rounds of drinks at the pool, I wonder if they had heart attacks when they got the bill?
There was a nice variety of activities for the full sea day. Something for everyone-trivia, dance classes, horse racing, Bingo, pool games, etc........
There is no reason why they shouldn't have Anytime Dining. We were in the Regency DR at a table for 4 with a nice couple, it worked out OK for a short cruise but for a long cruise with port days it would be too constraining. I wouldn't choose a ship with no Anytime Dining for a future cruise.
Best dishes: Fettucine in Parmesan bowl, Cornflake French Toast, Eggs Benedict, Grand Marnier Souffle, Cold fruity "soups".
FCCs are easy to purchase, we got USD ones since I had booked on Princess USA. You can choose which currency you want to use. My Captain's Circle has already been upgraded to Platinum!
You can get cash withdrawals at the casino on your shipboard account with no surcharge. I did play one pokie only because it had macaws and hibiscus flowers on it but gave up when I had lost $5.
The comedian wasn't very funny. We loved the British Invasion show!
There was no popcorn service during the 9:45 pm showing of The Artist, no one even came around offering drinks or blankets or anything. The buffet main courses were good but not much variety in desserts. There is free lemonade and iced tea in Horizon Court. One major disappointment is that pizza is only available at a sit-down restaurant after 6pm, whereas on the Coral it is available next to the grill by the pool. I was able to bring some cookies off in Sydney. I declared them and Customs was just worried about fruits and veggies.
My husband got nice attention for his birthday, balloons on the stateroom door, card from the crew, card signed by the captain at dinner and the small cake.
Overall, the service wasn't nearly as good as the Coral, don't know if this is typical for a 2 day repo.
One thing is clear, Princess needs to stop the "passport discrimination". If it's an Aussie ship sailing in Aussie waters, then price it in AUD and let other currencies be converted on the day of purchase at the rate of the day. Or price it in USD to everyone, just start treating everyone the same.
I was wondering why Princess had to dock at Barangaroo and that other ship "The World" was docked at Circular Quay? I never heard of that ship, where is it from? I wish we had docked there, it would have been much more convenient. We spent a nice day at Taronga Zoo, then flew back that afternoon to Brissie.