By Maria Harding, Cruise Critic contributor; updated by Ashley Kosciolek, Associate Editor
After a brief excursion into the fleet of sister brand P&O Cruises (where it was known as Adonia), Sea Princess reverted to its original name, rejoined her original brand and is sailing varied itineraries -- including Australia/New Zealand, Hawaii and even a world cruise -- from its homeport of Sydney.
The ship, launched in 1998, is mid-sized and offers traditional features that make it a good choice for cruise travelers who want to feel like they're onboard an oceangoing vessel rather than a theme park at sea.
True, Sea Princess needs a bit of cosmetic work in parts -- particularly its exterior, which is starting to show significant signs of rust -- but it's due for a 10-day dry dock in Singapore in 2015. (The line hasn't announced what, specifically, will be done to spruce up the ship.) It also received new upholstery, carpets and bedding in minor refurbs in 2009 and 2012.
But even without a lick of paint being applied, it's a cozy, welcoming, lovely ship whose atrium area and Vista Lounge are among the most attractive at sea.
Sea Princess Fellow Passengers
Because Sea Princess sails primarily from Sydney, most of its passengers are Australian with a mix of those hailing from New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. You'll find plenty of young families on shorter sailings, but the passenger base on longer itineraries generally comprises those in the 55- to 70-year-old range.
Sea Princess Dress Code
This is a somewhat casual ship; even on formal nights, smart suits with ties are as acceptable as dinner jackets, and passengers who dislike dressing up can dine casually at Cafe Corniche or the Horizon Court buffet.
Even there, though (and quite rightly), a reasonable degree of smartness is expected; slacks and polo shirts are fine, but T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops should be confined the daytime out on deck.
Sea Princess Gratuity
Gratuities, which are automatically charged to onboard accounts, are $11.50 per person (including children), per day, for passengers staying in standard accommodations and $12 for passengers staying in mini-suites and suites. A 15 percent gratuity is added to beverage purchases onboard, including wine at dinner. Spa and casino staff members do not share in the gratuity charges -- if you use these services, tips are advised. Note: Prices for things such as spa services and alcoholic beverages are listed in Australian dollars, the official onboard currency. We noted that prices for wine and mixed drinks range from $7 to 11 AUD, and alcohol-free mocktails will set you back $4.50 AUD. Milkshakes are available from any bar for $3 (U.S.).
October 2014 Parisgirl 07
We took this cruise a little over a month ago and I have waited until now so that I can in hindsight give a balanced review. We have cruised several times previously with other lines as well as Princess. None of our Princess cruises have been ...continue
We decided to try a cruise as it was my husbands 70th birthday this year. We did a lot of research reading as many comments as we could find. After much discussion we decided to take the plunge and booked our 14 night cruise for New Zealand. The ...continue
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This was a new experience for us after 14 previous Princess cruises. This was a departure from what we were use to on the North American, South American, Asian and European cruises. The itinerary was great but the food, service and attitude of ...continue