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4 Beijing to Trans-Ocean Cruise Reviews

Great itinerary sailing from Tianjin to Melbourne however the overall cruise experience was poor. Much of the entertainment was in the Piazza which was too small to view the action plus the noise generated made it impossible to deal ... Read More
Great itinerary sailing from Tianjin to Melbourne however the overall cruise experience was poor. Much of the entertainment was in the Piazza which was too small to view the action plus the noise generated made it impossible to deal with the pursers office. Entertainment in the Piazza that I could see was quite good. The production shows were also good and a significant improvement on a previous Princess cruise. There were a couple of good shows in the theatre but the rest were mostly average with a couple being poor. Around the ship a great pianist A J Clarke boarded in Osaka replacing a pianist was VERY ordinary. AJ was fantastic. The initial houseband was great however they disembarked in Hongkong and the replacement tried hard but were only average. During the day the staples of Bingo and Trivia were offered most days however over 28 days this became tedious. Apart from 1 day entertainment was not offered during the day other than in the Piazza and this was a real oversight. The cruise directors team did try hard and Victoria's effort with the choir was outstanding whilst Ken and Raven's efforts in particular were also great. The Cruise director Tim however did very little to make this a good cruise with his jokes being tired. The restaurant food in general was average. The buffet food was also only average. On a number of days I struggled to find anything that I fancied eating in the buffet. On an upside the service staff were cheery and their service was good. The cabin breakfast was poor with mistakes being often made between what was ordered and delivered. The fact that unlike on other ships we had cruised on Hot Chocolate was not generally available was also a downside Compared with other ships we found our balcony cabin to be small. Our Cabin Steward was however exemplary. The TV system used in the cabin was OLD with a very limited range of channels and no ability to check program details etc or to see details of daily onboard activities. We were pleasantly surprised at the drink prices other than the bottled wines where the prices were very high. The boat presented well however its lack of use of technology onboard was a lowlight particularly as it necessitated taking 30 minutes to remediate an incorrect charge which would not have occurred with better technology. One other issue was that a number of the whirlpools did not operate properly. We did not do any shore excursions particularly due to their very high price . Overall we believed that other cruise lines we have used provided a better experience Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because of its suitability for our plans; ie we wanted to spend time in Beijing (seeing the Great Wall etc etc) and the Cruise Itinerary would see us right home (through Japan, Taipei, Bali etc) to Melbourne. That it ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its suitability for our plans; ie we wanted to spend time in Beijing (seeing the Great Wall etc etc) and the Cruise Itinerary would see us right home (through Japan, Taipei, Bali etc) to Melbourne. That it did, and while there were many nice things happening on board-some good singers and dancers, a 'second-to-none' crossing of the equator ceremony, some good food and some excellent service (breakfast room upstairs). There were some really good activities such as golf putting and lawn bowls (on a beautiful upstairs green), not-to-mention glorious 'peaceful areas' (such as The Sanctuary)and lovely small pools and spas. Yet much of this ship's operation, these days is slipshod and drastically in need of improvement. A lot of this seems to be because of cost cutting- 'cut the cost, cut the quality.'. For a start, communication in the ship needs to be improved from the top down, starting with 'Princess Patter', the ship's bulletin, which needs to be radically altered to provide necessary information for passengers rather than promote the ship's personnel. There is a dearth of good English, from the Ship's Desk, through to coffee servers etc etc, adding to unnecessary passenger frustration. Intellectually, the ship currently is a disaster, with a poor (almost non-existent) library and none of the stimulating lectures that we saw on the Noordam last year, for instance. A number of On Shore Tours took too long to get off the ship, meaning tours were rushed (and sometimes late back). Some were also far too expensive, with guides whose English and organistational skills were deficient. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Entertainment was non-existent, two nights out of the whole cruise was good as for the rest forget it. The Cruise Director Tim is shameful really and should get together for the sake of Princess, passengers will drift away to another ... Read More
Entertainment was non-existent, two nights out of the whole cruise was good as for the rest forget it. The Cruise Director Tim is shameful really and should get together for the sake of Princess, passengers will drift away to another cruise line. Food in the dining room was repetitive, lacking taste, no sauces or gravies very dry. The salmon I ordered was so overcooked dry and horrible. We ordered beef tenderloins one night I believe hundreds of people didnt eat the meal it was like stewing steak, again lacking gravy or a sauce. The Curtis Stone specials were Seafood Stew, Pork Belly and Chicken and Leek pie they were just repeated night night after night. The taste of these three dishes leave a lot to be desired. I ordered the chicken and leek pie twice both times there were small chicken bones!!!. The wait staff were incredible, excellent service and do everything to please. I felt sorry for the waiters because people complained to them, it is not their fault after all, mind you the Maitre D in the Caneletto Dining Room didnt want to know he was rude and unwilling to assist when there was a major problem he was nowhere to be seen. Duty Free liquor Day 2 there was no alcohol available for passengers to purchase, at the start of the cruise there was three yes three bottles of gin for purchase one passenger purchased the three. Apparently alcohol was coming on the ship in Brisbane, great we got off in Brisbane so no Duty Free for passengers disembarking. The ports we visited were great an experience and makes one realise how lucky we are to live in Australia. We and many others were very disappointed with Golden Princess, in fact I can longer recommend Princess Cruises to others which I have always done in the past. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We had great expectations of this cruise as we had not visited this part of the world before. The itinerary suited us as the ship sailed to Melbourne, our home town, so we only had to deal with one long flight. First off the ... Read More
We had great expectations of this cruise as we had not visited this part of the world before. The itinerary suited us as the ship sailed to Melbourne, our home town, so we only had to deal with one long flight. First off the positives: We had an ocean view cabin midship on deck 5. The ride was extremely smooth and the cabin was pretty well insulated against outside noise, although we could hear people coughing in the cabin next door (more about that later). The bed would have to be the most comfortable one we have ever slept in, The mattress and pillows were to die for. The staff were quite friendly and willing to help where and when they could. Now the negatives: While the bed was comfortable, the air conditioning was non existent. We were sailing through the tropics and the temperatures were quite high and the humidity was pretty high as well. We advised the front desk that the aircon was not working very well and they said they would someone to look at it, the next day we were told that the problem had been rectified, however it was no better that before we complained about it. I can only echo what other people have already said about the ship. The entertainment was terrible, the scene was set on the second night when the highlight act was a pair of harmonica players, who in their right mind would book harmonica players as a main act. Another poor act was a Chinese cultural group, these guys were obviously a local amateur community group, not what you would expect to find on a cruise liner. Other acts around the ship were mediocre to poor, one outstanding act however was a group called Playlist (I think), these guys played a wide variety of music, and played it well, something that can't be said for most of the other acts. The ship itself is in need of serious maintenance, There were many instances of leaking roofs, even the main dining room roof was leaking at one stage. The two hot tubs at the rear of the ship were out of action for at least the first 10 days of the cruise. Other hot tubs around the ship were being taken out of service at various times, as was the main pool.Others have mentioned the sewage like stench on deck 7 near the Vista Lounge, it seemed to be worse in the evenings. All of this was bad enough, but we had to deal with what I can only describe as an outbreak of influenza. I know it was influenza as my wife was hospitalised and diagnosed with Type A Influenza in the second week of the cruise. There appeared to be no measures taken by the crew to contain the outbreak, the handwashing stations in the Horizon Court were poorly monitored, at times there was no crew member in attendance. We have only cruised 4 times, but this would without a doubt be the worts cruise experience we've had. I doubt we would sail Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016

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