Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this trip primarily as on opportunity to visit northern Australia (Darwin, Broome, Geraldton) in a cost effective manner and reasonable time frame. P&O and Princess Cruises (& probably all lines) have embarkation and ... Read More
We chose this trip primarily as on opportunity to visit northern Australia (Darwin, Broome, Geraldton) in a cost effective manner and reasonable time frame. P&O and Princess Cruises (& probably all lines) have embarkation and disembarkation down to a fine art. Having had a long career in logistics I marvelled at the smoothness of disembarking 2000 passengers and embarking the same number, cleaning all cabins, replenishing stores, doing necessary maintenance etc within the space of 8 hours. Of course there are crowds and some confusion as everyone mills around, but once one is in the right queue it is a very efficient process. Given the number of passengers ships carry (1600-3500) delays are very reasonable. Once aboard finding your way around is similar to any large hotel, except the ships provide maps. As a generalisation cabins are smaller than hotel rooms, but are well designed and more the adequate for two people. (I shudder to think of 4 persons sharing the space though!) There is an enormous range of activities and entertainment provided. Generally everyone can find something to suit their requirements. On the Sun Princess the main theatre is totally inadequate, with people arriving an hour or more prior to starting times in order to secure a seat. Overall crew service was excellent, but needs some work for those with special dietary needs. It was very hard to fault any of the staff for efficiency, friendliness and pleasant politeness. Based on our experience some of the port excursions need some work. Adequate communication with providers and the shipping line is lacking. It seems that the line designs the tours and hands an itinerary to the drivers on the day who have to try and make it work. Items are not necessarily in a logical sequence, are inappropriate streets are nominated, resulting in confusion and going around in circles. On this cruise I recommend pre-booking the ship's excursions. Pre-booking is cheaper than booking on board; many excursions were fully booked well in advance of the sailing date; it is soooooo much easier getting off the ship, time saving and I did not notice many (if any) tour operators lining up to tout for business. (Quite different to the South Pacific cruises). The ship appeared to have commandeered most of the available buses/tours etc. The two disappointing ports were Alotau (PNG) and Darwin. A few old mini buses and utilities appeared to be available for hire, but in the main the ship had booked all that was available. We went to the Cultural Festival and found it quite disappointing. Alotau is a small third world town is not geared to handle 2,000 visitors. The positives were a presumed boost to their economy, and by being an "international" cruise the ship could open its casino and passengers could purchase tax free. And it enables a lower fare. Arriving in Darwin at 2:00pm on a Sunday is quite ridiculous, especially as the few shops that open on Sunday close at 3:00pm, which was prior to the first passengers disembarking. Again, even there I did not observe any independent tour operators waiting. Prior to booking the ship's excursions I checked independent prices and found the ship's markups around $20 - $25. In my opinion that is worth avoiding the hastels of making your own arrangements, guaranteed a reliable operator, and very importantly guaranteed to get aboard if the ship's operator is late - as happened with our first tour. I observed at least 8 tours arriving well after the close of boarding time at various ports. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Friends were going on it. i wanted to see Fiji. I love cruising I think it is the best way to get around as we age. But I also think that the cruise lines are lowering their standards. i have been on the Sun princess 3 times and things ... Read More
Friends were going on it. i wanted to see Fiji. I love cruising I think it is the best way to get around as we age. But I also think that the cruise lines are lowering their standards. i have been on the Sun princess 3 times and things have changed, no more free ice creams and if you are a family that ads up. no free water $3.50 per bottle is steep. They don't have salmon and prawns much any more i remember the first time we had those at 11.30 pm after the shows my husband always had some more soup as he loved their soups now they close at 11 pm. so if you want a cuppa you have to pay for it yet you can get a free cake does not add up.they have also moved the carpet bowls in to the casino what a silly place for it was much more fun on deck 5.There should also be a games room instead of playing games in the library it is way too noisy to read a book when people are playing games.there is also not enough seating around the ship they have taken away the seating on deck 7 and put a Sushi bar there and there were hardly any customers during the 14 day cruise mainly staff. So many older people were on the Sun but finding a nice chairs that is comfy is hard to come by. But i still love the Sun and I would travel on her again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
The day finally arrived the12th April 2018 this is the Cruise where I came a Elite Captain Circle member , I have always found with Princess Cruises that does not matter if you had 800 sail days or 0 sail days ALL the staff on ... Read More
The day finally arrived the12th April 2018 this is the Cruise where I came a Elite Captain Circle member , I have always found with Princess Cruises that does not matter if you had 800 sail days or 0 sail days ALL the staff on ALL their Ships treated you as Royalty. The Sun Princess is like a Home away from Home. The Stateroom that I was in on Caribe 734 which had a small balcony that was ok for me as I was sailing by myself , the rest of stateroom had plenty of room and the Queen size bed was very comfortable especially with the 1000 thread cotton sheets & my Cabin Steward looked after me very well. I took the set time Dinning option (5.15pm) @ the Marquis Dinning room good service and great food. The Entertainment was a great mix with Show Productions by the Singers & Dancers the First show was called "Bravo" with guest (opera singer) Emily Garth and Baritone Javier Villarino ALL I CAN SAY "BRAVO" the other guests performers were Pearson & Harvey, Marcus Winter(Sandman), Steve Larkins( a tribute to the group Queen) ,Simon McKinney (NZ Comedian),Claude -Eric (Singer),Jason Ryder(Comedian) and Bradley Macaw (Pianist/ Singer) All these Artists were Excellent. The Cruise Director staff did a great job either keep us fit like Dan did in the Zumba classes or doing Carpet Bowls there was plenty of things to do or you just relax by the pool. All the service across the Ship was A1 . The Tours which were available catered for ALL needs the tours I picked I was very happy with so happy I was with this cruise that am sailing again in September 27th 2018 on the 14 Day cruise on the Majestic Princess, so Happy Sailing to all. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
The outdated swirly carpet that I initially saw upon embarkation didn’t bother me. The chipped paint in the lift upon entering the first elevator didn’t bother me. In fact the pube that we found on the pillow upon entering our ... Read More
The outdated swirly carpet that I initially saw upon embarkation didn’t bother me. The chipped paint in the lift upon entering the first elevator didn’t bother me. In fact the pube that we found on the pillow upon entering our room didn’t even bother me - we actually thought it was funny and affectionately name him ‘Pete The Pube.’ What did bother me though? The gut wrenching smell of mould and, even worse, sewerage, particularly on the lower floors of this ship! My friends were on Emerald deck and there were buckets along the corridor catching drips of who knows what leaking everywhere - it was gross and disgusting! Thankfully I was high up on Aloha deck. I’ve been on many cruises in my time and this ship was in the worst state I’ve ever seen... I only spent 4 nights on her, but I could not have stayed another night! 300 passengers embarked for the last 4 nights of a full New Zealand Cruise heading back to Sydney. We were excited and were ready to party... only to be told that the nightclub would be closed by 11pm and that was then end of our fun for the night - which is sub standard from the many cruises I’ve taken. There were constant leaks on the top decks as well, which were unsafe, you had to be really careful. I couldn’t believe that once I disembarked in Sydney this ship was on its way through the Pacific and on its way up to Hawaii... it really needs to go straight to a ship yard and taken to bits for parts! The crew tried their best, but they know they’re on a sinking ship...all I can say is BUYER BEWARE! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We have been on the Sun Princess before and although getting on in years it had been refurbished in parts and is just delightful.The staff as always were helpful and friendly.The entertainment was just fabulous and the singers and dancers ... Read More
We have been on the Sun Princess before and although getting on in years it had been refurbished in parts and is just delightful.The staff as always were helpful and friendly.The entertainment was just fabulous and the singers and dancers got a standing ovation most nights.Dining options were good although the steakhouse menu and situation on the ship was not appealing so we did not go there this voyage.The excursions were very,very expensive and so much cheaper if you got off and booked at the pier in each port.Never sure why they insist on charging $25 for each photo taken during the voyage-charge less and sell twice as much! The main dining room meals and service were excellent although a very limited wine menu.The international cafe had 24 hour fresh pastry and amazing sweet treats.Getting on and off the ship was painless.The cabin steward ensured our cabin was always clean and the chocolates each night were a lovely touch. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our first cruise with Princess after being loyal to another cruise line and we were very pleasantly surprised. Our cabin was quite charming and had lovely decor with dark wood trim on ivory walls. The hallways were more ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Princess after being loyal to another cruise line and we were very pleasantly surprised. Our cabin was quite charming and had lovely decor with dark wood trim on ivory walls. The hallways were more attractive, too. There seemed to be more staff in the dining room. We did not find the menu selection to be as good but did appreciate the fact that the food wasn't too salty. We really enjoyed our meals at Share and the Sterling Steakhouse. It was great to see the strict enforcement of hand hygiene when entering Horizon Court. You could not just use the alcohol hand wash - they made you use the sinks. We loved all the music around the ship. It was lovely to sit in the Atrium, International Cafe or other nearby areas and hear the piano player. The evening production shows were excellent. We were disappointed that we could never get to the early show because we would not be finished our dinner in time. By 40 minutes before show time, there were no seats left in the theatre. We really enjoyed dancing in the Wheelhouse bar to the music of The Great Escape Duo nearly every night. Too bad there weren't more dancers on board! We selected Princess because we heard that there are more dancing opportunities and this is very important to us when we cruise. We loved the ballroom dance with the stage band and the Rock N Roll night in the Vista Lounge. There seemed to be quite a few activities available during the day, ranging from trivia to dance lessons and choir. We liked Doc & Raina teaching us some of the Maori language as well as the Haka dance. Colin O'Mara-Green gave an awesome lecture about space and we would have loved to hear more from him. Andrew seemed like a good cruise director - very visible and enthusiastic. We were extremely fortunate to be able to make all our ports on this cruise. Disembarkation was extremely slow at Dunedin due to a problem with one of the ramps. We waited in line for 50 minutes and nearly missed our tour. The tendering process was very well organized and smooth. At the end, the captain had to change course to avoid a major storm which caused a 6 hour delay arriving back in Sydney. Fortunately, this did not affect our travel plans. Princess, please stop wasting paper on all those flyers for jewelry, spa sessions and art - they go straight to the garbage. We were surprised to see such a huge photography section and prices so sky high. Seems to us this space could be better used for something else (?another cafe/bar). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Our 13 day accommodations on the "Beautiful" Sun Princess, as we cruised around New Zealand tarted like this! The balcony was covered in rust, and the whole room smelled very unclean and musty. We felt like we were on a barge, ... Read More
Our 13 day accommodations on the "Beautiful" Sun Princess, as we cruised around New Zealand tarted like this! The balcony was covered in rust, and the whole room smelled very unclean and musty. We felt like we were on a barge, rather than a (so called) "luxury cruise liner!" After complaining to several people, they painted over the rust and cleaned the carpets and also cleaned the mould off the ceiling sprinkler. The room smelled cleaner and since the ship was fully booked we accepted the situation. Aside from this, from day one there was also a very strong and very unpleasant sewage smell all around the ship, which we brought to the attention of Customer service as well. We were told that they were aware of it, and it was being addressed. The smell continued for the entire 13 days! We also brought this concern to the attention of the Chief Engineer as well as the Captain himself and were given apologies but nothing was rectified. As for the rest, we found the food adequate as was the entertainment. This was our 11th. Cruise with Princess, so needless to say were shocked to find such a decline in our overall experience. Since returning home I have written these concerns and observations to Ms. J. Swartz, President of Princess Cruise Lines, and sent copies to their Customer service dept. as well as Ms. L. Black, manager, customer relations, and heard nothing so far. How can a company as large as "Princess" allow this ship, and probably others as well, to continue cruising around the globe under these deplorable conditions? Shame on you for still taking our money and subjecting us to anything less than what we deserve and dearly pay for! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
The most important reasons we chose this itinerary were: 1) see & cruise Fiordland Nat'l Park & Milford Sound, 2) traverse the Southern Alps of NZ, & 3) visit a Maori village to experience the culture, meals, traditions, etc. ... Read More
The most important reasons we chose this itinerary were: 1) see & cruise Fiordland Nat'l Park & Milford Sound, 2) traverse the Southern Alps of NZ, & 3) visit a Maori village to experience the culture, meals, traditions, etc. of the NZ islands. We got to see only #3 because bad weather cancelled going to the ports servicing Fiordland and the Southern Alps. All the other ports were just added fluff to us with interesting wine tours in NZ that helped us forget our disappointments, but only briefly. The Sterling Steakhouse on this ship was also a BIG disappointment. It is not even a dedicated restaurant anymore....just a section of Lido Deck's Horizon Court buffet dining room partitioned off with screens. You can still hear all the kitchen noises of Horizon Court & you can hear all the conversations (including screaming & misbehaving children) of Horizon. These conditions make the "luxury" dining experience that used to be Sterling Steakhouse a total farce, and Princess still has the audacity to charge $29 per person to experience it. A total rip-off. As for the new "Share by Curtis Stone" dining experience that charges even more per person, one look at that menu tells you nothing is appetizing & there are only tasting portions, not real food items for a good meal. Our mini-suite stateroom was not stocked as it should've been upon our arrival because the steward was re-assigned to another job at the last minute, and his replacement was told the room was completely ready. When we discovered several problems with the cabin, we had to contact the new steward several times as we discovered the problems. He was very prompt & helpful, so we forgave the mistakes of which he was not made aware. The Anytime Dining was as expected & operated very smoothly, the food was excellent & served properly, but the specialty sushi restaurant (extra charges) seemed too pricey (they charge by the piece, not a flat charge), so we skipped the sushi restaurant. For my money, stick with Anytime Dining because the lamb chops served in that dining room were better than the ones served at Sterling. We also met 1 passenger from Australia who said this was his 4th cruise on Princess to try to see Fiordland & Milford Sound, and he has YET to see them after this cruise. We advised him to do like we plan to do in a future year: fly to NZ, rent a car & do a car trip of both islands to spend more time in the areas we missed & see both attractions on days with good weather. The new Luxury Bed was a little underwhelming for me after having seen all the Princess hype for the past 2 years over the new beds themselves. For my money, Marriott still has a better bed than Princess. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
never been on one thought this cruise closer to my land if i didnt like it but love it so much didnt want to leave the staff were wonderful the food was so out of it bingo was fun shopping good all people so friendly the trips into cities ... Read More
never been on one thought this cruise closer to my land if i didnt like it but love it so much didnt want to leave the staff were wonderful the food was so out of it bingo was fun shopping good all people so friendly the trips into cities were so organised in other words i be back love it from when i got on till i got off entertainment on ship was awesome the bars were so awewome and bar staff so welcoming and friendly even when having meals in restaurant evryone was just so obliging and helpful the steakhouse was my best so out of it and the bands and entertainer were also the best the rrom serive and the stateroom servant was just so nice and very helpful could bring him home to my house as a maid if we didnt have it he got it for us to be honest the whole ship was amazing from getting on to getting off in 13 days i be back again today Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Cruise booked in Dec.2016 .A bit apprehensive about going on the Sun with the recent cases of Noro Virus but we decided to go ahead & take our chances. We were notified the day before departure that the Sun was being sanitized (again) ... Read More
Cruise booked in Dec.2016 .A bit apprehensive about going on the Sun with the recent cases of Noro Virus but we decided to go ahead & take our chances. We were notified the day before departure that the Sun was being sanitized (again) as well as White Bay our boarding time was delayed till 5pm... We thank Princess for notifying us well in advance .Embarkation went smoothly We waited approx. 1 hr before we could get into our cabin so a quick cuppa & cake @ Horizon Court was just the ticket .We didnt get underway til 8pm but that didnt matter, the Sydney Skyline lit up & the cruise under the Harbour Bridge was superb & we were underway. Weather crossing to NZ was bad at times, Cyclone Hola didnt help, excursions were great, due to cancellations, refunds appreciated..Food great, entertainment,excellent. Some public toilets on all decks including disabled toilets were either blocked or under maintenance .. one elderly lady was locked in a toilet & had to wait til crew could rescue her..Capt Kent's daily anecdotes & trivia was very entertaining. Hygiene in food areas was excellent. Crew very friendly, helpful always greeted us with a smile & a "hello" So despite the rocky crossing, 2 missed Fiords, the trip back out into the Tasman ( from Wellington) to avoid Cyclone Hola, 2 missed excursions, a fire in the kitchen ,seasick passengers.. we had a ball..We met some lovely people everyday & thoroughly enjoyed their company.. The cruise out to Lord Howe Island & Ball's Pyramid was a highlight. The Sun Princess is a grand old lady & with an upcoming refit I'm sure she'll "come back new " & we'll be on her again in Feb 2019 to Tassie Read Less
Sun Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.8
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 4.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 4.0

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