Sail Date: January 2018
After a two week holiday in New Zealand for mum, dad and three children, I had planned to take mum and the kids on a short voyage back to Sydney on the Sun Princess. I have been on a few cruises but mum and the kids had never sailed on a ... Read More
After a two week holiday in New Zealand for mum, dad and three children, I had planned to take mum and the kids on a short voyage back to Sydney on the Sun Princess. I have been on a few cruises but mum and the kids had never sailed on a cruise before. I thought that a four day voyage would give them a sample and perhaps if they liked it, we would be able to take a cruising holiday in the future. Unfortunately, as we were ascending the ramp in Auckland our noses were assaulted by an awful smell like that of sewage, such as that from a septic tank. I said that we should hurry up and get on the ship to escape it. But guess what; the smell was coming from the ship, not the ramp. Some parts of the ship were free of the smell. Our rooms were on Baja deck and my son and I were in a cabin which was only a short distance from my other half and my two daughters and our cabin was free of the smell. Unfortunately, the mini suite occupied by the girls was affected very strongly. My daughters disliked it but were not sick. The missus though, felt quite ill for most of the journey and threw up several times. She could not eat for most of the time so missed out on the delicious meals that the rest of us were able to enjoy. We complained to the sympathetic cabin steward who told us that many other people were also suffering from the stench and that the crew were attempting to fix the problem. He suggested that we leave the windows open, but it was too hot and humid for that. The promenade deck forward on the starboard side was also badly affected by smell and though also terrible, it was slightly different, although it still smelled like sewage. This made it unpleasant to use the deck to walk around for some excercise. Just about everything else about the voyage was good. For the first couple of days we dined in the Marquis restaurant, but we soon decided that the buffet was much better and didn't return to the restaurant. There was a greater variety of food to be had in the buffet and it was excellent. Also the smell was not evident in the buffet though it was in the dining room, though not to such an extent as in the mini suite. There was a very good variety of movies and entertainment both on the big screen or on the tv in the privacy of the cabins. The swimming pools were just the right temperature for us and were never crowded so we spent quite a bit of time in them. Everything was as good as it could be apart from the smell. Now it looks as if we will not be taking another cruise. The kids and I said that we would like to, but the missus does not want to risk that, and I would not put her through such an ordeal again so I guess that's the end of that. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We have sailed with Princess on 8 occasions which has included 1 previous trip on this ship so we knew what to expect about its age and condition. However in my opinion it is time to completely refurb or retire this ship as it is really ... Read More
We have sailed with Princess on 8 occasions which has included 1 previous trip on this ship so we knew what to expect about its age and condition. However in my opinion it is time to completely refurb or retire this ship as it is really getting too shabby and the constant sewage smell on the promenande deck makes it really unpleasant, The food quality is OK in the main dining rooms but appalling in the buffet - cold, drab and 'boring' food - no theme nights on our trip at all. Steak restaurant well worth the cover charge with great staff. At the main dining room our table for two request was met with a nightly 'eye roll' and grimace from the lady at the front desk - even when we made it clear we didnt mind waiting for a table it was the same response. If they dont want to accomodate this then they shouldnt offer it. The Happy Hour became a free for all with other guests carrying off baskets full of bottles and then drinking to oblivion on the promenade deck - who would have thought building beer bottle towers would have been a good idea on a moving ship ! Sun lounger hoggers abounded with no action taken and therefore it was difficult to get a good spot in the shade. Cabin was fine and as expected for an inside cabin and the cabin steward an absolute hero. There were some great passengers to chat with which always make for an enjoyable cruise but i'm not sure we will come back to Princess - giving Celebrity a go next time ! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This review will be quite critical of the ship and how it is managed. Given that the ship will be going in for refurbishment in April/May of 2018 and hopefully that will make a big difference. Our experience did not get off to a good ... Read More
This review will be quite critical of the ship and how it is managed. Given that the ship will be going in for refurbishment in April/May of 2018 and hopefully that will make a big difference. Our experience did not get off to a good start. From the moment we stepped on the ship you could detect the odour of mould or mildew. It was strongest in the Princess Theatre and I did notify Guest Services and it still took another 10 days before something was done about it but it was still noticeable as we sat in the theatre for disembarkation. At other times you could distinctly smell the odour of sewerage gasses especially in the Wheelhouse Bar at times and occasionally in our cabin. These were not our major complaints though. On our first day we arrived at our cabin B325, an interior room, to a distinct drone throughout the room, especially in the bathroom and near the bed. Trying to sleep that night was difficult and when I was lying on my side with my head on the pillow it sounded like I was sleeping over the engines (something others complained about as well). Throughout the night there were other strange noises coming from behind the cabin mirror. After 3 days of this and having someone check out the noise, it was there again. It sounded like there was an animal scratching behind the mirror. At about 6:00 A.M. my wife rang Guest Services and told them we would not spend another night in that room. Within 5 minutes someone was up there checking it out but left soon after. About 11:00 I went back to Guest Services to find out what was happening and waited another hour for a manager to become available. We then had 3 staff up in the room trying to identify the noise which was now so loud that the technician could not understand why the people in the next cabin hadn't complained about it. Soon we were moved to cabin B408. B408, another interior room, was much better but the cold water pressure had to be fixed and soon after the air conditioner developed an annoying ticking which was fixed soon after as well. The only other noise that was there I fixed with a door stopper I had brought along. Unfortunately we could only stay in this room for about 4 days as it was booked by someone else further along on the cruise so we were moved to C409. C409, a balcony room, was nicer and more spacious but the air conditioner was quite loud even with my ear plugs in. The light from the corridor outside also shone in the room from around the sides of the door, this was something we didn't experience in either of the interior cabins. The water pressure in this bathroom also had to be fixed. We stayed in this room until the end of the cruise and even if they had offered us a suite we didn't want to pack our things again. So we were not happy with any of the rooms we were in but B408 was the best of the 3. Overall I was quite impressed with the ship from outside. It looked like it had been recently painted, even the interior was quite nice but the smell was very off putting. We did not look forward to going to the Princess Theatre for the shows. The dining experience was mixed. We had "Anytime Dining" but it was anything but. You just couldn't turn up at any time and expect to get a table for 2, they were giving preference to people who would share a table. We wanted to dine at about 6:00 but if there were no tables available they would give you a buzzer and call it when one was available. We were told we could book but you could book between 5:45 and 7:15 as it was only available for walk-ins. So too small a dining room and not enough tables for 2. You would be better off getting allocated dining, and Princess would do better by their customers if Anytime Dining was not available on this ship. The food can only be described as very good. Some of it was fantastic and some of it was good. The only problem I had with the menu was some nights there was a lack of variety or some of the dishes were too spicy for my taste. You can't please everyone but they did a good job with the meals. Just be prepared to not get things you may have ordered as extra, due to the language barrier that is occasionally present. We did have one dinner at the Steakhouse and I can honestly say it was one of the best steaks I have ever had. The food was delicious even though I would never have ordered some of the dishes at a normal restaurant. The staff were pleasant and very conscientious with your order and repeated the order to ensure you got exactly what you wanted. For great steak and only $29.00 per person for all you can eat if you want, just order it off the menu. We checked out Curtis Stone's on board restaurant Share. We might have gone there except the maths didn't work out. It has a set menu option for $39.00 per person, $10.00 each more than the Steakhouse, and you could also order a la carte if you wanted. The main discrepancy was if you took the set menu and ordered the most expensive items on the menu it was only about $36.50 in total. Not true value for money with that one. One thing about the dining is the bread. It is fantastic. Nice crispy crust rolls and grissini. If man could live on bread alone then Princess Cruises would have the market. The shows were great. The Princess dancers and the band did a fantastic job. The other entertainers were also great. We didn't go to most of the other daily activities other than the trivia. One thing Princess does have is happy hour so if you like to drink look out for it. On this cruise to New Zealand the ports were good. Fjiordland was one of the highlights of our trip. Of course the shore excursions are overpriced but they offer the advantage that if you are late back to the ship they will wait for you. We did 5 shore excursions. Napier, just a bus tour and it was fine at just $35.00. In Tauranga we did the Hobbiton film set trip and it was a must for any Lord of the Rings and Hobbit fans. It is very expensive and can only be done on a guided tour even if you were to organise the excursion yourself. In Wellington there was another Lord of the Rings excursion where you visited locations where the film was shot and some of the studio. This is not the spot where the Hobbits live, mainly the forest areas with lots of walking up and down steep ground so you will need to be fit and able to walk. Many people we spoke to complained that it was not value for money unless you want to visit the studio and see the props. In Auckland we visited a couple of wineries and it was good. In the Bay of Islands my wife did a lunch cruise to Russell Island and was a little disappointed with it. I went fishing and had a great time. In regard to shore excursions I have found that you need to pick and choose carefully, especially in New Zealand. Dunedin was no great town to visit and Wellington was much the same, just bigger. If you are intent on purchasing duty free then you will be disappointed. I could not find any duty free shops in any of the cities. It appears they are only located at the airports. In Wellington I did find a liquor store that had Grand Marnier cheaper than I could purchase it in Melbourne, so check the prices in the local bottle shops to compare if it is worth it. We found the service from the bar staff and waiters to be quite good. The Guest Services was a disappointment. Our requests for things to be fixed were taken down but there was only the occasional follow up to see if the issue had been resolved. The Golden Princess was much better. However, different staff on future cruises may give you a better service. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Four of us travelled, had own staterooms for 2 couples. Spacious rooms. Participated in lots of activities as scheduled on the Patter. Able to plan day and night. Delicious food with lots of variety to choose from. We decided not to ... Read More
Four of us travelled, had own staterooms for 2 couples. Spacious rooms. Participated in lots of activities as scheduled on the Patter. Able to plan day and night. Delicious food with lots of variety to choose from. We decided not to over indulge so only had breakfast and late dinner. Ate very healthy meals every day. Staff service the best we have experienced from being served drinks, clearing tables and immaculate staterooms. Absolutely loved our time on board. Had spa, swim, massage, acupuncture to name a few of the things we indulged in. So much to do. Activities for all ages and tastes. Great atmosphere, great crowd to sail with. Friendly people sailing and willing to share experiences. Exceeded all of our expectations. We appreciated the small, little things like chocolates left on our pillows, lights left on in our stateroom if we went to a late show. Our steward became our go to person for advice and information. Embarking and disembarking quick, organised and efficient. Excursions were fun and informative. Thoroughly enjoyed the tour guide Steve for the Lord of the Rings excursion. Already planning our next cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Traveled with friends, who I have cruised with twice before. The food, bar service and staff were great. Thoroughly enjoyed eating at the Regency Dining Room where the food was of the highest quality and the waiters were funny and ... Read More
Traveled with friends, who I have cruised with twice before. The food, bar service and staff were great. Thoroughly enjoyed eating at the Regency Dining Room where the food was of the highest quality and the waiters were funny and service was great. We received a complimentary meal at the Sterling Steak House. The restaurant is of the finest quality; excellent food and attention to detail. I would of eaten there as a paying customer if I did not get a complimentary dinner. The staterooms were clean and comfortable, and we received the best service from our cabin steward. The bathroom is rather small, and one can't really move in it! In fact, all staff were kind and friendly, making passengers feel welcome and valued. However, not much to do for 18 - 30 year old people on-board, except for swimming and drinking! The deck party was fun, though. Although the Sun Princess is looking a bit tired, she is still in great condition. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise as we were taking my mother in law (thereafter referred to as MIL) on a holiday and this is where she wanted to go (New Zealand). The trip was amazing. The food in the dining room exquisite ( the meals in the cafeteria ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we were taking my mother in law (thereafter referred to as MIL) on a holiday and this is where she wanted to go (New Zealand). The trip was amazing. The food in the dining room exquisite ( the meals in the cafeteria style eating were a bit hit and miss though) and the service from Vijay And Artem in the main dining room made my trip. My son was very sad to say goodbye to those two. My MIL wanted to take them both home with her LOL. The cabin was nice but small for 4 persons but the top bunk matresses were very firm. -read table top firm - Ok for children but not good for a 40 year old. Please note, there are formal nights on board and slacks are expected for men. Pack slacks guys. This is enforced in the dining rooms on formal night and it is lovely. The cleanliness and hygene is excellent. They have hand wash stations in the cafeteria type area and a hostess on the door to make sure everyone washes. Hand sanitiser stations at the dining room too. Very good. Gluten free people are well catered for in the dining rooms and not too badly in the cafeteria style eating too. I did not have a bad meal in the dining room. Nathan our head waiter gave me the next nights menu in advance so i could order for the chef to make it for me GF. Some excellent meals. I even got a GF souffle one night for dessert. A miracle in itself. I got so excited ordering and seeing in advance what i would be having. It is classy. Our last trip was on Carnival and it is more geared to families but princess is classier. Less children and they were much better behaved than the ones on Carnival. My son enjoyed kids club. The shore stops were great but do not buy your excursions on board as they are over priced and you can get MUCH cheaper excursions at each port. Some of the entertainment is alright. Two afternoons when live entertainment was supposed to be on in the Wheelhouse bar and no one showed up. Stage shows are ordinary and you need to be there 45 mins before to get a seat. Saw 2 comedians onboard and some of the jokes they told were older than i am and had whiskers on them. Some good giggles though. Saw a couple of lectures from Moari expert, Poara. EXCELLENT. Wish they had have been longer. Only 45 mins per lecture and very very interesting. Husband and son loved learning the Haka. Could have listened to Poara for double that time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
My wife and I have no hesitation in choosing New Zealand as the cruise to take to "come back new". The Sun was the second Princess ship we have cruised during the 16 we have completed. This cruise did not let us down! many ... Read More
My wife and I have no hesitation in choosing New Zealand as the cruise to take to "come back new". The Sun was the second Princess ship we have cruised during the 16 we have completed. This cruise did not let us down! many great ports to visit. Excellent food. Top entertainment. and wonderful passengers to keep us company. Not to mention the many activities we could be involved in on the Ship. We were blessed with having Buncha as our stateroom Steward. He made our time more enjoyable. All the ports we have been to before but the ship's crew seem to make it more enjoyable with their efficient operation with the tenders and fast and efficient service! We also had two bonuses coming home. First, the result of a big swell at sea we had our first extra day on board at the end of the cruise. And , could you believe we were off the ship, through Customs and out in under 15 minutes! Thank you Princess for again, a wonderful Cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose to do this cruise as a break away from the pressures of work. We were not able to be with family so it was an ideal time to travel. The crew on the ship were an exceptional group of people and mostly couldn't do enough to make ... Read More
We chose to do this cruise as a break away from the pressures of work. We were not able to be with family so it was an ideal time to travel. The crew on the ship were an exceptional group of people and mostly couldn't do enough to make the cruise a trip to remember. Our experience with the dining room each evening was exceptional. They were very considerate of my wife's Gluten Free diet requirements. The staff in Horizion Court very quickly learnt of her requirements and were only to helpful in informing what was suitable for her to eat. The tenders were very easy to access when going ashore and staff manning the landings both on the ship and the shore showed a very professional attitudes. The people from the photography studio were always available for a record of our voyage, but did so in an unobtrusive fashion. The Internatioal Cafe staff were very happy to provide a professional service at all times regardless of time of day or night. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Christmas/New Year a great time to be on a Princess cruise. Getting away from mit al to enjoy the company of new friends, the crew and ports of call. why would you choose to do so with any other cruise company than Princess? The ... Read More
Christmas/New Year a great time to be on a Princess cruise. Getting away from mit al to enjoy the company of new friends, the crew and ports of call. why would you choose to do so with any other cruise company than Princess? The crew offer such good service, the cruise at the time of yera is excellent value for money and a good time is always on at this time of year. The ports of call ae not of impoprtance on such a cruise as it is the season, the other guests, the crew that make it special. We have tried other lines but none give the same appeal as princess whenm itr comes to specila occasions such as Christmas/New Year cruise. It is like a family reunion with all the decorations and good will abortad. The crew make suchj an efort to ensure all onboard enjoy the season. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
Wanted a Christmas cruise. Went to Vanuatu and New Caledonia December 2017. Cruise was very enjoyable. Ports were good but not too good for people with mobility issues. Staff run off their feet in the bars. Service not as good as usual in ... Read More
Wanted a Christmas cruise. Went to Vanuatu and New Caledonia December 2017. Cruise was very enjoyable. Ports were good but not too good for people with mobility issues. Staff run off their feet in the bars. Service not as good as usual in the bars. Food great, service in dining room excellent. Only issue we had was breakfast in the dining room which took an eternity. Had to then utilise the buffet. Entertainment in Princess Theatre excellent especially “Bravo”. Loved it!!! Had negative comments from the bogans on board re Bravo. It was excellent and the best show we have seen on Princess!! Sad that Isle de Pins tours cancelled, but still had a great time snorkelling by myself. Sun Princess is great for people with mobility issues as it is small. Would have liked if it had the MediSpa like the larger ships. We will continue to travel with Princess and our next trip will be to Japan on their Diamond! Read Less
Sun Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 4.1
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 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 4.0

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