Sea Princess Cruise Review by reader711
- Sail Date: September 2005
- Destination: Canada & New England
Arrived for embarkation relatively late so my experience may be different from others - I walked right on. Flight arrangements made by Princess (both ways) seemed unnecessarily complicated and left Quebec City at 8 am requiring 5 am debarkation - not the way to end a vacation! But - have to say that it was very easy to get off the ship and locate my luggage at that hour - no crowds.
Cabin was in good condition other than small carpet stain near the entryway. Storage space was good, safe very convenient and easy to use. Refrigerator wonderful to have. Balcony small, but so nice to be able to step out there - especially in early morning hours to see so many stars. Nice to leave the door open for water sounds during the night. No need for a bungee cord.
All crew smiling and friendly - had a few language difficulties, but nothing that caused a problem. Cabin steward (Bernie) was friendly and did a nice job.
Overall - Thought ship facilities nice and in good condition. Seats in Princess theatre were uncomfortable and you felt trapped if forced in much beyond the aisles - liked the Vista Lounge much better. Only complaint was that it was difficult to find space to lounge, read, play cards etc. when not in port as spaces quickly filled with people or in use for entertainment events.
Had fixed early seating dining. Waiters Fred and Tadea took good care of us though it took Fred a few days to warm up to us. Always plenty of menu choices and food was fine. Not spectacular, but better than my previous experience several years ago on the Royal. Lobster was not overcooked and two nice sized tails were served - could have asked for more if we wanted.
Horizon Court Buffet is crowded at peak times. Can be difficult to find a seat due to number of people, but felt that the staff was working hard to keep tables cleared and clean - sometimes you had to hold onto your plate or coffee cup if you only had a few bites left! Had only breakfast and tea there. Food substantially the same at those meals everyday - got old after awhile. Smoked salmon and all the fixings every morning and scones at tea were a wonderful treat. Scrambled eggs and coffee left something to be desired and only fried egg option was available - I was not aware of any opportunity for special requests such as omelettes.
Singer/dancer show with a Movie theme was nicely done. Illusionist was entertaining. Piano player got off to a slow start, but ended up being enjoyable. Really liked trivia with Alan and Alana. Seemed like the only good movies were shown during the day so did not experience MUTS.
Newport - Tendering worked smoothly. Toured Vanderbilt homes with Princess. Enjoyed both the homes. You could readily do this on your own but Princess convenience was worth it to me in this case.
Boston - Did Duck Tour on our own as had been to Boston. Had a dud of a guide and that was a shame. New Holocaust Memorial near Fanueil Hall is very moving - recommend making a short walk over to see it. Princess ran a $6 shuttle between ship and Fanueil Hall.
Bar Harbor - Whale watching tour was cancelled due to high winds. Walked the town on our own and had a lobster roll. Visited a local church with many Tiffany stained glass windows that was wonderful. Again, tendering worked smoothly.
St. Johns - Took Princess "St Martin's Getaway Tour" - this was AWFUL. On the bus for 5 minutes before stopping to shop. Beautiful drive to St. Martins, then off to eat at 11 am and had an additional 45 minutes to walk a rocky beach. Another 5 minute bus ride to town square of St Martins - 45 minutes to take pix of a covered bridge and the small harbor - plus shop at local vendors. It really required 10 minutes max to do this. Also stopped at reversing falls overlook - guide could not explain the phenomenon - she stated that she didn't really understand it and passed a book around for us to read if we were interested. Don't take this tour.
Halifax - great city, would like to go back for a few days. Harbour Hopper tour was a good way to get acquainted, but on/off bus wasted a lot of time making stops at three ships and just generally delaying movement so as to pace the buses. Do not recommend the on/off bus. Maritime Museum was good and boardwalk very nice to walk along. Would go back to see more of the public gardens and Citadel.
Sydney - Just walked the town on our own. Easy to get around and some interesting small museums with $2 entry fees - well worth it. People very friendly. Local crafters were set up both at the ship terminal and in a local community building.
Cornerbrook - Can't comment.
Saguenay River - Nice day. Relaxing morning "at sea." Naturalist came on board around noon and narrated our trip up the river giving history, geology, wildlife and current events along the way. Some color, but the next cruise will see much more. At the turnaround point, there is a Virgin Mary statue and there are some traditions that take place in that bay. This day was a real treat.
Quebec City - Beautiful and very clean, safe city. Took modern/historical tour in the a.m. with Princess - guide did a nice job of introducing us to the province and its French traditions. Took off on our own to re-visit several stops from the morning. Quite easy to navigate on your own and very walkable from the ship. Could easily have stayed here a few more days too.
Overall - A wonderful cruise and highly recommended.
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