Ocean Princess Cruise Review by Joanne Hopkins
- Sail Date: October 2006
- Destination: South Pacific
- Cabin Type: Balcony
Buy Jan Prince's book - Tahiti - Very informative
Underwater Camera - Buy a Kodak underwater disposable
Snorkel Gear - You can buy on the ship
Bug Spray - Really not necessary
Packing - You will be in bathing suits and shorts a lot (with the exception of dining and formal nights), so try not to overpack. Also remember the weight limit of your luggage on your flight.
Flew from Philadelphia to Los Angeles - Overnight stay at the Crowne Plaza to adjust to time change
Flew from Los Angeles to Papeete via Air Tahiti Nui
(Note: Get seat assignments as soon as possible. You can call the airline to get seat assignments. Not a very comfortable flight).
Stayed at the Intercontinental Papeete in an over the water bungalow (#485). Fantastic views and beautiful waters.
(Note: Had originally planned a 2 day pre-cruise but ended up doing 3 days since Princess had us arriving very late for our first night which would have been a waste of money. If you do a pre-cruise definitely check what time they plan on having you arriving.
Prices are high for the breakfast buffet at the Intercontinental. Ask for the a la carte menu.
Boarding - Went very smoothly as we were the first to arrive.
Cabin (7114) - Very roomy, nice balcony. Clean but showing signs of wear and tear.
(Note: If you have long hair bring a hairdryer. Also if you use hair conditioner bring your own since the stuff they give you really does not work well.
Food on Board - Average
Sabitinis - Below Average Sterlings - Excellent
Crew - Young. At time inexperienced but very personable and they do try to please.
Activities on Ship - Average
Casino - Ok but, a lot of machines were broken and stayed that way for the entire cruise.
Pearl Shopping - Your head will spin with all the Pearls that are available. Our best buy was through the Ship. They were very knowledgeable and personable. For a cheaper selection, i.e., gifts for your relatives there is a pearl shop off the ship in Papeete (where the Paul Gaugan is docked) which had inexpensive yet very nice pearl necklaces, earrings, etc.
Souvenirs - Found the best deals at the Marche (Market). Large variety and very reasonable. Also the flowers there are absolutely beautiful and extremely cheap. Bought arrangements for our room and paid $15 each. (Note: When buying the flowers make sure they have some Cala lilies in them for a fantastic scent.)
Patrick's Tour - Excellent Marc's Motu Picnic - Excellent Helmet Dive - Excellent Bruono's Tour - Would not recommend Albert's Tour - Would not recommend
Seas - We did encounter rough seas and were unable to stop in Rarontonga (this seems to be the norm for this cruise). Unfortunately ended up having an extra day at sea and by the time we arrived at the next port I actually saw people kissing the ground!!! (Note: If you are prone to sea sickness get a prescription from your Doctor).
Fellow Cruisers - Met a fantastic bunch of people on this cruise (who we met on this board) which made it that much more enjoyable and unforgettable. Forged some great friendships as a result. Many thanks to Bert, Rob, Ron, Lynn, Jan & Merrill, Howard & Sharon and all of the wonderful folks who we shared some great times with.
Disembarkation - Took a cab to the airport which was much better than boarding a bus and arriving like a herd of buffalo to retrieve your suitcases.
Ending - Would we do this cruise again? In a heartbeat. It was a very beautiful experience.
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