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We are relatively new to cruising with this being our 4th cruise. After being told how wonderful Princess is by experienced cruisers on previous voyages, and reading reviews that were complimentary in the main, we booked this 12 day cruise home to Sydney from Singapore as a Princess sampler. We understood Diamond had just completed a refurb in 2014 and were looking forward to a newish ship experience. The first thing we learned is that most Princess passengers are fiercely loyal to the brand and Princess in return gives it's Elite and above passengers the royal treatment, at the expense of all others. From embarkation, to passenger services, to tender boarding, we were left standing in queues while these preferred passengers were brought through ahead of us. Princess did not provide enough staff to service these preferred customers separately. It appears the refurb was limited to public areas and suites and above. Our inside cabin was tired and linen threadbare. Wardrobe space was ample and we liked that our suitcases actually fitted under the bed. Bathroom was comparible with other cruise lines. Instead of the usual pitch black of an inside cabin, we had full mirrors on the back and front walls, so between the green night light, red TV standby light, blue DTV and the white hall lights under the door and through the peephole, all reflected to infinity by the two opposing mirrors, it was like sleeping in a disco without the music. Spare pillows stuffed against the door, tissue in the peephole, unplug the TV and problem largely solved, except it takes ages to reboot the TV. Food in the Buffet was edible, but well below the standard we are used to. Hot breakfast choices were limited to bacon, suasages, eggs, tomato and baked beans in various formats and of all things bread & butter pudding. The choice did not vary for 12 days. The only other breakfast option (unless you are Elite or above) was the International Dining Room for a 3 course sit down breakfast served by waiters in white gloves. Only went once as we felt underdressed for breakfast, and the choices were bacon, sausages, eggs, tomato and baked beans. Not an eggs benedict, smoked kipper or other extravagence to be seen anywhere. Similar scenario for lunch. Dinner leftovers and cold cuts. The food always looked overcooked and dry. The only Asian option was a Japanese Ramen style soup which I had often. Maybe Asians prefer to eat western food when they are on holidays, but if not, they were not catered for on this leg. The Horizon Court was consistently packed and getting a window seat impossible. Anytime dining in any of the 4 other dining rooms was well managed and we never had to wait. Food was average but not memorable. Vegetables were a rarity. Australian wines on the wine list were sold out on day 1. If they thought I was going to drink Napper Valley reds instead, they were clearly mistaken. On the 3rd last night Australian wines NOT on the wine list, appeared at a front table offered at 40% discount. Why not tell me about them earlier when I would have gladly paid the full price rather than have nine dinners without wine? On board activities were limited to Trivia, live variations of TV game shows, enritchment lectures and numerous "unhosted" get togethers for special interest groups. These were jumbled up each day to different times and venues to give the appearence of a full schedule. The usual fruit carving, towel folding and ice sculpture is OK the first time you see it, but not the 4th. Apart from that Bingo & Casino were always on offer to drain your life savings. The Casino was largely empty most of the time. The theatre shows from the ships singers and dancers were Ok but a rehash of shows seen on other cruise lines. Other entertainment was of the dated variety kind reminiscent of Graeme Kennedy or Don Lane. Live music was largely classically themed. For the ballroom dancers still remaining, recorded music was provided. Most of the passengers had retired for the night by 10.30pm with many of the bars and venues empty after this time. We did not buy any of the very expensive shore excursions, but were dissapointed that the ship did not provide a free or resonable priced shuttle service. At Darwin, they wanted $14 ea for a return shuttle service that went 990 metres to the city. Strangely, no taxis were available at the cruise terminal as an alternative which could have got 4 adults in and back for about $5 ea. The walk was enjoyable and free. If passengers are in the winter of their lifetime, widowed or part of the LGBT community, then Princess caters very well to their needs. For us, we are still looking for some excitement and adventure, so will continue to look elsewhere for new cruise adventures. Only a ridiculously cheap offer would entice us back before we hit our winter years.

Did not live up to the reputation or reviews.

Diamond Princess Cruise Review by Rob N

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2015
  • Destination: Trans-Ocean
  • Cabin Type: Interior
We are relatively new to cruising with this being our 4th cruise. After being told how wonderful Princess is by experienced cruisers on previous voyages, and reading reviews that were complimentary in the main, we booked this 12 day cruise home to Sydney from Singapore as a Princess sampler. We understood Diamond had just completed a refurb in 2014 and were looking forward to a newish ship experience.

The first thing we learned is that most Princess passengers are fiercely loyal to the brand and Princess in return gives it's Elite and above passengers the royal treatment, at the expense of all others. From embarkation, to passenger services, to tender boarding, we were left standing in queues while these preferred passengers were brought through ahead of us. Princess did not provide enough staff to service these preferred customers separately.

It appears the refurb was limited to public areas and suites and above. Our inside cabin was tired and linen threadbare. Wardrobe space was ample and we liked that our suitcases actually fitted under the bed. Bathroom was comparible with other cruise lines. Instead of the usual pitch black of an inside cabin, we had full mirrors on the back and front walls, so between the green night light, red TV standby light, blue DTV and the white hall lights under the door and through the peephole, all reflected to infinity by the two opposing mirrors, it was like sleeping in a disco without the music. Spare pillows stuffed against the door, tissue in the peephole, unplug the TV and problem largely solved, except it takes ages to reboot the TV.

Food in the Buffet was edible, but well below the standard we are used to. Hot breakfast choices were limited to bacon, suasages, eggs, tomato and baked beans in various formats and of all things bread & butter pudding. The choice did not vary for 12 days. The only other breakfast option (unless you are Elite or above) was the International Dining Room for a 3 course sit down breakfast served by waiters in white gloves. Only went once as we felt underdressed for breakfast, and the choices were bacon, sausages, eggs, tomato and baked beans. Not an eggs benedict, smoked kipper or other extravagence to be seen anywhere.

Similar scenario for lunch. Dinner leftovers and cold cuts. The food always looked overcooked and dry. The only Asian option was a Japanese Ramen style soup which I had often. Maybe Asians prefer to eat western food when they are on holidays, but if not, they were not catered for on this leg. The Horizon Court was consistently packed and getting a window seat impossible.

Anytime dining in any of the 4 other dining rooms was well managed and we never had to wait. Food was average but not memorable. Vegetables were a rarity. Australian wines on the wine list were sold out on day 1. If they thought I was going to drink Napper Valley reds instead, they were clearly mistaken. On the 3rd last night Australian wines NOT on the wine list, appeared at a front table offered at 40% discount. Why not tell me about them earlier when I would have gladly paid the full price rather than have nine dinners without wine?

On board activities were limited to Trivia, live variations of TV game shows, enritchment lectures and numerous "unhosted" get togethers for special interest groups. These were jumbled up each day to different times and venues to give the appearence of a full schedule. The usual fruit carving, towel folding and ice sculpture is OK the first time you see it, but not the 4th. Apart from that Bingo & Casino were always on offer to drain your life savings. The Casino was largely empty most of the time. The theatre shows from the ships singers and dancers were Ok but a rehash of shows seen on other cruise lines. Other entertainment was of the dated variety kind reminiscent of Graeme Kennedy or Don Lane. Live music was largely classically themed. For the ballroom dancers still remaining, recorded music was provided. Most of the passengers had retired for the night by 10.30pm with many of the bars and venues empty after this time.

We did not buy any of the very expensive shore excursions, but were dissapointed that the ship did not provide a free or resonable priced shuttle service. At Darwin, they wanted $14 ea for a return shuttle service that went 990 metres to the city. Strangely, no taxis were available at the cruise terminal as an alternative which could have got 4 adults in and back for about $5 ea. The walk was enjoyable and free.

If passengers are in the winter of their lifetime, widowed or part of the LGBT community, then Princess caters very well to their needs. For us, we are still looking for some excitement and adventure, so will continue to look elsewhere for new cruise adventures. Only a ridiculously cheap offer would entice us back before we hit our winter years.
Rob N’s Full Rating Summary
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