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We sailed on the "Sun Princess" departure Sydney April 06, 2008 to Far North Queensland. I have been on 8 cruises, 2 with Princess and this cruise was absolutely sub-standard. We chose this cruise because we had sailed previously on the "Pacific Princess" and found it to be quite luxurious in every way. Unfortunately the same can not be said about the Sun Princess. The ship is touted as luxury cruising for the Australian market, but to quite honest it is like a floating RSL club. How Princess (or Carnival) can promote this ship as a super liner and luxurious is false advertising and very misleading. The prices certainly don't reflect the cheapness of the whole experience. I thought I was on the old "Fairstar", that is how low grade it was. We always book a balcony cabin because we like the extra space........unfortunately the balcony cabins on this ship are much smaller than we have experienced on other cruises. They were also quite "worn" and not worth the money. To start with we were due to depart at 1600hrs but due to "mechanical problems" it was after 2300hrs when we finally departed. While I understand that technical faults can not be helped, it was the lack of information by the crew that was frustrating and unprofessional. Nobody seemed to know what was going on (this is how it was for the entire cruise). I found most of the crew to be unhelpful and just plain surly and rude (except for one girl on the purser's desk, Regina). Almost all of them looked like they didn't want to be there. This attitude permeated through the passengers, everyone seemed miserable. Our dining room staff were basically hopeless. They were either very inexperienced or just didn't care. Most nights our orders were wrong or courses just didn't turn up. Our table complained every night that the food was cold, yet nothing was done. On one night instead of getting us new mains they just reheated them!! My main was scallops so as you can imagine they were tough after being reheated. I did complain to the Maitre'D but he was very rude to me and was demanding to know my cabin number (which I didn't want to give out) He basically said that they were very busy and he didn't have time for me. Sorry but you know you are going to be busy with 2000 pax on the ship it's not as if they just turned up out of the blue!. It's their job so if they can't do it efficiently then they shouldn't be there!!!. I found his attitude extremely offensive. On the whole, the food was very poor quality and not a great deal of variety. No fabulous buffets as experienced on other cruises (Cunard, Royal Caribbean and Pacific Princess). The buffet was the same everyday with very little change or selection. The food again in here was mostly cold as was the coffee. It was overcrowded all the time as the oldies got their on the dot of opening and didn't budge. We had a few meals in our cabin (room service) which was actually quite good and very quick delivery. The lack of knowledge and help extended to the gift shop as well. No body seemed to know anything down there also. I was inquiring about a piece of Swarovski jewelery and the young girl that served me told me she was new and didn't know what I was talking about. She asked me to come back in an hour to speak to another assistant who had more knowledge. I did come back and spoke to the other girl who did know what I was talking about but said that she was too busy to look in the storeroom for the piece. Needless to say I gave up after that. This type of attitude is simply unacceptable in my opinion. The entertainment was terrible. On one occasion nearly everyone walked out of the theatre when one very outdated singer/comedian started his act. We ended up not returning after seeing 3 very amateur mediocre shows. The lack of public areas was also a problem, Our table liked to meet for drinks before dinner (late sitting ) but due to the high volume of elderly people, we found that they occupied the seats from early afternoon ad didn't budge. Everything was a hassle and took the glint off the time on board. The 12 days couldn't pass quick enough! The other drama we encountered was with the tender service. To be blunt it was simply appalling and completely unorganized. We were told to obtain tender tickets on the morning of the tender service in each port which we did at 0800am. In Townsville we didn't get off the ship until 1130am, 3 ½ hours after getting the tender tickets. When we finally got on the tender we were horrified to see that the tender departed half empty!!!. We wondered if this was the case with every service as some poor people did not get off until 1330pm. Of course this meant that our time in Townsville was very limited. We arrived back at the dock to board the tender back to the ship at 1500hrs. There we waited in the blistering heat for over an hour. There was no shade as the queue extended well into the carpark. No announcements were made and we just stood there until finally getting on the tender at nearly 1630hrs. Again, such lack of organization and information was very disappointing and totally unprofessional from such a large company. This was the case with every tender port if you were not booked on a shore excursion. Speaking of Shore excursions, the one we did out to The Great Barrier Reef from the Whitsunday's was horrific. Another poorly organized event by the Sun Princess. I will say that I complained on the ship about this (along with nearly everyone else on the trip) and we were refunded 1/3 of the price. The only thing that ran smoothly was the disembarkation on the last day. They were very efficient in getting us off!! (Funny that, they can move 2000 people when they want to!) On the whole the vacation was a total disappointment and certainly was not worth the money paid. We had such high expectations of Princess and this was a letdown to say the least. We actually went to the Purser's desk and removed the gratuities from our bill, the first time we have ever done this. That is how bad the whole experience was for us. It will be very hard for us to book another Princess cruise after this. Although we enjoyed the Pacific Princess we are left wondering if Princess's service and quality have declined throughout the whole fleet.

Floating RSL

Sun Princess Cruise Review by kaycee123

Trip Details
We sailed on the "Sun Princess" departure Sydney April 06, 2008 to Far North Queensland. I have been on 8 cruises, 2 with Princess and this cruise was absolutely sub-standard.
We chose this cruise because we had sailed previously on the "Pacific Princess" and found it to be quite luxurious in every way. Unfortunately the same can not be said about the Sun Princess.
The ship is touted as luxury cruising for the Australian market, but to quite honest it is like a floating RSL club. How Princess (or Carnival) can promote this ship as a super liner and luxurious is false advertising and very misleading. The prices certainly don't reflect the cheapness of the whole experience. I thought I was on the old "Fairstar", that is how low grade it was.
We always book a balcony cabin because we like the extra space........unfortunately the balcony cabins on this ship are much smaller than we have experienced on other cruises. They were also quite "worn" and not worth the money.
To start with we were due to depart at 1600hrs but due to "mechanical problems" it was after 2300hrs when we finally departed. While I understand that technical faults can not be helped, it was the lack of information by the crew that was frustrating and unprofessional. Nobody seemed to know what was going on (this is how it was for the entire cruise).
I found most of the crew to be unhelpful and just plain surly and rude (except for one girl on the purser's desk, Regina). Almost all of them looked like they didn't want to be there. This attitude permeated through the passengers, everyone seemed miserable.
Our dining room staff were basically hopeless. They were either very inexperienced or just didn't care. Most nights our orders were wrong or courses just didn't turn up. Our table complained every night that the food was cold, yet nothing was done. On one night instead of getting us new mains they just reheated them!! My main was scallops so as you can imagine they were tough after being reheated. I did complain to the Maitre'D but he was very rude to me and was demanding to know my cabin number (which I didn't want to give out) He basically said that they were very busy and he didn't have time for me. Sorry but you know you are going to be busy with 2000 pax on the ship it's not as if they just turned up out of the blue!. It's their job so if they can't do it efficiently then they shouldn't be there!!!. I found his attitude extremely offensive. On the whole, the food was very poor quality and not a great deal of variety. No fabulous buffets as experienced on other cruises (Cunard, Royal Caribbean and Pacific Princess).
The buffet was the same everyday with very little change or selection. The food again in here was mostly cold as was the coffee. It was overcrowded all the time as the oldies got their on the dot of opening and didn't budge. We had a few meals in our cabin (room service) which was actually quite good and very quick delivery.
The lack of knowledge and help extended to the gift shop as well. No body seemed to know anything down there also. I was inquiring about a piece of Swarovski jewelery and the young girl that served me told me she was new and didn't know what I was talking about. She asked me to come back in an hour to speak to another assistant who had more knowledge. I did come back and spoke to the other girl who did know what I was talking about but said that she was too busy to look in the storeroom for the piece. Needless to say I gave up after that. This type of attitude is simply unacceptable in my opinion.

The entertainment was terrible. On one occasion nearly everyone walked out of the theatre when one very outdated singer/comedian started his act. We ended up not returning after seeing 3 very amateur mediocre shows.
The lack of public areas was also a problem, Our table liked to meet for drinks before dinner (late sitting ) but due to the high volume of elderly people, we found that they occupied the seats from early afternoon ad didn't budge. Everything was a hassle and took the glint off the time on board. The 12 days couldn't pass quick enough!
The other drama we encountered was with the tender service. To be blunt it was simply appalling and completely unorganized. We were told to obtain tender tickets on the morning of the tender service in each port which we did at 0800am. In Townsville we didn't get off the ship until 1130am, 3 ½ hours after getting the tender tickets. When we finally got on the tender we were horrified to see that the tender departed half empty!!!. We wondered if this was the case with every service as some poor people did not get off until 1330pm. Of course this meant that our time in Townsville was very limited. We arrived back at the dock to board the tender back to the ship at 1500hrs. There we waited in the blistering heat for over an hour. There was no shade as the queue extended well into the carpark. No announcements were made and we just stood there until finally getting on the tender at nearly 1630hrs. Again, such lack of organization and information was very disappointing and totally unprofessional from such a large company.
This was the case with every tender port if you were not booked on a shore excursion. Speaking of Shore excursions, the one we did out to The Great Barrier Reef from the Whitsunday's was horrific. Another poorly organized event by the Sun Princess. I will say that I complained on the ship about this (along with nearly everyone else on the trip) and we were refunded 1/3 of the price.
The only thing that ran smoothly was the disembarkation on the last day. They were very efficient in getting us off!! (Funny that, they can move 2000 people when they want to!)
On the whole the vacation was a total disappointment and certainly was not worth the money paid. We had such high expectations of Princess and this was a letdown to say the least. We actually went to the Purser's desk and removed the gratuities from our bill, the first time we have ever done this. That is how bad the whole experience was for us. It will be very hard for us to book another Princess cruise after this. Although we enjoyed the Pacific Princess we are left wondering if Princess's service and quality have declined throughout the whole fleet.
kaycee123’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BD C725
We had a balcony bain that was extremely small (compared to Cunard and Royal Caribbean) and quite worn. The balcony was quite small and closed in.....we like to have glass partitions and these we solid so it made it feel very tiny.
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