We have sailed with Princess many times and always enjoyed ourselves. Sea Princess is a little old in places but slowly going through a refurbishment one bit at a time. Last time with sailed on this ship was Sep15 and the crowd was alot older, doing around Australia journey. This time for the New Years cruise, much better mixture of age groups on the ship.
Okay I will start with the good :
- Service is always amazing. The staff can never do enough for you. Especially our room steward Jayson and our head waiter at dinner, Vlade. A real testament to this company.
- Room. We had an inside cabin up near the back of the ship and found it comfortable and in a great position.
- Food was generally quite good in Horizon Court buffet but breakfast got a little boring. In the main restaurant the standard was very high but missed the steak on the "always available menu". One of the things Princess is cutting cost with.
- Shore excursion, Duck Island by Zodiac at Noumea was fantastic and we will do this again. Great snokeling and fast was to get there. You also get decks chairs and a umbrella. Take you own gear though. (Still a bit too pricey)
- Drinks package $59 pp pday on the ship (but on cruise personaliser $76 per day????). Good value if you are a big drinker but my hubbie found he had to force himself to drink on some days just to get value out of it. Probably won't do it next time especially if alot of days in port.
Not so good:
- Entertainment. Apart from a great night on New Years eve, there was a lack of entertainment onboard. There was only 1 production show on offer???? I mean, what happened to every 3rd night or so? Also it was so packed we couldn't even get a view from standing up the back. There was no magician to be seen. They had a few music acts in the Princess Theatre which weren't to our taste. A couple of comedians which were OK. The entertainment in the bars was okay. One standout was a young singer who played piano and guitar. Daniel was amazing. All the rest I would say were average.
- Changing ports. One of the reasons we chose this sailing was to see Champagne Bay. Out of all the trips we have cruised in the South Pacific, it was the only one we hadn't seen. Never advised of the change, and heard it through the grapevine whilst Onboard that we were now going to Mystery Island (4th time for us). Nothing was put on the Princess patter or even really broadcast to advise this that we heard, which I thought was poor.
- Communication. Needs to be looked out. So much wasn't communicated to passengers onboard (ie: currency exchange etc) that alot of the time, you had to try and find out things for yourself. This needs to be greatly improved as all on our table made the same comment.
- Shore Excursion to OOLALA Island Resort from Port Denarau Fiji. Lets start by saying that the staff on this excursion are amazing and when you finally get there, the island is very good. I chose this excursion as it was a full day out and previously we had done South Sea Island 1/2 day. Take my word and save you money and go on the half day tour to South Sea Island. The way Oolala was worded (by Princess), I assumed you got picked up and dropped off at the ship. But no! you did the tender to the port, then out to the island in both directions. We left at 9am and 3HRS LATER, we finally arrived. Another 3 HR JOURNEY HOME. I was so angry. Total waste of your time and VERY EXPENSIVE day out for 2 1/2 hrs on an island.
South Sea Island also includes drinks while on the ship and island, but Oolala only give free beer/wine with lunch.
- Ice cream. Since when did the free soft serve disappear with Princess and get replaced by an expensive New Zealand icecream stand? I'm not a huge ice cream eater, but thought this was poor and no other option but to pay $5 a scoop.
- Cutting of costs. Steak gone from "always available menu" in the main restaurant, free ice cream gone. Sterling Steakhouse now $29 pp surcharge.
- Shore excursions are WAY TOO Expensive. When we have the chance, we always book out own independant stuff and make sure back in heaps of time.
This hasn't put us off going with Princess, we have another 2 booked this year, but I hope the cost cutting ceases and Princess remain a favourite cruise brand for many years to come.
3 HRS travel time there and back. Waste of money and time. Staff and island were very good though.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Great fun afternoon out.View All undefined undefined Reviews
Were we left from
Nice relaxing day. This time of year be careful of Blue Bottles in the wave side of island