We had great expectations of this cruise as we had not visited this part of the world before. The itinerary suited us as the ship sailed to Melbourne, our home town, so we only had to deal with one long flight.
First off the positives:
We had an ocean view cabin midship on deck 5. The ride was extremely smooth and the cabin was pretty well insulated against outside noise, although we could hear people coughing in the cabin next door (more about that later). The bed would have to be the most comfortable one we have ever slept in, The mattress and pillows were to die for.
The staff were quite friendly and willing to help where and when they could.
Now the negatives:
While the bed was comfortable, the air conditioning was non existent. We were sailing through the tropics and the temperatures were quite high and the humidity was pretty high as well. We advised the front desk that the aircon was not working very well and they said they would someone to look at it, the next day we were told that the problem had been rectified, however it was no better that before we complained about it.
I can only echo what other people have already said about the ship.
The entertainment was terrible, the scene was set on the second night when the highlight act was a pair of harmonica players, who in their right mind would book harmonica players as a main act. Another poor act was a Chinese cultural group, these guys were obviously a local amateur community group, not what you would expect to find on a cruise liner. Other acts around the ship were mediocre to poor, one outstanding act however was a group called Playlist (I think), these guys played a wide variety of music, and played it well, something that can't be said for most of the other acts.
The ship itself is in need of serious maintenance, There were many instances of leaking roofs, even the main dining room roof was leaking at one stage. The two hot tubs at the rear of the ship were out of action for at least the first 10 days of the cruise. Other hot tubs around the ship were being taken out of service at various times, as was the main pool.Others have mentioned the sewage like stench on deck 7 near the Vista Lounge, it seemed to be worse in the evenings.
All of this was bad enough, but we had to deal with what I can only describe as an outbreak of influenza. I know it was influenza as my wife was hospitalised and diagnosed with Type A Influenza in the second week of the cruise. There appeared to be no measures taken by the crew to contain the outbreak, the handwashing stations in the Horizon Court were poorly monitored, at times there was no crew member in attendance.
We have only cruised 4 times, but this would without a doubt be the worts cruise experience we've had. I doubt we would sail Princess again.