There were some weird odours from time to time which were unexplained
The free pizzeria which was a favourite of ours, has been replaced by Share restaurant. The cost is $39 and the menu was quite limited; we didn't try it.
With the demise of the pizzeria, the only place to get an excellent (mini) pizza is at the Terrace Grill although pizzas are available with room service for a $3 surcharge
The Kai Seafood Bar's prices were expensive and also a limited menu.
The New Zealand Ice-cream Bar now charges. Not cheap and it replaced a free ice-cream bar.
No Anytime Dining, but I believe this will change form April 2017.
Overpriced shore excursions some of which did not offer even a light lunch even though the the excursion spanned lunch time
Considering Sun Princess was built in 1995, the upkeep of this ship has been excellent. Yes it's not the whiz-bang new mega ship, but for us it is the ideal size and great for traditional cruisers.
The entertainment was probably the best we have experienced in 8 cruises. Great production shows with first rate performers.
The food was on the whole very good/excellent particularly in the dining room (formal dining). Very consistent throughout the ship.
Dining Room service was par excellence with a magnificent waiter and head waiter. Great sense of humour and attention to detail. My idiosyncrasies were catered for brilliantly.
Breakfast in the Dining Room is different with an excellent menu
The Horizon Court informal (buffet) dining was very good with few examples of substandard food. I cannot for the life of me understand some reviewers who complain about a lack of variety.
THE MAGNIFICENT INTERNATIONAL CAFE HAS SURVIVED THE LAST REFURB OF THIS SHIP
This is contrary to some posts and various deck-plans including those from Princess and Cruise Critic. PLEASE NOTE CRUISE CRITIC: The International Cafe is on deck 5, located in place of the Explorer's Bar.
The International Cafe is a great alternative in informal dining with a very good but limited light meal menu.
The Terrace Grill is great with choices of food changing from time to time. Great burgers, including vegie burgers, excellent fries, pies and mini-pizzas.
Room service is free except for pizzas, but with a limited menu.
Was generally excellent with few exceptions.
I have to remark on the excellence of staff under trying conditions. Two cruises previous, there had been an outbreak of Norovirus. This resulted in 2 deep cleans including right before our cruise. This resulted in a quite late embarkation which was handled really well.
But most praise must be given to the staff in the Horizon Court Buffet. For the first 2 days ALL food was served by staff to make sure hygiene was addressed the best way possible. This put enormous pressure on the staff.
As a result there were no reports of more than a few instances of illness. Well done crew and all passengers,
No shortage of activities for all age groups
PORTS AND SHORE EXCURSIONS
A very good range of shore excursions with very good attention to detail and arranging
GERALDTON: A very pretty town with an excellent W.A. Museum
BROOME: Fascinating town with a Chinese and Japanese heritage. The Willy Creek Pearl Farm was intriguing.
KIMBERLEY FJORD SCENIC CRUISING: Spectacular!
DARWIN: The jumping Crocodile adventure is not to be missed.
PORT DOUGLAS: Wow what a mariner! Oh to be rich!
The Sky Rail above the canopy of the Daintree and the Scenic Train underneath the canopy was breathtaking and excellently arranged.
AIRLIE BEACH: Beautiful waterfront and views
WARNING: If you hate humidity don't take this itinerary during the wet season. (November-February). The humidity is extreme.
The Captain was most friendly and not distant like most other Captains we have met. He thanked us for arranging the best weather ever. We had smooth seas, no storms or cyclones and the weather was brilliant....no rain during day-light hours
The other crew were most helpful with a only couple of exceptions
There was a good mix of age groups although most would have been over 50. However, there were young families with children
We have traditionally had balcony cabins until this cruise. However, we enjoyed this cabin the best because it is the biggest cabin we have had. We enjoyed the extra space. There is ample cupboard space and hanging space. The bathroom is small but adequate. The new luxurious beds with Egyptian cotton sheets are fantastic
Contrary to all cruise sites I have researched, this cabin should have had a 'large' window, but it had a 'picture' window. This window is still quite large and gave us adequate views
I saw the 'large' window ocean view cabins which are on deck 8 forward and aft. These windows are slanted inwards which means the cabins lose space and are not as spacious as our 05 Premium cabin
There are only 15 such cabins on each side.
Do not trust the cabin descriptions of Princess or most of the cruise sites. They are generic and supplied by Princess.
I am trying to correct this by supplying photos.
A picturesque destination with an excellent W.A. Museum
Most educational and not to be missedView All 3 Pearl Farm Reviews
Spectacular Jumping Crocodiles tour. A great highlight and really professionally organisedView All 20 Jumping Crocodiles Reviews
A great mariner and waterfront views. The Cablecar tour was spectacular. The Sky rail above the Daintree canopy and the Scenic Rail under the canopy was a great highlight