The Sun Princess still provides excellent dining, entertainment, activities, port & shore excursions and an overall service experience.
The repeated noro virus problem is a worry though. Embarkation was delayed to further sanitize facilities. The steps required to combat this health situation also tends to reduce the overall cruise experience, with library books and written material missing, special sales reduced etc. Whilst I am not sure that Princess is at fault, since cases were reported very early, it does create a lot of extra work for the crew as well!! Perhaps the buffet could be reconfigured though (like the Pacific Eden Pantry) to permanently get away from passengers handling food at the buffet etc.
Basically, this short cruise gave us an opportunity to visit family in Cairns,and friends at Port Douglas, so we weren't looking for excursions (we have visited these ports many times before). Although, we were keen to see how Airlie Beach has fared since the Cyclone. We were also keen to see Willis Island for the first time. It was interesting to hear from one of the officers stationed on this Weather Station by radio broadcast to all on board and to witness a weather balloon launch.
Bedding excellent! The feather pillows and pillow top ensures a good night sleep. Apart from the TV location (too high in an inside cabin), the anytime playback movies, news etc is very good. As always, our Cabin steward was excellent and attentive to our few needs. We still wonder about the "placebo" air conditioning control panel though - a constant cooler temperature irrespective of any adjustment made. This might be OK for our cold weather passengers, but we Queenslanders like a warmer ship.
The smaller port at Harbour Front is located alongside a shopping centre and any shortcoming are more than compensated for by access to reasonable good shopping.
The port drops you right into the town and this enables you to take advantage of all the shopping and eating facilities as well as ready access to excursions.
Not a port.