We chose this cruise because it was the only 14 day cruise that Princess does in the South Pacific. Beware, if you are considering a trip that embarks from Australia during January, you will be traveling with many, many children and teenagers. As Americans, we forget that Australians are on Holiday mid-December to February 1st. There were 500+ children on board and over 200 were teenagers. Many families brought their children into the dining room for breakfast so we were surrounded by crying babies, young children standing on dining room chairs, children on the rugs and running throughout the dining room. Unfortunately, the parents did not realize that there is a more casual restaurant, Horizon Court, that would be a better fit for the family nor did they realize that the children were disturbing the other passengers.
The ship is lovely and easy to learn the layout. The Cruise Director, Marcus, was new but he was the best Cruise Director ever! He spent hours with the passengers and was involved in numerous social activities which is unlike other Cruise Directors. Most spend half of their time in their office. Marcus was more sociable than the Captain. The Captain never spoke to the passengers even at the private Captain's Circle party. He never spoke to us at 12 noon while at the Sea. We would have liked to know where we were as to Longitude, Latitude, how far we have sailed, temperature outside, etc.
The food was average. The dining room staff still needs training in wine and wine service. Their knowledge is poor.
Sydney is a beautiful port for embarkation and disembarkation. We used the Princess pre-cruise package with 2 nights at the Four Seasons. The hotel was wonderful...our room was ready for check-in at 7:30 AM. Princess had notified them that we would be an early check-in. After flying 14 hours, it was wonderful to be able to check in immediately.
We used the Ships Spa Services even though their prices are triple the price as to what you would pay in the USA. They try to sell their products so you have to be forceful and say NO many times. They tried to sell me a $262 package of products.
Even though our Roll call was quiet for this trip, we met many wonderful fellow travelers and we were able to join private tours arranged by other Cruise Critic members. The information exchanged between members on the Roll Call is so valuable.
Cabins are a bit smaller than other Princess ships. The balconies are a bit larger mid-ship, Caribe and higher. We spent time every day on our balcony.
loved the little yellow train.
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Love the small island. The beach is outstanding.
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