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We booked our sixth cruise and connections through Flight Centre and all went well. The Diamond Princess is a large ship with up to 2,670 passengers and a crew capacity of 1,100. The ship was well appointed with plenty of dining options and lounge bars. Our balcony cabin, or stateroom as is the preferred name, was clean and well maintained by our steward Mario. The bathroom was small but perfectly adequate. The itinerary after a smooth embarkation from Singapore included visits to Malaysia (Sabah), Vietnam and Thailand, which were all fine, and the onboard service from the staff was excellent. The entertainment, on the whole, was poor with the exception of the main productions in the Princess Theatre, and this was probably one of the contributing factors of the underuse of the lounges. The second was almost certainly the brutal air-conditioning, as after a lifetime in the industry I can say that this vessel is a masterclass on how NOT to ventilate a public space. The third possibility is the country demographic, with a large Asian content showing no interest in socialising outside their group. On Saturday 22nd December at approximately 10.30pm and after the show, the adjacent Wheelhouse Bar had two patrons (my wife and I) with a performing duo, a relatively quiet atrium Crooners Bar with 20-30 and a piano playing female singer, the usually popular (on other cruises) Explorers Bar showing a video on the constellations to an audience of a dozen or so, and a five-piece band trying to whip up some enthusiasm in the seven watching in Club Fusion,normally known as the Vista Lounge. All these venues serviced by multiple staff trying to find something to do. There are also some very subtle changes by the cruise line which boils down to asking more and more for less and less. There was a sense of sad disappointment by regular cruisers, and if the itinerary continues in this way, it's difficult to see how it can sustain itself. As usual, all the staff were excellent, all hard working and diligent, but replacing frontline staff with exuberant personalities with people with reserved national traits and average communication skills was a mistake. You can teach how to do a task professionally but you can't teach how to have a naturally engaging personality. Overall, this was a beautifully appointed vessel staffed by hard-working people, but a continually cold and draft ridden public environment, a large demographic not using the facilities together with cost-driven changes made this a disappointing cruise.

Are They Killing The Golden Goose?

Diamond Princess Cruise Review by Ned Buntline

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2018
  • Destination: Asia
We booked our sixth cruise and connections through Flight Centre and all went well. The Diamond Princess is a large ship with up to 2,670 passengers and a crew capacity of 1,100. The ship was well appointed with plenty of dining options and lounge bars. Our balcony cabin, or stateroom as is the preferred name, was clean and well maintained by our steward Mario. The bathroom was small but perfectly adequate.

The itinerary after a smooth embarkation from Singapore included visits to Malaysia (Sabah), Vietnam and Thailand, which were all fine, and the onboard service from the staff was excellent.

The entertainment, on the whole, was poor with the exception of the main productions in the Princess Theatre, and this was probably one of the contributing factors of the underuse of the lounges. The second was almost certainly the brutal air-conditioning, as after a lifetime in the industry I can say that this vessel is a masterclass on how NOT to ventilate a public space.

The third possibility is the country demographic, with a large Asian content showing no interest in socialising outside their group. On Saturday 22nd December at approximately 10.30pm and after the show, the adjacent Wheelhouse Bar had two patrons (my wife and I) with a performing duo, a relatively quiet atrium Crooners Bar with 20-30 and a piano playing female singer, the usually popular (on other cruises) Explorers Bar showing a video on the constellations to an audience of a dozen or so, and a five-piece band trying to whip up some enthusiasm in the seven watching in Club Fusion,normally known as the Vista Lounge. All these venues serviced by multiple staff trying to find something to do.

There are also some very subtle changes by the cruise line which boils down to asking more and more for less and less. There was a sense of sad disappointment by regular cruisers, and if the itinerary continues in this way, it's difficult to see how it can sustain itself.

As usual, all the staff were excellent, all hard working and diligent, but replacing frontline staff with exuberant personalities with people with reserved national traits and average communication skills was a mistake. You can teach how to do a task professionally but you can't teach how to have a naturally engaging personality.

Overall, this was a beautifully appointed vessel staffed by hard-working people, but a continually cold and draft ridden public environment, a large demographic not using the facilities together with cost-driven changes made this a disappointing cruise.
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