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First tiime we have cruised with Princess. Thought this new ship would be wonderful. And it was - to a point. The good: ship looks great. Beautifully decorated, shiny, clean and new. Our mini-suite was lovely, if smaller than on other cruises we’ve done with other companies. Bed comfortable. Balcony very small, but adequate. Our stateroom staff were just lovely, friendly, everything always clean. The food on board we found very good in the buffet area and dining rooms. The International cafe was great, staff excellent. The entertainment was quite good, if you could see it (more on that later). Movie under the Stars is well done, and great new movies all the time, which are then available on the tvs in your stateroom. The Average: where to start. I did not expect to feel the ship so crowded, and it only took a day to realise this magnificent looking ship has been designed by one screwy naval architect. There is simply a flow problem of people moving around the ship, particularly on sea days or when weather is inclement on the upper decks. The central Piazza looks great, but is overlooked by cafes, bars and restaurants, which suffer from the terrible acoustics - everything entertainment wise often sounds so shrill and loud and completely drowns out any conversation you’re trying to have. Tried and failed to have a relaxing breakfast one morning at the International cafe while a paper plane competition was being held with a very enthusiastic and shrill-voiced hostess - just awful. This area too becomes an absolute bottleneck when activities or performances are being held - just not nearly enough seating, and people have to stand two to three deep to see - and block anyone trying to move past. I can’t understand why other areas of the ship aren’t used for “fun” activities, Zumba, line dancing, wooden horse racing etc - where the noise can be managed better. There is a shortage of outside deck area, virtually nothing downstairs off the public areas, and on the upper levels there is nowhere you can walk completely around the ship - it all comes across as public spaces being compromised for additional cabins or exclusive areas. The theatre is small (much smaller than any cruise ship we have been on), there as there can be up to 4000 people on board, and shows are usually shown twice at night, sometimes repeated the next day in the afternoon, simple maths shows that there is no way everyone can see the headline shows, and people quickly work out they have to be in the theatre 30-40 mins early to get a seat. There are other public areas like the Vista Bar, and Princess Live Theatre, but public areas seems to be small and compartmentalised. The ship is enormous but doesn’t feel like it is - hard to explain but something seems amiss. We just felt it was such a shame when the ship looks so lovely at first sight, but just somehow fails to deliver. The bad: the worst by far shops on any cruise ship - some highend shops that were always empty, and then only two small stores for general merchandise, souvenirs etc - these were crowded, and offered very little - could not even buy a Princess logo hat (I collect) as these apparently sold out a few cruises ago, and the staff couldn’t order and they had to just take what was sent to them. The alcohol duty free section was ridiculous, one bottle of each type of alcohol you may want to buy stacked on a tiny table in among the toys and chocolates - you pick up an order form from the table - no staff interaction, no promotions, worst I’ve seen on any ship. Overview: I don’t know how, but this gorgeous looking ship, with lovely staff and good food, just misses - and I can only think it’s the design - more use needs to be made of some smaller public areas, and some activities moved from the central Piazza. Cruises are not inexpensive, there’s a big market out there and lots to choose from. I had a really enjoyable cruise as New Zealand is magnificent and we were off the ship for all shore-days. But I would not sail on this beautiful looking new ship again, although I will definitely cruise to New Zealand again in the future.

Disappointing public areas for such a beautifully appointed ship

Majestic Princess Cruise Review by Thisissilly

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Trip Details
First tiime we have cruised with Princess. Thought this new ship would be wonderful. And it was - to a point.

The good: ship looks great. Beautifully decorated, shiny, clean and new. Our mini-suite was lovely, if smaller than on other cruises we’ve done with other companies. Bed comfortable. Balcony very small, but adequate. Our stateroom staff were just lovely, friendly, everything always clean. The food on board we found very good in the buffet area and dining rooms. The International cafe was great, staff excellent. The entertainment was quite good, if you could see it (more on that later). Movie under the Stars is well done, and great new movies all the time, which are then available on the tvs in your stateroom.

The Average: where to start. I did not expect to feel the ship so crowded, and it only took a day to realise this magnificent looking ship has been designed by one screwy naval architect. There is simply a flow problem of people moving around the ship, particularly on sea days or when weather is inclement on the upper decks. The central Piazza looks great, but is overlooked by cafes, bars and restaurants, which suffer from the terrible acoustics - everything entertainment wise often sounds so shrill and loud and completely drowns out any conversation you’re trying to have. Tried and failed to have a relaxing breakfast one morning at the International cafe while a paper plane competition was being held with a very enthusiastic and shrill-voiced hostess - just awful. This area too becomes an absolute bottleneck when activities or performances are being held - just not nearly enough seating, and people have to stand two to three deep to see - and block anyone trying to move past. I can’t understand why other areas of the ship aren’t used for “fun” activities, Zumba, line dancing, wooden horse racing etc - where the noise can be managed better. There is a shortage of outside deck area, virtually nothing downstairs off the public areas, and on the upper levels there is nowhere you can walk completely around the ship - it all comes across as public spaces being compromised for additional cabins or exclusive areas. The theatre is small (much smaller than any cruise ship we have been on), there as there can be up to 4000 people on board, and shows are usually shown twice at night, sometimes repeated the next day in the afternoon, simple maths shows that there is no way everyone can see the headline shows, and people quickly work out they have to be in the theatre 30-40 mins early to get a seat. There are other public areas like the Vista Bar, and Princess Live Theatre, but public areas seems to be small and compartmentalised. The ship is enormous but doesn’t feel like it is - hard to explain but something seems amiss. We just felt it was such a shame when the ship looks so lovely at first sight, but just somehow fails to deliver.

The bad: the worst by far shops on any cruise ship - some highend shops that were always empty, and then only two small stores for general merchandise, souvenirs etc - these were crowded, and offered very little - could not even buy a Princess logo hat (I collect) as these apparently sold out a few cruises ago, and the staff couldn’t order and they had to just take what was sent to them. The alcohol duty free section was ridiculous, one bottle of each type of alcohol you may want to buy stacked on a tiny table in among the toys and chocolates - you pick up an order form from the table - no staff interaction, no promotions, worst I’ve seen on any ship.

Overview: I don’t know how, but this gorgeous looking ship, with lovely staff and good food, just misses - and I can only think it’s the design - more use needs to be made of some smaller public areas, and some activities moved from the central Piazza. Cruises are not inexpensive, there’s a big market out there and lots to choose from. I had a really enjoyable cruise as New Zealand is magnificent and we were off the ship for all shore-days. But I would not sail on this beautiful looking new ship again, although I will definitely cruise to New Zealand again in the future.
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