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Star Princess Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,466 Reviews

Mostly enjoyable, some letdowns

Star Princess Cruise Review by ozitripper

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2019
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Interior

We chose the 30-night cruise from Buenos Aires to LA because of the itinerary, this and not cruise line loyalty, is our main reason for choosing cruises. It was our second cruise with Princess. The itinerary was great, we were able to visit every port which apparently is unusual, we heard that several earlier cruises had missed some of the southernmost ports due to weather conditions.

The ship: Although a little older, is well maintained and comfortable. Our inside cabin was on the small side though storage space was good. On other cruises the cabin has been large enough to accommodate a small sofa as well as a chair. Here we only had one chair which meant that one of us had to sit on the bed. The bathroom was also slightly smaller than on other cruise lines. The theatre had insufficient seating for the number of guests, some guests broke the rules and saved seats. We learned to go early and take a book. The Horizon Court Buffet was also short on seating as was the Piazza area around the International Café, especially as we weren’t allowed to take food up Level 7 were there was more seating.

Staff: The Captain, Michele Tuvo, was very personable. Probably the best we’ve come across. Our cabin steward, Geordie, was friendly and efficient. Most of the restaurant staff were great, with the exception of some of the buffet staff. At breakfast they were quick to offer coffee or juice but didn’t like being asked for tea. They then brought it to us complete with teabags, too strong and nowhere to put the teabags. The Shore Excursions staff were helpful and well organised. In fact, I had no real complaints about any of the staff except for some of those in Passenger Services, some were good, others rude and unhelpful. Interesting that earlier commentators have said the same – take note Princess Cruises.

Food: We ate breakfast in the Horizon Court Buffet and would have liked a little more variety. Often there was only one type of yoghurt and only one type of fruit compote. The system for ordering omelettes was crazy. We only tried it once and after much confusion we ended with a cool and dry result. On other ships and in hotels they make them while you watch and wait. Most of the other hot food was OK but Princess need to find another brand of English bacon. For lunches onboard we alternated between the Horizon Court and the dining room. The food in the dining room was mostly good though the menu was somewhat uninspired. Food in the Horizon Court varied between very good and very bad. A couple of times we went to Prego Pizzeria which was good though the choice was limited. We mainly ate dinner in the Capri Anytime Dining restaurant where we usually shared a table and enjoyed chatting to a variety of people. Food here was mostly very good though some items were rather insipid and there were one or two disasters, e.g. the Yorkshire pudding and a couple of poor quality steaks. We found that the menus were repeated over the 30 days.

Entertainment: The guest lecturers were great; the Port Lecturer was funny and informative while the Enrichment Lecturer was knowledgeable and interesting. The guest entertainers were a mixed bag, some good, some not so good. Some gave two or more performances using different material but we avoided repeats if we hadn’t enjoyed their first show. Production shows were a bit of a letdown, they lacked the sparkle of those we’d seen on other ships. I fell asleep in a couple but was able to catch them the second time around as they were performed twice over the 30 day period.

Excursions: We joined Princess excursions in most of the ports. We found them to be on the expensive side but they were well organised and most of them were very good. We found the one in Santiago to be poor, we viewed the centre of town from the coach window as the bus drove through, no chance to stop and wander. We also got whisked away from lunch before the included folk show had finished. Puerto Vallarta was also bad with a guide who complained incessantly then demanded tips. We were given only a short time at the things worth seeing and a long time at jewellery and tequila shopping opportunities.

Would we cruise with Princess again? Maybe, maybe not, it will depend on itinerary and price. So far Celebrity has been the best of the cruise lines we’ve used. We still have two to come, one with Cunard and one with NCL.


ozitripper's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Entertainment
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin IB B324

A little small. good storage but only one chair, the only other seating was the bed.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Stanley

We found the ships excursions to be too expensive here. We joined the shuttle bus to Gypsy Cove where we saw penguins and enjoyed the scenery. On returning to town we strolled around and spent some time in the church and in the interesting museum. A great day out.

Punta Arenas

We wandered around town, spent time enjoying Pan Pipe music in the town square and visited the Maritime Museum which was very interesting. Some of the places we'd planned to visit were closed until late afternoon but we found plenty to do until it was time to return to the ship. The waterfront area is worth a visit.

Puerto Montt

Enjoyed the boat trip on the lake and the scenery in general. Had a nice lunch and some free time in Puerto Varas

Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)

We had a very good guide in the coffee plantation, we learned a lot and were able to sample some good coffee. The excursion also included the cart factory in Sarchi, another interesting experience.

San Juan del Sur

We joined a ships excursion to Granada where we had lunch. An interesting city, worth seeing. Also enjoyed a cruise on Lake Nicaragua. Another good day out.

The excursion covered the city, a market, the Church of our Lady, the Malecon and a Tequila factory. The guide was terrible, he kept complaining about the order of the excursion and asking us not to blame him for the way things were being done. Unhappy all the time and then demanded tips. Not enough time spent in places of interest, too much in a silver shop and the Tequila place.

View All undefined undefined Reviews
Lima

Went on the city tour in the morning till mid afternoon, this covered various sites and was well run and interesting.

Lima

The fountains were lovely, well worth seeing. A pleasant evening out

Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego)

We drove through the National Park to the end of the Pan American Highway. There was time to stop and enjoy places along the way. Well run and enjoyable

Montevideo

Took the hop on bus tour here but hadn't pre-booked. A good and inexpensive way to see the city which has interesting buildings, some lovely parks and a nice waterfront area.

Argentine Estancia

An enjoyable day out. After several days in Buenos Aires it was good to see some of the surrounding countryside. Estancia La Mimosa is an lovely old home in an attractive location. The people running it are very hospitable. They provide displays in horsemanship and folk music and dance, also a very good lunch. There was time to enjoy gardens and the various animals and birds.

View All 15 Argentine Estancia Reviews

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ozitripper
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