Sydney to Nth QLD September 17th 10 days
We took my wife’s father on this cruise - and he was in good company. This was the oldest crowd we had ever seen on a ship. Lots of walkers, scooters, slow moving folk so don’t be in a rush.
The vessel size and the ports visited meant all but 1 were disembarked/embarked by tender. Combined with the age profile of the guests and some appalling organisation by Princess made this experience really poor.
We felt the itinerary was boring would never do something similar again. Even sea days were boring - its the first holiday we were happy to see the end of.
Nominally 3500 pax. We have been on bigger ships however this vessel felt crowded in the public areas. It’s an “odd” sort of vessel to get around. Lots of waiting for lifts. Moving from front to back you basically have to funnel through 1 public area which makes the whole ship feel crowded. There is no external promenade deck around the vessel.
The gym is excellent. There is a large number of treadmills, cross trainers, bikes etc. the weights area is a little small but well stocked. There’s a golf practice net however, ridiculously, it was so low in height that you could not make a full swing - what a waste. There is a put putt course, basket ball come racket ball court.
The central piazza is typical Princess - however it was also very crowded ...always.
Finally probably the worst coffee we have ever had and we tried every location on the boat. They just have no idea. We were so delighted to go ashore for a drinkable cup of coffee.
Just like the standard of food there are some hits and misses with the staff. Our suite cabin steward was MIA - days would go by between glimpses and waves in the corridor. Not once did he ask how we were going, need help etc. Some of the bar staff and food waiters were great. The people at the tour desk were just plain unfriendly - they definitely need a break from the customers.
General dining Concerto/Symphony/Allegro
As a suite customer we had Anytime dining - which worked out to be anytime they aren’t busy. There is absolutely no difference or value in anytime dining on this vessel.
The food in the general dining restaurants was also hit and miss. I had 2 genuinely awful meals which required meals to be sent away and 2 OK ones which didn’t. The service is fine.
Good quality pizza. Thin base nice sauce. Tasty egg plant parmigiana. This is a safe place for dinner.
It is on the third level of the piazza. With a band playing on first level of the piazza it was impossible to have a conversation without virtually yelling at each other. I told the maître dei no thanks see you on a quieter night. When we did eventually go to the restaurant it was OK. They had a snail agnolotti with an awsome sauce and this should have been great ...however the pasta was not aldente :-( Overall nothing special and probably not worth the cover charge.
Crown Grill - The best steak on any cruise line (not that i have been on many)
Every time I eat at Crown Grill I have a small fillet Mignon and swear it is the best steak I have ever eaten. Good food, great service, just love it. We had 2 meals here. The first was typical and fantastic. The second was on our final night and was pretty ordinary - they were very busy and everything was overcooked - even desert. We had two glasses of wine which were off so i sent them back - the waiter didnt appreciate it and was exceptionally rude in dealing with us. The excellent maître d' sorted it out but it shouldnt need this intervention.
It was just OK. We live in Ashfield Sydney which has a large Shanghainese community so we eat fresh, vibrant Chinese food - this food was the opposite to this. Not worth the cover charge.
By the standards of cruise ship buffet of the same class as Princess this is typical - and awful. The idea is a taste of worlds which is a nice idea however it just comes off as disorganised. We had 1 lunch here and that was enough for us - maybe dinner may have been better?
This is a suite mid/aft on Riviera deck (14). The location was quiet away from lift lobby etc. On entering the room it had a dank wet smell - which was eventually resolved (AC problem). We have now traveled in 3 Princess suites (Alaska, NZ and this journey to Nth QLD) and this one is pretty much like the others in its layout - we love them. The quality of furnishings and layout of the bathroom is great. My only criticism is the size of the balcony - it is weirdly narrow - 1.2m at its widest point. You had to be quite nimble on your feet to go past table and chairs to move around. If this is the future for Princess then it’s very disappointing. Majestic Princess is a disappointment for other reasons however on the basis of the balcony size alone we will never travel on this ship again.