We’ve been on Princess for a number of cruises. I think we prefer the mid-sized ship as everything that we experienced on the Majestic that we didn’t like was due to size rather than crew, activities etc
Embarkation was easy. Walk on and straight away you’re into cruise mode.
The rooms are nice, we had a mini-suite which gives a bit more space.
We like to make an effort to keep fit. We made good use of the fitness facilities and classes. All were good by Princess standards. Some free some you pay for (such as yoga and TRX) but there’s plenty of equipment to use even at busy times. What is disappointing is that there is no full promenade deck on this ship. One of our favourite things is to walk around a few times after dinner to help it settle. There’s not really the space to do this. They’ll tell you that you can walk around 17 & 18 but that’s right out in the elements and often got sections closed off.
Anytime dining was a nightmare. Don’t be confused that you can ‘just turn up at anytime’. You need to book. But you need to book at 8am in the morning. You can’t be spontaneous. If you do not book first thing, you will not get a table at a normal time. You may get offered 5.15pm or 8.30pm. But anything inbetween - gone! You’ll also get conflicting information about whether you can book over the phone or you may even be told to go to the dining room in person - only to discover it’s not actually open.....If you don’t book and you just turn up they will tell you they are fully booked and give you a vibrating beeper. You can wait up to an hour for a table in this way. It is nice to eat in the dining room though. The wait staff are always lovely and professional.
Tendering from a large ship is always problematic. We’ve been on the Diamond, Golden and Saphire and never had as many issues as there are on the Majestic and the Emerald. The ships have to anchor further out and have to shift thousands of guests. If you get up at the crack of dawn and get on the first tender you’ll be okay. Cairns in particular you have to queue for a tender AND you’ll then need to queue for a shuttle to take you into town 20 mins away. Prepare for this whole process to take up to 3 hours! Makes for a very short visit to the city centre.
On the plus side, the ship is beautiful the crew on board are lovely. The cruise director and his team are great fun. They seem to be enjoying themselves, even when dealing with difficult guests they handle themselves with grace and good humour.
Located quite near the front, we felt a bit of movement in rough weather, but nothing awful. We always select a room with cabins above and below so not to be disturbed by activities noises. This was a good selection.
We did the trip out to Daintree for a river cruise. We went out via a wildlife sanctuary, which was okay but if you’ve been to others in Oz, you’ll have pretty much seen it all before. The river cruise was great, saw a couple of crocs and learned quite a lot about the marshes. A morning tea and afternoon snack was included. I thought it good value.