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We chose Princess Cruises because we wanted to see New Zealand. This was our 9th Ocean Cruise with various cruise lines, and we have also been on 10 River Cruises, mostly with Viking. We chose Anytime Dining, not wanting the alternatives of either an early sitting (5:30pm) or a late sitting (7:45pm) and not wanting to use the buffet on Deck 14. We had to wait outside the dining room, sometimes for as long as 30 minutes, when we wanted a table on our own. Hardly anytime dining, so we mostly said we were willing to share a table with others, which has its drawbacks. I often had to wait more than 30 minutes for my one breakfast dish, while others at the table were having fruit, muesli, pastries, etc. We went to the buffet a few times, either just before or just after an excursion, but it was awful, standing around looking for a table which was just about to become available, and trying to grab it before someone else got there first. We only went to the Princess Theatre once, as it was far too loud, same as with the Movies Under the Stars. I said to my daughter that they should take into account the average age of the passengers when setting the volume. She said that they probably had done just that! I drink cider, so my choices were limited, either Strongbow, which is not to my liking, or Angry Orchard, which was fine. Except when the ship ran out of them after the first week. Fortunately, I found that the Wheelhouse Bar on Deck 7 had Bulmers Cider on draught, unfortunately it was only open in the evenings. Any more complaints? I thought the bar prices were a bit on the high side, Aus$ 8.75 for a 330ml bottle, and Aus$ 12 for a pint. Excursions were also a bit pricey; we pre-booked one with Shore Trips and Tours before we left home, and it was about half the price of the equivalent ship's excursion. What did we find acceptable? Embarkation and Disembarkation were well organised, cabin was kept clean, the food in the restaurant was excellent, the bar staff were always cheery, and Midnight Duo were our favourite entertainers.

First and Last Princess Cruise

Sea Princess Cruise Review by NormanNInglis

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose Princess Cruises because we wanted to see New Zealand. This was our 9th Ocean Cruise with various cruise lines, and we have also been on 10 River Cruises, mostly with Viking.

We chose Anytime Dining, not wanting the alternatives of either an early sitting (5:30pm) or a late sitting (7:45pm) and not wanting to use the buffet on Deck 14. We had to wait outside the dining room, sometimes for as long as 30 minutes, when we wanted a table on our own. Hardly anytime dining, so we mostly said we were willing to share a table with others, which has its drawbacks. I often had to wait more than 30 minutes for my one breakfast dish, while others at the table were having fruit, muesli, pastries, etc.

We went to the buffet a few times, either just before or just after an excursion, but it was awful, standing around looking for a table which was just about to become available, and trying to grab it before someone else got there first.

We only went to the Princess Theatre once, as it was far too loud, same as with the Movies Under the Stars. I said to my daughter that they should take into account the average age of the passengers when setting the volume. She said that they probably had done just that!

I drink cider, so my choices were limited, either Strongbow, which is not to my liking, or Angry Orchard, which was fine. Except when the ship ran out of them after the first week. Fortunately, I found that the Wheelhouse Bar on Deck 7 had Bulmers Cider on draught, unfortunately it was only open in the evenings.

Any more complaints? I thought the bar prices were a bit on the high side, Aus$ 8.75 for a 330ml bottle, and Aus$ 12 for a pint.

Excursions were also a bit pricey; we pre-booked one with Shore Trips and Tours before we left home, and it was about half the price of the equivalent ship's excursion.

What did we find acceptable? Embarkation and Disembarkation were well organised, cabin was kept clean, the food in the restaurant was excellent, the bar staff were always cheery, and Midnight Duo were our favourite entertainers.
NormanNInglis’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin IC
3 of us in the cabin, but we managed ok.
Riviera Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews