Should have stopped to think about it really and would have realised that any Australian home port and back to home port cruise would attract, perhaps, passenger demographics that were old and infirm by the thousand, because they cannot, or will not, take a long haul flight to go cruising. This was borne out by an incredible array of mobility scooters, wheelie frames, walking sticks and broken and bent bodies from a passenger list with copious quantities of extremely old and very unhealthy people, as well as a considerable bogan element ( think body art by the square yard, caps on backward and loud boorish behaviours). We are not spring chickens at 61, but we’re comparatively juvenile in outlook by contrast. Not saying it is a bad thing, certainly for the oldies, but will never, ever do it again. Maybe I am just age-ist.
With only one Royal Caribbean cruise to compare Sun Princess with, we found the differences between our previous experience and this latest one, to be greater than chalk and cheese.
My main observations were that Princess ships leaving Australia are not tipping ships. Aussies, by their very classless nature, are egalitarian people to a fault and they find tipping an abhorrent thing to deal with, preferring instead that the onus is put on employers to treat their employees right and pay them a proportionate living wage. The Sun Princess experience suffered for it. Wait staff in the buffet, in particular, were singularly unhelpful, bordering on morose. Not so in the fine dining, for some reason . Better pay perhaps? I can only put the sullenness down to the fact that they were not getting the usual American way 18%+ tip for doing their job with a smile on their face.