We chose this cruise for the destinations. We ( family of 5 ) are Platinum cruisers on Princess and frequent cruisers on many other lines.
We had two rooms on this cruise. A deluxe balcony and a mini suite.
Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly.
This ship is way too small for the number of guests it serves. The Princess theater never had enough seats for people. The buffet dining area was a joke !!! Very hard to find a place to sit. Hallways are very narrow and the layout is crazy. You are constantly running into dead ends and have to go up two floors, cross over, then back down !!
Buffet food was always the same ! One day there was a "seafood" section and it was as if people had not eaten in days. A total feeding frenzy! The dining room selection was boring and the service took forever !! We ate in the "Grill" one night and it was very good. It is just annoying to have to pay for a restaurant on a cruise.
ENTERTAINMENT: IF you could find a seat, there were a few shows. They were just ok..nothing memorable. They repeated the same shows two nights in a row.
The waitstaff and the room stewards were very nice and helpful. The customer service counter staff as well as the excursion desk staff were rude and very curt.
The mini suite was snug for 3 people. The sofa that makes into a bed is NOT a pull out sofa. It is a twin daybed configuration so don't expect a full size bed ! The twin beds are the most narrow beds I have seen. The deluxe balcony room was very small. The bathroom was tiny. The shower had the old fashioned shower curtain and so you always had water on the floor. You could literally stand in the shower and reach over the toilet and use the sink...it was that small. You can not open the bathroom door and have someone be using the closet. Not enough room for two people. There are two nightstands with two small drawers each. That is it !!!
Our children, ages 26, 28 & 31 were bored most of the time. During the sea days, there is nothing to do during the day. Thank goodness for a few silly game type shows in the Princess Live theater. This cruise did not have many people of that age bracket on board. The major population was Asian, then Australian, Canadian and a few of us Americans. Average age was 60 probably.
EXCURSIONS: In Hobart we took the excursion to an animal preserve. What a disappointment ! Yes, it is wonderful that they are helping injured animals and I respect that...BUT.... the excursion was 12:30 - 3:30 and the animals are all nocturnal except for the kangaroos . Obviously, one does not see many of the animals because they are in their habitat asleep !! In Tauranga we took a private tour to the Hobbiton and it was great.
We loved the destinations but were VERY disappointed with the ship and the cruise. This was not the usual Princess cruise so if you plan on taking this, just prepare yourself.