Escaped Completely: Star Princess Cruise Review by vcr_traveler515

Star Princess 5
Member Since 2010
6 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Escaped Completely

Sail Date: October 2010
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Rome (Civitavecchia)
Cruise was booked through Princess website over one year ago from Captain Circle e-mail offer at half price. Three days before the cruise, we found out that we have been upgraded from Outside obstructed room (8th floor)to Balcony

(12th floor). The weather was a bit windy but sunny throughout the

whole cruise. Check-in process was fast and efficient. Ship was nicely refurbished (we sailed on the same ship five years ago before the port-side balcony fire).

Room steward was there to greet us once we arrived. Room was tastefully appointed. I ordered the wrong bed configuration online but the room steward changed it quickly.

Dining experience was excellent with very friendly head waiter, steward and assistant. We ordered a bottle of 2006 Don Melchor at a bargain price and enjoyed it over two evenings. We also brought on board some older vintage Italian red wine. The steward knew to change to better wine glasses and to bring a decanter. Headwaiter knew More to pour the wine to avoid the sediment. We learnt to order the beef rare if we want to eat medium-rare. Lobster tail was excellent. Headwaiter recommended bottle of 2001 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon at bargain price and it was another great wine experience.

Entertainment was excellent on this cruise as we were kept busy. The singers and dancers actually prepared five production shows for the twelve evenings. In addition the fellow at the piano bar drew such a big crowd that there was audience standing in the hallway after seats were added. Emma Sinclair, the British soprano, did one show in the Vista lounge and it was refreshing. This was also a special cruise with art buyers and artists onboard. The art auction (which we never attended on other cruises) was both educational and fun. There was different music in different lounges. We actually went "clubbing".

Shopping was another great experience. The shops featured different items daily and the ladies were looking for jewellry and the men were looking at the souvenirs. The Jacqueline Kennedy replica jewellry was definitely worth a look.

Photographic staff was very professional and the scenes that they set up for the formal night portraits were all expertly prepared. The four DVD cruise memory set was a bargain as one could not have captured those moments (especially the pyramid sound and light show) with one's own equipment.

We were most impressed with the Captain's command. Besides giving daily updates, he explained in detail when things didn't go as expected. e.g. why the ship stopped and moved again while docking in Alexandria - due to the wind. When the ship had to skip Khios due to excessive wind, he gave everyone an explanation of his decision process and made us felt we were in good hands.

The ship could not anchor at Khios because it was too windy and the the swell was too high to launch the boat tenders. So they skipped that Greek island. Disembarkation was very orderly with every one's luggage tagged by a color system. We took the Princess coach transfer to the airport and got there comfortably.

In summary everything went right on this cruise and it was most enjoyable. Less

Published 11/10/10

Cabin review: BBA601 Balcony

A601 - great mid-ship balcony cabin. No problems at all.

Read All Balcony (BB) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Our main purpose of going on this cruise was the visit to Egypt. We joined the Princess overland excursion with an overnight stay in Cairo. A convoy of ten buses left the port of Alexandria and travelled to Cairo under police escort. Even though Cairo was a very crowded place, we managed to get a glimpse of the city and the culture. Before the trip we were worried about the food and the water in Egypt. The tour operator arranged for meals at banquet halls of American hotels and non-alcoholic beverages were included. The laser sound and light show in front of the sphinx was not as impressive as I expected but it was still a great experience. We were lucky that it wasn't too cold in mid-October and all we had to wear was a wind-breaker type jacket. They put everyone up at the Conrad hotel. We got great pictures of the pyramids. I thought the excursion was a good value for the price. Be prepared to ignore all the young vendors who tried to sell you everything for "one dollar". US dollar was widely used. We didn't have to change any money to Egyptian pound on the excursion. Egypt is quite dirty with garbage on the side of the freeways. Just be prepared for a bit of the culture shock and the whole experience will be very enjoyable.

We took a taxi from the port to the new Acropolis Museum. It's worth a visit as they have a very impressive display.I had to spend an hour there even though I am not museum person. We went to the Plakka shopping district and found a wine store with a 100 year history. It offered free wine tasting, but only the lower priced wines. Get a bottle of the Greek varietal wine, Alpha One, and get a taste of the premium Greek wine. We wanted to see the changing of the guards but ran into a general labour protest. Instead we got some pictures of the riot police formation.

We took the Easy Istanbul excursion from Princess as we have been to the city before. We were taken to the Asian side of the city to view the European side. The subsequent visit to St. Sophia was enjoyable. We went to the usual carpet store sales but didn't buy anything. The Grand Bazaar was closed on Sunday, so we just did our souvenir shopping on the street next to it.

Read 403 Istanbul Reviews

We have visited Ephesus before, so we just walked outside the pier to the bazaar there. Souvenir shopping was great. If you like leather, there are lots of choices.

Read 614 Kusadasi Reviews

We got off the ship and walked to the pier to catch a jet ferry to Capri. Cost was 16 euro per person and the trip took one hour. We could not go to the Blue Grotto due to high swell. We took the tram up to the town and had some delicious morning snack in a coffee shop. We then took another ferry to Sorrento to have lunch. Then we took the train back to Naples. The ride took an hour to get back to the Naples main train station. It was another 15 euro taxi ride back to the pier.

Read 1173 Naples Reviews

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Member Since 2010
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