Cherry Blossom Cruise switched to Slow Boat to China: Sun Princess Cruise Review by bruski

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Cherry Blossom Cruise switched to Slow Boat to China

Sail Date: March 2011
Destination: Asia
Embarkation: Other
This was our first cruise longer than 3 weeks, so perhaps that was the problem, but there wouldn't have been too many people wanting it to last much longer. The ship is very tired, breaking down, wearing out. And the enthusiasm of many of the crew seemed to match. Perhaps they are all due for a long holiday?

The changed itinerary and associated terrible tragedy in Japan might have accounted for some of the depression, but the very ordinary entertainment, suitable in many cases for a retirement home, certainly didn't help. The Cruise Director needs to go back to school and relearn his role. His ineptitude possibly accounted for the lack of enthusiasm of others under his guidance. As this cruise had so many days at sea quality entertainment should have been a top priority.

Our balcony room was quite adequate, although the bathroom was very poky with a clinging plastic shower curtain (bring some clips to weigh it down) and definitely only has room for one at a time. The More bed was comfortable and I requested and was given extra pillows and a top sheet. Television reception was intermittent and the guide bore no resemblance to what was showing. Movies were sadly not current releases and were very frequently repeated. The cabin boy was excellent and attended to anything asked of him and cleaned very well. It was such a pleasure to come back to a freshly cleaned room each morning, and fruit and ice in the bucket replaced each afternoon.

We had early seating for dinner at a table for 8 - a nicely rounded group of people, with excellent wait staff and generally very nice food with plenty of selections. The buffet was ok but generally getting somewhere to eat was a struggle. Manners that existed in the MDR seemed to fly out the window in the Buffet for some reason. The Steakhouse that cost extra was not worth it for the food but it was nice to get away from crowds for a while. I eventually got very irritated with the waitress who would say "Enjoy!!" after absolutely everything she did for us.

I was disappointed with the afternoon teas - in other cruises these have been served in a comfortable and intimate 'lounge' setting, with a string quartet or similar playing. Here it was served in the dining room, and sitting around the dining table had no ambiance at all. And the selections were nothing at all special, except for the scones with jam and cream.

The Library was also a disappointment. After the first afternoon there was hardly a book left on the shelves! Some people were walking out with armfuls of books. There obviously needs to be a limit placed on borrowings. There were many jigsaws in the Library, but all but one had pieces missing, sometimes many pieces. This was written on the boxes so the staff would have known.

The immigration formalities on the ship in the two countries where it was needed were organizational disasters, people waiting in lines for hours, and similarly getting access to tenders for shore excursions.

All in all, my enthusiasm for cruising took a severe blow after this cruise. Friends of ours (seasoned cruisers) did a 75 day Pacific cruise in this boat 2 years ago and raved about the entertainment. This was a big incentive for us to book this cruise, but we could only assume there must have been a drastic overhaul of that side of the business. Upon returning home we cancelled our already booked suite on this ship's World Cruise next year. Less

Published 06/24/11

Cabin review: BA Balcony

Our cabin was at the rear of the boat, very quiet other than the external door in the passage slamming shut at times. The view from the balcony was fine, same as all other balconies, but narrow, not much wider than the chair, again, same as all other balconies other than suites, I would imagine, but narrower than other ships we have been on. Adequate storage space for our things, but not much desk space to spread out on. Bathroom was woefully small.

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