Trip of a lifetime!: Star Princess Cruise Review by canoeq

Star Princess 4
Member Since 2003
101 Forum Posts

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Trip of a lifetime!

Sail Date: October 2011
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Other
Flew to Rome 2 days before cruise. We stayed at Hotel Artorius near the Coliseum. Great small hotel, walking distance to many sites and good restaurants (2 Columns is recommended). Hired a driver from FCO (40 Euro) and from Rome to Civitavecchia (taxiaroma 120 Euro) again highly recommended. Jet lag tip: we landed in Rome from SFO the morning. We toured all day and did not rest until about 8 pm. Did not have much problem with jet lag with this method and were able to get up early the next day for our Vatican tour. Embarkation was smooth and we were on ship around noon.
Ship impressions: Star Princess is going into drydock later in November. We thought the ship was adequately clean and laid out. Our cabin was Caribe 315 extended balcony was nice and used often. Plenty of storage but no dresser. Carpet was a bit worn but I am sure that will be changed in drydock. Cabin Steward John was very attentive and friendly. This sailing was not sold out and as a result we did not find too More much problem in finding loungers near the pool. Pools were really too cool to swim in.
Dining: Luck out with great tablemates and great servers in Yoana and Rhoderick early seating in Capri Dining room. The head waiter was very involved in helping the crew- first time I had seen a head waiter so active. Food was OK, nothing to complain about but nothing to especially cheer. Most evenings meals were relaxed and fun. I do have one complaint about Princess dining: Their morning dining the the MDR is ends at 9 am. On sea days we would like not to rush to breakfast. Not much a fan of buffets, so really did not visit Horizon Court except on disembarkation day.
Entertainment: early in cruise we did not do much in the evening, later we enjoyed the comedy shows. The magician was just OK. We enjoyed the Halloween party and dance. We briefly watched a movie outside but start time was not the same as what was listed in Patter so we missed the beginning. Casino was dead for most of the cruise. Activities on Sea Days seem a bit light compared to other cruise lines. I did enjoy the Zumba, Line Dancing and Ballroom classes.
Ports: Frankly a great itinerary- only disappointment was Khios was cancelled due to rough seas (our only tendered port). The weather gods were with us. No rain, a little cool and cloudy but great for touring. Less

Published 11/06/11

Cabin review: BAc315 Balcony

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Port and Shore Excursions

We planned an overnight tour independently through Ramses Tours. We had requested Karim as our guide, 18 people in our group. Although I read about the filth and traffic of Cairo it is not to be believed until one sees it- it is shocking! Despite Egypt's very apparent lack of government, we had a great adventure in Cairo! We stayed overnight at the Oberoi Mena House. Beautiful oasis in the sea of craziness. Tip: Ramses tours wants payment in cash USD. Of the ports we visited, I would not personally revisit Alexandria or Cairo but I think it something people should see once in their lives especially if one is interested in the Pyramids and Egyptian history. This is something I will not forget!

Lucked out as our port date was on a Sunday. Traffic was light. Scheduled a free walking tour with Paul of We ended up with 13 people, in hindsight probably would have been better with a smaller number. Paul did a great job keeping track of all of us. A 3 hour scheduled tour expanded to a full day. Paul was very accommodating with our desires and walked some of our party back to the Metro Station as the rest of us toured the Acropolis on our own. He then met us afterward and walked us to see the Hephaestus Temple which is normally not included on his tour. This temple is the best preserved in the Athens area.

After the filth of Cairo, Istanbul was down right beautiful! We had a full day tour booked with Magical Steps and we had Sinan as our guide. Again lucked out with a guide that spoke English very well. Went to all the sites including the Cistern and the Harem. Passed on the carpet and jewelry shops (much to the disappointment of our guide). Had fast food Turkish style on our way to the Grand Bazaar, I believe it is called a Durum witb Doner (think gyros meat). Very good!
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Booked another tour with Magical Steps to see Ephesus. Our guide was Zeynap. She was very charming and had a great sense of humor. She talked very quickly and full of knowledge. We included the Terrace Houses in our tour- I thought it was worth the extra money. Can really get a sense of living the high life 2000 years ago. We did have a stop at a carpet factory that was not on our itinerary. But there was no pressure to buy. Kusadasi would be a town I would like to explore further in terms of the beaches.
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Hired a driver Raffaele (, again we were not disappointed with our choice. Split the cost with 2 other couples. His van was new and perfect for sightseeing the Amalfi Coast. Raffaele did not talk as much as our other guides but I don't think he needed to. The views spoke for themselves. We stopped at Ravello, Amalfi and Positano. All beautiful towns that I would like to revisit. We toured Pompeii on our own as our driver waited. Again a great day!
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Member Since 2003
101 Forum Posts
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