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218 Princess Brisbane Cruise Reviews

This was just a 2 day cruise from Brisbane down to Sydney so we were disappointed that boarding had changed to Fisherman's wharf as it is definitely out of the way and harder to get to. This was our 13th princess cruise and it ... Read More
This was just a 2 day cruise from Brisbane down to Sydney so we were disappointed that boarding had changed to Fisherman's wharf as it is definitely out of the way and harder to get to. This was our 13th princess cruise and it started out OK. Getting onto the ship at the grain terminal at Brisbane was a bit disorganized and could of been handled better but we eventually made it on board. The food was good and the new horizon court was set out well.The sail away party was different to what we are used to on previous cruises because princess was giving away bottles of wine and massages. If you have cruised before you would know that princess do not normally give away anything so this was a nice touch. We always purchase a coffee card and enjoy sitting in the Atrium for a cappuccino and were pleasantly surprised when our waiter who was a very lovely young lady, (unfortunately I didn't get her name) recognised us from previous trips. If she is on our cruises again I will definitely get her name. Our room was R343 on deck 12 and was very handy to lifts, stairs and the deck. As usual our room steward was very helpful and we received our extra pillows, dressing gown and the ice we requested very quickly. Everything was going smoothly until our last night on the ship. We turned in early getting ready for disembarking the next day when we were woken up at midnight by banging and hammering outside our door.This continued for about 15 minutes until I got up and went outside to tell the workers that people are trying to sleep. The person next to our room also was awake and telling the workers to keep the noise down.The complaints were falling on deaf ears so I rang the pursers office and complained about the noise. He told me he will investigate and get back to me. He rang about 20 minutes later and said all he can do is to send up some EAR PLUGS. Naturally I was angry with his solution as I did not go on a cruise to wear ear plugs to go to sleep. Princess needs to start thinking about their customers as I did not go on a cruise to have it end this way. We did not do an excursion in Sydney as we had been there before and had an early flight home. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We chose this cruise mainly to visit China and Japan. Breakdowns with a thruster meant our China time was mostly in the dark. The Sea Princess is a tired old ship with leaky air conditioning, poor internet and cabin presentation. Many of ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly to visit China and Japan. Breakdowns with a thruster meant our China time was mostly in the dark. The Sea Princess is a tired old ship with leaky air conditioning, poor internet and cabin presentation. Many of the common areas have worn out furniture. Princess cares less about value for money excursions and charges whatever they wish for beverages. Try looking at the price of beverage packages on furore cruises that you have booked. They increase them for every cruise even though worldwide inflation is zero or minus. They are experiencing diminished fuel costs as well yet they keep increasing prices. We are treated as though we are travelling wallets. They appear incapable of providing an expenditure based rewards scheme which would be way better than Princess Circle. Management are very slow to respond or adapt to changes in consumer demands. We experienced many issues with organisation, meal delivery, breakdowns, and coordination of activities. All were poorly responded to and it seems that on,board staff care less. The face to face room attendants, bar staff, wait staff and so on always provided the best that they could but it seems that they were working under very heavy constraints. Overseeing staff are superfluous. They appeared to over react to any situation, yet offered scant real resolution. Our most strident criticism is reserved for the excursions that were offered. We paid excessive prices for every single one, yet many were untried and certainly not coordinated with any professional standards being applied. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Cruised from Brisbane to Port Douglas and return February 2016. Cabin A624. Balcony First time with a balcony and was superb. We are seniors; travelled with other seniors (high majority of seniors travel on Princess) and well ... Read More
Cruised from Brisbane to Port Douglas and return February 2016. Cabin A624. Balcony First time with a balcony and was superb. We are seniors; travelled with other seniors (high majority of seniors travel on Princess) and well catered for. Princess cruises we have found to be far superior (more than P&O and Royal Caribbean) ; the cabin was lovely; well serviced; staff friendly, efficient and all with a smile. Dined in Rigoletto most nights. Maitre D was great; serviced our needs. Most staff great. Food was perfect. Also dined in Buffet; food also excellent. Had room service each morning; right on time and good variety and all free on Princess lines. Only critical is ship (for no known reason) came in not at Portside but Fisherman's Island wharf (terrible place) - long walk, lots of stairs & out in sun waiting for passengers (particularly on disembarkation) --- IF you're leaving your car in a parking station they charge $40 pp for travel and we had to then wait each way for transportation. Used Portside Parking, wouldn't recommend to use again. IF the cruise line make a change (as another sailing for us) they transport passengers at no charge. Passenger Services were most helpful (not so on many cruises we've taken) Internet very slow (as expected) but the Internet Manager (Yogesh) was amazing; so helpful as unless you are a computer whizz often need help setting up your ipad etc. Smooth sailing but choppy up north so chose not to go on tenders last 2 stops -- our choice as have visited ports previously on same voyage. Some tender issues so glad we didn't go. Entertainment was unbelievable; absolute top-class. Singers and dancers able to still dance so well when the boat is very rocky are amazing. The Captain (Cpt William Kent) was most informative; giving clear updates and very personable at cocktail night. Tried Lotus Spa, lovely setting; lovely staff. Wait for last few days for specials. All staff were personable and helpful. Up in top dining area were absolutely excellent. All around a lovely cruise. Highly recommended Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Sea Princess has been refurbished with new furniture Horizon Court but preferred old furniture (now looks like old Coles Cafeteria) but food very good & Italian section with cakes & pastries etc excellent. New carpets ... Read More
Sea Princess has been refurbished with new furniture Horizon Court but preferred old furniture (now looks like old Coles Cafeteria) but food very good & Italian section with cakes & pastries etc excellent. New carpets throughout. New Lounge Chairs Atrium deck 7 was a bonus. Captain William Kent excellent. Razzmatazz is now called Legends Sports Bar with many TV's. Happy Hour is held in Legends 3-4 pm & Wheelhouse from 10-11. Entertainment good. Disembarkation at Grain Terminal went smoothly. We did this short cruise to recover from last year's World Cruise & to prepare us for this year's World Cruise. Rough weather from Brisbane to Auckland but perfect weather from Auckland to Port Chalmers and then rain & fog to the Fiordland. Shore Excursions were overpriced. Cruise Director Peter pain in the butt - hope he is not on the World Cruise Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Everything from boarding to disembarkation went smoothly, but we were not told that the ship would be returning to Fishermans Island and not Portside terminal, this cost us more in transport costs. Had we known before we might have booked ... Read More
Everything from boarding to disembarkation went smoothly, but we were not told that the ship would be returning to Fishermans Island and not Portside terminal, this cost us more in transport costs. Had we known before we might have booked a different cruise. Otherwise everything was almost as expected, food in the dining room was good and varied although the wait staff were not quite up to the usual standard, they seemed to have issues of their own and were not as friendly as usual. The bar staff in the Crooners bar were the usual happy cheerful bunch although the dancing when they shook a cocktail became anoying, on occasions they were so busy chatting to other passengers they failed to notice us, so we left We had a great Cabin Attendant, could not fault him, never intrusive but always there when you needed him, he was the only one we tipped. Very dIsapointed that they now charge for ice creams, please bring back the free soft serve ice cream, thankfully the pizzas, burgers, pies, hotdogs and frys are still free. No complaint about the buffet, we only ate breakfast and lunch there but there was plenty of variety and the staff were very helpful. The cofe in the atrium needs my tables and chairs, it quite difficult finding a seat as some people use it as a reading room. The entertainment was the usual cruise ship standard, mostly average with a couple of highlights. The greatest entertainment was sitting on our balcony with a glass of wine, great music on our CD player watching the sun set, best part of the trip. The wifi has greatly improved and is available in most parts of the ship, speed is excellent and the technician knew what he was doing. Also as frequent cruisers we had 480 minutes of free wifi. The ship had a refit in 2015 and everything was fresh and clean. We did not take any shore trips, as we find them too expensive but getting ashore and visiting most ports was easy and cheap with transport provided in most ports. Passengers were mainly elderly (like us), no kids or teenagers so a peacfull and quiet trip. Overall a very enjoyable cruise comparable with our other princess cruises. We rate Princess as one star better than P&O although if you are under forty you might find it a bit quiet. Have always enjoyed Princess Cruises and have booked on the Sun Princess in November. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Terrific itinerary to PNG to places hard to get to any other way. Doini Island particularly memorable with spectacular snorkelling almost onshore for nervous swimmers. Solomons always interesting....hire a local taxi rather than an ... Read More
Terrific itinerary to PNG to places hard to get to any other way. Doini Island particularly memorable with spectacular snorkelling almost onshore for nervous swimmers. Solomons always interesting....hire a local taxi rather than an expensive shore excursion. Vanuatu a surprise substitution for Loganville. Shore excursions were as expensive as if we were cruising the Mediterranean and visiting cathedrals and museums. Also Princess need to review their policy of not carrying Png currency on board urgently.Travellers were paying locals in Australian dollars which they cannot cash in in remote islands.This is Not helping local economies. The vessel stank of sewerage through the air conditioning for most of the trip. This necessitated keeping the balcony door open. No tea and coffee making facilities in the room on the basis they are a fire hazard.As other cruise lines don't have a problem with this, it seems to be just another ploy to get clients to pay for basic services. Alcohol prices were excessive and smacked of price gauging: $8 minimum for a glass of very standard white wine. Finally the guest lecturer was well past her use by date and would have been offensive if not so laughable. Kept implying scientists didn't know what they were talking about and then launched into a plate techtonics lecture derived from Wikipedia.Clearly used to lecturing fifth graders rather than adults who knew more about the subject matter than her,which wasn't hard. The local guide talks were much better and useful. All in all the itinerary was great but our first experience with a Princess cruise was less than expected. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We are a party of 6, 4 from Brisbane and 2 from the Gold Coast and all over 65. We have sailed on this ship before and have found it very comfortable and easy to find your way around. There are numerous activities available however, ... Read More
We are a party of 6, 4 from Brisbane and 2 from the Gold Coast and all over 65. We have sailed on this ship before and have found it very comfortable and easy to find your way around. There are numerous activities available however, we did not take advantage of any. We had a balcony cabin which seemed a little after having a mini-suite on P&O the previous year. However, it was very comfortable although the bathroom needs a bit of timing with both trying to get ready. It is always nice to be able to sit on the balcony on sea days and just relax. We had 5.30pm dining which was good as it allows you to see any shows later in the evening. Sometimes, it seemed just a little early when you are having fun up on deck. The service is always exceptional. I was not enthused with some of the entertainment this time round but the Princess performers were quite good and they had an exceptional artist on the last night gaining a standing ovation. Disembarkation did not run smoothly and was running half an hour late due to immigration issues. However, we did get off at a reasonable time and home early in the morning. This cruise visited, Alotau, Doini Island, Kiriwina and Kitava Islands, Rabaul, Honiara and Port Vila. Four of these stops required the tender to get to shore. We arranged our own excursions at each port, apart from the smaller islands which you could just walk around. Overall, an interesting cruise, but not sure I would go to PNG again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Flew from Melbourne & stayed overnight at Hacienda Motel opposite the docks. Adds nearly $1,000 per couple to the over all holiday. Real pain for us Melbournians. Apart from that, Brisbane Portside Precinct is lovely and within ... Read More
Flew from Melbourne & stayed overnight at Hacienda Motel opposite the docks. Adds nearly $1,000 per couple to the over all holiday. Real pain for us Melbournians. Apart from that, Brisbane Portside Precinct is lovely and within walking distance of several motels, it was hot, we called a taxi -$8. No real problems boarding, except so many people arrive hours before time. Brisbane is quite organised, there is seating but thank goodness we walked down the precinct again and had a coffee and looked at the ship from the balcony viewing area, before checking in (Platinum). Not been on Sea Princess before, the upgrade/refit in Horizons is lovely, appears much lighter than on Dawn Princess. More room around the tea & coffee area and sweet & savoury snacks and treats behind glass, does seem somewhat cleaner in these times. Rooms - we had an inside as we booked late and took what was available, near the back but all good. We like fine dining, had problems in Rigolletos as we had booked for table for 2 and on table for 10, two men very unpleasant and argumentative. Tried to get smaller table, on 4th night we had a table to ourselves, 5th night arriving at 8.10 (7.45 was our booked time) the Maitre de (rudely) said we were "too early"! Really! I offered to look at the shops, he then said he had no room for us, try Traviata's - really! This was our 9th cruise so were quite taken aback by his attitude. Traviata's were also surprised but accommodated us with no problems. Note: A passenger told us there are only 4 tables for 2 in the Fine Dining Restaurants. I can't confirm this. Anyway, all good from there on, I even had a birthday cake one evening, very nice. The PNG Cruise itself - hot, humid, fun, very good company most people our own age, we are 72 + 76. Shows were good, islands were fun. Cultural Show at Alatau is a must and take a chance and ride a canoe, the people will look after you. Sure there's not a lot to see but we got off at every stop, swam in the beautiful pristine waters, took another chance and with the help of local finally got on a sailing boat to the little island only 5 mins away. $5 each. Locals are lovely, they do have markets but have little idea of pressuring you to buy. THINGS YOU MUST HAVE: Plenty of $5 notes, lollies for the children. Other items you could take are books, pencils, clothing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our first time on Princess though others in our extended family group had been on some of the larger Princess vessels. We were a group of 8 with two kids 11 and 12, their mum and dad (me), and my wife's parents and ... Read More
This was our first time on Princess though others in our extended family group had been on some of the larger Princess vessels. We were a group of 8 with two kids 11 and 12, their mum and dad (me), and my wife's parents and grandparents. Most of our previous cruising experience has been on Radiance (visiting NZ, Tasmania and Alaska) so apologies if I do some comparisons to that ship along the way! Boarding was fine and handled efficiently. We had spent some time at the Sunshine Coast prior to the cruise and rented a car from Europcar when we arrived at Maroochydore airport. We were able to both drop it back and fill it up with fuel at their Hamilton depot 100 metres from the cruise terminal which was very convenient! First impressions of the public areas of the ship were good. It had been spruced up a bit in Singapore last October and looked great. The layout of the ship did feel a bit claustrophobic to us though with low ceilings (I swear the head chef had to duck when walking around the main restaurants so his hat did not fall off!), a small atrium from deck 5-8 and tiny cabins with balconies 'inside' the bulk of the ship. Radiance is definitely a nicer ship in terms of its layout with lots of places to look out, a higher atrium, outside glass elevators and larger 'standard' balcony and interior cabins. Our balcony on Sea Princess only just fitted 2 chairs and a small table and the cabin had no place for a sofa like on Radiance. The bathroom was also very tiny and not laid out well as you pretty much tripped over the toilet on the way out of the shower and had little room to get dressed. Yet you had to do a long stretch to reach the toilet paper which was positioned as far away as they could manage without putting it outside! Strangely our kids interior cabin which was smaller had a much better sized bathroom then ours that was better laid out! Some good points about the cabin were the TV - you could change the inputs on it so I was able to hook up my Apple TV and watch movies from my IPad on it. If you have kids and want to bring along a portable DVD player or simliar you could be in luck with your cabin TV. There was also a good selection of movies on the TV that changed daily - a big improvement over Radiance. The cabin had one Aussie power point but it was upside down for some reason and positioned above the fixed desk. If you have a 'tall' USB power adaptor it may not go in the socket as the desk will get in the way. Luckily I had an angled double adaptor and could use that so the desk would not interfere. The bed was very comfortable but all our pillows had seen better days and were lumpy. Our room steward was quiet but very good at his job. We found the buffet to be great and ate there most of the time. The different theme nights were well done (we saw German, Asian and Brazilian nights but there may have been others), the choices from the dessert cafe were great and with the BBQ grill place just outside we were able to keep ourselves well nourished here. The staff here were great and very efficent at keeping the tables cleaned ready for the next diners. On the whole we much preferred the Sea Princess Buffet to the one on Radiance which was fairly monotonous. The free pizza restaurant on Sea Princess was hit and miss - great pizzas one night, pretty ordinary the next but the kids loved it and went there themselves some nights feeling very 'grown up'! The main dining room did not have a huge range in our opinion and we had mixed up orders a couple of times. The breakfast we ate there was woefully inadequate - I did not think it was possible to serve up a dud omelette but they managed to. The actual food at dinner was very nice though (when the right entrees came out!). The Steakhouse restaurant was $25 a person (a closed off area of the buffet each night) but we all had a free dinner there as part of a booking promotion. My steak was great but my wife's pork was dry and overcooked and they also bought out the wrong entrees here (maybe I was just unlucky again!) I don't think it would have been worth the extra money if we had to pay for it. There is also a New Zealand ice cream stand on the pool deck that replaced the free ice cream stand in the recent dry dock. One scoop is $5 as is the small milkshake and they all go up in price from there. It was never busy whenever we went past it... The kids spent a bit of time at the kids clubs, made some friends and then hung out with them the rest of the cruise. There were a lot of kids on board but I think there were even more cranky older people! My son even got told off by some old guy for hopping in the lift and holding up 'his' trip. Somehow I doubt he would have been so rude if an adult dared enter his lift! Yes some kids were running around etc but it is to be expected in school holidays. And speaking of kids the Captain gave a huge lecture at the muster drill about the behaviour expected of children (and their parents) and then went on again during one of his 12pm announcements for a good 5 minutes about 'everyone' having fun and not just the kids in the pools etc. I found his tone quite condescending and unwelcoming towards family groups. I also don't think his 12pm history lesson on earthquakes and tsunamis in the Coral Sea was very reassuring as we sailed through it! No one in our group ever saw him wandering around the ship nor did he show at the repeat cruisers event (despite it being mentioned on the invite). Again comparing to Radiance here but we saw the Captain quite often on our previous cruises and had a nice chat with him at the repeat cruisers event despite it only being for the 'lowest rung' on the cruise loyalty totem pole! As for the ports Champagne Bay was a great spot but the tendering there was slow. With no shore tours here taking up space in the tenders and with calm seas it still took over 2 hours to get ashore. They were so far behind when we went to get our tender tickets at 1130 (expecting the morning 'rush' to be over) that they said they were not handing any more tickets out for a while! It was mentioned that the jetty can only handle one tender at a time but there was never any mention of how long the delays were likley to be. Looking at other reviews on CC previous sailings have had the same issues at Champagne Bay so perhaps if they had said up front it could take 2 hours to go ashore people would not have been so cranky? Lifou was nice and we had an overnight stay in Port Vila due to Luganville being cancelled. This meant we could go ashore in Vila and not have to rush back to the ship on the first day. My wife and I had a nice dinner on shore as well. Perhaps all the cruise lines could look at more overnight stops in Vila or other places where it would be appropriate in our region (eg NZ). In Noumea we did the Amadee Island day trip - expensive at $260 a person but we used our room credit to offset the cost. It was a brilliant trip and well worth it even if we had paid the full price. Lovely island, great snorkelling, glass bottom boat tour, wonderful lunch complete with french wine along with dancing and various demonstrations of how to eat a coconut. Note though the lighthouse here is closed for renovations so no climbing to the top. I should mention also we had great weather the whole trip which added to our enjoyment of the ports. The ships entertainers did an OK disco show and the singer Claude Eric (I think?) was great. The British comedienn was terrible however - I had heard her jokes before and I don't get out much! Others enjoyed her show though so all in the eye of the beholder I guess. The performers in the various bars around the ship were good. My wife and I also caught up with some good movies that screened in the theatre, lounge or under the stars. They changed daily and were much better then what we had on our Radiance cruises where they played the same couple of movies the whole trip. We used the Princess at Sea 'App' but really it just directed you to a Sea Princess web page where you could check your account, see upcoming events and send messages to each other. It worked well but because the messaging is part of a web site you do not receive any notification that someone has sent you a 'text' like you would if it was coded into a stand alone app. Normally by the time I checked my phone my kids had moved on from where they said they were going to be! Disembarkation was well done and we were off the ship on time and caught a cab to the airport for the flight home to Canberra. Cabs were ready and waiting for us when we hopped off around 1030 and it was $30 for the four of us. A Princess transfer was $35 a person so save your money and get a cab! Summing up we had a great holiday with only a few minor quibbles that did not detract from our overall enjoyment of the cruise with our family. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We, as a party of 5, travelled ex BNE 12/1/16-22/1/16 to Vanuatu and New Caledonia. My wife and I have cruised several times before, the daughters only once, and then as children. Departure was somewhat painless. We elected to drive ... Read More
We, as a party of 5, travelled ex BNE 12/1/16-22/1/16 to Vanuatu and New Caledonia. My wife and I have cruised several times before, the daughters only once, and then as children. Departure was somewhat painless. We elected to drive and leave the car at Portside and for $119 for the 12 days, good value. It is a short walk to the terminal, about 200 metres. A good idea at the time but in hindsight would not do it again. Footpaths and crossings run out after a short while and then it is 4wd with the bag(s). Take the complimentary shuttle. Bagdrop is painless, if you follow directions. It is simply bags for rooms x-y to the left and a-b to the right. The number who just mixed and matched to suit themselves is remarkable. Deaf I suppose. Painless check-in and through and onto the ship in about 30 minutes. Princess now operate a designated check-in time based on your deck. Still numerous turned up to chance their arm and turned away to wait their turn. Good one Princess. The only real holdup is at Customs for the GST reclaim. One person maybe not enough, and an apparent inexperienced one on the system to boot. It was difficult to fault the staff in anyway. For us we found them all approachable save perhaps one in the Riveria Bar. One of my daughters smelt gas in proximity to a bbq area and reported it to a bartender who was serving her. Given the bbq and the fact that it was in a smoker’s area she thought it was significant. The bartender did not and dismissed her saying he was too busy. She in turn found someone in Horizon Court and he promptly dealt with the problem(s) the gas report and the errant waiter. I note in a previous review off the same cruise a comment about not seeing the Captain about the ship. To the contrary I did, several times, and usually chatting with passengers. Maybe not as obvious as the Captain on other ships, but he was around. Compliments should be given to the Security Officer, the ship’s policeman. Not an easy job, but he struck an even balance. It is afterall a medium size country town. Cabins and public areas for fine, although at times there was a sewerage smell, but attended to quickly. There were reports of toilet blockages, but I wonder whether this was a ship’s problem, or passengers simply not listening to what and how much should be sent down the toilets (the normal excluded). We had two cabins, a balcony and a mini-suite for the girls (to give them a bed each). Both more than adequate and both with great room attendants. I would caution using a mini-suite if the intention is to give third adults a bed to themselves. It is a sofa bed and therefore not the most comfortable. Beds all good, but pillows have seen better days. Meals were generally eaten in the main dining room, with the occasional trip to the Pizzeria or the Horizon Court. Good all round, no misses and no disappointments. The waiters for us in the main dining room were on the ball with a great sense of humour. Ditto with the Maître D. Entertainment was adequate. The Ship’s Dancers and Band(s) – top marks. The piano man/singer you either liked him or hated him, but he always had an audience. The English Comedian and Dolly Parton lady again/take it or leave it. Dolly is a hard act to follow anyway. The solo violinist was 100% - fantastic. To Princess credit they swapped contract entertainers on/off ship so it was not all repetitive. This time around e only had four ports of call – 2 for Vanuatu (Champagne Beach and Port Vila) and 2 for New Caledonia (Lifou and Noumea). Have been to them all before, and having previously lived in Vanuatu as an expat have a soft spot for it. Champagne Beach has always been one of our favourites, mind you a lot better when you do not have 2000 on the beach. We went to the local Blue Lagoon which was not a mistake (nice spot) but a mistake anyway as I meant the Blue Hole. One you go right and one you go left. Port Vila we did our own thing with a local driver. Again the Blue Hole about 30 minutes out of town near Eton Village, and then Eton Beach. The Blue Hole was packed , Eton Beach devoid save for locals. Eton is a fantastic spot and the monies charged for admission serve the local Village. You will get a receipt. We used a local driver. Cost 10000 Vatu. Ni-Vanuatu are friendly people. That said the antics of many (bus and taxi drivers) around the port gates could be daunting, and does give a negative outlook to Vila. Dinner was off the ship with friends at a new harbour side restaurant. Lifou is another little gem and the snorkelling in Janek Bay great. This is a nature reserve and the locals charge $15. Well worth it. 10 minutes walk from the pier. Amadee Island (Noumea): A tad expensive but a great day. Do as much, or as little as you want. Great engagement by host and staff, Great snorkelling (turtles and sea snakes plus fish), great entertainment and lunch. Now the downside. Kids and those who do not wash their hands after the washroom. Kids: 600 of them. True not all were a problem but there were a number that were. From corridor runs late at night, the random door knock and run, push every button on the lift and bolt, young ones alone in the Horizon Court (with mummy and Daddy in the sun, or worse at a show at night) etc, etc. You get the drift. Conduct around the pool abysmal, dive bombing, etc, contrary to the signs, and announcement reminders. Little or no parental supervision. Yep, it was school holidays, and yep mum and dad were on holidays as well. So were others. It is not the responsibility of the ship to look after little Johnny and Mary. Ditto for other passengers for that matter. I have no doubt had one been seriously injured, or worse gone overboard Princess would have been held to blame by Mummy and Daddy. Hand Washing: The number of people who fail to wash their hands before leaving the washroom astound. Same for those who then go to the dining areas, in particular the buffet direct without using the liquid there. We were lucky. No gastro breakout, but again I have no doubt had we then all would have been on the band wagon blaming Princess when in fact the real reason may have been the result of poor passenger practices, not the ship. Overall this was one of the most enjoyable cruises we have done. And yes we would go Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Sea Princess is incapable of providing adequately for any special diet except for simple gluten free or vegetarian. They have no menu for Gluten, Lactose or any other frequently occurring allergy. This caused multiple reactions because of ... Read More
Sea Princess is incapable of providing adequately for any special diet except for simple gluten free or vegetarian. They have no menu for Gluten, Lactose or any other frequently occurring allergy. This caused multiple reactions because of inadequate information. Also many became ill with a flu like virus. NO EXTRA CLEANING was done of rails or buttons around the ship. One waiter coughed into his hand and kept on clearing and wiping tables. My husband and myself have arrived home today sick with flu like symptoms. We were healthy when we boarded and got sick a few days into the trip. We definitely did not return as Promised. We certainly did not "Come back New". Passengers were made to feel that it was all their fault that they were sick. We had sprayed our entire cabin with Glen 20 before unpacking and again before leaving. When we saw our stripped bed, the mattress cover and doona both had brown stains from the previous trip. We had been told that "everything was fresh" when we boarded. We know we did not spill or cause bodily stains. Pity the next person! We also had to put up with the lead male singer from the production troupe loudly telling the entire Horizon Court about one of his own sexual encounters in complete detail from go to whoa while fellow troupe members laughed. I asked for the errant singer to be put off ship but was ignored until my husband and I pushed the matter further. We were initially told that "appropriate" action had been taken and that I, as the passenger, did not need to know. Upon insisting on further information as I was personally affected, we were later told that he had been given a final warning. Guest entertainers were better than expected especially the two NZ male singers. The production shows were average with little but forced enthusiasm from the dance troupe. They were just going through the motions. We are unable to comment on many activities because of illness. Spa, Pools and Sauna were not used by us so as not to spread bugs to others. I was looking forward to the spa. The TV has NO Australian News Service and the MSN and BBC seem to be oft repeated downloads. There is no real TV program except for a fast scrolling list which is impossible to read. It is pure luck if you find something to watch. Most channels on TV are just for the Sell, Sell, Sell spiel of the boutiques on board. Also the boutiques did not respect Christmas and opened for business all day. Christmas Dinner featured one Bon Bon with a paper hat per person and a choice of Turkey or Ham or Roast. Christmas Lunch was just a normal meal with not even a paper Santa place mat! Disappointing since it had been talked up so much and we had paid a premium fare for the Christmas cruise. The individual stewards and crew really try their best but seem bound by very strict rules of what they can or cannot do. Pity the male troupe singer let the rest of the crew down. We pay the fare, we are entitled to get what we pay for. That did not happen. We are waiting to hear back from Carnival Sydney office...I wonder. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We as a family have just completed a cruise of the South Pacific on the Sea Princess. Embarkation was a nightmare with two very young children. It did say in the fine print that children under 2 would have priority boarding, but when we ... Read More
We as a family have just completed a cruise of the South Pacific on the Sea Princess. Embarkation was a nightmare with two very young children. It did say in the fine print that children under 2 would have priority boarding, but when we requested this, were denied. The beds in the cabin were so old and uncomfortable that after the third day we had back problems. The food was very disappointing, the buffet had a lot of very greasy food and it appeared there was a lot of "Penny Pinching" in the kitchen. On one occasion fresh Asparagus that was so brown, was served at the buffet for breakfast. This should never have left the kitchen. Bananas were so overripe on one occasion, they should not have been presented. The dining room was hit and miss. We had Curtis Stones's pork belly one night with Crackling but there was no crackling. The meals lacked green vegetables and the menus were not appealing, and some nights it was hard to find something that appealed. Christmas lunch was the worst Christmas lunch I have ever had, I thought they may have gone to some effort with the buffet. I have had far superior buffets on ship before that were just an everyday lunch. We were on the Diamond Princess last Easter the meals were far superior. The buffet breakfast was the same every day. Mushrooms were served on a couple of occasions. Again a lot of greasy food. The children had clothes ruined because they touched rails that had been freshly painted. There were no "wet paint signs". I find it strange that rails on the promenade deck are painted while at sea. I would have thought this would be done while in port. We felt children were not welcome on the cruise, by all the notices and announcements at the start. Maybe all passengers should be told to think of others on board. I have encountered some very rude people on cruises and on this particular cruise we witnessed s a man in the buffet screaming at the steward to get him something. No steward should be treated like this and the children were much better behaved than this man. Four of us left the ship not feeling well with colds, like a lot of other passengers. The disembarking at Champange Bay was a shamble, we waited for 2 1/2 hours on the first day and gave up. People were hanging around the stairs waiting until they called for 2 or 3 more and they were on in spite of their numbers. We had someone go on with us, with tickets 150 behind us, in spite of all the people waiting up stairs. We feel Princess has really lowered the standard of their cruises and we will not be returning to do another cruise. I have never heard so many people complain about things on a cruise before. There are always a few "whingers" on any cruise, but every second person seemed to be complaining about something. Very disappointing for a special Christmas Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Because I wanted to be away for Christmas I was limited to which cruise was available. Consequently the destinations weren't the greatest, and there were too many days at sea for me, although I know that's the part that many ... Read More
Because I wanted to be away for Christmas I was limited to which cruise was available. Consequently the destinations weren't the greatest, and there were too many days at sea for me, although I know that's the part that many people enjoy. No complaints about the cabin (a mini-suite which was great) or Renato who kept it spotless. Staff, almost without exception, were good - very friendly and mostly efficient. I have read and heard some complaints about this and other cruises and really people - what do you expect? It is a cheap holiday that provides accommodation, entertainment, all meals, where you hardly have to lift a finger and you get much better attention than when staying in an hotel. I'm a reasonably fussy eater but always found something to enjoy and dining room staff were accommodating in changing items if asked, e.g. I wanted a vegetable that was shown on the menu with another dish and that was easily accommodated. Let's face it, if you didn't enjoy the meal in the dining room there's always plenty of other choices elsewhere on the ship pretty much around the clock. And dining room staff are always willing to change a meal if you don't like it, so maybe the critics need to take more responsibility and ask (nicely) for what they want instead of suffering in silence and criticising later. Drink prices were reasonable, although some of the wines were only cheap ones anyway. The tender system at Champagne Bay was disappointing because there is only one landing point. Worked better on the 2nd day, but we only had a 2nd day because of a late change to the itinerary because Luganville wharf was still under reconstruction. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. Entertainment was mostly good, although the historian giving talks on what seemed like good topics was monotone and boring in his presentation. Actually saw people sleeping during one presentation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We waited anxiously to board the Sea Princess at for the Christmas cruise from Brisbane. Having sailed previously on her, we were waiting to see the remodelling that had been done in Singapore - and it didn't disappoint. Her new ... Read More
We waited anxiously to board the Sea Princess at for the Christmas cruise from Brisbane. Having sailed previously on her, we were waiting to see the remodelling that had been done in Singapore - and it didn't disappoint. Her new Horizon Court was extremely fresh and welcoming - providing and array of foods (greasy and non-greasy) depending on taste. A nice addition was the Italian Cafe offering cakes and pastries and in the afternoon some sliced meats and cheese. We learnt on the cruise that the beds are finally getting an upgrade - about time. This is overdue and will provide an important to sleeping comfort. It was disappointing that many parents with children on board, forgot that they needed to provide adult supervision. I witnessed on several occasions inappropriate behaviour of children, particularly around the staircases and in the lifts (pressing every button when exiting). It was great to hear the Captain (although shouldn't have had to do) remind parents and children about the safety aspects and conduct around the ship. For those parents who were upset by these announcements - maybe look at your kids! Tender disembarkation was good at those ports requiring tenders. However, tender disembarkation is always slow, so may have upset some who had to wait for a tender. Return services from the islands was great. Overall, the cruise was value for money and very relaxing. Looking forward to sailing on the Sea Princess again soon. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
After just getting off another cruise line and returning to the Sea Princess for the third time it was like coming home and everything was good. From the friendliest staff to the best entertainment and keeping my enjoyment of the food to ... Read More
After just getting off another cruise line and returning to the Sea Princess for the third time it was like coming home and everything was good. From the friendliest staff to the best entertainment and keeping my enjoyment of the food to last and the very best! We ate breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Court bistro and the food was always varied and interesting. We always found something good to eat unlike the Voyager of the Seas Windjammer bistro where the food was dull, badly cooked and unappetising. But more importantly is that Princess cruises have their bistro open to 11pm at night. We loved going back upstairs after a show to have another little snack. No we didn't need it but it was a little luxury that we enjoyed. The meals in the main dining room were well prepared and changed daily. Especially love their formal nights and it's great to see majority of passengers dressed appropriately for the night. Of course the last formal night is lobster night and our favourite meal of the cruise. But if you don't want to get dressed up its still ok as the food in the bistro is quite often very similar. So you will not miss out. My only disappointment was that Zumba classes were only held on sea days (not the last sea day) which meant we only had 3 days of classes. Would have liked every day as having been to all the ports before there were days when we didn't get off the ship and I was missing my Zumba class or other exercise. Our first Sea Princess cruise (a few years ago) I remember we had Sit Down Zumba classes for the not so fit passengers and this was a fun class with the whole Vista Lounge full of people laughing and having fun while exercising. I used to do the sit down class and then Zumba class. A fun way to spend time onboard hoping to offset the excess calorie intake!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Let's start at the beginning. We arrived quite early at the Brisbane cruise terminal expecting to wait a while to embark, even though we had priority boarding. Well what a surprise we were checked in and on board within 30 minutes and ... Read More
Let's start at the beginning. We arrived quite early at the Brisbane cruise terminal expecting to wait a while to embark, even though we had priority boarding. Well what a surprise we were checked in and on board within 30 minutes and exploring the ship soon after. Bags were delivered within the hour. Quite painless. This was our first Christmas cruise so didn't know what to expect. It was great. There was a real variety of age groups on board. From young to older couples, singles, extended family groups and groups of friends. We dined almost every night in the dining room. The wait staff were very professional and friendly and the food was really great with a good variety. Tried the Curtis Stone Chicken and Leek pie which was really good but I would prefer the all time favourite menu to come back with it's bigger choice of dishes. On other occasions we ate at the Horizon Court and really enjoyed the theme nights -Asian, Italian etc. The newly refurbished Horizon court looked great, some food was good, some average. variety was very good, especially the desserts. The whole food area was always clean, neat and tidy and staff were always doing their best to keep tables clean for other passengers. We were very impressed with the Christmas dinner menu in the dining room. Traditional fare on offer - ham, turkey, lamb roast, plum pudding, yulelog and Christmas bonbons. Had a great time with our dining companions. We found the singers and comedian very good especially the New Zealand singer on the first couple of night. He was so talented and provided some light comedy to his routine. However the production shows were very average. The dancers seemed to be just going through the motions. Every staff member we came across were very professional and very eager to help you in any way, especially our cabin steward Domnick. Nothing was any problem for him. On the first day he made a note of any special requests we had and by that evening these requests were taken care of. There were two medical emergencies on this trip. One in Port Vila where the patient was transferred by ambulance for medical evacuation to Australia. The other while out to sea. A helicopter from Noumea arrived winched the patient on board for transport to a hospital in Noumea. The captain kept all passengers informed of this and any expected delays that may occur. In summary we would recommend this ship to others. There was nothing for us to be dissatisfied with. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Started off in Brisbane Australia, embarkation was quick & easy, once on board we made our way to our stateroom c703, we entered the room for the first time & first impression was one of disappointment, our stateroom was more like ... Read More
Started off in Brisbane Australia, embarkation was quick & easy, once on board we made our way to our stateroom c703, we entered the room for the first time & first impression was one of disappointment, our stateroom was more like a statecloset, it was small with little room, the bathroom was very very tiny, bugger all wardrobe space. If someone was at the wardrobe then you had a very hard time getting in or out of the bathroom & stateroom main door. One of the lamps that was attached to the wall above the bed was broken & was reported to our cabin steward on arrival & was still broken on the conclusion of the cruise, the mattresses on the bed was passed it's use by date as it was very saggy in the middle & after the third night sleep we woke with a sore back every morning after, there was run marks on the walls & stains all over the carpet. We went to see a show in the vista lounge & after asking the wait staff for a coffee as we don't drink alcohol we were promptly told that they dont do coffee & when we asked why we were just told that we couldn't get one. We went to the Ragilleto restaurant the first night for dinner only to leave hungry due to very small meals so we made our way to the buffet to top up our still rumbling tummies, when we walked into the buffet we were amazed at the selection of different foods on offer & the great quality, so we ate there every night there after, the buffet was great. The ships entertainment & shows were good, the ships staff were good, except for the wait staff in the vista lounge, not very helpful. Overall with the exception of what was mentioned at the start of this review the cruise was good & we would consider Princess Cruises again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our fourth Sea Princess and was the worst, 35 Million Dollar refurb was excellent more room in the buffet and much cleaner , food was pretty good as always but no so in the dining room. Curtis Stone should be kept away from ... Read More
This was our fourth Sea Princess and was the worst, 35 Million Dollar refurb was excellent more room in the buffet and much cleaner , food was pretty good as always but no so in the dining room. Curtis Stone should be kept away from ship's menus, the variety was not there like in the past where there were theme nights in the dining room and the food was much better , service was excellent though, bar service was good but no Queensland beer on board even though it goes from Brisbane often. The money changers did not turn up so PNG lost a great deal of trade because most did not like AUD. No gratruity on bar service but prices increased, never saw the captain walking about, only over the loud speaker at midday, Captain Bill Kent was always about talking to people. The shows were the same ones we had seen on previous trips, but gone were the dancing and singing shows of old, same old jokes from a couple of tired comics and some cowboy trying to sing in the lounge. ( Shocking) , might have to think another cruise line for more variety. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Papua New guinea is a must go destination for everyone no matter what age and background you are. Returning expatriates, returning ex-service personnel, children of those who once lived in PNG, inquisitive travelers etc. Our first time ... Read More
Papua New guinea is a must go destination for everyone no matter what age and background you are. Returning expatriates, returning ex-service personnel, children of those who once lived in PNG, inquisitive travelers etc. Our first time with Princess Cruises and they excelled in every area. In Alotau we did the Cultural Festival on board tour which was worthwhile. We noted that independent travelers still had to pay the same as passengers if they wanted entry. Good range of cultural dancers and the arts and crafts were very nice and affordable. We noted that the sellers were not used to haggling and when we were dropped off at the local market on the way back to the ship we could see why. All the produce in the markets was marked with a price and that was what was paid. There were other tours to suit other interests such as WWII or local village and cooking tour. Off to Kitava Island where we were greeted by three young ladies in traditional dress who we felt were only doing it because their mum had insisted. We saw her taking note of the numbers of passengers getting off the tenders so I'd say she billed the cruise line for the privilege as many of the other children had signs "K5 a snap" in front of themselves. The primary school children were there to greet us and put on small performances and were a delight. More carvings, shells, string bags (bilums) for sale. Lovely place for a swim and snorkel. Off to Rabaul where we took a full day tour with Kokopo Tours (wish I could insert their flyer here so others could benefit!) AU$150.00 each including water and lunch at the Gazel Peninsular Hotel. Saw everything there was to see, Yamamoto's bunker, Bita Paka War Cemetery, Kokopo War Museum and Cultural Center, Hot Springs, Volcano, WWII Zero crash site etc. The devastation of the last major eruption in 1994 is still very evident. Sea day before reaching Doini Island for more snorkeling, dance groups etc. More arts and crafts to buy. What a great little 'resort' island. Check out www.doiniisland.com and if you're cruising there pre-book snorkeling or trips to Samarai Island etc. Love to come back and chill!!!! 2 more sea days and back to Brisbane. On the way up to PNG and on other sea days we were entertained by very knowledgeable speakers who obviously loved their work. All in all a very pleasant visit to our next door neighbours. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our first cruise, so we really didn't know what to expect. After what I was told was a fairly long wait to get on board (I did not know this at the time), I went to explore the ship and have some lunch. I found a very good ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so we really didn't know what to expect. After what I was told was a fairly long wait to get on board (I did not know this at the time), I went to explore the ship and have some lunch. I found a very good range of food at the Horizon Court. We had booked an inside cabin on deck 6, so after lunch we went to look at it. Small but adequate is now I would describe it. We did not intend to spend a lot of time in there, so it was not going to be a problem. The first night sleeping was not too good, the A/C was very drying on my nose, I must remember to take a fess frequent flyer spray with my next time to moisturize the nasal cavities... I have since spoken to a lot of people who had balconies who tell me that they had their doors open most of the time, as the A/c was playing up with them too!. I have actually ended up with a very bad throat infection. It started out as a dry cough, then sore throat, now a day after getting of the ship it is fully in my head nose throat and chest! Not good. I was told that a lot of people were having the same symptoms and some of the staff had it too! The ship has sailed off to New Guinea yesterday afternoon, I wonder how many will be sick while on it up there? Entertainment was excellent, the singers and dancers were so full of energy, and I also enjoyed the lady entertainer Maggie... Saw most of her shows! I did miss out on seeing the Elvis Impersonator, I was disappointed when I found out how great he had been! Champagne bay was lovely... Clear beautiful water, locals were cooking up lobsters for sale and I bought a few little things from the markets and a sweet piece of pineapple to eat. Photos with birds, snakes, turtles and lizards where some of the offerings from the locals. We were in Port Vila for 2 days so we really got to explore the area. We hired a taxi for the 2 days with the same driver. 4 people $50 each, each day. He took us to the Tanna coffee roasting factory, the secret gardens and shopping in town for duty free the first day. Second day was a trip around the whole island, we saw a lot of the destruction from the cyclone they had had in May 2015, took pictures from the top of hills and visited the hot springs, they had been hit badly with the cyclone but we still had a dip in the pool, just like a hot bath... very relaxing. Next we visited the Blue lagoon, had a swim and some of my party were swinging off the ropes and dropping into the water, we all had a fantastic time! Next was Lifu, we started to walk around, not really knowing where things were. I wanted to go tot he vanilla plantation, but the others wanted to go swimming. We went on a 2 hour tour with a local lady in her car, went past the catholic church, to the little shops (Hardware and supermarket) and to the beach. It was a very windy day, so only 1 of our party had a swim, the rest of us just walked the beach. I must say that Lifu was not my favourite island. Mystery island was next, very small island that is not inhabited. (No one lives there as they say it is haunted!) The surrounding islander people only come over to make their markets. All of the same items that I had already seen on the other islands, nothing different. Weather was drizzly rain the whole time, my husband went back to the ship before the others in my group and was stranded on a tender for 1.5 hours. No one's fault the engines were playing up, he did get some nice chocolates for his trouble though! THe last stop was Noumea, I must say that this was my favourite! We took the Tchou Tchou train around and saw a lot, it was a guided tour and was most informative. I would highly recommend to anyone!! Next we got on the "hop on hop off" bus and went to the aquarium. Very nice, although I did feel a bit sad for the sea turtles in there big tank. 2 more days at sea and then home to brisbane, Disembarkation was very smooth and quick. All in all, I really enjoyed the cruise, i just hate the fact that I am now sick with this throat infection that I am sure was caused from the A/C. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Firstly, travel to and from the embarkation port was smooth (we organised our own arrangements with Con-X-ion). We arrived before our designated embarkation time and found ourselves boarding ahead of that time. Disembarkation was also ... Read More
Firstly, travel to and from the embarkation port was smooth (we organised our own arrangements with Con-X-ion). We arrived before our designated embarkation time and found ourselves boarding ahead of that time. Disembarkation was also quick and organised, and not as stressful as I thought it would be. It was much more pleasant waiting in the dining room for our number to be called rather than waiting outside in the heat. The bag collection was easy and there were not a whole lot of people crammed into one area like on our first cruise. Secondly, the activities and entertainment was brilliant. I was very impressed with the diversity of groups they had on board, like church and a LGBT get together. I was also very excited when I saw Creativity@Sea (craft on sea days) as well as educational art lectures which I had never experienced on a cruise before. There was great diversity with the entertainment including comedians, dances, musicians, live music and mind reader Anthony Laye. The comedian Simon McKinney was hilarious and relatable – his humour was not crude and he made fun of everyday life experiences. Some of the dance shows were stylised, however still very entertaining. One dance show had a UK theme - the lights, props, costumes and 60s/70s music made it unique and very clever. I expected to find music that would suit an older audience on board, however was pleasantly surprised to find various genres of music as well as the talented band Icon. They played both classics and modern pop music with their own twist on it. The entertainment was definitely one of the best parts of this cruise. Cons: - When walking around the ship we often smelt a sewage-like odor. - The elevators were quite slow and I found if I was only going 1-3 flights it was quicker to walk. - The air conditioning was quite cold/dry on our throats. After reading some reviews I've found other people had similar problems with sore throats on and after the cruise. - Overpriced excursions for short time periods. The excursion we went on took us for a drive around to the opposite side of Lifou where we stopped at a beach for an hour, received some coconut water/pieces and a traditional leaf hat before returning back. The Secret Grotto Caves/Vanilla Plantation tour was sold out and perhaps if we went on that tour it would be more value for money. However, the security of having a booked tour was nice and organisation to get off the boat for shore tours was commendable. Make sure to book early because shore tours fill up quickly! - There were only two of us travelling together on this cruise so we joined a table of 6 in total. This was great as we got to meet new people (two of which we are still in contact with) however we did get put with some people who we didn't get along with. I suggest if you want privacy and to enjoy each other’s company arrange for a separate table before your cruise. Pros: - The ship was recently re-furbished and the most elegant cruise we've been on. The atrium (Deck 5) looked beautiful. It was lovely to see this as we first walked onto the boat. - The dining was either delicious or average. The dining room was classy and had some very nice meals, however we did enjoy the Horizon Court buffet as well (this had a more casual atmosphere and wonderful views of the ocean/ports). - The service by staff was great, especially in Horizon Court buffet. They were very friendly, polite, attentive and had a great sense of humour. - We stopped at beautiful ports such as Champagne Bay on the island of Espiritu Santo. It was nice to stop here as otherwise we would not get the chance to experience the outer more remote islands of Vanuatu. Travelling around the island of Espiritu Santo was much more relaxed than in Vanuatu's capital Port Vila. We thoroughly enjoyed our second cruise on the Sea Princess more than our first cruise with a different company. I would recommend this cruise and suggest making use of the activities and entertainment while on board! Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Sun Princess This cruise was a very nice experience. We were expecting a higher class of ship than the P&O and Carnival ships we have been on before but sadly this was not the case. Pacific Dawn is a much nicer ship, better design ... Read More
Sun Princess This cruise was a very nice experience. We were expecting a higher class of ship than the P&O and Carnival ships we have been on before but sadly this was not the case. Pacific Dawn is a much nicer ship, better design with great shows and awesome activities. Carnival Spirit has much bigger rooms and Much better shops, public areas and activities Pros. Ship is very clean and public areas are nice. Crew is very efficient and friendly. Horizon court buffet was always clean and food standard was best I have seen. Ports of call were excellent. Captain and officers did an excellent job keeping us comfortable and confident. Cabin attendant was very good. Small Norovirus outbreak was very well controlled. Movies under the stars were great. Cruise director and staff were very good. Entertainment acts were of a high standard Verdis pizza is a nice venue and food of good standard. Cons. Inside and ocean view cabins are very small, ok for two people but any more requires patience and organisation. Air conditioning in the rooms of everyone we spoke to was pathetic. Obstructed view cabins are a waste of money. Beds are as expected, uncomfortable and pillows are eally terrible. Ensuites are VERY SMALL , even our teens had to sit half sideways on the toilet with their knees up against the door. Ship is getting long in the tooth. lots of structural rust in most deck areas. External windows were all way overdue for cleaning. Elevators were slow or malfunctioned Laundromats were tiny, unreliable and hard to find Production shows and bingo were lackluster compared to other ships. Passenger demographic is mostly senior citizens. Only 20 kids including six teens onboard Marquis restaurant food standard is variable at best. 5 out of 6 in our group switched to the buffet. Sterling steakhouse is not worth the extra cost, fatty meat and awful vegetables. Shops are the standard fare of expensive jewelry, perfume and the ubiquitous cheap and nasty costume jewelry "SALES" save your $ and buy it for less online when you get home. Invenience store" was woeful. The only thing cheaper than on land is cigarettes but very small range of singapore made ones.no tobacco or cigars. If you smoke take your own supply on with you. Port related Souveniers are more than double the price of what is on shore. Onboard activities are few and far between. Our group had agreat cruise due to the crew and staff and the beauty of NZ but let down by the cabin, shops, laundry and activities Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The Ship Sun Princess is an older ship. She is very pretty and has a capacity for 2000 guests. Sun Princess has two main dining rooms located on Decks 5 and 6 in the middle of the ship. Located on the Deck 14 is the Horizon Court ... Read More
The Ship Sun Princess is an older ship. She is very pretty and has a capacity for 2000 guests. Sun Princess has two main dining rooms located on Decks 5 and 6 in the middle of the ship. Located on the Deck 14 is the Horizon Court Buffet, and the Stirling Steakhouse (Covercharge). Deck 8 boasts the Verdi Pizzeria (No charge) and the Casino. Shops are located Deck 6 Atrium and on Deck 5 is Customer Service and the Coffee Shop (There is a charge for specialty coffees, but the food is included in cruise cost. There are many bars both inside and outdoors. There is an adults only area called "The Sanctuary" (Covercharge). Decks 7 includes the Vista Lounge at the back of the boat, (this was my favourite place for shows), the Princess Theatre at the front of the ship (very small and claustrophobic), Shooting Stars Night Club (briliant), photo gallery, Kai Sushi Restaurant (Charges apply), Wheelhouse Bar, Crooners Lounge and Bar, Library, Card/Games Room, and Internet Room. On Deck 12 were the Kids Clubs, the Gym, and the Lotus Spas and Salons (Charges apply). The Medical centre was located on Deck 4. Cabins Cabins are small but adequate for sleeping. Bathrooms are very tiny in the cabins. If you are a large person, it is quite a tight fit. We had an outside cabin with an obstructed view. This means that there were life boats outside our window. This did not bother us at all as we picked a cabin with a window view looking between two life boats. There were four of us in the cabin. During the day our cabin steward raised the top bunks to allow us some extra room. No problems. There is storage under the lower beds for suitcases and enough cupboard and drawer space for four people. There is a television with access to movies, documentaries, and account information in each room, plus a small bar fridge. Big enough to hold 6 bottles (water, wine) etc. Food There are two menus in each dining room for dinner. An everyday menu and a specialty menu. Except for the formal nights, we preferred to eat at the buffet, where there was a larger selection of dishes. The Horizon Court Buffet is the best ships' buffet we have encountered. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner ware excellent. The coffee shop food was also excellent. We had a complimentary Dinner at the Stirling Steakhouse. This was the only disappointing thing about the food. It took 75mins from the time we ordered to the time our food was placed before us. Even though our steaks were cooked the way we wanted, they were either tasteless or full of fat. We were not impressed at all and didn't bother ordering drinks or dessert. The $25 cover that is normally charged is not worth it. Verdi's Pizzeria was excellent. Very quick service and the pizzas were excellent. We ate there a few times. Activities We enjoyed the game shows and trivia and bingo. There were at least one or two Trivias on each sea day. However, we have been on a number of cruises and felt there could have been more activities on the six full sea days we had. We did have an older demographic on this cruise which may have impacted the activities offered. Crew The Crew on board from the Room Stewards to the Captain were absolutely awesome. Everyone was so friendly and approachable. I think the bar tenders were all part time comedians, they were brilliant. The Cruise Director, Billy London and his staff were a cut above the rest. They organised the trivia, game shows, shuffelboard, sports events and bingo, and were always smiling laughing and mingling with the guests. The Princess Singers and Dances were very talented and performed many shows throughout our cruise, however, due to the small size of the Princess Theatre, we only attended two of them. They were both awesome. Entertainers While on board we had the pleasure of seeing a beautiful young couple called the Lado Strings Duo, who played their violins beautifully. There were guitarists and pianists as well. We also had the pleasure of watching three amazing comedians, each completely different, but equally entertaining. Simon McKinney, Greg Hayes and Toni Stevens. It is nice to listen to comedy that contains NO smut at all. Ports The 6 ports and 1 scenic cruising that was offered on our NZ cruise were spectacular. We have already made plans to return and spend more time in each one. The only place we missed was the Fiordlands and Milford Sound owing to very nasty weather. But instead we cruised through Marlborough Sound which was breathtakingly beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our very first cruise so we didn't know what to expect. I had read reviews saying the Sun Princess was looking a little old but we didn't notice any wear or antiquated furniture. In fact we couldn't believe how ... Read More
This was our very first cruise so we didn't know what to expect. I had read reviews saying the Sun Princess was looking a little old but we didn't notice any wear or antiquated furniture. In fact we couldn't believe how clean everything was. During the voyage the crew perform regular maintenance so we noticed fresh varnish being put on decking, windows being replaced etc, but these things didn't hamper the trip at all. We missed Noumea due to an industrial action happening there and instead were taken to lovely Lifou. Then, due to rough seas were unable to stop at Mystery Island but the Captain ordered us to full steam to get to Port Vila around 14 hours early and we spent the night docked at the wharf. Port Vila was an interesting bustling town. But be warned, you will be hassled by taxi drivers everywhere! Champagne Bay was absolutely stunning and we were lucky enough to get an early tender in when hardly anyone was a bout. We took a trip to the Blue Lagoon which was well worth the $10 return ride and the $7 entry. Luganville was a pleasant little township. We stumbled upon the Custom Village which was fun for an hour. I would recommend you organise a tour whilst in Luganville however as there isn't much to see on foot. Our Oceanview cabin was surprisingly well fitted out. We found we had enough room and plenty of storage in the way of drawers, shelves and wardrobe space. Food was fantastic with the best of it being served every night in the dining rooms. My only critique would be with the entertainment and the steakhouse. The entertainment was great but lacked variety on a 10 day cruise. We were seeing the same entertainers performing the same songs every day. A few more entertainers wouldn't go astray. We visited the steakhouse on the final night as it had been thrown in with our package. I wouldn't say it was anything oustanding. My steak was quite fatty and a little disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
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