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295 Princess First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

This was a Family cruise of a group of 25. This was a trip in Memory of our Aunt, Sister, Mother, and Grandmother who embarked on her own trip to Alaska years ago by Cruise. Of the 25 only 5 had ever cruised before. We had 4 various ages ... Read More
This was a Family cruise of a group of 25. This was a trip in Memory of our Aunt, Sister, Mother, and Grandmother who embarked on her own trip to Alaska years ago by Cruise. Of the 25 only 5 had ever cruised before. We had 4 various ages of minor children who participated in your children's activities and LOVED it! As adults we enjoyed shows, trivia games, bingo games, casino activity, fine dining, buffet, drinks, ice cream, pizza, fantastic Burger bars. I loved the dancing, comedy, art galleries, shoppingvwas amazing on board and not over priced for t-shirt soveignors, jewelry, BIG bear and Moose only $25. We celebrated 2 children's birthdays and your staff sang and made them feel very important with signs and balloons. The pools were really nice, 2 adult only pools were nice. We had many choices of bar atmospheres. Loved the piano bar, country music, and the dance club for 18 + made it fun for our under 21's to join us. Thank you for a wonderful trip ! Looking forward to cruising again with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Weather in Washington state has me wanting to go south every winter and this year was no different except my wife couldn't make the trip. This year my sister came along for her first cruise ever and I'm sure many more after the ... Read More
Weather in Washington state has me wanting to go south every winter and this year was no different except my wife couldn't make the trip. This year my sister came along for her first cruise ever and I'm sure many more after the trip we experienced. We flew into Ft Lauderdale and transferred to the ship about 11am and walked in, got checked in and walked aboard, it was that smooth. We took the self guided tour around and gave my sister the lay of the land. The Regal Princess is a beautiful and large ship but even for a first timer, my sister was able to navigate with very few issues. After the tour we had lunch in the Horizon court Buffet. Great layout to accommodate a large group and a variety of dishes to choose from much of which changed each day. The food itself was very good and hot dishes where hot and the cold dishes cold. Anyone who has cruised many times knows that isn't always the case. Service everywhere was outstanding. From the Horizon court to the servers out on deck to out amazing waiter and assistant in the Symphony dining room. We couldn't have asked for more polite and professional servers. We found Milan and Milos, our any time waiter and asst. on the first night and asked for their section each night when we came in. These two men made my sister feel so special from the attention, recommendations, running to gather out wine from vines and evert other small detail they attended to. They will be leaving Regal and going to the Island Princess so if you have the opportunity, ask for them. Our room was fine and pretty much just like all the others, small balcony. For the most part our room steward was fine but didn't see him much. He kept thing clean and beds made. We asked for thing and he got them. Laundry took a bit longer than we anticipated. The Cruise Director Dan is the BEST I have ever experienced. He does an amazing job of entertaining you and keeping you informed without coming across as selling anything but good times. We loved him. Princess Cays was another great day. The island is clean and well organized. Servers took care of your needs wherever you sat and the outdoor BBQ was nice. WE wondered outside the gates and did some shopping with locals and My sister found an Italian leather purse tucked away in the corner of this shop and got it for $20 a real deal. St Thomas is recovering and getting back to its old self but still has a way to go St Marteen has even further to go for recovery but they are working on it. So much damage it may take a couple years to fully recover. All in all it was an amazing vacation. My 17th with Princess and my sisters 1st and I'm sure its her first of many. Thanks so much to the Crew of the Regal princess, we will see you again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I’d never been on a cruise before. I chose Princess Cruises due to recommendations of friends and reading reviews. I wanted to visit Hokkaido as I’d previously visited other parts of Japan. Before the cruise I stayed in Yokohama for a ... Read More
I’d never been on a cruise before. I chose Princess Cruises due to recommendations of friends and reading reviews. I wanted to visit Hokkaido as I’d previously visited other parts of Japan. Before the cruise I stayed in Yokohama for a few days. I took the Airport Express Train to Yokohama and stayed in an hotel there and then took a cab to the Cruise Terminal. Embarkation went smoothly. When I walked through the partition I thought “its like the airport” but no, they have a lot more people processing passengers and I was soon at my cabin with my case waiting for me. The cabin was a lot better than I thought it would be. As a solo traveller my budget only allowed for an interior room. Later on, there was a safety muster and shortly afterwards we were on our way. I didn’t even know the boat was moving and the captain didn’t honk the horn. The only time I heard the horn was when we were in the fog along the western coast of Hokkaido. I had dinner in the International Dining Room most nights at the late sitting (7.45 pm) with a group of other solo travellers. The wait staff were excellent and would make a larger portion, add cream etc. and even bought one gentleman 2 mains. I also ate at the Horizon Court Buffet for lunch or if I was getting up early. Lovely selection of food and I enjoyed making my own sushi. Of course there is the pizza stand, grill, ice-cream counter if you are out and about and want a snack. I ordered breakfast the night before and had it each morning in my cabin. I called room service a couple of times for coffee. All brought in a timely manner. There was a jug in the room with green tea sachets. There is bottled water for purchase at US$2 plus gratuity .30c. Each night I went to the show in the theatre. They were great and on most occasions there were people standing in the aisles. They ask people not to save seats but they do, so go a bit early to avoid standing. I also went to a few lectures, learnt a bit of language and watched entertainers and dancing in the atrium which at times got a bit crowded. Ah… shopping. These days I get more joy putting something out than bringing something in so I only bought a lanyard for my Ship Card. For those who enjoy it there was plenty of shopping, lots of jewellery, artwork etc. and the merchandise on the tables changed regularly. The laundry was a bit poky and I accidentally knocked someone going in but it has the washers, dryers and ironing equipment. I used it only once. Cost about US$7.50 per load. On the final evening we were asked to put cases out around 9pm although some did it later and then out of the cabin by 8 am. I did a debark tour which met at about 8.15. I felt a bit rushed. I wandered around and had a look at some of the other cabin types and saw the oceanview obstructed let in quite a bit of light which I’ll be trying next time. I’m looking forward to my second Princess cruise in Nov/Dec on the Caribbean Princess and will stay in Miami the day the cruise finishes and fly home the next day so I’m not so rushed and repacking/changing some stuff at the airport. Excursions I took 3 Princess Excursions – Kushiro, Korsakov Russia and debark tour in Tokyo. Kushiro – was a bit disappointing as it was raining. When we went on the walk at the observatory about 2 km or so there and back, quite a few just headed straight for the coffee shop. Don’t blame them, the boardwalk was slippery with lots of fallen leaves and twigs, I had to watch where I was stepping. A shuttle bus was offered into Kushiro township for US$10 return. The boat sailed at 2pm so not much time to do something on your own. Korsakov, Russia – I enjoyed this tour. It made 6 stops. The second, bathroom break stop was at a sports centre where they were practising their ice hockey. Locals had a couple of tables of nice Russian souvenirs accepting US$ and JP Yen as well as roubles. With so many stops then you don’t get as much time as I would have liked at various stops. If you didn’t go on the Princess tour you would have needed a Visa. I found “going through customs” on the ship quite novel as well as the ride in the tandem boat. Tokyo Debark tour – This drove past various sights in Tokyo as well as a visit to the Meiji Shrine and Asakusa Temple and shopping area. It was absolutely packed with people being Japan school holidays but it’s a great place to visit but insufficient time to go up to the observation floor of a nearby building. Then we were dropped off at the airport like dozens of others so the lockers were all full and I had to pay for storage of my case for 3h until check-in opened. One small and one medium bag cost me about AUD$10. I then went to Narita township (1 train stop away) as I’d never been there. Otaru – I did my own thing. The map Princess gave me was just a mud map and needless to say I got lost on my way on foot to the station which was about 10 mins away (and the rest). A couple I’d asked assistance of actually drove me to the station which was nearly 10 mins in the car! From there I went to Sapporo for the day and came back to Otaru to visit the Canal area. Apparently in one of the tents on the wharf they had good maps. Hakodate – I did my own thing, assisted by 2 delightful Year 9 schoolgirls who as part of their school project had to assist visitors and practice their English. I have very limited Japanese so that was great. They took me to the PO, put me on a tram to the fortress and made sure I knew how to buy tickets etc. I spent an hour in the gift shop….a group tour would not let me do that! A shuttle bus took passengers into Hakodate for US$10 return. The ship didn’t sail until 11pm. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This being our first cruise we were not sure what to expect. The question remained up until we sailed, what would our experience be like and is cruising for us. I will answer this question at the end of the review. We sailed out of Ft. ... Read More
This being our first cruise we were not sure what to expect. The question remained up until we sailed, what would our experience be like and is cruising for us. I will answer this question at the end of the review. We sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale arriving the day before. Transportation to the hotel was provided by the hotel. We had a great meal at a local seafood restaurant and transportation from the hotel to Port Everglades was seamless. Embarkation could have gone any smoother. From the time we arrived at Port Everglade until we walked onto the ship was 45 minutes. Princess has this process down pat. A note to the wise. Ensure you have everything you may initially need when you first board the ship (meds, sun screen, swimming suit, etc.) as it may be a couple of hours before your luggage is delivered to your stateroom. No big deal thought. This gives you time to grab something to eat and start exploring the ship. We entered the ship in the piazza. It was spectacular to say the least. Very clean and well put together. We made our way to the pool deck for a quick meal and to explore the amenities on that level. We were not let down. Several pools and places to sit. The giant screen TV is awesome. At 1:00 we were allowed to go to our stateroom. We had a balcony stateroom for this cruise on the Aloha Deck mid ship. It was very clean and tidy and offered all the space we needed for the cruise. Our cabin steward was the unsung hero of our cruise. He came in behind us virtually every time we left the room to tidy up. if we needed something it was there right away. Most of the time we had what we needed before we even asked. My wife and I considered upgrading to a mini suite for our next cruise but after thinking about it for no longer that we spent in the cabin we would not benefit from it. We were hardly in our room but I will say the balcony was great. A must have. The ship was very well maintained. We always sow several crew members cleaning and ensuring everything was presentable. The service on board is commendable. Even the high traffic areas such as the piazza and pool deck were always very clean. The staff could not have treated us any better. We saw four ports on this cruise. Princess Cays, Bahamas, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. We did on shore excursions at three of the ports. Chairlift/Bobsled/Duns River Falls in Jamaica, Swimming with dolphins and the sea turtle farm in Grand Cayman and zip lining in Cozumel. All three were a blast. I would suggest doing your research into the proximity of the excursion to the port. In Jamaica it was a 1.5 hour ride each way to our excursion in Ochoa Rios. that took up the entire day, This is not fault of Princess in my eyes but it did not leave time to take in more of the culture. More words to the wise. I would highly suggest booking all your on shore excursions through Princess just as we did. We were very well taken care of and not once did we feel unsafe at any point. If you think you can get off cheaper but booking with a local DO NOT be late for departure. The ship will leave you. If you book through Princess they will wait as we found out. Our group was late getting back from our excursion in Jamaica and the ship was there waiting. I can't say enough about the dining opportunities on the Regal. No matter what your taste is you will find it on board. Buffet, casual or formal all were great and the service spectacular. The only entertainment we took in was the tail end of the comedy show. Troy was so funny. Don't miss this show. There were a lot of other opportunities however we spent most of our time on the ship on the pool deck and exploring. The fitness center is well furnished and maintained. nothing like a view over the ocean while working out. Disembarkation is actually planned out very well but took a while. We had to vacate our room by 8:00 AM and it was not until 10:00 we were able to leave the ship and get our luggage. I understand the reasoning behind that though. As I mentioned earlier we were not sure what to expect or if we would even enjoy cruising. Those questions have been answered. This experience exceeded our expectations ten fold. The staff was great, food excellent, excursions a blast and time spent on board very relaxing. To us it beats flying to a resort and spending a week or more at one location. We saw four different countries and met a ton of wonderful people. We enjoyed this so much we have already booked our next cruise with Princess. BRAVO PRINCESS and thank you for such a memorable experience. See you next March. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
It was our first cruise and we absolutely loved it! The ship itself was magical, we especially loved the Atrium and the Open Deck Pool on Deck 14. The Service was amazing! Every member of the crew we interacted with felt like old ... Read More
It was our first cruise and we absolutely loved it! The ship itself was magical, we especially loved the Atrium and the Open Deck Pool on Deck 14. The Service was amazing! Every member of the crew we interacted with felt like old friends. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly. The dining was lovely, the ambience created in each dining room and at the specialty restaurants was great. Some of the food wasn't as fresh as we would have liked, some pieces a little more fatty than we were used to, but other than that it was great. The entertainment was great. We watched Pianoman and I've got the Music, as well as the singer, Monique and the Comedian, I can't seem to track down his name anywhere but he was a 62 year old from canada, who has a chinese wife and he was amazing. We loved our shore excursions, especially our market visit and cooking class in Ho Chi Minh City! That was the perfect day! We took a bus into the city and then went on a peddy cab ride through smaller city streets, (this was amazing!) and then we met the chef at the market and she took us around buying ingredients. Then we got an hour to shop at this market as it has a wet market and a souvenir section. (we got lots of great souvenirs and tea sets and tshirts and bags, it was great). Then we met the chef back at the Rex hotel and learnt how to make Vietnamese Spring rolls, the sauce that goes with them and we learnt to make tomato roses. then we did a little sightseeing and headed back. What an amazing day! I know I have already raved about the crew but they were seriously amazing. I couldn't get my hands on enough of those cruise nomination cards on the last day and I miss several members of the crew now that we have left. The day we were at Koh Samui, we used tender boats to get to shore and on the way back, there was a huge line at the dock to get back onto the cruise. It was a hot day and we were all tired. There were a few hundred people all waiting for tender boats and the shelter was full so we were lining up outside the shelter in the heat but the Princess staff managed to even make that a much better experience than it was. They had crew members handing out cold towels and chilled water as well as umbrellas to shield the sun. They also loaded up two tender boats at a time, speeding up the process. I was so impressed by their efforts to make the situation that much more bearable. We loved playing Pyramid at the explorers lounge one night. loved it even more because we won a bottle of champagne! haha. We made some lovely friends, we saw new cities and had new experiences. We loved every minute and we cannot wait for our next cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our first ever cruise and we decided to go on the Royal Princess for our honeymoon. Having never cruised before we were apprehensive but we loved every minute of it! We started off by spending 4 nights in a nice apartment in ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we decided to go on the Royal Princess for our honeymoon. Having never cruised before we were apprehensive but we loved every minute of it! We started off by spending 4 nights in a nice apartment in Holywood, Fort Lauderdale. This place itself was beautiful and ideal for travelling in between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. We did a few of the usual tourist things (Miami Heat, Miami Beach etc.) but most of all just enjoyed relaxing in the Holywood area. One recommendation for Fort Lauderdale if you are staying there pre or post cruise would be the Jungle Queen tour. On to the cruise itself. From the moment we stepped onto the ship we were looked after superbly. All of the staff on board were exceptional and no request was ever too much. Our Cabin was a deluxe balcony. Something we were worried about before coming was having a small cabin and we didn't need to be, There was more than enough room for our huge suitcases and for us to move around. With so much to do on the ship we both said for next time we would look at a smaller room. The design of the room was nice and modern and was well looked after by the stewards. For dining we did a mixture of the anytime dining (food was exceptional, something I know princess have been critised for before), alfredo's (superb pizza) and we tried the buffet one evening. The buffet itself for me was a little disappointing. Don't get me wrong when we went to the buffet at lunch on sea days was very good, lots of variety and surprisingly good quality for a buffet. Just on the evening we went the selection was poor and what we did have wasn't the best. That said we only tried it one night. There was a great mixture of entertainment throughout the cruise, we were pleasantly surprised with the quality and variety throughout the cruise. My personal highlights was the vocal impressionist Tyler Bryce and the Voice of the Ocean finale. I think they may have uncovered a future star with the winner. The on-board band and resident entertainer were also high quality. Also worth mentioned the princess live. Quite impressive to have a TV studio on-board and it was fun getting involved with this. I won't go over all of the ports as already rambled on but two to pick out. A highlight was an excursion in St Thomas where we did the Kayak, Hike & Snorkel adventure at Cas Cay. Would highly recommend the three hour trip, great variety and great guides. It was both fun and educational. On the negative side we went on an excursion in St Lucia that we would not recommend. It was a scenic drive to the sulphur pits, a working plantation and catamaran journey back with a brief stop for a swim. The catamaran element was fun but the rest was tediously boring despite the guides best efforts. The last thing that made our cruise great was the people. We made some good friends on board and was well looked after by the bar staff. In particular worth a shout out to the team at Bellini's (Nemo, Ariel and Val). Service was excellent and they themselves were like a comedy team. Had so much fun. Hope you found this useful. We were first time cruisers and are already looking at booking our next one! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Embarkation at Seattle: Easy. Line always kept moving. Room was ready when we got there. Service: Exceptional. I’m not one who usually goes for being “pampered,” but I felt like a king (or a prince since this is Princess ... Read More
Embarkation at Seattle: Easy. Line always kept moving. Room was ready when we got there. Service: Exceptional. I’m not one who usually goes for being “pampered,” but I felt like a king (or a prince since this is Princess Cruises?). Our steward was helpful and always seemed to be around…but never hovered. Wait staff was amiable and professional. Top notch all around. Food: Ranged from average to excellent. Two great meals in the Crown Grill (loved the filet mignon!) and had good food in the MDR (hello salmon! And I’m still having dreams about you, Fettuccine Alfredo!). Horizon Court/Cafe Caribe was standard buffet food, pretty much what I expected (how ‘bout some berries in the morning, please?). And what’s with the nickel and dime charge for gelato at the International Cafe? It’s good, but not worth paying extra. We did Anytime Dining because we didn't want to stick to a rigid schedule. Well, we learned it really should be called "Anytime Dining but reservations highly encouraged!" So, we decided what time we wanted eat dinner in the morning and made a quick call to the Dine line for reservations. Facilities: Loved all the open areas, walking around the Promenade Deck, Skywalkers Lounge, Terrace pool area. The piazza is beautiful. Most of the time, the ship never felt crowded (and that’s good because I’m not a “crowds” person). Some issues finding seating in Horizon Court/Cafe Caribe at peak times (mainly from people taking up tables who weren't actually eating). Onboard Activities: Alaska is so port-intensive, we were sometimes too tired. But we did go to several performances (“Magic to Do” musical and 70’s music show) and liked them. Tried our hand at trivia…fun time. Attended the culinary demo and galley tour…fascinating. Watched the finale of “Voice of the Ocean”—some talented passengers on board! Ports: Juneau--ate at Tracy's King Crab Shack, did Harv & Marv's whale watching, and went to Mendenhall Glacier. Skagway--did Frontier Excursion's Yukon Discovery Tour. Glacier Bay scenic cruising--AMAZING! Ketchikan--Island Wings Misty Fjords flightseeing tour. Victoria BC--took the shuttle bus and walked around downtown. Found something to love in each of the ports! Disembarkation at Seattle: bit of zoo, but I guess that’s usual? We did Express Walk Off and would do it again. As first-time cruisers, we weren't sure what to expect. We loved it! Will definitely cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
4 day cruise to Albany and back was fantastic on the Sun Princess. Went with a group of about 90 for a family 50th. I spend 6 months of year flying around the world staying in hotels etc for business so see a lot of hospitality. This ... Read More
4 day cruise to Albany and back was fantastic on the Sun Princess. Went with a group of about 90 for a family 50th. I spend 6 months of year flying around the world staying in hotels etc for business so see a lot of hospitality. This was our first cruise and found it above average for staff friendliness, efficiency of embarkation and debarkation at Fremantle, and the quality of food / drinks and service. Plus a reasonable price. Balcony cabin was fine - maybe bathroom a bit small and low water pressure. Seated dining and buffet both had plenty of choices and quality of food good. Plenty of entertainment if you wanted it ( we only saw the comedian who was OK and didn't take any shore excursions) , otherwise a relaxing drink or two or three could be had at any of the numerous bars. Will definitely do another cruise. Although mid fifties this dispelled my notion that cruise are for old people ! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My first cruise, I didn't have much time to research before booking, but I was very happy with the Regal. It's a nice ship, big but did not feel too big to me. Many of the other in-depth reviews on here about the boat, it's ... Read More
My first cruise, I didn't have much time to research before booking, but I was very happy with the Regal. It's a nice ship, big but did not feel too big to me. Many of the other in-depth reviews on here about the boat, it's layout etc are pretty accurate and helped with knowing the boat before I got on board and also in knowing some of it's hidden features. Some point form notes on things: - Enclave spa - first spa experience for me - was nice, clean and overall pretty good. I really don't think the dry sauna was working - despite the staff saying it was, it was cooler sometimes than the main area. On another day the pool was a bit cool, but could have been from high use as it was busy. The value is ok at $149, but to me it felt more like $99 would have been fair. - Crown grill - AWESOME - make sure you go if you like steak and seafood. One tip - it's all you can eat, so if you want 2 lobster tails, order two :) The food is really good, I did not try a dining room out, the Horizon Buffet, Alfredo's and Crown were all I needed and I enjoyed them all. At the buffet, walk all around both areas, and the hallway in between where they hide cheeses, shrimp cocktails and more. I was in cabin A732 on the Aloha deck (12) - Deluxe Balcony (DD) really nice room, the bed was comfortable, and bathroom were fine. Some people have complained about the shower size. I'm not a small guy at all and I thought it was fine. One note I do have about being at the back or Aft of the boat is the vibrations from the props - they really do move things - like someone shaking your bed a bit. Not noise so much as the physical movement. It was more than I expected (first time cruiser) and for the first couple nights I did not sleep well. Then I picked up some Advil PM and started taking that each night which helped me sleep through the night. So if you are a light sleeper or are not used to vibrations I would get a room mid-ship for sure. The "ocean" motion of the boat did not bug me in this room, but we had light seas in my opinion, but I can defiantly see how being higher up in bad seas would get things moving :) On the plus side, I really like the location of the room in relation to the elevators and stairs, it was a quiet area of the boat and very few people walking by as it's the back of the boat :) The internet speed was pretty good (for sea based internet) as there is a wifi repeater right at the door in the hallway. The in-room TV was great with good on-demand movies, handy for those lazy mornings. My room steward John was awesome. Room was always in great shape and was friendly. I was on the boat during Spring Break so there were a lot of people and kids (busiest the boat had ever been from what I heard). so it was a different crowd I think than what would normally be on the boat. I'm 40, and it felt like the boat was really built to cater to the 60+ crowd - from the decor, names, features etc. So as a single solo cruiser I would like to try it again in a not so busy time, but I do wonder if the crowd might be a bit older than I'm looking for. Getting on and off the boat was fine. Getting off, from the time I stepped onto the gangway to the time I got in a taxi to go to FLL airport (take a cab, skip the overpriced shuttle bus princess offers) it was only $13 from the docks to the airport. Was about 30 minute and about 10-15 minutes to get to the airport. So don't worry about being off the boat too early. I got off at 8AM for a 11:20 flight and was there with way too much extra time :) Value was good, other than Princess charges 200% for singles which is too high IMO. 150% would be more fair. For a couple the value for what I paid would be really good. I would cruise Princess again for sure, and from my experience I will be cruising again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This cruise was top notch. Beautiful ship, wonderful staff, and excellent guests. Everyone was so nice and accommodating. The food was wonderful and endless and the variety was great. The staff was phenomenal and so were the shows and ... Read More
This cruise was top notch. Beautiful ship, wonderful staff, and excellent guests. Everyone was so nice and accommodating. The food was wonderful and endless and the variety was great. The staff was phenomenal and so were the shows and entertainers. The entertainment on this ship was better than I ever expected - they were all perfect! And the balcony cabins were incredibly spacious. People made me nervous talking about cruise cabins but they were great! Also, the staff was actually really great at getting people to come and STAY at events which makes everything more fun! I was worried about cruising and went with my in-laws (who have all cruise multiple times before) and I can't wait to go back. I can't rave enough about the Regal Princess. What a perfect anniversary vacation. The ONE thing I will say was confusing was how some floors were not all the way through - if that makes sense. For instance, we had to go the the Allegro dining room on Deck 6 but you couldn't get to it strait from the elevator. You had to get off the elevator and walk down 1 flight of steps. Not a big deal, just confusing at first and that only happened with 2 decks I wanted to go on. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our very first cruise ever; friends and family could not believe we were really taking a cruise as we do not fit your typical cruise profile, although we are retired. We had no preconceived ideas about what to expect, and I ... Read More
This was our very first cruise ever; friends and family could not believe we were really taking a cruise as we do not fit your typical cruise profile, although we are retired. We had no preconceived ideas about what to expect, and I thought it might be like spending seven days trapped in an enormous floating apartment building. We were more than pleased, actually thrilled, with all aspects of our trip. Embarkation was a breeze, as we were traveling with platinum members who had special access to walk on embarkation process. We found our interior cabin plenty big, with lots of storage space, drawers, shelves, and a perfectly acceptable bathroom. Our room steward was on top of everything and I am convinced he tidied our room three times a day. The mints on the pillow every night were a nice touch. My only complaint is that nowhere did they inform you that in order to keep the lights on in the cabin, you need to leave your cruise card in the slot whenever you are there. As a result, we spent a few moments in pitch dark trying to figure out what went wrong. It is quite dark in an interior cabin with no light whatsoever. Every single employee, throughout the cruise, when met in a hallway or anywhere else always greeted us with a polite "good morning" or whatever greeting was appropriate. All staff were extremely courteous and polite whether handing out towels or serving a meal. The food was top notch, with such a wide cross section of options that there could be no room for complaint. We splurged one night and ate in the Crown grill, and were very pleased with the food, felt it was a bargain considering the meal we got. As a gluten free/lactose intolerant person, my pre registration of dietary needs were noted at every meal by our wait staff, especially when we chose the same dining room for dinner each morning and night. There were no problems finding appropriate food for these dietary restrictions. We found plenty to do every day, from a morning workout on the track each day to trivia, show presentations, dance classes, the string quartet, and the fabulous piano/comedy musician at the Crooners bar. We also watched a few movies, and attended a comedy routine one night. I had two sessions at the spa, a facial , and a sea weed massage treatment. Both were excellent, although the pressure to buy very expensive products used by the staff was off putting to me.When they forgot me for one scheduled treatment and left me sitting alone in a waiting area for 45 minutes, I went to the desk in a very poor mood, to put it mildly, and was comped the treatment. I used the adults only area and pool, and found it wonderful. Towel service is excellent throughout the ship with as many as you want or need offered; pools and hot tubs clean and appealing. We took excursions at every stop, although one was cancelled on Grand Cayman due to rough surf. NO problem, we simply disembarked and found a local woman with a van tour business offering to take us wherever we wanted. We got to go to the turtle refuge and other spots, narrated by a local anxious to share history and facts with us all for only $20/apiece. Well worth it, and cheaper than the equivalent offered by Princess. The other excursions sponsored by Princess were excellent, staffed by attentive, informed, and engaging staff. On one, we got to climb a Mayan pyramid and visit other Mayan ruins after an incredible lecture on the bus beforehand. We would return to each of the ports again and participate in other excursions! If you like specialty coffees (lattes etc.) buy the coffee card- it is worth it and if you don't use it up, it is good on future cruises. You can also buy gelatos with this card, and specialty tea. We plan to return to Princess for another cruise in the future. The sooner the better! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
From the moment we set eyes on Sapphire Princess we new we would have a great time Been 67 and 72 years old we coud not fault anything, The food was fantastic - the buffet great selection of foods - at night we chose to eat at Savoy ... Read More
From the moment we set eyes on Sapphire Princess we new we would have a great time Been 67 and 72 years old we coud not fault anything, The food was fantastic - the buffet great selection of foods - at night we chose to eat at Savoy and Santa Fe. Our favourite Santa Fe with waiters Antonio and Dwi made a great evenings dining. The entertainment very professional musicians- our cabin A340 beautiful with a balcony and cabin steward Georgi on the 12th level. All staff very friendly and attentive. The swimming pool areas great for a lazy time on the many deck chairs watching a movie or enjoying a swim. so many activities for the young and old. Met people from all over the world - only 300 Aussies on board - 75% Asian/chinese as lunar new year and also Canadians, Americans and British The ships decor was exquisite and a walk on the promenade for relaxation recommended. The tours a shore were good. we had visited Bangkok, Koh Sumai and Ho Chi Mingh many times before but still enjoyed returning for memorys. Congratulations on a great cruise and we hope to return next year definately with Princess. Every day so well organised Thankyou Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was the first cruise for my wife and me, though we're generally seasoned world travelers and we've been to the Caribbean several times before (and whether it counts or not, we've stayed aboard the Queen Mary in Long ... Read More
This was the first cruise for my wife and me, though we're generally seasoned world travelers and we've been to the Caribbean several times before (and whether it counts or not, we've stayed aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach). We're people who feel like we know what we're doing when we travel, and what to expect. We'd done a lot of research on this cruise before embarkation, and had seen some of the negative reviews of this ship after its recent drydock. Thankfully, we had no real complaints. Oh sure, if we had to nitpick every little thing, we might say the in-cabin water was a little warm for toothbrushing, the photographs too expensive or the shows were a little short. But come on - is that really going to affect your enjoyment of your vacation? Do you *want* to be miserable? We had a great time, and that was despite some less-than-ideal weather. The ship was rocking and rolling the first night, but we loved our food in the Da Vinci dining room and were happy to see we'd have a table for two for the duration of our cruise. The food was fantastic every night, with the notable exception of the desserts, which were visually beautiful but lacked flavor. I did enjoy the creme brulee (though it was always cold), but most desserts tasted like something you'd get out of the freezer case at the supermarket. We were usually too full by then to care, though, and the other courses were always really tasty and varied every night. Never once did we think it was worth springing for one of the extra fee restaurants. We booked our shore excursions in advance and they were really some amazing memories I know we'll have for a long, long time. We chose to go snorkeling with the stingrays in Grand Cayman and ziplining through the Jamaican rainforest in Ocho Rios. The latter was actually quite strenuous, but we needed the physical activity after 3 days of lounging around doing not much other than eating and drinking. Definitely don't book this if you're not in good physical shape, though - one poor guy on our excursion had to drop out. Service was always cordial at worst, friendly and efficient at best. Our cabin boy Raymond was great, and always fixed up our room (mini-suite D730 on D deck) twice a day. He also brought us welcome glasses of champagne on day 1, and made towel animals for us every morning. Our main waiter in the dining room was obviously experienced and had a real seaman's personality - occasionally I got the feeling he disapproved of my menu choices, but I'm a New Yorker, we expect that sort of thing. The one real service hiccup we had was just prior to disembarkation, when we were assigned to the wrong transfer bus - it took some time and some back and forth to get that corrected, but we finally did without too much fuss. The ship itself is beautiful and we were never left wanting for something to do. We both thought it was logically laid out as well, although any big ship probably takes a day or two to get accustomed to. For some reason we couldn't figure out how to get to Skywalker's Lounge until the last night, but otherwise everything was easy to find. I was a little disappointed that the bow is only accessible on the small covered promenade deck walkway - there's no open-air walking around the bow area. I was a little surprised that just out of drydock, there was still a lot of wear and tear visible on our balcony, and some areas of the ship were still being touched up (the terrace pool at the stern was closed to be repainted and stained until day 3, for example). But again, these are fairly minor issues on a ship this big with this much to see and do. We'll definitely cruise again, and while I can't say we'll definitely take Princess or this specific ship, if we do another cruise line it'll just be because we want to vary our experiences, not because we had any real problems on this cruise. We loved it. I know I can speak for my wife when I say we can highly recommend this ship. Don't get hung up on small stuff. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I am a 23 year old male, single and a full time student. Decided to treat myself to a little holiday, and started to research cruising. I took the plunge and booked myself on the Golden, for a short row over the Tasman from Auckland to ... Read More
I am a 23 year old male, single and a full time student. Decided to treat myself to a little holiday, and started to research cruising. I took the plunge and booked myself on the Golden, for a short row over the Tasman from Auckland to Melbourne. To be completely honest with you, after experiencing a cruise - I will never go back to land based holiday's. Embarkation in Auckland was fantastic and smooth. I arrived at 11.00, dumped my luggage and proceeded to the passenger area. Filled all my forms in, and sat there with my heart pounding for the next 20 odd minutes, until we were given the all clear to start boarding. The process was smooth and easy, and I was on board, in my cabin by 12. It certainly was overwhelming, travelling on such a big ship as my first cruise. It seemed to take forever to walk from one end to the other down the "never ending corridors" but I didn't mind the long walk - gave you chance to burn off the 15 times you'd eaten during the day. The ship was presented beautifully. I especially fell in love with the Piazza, having my morning coffee at the International Cafe. The Piazza was also host to a lot of social gatherings, and certainly had a lot of fun here. The food I thought was fantastic. I only ate in the MDR on one night, and unfortunately missed out on booking at table at the Crown Grill, so ended up eating in The Horizon Court buffet for the rest of my dinners. I found the food in the buffet to be fantastic - everything was cooked perfectly and seasoned to perfection. I also thought the redesigned layout helped the flow of passengers and having only one entry and one exit kept everyone in an orderly fashion. I also particularly liked Prego's Pizza - traditional American style pizza which was delicious. The Trident Grill, was, OK. The entertainment was, again, fantastic. I enjoyed Pearson & Harvey, who were a comedy duo from Australia. Combining a range of performances from song, to instrumental and of course comedy - contributed to a brilliant show. They performed twice, each time with different material. I also thoroughly enjoyed the International Crew Talent Performance on the last night ... definitely a must see! Unfortunately I didn't get chance to see the production show Motor City. The staff throughout the ship were amazing. Ever so polite, attentive and ready to help you with whatever you needed. My cabin steward, Dindo, was my knight in shining armour during my cruise. I was also impressed that it didn't take long at all for the bar staff to know what you drink! Cruise Director Neil and Assistant Cruise Director Corey ensured we all had a great time. My only gripe is the fact that you get penalized when you travel solo. Having to pay double is ridiculous and quite frankly a rip off, however I am not going to let that discourage my from my next cruise! Overall, a brilliant and fantastic holiday for me. I was so sad when I disembarked, and am thinking about my next cruise while I write this review. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I could not have been happier with our cruise on Sapphire Princess which departed Singapore on 27 Jan 2016. The quality of the ship was first class and all bars and eating areas were different in their own way. The meals were excellent ... Read More
I could not have been happier with our cruise on Sapphire Princess which departed Singapore on 27 Jan 2016. The quality of the ship was first class and all bars and eating areas were different in their own way. The meals were excellent and even though many people avoid buffets we ate at Horizon Court for dinner about half of the time (usually after day trips when we couldn't be bothered dressing up a little more) and we were pleasantly surprised with the quality and variation. Always plenty of seafood and even heaps of lobsters one night. The dining rooms were also great. Our cabin was getting close to a refresh, in terms of carpet replacement and some work in the bathroom but it was still great and the beds were as comfortable as any I have slept in on my travels. Shore excursions were great and we were offloaded very quickly. Drink prices on board I thought were reasonable and the entertainment and other on board activities were varied. The service at the Passenger Service Desk was good except on one occasion when the bloke I dealt with couldn't have cared less. Other occasions, the staff were great. I could not of been happier and I am missing the ship since we left. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My husband and I are both first time cruisers so were not sure what to expect. We got on in Auckland, we live there so just got dropped off, embarkation was so smooth, we were on the ship in half an hour and our bags delivered within the ... Read More
My husband and I are both first time cruisers so were not sure what to expect. We got on in Auckland, we live there so just got dropped off, embarkation was so smooth, we were on the ship in half an hour and our bags delivered within the hour. We had an interior room in the middle of the ship. Perfect, no rocking. Ours was slightly bigger as we had the wardrobes at the end of the room. Bed made with fresh sheets every day, turned down at night, towels changed 2x day. Service from all the staff was amazing, so polite. One waiter we had was a bit grumpy, think he needed to move on and get off the ship. Photos - if there is a package deal take advantage of it, - we did and ended up with amazing photos, formal and casual. We did anytime dining so got to meet new people every meal. Once we had dinner in the main dining room when it was our anniversary, we got a cake and they sang happy anniversary to us. Excursions, we did our own thing except my husband did the weta workshop tour thru the ship in Wellington. In Dunedin we did do the Larnoch Castle tour which also included a hop on hop off ride around the city. That we went to the information site and booked. Entertainment, we went to a variety. Check your daily patter and highlight what you would like to do or you will miss out on things, We went to the Crown Grill and Crab Shack - both which you pay extra for $25pp and these restaurants are well worth the money. Disemarkation day - again so quick and simple. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We loved the cruise. After 5 nights in Santiago, we took turbus for $8 each to Valporaiso for 3 nights before our embarkation. ( hotels were Galerias and Cirilo Armstrong respectively. Wonderful stays) Embarkation was easy, but ... Read More
We loved the cruise. After 5 nights in Santiago, we took turbus for $8 each to Valporaiso for 3 nights before our embarkation. ( hotels were Galerias and Cirilo Armstrong respectively. Wonderful stays) Embarkation was easy, but involves going to the passenger terminal a few miles from the ship. Then once you are checked in, Princess transports you to the ship which is docked at the container port. We were able to enter cabin immediately upon hoarding. Lunch at horizon court and then got to know the ship. Princess Star is very well maintained and beautiful. We had a balcony cabin aft port side on deck 10, caribe. Extra large balcony with 2 chairs that recline with footrests and a table. We enjoyed the balcony to the fullest, even when the weather turned cooler as we went farther south. We just put on our jackets and brought out our coffees our cocktails/ wine. The entertainment was fabulous. Both cultural events and historical lectures were held almost everyday. Tango lessons, tango orchestras, line dancing south of the border style, port lectures, historical/cultural lectures, you name it, these activities abounded. And we went to almost all. The movie entertainment was top notch. Under the stars got chilly a few nights, but blankets were brought out. And movies were also shown in the Vista Lounge. Dancing music was throughout the ship at several venues everyday. We love the Piazza. And the International Cafe. That brings me to food. Delicious!!! We had anytime and were able to get a table for 2 every night. Loved it. Great wait staff throughout. Great choices on the menus. We also used room service frequently for coffee, juice in morning on our balcony. Excursions were enriching and lots of fun. We chose Princess for every stop except Stanley, and Montevideo In Stanley we took the public bus to gypsy cove for $20 each to see a few penguins. In Montevideo we walked the ciudad vieja on our own and had lunch in Puerto Mercado/great grilled steaks. Beautiful beach and we even saw a few emperor penguins. We felt that value wise, Princess delivered a great excursion at every stop. Punto Arenas had to be skipped because of the weather. We disembarked easily, feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and culturally enriched. We remained In Buenos Aires for a week more in a condo I found on flip key. Great place, "Hollywood condo." Then went to Colonia in Uruguay for 3 nights on buquebus. Stayed at Poada Don Antonio and loved every minute. Ended trip with 5 days back in Montevideo at My Suites Boutique hotel in Pocitos. Great little hotel We loved our whole trip and the Princess Star cruise made it all the better. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Finally after waiting 12 months for this holiday we were on board, first time cruisers. Golden Princes from Melbourne to NZ Jan 2016.Balcony room in Caribe Deck 10 was spacious. Forget the shoe bag over the door idea. There is plenty of ... Read More
Finally after waiting 12 months for this holiday we were on board, first time cruisers. Golden Princes from Melbourne to NZ Jan 2016.Balcony room in Caribe Deck 10 was spacious. Forget the shoe bag over the door idea. There is plenty of shelving hanging space and shelf under basin in bathroom. Clip magnets a good idea, we hung our landyards and important papers on the wall. Bed made morning and during dinner. Nice to come back to a cleanly made room. Room service free including tea and coffee. International cafe is open 24 hrs but coffee and tea you have to pay for. We partook of the food offerings late took them back to our room and ordered room service for the tea and coffee! Entertainment was good. Magician and comedians esp the one from NZ was very funny and had tears running down throughout his performance. Nathan from Hi5 era was excellent. The crew review was funny but get there early as it was standing room only in the Princess Theatre. Not having another ship to compare to it was great though others did say it looked tired. Service was spectacular, waiters get to know you and your preferences fairly early. Could not fault the service. Food was amazing, far too much if anything!! Go on a diet before you cruise otherwise its so easy to put on the kilos, so take the stairs not the elevator, walk the deck on level 7. We have a 15 yr daughter and 17 yr old son. Daughter loved the remix area for teens and have kept in touch with them via social media. 17yr old was not interested. The tender ports are a pain, esp the waiting to return back to boat. Not pleasant if its boiling hot or raining as you wait outside in all types of weather. Excursions we did were Wellington Weta Movie tour. Hubby and daughter loved it. Son and I checked out Wellington. Hobbiton and Rotoroa the Luge. We rented a car from Rite Price rentals in Tauranaga, they collected us from the boat, short trip to their shop and we were quickly on our way to Hobbiton. Organised this on line. Highly recommend them. They then shuttled bus us back to ship. Great day though weather abysmal in Rotoroa. The luge fun though not so much because of the appalling weather. Nice hot chocolate in their shop though! Dunedin is a far way from Port Chalmers, where we docked. I pre organised a 4 hour tour from PC to Dunedin and back via back roads, picturesque scenery. Again booked not through the ship. Most of the time though just happy to walk around the towns. Gisborne a beautiful town. Kids did the Skydeck walk in Auckland, not for the faint hearted. The wharf there is well worth a walk around. But its mostly about the ship. If you want to see a lot of NZ then a cruise isnt they way to see it. Overall we as a family had a fantastic time. It takes a bit to readjust to beds not swaying! We would do it again in a heartbeat. Smooth waters all the way. We also bought the unlimited drinks package for son well worth it as he drank like a fish! Specialty coffee card also good value. Forget Lotus Spa far far too expensive even for a special treat I couldnt justify their prices. But each to their own. Getting a taxi back to the suburbs in Melbourne was a farce. Where are all the taxis when you need them. It took us an 1 and 30 mins to get a stationwagon to get us home. Hats off to Barry who rung the taxi companies tirelessly to try and get more taxis to come to the wharf. Maxi cabs were even more rare. Not the best way to end our time away. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I went on this cruise with my husband, children (12, 15), my parents and my sister. We were in consecutive cabins with interconnecting balconies on the port side, so had a fabulous view as we travelled anti clockwise around NZ. The scenery ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my husband, children (12, 15), my parents and my sister. We were in consecutive cabins with interconnecting balconies on the port side, so had a fabulous view as we travelled anti clockwise around NZ. The scenery was spectacular as you'd expect from NZ. Arriving in a new port was a cause for great excitement. But what made this cruise special were the staff, who were so cheerful and friendly. The cruise director and his assistant were hilarious and set an irreverent tone that delighted the Aussies on board. They were very hardworking too, providing daily updates of all cruise activities on the in-house TV station, as well as hosting many of the shows. The entertainment was often cheesy, but you expect that on a cruise ship and you have to go along with it. There was some great laughs with NZ's best comedian, and the stage show on the final night was hilarious, with various members of staff performing acts. Our kids loved the karaoke and the bingo (they won $90 each!). The food was about 8/10. Lots of variety at the different restaurants on board so you couldn't get bored with the menu. Who could complain about all you can eat and never having to do the dishes! There were only a few moments of boredom for the kids, which they filled with watching favourite movies on the in-room TV. Most of the time on board we spent going from restaurants and bars, to shows, to the gym, and back to the room to sit around and read and rest. What's not to like! If I had to complain I would say the décor is dated - think 90s salmon pink and brass. But it's all very clean and well-maintained. And perhaps the pools could be a bit bigger, but talk about first world problems! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Just got off the Regal Princess this morning after a week with DH. Embarkation: the “preferred” line at 11:00 to board the ship was at least 2x longer than the “regular” check in… Once the line started it proceeded ... Read More
Just got off the Regal Princess this morning after a week with DH. Embarkation: the “preferred” line at 11:00 to board the ship was at least 2x longer than the “regular” check in… Once the line started it proceeded quickly. Yes, the wine detail was out in full force and DH dutifully checked in his 2 bottles. Demographics: there could not have been more than 2 dozen folks under 18 on this cruise due to the timing of it. At the past pax events it was indicated that a majority of passengers were platinum or elite on the cruise with only a small percentage being first time Princess cruisers. Plenty of folks on B2Bs. Ship: she looks great with everything still having that “new ship smell.” In the “beaten to death category” of ship opportunities: 1. Lack of Mid Ship Stairs – oh my heavens, yes this really is a big design flaw as is the non-existent Promenade deck. 2. The sky walk protrusion – also a challenge if you are in a stateroom below. We were in a port side balcony on Baja deck and while sunbathing (in bikini) one afternoon a gent above on the sky walk decided to make a somewhat obscene gesture to me below. DH wasn’t amused. 3. Lack of seating for shows. It was standing room only for every show (except the “Art history seminar”) all week. Be prepared to arrive 30 minutes early or forgo the show. We chose the latter. Chair hogs – were alive and well. Quite possibly the worst I’ve ever seen. I even noted that there were NOT any signs about not saving chairs, or signs about personal items being removed, etc. There were literally chairs ‘hogged’ at 08:00am that were not visited until noon (or later). Food: the buffet is, as noted, EXTENSIVE. Definitely spend the extra few minutes walking around and taking in your options as there are many little nooks and crannies holding dishes that are not repeated elsewhere. (For example, there was spectacular Indian vegetarian dahls offered, but only in one section. At night there is a whole section devoted to just cheeses. Heaven.) Lots of healthy, as well as non healthy choices. Certainly you could take care of almost any dietary request or requirement easily at the buffet. DH enjoyed watching football on Movies under the Stars– and this one is a beautiful screen with good sound. The staterooms are well equipped and the in room flat screen tv offers a full range of movies that can be watched on-demand which was GREAT. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
This was our first ever cruise . Chose our 30th wedding anniversary for this trip . We live in Sydney south west so we rode the train in . Was in awe as soon as we set eyes on the ship . Embarkation was very well organised and we were on ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise . Chose our 30th wedding anniversary for this trip . We live in Sydney south west so we rode the train in . Was in awe as soon as we set eyes on the ship . Embarkation was very well organised and we were on board and settled in our stateroom sooner than expected . Started exploring the ship right away . Staff were friendly and courteous , made us feel welcome everywhere on board . Service in all areas was above and beyond my expectations . We had an inside stateroom and it was perfect for us as we didn't plan on spending too many daylight hours in there . Clean and well maintained . The room steward was fantastic and enjoyed a chat . Loved the ports of call , so much to see . We were however disappointed with the shore excursion we took in Hobart . Not enough time to explore . We were out for 4 hours , and most of that time was sitting on the bus . Not value for the price at all . Next time will do our own thing . No complaints back on board in the dining scene . Great variety and always delicious . Over eat much ? You bet i did . We didn't see much of the on board entertainment , mainly spent time at poolside , watching the movies or listening to piano in the Atrium or the guitar guy at Crooners . Just relaxing mainly . Disembarkation was a sad day , didn't want to go ! It was though , organised very well ( hats off to the staff who had to handle this task ) , and we were soon back on the train headed home. Overall my wife and i thoroughly enjoyed this cruise , loved the ship , and can't wait till we're cruising again . Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I am a first time cruiser so the thought of flying half way around the world to get on a ship for 17 days did NOT interest me at all but as this was to be a family reunion for my husbands family I nervously went along. Wow ....that was ... Read More
I am a first time cruiser so the thought of flying half way around the world to get on a ship for 17 days did NOT interest me at all but as this was to be a family reunion for my husbands family I nervously went along. Wow ....that was my best decision ever. From the moment we boarded until we disembarked we had the most enjoyable time. As a family group of 15 in total we could catch up but then disappear and do our own thing. The cabin ( cabin 6027 with a verandah , mid ship forward) was marvellous , a tad squishy but we had 4 suitcases and a carry on ...all eventually fitted nicely under our bed. Themis our cabin steward was a legend keeping us in clean towels often as we are constant gym and jogging people. The gym was adequate for our needs , clean and tidy. The spa was expensive by any comparison but the salon side for hair and nails was great. The food couldn't be faulted and we visited the 2 signature restaurants twice each and for the extra US $25 pp it was great value. Daniel and the boys, anoop, Lawrence , Henry and others are brilliant and made our meals and trip in general so memorable. We loved this ship because of its size with only approx 670 passengers.... A few kids but they weren't too bad and I believe most were officers kids that were on the trip to spend Xmas with dad and 3 from our group. We did do a tour in Mexico and one at our disembarkation port of Fort Lauderdale....both ok but we walked in Columbia and Aruba as we would rather do our own thing. Crew are good to ask about ports as well. Good to note is that if you need to fly out later at night from either Miami or Fort Lauderdale the ship offers trips for the morning that will drop you at the air port ...your luggage stays on your bus and is cared for by the driver while you are sight seeing. Miami airport also has a hotel that supplies day rooms so you can have either the full day or a half day for about $125us to rest and freshen up ...with asking travel agent or looking into your self. We enjoyed this cruise so much we are booking other for the same time in 2017 this time either around Australia or to NZ. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Pros: Every crew member did an excellent job. They always had a smile and warm welcome remembering our names and our preferences. We had traditional dining (5:30) and loved it. The only thing I ordered off the "Available ... Read More
Pros: Every crew member did an excellent job. They always had a smile and warm welcome remembering our names and our preferences. We had traditional dining (5:30) and loved it. The only thing I ordered off the "Available Anytime" menu was the shrimp cocktail a few nights. Chef Joel's choices for the new nightly menu were always fantastic. I had an apple, celery soup that was so good I still want another bowl! The fish, steaks, lamb were always cooked either perfectly or nearly so. The appetizers and desserts were superb. I had a chocolate mouse cake and toasted coconut cake with raspberry that I am still dreaming about. Our waiter, Melchor and his junior waiter, Ferdinand were a welcome delight each evening. The head waiter Nicola and the Maitre d'Hotel Rui made us feel like we were coming to a good friend's home for dinner each evening. The food at the International Cafe was simple but delicious and well made. The pastries in the morning were fabulous....I could not resist the freshly made daily raspberry filled donuts. The Coffee at the International Cafe was very good as well. Armando is the best barista on board. He will make you anything you want. I had double caramel machiatto (sp?)! Tip: get the salted caramel cappachino then walk next door to the Piazza bar and get a shot of Jameson's. Put the Jameson's in the coffee for a great Irish coffee. Alfredo's has wonderful wood fired pizza and they will take special requests. Arnie at the Vines bar was outstanding. He has the best wine selection on board and is very Knowledgeable. He would see us going into Alfredo's next door and bring us our favorite wine. Even coming back to refill our glasses. He would go to International Cafe or the Piazza bar to get us something if we so much as hinted that we would like something from there. We really enjoyed his food and wine pairing and I highly recommend it. Ramil at the Crooners bar was his own entertainment venue destination. He had magic tricks, puzzles, riddles, and man.. could he juggle those shakers! He balanced two bottles nose to nose with a bill in-between and then pulled the bill out and the bottles stayed balanced on top of each other. And he did all this while filling orders and making drinks quickly. I never had to wait more than a couple of minutes for a beverage. Steve Morris of the Beach Boys, did two completely different and equally wonderful shows (comedy and music) on the first half of our trip. I like that Princess has the entertainers ship hop at ports. Steve got off halfway and another comedian Derrick Cameron (Tonight Show) came on and did two different shows as well. There were so many great choices for entertainment that we simply could not get to them all. Everything we did get to we thoroughly enjoyed. We liked the piano lounge singer Funch, the Static Band, Tempo Quatro, the mariachi band, the Piazza demonstrations..martini making, vegetable and fruit carving, cooking with chocolate..., the "Newlywed" type game show Marriage Match with passenger contestants, the Princess Pop Choir (all passengers who practiced for 10 days), the Princess Pop Star (American Idol type contest with passengers), the stargazing, the guest lecturer Dr. Greg Autry and even the trivia games (short entertaining interludes in the afternoon). There may have been something we didn't like but there was so much we did like I don't remember it. We had massages, body scrubs, mani/pedis and cut/color at the spa. All were wonderful. Embarkation at disembarkation at SF and each port of call was effortless, remarkably smooth. We both bought the beverage card and highly recommend it. I drank $10 of coffee and $15 of bottled water (still and sparkling) each day. I preferred the wines that were $10 a glass and had two at lunch and two at dinner. Add a night cap (manhattan) and a few non-alcoholic tropical slushies during the day while lounging by the pools and the $56 a day price tag on the card is well worth it. Plus I just liked not having to think about what I was drinking or how much it cost. I could have whatever I wanted and did not have to deprive myself of anything to save money. We saw some people cheating and thought it was deplorable. Do not buy a beverage card and then pass off your drinks to someone who did not buy it. The front of the ship by the spa and Sanctuary had very few people and is adult only. The aft pool is also adult only. The front of the ship had people who were just wanting to chill and have peace and quiet, while the back of the ship had the happy hours, mariachi singers and the group who were wanting to interact and have a bit of fun. We loved both. We did not go to the mid ship pools since kids just aren't our thing. Cons: I am sure people will find things to complain about. Everything was not "perfect". I feel really sorry for people who expect life to be perfect.....they are always disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Being first time cruisers we weren't expecting anything, but were surprised by the service and the experience we received on board, will be doing another cruise. The Cruise started from Perth with about 1400 of the passengers on ... Read More
Being first time cruisers we weren't expecting anything, but were surprised by the service and the experience we received on board, will be doing another cruise. The Cruise started from Perth with about 1400 of the passengers on the return leg from Singapore to Perth where we on boarded, being over 29 days 80% of the passages seemed to be over 65, but you expect that on a long cruise just before Christmas (which was almost why we booked those dates to avoid the children). The Children on board where great. The Entertainment was focused on the seniors sector, there were a couple of acts which we very good (including Dianne Cousins), some which were past it and felt like a RSL club venue. The shore excursions offered by the ship were limited, most people only wanted to visit the local markets, we choice to take the more adventures excursions, The Nation Park tour in Cambodia was the best! They were over priced for what you get otherwise you need to organise your own trips. Our Evening Dinners were the best, mainly thanks to our waiter, he gave us a review every night and which options to select, there weren't enough greens, he ensured we had an extra side of greens and if you want additional items or less, then you just had to ask, there was no problem. Overall, it was a great experience, the ship is looking a bit dated in places, but was good value and worth it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I got to the pier by Public transport , left early to get there early and to cover any possible delay the public transport could have thrown at me , none, I had lunch at a cafe near there and looked at her and how huge she was. at about ... Read More
I got to the pier by Public transport , left early to get there early and to cover any possible delay the public transport could have thrown at me , none, I had lunch at a cafe near there and looked at her and how huge she was. at about 12.50 I decided to line up , my check in was meant to be 1.30 but as i felt that by the time i got to the front it would be that time I didn't see any wrong in lining up at the time i did. it moved nicely , i got to where the truck was for bag pick up and a few of us got told if you don't mind and can do so walk to the next pick up point you are most welcome to do so , so a few of us did just that . Got to the bag pick up point [where people get dropped off in taxi's etc ] and handed my bags over and up i went . I was directed to fill out some forms which I did then lined up in the next Que . that didn't take long and the next thing had my card for my room. next stop was customs and claiming my GST of my purchases . that all went smoothly and then through the photo stops etc i took some pictures as well of the ship and got another photo for my cruise card done then onto the ship i went and up to my room . I met my Steward Ariel , a lovely guy polite and always willing to help , very hard working as well. I then went off and explored . Such a huge ship inside and out , all the staff i met had a smile all said hello they all got to know me and that day i had my cowboy hat on and got called cowgirl/boy by a few all with a smile . Time the ship left port watched and took lots of photos of that happening, then it was dinner time. I had chosen first sitting for my dinning experience as I find i don't always sleep well after late dinners though mind you I probably should not have worried about that with lots to do and see you don't always get to bed early anyway , met my waiters Daniel from Serbia and Phinyo from Thailand , they are Gems , such lovely guys with wonderful smiles and always ready for a chat and a laugh , willing to suggest what meal might be nice and if you could not make your mind up they would give you both choices , happened to me many a time with the entrees , they got to know the drink of choice and you were set for a lovely dinner , my table companions were great always had a chat with them . movies shows what ever you wanted to do fantastic . used the skywalkers disco area a couple of times to read a book though did fall asleep doing that too to wake up in the middle of fog . found the gym and used it a couple of times , walked around the boat when I could . Never ended up at a speciality restaurant as I was enjoying the company at my table . Found a couple of people that did not know the manners of letting people out of lifts before going on and politely let them know about it . other then those couple i didn't encounter many people like that they were all great and looked to be enjoying themselves and most treated the staff great from what i saw as well which is great as well . The Photographers were great , had my favourite who took a great photo of me and he was and is a great guy always polite with a great sense of humor . We got into all ports, we had the wind pick up as the last tender left Akaroa which made it slightly harder to get to the ship but the ship and the crew on the tender did a great job and all got on Golden safely , a poor kayaker got caught by the wind and fell out , a passenger saw this and alerted the crew , they sent a tender to help as well as alerting the authorities, he was wet but ok and was walking on the beach and no longer needed the ships help the authorities were at hand for him if needed . We only missed Dusky sound , the shore tours I did were awesome as and the shuttle buses services where you needed them to get into town were great too . I did the ultimate ship tour and loved it , due to a technical problem that caused Golden to lose power for a little while we missed the bridge at the end of the tour , but they got us to the bridge the next day which was awesome as , warning to those that like sun bathing etc in the nude etc , do remember this the bridge has cameras on either side and are on the bridge like side mirrors , if you are on your balcony with nothing on they will see you and have already seen some um interesting scenes . When the Ship lost power and we stopped in the middle of the cruise back to Melbourne the Captain kept us all informed at all times the weather was good and at the time sea was quite calm which was probably a good thing . when we started off it was at half speed then an hr or so later full speed My Cabin was clean the bed was comfy as the balcony was awesome as . Tim the cruise director was awesome as was his side kick Corry they did a show that was a one off and it was funny as and the tribute shows we had were great I saw the queen one and the beatles one they were fantastic the sand man that did pictures with sand was awesome as the show by the crew at the end of the cruise is worth seeing too. If you see a movie outside you can get more than one blanket as well but do wear worm clothes , missed the star gazing due to clouds sadly. 2 and a half laps around deck 7 is 1 mile long they do have childrens club of some sort I did see a room and a youth teenage room or two as well . I had a massage though was not going to as they aren't cheap but decided to as my back was aching , I got a hot stone massage and it worked the aches away , they do a little push at the end to buy a product but you can say no , I thought she was going to give me a free sachet for the bath but thought best to ask how much , and it was from a box of them for sale so I politely said no . There is a pizza and burger place on deck 14 as well as free ice cream and Horizons the buffet . The unlimited drinks card is awesome , loved the mocktails I got it as well as hot chocolate and lemonade drinks etc , the coffee card was good too, I had no need for an alcohol card which would have covered all that as I don't drink that much to warrant that cost . They had a shooter glass that had different coloured bases that you can collect , in the dining area's they cost $3 outside them they were $7.50 each , they have blue , green ,red, orange , yellow and clear glasses . I did Piha Bush & Beach Eco Tour, Tamaki Maori Village, Gisborne Craft Beer Brewery & Lunch, Zealandia Eco Reserve & Otari Wilton Bush, Wildlife Cruise 1 Booked , Scenic Akaroa By Double Decker Bus , Olveston House & Larnach Castle loved them all , they were all great and i would do them again . The service everywhere I went be it a bar or the front desk or the restaurant or bistro or my room attendant or the guys when you go ashore or the photographers was fantastic can not fault any of them . Disembarking from the ship was good though I stressed on the card on what I had to declare etc so if I was unsure i clicked yes , safer that way , if I didn't need to won't matter , I was off the ship I reckon in around 10 minutes if that , was easy as and very smooth running . I caught a tram to the city as I was staying at the Pensione hotel, [Highly Recommend if you want clean cheap accommodation have had no problems with them in the times i have stayed there ], due to seeing a concert that night from ACDC which as awesome and just got home after lunch with all but bags I think I will be sleeping in tomorrow . Had an awesome time , I will cruise again when I save enough money to do so again and if lucky will be on Golden again, she is one lovely ship and the crew are awesome . Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
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