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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise because we needed to be in Honolulu on the 26th and this cruise did that. We have done this Christmas New Years cruise before. The Star is looking worn. The food was only ok. Service was good. The children were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we needed to be in Honolulu on the 26th and this cruise did that. We have done this Christmas New Years cruise before. The Star is looking worn. The food was only ok. Service was good. The children were not a problem this time. A few years ago they ran wild and it was horrid. Let me get right to the issues. 1 going through immigration in Honolulu: 1 1/2 hours in line waiting to get off the ship. Bad planning by Princess. They sent everyone a letter with instructions on when to get in line. Not 1 person followed the instruction. We went 3 hours earlier than instructed and so did everyone else. tours were delayed and it was a big cluster of mess. we almost missed our grandson's christening on Waikiki. The staff tried to blame it on immigration but it was really Princesses bad planning. When we got our instruction we went right to the front desk and they told us to go when we needed to. I think everyone else got the same instruction. 2 Tendering in Maui. I don't know what the problem was or why and I don't care. People were stranded and were not tendered to the ship until way after we were to leave. 1 1/2 hour wait to get back to the ship. 3 BUGS the first time I heard about the bites was from my trivia partner who showed this huge bug bite. He said his wife had a bunch of smaller bites. He went to medical and was put on antibiotics. They said he must have gotten bit on shore. We had 5 days at sea. On the third day at sea my husband shows me these bites all over his legs. We spoke to other people who said they were spraying constantly. This ship has an infestation. 4 The food got worse with each day. The good things: We met great people. Had a great time. I guess it is good to loose weight on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2014

This was a wonderful back to back cruise. We started in Honolulu and sailed to Tahiti and did a round trip there for the second segment. Embarkation was super-easy in Honolulu. We had a mini-suite that provided us with more than enough ... Read More

This was a wonderful back to back cruise. We started in Honolulu and sailed to Tahiti and did a round trip there for the second segment. Embarkation was super-easy in Honolulu. We had a mini-suite that provided us with more than enough storage space. The cabin and ship were always immaculate. The public areas looked brand new, except for the furniture in the 10th deck Pacific Lounge; it was rather "tired." We have sailed on Oceania, Celebrity, and Regent; but the service and attention by the crew was superior on this ship. We have sailed over 14 times; but we have never seen such a happy crew and well-run ship.

The ship's tours ran the scale from outstanding (Waterfall Hiking Tour on Maui; and the archaeological tour with Paul on Huahine) to near-disaster (Off-Road tour on Bora-Bora in a vehicle with no seat belts and a flat tire!). The best of the best was the private tour with Patrick Tairua of MaoHinui on Bora-Bora; it was an amazing experience)

The entertainment on the ship was quite good; better than expected for a ship of that size. The sea days featured Ukelele lessons by Elua, a Latin dance workout, and ballroom dance lessons from the outstanding staff and my wife liked the beauty salon.

The only negative was the mediocre food in the dining room and buffet. There was no lox, although the omelet station was good.

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Sail Date: October 2009
The Sun Princess was a terrific ship. The vibe on board was very positive and every crew member we met was both very friendly and helpful....always! Embarkation in Honolulu was smooth & certainly not onerous, despite a Tsunami warning ... Read More
The Sun Princess was a terrific ship. The vibe on board was very positive and every crew member we met was both very friendly and helpful....always! Embarkation in Honolulu was smooth & certainly not onerous, despite a Tsunami warning earlier that morning.

Our stateroom (up grade from an inside to an ocean view) was very clean but we needed to ask at the Burser's desk, upon arrival, that it be made up for a double rather than a twin, even though we had booked the double. This was done very promptly.....& in fact, the double bed was more like a big queen size. The bed was very, very comfortable. Though, if you are fussy about your pillow....bring your own! The window was terrific and the space we had in the stateroom was fine. The service by our cabin steward was excellent. As at the 17/10/09 I was permitted to smoke in the stateroom. I took my own (sealable) ashtray but apparently, ashtrays are available. Whilst smoking wasn't encouraged in staterooms, nor was it banned.....so I was happy! I smoked in my stateroom, though I think a balcony would have made it more pleasant for all! I saw one of these staterooms and was most impressed.

Dining was a lovely experience. We were booked for 2nd seating dining on a table of 8. This worked out exactly as we thought. We connected immediately with one couple, yet also became friends with another (going on a taxi trip with them at one of the ports), so a good way to meet people. We probably ate in the dining room every 2nd or 3rd night. It was certainly fine dining at it's best. We also enjoyed the free Horizon Court Buffet, the free Pizza place, the free ice creams......the Pzzas were very nice (I always ordered the "vegetarian with ham" because I like a bit of bulk....whilst the "Terrace Bar" (hamburgers/wraps) & ice-creamery at the rear side of the Lido were also yum on a hot day.....all included! The Steak House was great value/service....$20 for 3 courses (your choice of steak!). Absolutely recommend as a treat!

Smoking areas were allocated on the Lido deck (swimming pool area) in one corner. This was under cover with tables & chairs & very popular. Other areas icluded the Port side of the Promenade deck, & port side of the Top Siders Bar (sun lounges available here). Other than inside, I believe smokers are well catered for.....so check out the spots by having a walk around the different decks (especially Port Side), they are more avaialable than what I have mentioned.

Ports: we only booked one tour. It was "The Land Of Ice & Fire' on Hilo. We really enjoyed this tour. At other ports, we either walked around the towns or hired a taxi to take a few of us on a "mini tour". Whist this was cheaper, perhaps you get what you pay for.....so consider what you have seen before & arrange your tours accordingly. We didn't want to see villages/fire walking etc again....but if you havn't seen it......????

I also took my lap top. Wireless internet was avaiable from my cabin on deck 5. It was also available for wireless from many locations. It cost $75 for 150 minutes (I stretched that out for the 3 weeks). I was able to write my messages in word, save & copy to emails before logging on. If you need to log on & then write a message (ie you don't take your own wireless internet lap top) then you will need more time.

You can buy cigs on board, but either take your own duty free or buy them at the ports(they are not cheap on board). Duty free on board is avaialable, but delivered to your room the day before you disembark. There are numerous activities on board to fill in time.....my husband had a ball! The daily "Princess Patter" kept you up to date with what was happening. We found everything on this ship very organised. The staff were very friendly & most obliging. We had a great time!!!

Just note!!! Our disembarkation from Sydney was about an hour late (the ship was organised, but there was a hold up in customs). We had allowed 5 hours between arrival at Sydney Port & our flight to Melbourne. This was perfect...but others had obviously allowed less time and ended up missing flights. Keep this in mind! Overall, a great trip! It's all there....make your own fun!!! I'm 56 years old but would recommend the Wheel House Bar for "after dinner"....no matter what your age!!!

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Sail Date: September 2009
This was our first small ship experience (after several mega-ships) and it won't be our last! This was a trip to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

Pre-cruise: We stayed two nights at the Hotel Renew in Honolulu, which was excellent! ... Read More

This was our first small ship experience (after several mega-ships) and it won't be our last! This was a trip to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

Pre-cruise: We stayed two nights at the Hotel Renew in Honolulu, which was excellent! Small, no pool or restaurant, but free beach chairs, umbrellas, etc. free continental breakfast, pineapple juice and a cool washcloth on arrival.

Small ship Vs. Big Ship: There were no waits for elevators, the buffet, disembarking, or anything else. Most of the time, it was easy to find chairs at the pool. The staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome. The people on this ship were older, but as I was there to spend time with my spouse, that didn't bother me at all. We did not see any wheelchairs and very few walkers. We saw only 4 children on the ship - this would not be my choice for a cruise with children. There was some motion, but not any worse than we've seen on the mega-ships (RCCL Freedom Class) Decor was understated, lots of wood.

Stateroom: We were in an owner's suite, which we loved - huge balcony, plenty of space. For a cruise with 5 days in a row at sea, the extra space in the room and balcony was a big plus. The suite also came with free laundry and internet, and the ability to order off the regular menu, which we took advantage of several times.

Spa: Small but nice. They were not pushy with selling products, which made it a more pleasurable experience. Pricey, like all ship's spas.

Activities: One pool, ping-pong, shuffleboard. Some planned seminars, but none of them interested us. If you are looking for the ship to provide you with things to do, this is not the cruise for you.

Service: EXCELLENT - both dining room and room stewards were great! We ate at all eating venues, and all of the staff we came in contact with was great.

Dining: The food in the main dining room and buffet were comparable to RCCL, I thought. We had no complaints. The specialty restaurants were very nice and worth the extra $$. Teatime was a nice treat every day as well.

Entertainment: We realized that a smaller ship would not have as many options, and we were right. We were somewhat disappointed with the entertainment - the comedian was older and his jokes were geared toward the 60 and older crowd. The opera singer was ok, but not what I was looking for. The Pacific Princess singers and dancers were very good. I would have liked more options for entertainment in the evenings.

Travel: We used Princess Air because of the flight back from Tahiti being impossible to book w/o Princess Air - I would not use Princess Air again unless that was my only option. With our flight home, they gave us a very tight connection (which we missed) We had wanted to change our flights ahead of time, but could only do so for a $75 pp surcharge, so we took our chances. When we missed our connection, they changed us to the flight that we wanted in the first place!

Disembarkation: Very smooth. Our flight didn't leave until 10:00 PM, so although we had to be out of our cabin by 8:00 AM, we were able to enjoy the amenities of the ship throughout the day.

This was a fantastic cruise, perfect for a romantic getaway. I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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Sail Date: September 2009
Honolulu to Papeete

The Pacific Princess departed Honolulu on September 28, 2009 for 11 nights. Kauai, Maui, Big Island (Hilo) were the first ports, followed by 5 days at sea before visiting the ports of Bora Bora, Moorea, and Tahiti. ... Read More

Honolulu to Papeete

The Pacific Princess departed Honolulu on September 28, 2009 for 11 nights. Kauai, Maui, Big Island (Hilo) were the first ports, followed by 5 days at sea before visiting the ports of Bora Bora, Moorea, and Tahiti. At the conclusion of the day in Moorea, the ship set sail for Tahiti where it over-nighted in Papeete after arriving at 8:00 PM. Weather was warm and sunny on port and sea days.

The cruise was scheduled for 4 hours of scenic cruising around Christmas Island but the ship arrived late, leaving us time for a 1-hour drive-by. The ship was scheduled to be in Bora Bora 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (changed to 12:30 PM to 9:00 PM) because the ship arrived late. The Captain gave everyone $50 shipboard credit for the disappointment.

Princess was used for all travel arrangements. Embarkation was effortless. Princess flew us LAX to HNL on Delta's 8:25 AM flight, arriving at 11:05 AM Hawaii Time. Princess reps were in the baggage retrieval area to direct people to the ship's shuttle (for those with transfers). The wait was about 20 minutes for the 15-minute ride to the ship where we stepped right aboard. On Debarkation Day cabin evacuation was by 8:00 AM. Our flight home on Air Tahiti Nui was at 11:30PM. Because our Princess transfer to the airport was at 8:30 PM, we had plenty of time to enjoy Tahiti and go back and forth to the ship. It took almost two hours and five security checks to get through the check-in line to the boarding area in Faa'a International. The flight was thirty minutes late because of delays in processing the many passengers. After the first hour of flight, the first of two warm meals was served.

We learned the current Pacific Princess was built for Renaissance (now defunct in the aftermath of 9/11) and to date is mostly unaltered by Princess. Passenger capacity is approximately 670.

The ship was adequately maintained but had an old ambience. The dEcor made us think something of maybe an old English manor. It felt heavy, tired, worn and stuffy.

We heard small ships experience more movement than larger ones. This ship rocked, rolled, bounced, and vibrated during the entire cruise. One day the air-conditioning went out, and one evening toilets malfunctioned in at least one section of the ship including our cabin. Both problems were quickly fixed. Princess was very good about trying to make things right.

Our standard balcony (port-side) stateroom #7090 on Deck 7 was 184 square feet plus an 8' by 4' balcony. The layout was poor and we felt cramped and in each other's way. There was insufficient drawer and surface space. The bed was comfortable but the couch was not. The bathroom was so tiny that the micro-mini sink's faucet was off to the left side. While showering, a normal sized person will be against the wall and/or shower curtain. The side of the cabin leading to the balcony was floor-to-ceiling sliding glass door and window. In addition, the open balcony railing gave a natural view. The gaps in the balcony separating partitions however were too wide for any visual and voice privacy. We were really glad to have a balcony.

Dining: The Club Restaurant is the main dining room with early and late seating. The Panorama Buffet on the Pool Deck is the casual option. In addition, two specialty dinner dining choices were available in Sabatini's Italian and Sterling's Steakhouse. These two alternated evenings of operation and had a surcharge. We just didn't like the food in the Club Restaurant. It was no one's fault; we just didn't like it. Our table waiter and the maitre d tried to make it better. We gotta give Princess "A" for effort. But we just didn't like what they did to the food. There was usually something we could find in the Panorama Buffet.

The Pool Deck has one small pool with 2 jazuzzis, bar, BBQ (hamburgers, hot dogs, etc.), and bandstand. Adults were able to fully enjoy the area because there were so few children (we saw 4) you could say there were none. The water in the pool, jazuzzis, and fresh water showers was warm and the saltiness of the pool kept you afloat even though the depth was 5 feet 6 inches. The wave action from the edges of the pool was nice and nicely enhanced by the rocking of the ship. Gave the feeling you were in the ocean.

Entertainment: Limited small venue entertainment and low-key activities were held in the Cabaret Lounge, Pacific Lounge, Club Bar and on deck. The best entertainment was Princess' Dancers & Singers—young, energetic, and entertaining followed by the Tropical Fiesta Deck Party. The opera singer was good but not what we were expecting on a cruise. For us too much of the entertainment lacked entertainment and there was no quantity. The casino slots were so dull and lifeless that we saved money by not losing there.

The Crossing the Equator Ceremony was great fun. Activities such as needlepoint, grandparents' bragging get-together, wills/trusts and estates, create a legacy, animal lovers get-together, drawing/bookmaking, etc. weren't what we were looking for on a cruise. The destination ports series lecturer was elderly and boring. The cruise director was old. The vast majority of the passengers were elderly. We're old people too but this was all too sedate for our likes.

We found the Pacific Princess and the Princess experience to be boring, anemic, and geriatric. It made us sleepy and zapped our energy. Regrettably, we would be reluctant to cruise Princess again.

But this was a cruise about the ports...

PORTS/TOURS: We booked all of our tours through Princess.

Kauai (docked): The Hollywood Movies and Waterfalls Tour (9:30 to 3:30) Kauai is often the backdrop to many major motion pictures and television shows. The tour had special access to certain areas not open to the public such as the Coco Palms Resort. The tour started from Nawiliwili through Hanalei, with our young, lively, entertaining, informative, knowledgeable tour guide who respected Old Hawaii. There were numerous stops and she helped people off and on the bus and around the locations. You could tell she enjoyed her job and was eager to please and answer questions. We saw and learned much about the locations and programs filmed as well as Kauai in general. A beach-side sandwich lunch was included. Tour was properly timed to allow enough time for the stops without being rushed. This is a beautiful laid back island in a lush garden setting punctuated by gleaming waterfalls.

Maui (tendered): Lanai 4x4 Trekker Expedition (8:45 to 3:00) Tour included the 45-minute ferry ride to and from Maui. Tour was comprehensive and there was enough time spent at the stops to enjoy them without being rushed. Except for the two Four Seasons resorts, this is a much different landscape from the other islands and with a much simpler way of life. The tour guide was informative, knowledgeable, respectful of old Hawaiian ways, and willing to answer questions. We traveled along dirt roads among what were once pineapple plantations and through the Cook Islands Pine Forest and the Ironwood Forest. Some of the stops were at the Garden of the Gods and Shipwreck Beach where we saw green sea turtles and the WWII Liberty Ship that crashed into the reef decades ago. We had a short stop at the Koele Four Seasons Resort for a quick peek. A sandwich lunch was served in the small quaint City of Lanai. This island has withstood commercial tourism and is a refreshing change of pace from Maui.

Hilo (docked): The Waipio Valley/Kings Expedition (9:00 to 2:30) It was raining (typical Hilo weather) during the drive to and from the entry to the Valley's floor. The driver was exceeding the speed limit by almost twice as he raced by picturesque scenery in both directions. The driver of the 4x4 who would take us on our journey to the Valley's floor was a young Hawaiian who lived in the valley but wasn't informative or interesting whatsoever. You had to drag information from him about the historical and sacred nature of the place we were visiting and even then he hardly said a mouthful. We drove through many streams and several times were allowed to walk around. The area was extremely peaceful with a haunting beauty. Just wish we could have inhaled more of what was there.

Bora Bora (tendered): Highlights Tour (1:30 to 4:00) Bora Bora is a small island of about 15 square miles. The beautiful multi-colored lagoon and dramatic scenery is love at first sight until you take a closer look. The drive around was rushed and didn't have many stops. More time should have been allocated to the stops we did make such as Bloody Mary's Restaurant and the panoramic overlooks. The tour guide was not particularly forthcoming with information. This was the only island on the itinerary we had never visited and were surprised at the poverty, trash, graffiti, and closed resorts. Something wicked has reached paradise and we were saddened to see one of the most beloved and beautiful islands in the world tainted.

Moorea (tendered): Circle Island with Tiki Village Theater (8:30 to 12:00) This small island is about 51 square miles. Civilization has crept in but not too much. The island is still clean and spectacular but there was some graffiti and closed resorts. The drive around was rushed and inadequate time was given to the stops such as the Tiki Village Theater. Sometimes the driver didn't even get off the bus and he didn't have much to say. Stunning Cook's Bay and Opunahu Bay will renew your senses and their heart-stopping beauty is unforgettable. Tahiti (docked): Circle Island Drive, Gauguin Museum & Lunch. (8:30 to 3:15) Our tour guide was a warm Tahitian woman who was interesting and knowledgeable in telling us as much as possible about the island. We were never rushed and she was eager to answer questions. After getting some distance away from the ever-growing Papeete and graffiti, we were in gorgeous territory. The kind of territory you think of when you hear the word "Tahiti." She helped people off and on the bus and around the locations. We appreciated her candidness about French Polynesia and what caused the changes we noticed. Lunch at the Gauguin Museum was the best meal we had during the entire cruise. Some of the stops were at Point Venus, the Blowhole, Gauguin Museum, Vaipahi Gardens, Maraa Fern Grotto, and Sacred Marae. We saw breathtaking waterfalls tumble down lush cliffs. A short walk through a bamboo forest led us to one large one in particular. We got so close we could almost feel it against our faces.

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