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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
This cruise was fantastic! I've heard that this was one of the last circle Australia cruises, because the industry is now cutting back in Australia. We cruised out of Sydney and visited Brisbane, Cairns, Alotau, Darwin, Broome, ... Read More
This cruise was fantastic! I've heard that this was one of the last circle Australia cruises, because the industry is now cutting back in Australia. We cruised out of Sydney and visited Brisbane, Cairns, Alotau, Darwin, Broome, Geraldton, and finally, we ended in Perth, Australia. The ports and shore excursions were excellent. Food was wonderful, most nights we ate in the dining room, our waiters were Tarra and Bagus. Both were excellent, the best waiters we have ever had, I think that if you cruise on Sun Princess, I would ask for them, they really go the extra mile to ensure your vacation is an amazing experience. For lunch, we mainly ate in the buffet, and with a smaller ship, you must remember that they are not that many specialty restaurants. The steak restaurant was part of the buffet that they sectioned off at night, and the only other speciality restaurant was Share, by Curtis Stone. We did not eat there, because we didn't like the thought of sharing food with other people. We stayed in a Mini Suite, and for 2 people, it was the perfect size. I believe that the closet space was small, especially with a 17 day cruise, but it was manageable nonetheless. One of the best things about Princess are the free movies that you can watch on TV, this was a really nice feature, especially with a 17 day cruise, with a lot of sea days. All in all, we had an amazing time on the Sun Princess, and are very happy that we took advantage of the cruise, as it is no longer offered by Princess. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
7 day cruise to Norway from Southampton, getting on and off the ship was very good, I also enjoyed the evening shows Magic to Do, the Disco Show, the variety show, Jo Little the comedian, and others too, all most entertaining! My cabin ... Read More
7 day cruise to Norway from Southampton, getting on and off the ship was very good, I also enjoyed the evening shows Magic to Do, the Disco Show, the variety show, Jo Little the comedian, and others too, all most entertaining! My cabin steward was excellent too. Though my cabin was very small, I was the only occupant, so it was fine. I would imagine 2 people staying in the cabin might be VERY uncomfortable! I did enjoy the ports too in Norway very much. This ship holds over 3000 passengers, and during the week of the cruise, most of them wandered around aimlessly in groups unsure of where they were going, seemingly always blocking entrances and exits to everywhere on the ship. I did learn out of the over 3000 passengers onboard, only about 700 were Americans. I discovered rude people with no consideration for others come from all over the world apparently. The ship is HUGE and it is a bit of a challenge figuring out where everything is. I ate dinner every night in the Botticelli Dining room. The menu was very limited, with one page remaining the same, and another page with different items, mostly all unhealthy choices with butter or cream, and rather bland and tasteless at the same time, too. My dining companions were all in agreement on how bland most everything was. There were NO healthy options on the menu, and also oddly, no choice of sides (potato, rice, vegetables, etc.) I wonder if this was to encourage people to pay extra for the specialty dining options. Also, after a waiter took my order one night, someone sat down in the empty seat next to me at the table. When the waiter brought over my food, he placed it in front of the passenger who sat down at the empty seat. Not sure what that was about. The dinner buffet on the Horizon deck was actually so much better-each night was a different theme, (Italian, Asian, Indian, etc) with SO much more variety to chose from, and so much tastier too!. I only know this because almost each night BEFORE dining in the dining room, I'd sample some of the buffet items about an hour before, first on deck well aware that the dining room dinners were VERY unsatisfying. Some of the dessert choices though were not bad, and did find some satisfying desserts. One more issue I feel needs to be mentioned here. One evening was the Captain's get together in the Piazza on one of the formal nights. A waiter came around with small bites to eat. I only spotted ONE waiter among the hundreds of passengers gathering in this area. After I sampled something from his tray, I approached him for more, he rudely told me "no" as others had not had any yet. Was the cost of these items coming out of his pocket? I don't think so. I feel that gathering should have been more prepared with more servers, and his behavior was totally unacceptable AND inappropriate. Probably just the ship cutting costs wherever it can, and overcharging for EVERYTHING on the ship that is NOT included. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I have been cruising for quite a few years so much so that I have been lucky to have been to almost all the ports in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. I, not long ago came back from a cruise in South America ... Read More
I have been cruising for quite a few years so much so that I have been lucky to have been to almost all the ports in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe. I, not long ago came back from a cruise in South America visiting Chile , Argentina and Buenos Aires and all ports in between including Port Stanley in Falkland Islands. I wanted to see Japan, S. Korea and Taiwan and the opportunity arose and I booked this cruise on Diamond Princess. It is a amazing ship very big in size but good in all the comforts and activities. There was one disappointment that the entertainment director was not up to standard. He came on the stateroom TV from time to time and was reading from the script, coughing and hardly making sense of what he was saying. It was better to read the program sheet than to listen to him. The entertainment was mediocre and seen better performers on other cruise ships, repetitive with the same people appearing from time to time. But the Large screen showing "movies under the stars" was good to excellent. Perhaps thee should be more movies shown when at sea and at night to give the customers a better choice of entertainment. The food in the Horizon restaurant was of good quality, hot and appetizing. The waiter service in the restaurant was good to excellent and always met with a smile. Hard working staff all round. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was my second cruise in the same cabin on the Sun. It was a little cleaner than I remember and the bathroom had been rennovated a bit. The bed was ultra comfortable and as I travel solo I had heaps of room on my balcony and ... Read More
This was my second cruise in the same cabin on the Sun. It was a little cleaner than I remember and the bathroom had been rennovated a bit. The bed was ultra comfortable and as I travel solo I had heaps of room on my balcony and usually had some drying hanging over the spare chair! The laundry seemed to be a hostile place to hang out, so I avoided it. The entertainment was first class this trip and the tenders were not crowded as Princess have FINALLY realised you cannot fit 150 tubby Australians on just one life boat. Marquis was underwhelming and the service standard was not up to Dawn Princess levels, unfortunately. The food was excellent. But, like last time, I became ill on the 5th day with a chest infection. To save the huge costs I had my antibiotics and other medications with me and avoided the Medical Centre. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
The Crown is an older ship and needs work! During 14 day cruise the spa pool was closed at least 4 times for 'maintenance' including our 1 sunny at sea day. Deck hands and other crew were all giving conflicting information as ... Read More
The Crown is an older ship and needs work! During 14 day cruise the spa pool was closed at least 4 times for 'maintenance' including our 1 sunny at sea day. Deck hands and other crew were all giving conflicting information as to what the issue was. This was more frustrating than the fact that the pool was closed. Get your story correct and tell us the truth! Carpets in several areas (indoors and outdoors) were ripped, frayed and in poor condition. Several railings were missing or in slow process of being replaced. Several bar stools overlooking aft pool were too lose and wobbly to sit on. Many of the staff don't seem as happy as on other ships. The service in the dining rooms was the worst I've experienced in all my cruising. They still haven't mastered anytime dining! I went on this cruise to Norway for the scenery and Midnight Sun which was all fantastic! The ports were all good. Disembarkment was a nightmare due to fact that there was only 1 gangway in use. That's probably an issue of Southampton and not Princess. Even though I was disappointed with condition of ship and service level, I still gave this cruise 4 stars because of the itinerary. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I chose this cruise because my family had never been to the British Isles but was familiar with the history of the cities and wanted to see it first hand. We had always heard of the beauty of Ireland and Scotland, the kindness (and humor!) ... Read More
I chose this cruise because my family had never been to the British Isles but was familiar with the history of the cities and wanted to see it first hand. We had always heard of the beauty of Ireland and Scotland, the kindness (and humor!) of its people, and it exceeded all expectations. I actually sailed solo on this ship but enjoyed the ship and crew so much I'm bringing my family back again July 24th. Entertainment was very good. The piano player, Paul, in Crooners Lounge, in particular, really stood out as talented and so warm and friendly. It was a joy to go there and listen to him. Cafe: The baristas and wait crew at the International Cafe were a highlight as well. They learned my name and order immediately, and the various complimentary pastries and breakfast sandwiches were very good. The Cones and Coffee on deck 15 is a welcome addition. They use a high-quality chocolate in the ice cream which I really appreciated. The newly branded pizza place, Slice, had good pizza. I think they've made a mistake by having only a meatball focaccia bread and another meat pizza slice (stromboli?) combination. They should let guests order from a meat and non-meat type focaccia. Gym: The gym equipment was brand new and fantastic! I went every day and enjoyed the bikes and ellipticals with their perfect ocean views. Of note, is how friendly and hard working the gentleman is who works in the men's locker room. For exercise, don't miss the promenade deck 7 for a fully wrap around walking deck, with lounge chairs. Dining: The Fresh International Market always had several items I enjoyed. I tend to choose fresh vegetables, fish, and fresh fruit. They always had plenty, in abundance and relatively high quality. One evening they had a whole salmon, and they always had delicious duck or a perfect looking steak cut to order. I can't say enough about how friendly and helpful the staff was to everyone. The internet manager was besieged by well-meaning passengers who didn't understand how to access the internet. He remained patient, kind, and so helpful, despite the onslaught of not always patient passengers. The movies for the Movies Under the Stars were excellent. Think La La Land, Star Wars, and Pixar films. High quality. I never had to wait more than a few minutes for anything I wanted. The longest line was when I locked my key in my room the first day and had to wait 5 minutes for them to print me a replacement. My only recommendation would be to stop selling those orthopedic supports. They are overpriced and the sell is too pervasive throughout the ship. To end, I can't wait to return to the Carribean Princess with its fantastic crew, new beds, and amazing destinations. Cheers! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
Embarkation day was both great and bad. I arrived at high time at pier but took no time to get my key, thus almost immediately to the ship. I did enjoy my Platinum membership for express boarding. But then the departure was delayed for 2 ... Read More
Embarkation day was both great and bad. I arrived at high time at pier but took no time to get my key, thus almost immediately to the ship. I did enjoy my Platinum membership for express boarding. But then the departure was delayed for 2 hours due to failure of the telephone system (a very strange reason). I note that ship’s public clocks were not at one, indicating the ship was not that well managed. The weather was still chilly and windy, yet the ride was smooth all the way to Oslo. We arrived on May Day and everything was closed but we benefitted actually from witnessing a large demonstration which looks more like a carnival, with music bands joining the parade. Next port was Warnemunde, for Rostock and Berlin. A frequent commuter train brings you to Rostock costing 2.10 Euro one way, while joining the ships transfer with a guided walk is something like USD99. It was stupid to go to Berlin which is too far, and the ship charges far too much. The port of Warnemunde is interesting, with a good riverside stroll, as if it was German Riviera. The ship’s food was adequate, I had no illusion about Princess food. Service attitude of staff generally improved much from my past experiences with Princess and dinner is served in the traditional manner though in an ‘express way’ (reheated food anyway and service flow was hurried and really fast). I can often finish a 4-course meal with tea in 35 minutes, certainly no fine dining and no ‘slow food’, rather it is eat and run. Horizon Court buffet was adequate but Princess retains its undesirable practice of not providing a tray so that one struggles with a plate and a soup bowl in both hands, and has to return for bread and salad. The good thing is that the dinner buffet lasts till 11pm so that you can return for something if you are not well-fed at the proper restaurant, and this is often the case as restaurant portions are sometimes small. The only alternative 24-hr eatery is the International Café, which serves desserts and snacks but you have to pay for tea and coffee. The tea is however all funny fusion sort, which to me is no tea. I would much prefer that they change to Horizon Bistro for 24 hours. Regal Princess is the new generation flag ship of the cruise line and it is well furnished. It is just like another Princess ship, with an older generation passenger mix. The main theatre has good sightline but the production shows are among the worst of the trade. It was like old fashioned 1960s MGM musical without the stars. Little light effects and no acrobatic stuns like on other cruise lines. After one viewing I decided that the shows would be totally forgettable. If you do only with singing and dancing, you have got to have at least good singers and dancers. Show production cost was obviously low compared with that of competitors. Tallinn is an ideal port for cruise ships because you can cover most of it in 3 hours and the town is walk-able from the cruise terminal. For St Petersburg, if you have a visa or hold a visa-waver passport, you can be on your own ashore. Bus 158 departs half-hourly from the terminal building to a metro station, where Nevsky Prospekt is two stops away. The bus fare is 40 ruple or roughly US$0.70 and I saw people simply pay the conductor $1. Otherwise there is no taxi or other transportation. If you have no visa, you have to join an excursion which is always over-charging. Here you have to go through formal immigration clearance even on an excursion. We have less time for Helsinki but it was sufficient, as sights are concentrated. A shuttle bus runs to town at EUR10 return but actually there is a city tram stop near the pier. The ship does not give public transportation details, except those related to them. Now with some 60-days to my Princess experience, I do see improvement in service. Restaurant staffers are polite and efficient, and my room steward has always been able to turn down during my dinner. Once on Costa Diadema I never had one turndown for the whole 7 nights as the steward’s preferred schedule for my room did not match mine. One observation is that there are still not enough small tables for Anytime Dining, but they do try to accommodate you in another restaurant if full. I always arrive early, and thus I enjoy a same table throughout the trip. Restaurant and room staff complement is mainly male. The food is adequate and restaurant service is in the traditional ‘correct manner’, food well presented if not always well-cooked. But overall dining service is, or has to be, quick, thus losing in any sense of fine dining, and in this Holland America is much better. Also Princess used to serve lobster in one formal dinner but now it is lobster and prawn: not adding prawn but serves less lobster, an example of cost cutting in food. A good point is that the buffet dinner opens till 11pm, so if you are still hungry you can return for a snack. Food choice is not bad in the buffet. But old timer of Princess will recall that the buffet used to be almost 24 hours. The only 24 hour eatery now is the International Café at lobby piazza and it serves good snacks free but charges for any drink. Overall on F&B, HAL offers better slow service and NCL better choices (though food is cooked less well). Princess does have member benefit for some free internet, and it offers recognition to members only in embarkation priority but no more. As I cruise practically once every month I always paid onboard deposits for future cruises, as I did on my recent cruises with HAL and NCL. I pondered upon whether to do the same with Princess, here the deposit is only USD100 and is fully refundable within 2 years. I did it finally but less readily than with HAL and NCL (theirs are non-refundable). Princess is not bad but in this highly competitive trade several cruise lines suit me better. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
I chose this trip to get my 14 cruise in. The 4 days was in the right time of year for me and I had not been on the Star before. I really like the size, a Great Captain, and I found the staff to be very warm, responsive, and attentive. ... Read More
I chose this trip to get my 14 cruise in. The 4 days was in the right time of year for me and I had not been on the Star before. I really like the size, a Great Captain, and I found the staff to be very warm, responsive, and attentive. A wonderful group of fellow travelers were aboard and I met many of them and enjoyed the meetings with them. I have had several invitations to meet with quite a few of these super travelers in the future; and I intend to do just that. This ship has not been in dry-dock since 2011 and it really shows in the carpets, the hanging pictures, the bathrooms. All in dire need of renewal and/or replacements. The dining was just so-so for a Princess. In this, my 14th Princess, these were the least inspiring menus I have known. Not bad, just ** well "dull". Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This is our second time on the regal. This time we took the kids and we knew the regal would meet at least 90% of our expectations for their first experience. For anyone that wants a good cruise it won't disappoint. It's not the ... Read More
This is our second time on the regal. This time we took the kids and we knew the regal would meet at least 90% of our expectations for their first experience. For anyone that wants a good cruise it won't disappoint. It's not the most luxurious cruise money can buy but certainly way above most. In speaking with those who have many cruises under their belt they come back for the same reasons. It's not a party ship and is not geared to young families as with Disney. It's a cruise experience with something for everyone who want a relaxing cruise with above average food and most of what you expect is included. My only complaint this time was the entertainment, as it wasn't as good as the first time. Our youngest although an adult gets motion sickness and therefore for anyone who is susceptible to motion sickness, needs to be on a big ship as with the regal. I've been on a smaller ship and unless you are lucky enough to have calm seas throughout that's not where you want to be. We had two days this time with moderate seas and the regal and its size eliminates the effects of 10-15 ft swells pretty well.E Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Round Australia itinerary was a perfect close to our touring of the more visited areas on land. We often do private tours, but the ships tours were very good, but a bit more expensive which is typical of cruise ship tours. Some port ... Read More
Round Australia itinerary was a perfect close to our touring of the more visited areas on land. We often do private tours, but the ships tours were very good, but a bit more expensive which is typical of cruise ship tours. Some port visits were quite short so the ships excursions were much more relaxing. Our cabin was C633. We had wanted a balcony but there were none available. We enjoyed this cabin as it was quite roomy. All cabins on board have large flat screen TVs which is amazing. The TV choices are amazing. From live TV to very recent movie choices on demand. The best we have seen on a ship. The Pop Choir was a terrific experience particularly for us as we have never sung in a choir ever! Good fun. I was a little disappointed in the food generally but there were many choices. Room service was very efficient and the staff delivering were friendly and happy. Although we were cruising in Australia, we tipped $2 each time that Room Service delivered and they were very appreciative. I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this trip because we wanted to experience the Mexican Riviera, This ship sailed for 2 and a half days before getting to first port which was beautiful Puerto Vallarta ,which we loved. Great for shopping eating and plenty of bars ... Read More
We chose this trip because we wanted to experience the Mexican Riviera, This ship sailed for 2 and a half days before getting to first port which was beautiful Puerto Vallarta ,which we loved. Great for shopping eating and plenty of bars for drinks at a very reasonable price! The next stop was Mazatlan not the best port somewhat dirty and didn't always feel safe in some areas. The ship offered many excursions but all seemed very over priced. Our last stop was Cabo San Lucas, which we all loved very much the port was gorgeous much to see and do for sure. This was one of our favorite places. The only sad part is we were only able to be here for a very short time the shortest of all the ports. I think the ship could have stopped much sooner at another port on the way down but somehow I think they want travelers to spend as much time on ship so that we would spend money buying there drinks for a lot more than at the ports. I have good things to say and negatives things to say about Princess lines, I will start off by saying the arrival onto the ship went smooth and fairly fast and when getting to the actual ports it too went smooth. The disembark was very well organized and went very fast. Transfers back to airport was great! The entire staff on ship was excellent and the cabins and ship were spotless,the food in dining rooms were prepared beautifully and tasty with a nice variety. I was not impressed with the buffets it seemed like the same thing over and over again,especially breakfast. On most other cruises they offered many or at least 3 juices during meals ,on this cruise you had to ask for other flavored juices . The only one always available was orange juice. They also did not give you free bottles of water that needed to be purchased or ordered ahead of time. Other cruise lines I had been on gave you bottled water in your room daily. Drinks were very expensive and even the drink packages were on the high side. I really felt this cruise line was really out to get your money anyway possible. They had shopping sales, but my advice is to shop at the ports ,for you can get many bargains for a lot lot less. They had many activities on board including feature films. The shows were good some better than others and some were a yawn. The cruise director and his sidekick were fun and entertaining,I think they could have put on a great show. I would do the Mexican Riviera again but I would try to find a ship that stops longer in Cabo and a lot less time in Mazatlan and also a ship that doesnt spend two and a half days getting to the first port. I really hope my other cruise lines in the past have not skimped on food varieties and beverages at the buffets Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This was our 24th cruise and having sailed on the Regal cruise in November we were hoping the Royal would live up to the high standards that the Regal set for us. The Royal did not disappoint. So on to the review and then plenty of ... Read More
This was our 24th cruise and having sailed on the Regal cruise in November we were hoping the Royal would live up to the high standards that the Regal set for us. The Royal did not disappoint. So on to the review and then plenty of pictures! Embarkation/Disembarkation Embarkation: We arrived at Terminal 2 a little earlier than planned. I know they don't open the doors to the terminal until 11 sharp but we were awake early and so we decided to check out of the hotel in Pompano and enjoy a leisurely drive down A1A, coffee in hand. It was a beautiful drive down past the beaches without the hassle of I95. After dropping off the rental car we arrived at the pier right around 10AM and we were probably 50th in line or thereabouts. The doors opened sharply at 11 and the higher level cruisers were allowed in first. We weren't far behind them though and within a few short minutes we were checked in and waiting upstairs for the ship to open. I'd say we eventually boarded (group 2) probably around 11:15 or so. We dropped our bags off and headed to the buffet - where else? So Embarkation a breeze but I'd guess if you wanted to minimize waiting you could probably show up around 11:30 or so and you'd likely hit the sweet spot. Disembarkation: Streamlined and smooth. No issues getting off super early if you wanted to. I'd have no issue booking a flight at 10AM in FLL. Food: I was so impressed with the food on the Regal in November. It was THE best food on any cruise ship I've been on and so the Royal had big shoes to fill. We really enjoyed the food on the Royal all week but it wasn't a home run every night like the Regal. Don't get me wrong, I was impressed with the buffet - lots of options on every meal and Pastry Shop gives you a great variety of desserts all week. I did find that the variety of the food in the buffet though was not quite as good. Maybe I missed it but I was looking forward to the Mongolian stir fry that they did on the Regal. I guess on the 10 day cruise there would be some repeats and perhaps this is what threw me off a bit but the food was always good, hot and the service was exceptional in the buffet. If all I have to complain about is some variety then I'm really digging hard eh? The dining room food was quite good as well and I tried a few Curtis Stone items this week. The seafood chowder was quite good - really good. Its funny but I found the menus all week to be so-so but each night I ordered something and was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the food in the dining room with one exception - we tried the gourmet hamburgers last night and they were not good. I'd avoid them in the future. But that was the only disappointing item all week so no complaints here. I would like to say something about the service in the MDR. Those guys and gals are over-worked. There's simply not enough of them and its noticeable. One evening we were lucky enough to get a seating in the Club Section of the MDR because Anytime Dining was full. The service up there was unreal. The best analogy I can come up with is it was like driving down the A1A on a bright Sunday morning versus the I95 on a Monday morning. It was like the old days of cruising up there. The waiters were casually serving people, making chit chat, standing, waiting for people to finish a course and then methodically serving the next course. Down in the regular section though it was busy all the time and dining takes longer than it should on many nights. Personally, I'm ok with a dinner that takes a little longer, after all, where do I have to be? I've seen the same on Royal Caribbean btw and I have a theory. Its time for cruise lines to make up their minds. Go 100% My Time dining or go 100% traditional. Stop trying to be half pregnant. MTD on RCI and Princess is hectic, too hectic at times. Alfredo's - like the Regal, this surprisingly free restaurant is a must. There were no lineups there all week which was surprising given the great food there. We skipped Sabatini's again this cruise because Alfredo's was able to provide a nice Italian dinner for us one evening. Just Excellent really. Crown Grill - We ate there twice on the 10 day cruise. Great steaks and I love the Peanut Butter dessert thing they do there. The salt selections are interesting and I was able to get a couple of the salts when we stopped at Bonaire. So if you like the salt samples they give you and you stop in Bonaire, go out to the little market they have just after you get away from the pier. There's a girl selling them there. Ports: Princess Cays - this was a first time for us. Nice beach day with good food on the beach. We just enjoyed the beach with a couple of those floating chairs which was relaxing. I saw a couple of people floating in the water, drink in the cup holder, reading a book. I'd rent them again. Nice beach area and we enjoyed our day there. St Thomas - been there many times but its always a nice stop. We walked around town and I picked up a bottle of scotch downtown. We then headed out to Secret Harbour - pictures to follow. It was hot out there let me tell you so we rented an umbrella. There's a nice restaurant right on the beach and we ordered some food there, as we did in November on the Regal. Dominica - We decided to do a ship excursion here in the afternoon. We did the mineral baths at the Bolongo Baths. It included a tour first and then an hour or so in the baths. I was pleasantly surprised I must say. The baths were very nice and the tour and tour guide was great. Again, pictures to follow. Grenada - we planned to spend the day doing a self guided walking tour and I'm glad we did. I always enjoy doing that and Grenada provided an interesting stop to see the local area and talk to people. It is a friendly island and very safe to walk around. We stopped at the Chocolate Museum and you'll see a couple pictures later on that. They volunteered to show us around and tell us about the history of chocolate as it pertained to Grenada. Of course we bought some chocolate before we left. We also walked up to the fort on top of the hill. Apart from providing a nice spot for pictures, there's not much up there so for those wanting to go up to see the fort, you aren't missing much if you dont. DW befriended a stray dog on our travels who became our unofficial guide to the island for an hour or more. DW would have taken the dog home with us I'm sure - thank god we were on a cruise . We finally bribed our tour guide with some chicken strips from KFC while he hurriedly hustled our way out of sight. Bonaire - This was an interesting stop and as I mentioned I picked up some flavoured salts and other spices at the market area near the ship. Don't miss this area if you're ever there. Its not your typical market with people clamouring for you to buy junk. There's some nice things in there. We walked around town and off the beaten path a bit to see what the place looked like. I heard that several passengers rented golf carts for the day. I think I'd do that next time. Its would be a great island for that type of sightseeing and I saw several of them doing it. I think I'd grab a few bottles of water/beer/soda, some ice and bring a couple towels and head out for the day. We picked up a tour of Bonaire later in the afternoon that took us all around. We saw flamingos, salt flats and we stopped at the Cadushy Distillery where I picked up a bottle of very nice tasting liquor made from cactus. $25 - a good deal. The only thing I found a bit unfortunate was that the tour bus had Canadian Air Conditioning - i.e. roll the window down. It was hot and at times uncomfortable on the bus but we still enjoyed the tour. Aruba - we went out to Palm Beach for most of the day and had a great beach day. It was cloudy but we go lucky in that the clouds seemed to avoid the little strip of beach we were on all day. We took the bust out there ($5 round trip) and I'd do that again except I'd go a little further out to Eagle Beach I think. There's more out there from what I'm told. In the afternoon we walked around town, grabbed something to eat at The Paddock - right on the water. Food was good, beer was cold. We then did a little shopping and lost a few bucks in the casino. Ship Crew Really great job by the crew all week. Room attendant was always around doing his job and was very good. Dining staff was excellent in the MDR and in the buffet. No complaints whatsoever. Entertainment - quite good I would say. They had a group of guys in there called Flyboys who I felt were excellent. Comedian was good and I heard several people say the illusionist was very good but we missed that one. There was also a singer who was well received and he did an encore show which we caught - I can't remember his name, sorry. CD Staff - always around getting people to do something. The Voice of the Ocean on the last night was worth attending. Do it if you have a chance. Ship layout and condition I'm going to steal this bit from my Regal review of last November. Beautiful ship. Not much else I can add. Its well laid out, a bit confusing at times finding one of the dining rooms (Allegro I think?) but minor issue in truth. I like the layout of the pools. If you want to hang around the main pool area with the TV and hairy legs contests and so on - well go ahead. For me I prefer a nice quiet area and the Retreat area was great for that. Getting a deck chair in that smaller area can be a challenge later in the week but I was always able to get something. There is also a smoking section back there which I thought was well laid out. Out of the way from the general populous and in an area well served with coffee, tea and a person back there who could go get drinks if needed. Ship condition was pristine as you would expect and the Piazza is the hub of activity. Summary Like the Regal, one of the best cruises we've ever been on. Was it 10 out of 10 like I felt the Regal was? No. It was a 9 but we're still very happy with the 10 days we spent on the ship. Great job by the staff, all of them. Now the fun part - the pictures. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2017
We had cruised the Caribbean 5 times (including Cozumel) and preciously visited Puerto Vallarta (1982) and Cancun twice to all inclusives with the grown up kids. But this was a different way to see Mexico that appealed to us, it being ... Read More
We had cruised the Caribbean 5 times (including Cozumel) and preciously visited Puerto Vallarta (1982) and Cancun twice to all inclusives with the grown up kids. But this was a different way to see Mexico that appealed to us, it being Valentine's Day and everything (my 60th birthday on the 13th). We found our aft cabin, B256 cramped and noisy. Our steward was fine, he needed some time off. I love the food but my wife just gets by with it. Sometimes she liked it but she liked less of it than I do. We had one of the best excursions ever in Puerto Vallarta with Valarta Adventures through Princess. We got WAY more than we paid for with snorkeling, kayaking, a hike, a waterfall, a beach, a close whale encounter, great food, drinks, and entertainment. Highly recommended. The entertainment was OK. The first comedian was really funny and the "Magic To Do" production number tried very hard. The fitness equipment was good but the jogging track was the worst ever. The weather was great, though it seemed it would be too cool (the last day really was) and the experience on the whole was lovely. I prefer going to the Caribbean (and it is easier from here) but this was a nice time too. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2017
We received a good promotional price for the cruise about 6 months prior. To we took advantage of it since I wanted to go cruising on the biggest ship on the Princess Cruise line. Ship was ok and laid out well. Yet I still like the smaller ... Read More
We received a good promotional price for the cruise about 6 months prior. To we took advantage of it since I wanted to go cruising on the biggest ship on the Princess Cruise line. Ship was ok and laid out well. Yet I still like the smaller ships like the Emerald and the Caribbean Princess. The ship just seem so big especially when your used to being on smaller ships. Enjoyed a special wine tasting dinner at Sabitini's Restaurant which we met some new friends that where from our state. Many shore excursions available to go to and do but many days we just stayed and enjoyed the various activities on board. This ship is better accommodating with lounge chairs to sunbathe or watch the big movie screen on the 16th deck. Food was good and plentiful as either your choice of buffet or anytime dinning for dinner meal. Was a good cruise yet I liked the smaller ships better. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
because this cruise departed auckland and returned to auckland first to melbourne down to the south island of new zealand travelling via milford sound , dusky sounds port chalmers ( dunedin), akoroa ,wellington, gisbourne ,tauranga , ... Read More
because this cruise departed auckland and returned to auckland first to melbourne down to the south island of new zealand travelling via milford sound , dusky sounds port chalmers ( dunedin), akoroa ,wellington, gisbourne ,tauranga , auckland travelled alone on this voyage on the golden princess cabin chosen was inside due to economics but next time would choose balcony small but well appointed and comfortable quality bedding clean and tidy cabinets showing some signs of wear ( drawer knobs loose ) Dining : a truly remarkable experience -- wide variety of styles and and top notch food , attentive staff , nice ambiance , Entertainment : broadway production quality well staged - fantasic audio system crystal clear although could do with turned down a notch Activities : endless and varied no one could be bored changing daily Service : your wish is our command type deal nothing too much trouble 24hrs a day attentive obliging friendly staff Shore excursions : well organised , syncronised, knowledgable staff very hot day in akoroa tenders used to take to shore on return at jetty while waiting for tender chilled facecloths and chilled water served ( nice touch ) overall a gratifying experience - top chefs very attentive staff international cuisine and a very clean tidy ship with accent on hygene Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
I had a good cruise but it was not as relaxing as other Princess cruises I have done due to it being in the school holidays and the fact that they had unruly feral children aboard that were allowed to disrupt and spoil other peoples cruise ... Read More
I had a good cruise but it was not as relaxing as other Princess cruises I have done due to it being in the school holidays and the fact that they had unruly feral children aboard that were allowed to disrupt and spoil other peoples cruise experience by running, jumping, somersaulting and bombing into the swimming pools. As an adult the only time you could swim without children hassling you was in the early hours until 10:00am when the little terrors were still fast asleep. Even worst the aft stairwell was littered with empty plates, empty glasses, food scraps and garbage. The worst part about this cruise was that Princess did not attempt to control the behaviour of the children and as a result it tipped the balance from what could have been relaxing when they neglected to care about the cruise experience of guests not travelling with children. Other bad examples were wet seats in the atrium and in particular Crooners Bar where some absolute pig of a passenger(s) had come with wet swimmers from the pools and sat in the lounge chairs. Absolutely disgusting! Further more at time when I was on my balcony many bottles appear to have been thrown from the side of the ship which I began to suspect that children had placed notes in hoping that they will one day wash ashore. My word of warning is in Australia avoid cruising with Princess in the school holidays. Entertainment: This was exactly the same standard as every other Princess cruise I have done. I was very satisfied with the entertainment and shows and could not fault them in anyway. The structure was however frustrating that most shows were at 7pm and 9pm instead of 8pm and 9:45pm like every other Princess cruise I have been on. This was annoying because anytime dining did not start until 7:30pm and meant that if dining service was slow then you would miss out on the 9pm show if you like to see entertainment after dinner. I can only fathom that the change was done do appease little children and their bed time during the school holidays despite the fact that the vast majority of passengers were grown adults. Scheduling was very bad for this ship. Food: Excellent quality of food on the upper decks, buffet and Crown Grill. I absolutely loved the hamburgers and pizzas from near the Neptune Reef and Pool. Main Dining Rooms had good food but when the ship is based in Australia all the Princess favourites are removed and replaced with "crappy Australianised" menus of food that Australians do not eat. One example is that delicious "Baked New York Cheesecake" that is an all time favourite dessert is not available ever if the ship is based in Australia. It is replaced by a rather crappy and underwhelming pavlova that Australians despise. Deck Access: Very poor connection to outdoors and flow with the aft decks from 15 to 19. On the port side of deck 17 from the MUTs it was impossible to walk aft due to barricades however on the starboard side it was possible. Unlike the Diamond and Sapphire Princess, the rear of Skywalker’s nightclub had a rear veranda and open deck access with stairs to the levels below. On Emerald Princess, this area existed but was barricaded off and labelled as an emergency exit. One cannot fathom the difference in rules given the ships share the exact design feature. Open deck access is important for scenic cruising and being on deck during port entrance and departure. Internet: Extremely poor bandwidth and access issues. Continual intranet dropouts during peak times as the wireless connection for the local network was not powerful enough to maintain demand. At quiet times, like during the early hours of the morning the internet worked brilliantly so this proves that when excess passengers were awake that the internet had a problem. This issue does not exist on the Diamond Princess or Golden Princess. Lastly in comparison to the Golden Princess, Sapphire Princess, Diamond Princess I found the Emerald Princess to be overcrowded and had insufficient staff to cater to all passengers. The other ships I have been on are much more relaxing and have less passengers than the Emerald Princess and in my opinion are much better ships. The Diamond Princess which is my current favourite appears to be in much better condition. My next cruise with Princess will be Diamond Princess based in Japan. I have always been happy with these cruises and unfortunately Emerald Princess in Australia has disappointed me. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Yes, there were long queues at embarkation but it's a world wide issue as port authorities ignore the need to rethink the embarkation process/facilities. All cruise lines are limited by the design of the terminals. Port authorities ... Read More
Yes, there were long queues at embarkation but it's a world wide issue as port authorities ignore the need to rethink the embarkation process/facilities. All cruise lines are limited by the design of the terminals. Port authorities need to allow for multiple entry points to the ships instead of funnelling thousands of passengers into one entry point. Enough said. Once on board, the Princess crew were all over the place providing assistance to locate our cabins. Food was already being served and it never stopped for the eleven days we were on board. The decor on the Emerald Princess is tasteful and subdued with a mix of many shades of blues and browns but lacking a little pizzazz. Nonetheless all areas and venues are clean and comfortable. Our mini-suite (D526) was immaculately clean and our cabin steward couldn't have been more helpful and responsive to our requests. As cabins go our mini-suite was very spacious and comfortable. When selecting the cabin, we didn't realise the balcony was open/visible to the decks above but worse, there was no relief from the sun. We did change the pillows for smaller ones as the standard ones were so big and luxurious we were almost smothered as our heads descended into pillow overload. The air-con all over the ship was on the cold side for my liking so make sure you take some longer sleeved items and a cardi/jacket. Of course you can buy on board! We didn't bother with the specialty dining venues (at additional cost) as the food in the main dining rooms was perfectly fine. A few misses but in the main, the options were many and varied and well cooked and presented. Still amazed at the precision and quality considering the number of passengers. We chose "anytime dining" and shared tables at lunch and dinner and we met many delightful people, some of whom we will keep in touch with. Great staff in the dining rooms too. We are not fans of buffets but when in port, it's the main eating venue on board. Food was fine. A tip for coffee lovers... there is often a long queue to order lattes etc. in the International Cafe (deck 5) despite having to purchase them. Just sit down at a table and flag a waiter who will order for you and deliver it to your table (even if you want takeaway). There is a variety of entertainment from musical stage productions, to comedy, mood music, ballroom dance lessons, line dancing, Zumba, a full gym, in cabin TV/movies, a giant screen for movies under the stars, a kids club, games on deck, art auctions, shopping sales, spa services, competitions, giveaways and if that's not enough you can attend churches services too! Excursions are not always good value for money but if you do your own thing you really need to do a lot of research beforehand and be aware if you don't get back to the ship on time, it doesn't wait for you! Some South Pacific Islands are really beautiful like Isle of PInes (not visited this trip) and Champagne Bay but Noumea is very tired looking and the locals not particularly friendly. Port Vila is run down and dirty but the people are all very friendly and chatty. Of course there is no need to go ashore as the entertainment just keeps going on board. We met many people who have cruised on Princess ships many times and some debatable incentives are offered for loyalty. There are still other cruise lines I wouldn't mind trying but I have no hesitation in recommending the Emerald Princess and may well cruise on her again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We have travelled on many cruises over the past three decades, once favouring Princess but more recently the smaller, upscale lines Azamara Club and Crystal. We decided to try the big ship experience for a change, thus the Regal, and ... Read More
We have travelled on many cruises over the past three decades, once favouring Princess but more recently the smaller, upscale lines Azamara Club and Crystal. We decided to try the big ship experience for a change, thus the Regal, and Princess once more, with the idea of a future world cruise on a Princess ship. Well, I doubt we’ll do either the Regal again or the Princess world. The itinerary wasn’t of primary importance. We’d done the Caribbean a lot in the 1990s. Hadn’t been to the Dominican Republic, tho' – unfortunately bad weather, heavy winds, cancelled that particular port. The other port of interest was Cozumel in Mexico, and that proved a pleasant visit, though much changed from 20 years ago. The one problem with nearly all ports in the Caribbean is the clutter of big cruise ships: so, with three or more cruises in one port, what you see the most is other passengers. The Regal Princess has definite virtues. The stateroom, in our case a balcony cabin designed for someone with mobility difficulties, was fine: spacious, airy, pleasing, an excellent bathroom and shower. It was indeed a place of refuge, peaceful, away from the hurly-burly and the noise that filled too many common spaces. The public areas were well-appointed and handsome. The fitness centre was full of exercise machines to serve a lot of users. The movie under the stars, the giant screen, worked well, and the ship offered a diversity of movies, from Jason Bourne to Pavarotti to Circe de Soleil. I was particularly taken with the Horizon Court and Bistro (the buffet): attractive, well-organized, the eating area spacious and clean. Likewise the entertainment areas, lounges and theatre, were fine venues for shows or parties. The two dining rooms we visited, the Allegro and the Concerto, were both pretty, almost elegant, the Concerto more pleasant because the colour scheme quieter – and seemingly more airy than the Allegro. The Piazza, that signature space of Princess, was impressive though we found it too noisy whenever there was a scheduled event. The staff were usually friendly and efficient, tho' not as friendly as on Azamara or as efficient as on Crystal. Indeed the staff were always prepared to help out people with a question – and, note, with a mobility problem. We are foodies. That's one of the main reasons we like to cruise. The dining on the Regal Princess was good, sometimes very good. The Horizon Court served an abundance of delicious items, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some of the highlights: meat roasts, Mongolian barbeque, Thai beef salad, bouillabaisse, grilled shrimp, paella. Not that everything was appealing. Fish dishes looked tired, veal was tasteless, so too surprisingly suckling pig, the cheese abundant at supper but always a bit too ordinary. The desserts and sweets, at The Pastry Shop, part of the Horizon Court complex, were okay, very good cookies and some good cakes, but never startling. The Trident Grill was a disappointment (the equivalent much better on Holland America's Zaandam, a much smaller vessel). If the wieners were tasty, the french fries were not, and the hamburgers were small, the meat eaten up by the bun. The menu in the dining room was shorter than I recall from previous trips. The regular offering of steak has disappeared, perhaps to enhance the appeal of the extra-fee Crown Grill. (We didn’t eat in any of the specialty restaurants or partake of any of the supposed luxury meals, all of which are priced ridiculously high.) But you can find a tasty but tiny caesar salad; good seafood and meat dishes; regional dishes; and decent lunch and breakfast offerings. Highlights here: smoked fish for breakfast one day, pheasant for supper another, prime rib, the crème brulee. On the other hand the sole was bland and the tomato soup had more acid than taste. The standout restaurant was Alfredo's Pizzeria: excellent pizzas, some fine pasta, nice salad, very good service and elegant surroundings – and you only pay extra for the wine, and a delicious red-wine Sangria. By the way an extensive wine list full of California and Italy on board but lacking many South American or German treats, which happen to be our favourites. Still wine prices are reasonable for a cruise ship. But a big ship has problems. The distances between the stateroom and other places can be great. Just getting around was time-consuming. Particularly difficult for the mobility challenged. No wonder a noticeable number of passengers had electric vehicles. Often the elevators were insufficient, too slow, too crowded, and thus too stuffy. That was especially true when an event, starting or ending, produced a rush of people to the elevators. At times lengthy lineups to get, say, a hot dog. Places like the internet café or passenger services sometimes very crowded. Insufficient drink stations, indeed only one major station, on the 16th floor, serving tea, coffee, and water. Beyond this, the major problem with Regal Princess seems rooted in what seems to be poor management. The embarkation procedure at Fort Lauderdale was chaotic, and not only for special needs passengers. The lineup of regular passengers was extraordinary. (But this was right after the airport shooting.) The staff was pleasant enough – just overwhelmed. To be fair the disembark was smooth and swift, handled effectively by courteous staff, at least for people with mobility problems. Trying to change an inappropriate table in the dining room that first night was impossible because so many people were equally distressed. The dining room management seemed unprepared for what was inevitable. Eventually we tried on a later day and that worked, more or less. Then there's the pathetic room service. I’ve not experienced so limited a breakfast menu before in room service, virtually no protein and little sweet or bread. Not that this mattered since too often some items never came, or arrived before or after the requested time, and on one occasion the whole order was forgotten! Phoning didn’t help because you were likely to be put on hold. Finally entertainment – it used to be that Princess had the finest shows of any major cruise line. Not now it seems, or not here. (A previous Princess we took two years before, albeit a different ship, had superb production shows.) Too many limited performers. A signature production show Fiera that was abysmal, the only star the special effects. Loud entertainment, full of hype but usually banal. We were frightened away from Bravo (?) by the brassy voice of a female singer. The third production Spectacular had some good dancing but again crummy if over loud singing. The exceptions: the Polonia String Quartet, the Orphia Quartet, and a Mexican folkloric performance.) In short somebody isn’t administering the Regal Princess effectively, so to ensure the comfort and pleasure of its customers. The great concern of Princess seems to be selling. Constantly passengers are subject to spiels to shop, go to the specialty restaurants, buy drinks, visit the art auction, acquire some new jewelry, get a photo or a video, and on and on. I did have the feeling veteran Princess goers were inured to this commercial imperative. But for anyone not prepared, or attuned to the less insistent ways of the more gracious cruise lines…well this selling is a real pain. Perhaps this attitude, presumably mandated by headquarters, has exacerbated the problems of the ship management. Maybe the managers aren’t allowed sufficient funds to hire enough staff to handle and supervise the volume of work involved in such a big ship. Would we go again on Princess? Possibly on a smaller ship, where the itinerary suited. But the days when Princess was gracious and so very good, they've long gone. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Went with two hosts and 108 other single people to celebrate the new year. Liked the smooth sailings for sleeping. Was on the 8th deck on this ship and I was on the 9th deck a couple years ago on the Celebrity Silhouette which made ... Read More
Went with two hosts and 108 other single people to celebrate the new year. Liked the smooth sailings for sleeping. Was on the 8th deck on this ship and I was on the 9th deck a couple years ago on the Celebrity Silhouette which made creaky noises during the night. Did like most of the entertainment at the Theater when I got to go during the week. The countdown for New Year's on the screen by the pool was fun! I've been on 6 other cruises (5 other cruise lines) and this was the first time I had swelling in my feet and ankles. I do not add salt, but think maybe it's in their water and food. I let them know in their survey. Dining was really slow in the dining room for us late diners. We'd arrive at 8:30 and didn't get served quickly...usually after 10pm before finishing up. Made it rough trying to get to the late shows. The only other problem I had was they messed up with an excursion they booked. They sent us notice it was cancelled and as we went to the excursion desk to find out what was happening, I noticed they charged us for the one we wanted, but had printed out tickets to another excursion. They also messed up on the time change notices. First port in Majahual (Costa Maya) is on Eastern time, 2nd port is Belize City which is central time, they first gave us notice to the cabin for changing time for an hour ahead. It's actually an hour behind, which they corrected with another notice later. The last port Cozumel is also on Eastern time, so when had to change clocks ahead again. Mexico didn't make this easy on us cruisers when they decided to do this along the strip of Yucatan! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
Do this cruise every December, know many of crew and the Casino staff. Previous Star Princess cruises have been enjoyable and consistent in service. But I have noticed the reduction in Dining room staff has caused waiters to seem harried ... Read More
Do this cruise every December, know many of crew and the Casino staff. Previous Star Princess cruises have been enjoyable and consistent in service. But I have noticed the reduction in Dining room staff has caused waiters to seem harried and no time for small talk. Our waiter had 3 tables (24 people), Food has not been up to the standards of the past few years. Little things that count, no butter on table, almost impossible to get waiters attention for more of anything. Service and food in the Crown Grill is excellent, very well presented and the beef and veal are above anything served in the dining rooms. Sabatini's , the Italian restaurant has changed its menu and is no longer well attended. The entertainment seemed to lack the reviews or accolades I've experienced on previous Princess Cruises . Our group rarely stayed for any complete shows. Overall, It seems the new Princess Management is being overly cost conscious while they prepare for the upcoming major changes, "Ocean Medallion Class". Still the best cruise line for the money. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We booked this cruise because of it's itinerar, and having never sailed on the Regal. As we usually sail the smaller Princess ships out of the West Coast. Embarkation was efficient, and our 11:00 am. Priority Boarding allowed us to ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of it's itinerar, and having never sailed on the Regal. As we usually sail the smaller Princess ships out of the West Coast. Embarkation was efficient, and our 11:00 am. Priority Boarding allowed us to be on the Regal in time for lunch at Alfredo's Pizzeria. Luggage was deliver to our stateroom by 3:00 pm. Our stateroom attendant. Alex, was very efficient and made sure our special requests were met. Although the Regal carries almost 4000 passengers, it never seemed crowded, as there were many different venues and activities throughout the ship. The MDR staff were generally efficient, although one evening our MDR waiter, Piano, seemed overwhelmed, because both he and his assistant waiter, Darko, were new sailing on the Regal, and not too familiar with the layout of the dining room to pick up the food from the kitchen. We had, as requested, 5:30 pm Traditional dining, table for two, and the early searing allowed plenty of time for us to attend either early or late evening performances in the Princess Theater (at the other end of the ship). Service, variety and quality of food in MDR was generally excellent for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Alfredo's Pizzaria was a good option for enjoying a pizza, salads, or light pasta dishes, throughout the day. There was a good variety of sandwiches, soups, deserts, coffees, teas, at the International Cafe offered 24 hours per day. The Horizon Court Buffet, had quite a bit of variety of American, European, and ethnic foods throughout the day. We noted that many foods offered in regular and "salt free". Certain foods could be cooked to order. The Horizon Court Bistro offered lighter fare. Many cookies and deserts offered "sugar free". Good for passengers with high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes. Many cookies and deserts offered "nut free" for those with nut allergies, and separated on opposite sides of the buffet. The HC never seemed crowded, with plenty of seating, and the service staff were friendly, continually offering juice, coffee, and tea and cleared the tables quickly. We did not try the speciality restaurants, or the Trident Grill for burgers, hot dogs, or fries. The evening entertainment in the Princess Theater was excellent, with big production "Las Vegas" style performances of Bravo, Fireo, Rock and Roll. Other evenings, a stand up comedian, and modern music singer, pianist, guitar performer. The Princess Theater fills up quickly, so allow at least 30 minutes before showtime to get good seats. Ushers were there to discourage "seat hogs", and available to find you seats. Bar service staff were available to take your drink orders. However, there are no folding tables attached to the seats, like other Princess Theaters on the mid size ships (Star, Crown, Golden,) that we've sailed on, to allow setting down your drink. This seemed to be an oversight to the modern design of Regal's Princess Theater. Enrichment programs on this cruise included talks on pirates, and on bushcraft and survival skills. I found both programs to be enjoyable and interesting. We attended only a few trivia game shows, of which there were many. Zumba was offered on sea days. Venue was outside on the Sports Deck. Fitness Center was well used by passengers, days, and evenings. Fitness trainers were helpful and knowledgeable. We did not use the spa or spa services. The public seating areas were plentiful, and we never had a problem finding a quiet place to sit and read a book, or have a conversation. As I have stated, the ship and public areas never seemed crowded. Debarkation was efficient and quick. We chose to debark as "Walk Off" passengers with our luggage. We were off the ship and through customs, in 10 minutes. In summary, we thoroughly enjoyed sailing on the Regal Princess, and we've already booked cruises sailing on her and sister ship, Royal for 2017 and 2018. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2016
Destinations and availability. I want to thank the president of the line for giving us Veterans $100 on board credit. The service and food were great. The entertainment was outstanding. Our waiter Arnold and his assistant Joseph gave great ... Read More
Destinations and availability. I want to thank the president of the line for giving us Veterans $100 on board credit. The service and food were great. The entertainment was outstanding. Our waiter Arnold and his assistant Joseph gave great service as well as their manager Adrian who was very attentive to details and did whatever he could to make our experiences in the dining area a truly delightful experience. The facilities were very clean and the activities were wonderful. I cannot say enough of good things for this cruise. I will only sail on Princess lines in the future. I highly reccommend anyone considering a cruise to sail on a Princess line. I cannot wait until my next cruise. Thank you for all those that made this a wonderful vacation. The three ports of call were exciting, including Aruba, Curacao and Bonaire. It was especially nice that these ports were decorated for Christmas. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Overall, the cruise was good. The crew was great...always pleasant and helpful. The ship was overall clean, but of course, not spotless. The food was better than when I was on the Ruby Princess when it was in the Caribbean. There were ... Read More
Overall, the cruise was good. The crew was great...always pleasant and helpful. The ship was overall clean, but of course, not spotless. The food was better than when I was on the Ruby Princess when it was in the Caribbean. There were activities and I realize the ship isn't going to give back lots of prize money, but having trivia contests and then the top prize is a key chain or a magnet is a bit insulting. I didn't see a lot of the shipboard entertainment, but I heard it was good. The casino was good, but you still have to buy your drinks there as well as every place else. I realize they can't give drinks away for free otherwise everyone will be down there just for that, but when you have been playing for hours, you shouldn't have to buy a soda. The only sore point for me was the hard sell....on everything. Buy this, buy that....upsell on everything. Okay, I get it...that is how they make their money....but it is constant and persistent. And under no circumstances should you go to the spa or any other optional services if you don't have gobs of money to spend. I went to a free foot analysis and was pressured into buying a product (offer valid only for this hour and you will be back to thank me later...which I wasn't) and told repeatedly that I could get a full refund if I wasn't happy. Impossible. There is no refund once purchased. I complained to Princess Cruise line about being lied to and they passed the buck so I am out big money. I am not a happy customer about that. So enjoy yourself but keep a close hold on your purse strings if you aren't one of the rich Americans that everyone thinks you are. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Overall, the ship was amazing. The dining was a WOW!! Although the entertainment was average, with only 4 or 5 musicals, the ship still kept our family of 4 busy throughout the whole day. The sporting and fitness facilities on the ship ... Read More
Overall, the ship was amazing. The dining was a WOW!! Although the entertainment was average, with only 4 or 5 musicals, the ship still kept our family of 4 busy throughout the whole day. The sporting and fitness facilities on the ship were outstanding, the ship provided us with a number of sports, such as table tennis(ping pong), basketball, soccer, cricket, paddle tennis, mini golf a jogging track and a well equipped high-tech gym. Every night, when the room steward refreshed our room he left us with delicious chocolates and the next day's edition of the Princess Patter( the newsletter with showed all the activities happening in the next day). One very important thing I would recommend you to purchase, especially if you are travelling with kids, is to buy the soda and drink package. And also purchase once you get on the ship, not before, because the price onboard is cheaper than purchasing it from the website. With 60 Australian dollars we could get all the drinks we wanted for free. And one thing that you should know is that Princess is not very strict with the package. For example, I could but a drink and then give the card to my sister and she could get a drink for herself. Our interior cabin was very nice. The service on the ship was amazing. The dining was also great. The pizza in this ship was amazing. For breakfast there was a huge variety of food, from pancakes, to waffles, to omelettes, to hash browns, to scrambled eggs, to croissants, to yoghurt, to chocolate croissants, to fruit etc. The dinner was amazing too, and the dessert was absolutely wonderful. The cruise was actually very great for children too, the kids clubs were awesome, and the youth counsellors very very friendly. The service on this ship was also very great. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This is the third time I have cruised on Golden Princess and brings my total number of nights on this ship to 36 nights. Overall for me it was good to see the ship again and they really know how to look after you. Upon boarding I had ... Read More
This is the third time I have cruised on Golden Princess and brings my total number of nights on this ship to 36 nights. Overall for me it was good to see the ship again and they really know how to look after you. Upon boarding I had my allocated balcony cabin on Lido deck and the steward welcomed me back with delivery of the elite mini bar set up as per usual. Each night I was given complimentary passes to the alternate dining venues like Crown Grill and Sabatini's. I got a letter saying that I was on the most traveled list and that this was to thank me for my continued loyalty. I was able to decide on each night which restaurant I wanted to eat in and they would accommodate me. I think part of this has to do with the fact I also currently have 3 future cruises booked with Princess On the second afternoon I received a 75 minute Swedish massage paid for with the extra on board credit I was issued. The spa was quite busy that evening but I was given a time without any problems at short notice. The staff are mostly Chinese in the spa who give the massages and this was apparently because in Asia the majority of the passengers are now Chinese and this is becoming a big passenger group for Princess now. The ship had previously come through Asia. The cabin was in relatively good condition. The beds were pushed together to make a double however I felt one of the beds the mattress was completely deflated and indented into a weird crater type position. The balcony furniture was in excellent condition and the railings appeared to have a new coat of varnish. The cabin was very clean. I also got to spend the remaining credit on some clothing in the boutiques on board thanks to great booking deals given. I also got the usual wine tasting invitation for the 1st day at sea. Overall I was happy with the experience I received. Passenger mix was different. Some clearly regular cruisers, others clearly first timers and others who looked like they did not belong. Some of the funny things I noticed was the queues on one side of the buffet line that I walked straight past only to find no queues at the open serving line on the other side. I guess some people are sheep and enjoy joining long queues opposed to walking a few more meters to find out if there is less people on the other side! Same thing when departing the ship there were long queues of people waiting to use the lifts. I walked straight past these people to find an empty and perfectly satisfactory escalator. The only real issue I have with Princess operating out of Australia is that they tend to remove their usual wine and drink menus and replace them with an Australian version. To some it may seem a good idea but to me it takes away that home away from home feel that Princess offers when you board one of their ships. It was disappointing not to be able to order my favourite wines from past sailings or have certain drinks that I always enjoy on Princess ships. Read Less
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