Star Princess Review

Editor Rating:  4.0
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Star Princess Ratings

  • Category
    Member
    Editor
  • Dining
    3.9
    4.0
  • Public Rooms
    4.3
    4.0
  • Cabins
    4.1
    4.0
  • Entertainment
    3.7
    3.0
  • Spa & Fitness
    3.8
    4.0
  • Family & Children
    3.4
    4.0
  • Shore Excursions
    3.8
    4.0
  • Enrichment
    3.7
    4.0
  • Service
    4.2
    4.0
  • Value-for-Money
    3.9
    4.0
Editor Rating
4.0
Member Rating
Why Choose Star Princess?
  • Pro: Activities and cuisine are themed around the ship's itinerary.
  • Con: Nightlife and evening entertainment can be lacking, especially the main stage shows.
  • Bottom Line: Enrichment, food and drink are strong suits, but you need port days to keep from getting bored.

Star Princess Overview

By Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor

Star Princess is an elegant midsize ship. It's perfect for older couples or groups of friends who enjoy lingering over drinks and long dinners, as well as those who want to find local influences in dishes, lectures and activities onboard. The ship accommodates children and families, but it doesn't cater to them as heavily as other cruise lines do. There are clubs for kids and teens and a pool with a retractable roof for rainy-day swims, but you won't find water parks, big-brand partnerships, private babysitting or activities for children younger than 3.

Dining and drinking are strong points on Star Princess. About 10 dining options and a dozen bars offer the chance to jump around or find a favorite, and the specialty and main dining restaurants (even the grill) offer menu items inspired by the itinerary. We didn't eat one bad thing onboard, and you don't need to spend a night at the extra-fee Sabatini's or Crown Grill to enjoy a gut-splitting gourmet meal. (Though we do suggest trying at least one alternative restaurant. We doubt you'll be disappointed.) For casual dining, you'll have more than enough choice at the buffet, and the standout International Cafe serves up bistro-style snacks any time, day or night, gratis.

If you're keen to splurge on spirits, the whole page of chocolatier Normal Love's concoctions makes it easy to succumb to the "well, I'm on vacation" mentality. Wine aficionados should head to Vines, where they can choose from pages of wine selections not available elsewhere on the ship. Enjoy your glass with the day's complimentary selection of tapas and sushi or an extra-fee wine-and-chocolate pairing. For a deal, take advantage of the drink specials extending until midnight at Skywalkers Nightclub, though be warned: It's easy to lose track of the hours (and cruise card swipes).

Enrichment -- especially in Alaska -- is a highlight that Princess makes a point of emphasizing, and we totally dig it, from the lumberjack show to emotional tales of an unlikely friendship in the wild. Entertainment, on the other hand, is hit and miss. There is music all around the ship, but it's the instrumentalists and not the vocalists who stand out. Similarly, evening entertainment is varied -- a comedian, production shows, a ventriloquist act, a singer and pianist -- but seems like something to do if nothing else is going on, not something to make a point to see.

Service left us with kind of a shoulder shrug. It certainly wasn't bad, but it wasn't outstanding either. Our room was always clean, and requests were always accommodated, but we never got to know our cabin steward. Perhaps it was a matter of timing. Similarly, we had one waiter in the main dining room who was enthusiastic, but the rest of the time, requests were simply fulfilled around the ship -- coffee handed, plates cleared, order taken -- with little personality.

Overall, the ship is comfortable and polished, and the crew has a firm grasp on a reliable level of service. While tropical paintings seem out of place as cabin decor on cooler-clime itineraries, Star Princess does a fine job of highlighting local flavors through daily activities and menu specials, making it a refined ship for any destination.

Star Princess Fellow Passengers

Star Princess attracts couples in their empty-nester and golden years, along with multigenerational family groups; we saw few young couples on our Alaska cruise. This demographic can change on shorter sailings but will likely hold up on longer South America itineraries. Passengers are mostly American or Canadian with a smattering of Asians, Europeans and Australians onboard, and they range from repeat cruisers to first timers.

Star Princess Dress Code

Onboard dress is generally casual, and most nights call for "smart casual" (what you would wear to a fine dining restaurant at home). Shorts are not permitted in the main dining rooms or specialty venues for dinner. Seven-night sailings have two formal nights; expect more formal nights on voyages two weeks or longer. On those nights, men typically don tuxedos (you can rent onboard) or suits and ties, and women wear anything from smart suits and blouses to cocktail dresses or gowns. Passengers not inclined to dress up can head up to the Horizon Court in any attire (and many did). We didn't feel as if the formal nights were that intimidating, and it was a treat to "clean up" and go out for the evening feeling a tad more fancy.

Star Princess Gratuity

Gratuities, which are automatically charged to onboard accounts, are $11.50 per person (including children), per day, for passengers staying in standard accommodations and $12 for passengers staying in mini-suites and suites. Passengers have the option of increasing or removing these gratuities from their accounts. The daily gratuities are shared by waitstaff, cabin stewards, buffet stewards and housekeeping staff.

A 15 percent gratuity is automatically added to beverage purchases onboard -- including wine at dinner -- as well as spa services.

Tipping for room service is not included, but it's appreciated; usually a dollar or two is appropriate. The U.S. dollar is the onboard currency.

Next:  Star Princess Cabins

By Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor

987 Star Princess Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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froggy9143
Member Since 2013
4 reviews
147 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed September 2017
This was my 3rd cruise to Alsaka, amnd the second one for our friends. We had a great time, the Star Princess is a lovely ship full of great staff and top notch service. For a late September cruise we had terific weather, only one day that ... Read more
PrincessCruises3, Social Team, Princess Cruises, responded to this review
Hi froggy9143, we're so happy to hear that you ... Read more
MichelleandAlex
Member Since 2015
1 review
108 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed September 2017
We were a group of 5, 2 of which had never cruised before. Thought the ship was very nice, comfortable, no complaints. Service was all very good (from embarkation, dining, housekeeping, shore excursions, bars, shopping etc). Embarkation ... Read more
Happy cruise traveler
Member Since 2015
1 review
12 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed September 2017
The Star princess was good overall. We fly in the day before into Vancouver and got to check a couple of this out around gastown. We stayed at the Four Seasons, which is easy walking around and close to the port. Embarkation went smooth. ... Read more
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