I chose this cruise for a South Pacific holiday break and to experience a new port for me SavuSavu, Australian Survivor filming Island. It was a 14 day experience. This was also recommended as a shining, new, modern Princess ship (built ... Read More
I chose this cruise for a South Pacific holiday break and to experience a new port for me SavuSavu, Australian Survivor filming Island. It was a 14 day experience. This was also recommended as a shining, new, modern Princess ship (built 2017), with the new Sea Walk. This was different yes but it does not make up for a decent promenade deck or front and rear views on a lower deck out of sun or wind. For Sailaway had to be with the smokers or peer through the life boats as in Port of Suva to listen to the Police Band. While it did have many positives being a local departure from Sydney for me, and the on board currency in Australian Dollars is a blessing when the US dollar keeps dropping, I also appreciate there are no gratuities to add to the fare ( unless you personally reward for good service), I was a little underwhelmed in this cruise. I do feel some Princess standards have dropped.
I much enjoyed being able to use the Princess @ Sea App, on your personal phone or Ipad/tablet device, there were things however that left me disappointed.
Positives: All Princess @ Sea capabilities. Able to book Shore Excursions, read daily Patter on your device, highlight your planner events you want to visit, access all ship information on your device. Keeps you updated with weather, time of arrival/departure etc. Port information, shore excursions. Order your breakfast . Can preview your photos, absolutely everything. The best advance and very welcome.
The cruise is paid for in Australian dollars and no extra tipping is required except for excellent or exceptional service to reward your favourite crew.
The Hollywood Pool and Spa , Exclusive for Adults only, with indoor pool and covered, skylight roof. Many lounges, exclusive private cabanas out of the weather, a TV . Excellent size and place for reading and solitude, bar access as well. Hoist for disabled.
Lovely lounge rooms and decor. The Piazza Atrium area great, but could also be bigger for main events when passengers crowding to see, not enough seats. Standing only. Heaps of sun loungers, good concerts on the screen on deck, blankets for movies too and popcorn (small).
Enjoyed craft activities...never take this away. It is a great alternative to Trivia but in saying that the ones on this cruise were fun and much effort and planning went into them. They were a cruise team highlight and worth attending. Tho many things would clash and not always able to get to them as much as I would have liked.
Princess Live room for overflow concert performances was a positive idea and for comedy or lectures , however much better to have access to the actual Princess Theatre in the first place to feel the show Live and in person. Theatre seats do not have a table for drinks however and are quite cosy and a close, bucket, seating.
Comfortable lounges and decor tasteful. Many lifts and wide areas to stand and wait.
Fantastic gym facilities, and adult only areas. Lovely Fountain show but not advertised enough. I doubt everyone saw it. I only chanced upon it one night.
Movie selection in your room was nice as well, latest ones and older movies. Complimentary in room service and light meals could be ordered. All crew worked hard and provided a friendly holiday, always trying to please.
The International Cafe in Piazza area near Atrium served nice toasted sandwiches, meringue GF desserts, cakes and cookies, and a pie or quiche offering. This was complimentary to go with purchased coffee or for passengers just desiring a light snack.
Negatives: Theatre not really big enough to accommodate everyone for each show. Cruise Planner had 2nd show at 9.45 pm, rather late or had early shows on a Port day 6pm and 715 or 730pm..... could not understand this. How to fit dinner around this when it can take too long to be served or you could end up eating quite late or miss dinner totally. This could occur even with anytime dining.
Main Dining menu was not really great with variety choices. On offer were too many meals that were same or similar with just different vegetables or accompaniments. Meat , fish , chicken, and an overload of seafood. Desserts quite dull as well. Tea and coffee offered at completion not hot and meals also did not keep hot either even when close to kitchen.
Buffet was serving similar to main dining but at least it was hotter and could just stick to fruit , or bread. Plenty of food provided but not choices I enjoyed however.
Tendering could be a long process in Island ports.
The entertainment on this cruise was a let down due to the fact I had seen many of the acts in the first and second week before. The Aussie comedian, McCool, AGoT was a breath of fresh air, as too much violin and classical type performers were offered. Much effort by those people but not to my liking and became too much the same style of entertainment. More variety choices for all age groups needed.
Small internet room and library however there were many games to loan and a selection of many used books to read and peruse for interest.
I enjoy seeing some of the dancers at the end of a show...did this occur???
Photography prices seem quite expensive. Many printing offers on metal boards, mugs, coasters etc are a lovely alternative souvenir to take home.
No promenade deck to walk around, also no front access or rear access to feel the ocean around you and enjoy that at sea benefit, To Escape Completely and Come Back New.
I hope Princess does not maintain this cut back feeling, and still embrace moving forward but not just with new ships but to still enhance passenger fun and friendly enjoyment all around including the main dining experience and buffet....not just to push extra cost dining. Read Less