5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The free room service was great, as was the burger bar. I also really loved the free food at the 24hr International Cafe and the Ginger Twist tea there is really nice. Matt Baxter, who sang and played the guitar, was great also. I would ... Read More
The free room service was great, as was the burger bar. I also really loved the free food at the 24hr International Cafe and the Ginger Twist tea there is really nice. Matt Baxter, who sang and played the guitar, was great also. I would have preferred that the production show was an hour long rather than just 30 minutes, and the choreography was quite elementary. The dance and Zumba classes provided were good, but I would have enjoyed more. The sail-away party was a lot of fun and the music in the night club was great. The decor around the ship was very nice and since I was able to embark nice and early I had the pool to myself for a while, which was really nice. Stephanie, the entertainment director from France, was great! She was really friendly and a great dancer also. My Cabin Steward, Bong, was extremely friendly and kept my room immaculate. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this ship as we heard it was a great ship to sail on and it also went to the destinations we were interested in visiting at the time that suited us to have time off work..I would definitely sail on this cruise line over and over. ... Read More
We chose this ship as we heard it was a great ship to sail on and it also went to the destinations we were interested in visiting at the time that suited us to have time off work..I would definitely sail on this cruise line over and over. Embarking and Disembarking was a breeze.The staff were very helpful in this process. Our cabin was clean and was kepted clean by our room steward the whole time we were there,we also had a balcony where we would often see the dolphins jumping and swimming along side of us..I would never sail again without a balcony..The dining room staff were professional and looked after our every needs promptly..It was always a pleasure to dine..The entertainment was outstanding with standing ovation..We could swim and spa at anytime without overcrowding,,there was plenty to pick from..The gym was jam packed with all the equipment needed to keep in shape..The outdoor screen was an extra bonus whilst laying out on deck with movies to watch while being served a delicious cocktail or two..The food was plentiful and such a great variety..the deserts where a work of art..The food and drink waiters were all professional and they were so lovely..There was plenty of different dining options to pick from..Overall we had an amazing Holiday and would definately go on this cruise line again..Hopefully again next year,,started saving already.. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
50th Wedding Anniversary, 2nd time on Sun Princess, last sailed around N.Z. 2015, just love the size of this ship, great staff, wonderful Theatre Shows, great entertainment, Food always great, lots of Bars, International Cafe our ... Read More
50th Wedding Anniversary, 2nd time on Sun Princess, last sailed around N.Z. 2015, just love the size of this ship, great staff, wonderful Theatre Shows, great entertainment, Food always great, lots of Bars, International Cafe our favourite, early morning or late evening Coffee, or Hot chocolate, just a great place to meet new found friends. Great entertainment around the ship, in the many Bar areas. Crooners and Wheelhouse are great meeting places, live entertainment, supported by the Band, Duos, Piano and Guitarist along with the Sting duets playing great Melodies around the ship. The last night Show case of Bravo was a standing Ovation of total live Production. Dinning Room each evening was a great experience, wonderful guests, from Canada and all over Australia, We we entertained extremely well, singing waiters, along with lovely food, we celebrated our Anniversary around the table, were made to feel excited, special, as others applauded, yes a very special Memory at Sea for us, thanks so much. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Despite travelling Club Class in an Owners Suite, our experience on the Sun Princess was underwhelming and fell well short of our first cruising experience on the Celebrity Century. Our disappointment commenced when we arrived at ... Read More
Despite travelling Club Class in an Owners Suite, our experience on the Sun Princess was underwhelming and fell well short of our first cruising experience on the Celebrity Century. Our disappointment commenced when we arrived at Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal to see the ship covered in rust. Seems Princess are using old images in their marketing material or photoshopping the iron oxide – they were busy painting the forward hull with rollers when in port at Hobart. EMBARKATION was efficient, but disappointed we were instructed to board after 2pm. One bag went missing and contents was damaged when it eventually arrived - my complaint, which should have been quickly resolved, never was. While dated, the CAPRI SUITE was spacious and reasonably well-maintained, though the saggy lounge needs replacing, the weathered balcony furniture requires attention and being aft, the cabin was noisy with ceiling light/panels shaking. SIGNATURE DINING was a disaster with Curtis Stone’s Share being positioned in a public thoroughfare with our window table vista view to lifeboats! Never bothered with Sterling Steakhouse which was a cafeteria by day that converted to “Signature Dining” at night. And same for Kai Seafood which was generally unoccupied apart from the crew. Horizons provided a bland buffet and Terrace Grill was tasteless. The standout was Club Class Anytime Dining in the Regency Dining Room with warm/attentive service, good food/wine menu and pleasant surroundings. Our personalised balcony dinner was enjoyable, but lacked 5-star touches. The ITINERARY was excellent and we enjoyed our self-guided tour experiences at Burnie, Port Arthur and Hobart. The onboard organised excursions were very expensive, targeted at international passengers who would have done better to explore themselves or organise tours onshore. As for the ENTERTAINMENT, if you like serviette folding courses, wrinkle removal lessons or late-night karaoke, this cruise is for you. We saw two shows in the Princess Theatre which were short and mainstream. Movies under the Stars was a nice touch, but cold on deck.Other venues were very quiet at night – you could have thrown a dart in the Legends Sports Bar at night and not hit anyone! As for the ONBOARD experience, the Princess shops were expensive (as expected), photography rushed and disappointing and I find it sad that the art gallery could not showcase some Australian artists on domestic journeys. So, while we enjoyed our short break, we didn’t “come back new” and we didn’t fall in love and find our forever cruise line which is a shame, because we’d like to do lots more cruising as we embark on retirement. Princess certainly lacked the special touches we enjoyed on Celebrity such as a Club Class concierge, dinner at the Captain’s table, visit to the bridge, visit to the engine room, cooking class with the chef and real Signature Restaurants to name a few. And on DISEMBARKATION, we received a warmer welcome from the Sydney Port Authority staff at the White Bay Cruise Terminal than the Sun Princess crew who appeared to be more interested in preparing for their next guests … we won’t be one. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The date suited us we are family of sixteen Embarkation was a breeze staight out of cab onto ship 15 minute tops The ship is getting tied, windows are unclean, odour smells in theatre Dining room was excellent good food but had ... Read More
The date suited us we are family of sixteen Embarkation was a breeze staight out of cab onto ship 15 minute tops The ship is getting tied, windows are unclean, odour smells in theatre Dining room was excellent good food but had trouble trying to get a table for sixteen or two tables of eight, got it the last night Cafe food was up good but the fish was like leather after the first day, sweet potatos were not cooked also people are not made to wash hands they put it over the doorman The bar grill food was not cooked or overcooked, Princess always have good on board entertainment they get people involved which make for a great time Tender service was very slow getting going, because of the port authority, some of our group did get off the ship because of this. Disembarkation was a piece of cake. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I’ve cruised to Tasmania three times and it’s one of my favourite destinations. I love escaping from the North Queensland heat, and a short cruise has all the fun activities and top entertainment in one week that is usually spread over ... Read More
I’ve cruised to Tasmania three times and it’s one of my favourite destinations. I love escaping from the North Queensland heat, and a short cruise has all the fun activities and top entertainment in one week that is usually spread over a longer cruise. Port Arthur is a great stop and costs nothing to browse the convict site straight off the tender ride. Hobart is also a perfect destination if you love walking around it’s magnificent waterfront area and tasting the local seafood. If you’re on a budget then this cruise is highly recommended. The meals in the dining room rate five stars with tender steaks, jumbo prawns and lobster on the menu. I love Anytime Dining without a set time to eat and never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table. The cabin beds are super comfy with down pillows just like my bed at home. I’m always delighted with my Princess cruise to Tasmania and plan to go again next year. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
My wife and I have cruised many times with Princess and have been on both the Dawn and The Sun several times so we knew what to expect. We were a little disappointed to see the rusty condition of the hull when it docked in Auckland prior ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised many times with Princess and have been on both the Dawn and The Sun several times so we knew what to expect. We were a little disappointed to see the rusty condition of the hull when it docked in Auckland prior to our cruise but were pleasantly surprised with the condition of the public areas once we got on board. The adults only area at the stern of the ship has been upgraded with new flooring and comfortable loungers and seating. Unfortunately this area became very popular and it was only possible to get a seat by getting there early. It was disappointing to see some passengers "claiming" their seats and then disappearing for long periods of time even though there are signs requesting people not to do this out of courtesy to others. We were on back to back cruises 6 days Sydney - Tasmania - Sydney and 10 days Sydney - North Queensland - Sydney. We enjoy this class of ship it is not too large, has a promenade deck you can walk right round, is easy to find your way around, and good areas for pools and hot tubs. We were disappointed to hear that this ship and I presume the Sea Princess are being retired and will be replaced by larger ships like the Majestic Princess. Although we do like the Golden and Diamond Princess, the Majestic class of ship appears to us to be a move in the wrong direction. While the cabins are small they are adequate for 2 people, there is plenty of storage and ours was kept very clean by our steward Ramon. The beds and pillows are so comfortable! There is a great app available on the TV showing live location and the other channels all worked well - not that we spent much time watching TV. The Captain and the cruise director were excellent - the best we have had and we have cruised a lot. They kept us informed about changes to our schedule made necessary by Cyclone Oma via a very detailed program in the ships TV channel. We found the food in the main dining room to be generally very good although there were occasions when the meat or fish was overdone and dry. We learned to ask for it less cooked than we would normally do in a restaurant and then it was about right. The selection and variety was excellent. We ate breakfast and dinner (traditional) in the main dining room and lunch in the buffet where we would put together our own salad. We went to lunch after 2:00 pm when it was easier to get a table. The variety available was huge and each day there was something different to choose from. We had vouchers to go to Share and Sterling Steak house. Share was different, interesting and tasty. We did not have a good experience in the Steak house. My wife's Steak was overcooked when it first came out, looked ok the second time but was tough and inedible. My Lobster was large but tough and needed a sauce, the Lobster in the main dining room was much better and free. We would not pay $35 a head to go to speciality restaurants when the food is fine in the main dining rooms. It was good to see hand washing being policed at the entrance to the buffet, with the majority of people complying. The Production shows were excellent. A guest soprano who joined for the Bravo show was a highlight - simply amazing and deserved the standing ovation she got at each show. The other guest performers were disappointing. Live music was very good in the bars and atrium areas. The only things we thought could be improved was the price and range of bottled wine, and the time taken to get off the ship in tender ports. Unless you were on a ship's tour it took 2 to 3 hours to get ashore. On our second cruise we did find a separate page inside the front of the drinks menu where there were a few bottles of wine at a more reasonable price. Overall we were pleasantly surprised with this cruise, and as always the majority of the fellow passengers we spoke to were interesting and helped to make the cruise a great one as were most of the crew we interacted with. It seemed to be a happy ship thanks I am sure to the Captain and his management team. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
I was apprehensive about cruising with so many people but my fears were soon put to rest.We had a brilliant time cruising around NZ. Everything ran smoothly but was disappointed at not being able to visit Napier due to weather problems. ... Read More
I was apprehensive about cruising with so many people but my fears were soon put to rest.We had a brilliant time cruising around NZ. Everything ran smoothly but was disappointed at not being able to visit Napier due to weather problems. Would highly recommend Princess Cruises and will certainly cruise with them again. Anytime Dining was great meeting a variety of different people from all walks of life and several nationalities. Cruise directors and assistant cruise directors so much fun, it was pure entertainment just watching them. We did land tours in each port organised through Princess, some rather expensive but worth it. Was disappointed in the City Panorama tour of Dunedin, certainly the cheapest but basically a quick trip around the city, look at one building at the university, the railway station and a lookout. Passengers who booked a similar tour at the tourist bureau at half the price saw a lot more. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We choose these 3 cruises on Sun Princess to visit New Zealand, Tasmania, Sydney, and The Great Barrier Reef. We explored Melbourne and Sydney prior to embarkation and we visited The Blue Mountains after we disembarked. We also stopped ... Read More
We choose these 3 cruises on Sun Princess to visit New Zealand, Tasmania, Sydney, and The Great Barrier Reef. We explored Melbourne and Sydney prior to embarkation and we visited The Blue Mountains after we disembarked. We also stopped in Sydney twice between cruises which provided additional sightseeing. The ship is not one of their newest but the Sun Princess is well maintained, The theaters, atrium and common areas are very nice. Our stateroom was clean and very nice as well. Princess never disappoints when it comes to dining, entertainment and activities. We ate too much and took advantage of everything they offered. As always the staff of Princess go above and beyond to take care of all your needs. Ports and excursions were all good. I wish Princess would write on their overviews of the excursions how much time is spent riding in the bus to get to and from the excursion. On one of our trips we spent 4 hours riding on the bus with maybe 10-15 mins at the our two stops and a 10 minute bathroom stop for all the passengers on the bus. This would not deter me from sailing with Princess over and over again. The cruises were wonderful as well as all our choices for excursions. This is a cruise you don't want to miss. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
The Sun Princess is a disgusting piece of junk. It should have been retired years ago. When we first got on, the food was obviously made from the leftovers of the previous cruise, although it did improve as the days went by. Throughout the ... Read More
The Sun Princess is a disgusting piece of junk. It should have been retired years ago. When we first got on, the food was obviously made from the leftovers of the previous cruise, although it did improve as the days went by. Throughout the cruise, there was a sewer smell coming through the air conditioning, which you could not escape from for the entire cruise. It was disgusting. Other passengers I spoke to complained of their toilets overflowing onto the carpet in their rooms. Frequently the public toilets were out of order. The beds sagged. The ship was awfully rusty and obviously not maintained. I caught a mild tummy bug, an eye infection and an ear infection at different stages when onboard. Others had a bad flu. It was a New Zealand cruise and when we got back to Sydney, I heard fellow passengers saying, "What a relief to be home." The places we visited were lovely, but the ship was awful. Even though the staff were good, I'll never go Princess again. Come back new? How about Princess starts with its own ships. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We paid $119 each to see the Maori Performance and that same performance was offered as free entertainment on the ship the very same night titled Haka The Legend.. We voiced our concern and Princess make a generous (???) refund of $12. ... Read More
We paid $119 each to see the Maori Performance and that same performance was offered as free entertainment on the ship the very same night titled Haka The Legend.. We voiced our concern and Princess make a generous (???) refund of $12. Please be leary of excursions offered by Princess Cruise Line. Food was average at best both in the formal dining room and at the buffet. Desserts looked very good but lacked taste--almost a lack of sugar. Very disappointed you had to pay for ice cream rather than have it offered as a buffet dessert. Specialty Steak House Restaurant food was very good. Ship needed updates as railings in both verandas and around decks need refinishing. And decks were often closed to walkers and joggers. Room steward was very friendly and did a good job of keeping room clean but he was very difficult to find when items such as ice were needed. Princess Line was very disappointing after many successful cruises on Holland American Line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife (a travel agent) and I travel a lot and cruise often; at last count, 52 cruises on 14 lines, giving us a fair basis for comparison. We booked back-to-back cruises on Sun Princess for 13 nights in New Zealand and 14 nights in Fiji, ... Read More
My wife (a travel agent) and I travel a lot and cruise often; at last count, 52 cruises on 14 lines, giving us a fair basis for comparison. We booked back-to-back cruises on Sun Princess for 13 nights in New Zealand and 14 nights in Fiji, departing Sydney in both cases, based on a prior favorable experience in Alaska on this line and because New Zealand and to a lesser extent Fiji were on our bucket list. I won't dwell in this review on the ports themselves, which vary from idyllic (e.g. Bay of Islands and Napier, NZ) to grimy and dangerous ( e.g. Suva and Lautoka, Fiji). Certainly the port selection and itinerary could have been much better on both cruises but some things are beyond anyone's control. What is in control of the ship, however, is the cruise experience. In this regard, Sun Princess is a fail. It is the quintessential "old-school" cruise experience dumbed down to accommodate the masses and falls into that growing pool of cruises based entirely on budgets that nickel and dime customers to the point of annoyance, and in that regard I have no love for "The Love Boat" and wish it a speedy and short journey to decommissioning. For starters, the condition of the ship is appalling. Tiny rooms typical of 50s ships can be forgiven, but nonfunctioning spa tubs, showers and sinks in public rooms cannot. There is literally rust, missing and broken tile, clouded windows and a worn and tired look everywhere. To it's credit, my bed was excellent and the TV and other room amenities were fine, including the balcony, but I could not escape a cramped feeling. To some extent, the worn and torn look of the place is offset by the things Princess does right--efficient embarkation and disembarkation, snappy room service, attentive steward and dining staff but even these are overwhelmed by my chief complaints: poor food and a pervasive nickel-diming atmosphere that destroys the cruise experience. Princess charges $35 per person in it's Curtis Stone, Kai Seafood and Sterling Steakhouse restaurants. The two former ones are merely bumpouts in the hallway and I don't see why I should pay to dine with traffic walking past, an opinion shared by others because these restaurants were empty for lunch and dinner. It also has hefty drink charges, charges for anything beyond a basic coffee, charges $3 for room delivery pizza, charges nosebleed prices for soda, water, internet, laundry, and even had the gall to charge people $15 for a bus to the town of Lautoka after docking at an industrial dock! It's shore excursions are double the price of similar excursions offered on shore at each port of call and, of course, one must run the gamut and annoyance of ship's photographers, cheap art auctioneers and cruise ship jewelry hucksters every single day, over and over. One has a choice of dining at a preset time with a table of others or "anytime" dining in the Grand Dining Room, where you can choose to dine alone or with others. We like the shared concept, pioneered by Norwegian some years ago and found meeting others (in these parts 90% Aussies) to be the best part of the cruise. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the food. In two cases, my fish was absolutely inedible; most meals were tasteless and underseasoned; small portions, especially of beef. Amateurish presentation, half-cooked vegetables, the list goes on. While I am no "foodie' I can state categorically that for a cruise ship this food was below average. The Buffet, however, was even worse. I simply could not find anything comparable to an all-you-can-eat-kids-eat-free in any suburban shopping mall. In this regard, Princess has formal nights, a custom from the old days except on Cunard and a few others. Since they do not have the class or foresight to offer the full Main Dining Menu in the buffet or stateroom on those nights, my wife and I went to the Buffet; available food was so poor we spent "formal night" in our room eating a hamburger, a fact which I will always associate with Princess. Since this review is already lengthy I will pass in stating that entertainment was the usual fare, not bad. Kids are permitted and generally monopolized all but the adults only pool and were running everywhere; the casino is small, does NOT offer video poker but has a few blackjack tables and reel-type arcade slots. My wife and I are planning a full Australian cruise and to drive New Zealand, the best way to see it, as well as a number of other adventures. However, after this experience we're back to smaller ships on higher rated lines. Sorry, Princess. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We are a retired couple, but still pretty active. We chose this January cruise because we wanted summer weather in the middle of our US winter, and because the dates were just right for us. Australia and New Zealand were interesting, and ... Read More
We are a retired couple, but still pretty active. We chose this January cruise because we wanted summer weather in the middle of our US winter, and because the dates were just right for us. Australia and New Zealand were interesting, and we had a great time doing a lot of walking and hiking. We are not much into the excursions that involve a long bus ride, although some riding in buses is inevitable. So without trying to say what is good or bad, here are a few facts that may be relevant to you. 1. The airplane ride from the US is a long one. 15 hours from LAX Sydney. But we payed the extra $150 for extra leg room on the American flight US to Sydney. They fed us well, there are plenty of movies to choose from, and with noise cancelling headphones you can listen the movies or music without having to crank up the volume. So having set our minds to it, and planning when we would sleep, it was OK. We returned on Qantas on an Airbus A-380, the world's largest airliner.. Even in coach, the seats are wide and there is reasonable leg room. 2. We arrived in Sydney and spent two nights at the Harbour Rocks Hotel, a little boutique hotel 10 minute walk from the ship terminal, the train station (we rode the train from the airport -- easy), excellent buffet breakfast, and reasonably priced. Got opera tickets well in advance. Good opera at the iconic opera house, which is also a short walk from the hotel. Enjoyed a couple of ferry rides on our Opel Card (a good deal.) You can check out interesting things like the Botanical Gardens, a ferry ride to Manly Beach ( a little beach town catering to tourists with a mile or two of boardwalk along wide sandy beaches), Luna Park (an old fashioned amusement park with no admission fee), a walk across the bridge, the bustling central business district, etc. 3. The passenger ship terminal seems to accommodate only one ship a day, so it is easy to find your way. We were given a time to arrive for embarkation. Little or no waiting to get registered and onto the ship. 4. We were on deck 11, with a balcony, mid-ship. Stateroom was very small. Comfortable queen bed, desk with a stool, one chair, balcony with two chairs. Maintained clean, Our steward, Carmello, was always easy to find, and kept the room tidy and supplied with ice. 5. Ship's condition. Big windows in the buffet to look out, but because of the age, they are water spotted with minerals that the routine washing doesn't help. So the view out of the windows is not pristine. At one place on the promenade deck we noticed a distinct bad smell, like raw sewage. It was there the entire trip. Could also smell inside at various places sometimes. At 2,000 passengers, the Sun is one of the smaller in the Princess fleet. Expect this ship to be in the Princess fleet for one more year. 6. Passengers -- about 150 Americans, over 1,000 Australians, some British, quite a few Asians. Several families, so the swimming pools are mostly children's attractions. Don't plan to swim laps. There is an adult only pool and sunning area called Serenity, but like many things on Princess, it costs extra, and not a trivial amount. Also, don't expect to have a private breakfast table at the buffet, it is just too crowded. But everyone was nice in inviting you to share a table. 7. Extra cost for many things -- wifi, laundry, laundry soap, ice cream, hot chocolate at the buffet (free if you eat breakfast in the dining room), soda pop, and of course, the to-be-expected spa and salon services. None are cheap. 8. Photographers. Professional Princess photographers are everywhere asking to take your picture. Of course, you can find the prints to purchase at a hefty price in the photo studio. Sometimes there are with pirates, comic characters, or show girls to pose with you. 9. Entertainment -- the Princess dancers and singers are lively young people. How they change costumes so quickly between numbers is amazing. The music volume is turned up close to the threshold of pain. Some of the young women's risque costumes and provocative body movements offended some of the passengers we spoke with at our dinner table. We liked their initial performance, but grew tired of them in subsequent shows. Some of the special entertainers were excellent. We were blown away by Amber Jade, an extremely lively young lady who sang and played a wide variety of music on a saxophone and clarinet. May sound boring to you, but don't miss it. Everyone we spoke to loved her. And equally energetic, and highly skilled, was a violinist who played gypsy, bluegrass, classical, and jazz -- Ian Cooper. The musicians in the 7 piece orchestra were absolutely outstanding. They accompanied the ship's singers and dancers, and well as the special entertainers. A couple of other entertainers, a comedian and a juggler were interesting, but less memorable than the others mentioned above. There were also a couple of other singers who sang very close to their microphones with the volume very loud. Some of the jokes used by the cruise director and the entertainers were a bit suggestive, but none were dirty. 10, Weather -- although January is summer down under, bring your umbrella. We had several days of spotty rain. Still there was enough sunshine to allow for some good beach swimming. The best beach days for swimming in the surf or tanning on the white stand were at Manly Beach (Sydney) and Tauranga (Mt. Maunganui). 11. Ports of call -- (a) Bay of Islands. Tender in to a dock right next to the Treaty Grounds, best place to learn about NZ's history and culture. Admission is reasonable -- pay at the door, don't need an expensive excursion. The Maori dancers at the old meeting house on the treaty grounds were a highlight. They are very entertaining with their war dances. No extra fee. They also like to have you take pictures with them after the show, and don't ask for tips. Princess provided a free (!) short shuttle into Paihai. Plenty of places there to grab a lunch, walk along a beach made up of tiny sea shells, and swim in the surf. (b) Auckland -- a big,busy city. It was Sunday, so we attended church and just walked around town. (c) Tauranga, actually Mt. Maunganui. Within a short walk from the ship is the mountain with a one-hour trail to the top. The trail is steep, and includes walking through green sheep pastures that slope down into the ocean. View from on top shows that this town is like a peninsula surround on three sides by water. Very beautiful views typical of New Zealand with mountains rising up out of the ocean. (d) Napier -- this town markets itself because of a few Art Deco streets. Interesting to walk around, or you can pay to ride in a classic old car. There is a nice hike to a bluff overlook. Not cheap, but a little shop called Opossum store and museum is maybe the best place on the itinerary to learn about and buy New Zealand's nice wool products. (e) Picton. Beautiful cruise up the channel. Tiny town but with lots of cute shops and eateries. One hour steep hike up to a bluff overlook on a loop trail through trees. About 45 minutes to get back down, and walk through some of the towns residential areas. (f) Akora. Only place we bought an excursion. It was to a sheep farm where we saw an impressive display of sheep dogs herding sheep, a sheep shearing demo, and scones on the patio of the farm's owner. Pleasant ride in a mini-van through lush green hillsides. The town itself is a interesting little place to explore in less than an hour. Good places to eat and to get some creamy New Zealand ice cream in a variety of flavors. (g) Dunedin. This is a good sized city. And although it is listed in the itinerary, the ship actually docks in Port Chalmers, a small town with not a lot going on. To get into the city, you have to pay for a Princess Shuttle ($20 per person) to get into Dunedin. This is a university town and also has New Zealand's oldest botanical garden. From the bus stop in the middle of the city to the picturesque train station, through the university campus, to the botanical garden is about a 40 minute walk, with things to see all along the way. Also, free wifi in the ship terminal. (h) Fjorland cruising -- weather did not permit us to go there. Big disappointment, but unavoidable. So we cruised back to Sydney between NZ's south and north islands. Some pretty good waves. A few people got seasick. 12. Dining --like other cruise ships, very nice food in the dining rooms served by skilled waiters, (Oliver and Jake are masters.) You can choose reserved dining -- same time and same table every night. Or you can choose the anytime dining room. But dining rooms serve the same menu and look the same. But you can't switch back and forth. If you go for anytime dining, you forfeit your spot for reserved dining. We opted for the reserved dining at 5:15. Then we had time to hit the first show at 7:30. One night we didn't make it back to the ship in time, and the anytime dining room accommodated us without jeopardizing our reserved dining. 13. Conclusion -- we had a good vacation, and nothing Princess did spoiled it. Hint: if you like to play scrabble or rumikub, bring your own. Although these games are in the library, people hoard them and must take them to their rooms. And some had missing pieces. Another hint: if you are into Manuka honey, study up before you go. Arm yourself with prices for each UMF level available on the internet, then you can decide if you want to pay the prices at the gift shops. Also pharmacies usually carry a variety of Manuka honeys in the various UMF levels. 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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
First time Princess cruisers, a good trip on an old but reasonably good small ship. The ship was very clean and the crew were continually doing some sort of maintance every day. All the staff were very friendly and very efficient no ... Read More
First time Princess cruisers, a good trip on an old but reasonably good small ship. The ship was very clean and the crew were continually doing some sort of maintance every day. All the staff were very friendly and very efficient no request was too hard for them. They were happy and always smiling Cruise Director DuVaul Gamble was excellent best CD we have ever had and we have been on many many cruises. The production shower were outstanding especially Bravo but there was little pool side activities, the area was under utilised. Fine dining was the best we have ever had at sea could not fault any meal. All the meals were served hot which is a real surprise given the number of meals being served at once. The food in the Horizon Court was horrible always looked like left overs from a few days ago and there was very little variety.D Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Don't sail on this ship. it's only princess ship we've sailed on, so can't speak for all ships, but in general, i would recommend paying more and getting more, because princess charges extra for everything. Their ... Read More
Don't sail on this ship. it's only princess ship we've sailed on, so can't speak for all ships, but in general, i would recommend paying more and getting more, because princess charges extra for everything. Their flight arrangements involved many hours waiting in many airports. while we did like premium economy of air new zealand, it was truly inconvenient to have to fly into aukland, then fly to sydney to get on ship and then sail back to new zealand...and the reverse on leaving ship. direct flights to and from sydney are available...make your own arrangements, or insist on direct flights. Balcony room smelled, was drab and rundown with miniscule bathroom with chips and gouges, ridiculously small, rusted metal balcony with paint chips on chairs. ship itself was rust ridden and they were whitewashing it while in ports. only the public areas looked like they were maintained. Food was usually terrible. internet was spotty and expensive. Some of the excursions were good, but always rushed. never enough time to explore port cities. we didn't compare prices for on shore tours, but told by other passengers that princess prices were exorbitant. best excursion was swimming with dolphins. Worst was waitomo glowworms, ignore those trip advisor reviews...basically spent 15 minutes walking in cave and 15 minutes in boat looking at one dome of glowworms...after a 3hr drive there and 3 hrs back...cost $299 and not worth it. Highlights were some of the shows (though always really loud, bring ear plugs) and entertainers. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We, FIVE OF US, Nan 2 daughters and 2 gtranddaughtets, wanted to visit NZ also go on a Cruise, so both was ticked. We made our booking and off we sailed. Getting on ship to commence our Cruise was very smooth, no delays, actually very ... Read More
We, FIVE OF US, Nan 2 daughters and 2 gtranddaughtets, wanted to visit NZ also go on a Cruise, so both was ticked. We made our booking and off we sailed. Getting on ship to commence our Cruise was very smooth, no delays, actually very impressed how well organised it was. Our luggage was delivered to our Cabins, excellent. Both our Cabins were well furnished, the beds comfortable, very clean,lots of room to unpack and put our clothes etc away. Everything we needed was supplied. The dining in Horizon was great, lots of food to choose from,also no need to rush as food was on going quite late,we especially liked dining in The Regency, we had to book ahead however this was not a problem. The food and service was top class. Lots of entertainment going on all through the day for young and old, bingo, trivia,production shows, craft,Movies etc. Duty free shopping on board is quite good, but we were getting over it by day 3 especially with the continuous leaflets to try and get you to buy. The art much the same, however the paintings were beautiful. We enjoyed everything about New Zealand, such a beautiful place, very clean and no huddle and bustle in traffic. We did a bit of everything- The Hobbit tour was absolutely worth doing,even though we happened to get a lot of rain, we went canoeing so good, also we shopped as well as checked out some history in the Museums, visited some beautiful churches, went to some local markets and talked to the locals over all lots to do and enjoy. Each time getting on and off ship was very quick, the crew are very polite and helpful. When we returned to Sydney, we all agreed that we had fun and possibly in the near future we shall take another Cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We had an enjoyable cruise on the Sun Princess, the overall service from staff is wonderful. The food in the dining room was very ordinary, the buffet was very good with a nice variety of freshly cooked food each day. To be honest about ... Read More
We had an enjoyable cruise on the Sun Princess, the overall service from staff is wonderful. The food in the dining room was very ordinary, the buffet was very good with a nice variety of freshly cooked food each day. To be honest about the ship itself the Sun Princess is a plain ship with nothing flashy about it, it is a good design and easy to find your way around. The exterior of the ship is an embarrassment to the Princess line, I know it's an older ship but there is soo much rust weeping down the sides and covering a lot of the external steel areas of the ship, it really needs cosmetic attention urgently. The balcony cabin A408 Aloha deck was quite good, clean and the bed comfortable. There is a vile smell around the ship particularly around the outside promenade deck making it an unpleasant walk outside. We have done twelve cruises with varying cruise companies including several with Princess cruises before this one but this ship cosmetically was a disappointment and not what we expect from Princess. The entertainment in the Princess Theatre was good and most musicians around the ship were also good. We did enjoy visiting Moreton Island our only port on this short cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We took this cruise because that is where our Zumba teachers booked us. It was only 4 days but we really needed at least 7 days. The bistro unfortunately was tasteless cafeteria food. The dining room was good food and good ... Read More
We took this cruise because that is where our Zumba teachers booked us. It was only 4 days but we really needed at least 7 days. The bistro unfortunately was tasteless cafeteria food. The dining room was good food and good service. The 4 Zumba classes were fantastic. Moreton Island unfortunately had nothing of interest, except the beach, for those not taking any excursions. The excursions were no good for us that do not swim nor snorkel. The shows were of excellent quality, but too short (only half-an-hour each). Previous cruise shows were 2 hours each. The American coffee on board was absolutly disgusting. It was an Australian cruise and therefore should have had Australian style coffee. It took us 2 days to work out how to work out the shower controls. There were no instructyions in the room and no one told us that the taps turn the reverse American way, not the normal Australian way, therefore when we wanted hotter water, it turned cold instead. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Sun princess was an enjoyable experience with mostly good weather for most of the cruise. Was very disappointed with our cabin layout as we had a bunk bed & were expecting three single beds at floor level . This was difficult for my ... Read More
Sun princess was an enjoyable experience with mostly good weather for most of the cruise. Was very disappointed with our cabin layout as we had a bunk bed & were expecting three single beds at floor level . This was difficult for my husband who is 70 & opted to take the top bunk . This could possibly have been my fault as I booked the cruise on line , however I feel that I should have been made aware of the bed arrangements from someone at princess lines due to our ages . I would have gladly upgraded to larger cabin had I been made aware of this when I booked the cruise . We did timed dining at 5pm daily & were very fortunate to have two wonderful gentlemen who waited our table . They were Patricio Castillo - waiter & Ranilo Torrance - assist waiter 10 . They made our dining experience so very enjoyable , always called us by our names with lots of warm smiles , a dash of humour & at all times very professional & prompt with servicing our table , a big well done from us . The entertainment on board was varied & enjoyable . The excursions we did were enjoyed by all . Overall a very enjoyable cruise . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We read a lot of reviews after we booked this trip and there were many unflattering things said about the Sun. I wanted the opportunity to share both the good and needs improvements we experienced. The ship is small and dated, however the ... Read More
We read a lot of reviews after we booked this trip and there were many unflattering things said about the Sun. I wanted the opportunity to share both the good and needs improvements we experienced. The ship is small and dated, however the common area under went a recent refresh which erased some of her age. There was a constent odor in the halls and around deck 7, not sure if it was food waste or other but it was noticiable enough that it needs to be addressed. Due to her size space is at a premium which is why all of the specialty dining locations are carved out of common space. Of all 3 the Kai is so under utilized they really need to consider bringing back the pizzeria. If there were more than 5 people eating here it was crew, Princess needs to review the demographics of their passengers. Share was literally in the atrium on the 8th floor - not the place to go if you're looking for a quite romantic dinner. Sterling is literally a curtained off area in the Horizon Cafe - this was the only specialty restaurant we went to. The food was excellent the service hit or miss depending on your waiter but it was very cold up there. You definitely needed a jacket. We were in Club Class so that afforded us a separate sitting area in the MDR but we ate off of the same menu as the MDR. Overall the food was very good, the only disappointment was the seafood / fish -- frozen and lacking flavor but the Chief and his team tried to make up for it with flawless preparation (this issue with the seafood / fish is not unique to Princess, we experience the same in the Laminae restaurant on Celebrity). We did not eat in the Horizon cafe - we walked through a few times and it just did not look appetizing -- this is consistent with other reviewers. I think in this area Princess should execute the less is more strategy. Fewer options better quality. For the oenophiles out there the new wine list is great, they have really upped the game here. Great selection by the glass and bottle. What was really great was if you ordered a bottle they would hold it for you so that you could enjoy the next day. This allowed greater variety beyond the by the glass offerings. The entertain was great, there was a little something for everyone. The bar / spa / shops / photography team did not pester you to buy buy buy. If you said no they respected that and left you alone. This was a bright spot for us. The cabin was spacious, the furniture worn but the bed was beyond comfortable Overall we really enjoyed this cruise and would sail the Sun again in the future Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We choose this cruise because of the demographics... didn't want a party boat and we didn't have one... the age group was on the whole was 50 plus. The food I must say was far better than expected and on some occasions was 5 ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the demographics... didn't want a party boat and we didn't have one... the age group was on the whole was 50 plus. The food I must say was far better than expected and on some occasions was 5 star so lots of cudos to the chef and his team. We ate mainly at anytime dining for dinner. The wait staff were attentive and curtious ll times. The choice was limited but changed daily an some of the seafood was fantastic. The buffet had some good choices with plenty of different things to choose from for breakfast and lunch. Although I must saysome people go overboard with loading up their plates We really enjoyed the entertainment especially the Freddie Mercury show with Steve Larkin..what a legend. Our cabin although not spacious was comfortable and our steward was awesome (Eduard). We enjoyed our experience so much we have already booked another cruise albiet with a different Cruise line to compare. Explorer of The Seas with Royal Carribean. Will write a review after that one in February. Cheers Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because we have heard so many good things about NZ. Also this was our 2nd time on the Sun Princess. NZ was great and we were blessed with good weather. The buffet is your average food on Princess, not much has ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have heard so many good things about NZ. Also this was our 2nd time on the Sun Princess. NZ was great and we were blessed with good weather. The buffet is your average food on Princess, not much has changed. It really needs to improve. There are so many easy interesting dishes that can be added to the buffet without costing a fortune, and for appeal. Every breakfast you see is the same things, eggs, bacon and cereal. I was a bit shocked to see fruit loops for breakfast - this stuff is full of sugar and so unhealthy. Hot chips for breakfast; really. The Chinese congee was inconsistent on a daily basis. The condiments were always empty. In the additional, there should have been some kind of protein available, such as cooked chicken or meat to add to the congee. I think a yum cha station could be of some benefits- made to order. Fine dining was either a hit or a miss. The lobster and prawns, beef wellington and lamb rack was outstanding. There should have been a cuisine theme night showing other international dishes. Some Asian and Indian dishes were not of standards. The German Oktoberfest was terrible, and we were in the month of December. Hygiene and customer service was outstanding. The cooking demonstrations was terrible and it’s the same dishes as usual. The kitchen gallery tour was terrible too, did not see cooks working, just work stations. Entertainment was okay, but not great. Freddy Mercury impersonation was good, however I wanted him to play more piano. Okay he lost his voice after so many nights singing and this can happen. The piano player, Liam ? was okay, but he has to stop hitting the keys, just play smoothly. I e seen better pianist on Princess. Overall, the Sun Orincess was Ok, on this cruise there was a lot of elderly people, getting tender took forever, but you learn to find patience. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We have cruised many times with many cruise lines from the opulent to the mediocre we are very easy going and not hard to please but even we have out limits. Our cruise to NZ was a birthday milestone celebration and we saved hard to make ... Read More
We have cruised many times with many cruise lines from the opulent to the mediocre we are very easy going and not hard to please but even we have out limits. Our cruise to NZ was a birthday milestone celebration and we saved hard to make it happen now we wish we had have saved a bit more and gone on another ship.- What a total disappointment. The food the first week on in the Horizon was fresh but three days before we were to disembark the quality went downhill rapidly. It tasted like leftovers revamped. As for the daily entertainment we had – 1.Paper plane competition -2.Teeth whitening -3. Bridge card game - 4. Hair straightening how to stop your hair frizzing – Yep- the excitement went on.- OMG- I was so bored I wanted to throw myself overboard. The toilets both public and cabin had non-stop problems passengers had an issue with either their toilet or their cabin including flooding. Then it was our turn to have a toilet disaster - Our toilet over flowed just before 8am having just woken up were like a deer in a headlight we were both not with it panicking trying desperately to stop the water overflowing but all to no avail, the water was cascading over the step like a waterfall . We quickly rang the pursers desk ran up and down the corridor in my Pyjamas looking for staff but the floor was deserted. Eventually some passengers come out to see me running around in my pjs, disgusted they kindly went to get help as well. Two phone calls later the steward finally shows up with a small cloth the size of a face flannel to mop up the water the the poor steward had a look of horror when he saw how bad the flooding actually was. We had to walk back into the room walk through the septic water to throw some clothes over Pyjamas go down stairs to the atrium where the front desk was. We must have looked a sight unwashed, bed hair and totally confused. I walked up to the Pursers desk told her our room was flooded and what will we do now? She just glared at me like I was totally inconveniencing her and said ` We are working on it`. Offended by her dismissive attitude I asked to speak to the her superior she said abruptly ` Go sit over there somewhere buy a coffee and wait the manager is busy.` We waited for hour and half before I walked back up to the desk and asked if we had been forgotten. The manager came out clearly on defense with her fake smile informed us she is aware of the problem I pointed out that we had out Pyjamas still on that we needed to shower and change. Reluctantly she went away came back with two Temporary cruise cards to go and shower in an EMPTY cabin BUT we can NOT sleep there we were to go back to our own cabins that evening. When we tried to explain how saturated our carpet was and why can’t we use the temporary room if its empty she said ` I don’t want to move you as its only two days till you disembark. They will make a decision later and someone will find us and let us know. 2.30 still walking around with our shower bag and pjs in a bag we went back to our old cabin to assess the situation the carpet was still totally saturated the musty smell was overpowering the carpet dryer was deafening and it was obvious that it was going to take a few days to dry it out properly. The water had seeped into the room next door as well. We went back to the purser’s desk ` Can we PLEASE change rooms? Sorry the manager is in a meeting I can’t make that decision you will have to come back at 5pm. I was ready to explode, I said ` R U Kidding? You have an empty cabin yet you want us to go back to a room that is clearly a Health Hazard do you understand it is Septic Water from the bloody toilet? It’s bad enough we had to walk through it in bare feet then breath in , Now you want us to sleep in in as well. ` Her reply` madam you will have to come back for the managers decision` - She did NOT care less and could make it more apparent. So the Temporary card they gave us were useless they kept being rejected due to NO number. So our id had to be confirmed before we could purchase a drink. Very embarrassing in front of other passengers to say the least. Finally after 9 hours of angst they finally decided to let us use the empty cabin. We had to go back to our old cabin and pack our suit cases and unpack them again in the new room. So its now 5pm . The room hadn’t been cleaned since we showered in the morning so cold soggy towels is all we had to dry ourselves. We were so exhausted we showered sat on the end of bed demoralized broke down and sobbed. - The manager had a bottle of wine sent to our room but it was a shallow token gesture too little too late. The way we were both treated is inexcusable; We can both honestly say that we have NEVER been treated with such contempt. The abrupt, dismissive and condescending attitude in which we were both treated made us feel like the Irish on the Titanic. Having cruised many times we are both members of the Loyalty points Captains Circle. One would ask ` Where is the loyalty and respect shown to the passengers? This has not been a relaxing trip we were both too scared to use our toilet so we would have to go to a public toilet to avoid any more embarrassment which is unforgivable. I have Multiple sclerosis and all the stress took its toll and I have relapsed; this was supposed to be a 60th birthday celebration what a disappointment. We cannot speak highly enough of the cabin stewards and the drink waiters who work hard long underpaid days they are worth their weight in gold. - This is more than I can say for the arrogant European front desk staff who have a severe superiority complex with a disgusting lack of people skills who abruptly talk down to the passengers with utter contempt as we were to find out first hand. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Pro's: The boarding and dis-embarking procedures were very very efficient. The cabin was ready and well prepared even though we had arrived ahead of schedule with our priority boarding pass. We had pre-booked transfers and ... Read More
Pro's: The boarding and dis-embarking procedures were very very efficient. The cabin was ready and well prepared even though we had arrived ahead of schedule with our priority boarding pass. We had pre-booked transfers and airline flights, which were taken care of without a hitch. The evening entertainment such as the production shows are still high quality but reduced in length. Con's We have cruised with Princess 25 times. over 14 years. Since about 2013 we thought it was so much better than anything else we had tried. However, since then we have noticed the continual decline in the food and onboard activities. Some of the individual entertainers such as stand up comedians may be rejects from RSL Bucks nights. On this cruise Sydney-Circa NZ-Sydney on Sun Princess, the Discovery at Sea program was non-existent and there was only one enrichment talk/lecture, over the whole time. The Destinations talks were hopeless. The speaker whose High School English was not her primary language, rattled off a prepared list of available activities without embellishments or feeling of any kind, with the rhythm and emphases all wrong. , Since about 4 to 5 years ago the food choices in the main dining room have become more and more restricted, to the point where most of the better choices have been removed from the menu and become chargeable extras. We assume this is so that more passengers are encouraged to patronize the extra specialty restaurants that have been added. For instance, on this Sun Princess, the included Pizza cafe has been removed and replaced with a Curtis Stone speciality restaurant with a cover charge of $56 per head. At Horizon Court Buffet there was a varied selection of dishes, however all meat dishes we tried were really tough, and even some of the fish was tough !! If this trend continues we feel that many people are going to become more disenchanted with Princess Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Sun Princess was recommended for my age and wanted relaxation. I’m a solo cruiser and had a fantastic time. Embarkment and disembarkment ran so smoothly best I have ever had, room was clean no noise factor at all, service from crew was ... Read More
Sun Princess was recommended for my age and wanted relaxation. I’m a solo cruiser and had a fantastic time. Embarkment and disembarkment ran so smoothly best I have ever had, room was clean no noise factor at all, service from crew was very polite and courteous and you could actually have a laugh with them, dining was good share restaurant brilliant steakhouse brilliant horizon food was average never ate in the dining rooms as I couldn’t get a table for one so I missed out there, entertainment and activities were great only disappointment was we had a lot of bad weather (Mother Nature was not kind to us at all) and a lot of shore excursions were cancelled it would of been nice to have some extra activities added to break some of the extra time we had spending on board due to the bad weather. If you like relaxation and not a lot of children on board this is the cruise for you as it met all my expectations I must say I did come back home renewed. My highlight was the scenic cruising through Floridian national park. I actually got home and booked my next cruise on the same ship to Fiji in January and plan on booking again to New Zealand hopefully I’ll choose the right time of year to go though so I can get to see the sites I really wanted to visit Read Less
Sun Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.8
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.6
Family 4.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 3.0 3.4
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 4.0

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