7 Sydney (Australia) to South Pacific Princess Sun Princess Cruise Reviews

This was our 10th cruise with Princess. and other than the problems we had with our cabin, it was an enjoyable one. We were disappointed with Christmas dinner,even though it was enjoyable, Princess didn't cater for a traditional ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise with Princess. and other than the problems we had with our cabin, it was an enjoyable one. We were disappointed with Christmas dinner,even though it was enjoyable, Princess didn't cater for a traditional Australian Christmas meal, all of the staff were friendly and helpful, the food was fresh and very tasty wherever you dined. Drinks were a bit pricey, but your on holidays so enjoy.The shows were entertaining and cruise staff worked hard to entertain us. The ports that we visited were not what we were expecting, some were beautiful and others were dirty and hard to get around, we didn't go on any ship excursions, preferring to explore in our of time and pace. if we were to go there again we would definitely use the ships tours as they knew the best places to go, and believe me there weren't many. So all in all the cruising was enjoyably, a great way to spend Christmas and New Year. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Having cruised quite a few times with Princess, the last time being an identical cruise to this going to Fiji in April 2018, we were more than happy to recommend them to our friends who had never cruised before, who came with us. Imagine ... Read More
Having cruised quite a few times with Princess, the last time being an identical cruise to this going to Fiji in April 2018, we were more than happy to recommend them to our friends who had never cruised before, who came with us. Imagine our disappointment and embarrasment to find nearly everything had changed noticeably for the worst over the previous 8 months. On a positive note, the carpet on the top deck had been renewed together with some new sun loungers. The staff remained as friendly & helpful as ever, albeit the restaurant staff seemed a little less professional and the captain managed to avoid the threatening cyclone by speeding up.Embarkation from White Bay in Sydney & disembarkation were both handled very well. On the other hand, on-board drink prices have escalated. A cheap bottle of wine in the restaurant was $29 - $32 and is now $46 - $52. A couple of dollars we can understand but not this price jump. A glass of wine now costs $15 - $16 and cocktails have increased from around $11 to $15. To add to this, lobster tails & surf & turf are no longer menu options but extras at $24.50; ice cream is no longer available in the Horizon buffet but on sale at the kiosk on deck & even the launderette has increased from $3 to $7.50. There is no longer a "Happy Hour". Whether this is to tempt us into buying the drinks package at $89 per person per day we don't know but one of the barmen confided that takings had fallen by half. If we were paying for improved service we would not mind so much, but the catering has taken a definite turn for the worse. The Horizon now features items such as meatloaf & boiled brisket as roast of the day and the other choices are well down on the previous cruise. Food quality in buffets is always variable but the quality in the Regency dining room has gone noticeably downhill. Food is usually overcooked, or maybe left to dry out while waiting to be served. My wife had an ongoing battle at breakfast to get eggs that were somewhere in between rock hard and running off the plate. On one evening, two of us ordered steaks cooked "medium", to be safe. One came done to death & the other had blood flooding the plate. After a while we stopped complaining as we felt sorry for the waiters whose fault it wasn't. There seemed to be fewer waiters in the Regency with regular waiters doubling as drinks waiters which probably accounted for service times often stretching right out. Again, maybe Princess want us to pay for the premium restaurants if we want good food. To rub salt into the wounds, the wc in our cabin would not flush. After a couple of requests, they managed to get it working but the following morning, with one of us desperate, it again would not work. In fairness they managed to get it working again but it limped through the rest of the cruise demanding several minutes of attempts if it had been left for any length of time. As the ship now looks very dated and has a liberal coating of rust and Fijian ports are not the most inspirational, our friends went home very disappointed. We have another cruise already booked this year with Princess, but if that is no better we shall not be booking another. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We did this cruise as a previous Princess cruise around New Zealand missed 4 ports and offered a discount and on boards credits on a future cruise. Although weather cant be controlled, two missed ports on this trip was disappointing, only ... Read More
We did this cruise as a previous Princess cruise around New Zealand missed 4 ports and offered a discount and on boards credits on a future cruise. Although weather cant be controlled, two missed ports on this trip was disappointing, only to be compensated $10 missed port credit, just enough for a mixed drink in the bar..... Embarkation was pretty easy, the only strange piece was the wheelchair bound passenger who was whisked past onto the boat who was vomiting into a towel which seems at odds with the required health declaration. Once on board it was of to the room. Enjoying a champagne from our balcony was pleasant looking over the Opera House. Our first interaction with our room steward was when he knocked on the door to tell us that we would now be at sea until Thursday due to two cancelled ports. That was disappointing but unavoidable. What was avoidable was the five hour wait for our bags to arrive at the room. Having been on the road since 5am, a change of clothes was required before dinner. The staff had to be pushed to confirm that the bags were even on board. Sun Princess is an old ship showing wear and tear. The balcony room Baha deck was small in comparison to other standard balcony rooms with only seating for one person unless you sat on the bed. Shower was small and storage limited. The bar fridge was more like a pie warmer so no beers in the room. On a positive, the movies on board were extensive and good to watch. The Regency was our go to as the food was better than the last cruise. Staff were great in there and made an effort to provide a great experience. The next best for dinner was the burger grill, a nice burger freshly made. Horizon court or often referred to as the chow hall was lacking in variety with clearly repurposed products. Breakfast was the same, limited in variety. The steakhouse specialty restaurant is a partitioned area of the food court, trying hard but not the mahogany speakeasy type of place that would appeal. The sushi bar looked lifeless and felt like you were eating in a hallway. Four nights at sea can be a test. The wheelhouse bar was good later on but not worth the crowd crush at happy hour........most of the boat seemed to be in there and if you could order a drink it was lucky dip to get what you had actually ordered......My tip is pay the extra and go not at happy hour. The shore excursions are expensive and by choice, we like to visit the locals in the ports and get a feel for the place. Dravuni Island and Savusavu were great, met some locals and got a real feel for the local culture. Suva felt like being immersed into downtown LA with shysters and beggars at every corner and a place not to feel safe in. Why you would choose to port in a place that has nothing open on Sundays on a Sunday is odd. Back on the boat brings me to the staff. Wood, Rajesh and Joel in Regency were great, friendly and informative. Our room steward was the opposite. Renaldo was not overly friendly and at one point choose to argue the point when asked to leave a light on at night. A couple of times there was rubbish left in the room but the 'highlight' was the toilet brush left in the bowl! On previous cruise, the room steward enhanced the trip but not this time. Drinks are the expected high price. Being drinkers of red, the cheapest bottle at $27 was not available. Before leaving Sydney we wee told it was out of stock, The next one up was $38. Not a bad drop but more about the $10 you pay back home. Bar drinks were what you would expect to pay and outside happy hour pleasantly served by the bar staff. Enjoyed the break, definitely a cruise for elderly, never did get the promised extra room credits and came ashore looking forward to another cruise, just not with Princess.... Feedback is important but no follow up email or survey has been put forward for this cruise. In a growing industry, our choices will take us elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My wife and I chose this cruise for the itinerary 14 days taking in Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia. First downfall was Cyclone Donna which killed the first 2 ports (Isle of Pines and Mystery Island) - can't lay blame or fault on the ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise for the itinerary 14 days taking in Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia. First downfall was Cyclone Donna which killed the first 2 ports (Isle of Pines and Mystery Island) - can't lay blame or fault on the weather but I can blame Princess for not providing an update prior to embarking - other cruise lines did. You see once you are on the boat they can do anything they like in changing the itinerary and you are stuck - this is what happened to us. No one would answer our questions on embarkation but we did get a lovely letter in our cabin explaining we were sailing and they would work it out as we went but they had replaced 2 ports with Luganville - yay (not) The ship itself is just like the unwritten demographic it is pitched at - a bit old and tired. At very least the outside desperately needs a paint to cover the rust stains. For the record my wife and I are in our 50's and we were in the youth bracket. We had an interior cabin which was OK, until the point it flooded due to a broken tap in the bathroom which had been running for hours - full boat so we could not be relocated but all was fixed in a few hours including brand new carpet. Credit where it's due the clean up job and service was fantastic. So was the mattress, all new and very comfortable. For dining there is a choice of traditional / anytime seated dining, some cover charge specialty restaurants or the buffet Horizon Court - the seated dining was absolutely brilliant, we chose anytime dining and had a different table and people every night - I would strongly recommend you do this for all 3 meals which brings me to the buffet which was ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING !!! The chefs go crazy with Salt and I had tummy issues after eating breakfast and lunch on a couple of occasions - and no I didn't load up like a pig. For example poached eggs were pickled due to the amount of vinegar and rice tasted like it was cooked in dirty dish water. Good luck trying to get to a dispenser for juice as you will have to clear out a dozen food stewards first. One thing I can recommend without issue is the Stakehouse - this was terrific but it does cost $29per head (3 courses). The entertainment was interesting but not in an entirely positive way. The production crew (singers and dancers) hardly did any shows - 5 in 14 days. We were on the Pacific Jewell at same time in 2016 and the production crew who were all brilliant did 2 shows every day. There were other acts on the Princess which were great (Amber Jade, Cameo Rascal, Adele Experience and a comedian) except for a piano smashing Gypsy wearing a Liberace jacket who was garbage. I wasn't impressed with the conduct of the production crew around the ship as all except one (Becky) did not smile or seem to know how or want to interact with passengers. I thought the best show for the whole cruise was a pub night bu it was really poorly advertised for what it was. The Cruise Director (Neil) was a botox laden dud of the highest order. He was aloof and also did not seem to want to engage with passengers. His staff on the other hand were exceptional and I must give a huge thanks to Ian, Chris and Johnny for their excellent work and efforts to make everyone feel great and have fun - they were always happy, always smiling and quick with a joke and always made time to talk to passengers. One thing that really annoyed me was the conflicting evening activity schedule, rather than being linear, activities crossed over by 10 - 15min and did not allow you to go from one to another - ridiculous and something blind Freddy could fix in 5 minutes. In truth it probably did make sense if you were happy to eat dinner at 5pm then toddle off to bed ! I also think there was not enough things like trivia (no music trivia at all) or the afternoon game shows or fun activities. There were a few but nowhere near as many as on P&O. The on-board bands / music entertainers were also a bit of a yawn. The best was a band called Nexus but they are one trick ponies and only seem to be able to play one set of songs. They were good but need variety. They also kept calling for the Aussie Aussie Aussie chant which loses it's appeal after the first 20 times - find a new gimmik. The other musical acts were enjoyed by the hoard of people sleeping in the Atrium. With regard to service here is the real roller-coaster. Most of the service staff do a great job. There is a sensational girl on the door of the Regency restaurant named Miriam smiling, friendly and efficient. She was the same for people entering or leaving. This was unfortunately tempered by A big guy who runs the International Cafe - best place to get a coffee as long as you can put up with this guys constant rudeness and short fuse. I had an issue with my cabin card and a small female pursor went to town on me saying I had put it near a phone - not true at any stage. I heard all sorts of stories about good and bad service during the cruise but the prize goes to the barman who refused to serve customers (including my wife) until he finished texting his girlfriend. Shore excursions were typically overpriced, however a couple of things that I found exceptionally distasteful. Firstly everyone was advised there would be Princess organised "complimentary" shuttle buses to run people from the port into Latouka shopping area (2km). When people got on the bus they were asked for AUD$15 each way ! The other issue is Princess unlike other cruise lines get tour operators to put blockout days in place when the cruise is in port so they cannot be booked externally. For example the Tchou Tchou train in Noumea can be booked direct on line for 34 Euro (approx AUD$45) but is on blockout when a Princess cruise is in port. The Train was AUD$90 through the boat. Same for Amedee Island which is normally AUD$160 but was $269 through the boat and was also on blockout. The biggest issue was port lectures and tips delivered by a woman named Leanne Fielder on the boat - in short her drivel and inaccurate information caused injuries to many passengers on Dravuni Island - it is evident she has not done what she discussed and should be dismissed immediately. Interestingly on the last night the Cruise Director told us about a survey that would be emailed to us. He then said not to concentrate on the negative issues and rather concentrate on the positives. He must have been thinking there might be a few negative comments I suspect. So after we left the boat in Sydney and collected our bags I discovered my main suitcase had been damaged - ripped apart ! It was obvious it had been dragged for some distance, probably under a forklift. A lovely Princess staff member filled out a damage report and handed it to me. I asked her what the process was and she said contact my insurer and then said goodbye - wonderful end !! Princess needs to be open and honest about the demographic and clientele it services. We will definitely cruise again but not with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
we could not find fault with the staff, they were brilliant, they were always friendly, polite & would go out of their way to help you. The food was always delicious & plentiful. We were disappointed we were not able to go to one ... Read More
we could not find fault with the staff, they were brilliant, they were always friendly, polite & would go out of their way to help you. The food was always delicious & plentiful. We were disappointed we were not able to go to one of the Islands, the $100 compensation was no substitute . We had a balcony suite which i thought was rather small, but the beds & pillows were comfortable. The Islands were lovely & the locals so friendly. The tenders were very efficient going to & from the islands. The entertainment...... what entertainment, it was more like a floating Nursing Home. We found we were in bed most nights by 9pm watching a movie. The swimming pool water was too cold so only the brave ventured in. On 2 occasions my Grandson went to the pool he a rusty razor blade, both times he handed it in to an attendant & reported it. The last evening aboard the crew put on a show which was very good. Other than that the whole cruise was very BORING......Princess cruises please pick up your game. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Just returned from 14 day cruise on Sun Princess to the Fijian Islands. Will never travel on this ship again !!! It is old, the tender service was disgusting (waiting times were 1 1/2 to 2 hrs to depart and return to the ship, not enough ... Read More
Just returned from 14 day cruise on Sun Princess to the Fijian Islands. Will never travel on this ship again !!! It is old, the tender service was disgusting (waiting times were 1 1/2 to 2 hrs to depart and return to the ship, not enough tenders in the water), no tea/coffee facilities in the cabins, cabins were "drab" to look at inside (could do with some sprucing up and would be nice to have a "towel animal" to greet you upon your return to the cabin. The smoking area was in the wrong place. It was located on the pool deck, just inside the entrance door and was undercover. Of all places to have it where most of the people and children congregate !!!!!!! They have done this because of the bar that was situated there so smokers would drink and smoke at the same time. We had a constant hydraulic noise in our cabin that kept us awake for many a night, which we reported many, many times and basically it boiled down to the fact that they didn't care as they gave us a refund of $80 compensation. Don't take balcony cabin C334 !!!!! if you wanted tea/coffee from the International Café you had to pay for it but if you wanted something to eat from there it was free. I could go on and on and on but the best advice I can give you is to cruise with another ship !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
The ship was beautifully decorated with an xmas theme. We enjoyed the first half of the cruise as we chilled out and relaxed, however due to a lack of activity range on board, the second half was deadly boring. On board activities were ... Read More
The ship was beautifully decorated with an xmas theme. We enjoyed the first half of the cruise as we chilled out and relaxed, however due to a lack of activity range on board, the second half was deadly boring. On board activities were aimed at rest home level, and were regular. i.e. knitters group, craft group, bridge players group, and on it goes! There was little of interest for anyone under 50 years old and there were no new activities during the cruise. The cruise director was dreadful. He appeared lazy and stale. His jokes were weak and he repeated them often. He was rarely seen during the day and came on after each show in the evening, and many people just walked out when he came on. The singers and dancers were great, but unless you enjoy ballroom dancing and associated music, there was nothing else to do in the evening except gamble at the casino which became expensive, or drink too much. They had one deck party during the entire cruise which was great, but needed more. We love good music but there was only the princess band which had a large brass section so could be hard to listen to, a duo who where almost karaoke with their electronic backing, a quartet which played classical and the band which occasionally played on deck who were painfully out of tune and untalented (only ok to listen to after large quantities of alcohol). The nightclub mainly played disco music. Occasionally they screened concerts by good bands like tina turner or U2 on the big screen which were great, but often at 10am?? The food was amazing. Fabulous, fresh, tasty, great selection, cannot complain. We had an inside cabin which was quite adequate for us, but the beds were very hard and a bit lumpy. The itinerary sounded good, but all of the Fiji ports were just that - ports or small towns. No little islands with sandy beaches and good snorkelling and swimming unless you paid for an excursion. New Caledonia ports were good though. In general the best staff were the lower ranking ones. They couldn't do enough for you, although it soon transpired that if they put one foot out of place they were disciplined. They wouldn't even let us fill our own wine glass from the bottle on the table, or they would end up in the office of their superior. The supervisors, however in general were not great and could appear arrogant and unhelpful. Typical of such a hierarchal organisation. I would have happily fired a few and promoted their subordinates. Overall I definitely would not travel with Princess again. They have dated and slipped behind in a hugely competitive market where there are superior ships and experiences available. My advice to Sun Princess is get rid of your Cruise Director and find someone with some fresh ideas and some get up and go.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Sun Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 3.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness & Recreation 3.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.6
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 5.0 4.3
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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