I had read mixed reviews and as we had never cruised before, we went with fairly low expectations. How wrong could we have been. From arriving at Brisbane Cruise Port to disembarking ten days later - everything was SUPERB! Fantastic staff, clean cabins, plenty to do for all tastes, unlimited food
ranging in style BUT always of good quality and served with a smile. As parents who work full time and with children ranging in age from 6-20 (with kids 6/7/15 with us on the cruise) we couldn't have had a better break.
In terms of value for money (compared with previous holidays to Gold Coast, Fiji, Sunshine Coast, Queenstown etc) this could not have been better. The only downside was getting off. We were all catered for - from my sports mad, reserved husband, typical teenage boy, two young girls and me - who was grateful for all our cabin steward did and for the fact that everything the kids wanted was included for FREE! We can't wait to go again and would recommend Princess Cruises to all families - and even those who want peace and quiet can get it in the Steakhouse, the Sanctuary and in numerous other locations. No one could surely find fault.
We have done many cruises over the years and would rate our recent cruise on the Sea Princess as one of the very best ever. We sailed on her three years ago and this ship is now just so much better than before.
We had a premium oceanview cabin - there are only a few of these cabins on board on decks 9 and 11. They take up the same amount of space as a balcony cabin, but the space is all internal. From what I could see, the balconies were quite small, and the internal cabin that I saw on deck 9 would have made me very claustrophobic.
The food on board was excellent - great choices in the buffet, and in the evenings there were more choices than in the dining room. We nearly always had dinner in the dining room and found that the meals lacked a good serve of vegetables.
The crew service was amazing - in the buffet they were constantly asking if we would like water, juice (at breakfast) tea or coffee.
The ship itself is very elegant but I was surprised to find that only one bank of lifts went from top to bottom - the other two lifts went from deck 5 to deck 8 and from deck 14 to deck 7.
The shore excursions were very expensive and not good value; the port information given was often inaccurate. The entertainment team appeared to be all English - no Australians at all.
We thought the one production show was not up to standard, as were most of the speciality entertainers.
The price of beer was reasonable, but wines were very expensive. There was a New Zealand ice cream bar on the pool deck but at $A5.00 per scoop it was too expensive.
Two things that we really appreciated were that sailing from an Australian port, all gratuities were included in the fare and also for the very first time, we did not have the message "15% has been added for your convenience" for drinks purchased.
It was a great holiday and I hope our next sailings with Princess (more have been booked for later in the year) will be as good.
Beautiful ship, lots of wood work, it made us think what the Titanic must have been like. The food was glorious, some of the best dishes I have ever tasted, we had dinner in the dining room every night because of this and didn't bother with the special restaurant and couldn't possible imagine they
would be better. The massage in the spa was such good value for the price. the staff were attentive and so knowledgeable. We loved the beer garden half way through the cruise, I am now drinking Zibbibo Rose back home! And for Bingo novices we won the Jackpot! who can believe it! We attended both Wine tasting and I was amazed at how knowledgeable the crew were about their wine choices. they were also very funny and certainly kept us laughing all the while teaching us how and what to drink. Met some great people, loved our room, even had my hair done and was fascinated to hear all about the life of the crew behind the scenes. Boarding was so easy and the casino was always a lot of fun. We cannot think of a better way to spend our holidays, everything at our finger tips but full on relaxation at the same time.
This was our first ever cruise and after all the hype I must say we were a little disappointed. The food selection and quality was not up to standard and the entertainment left a lot to be desired. Everything was aimed at selling extras and we were continually harassed to purchase.
The cruise destinations were excellent and the crew were five star.
Lastly shore excursions promoted by Sea Princess were grossly overpriced and were sold to us on the basis nothing else was available if we purchase their tours. Nothing could be further from the truth as there was plenty of local transport and tours available on shore at a fraction of the price.
While the cruise was v good ,we felt we were very isolated. Because my wife was in a wheelchair we were mostly confined to the cabin, We could not hear the p/a system at all as one can't possibly leave the open channels of the TV on all the time just in case it was broadcasting. There was no current
news bulletins of Au or Qld in particular. Many of the passengers were from Qld which had an election. Holland America had a news bulletin for most nationalities every day placed in the daily blog.
We were particularly pleased with the due care and attention for wheelchair passengers during embarkation and departure as well during daily trips off the ship and in the dining rooms.
We along with most other passengers were unhappy with not being able to get off the ship on the South Island because of the weather and logistical problems. We lost a day and there was no compensation or concessions given. We virtually had only half a cruise destination wise.
While we enjoyed the cruise, the ship itself was very sad.
The air-condition did not work properly the whole cruise, everyone we spoke to had the same issue.
98% of the time the public toilets were out of order.
The entertainment was pretty much 0
If they had a band on the deck each night they might make more money at the bar.
African staff member (male) was very rude on deck 12 main bar.
Unfortunately we are booked on the same ship next Tuesday the 24th to PNG.
All I can say is hope things have improved.
After being on Royal Caribbean I guess we have been spoilt.
In my opinion the cruise was very pleasant but in the dining room we were assigned the food was not to our liking and we preferred to use the buffet in horizon court because we had a larger choice of dishes and we didnt particularly like the curtis stone menu. The tour staff appeared to be very
disorganised and on the two occasions that the tenders were needed for shore excursions they broke down and one of our excursions was cut short. From a safety point of view i would feel more secure if they worked first time as the primary purpose of thes boats is for the preservation of life in case of exreeme emergency. Cabin wise we were very happy with both the cabin and the steward we had he was marvellous. Overall we had a good time and apart from the couple of criticisms previously noted we had no other complaints and would go again but not for 42 days. The crew were courteous and helpful in every respect and we were kept up to date with information regarding the ships position and speed and expected times of arrival. On the couple of occasions where there was a problem with the ship that caused a delay we were compensated
What s great way to go on holidays ,all the places we wanted to visit with a comfy room great food and entertainment all in one place how convenient,no baggage lugging no customs In-between,no hassles.The drink prices were also reasonable priced .We would recommend a cruise to anyone who has never
We had a very relaxing time on Sea Princess travelling to New Zealand. Unfortunately, bad weather meant we missed the Auckland call and were unable to cruise in Fiordland National Park but the captain kept us well-informed and did the best he could to still ensure a positive experience.
The food was very enjoyable and a good variety was available. The only real disappointments were the breakfast in the dining room and the afternoon tea. Otherwise, the meals both in the dining room and also in the Horizon Court buffet were really good.
Entertainment was probably targeted at an older crowd than us but was still quite enjoyable. We particularly enjoyed the trivia competitions with the Cruise Director's staff. These were really great fun! We didn't go to Movies under the Stars (was a bit cold due to weather!) but the screen is amazing and I would think on a warm night would be very pleasant.
Our port calls were also great. My only complaint would be that we would have liked more time in each one! Understandably this is not possible on this length trip, but we would love to see a longer cruise that included overnights in New Zealand.
This was our first cruise and we will definitely be back!
This was a 2 night cruise, and different from their usual cruises in a few ways.
Boarding at Brisbane was crowded. Baggage handling was swift but the check-in queue at 1 p.m. was about an hour long. This was followed by an internal entry queue, then a security queue, and then you finally got on.
The interior cabin was fairly standard. It did have an LCD tv, which was about 24". Shampoo and soap are on wall pump packs. Our steward was excellent, introducing himself upfront and always providing any assistance asked for.
Dining was different for this cruise in that they just made all dining seated on arrival. i.e. although you were allocated a time (and table) it didn't matter and you just joined the queue to be allocated the next available seat when you felt like it. Given this, we decided to try the speciality restaurant the first night, and the pizza restaurant the second.
The speciality restaurant is actually just half the buffet reclaimed and lightly curtained off in the evening. Perhaps they were also busy with people trying it as service was quite slow, even though there was limited customisation of meals. At $25 a head, I found the environment and service a little disappointing. The main reason for eating there would be the better quality cuts of meats they use, and certainly the food quality was of a high standard.
The pizza restaurant on the second night was also not of the same high standard as I've experienced before. The worst was that the drink I ordered was only delivered after I'd actually finished eating the meal! Again, it was quite busy, but the service level was fairly average.
Onboard the ship, the atmosphere was just of heavy crowds around all the bars and pool decks. The buffet was regularly full and hard to find seating, and service due to the high load was not as good as it could have been. With the party crowds, there were also smokers all over the outdoor areas, and no control of that. It made many of the outdoor areas, both on top pool deck and the lower promenade deck less appealing if you didn't want to be breathing their smoke.
Unfortunately for entertainment, they had the same comedian both nights. While he was reasonable, I think it's probably more difficult for entertainers to stretch their work over multiple performances, and for the audience it's nice to have variety. Other entertainment was the usual trivia and bingo, and some pool activities. Movies were on the pool deck, but with the crowds and noise from all, it was more like a competition of noise.
Ultimately, the Princess line seemed to give the same product, but the onboard delivery was patchy and the party crowd atmosphere not appealing if you weren't only onboard to drink alcohol and smoke non-stop.
The Sea Princess took her inaugural cruise in December 1998 and was refurbished and modernised in 2012. She has room for 2,016 guests, is 857 feet long, 188 feet high and has 15 decks.
There is a total of 1,008 cabins, with rooms covering all price ranges.
Enjoy a luxurious stay in one of the six suites on board with a private balcony, or in one of the 32 mini-suites also with balconies. There are a further 372 balcony cabins and 193 cabins with views out towards the ocean, and 405 cabins inside the ship. For those requiring wheelchair access, there are 19 rooms in total available.
All rooms are richly appointed and very comfortable.
While on board, the Sea Princess has more than enough to keep you entertained between ports. There are five lounges to stop by for a drink and a chat, a Monte Carlo Club Casino, an indoor theatre for live performances and an outdoor movie theatre to watch your favourite films under the stars.
Princess Cruises runs a ScholarShip@Sea programme for the chance to learn something new, and there is a world-class art collection on board as well as art auctions for aficionados.
There are also clothing boutiques, a gym and fitness area, two outdoor pools, four hot tubs, and the new Sanctuary, which has been designed for adults only.
Decadent meals are a big part of any holiday, which is why the Sea Princess has so many fantastic choices when it comes to restaurants and eateries.
The Sterling Steakhouse and Ultimate Balcony Dining offer specialty experiences, and there are a number of less formal options such as a wine bar, buffet, grill, ice cream bar and cafe.
For something more formal, try a dinner in the Traviata Dining Room for opulent decor and indulgent meals.