September 2015 - Golden Princess to South Pacific
For the most part, the cruise went as expected. However, it seemed from the moment we arrived on the ship that there was something not quite up to par with the staff. I found the room stewards to be a surly lot, rarely smiling and it was difficult to even get a "good morning" out of them. The bar staff (there were specific individuals that were great) seemed to wander around the bar/deck/casino aimlessly, rarely stopping and asking if you needed anything. The food was mediocre in the dining room, the pizza was wonderful, the food at the buffet was barely edible most of the time.
As far as our ports went, Hawaii was very nice, Papeete was a major disappointment, Bora Bora would have been a disappointment had it not been for the wonderful tour that we booked (not Princess), Pago Pago was also a disappointment. All of our stops in New Zealand were wonderful, it was a shame that we missed Akaroa as we were really looking forward to it. The scenic cruising was beautiful, the onboard ranger very informative. Sydney is a beautiful city, clean and safe, we just did the hop on hop off bus and the Sunday market in The Rocks since we only had one day there.
Huge kudos to the public area cleaning staff. This ship was by far the cleanest ship that I've ever been on. I expected that the facilities would degrade as the passengers were onboard for so many sea days. Every day, the ship fairly sparkled.
Overall, I’d give this cruise a 3 ½....not terribly bad, but not as good as other Princess cruises that we have enjoyed.