January 2016 - 111 Night World Cruise (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip) Cruise on Pacific Princess
Long time to spend on a small ship
We really enjoyed sailing with the Princess line and loved the itinerary for the 17 days. Having a couple of days at sea in between ports was a bonus but as the time wore on, we found ourselves getting a little bored and if it wasn't for the beautiful weather and the poolside deck, we would have been totally without things to do. The average on this ship was 70 plus.
The ship offered several activities but there wasn't anything that really appealed to us besides the daily trivia games and some of the shows in the evenings. We only did a couple of land excursion, preferring to explore on our own, however, those that we did were very pleasant and well organized.
My biggest complaint...and that of may other passengers...was the fact that they did not offer open seating for the dining room. That left us and everyone else dining with the same people night after night after night. If you are paired up with a difficult group, 17 nights can become very tedious. We were fortunate enough to have a nice group of dining partners but still found ourselves eating in the buffet on several evenings just for some variety and change of conversation.
We discovered on the third day that the ship offered a wine package. This had not been advertised on the website and was not well known among the passengers. Since wine is expensive onboard, a package really helped alleviate the cost and we were sorry they didn't tell us pre-cruise so we could have prepaid. They also had a happy hour on sail days in the mid afternoon and at 9:00 at night. The fact that a 15% gratuity is added onto every order really makes a dent in the pocketbook, especially when you are already paying for the daily gratuity.
As for the ship, it was very small with only 600 or more passengers and by the end of three weeks you pretty much knew everyone on board and their business. A little too intimate for my taste. Many of the passengers were on board for the full "world cruise" of 180 days. I would go out of my mind being on such a small vessel for that length of time. The ship is old and everything on it is old and tired and in dire need of an upgrade. When you sat in the restaurant or lounge chairs, you sunk down so low you almost needed a winch to get up.
The casino offered four tables and a handful of slot machines that were always busy. The cabaret lounge and stage area was small and always packed.
The crew were super friendly and the staterooms immaculate...if old and dated. The food and daily selection in the dining room and at the buffet were exceptional and often the buffet would offer themed lunches that were great fun.
So, all in all, it was a pleasant experience, especially if you like small ships and long cruises.