March 2016 - Golden Princess to South Pacific
Our holiday didn't start off on a good note as Princess Cruises had 'upgraded' us to a room in a lousy position. We had chosen a mini suite right at the back so we wouldn't have much traffic past our door. We were given a mini suite in a high traffic area and there was nothing they could do about it as the ship was completely booked.
The cruise terminal was hot and airless with over 1000 people lined up waiting to check in.
We didn't enjoy the ship as everything was always so crowded and a lot of fellow passengers were downright rude. The piazza was crowded from sun up with the same people who sat in the same place all day until dinner time. Some of the shows were good, especially the staff "talent" show on the last night.
The menu in the dining room always had a fabulous selection and the Crown Grill restaurant was spectacular. Didn't really enjoy Sabatini's restaurant as much due to it being way too fancy and not really traditional Italian as expected.
The Gastro outbreak wasn't a pleasant experience. We were not informed of the outbreak until about 100 people were sick and they didn't really start any procedures to contain it until then. People handling food and putting their hands into bowls of chips etc, did nothing to stop the spread.
The ports were all nice but I would suggest researching the currency and exchange rates, and getting money changed before leaving Australia. Also make sure to have small denominations of $ as they don't always have the correct change to give back. Using Australian currency as suggested in the information provided isn't a good idea as the locals have trouble getting it exchanged and the currency converters don't take coins so they are stuck with Australian coins.
Every staff member we encountered was fabulous. Always friendly, helpful and happy. They would go out of their way to assist. These people were the highlight of our cruise. The cruise director, Tim Donovan was hilarious and a really genuine bloke.