The ship is only two years old so it's in great shape. On demand movies and TV shows was nice. The only live TV was new channels and 2 sports channels. It would have been nice to have at least the three major US networks on there. The one thing I wish Princess would consider is to have the port times later on the Australia/New Zealand cruises. The majority of the animals in these two countries are noctornal, so if you're on a day excursion, all you get to do is see an animal sleep. (Not too exciting).
5 out of 5
Embarkation was one of the best we've ever experienced. No lines. Friendly folks
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
We ate at the buffet every morning and found the food good. Even though there seemed to be a large variety, after a few days, we felt like we were eating the same thing over and over and wanted something new. They pre-toast their breads and they were so hard it was inedible. They need to toast bread to order. They had something similar to an Egg Muffin and again, because they were pre-made, the muffin was hard and really detracted from the sandwich. Biscuits were the same way. We ate at the dinner buffet twice and was disappointed both times. The buffet had a major Asian influence with very little "American"-type food. We found food to eat but it was not what we really wanted. The main dining room food was good. The service was incredible. Several nights, we ordered beef and was disappointed in the toughness or amount of gristle. I love desserts and was disappointed in the lack of what I consider great desserts.
4 out of 5
We enjoyed Bingo on the ship but the only negative was the location. It was held in the Princess Live and if there was another activity prior to or immediately after Bingo, the outside area was so congested, that normal traffic could not get through and tempers got a bit testy at times. Line dancing had a huge following. So much so that the area they held it in was too small and the instructor couldn't be seen. Because it was held in the Piazza, the instructor should have gone up a deck and directed from there where everyone could see her. The weather was too cold to enjoy the outdoor pools, but we did enjoy the hot tubs in the indoor area. The only negative in the indoor area was the number of chairs that were "held" by personal belongings and yet no one every sat in them. (This has been true on every other ship we've sailed on as well.) It would be nice if they would enforce the rule about chairs left unoccupied for 30 minutes would being cleaned off.
4 out of 5
We saw just about every show during the duration of the trip. The show that was talked about on Princess' website was disappointing. They touted the fact that it had drones (which it did) but I was really expecting a bit more than them flying around a singer. The rest of the show seemed disjointed and didn't flow. The other shows were very good and most of their specialty entertainers were good. The magician/illusionist was just OK. The majority of his show was card tricks where he had to use a camera and overhead screen so you could see what he was doing. It looses something when you have to watch a screen to see the illusion.
We did not have any children with us
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Ships personnel were very personable and our room steward was amazing. I have a unique way of making up the bed to incorporate a quilt I always bring. After the first night, the steward picked up on it and made up our bed that way for the rest of the cruise. The waiters were efficient and personable.
5 out of 5
The ship was well maintained and very clean. It was a very easy ship to navigate.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
The cabin size was adequate. Our previous two sailing on another cruise line had a sofa in the cabin for the third bed. This cabin had a stow away bed in the ceiling. We missed the sofa in that we only had the desk chair to sit in other than the bed. The closet was very large and they had a nice supply of hangers. We also liked not having a minibar in the refrigerator so we could use it to store bottled water, ice, etc. The bed itself was very comfortable as was the bedding (which Princess takes great pride in). However, I did not like the pillows. They were too soft. All four pillows on the bed were just alike.
We arrived in Sydney two days early and toured the Opera House the day we arrived. The next day we toured the Blue Mountains, Featherdale Animal Sanctuary, and took a ferry cruise along the harbor. We climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge the morning of our cruise and that was amazing! The picture they took of us on the top of the bridge has the Majestic Princess on one side of us and the Opera House on the other!
We were unable to book the cruise we wanted through the ship so we hired a private company and had a wonderful tour of Healesville Sanctuary, a vineyard with lunch at their restaurant and a trip along some rural areas where we observed kangaroos in the "wild".
We visited Mt. Fields National Park. We stopped in the town of Norfolk and bought lunch (to be eaten later) and then toured the park. The park hike was lovely and we walked to their two waterfalls. The second waterfall is a fairly steep climb and several in our group couldn't make it. After the park we had a picnic lunch and then went to Boolorong Sanctuary which was the best of the animal preserves we visited. Kangaroos were in abundance and they had complimentary food to feed them. That was a once in a lifetime experience.
We took an excursion that included a tour of the city and then a four hour train ride. The train was unique in that each car was from different eras. It was interested to walk through them and see how rail cars have changed over the years. We saw a lot of natural beauty and a peak into the history of that area.
If you're into geothermal sites, this is the port for you. We visited the Pohutu Geyser (and got to see it erupt) in Rotorua and then travelled to Hell's Gate where we saw bubbling mud pots and other sulphuric sites. We also visited a kiwi farm and saw several other sites of the area.
We did not do an excursion in Auckland. We went directly from the ship to the airport. The only negative was that our airlines did not open their check in until an hour after we got there. What a mess! The airport itself is very nice with a lot of shopping and places to eat, but they really need to do something about keeping check in areas open 24/7 - especially since they're an international airport.
3 out of 5
We were over 30 minutes late from our estimated time of departure. We had to vacate our cabin at 8 a.m. and then had to wait in an assigned lounge. Seating was limited and then being delayed was disappointing.
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