We all cruise for different reasons. I like the food and the ports of call best. I had a mini-suite on this ship. The spaciousness was fab, including a large sunken tub in the bathroom. However, there were two things that should definitely have been MUCH better: the quality of the food and the degree of professionalism of certain personnel working in the Lotus Spa. I was so looking forward to a great meal the first night leaving from Vancouver to Alaska. I was just desperately disappointed with the selection and quality of the food. IN addition, their pay-extra restaurant options are not worth the $30 for 2 payments. While the food was better there than in the dining room, (anything would be!) it wasn't worth $30 extra. The only things they didn't screw up were things they didn't have to "make," like fruit plates, sliced smoked salmon, you get the idea. BEST FOOD ON SHIP: Prego's Pizza! Seriously. I am a gourmet food lover but since none was available, I found that the pizza was superb! Great homemade crust, hand tossed, with creative toppings that changed daily. With regard to the spa, their "sanctuary" is really nice. It is where you can go and sit in aromatic steam or sauna and other niceties. However, I take issue with one of their employees for their lack of tact. The first night onboard (after my disappointing meal) I went for a massage. All of the girls are from England who do the different spa services. I spent almost a thousand dollars in the spa for different treatments but would not go back to the same girl I had the first night. (Yes, they soak you with the cost!) However, that is not my "beef." The girl I had my first spa treatment with for a massage apparently was never told how to properly finish a session. She never told me when our session was over or left the room. She just abruptly stopped and sat next to the table. We had great waiters in the Capri dining room: Francesco from Italy and Gyorgy from Hungary. We sat with them almost every night. They were a lot of fun. The best part about the ship was its enormous size and its itinerary. It is the largest ship to ever sail to Alaska (I was on the inaugural sailing). I loved all of the places we went to and was so glad to have been able to go to Glacier Bay and College Fjord, as well as the towns of Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, and especially loved Seward. If you only care about a lovely, spacious room to sleep in and a fabulous itinerary, then this is the ship for you. Also, I should mention, the entertainment was pretty decent. If you, like me, look forward to culinary excellence as part of your cruise experience, avoid this ship because you will be sorely displeased. I've never been on a Carnival ship, but I'm sure their food must be better than the food we had on this ship, despite the rumors to the contrary. This was my first Princess cruise. My grandfather and his companion travel all over the world on Princess and have for so many years I thought I would like it. Maybe the food is better on other ships of theirs. I'll tell you, I hesitate to go on another Princess ship if their food is as bad as on the Star Princess. There are just too many other ships to go on that have amazing cuisine.
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