First Family Cruise

Star Princess Cruise Review to Hawaii

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 14

Overall rating:

4.7 out of 5
Star Princess

15 Night Hawaiian Islands (Los Angeles Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 03, 2018

Ship: Star Princess

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: E520

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Overall, worth the price and extra time off of work.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
We were told in the Princess materials to board between 1-3pm on embarkation day, but found out we had friends who boarded around 12pm that day so we would have liked more time on the ship before sailing. We would have checked more bags with the porter to make things smoother and handed the kids their own birth certificates and IDs to deal with. Bring power strips and other things with you through security since they know the rules better than the cruise ship personnel that scan your bags on the ship and may be new.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Mainly ate the buffet since I'm vegetarian and they have more selection. The Capri dining room was our assigned dining room and they had some good things, we would check the menu each day before deciding to eat at the buffet. I'm a dessert person so I would try all the desserts in the buffet and then check the International Cafe to see if they had any other treats. The vanilla panecotta and cream donuts were my favorites, but hardly were in stock. I bought the soda package and do not regret it. It was about $120 for a 15 day cruise and I chugged Coke non-stop. I even got root beer and then took my cup over to the ice cream stand to put some vanilla ice cream in it. Do that twice a day and it pays for itself since non-alcoholic a-la-cart drinks are around $4 each. Our cruise buddies said Holland America has better food, but I was pleased with the fresh selections each day and never got tired of the buffet.

Vista Lounge

5 out of 5

Very cozy and nice to watch shows and live music. Most of the trivia activities were in here.

Trident Grill

5 out of 5

Go-to venue for my kids. They got burgers and Fries (or just bowls of fries) everyday. They had veggie burgers and hot dogs, brats, and Texas bbq. There is no reason to wait in line, if there is a line, just wait 30 mins

Pizzeria

2 out of 5

The cheese was gross, but would be great if it had quality ingredients.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
The activities definitely catered to the over-70 crowd with tons of shopping, trivia and history seminars. Gary our cruise director was awesome as well as his staff, Jody in particular. I would have appreciated more karaoke during the day like I've seen on other cruises. We will definitely look at the ship a little closer to change ports if needed to find the best itinerary and ship. My family and I went into the spa/pool quite a bit so that is a plus with traveling with the seniors since they don't go in the pool as much.

Terrace Pool

5 out of 5

Same as the spa, always open unless the seas were rough. It was fun to swim when the water was sloshing and had 1-2 ft waves on the ship!

Hot Tubs

5 out of 5

Always open and nice. That's a plus about going on a cruise with tons of elderly.

Fine Arts Gallery

5 out of 5

Loved the Disney art and very friendly staff.

Deck Chess

5 out of 5

Very exciting for my son who grew in his love for chess playing by the open ocean. Just watch out for rude kids walking through your game :)

Cybergolf

1 out of 5

Closed the whole time and could never find a staff member to try it out. No signs to say if out of order or not and nothing in the Patter each night to say hours or situation, etc.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
The nightly shows were good, especially with the on-board singers, dancers and orchestra.

Explorers Lounge

5 out of 5

The live band (First in Charge) would play here all the time and they played everything. Such a good cover band. Karaoke was here about 3 nights.

Princess Theater

5 out of 5

Heartbeat of the ship (entertainment-wise). Had to get to the theater 45 mins before a show to get decent seats. The last show of the day was always open and you could walk in 10 mins before the show to find a seat.

Movies Under The Stars

4 out of 5

It was a little chilly and difficult to hear sometimes, would have liked more movies in the Princess Theater

Children's Programs

3 out of 5
Our kids tried them out for one day and they were bored. For my 16-yr-old there weren't any kids and only had a skeeball lane and a place to chill which she could do anywhere. For my 12-yr-old, he would have stayed if they had more Nintendo Switch games. They only had one game!

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Great service, but had some grumpy staff. Edgardo/Bong/Maria were awesome bartenders. Jody and Gary were awesome with the activities.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Older ship but was taken care of at the beginning of the cruise, could tell things were falling apart more and more toward the end of the cruise. Leaks and clogs especially.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
COMPLETELY obstructed "view" of the tender boat so we should have either upgraded to a balcony or got an inside cabin. CHECK YOUR RESERVATION CLOSELY. After the cruise I saw "completely obstructed" view in our fine print so I couldn't complain -- fool me once.

Ship tip

Board earlier than advertised, carry the bare minimum, but questionable items you don't want to haggle with the crew about (power strips especially). We would have bought an oceanview and then waited to get the balcony upgrade offer to get a better room at a decent price. It was difficult for me to keep good water on hand so the soda package was awesome and convenient since there are bars everywhere, but you had to go to deck 14 to get water. Some clubs had water, but would run out quickly.

Ports of call

San Pedro (Los Angeles), California

5 out of 5
Stayed at the Double Tree in Sand Pedro and got the parking package so we could leave our car there for the 15-day trip. Well worth it since the car was safe and it's $18/day to park at the port anyway. Ended up being about a $90 room on the water when you take in the parking cost.

Hilo, Hawaii

5 out of 5
Next time we'll go to Kona. Volcanoes National Park wasn't as cool as I thought it would be and our tour booked through hawaiicruiseexcursions.com took us to a bunch of gift shops instead of places to see/learn.

Honolulu, Oahu

5 out of 5
Great tour with Roland at tourswithlocals.com -- he was the best. Saw the whole island and was very pleased with the long day in Oahu.

Nawiliwili, Kauai

5 out of 5
John with Kauai Island Shuttle was awesome. Took us to the North Shore and saw two waterfalls close up.

Lahaina, Maui

5 out of 5
Just walked around Lahaina and shopped and took at taxi down the road to the Marriott resort to relax.

Ensenada, Mexico Did not visit port

Nothing to do but shop, felt safer on the ship and didn't want to see beggars

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Fast, should have signed up for an earlier disembarkation. If you don't fill out the form, you get what you get.
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