Back To Line

Princess Cruises: Diamond Princess

Diamond Princess Review

Launched in 2004, Diamond Princess, and her sister ship Sapphire Princess are the only two ships in the fleet that were built in Japan. Recent renovations have added many of the cruise line’s most popular signature elements, including Movies Under the Stars

and The Sanctuary, a tranquil adults-only haven.

Launched in the same year, these sister ships include all the features traditionally enjoyed on Princess's Grand-class vessels, but with a twist. They're larger than their Grand-class fleetmates, yet carry fewer passengers relative to their size. As a result, they have sleeker profiles, a higher ratio of space per person and feel much roomier.

Inside, the arrangement of public rooms is a bit different, with the signature Wheelhouse Bar moved forward of its position on Grand-class ships and, in its place, an expanded Internet Café, where beverages and snacks are served. An Asian-theme full-service spa offers a relaxing thermal suite, for a fee. All the elements of a Princess ship are here, particularly the small-ship atmosphere and sparkling, yet understated, interior decor.

Princess Cruises may be best known for introducing cruise travel to millions of viewers, when its flagship became the setting for The Love Boat television series in 1977. Since that heady time of small-screen stardom, the Princess fleet has grown both in the number and size of ships. Although most are large in scale, Princess vessels manage to create the illusion of intimacy through the use of color and decor in understated yet lovely public rooms graced by multimillion-dollar art collections.

Princess has also become more flexible; Personal Choice Cruising offers alternatives for open seating dining (when you wish and with whom you please) and entertainment options as diverse as those found in resorts ashore.

Lovely chapels or the wide-open decks are equally romantic settings for weddings at sea with the captain officiating.

Read More

What You Should Know

Pros

  • The higher passenger-to-space ratio of these two ships offers a less crowded feel than most of the Princess fleet
  • Closets opposite the bathroom leave cabin entrances unobstructed by multiple doors
  • The Churchill Lounge is a popular spot for smokers, leaving other public rooms almost smoke free

Cons

  • The four intimate open seating dining rooms are smaller than on other Princess ships and can fill up fast
  • There is a charge for specialty coffee drinks and premium ice cream
  • To walk all around the ship on promenade deck you’ll have to negotiate a flight of stairs
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 1,100
  • Entered Service 2004
  • Gross Tons 116,000
  • Length 952 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,337
  • Passenger Capacity 2,670
  • Width 123 feet

By Mike_CR

  • New

Jul 9, 2012

Alaska

The Diamond princess was our first cruise with the princess cruise line. We were very happy with all the aspects of the cruise. Over all we had a fantastic experience with Princess. If you are thinking about Alaska, the Diamond Princess is a great way to go. We had the anytime dinning feature and enjoyed the opportunity to try the four different dining rooms. The menu in each was the same, except for the fact that a daily special was

offered. This special was not on the menu and was given to you by your waiter. We enjoyed the service in the Santa Fe and Savoy the best. The food was good and well seasoned. As like any cruise you could order as many appetizers, entrees, and desserts as you wish. We had six people in our group, so dinner was always an hour and a half to two hour event. We did breakfast in the Horizon court (buffet). They had a wide selection of food from cold cereal to egg omelets to order. They offered many different fresh fruits and pastries and breads. The staff was constantly changing out the food to keep fresh items available. Each day during the lunch hours they provided a theme buffet. We found this food to be very good and fresh as well. Our only complaint was in the specialty restaurant Sterling Steak house. This cost $20 person and is noted as one of the best places to eat on the ship. I need to be very specific, the food (steak) was outstanding. The service on the other had was about as bad as I have every had at any restaurant. We were ignored for the first 25 to 30 minutes, then we almost had to beg to get our water refilled. Just a poor experience from start to finish. We had a balcony room which was so nice. They did a good job of giving each side of the ship the same equal time while viewing the glaciers. So nice to sit on your balcony and watch large chunks of ice 100's of years old fall into the sea. My wife got coffee delivered to the room each morning, always at the time she requested. Good size room and bathroom considering you are on a ship. The shows were all good, but none were outstanding. The last night members of the crew staff performed and they were very entertaining. The cruise director (Kelvin) and assistant (Dan) were tremendous. The games and shows they emceed were do not miss events. The under the stars movies are not to be missed. They give you blankets to keep warm. They serve warm cookies and popcorn. The Zip line in Juneau The Diamond princess was our first cruise with the princess cruise line. We were very happy with all the aspects of the cruise. We arrived in Whittier after riding the train from Denali. While the line was long, it moved well and we were on the ship in a short period of time. I used the spa service every day. The steam room was always hot and the showers in the spa were well stocked and larger than the showers in the room. We found the staff to be friendly and helpful for the most part. A few crew members did not seem to know where some places where on the ship, however, for the most part they were courteous. The drink prices were very fair, much better than RC (Royal Caribbean). Princess lets each person bring on board one bottle of alcohol. Over all we had a fantastic experience with Princess. If you are thinking about Alaska, the Diamond Princess is a great way to go.

Read More

By Mike_CR

  • New

Jul 9, 2012

Alaska

The Diamond princess was our first cruise with the princess cruise line. We were very happy with all the aspects of the cruise. Over all we had a fantastic experience with Princess. If you are thinking about Alaska, the Diamond Princess is a great way to go. We had the anytime dinning feature and enjoyed the opportunity to try the four different dining rooms. The menu in each was the same, except for the fact that a daily special was

offered. This special was not on the menu and was given to you by your waiter. We enjoyed the service in the Santa Fe and Savoy the best. The food was good and well seasoned. As like any cruise you could order as many appetizers, entrees, and desserts as you wish. We had six people in our group, so dinner was always an hour and a half to two hour event. We did breakfast in the Horizon court (buffet). They had a wide selection of food from cold cereal to egg omelets to order. They offered many different fresh fruits and pastries and breads. The staff was constantly changing out the food to keep fresh items available. Each day during the lunch hours they provided a theme buffet. We found this food to be very good and fresh as well. Our only complaint was in the specialty restaurant Sterling Steak house. This cost $20 person and is noted as one of the best places to eat on the ship. I need to be very specific, the food (steak) was outstanding. The service on the other had was about as bad as I have every had at any restaurant. We were ignored for the first 25 to 30 minutes, then we almost had to beg to get our water refilled. Just a poor experience from start to finish. We had a balcony room which was so nice. They did a good job of giving each side of the ship the same equal time while viewing the glaciers. So nice to sit on your balcony and watch large chunks of ice 100's of years old fall into the sea. My wife got coffee delivered to the room each morning, always at the time she requested. Good size room and bathroom considering you are on a ship. The shows were all good, but none were outstanding. The last night members of the crew staff performed and they were very entertaining. The cruise director (Kelvin) and assistant (Dan) were tremendous. The games and shows they emceed were do not miss events. The under the stars movies are not to be missed. They give you blankets to keep warm. They serve warm cookies and popcorn. The Zip line in Juneau The Diamond princess was our first cruise with the princess cruise line. We were very happy with all the aspects of the cruise. We arrived in Whittier after riding the train from Denali. While the line was long, it moved well and we were on the ship in a short period of time. I used the spa service every day. The steam room was always hot and the showers in the spa were well stocked and larger than the showers in the room. We found the staff to be friendly and helpful for the most part. A few crew members did not seem to know where some places where on the ship, however, for the most part they were courteous. The drink prices were very fair, much better than RC (Royal Caribbean). Princess lets each person bring on board one bottle of alcohol. Over all we had a fantastic experience with Princess. If you are thinking about Alaska, the Diamond Princess is a great way to go.

Read More
  • New

Jun 19, 2010

Diamond Princess

The Diamond Princess is beautiful ship. Princess is the only way to go. We did the 7 day cruise from Vancouver to Whitier Alaska and then we boarded the train into Denali for a 9 hour ride. The train was a little long but nice. We did 5 days on land. Two night at Denali lodge and one night at Mt. Mckinley and the on to Anchorage where we spent one night at the Captain Cook and then we flew from Anchorage to Vancouver and spent the night at The Fairmont

at the airport and then flew home to Tennessee the next day. The overall trip was absolutely amazing all the wildlife we saw, the seaplane ride in Ketichan, if you want to do this book with SEAWIND AVIATIONS-- STEVE KHAMM, you won't be sorry, he is the best pilot. We had so much fun. In Juneua we did whale watching we say humback and orcas. The whole trip was a dream come too. Princess took care of all our luggage and suttles and buses for the whole trip we had no worries. Princess you are the best!!!!!!!!!! This was my 7th cruise and I will book with Princess again and again!!! em tennessee The food was wondeful, everything we ate, in the buffet or in the main dinning room it was great. Our stateroom was spacious, we had the best stateroom attendant always there to help us. My husband and I was really interested in on board activies we where there for the Alasa scenery. These are things that are a must to do!! Seaplane ride in Ketchikan, Whale watching in Juneua, the white pass summit train ride in skagway. If you are thinking of taking a trip to Alaska and doing the cruise and land tour, donot hestate to book with Princess, espaecially the Diamond princess they take care of you all the way. No worries. This was our second trip to Alaska. We loved it the weather was good every day except one day it drizzed.

Read More
  • New

Sep 9, 2009

Vancouver to Whittier Inside Passage

We had an amazing cruise! This being our first cruise. It was a great experience. The ship was amazing. It was huge, clean and well maintained. We had a room pretty much in the center of the ship and except for a slight jerk, did not feel anything. All the public palces were very well maintained, nicely furnished etc. On the first day they try to sell you the soda stuff like crazy! I understood that it was the normal process though and they were gone

by the morning of the second day. We had amazing weather (thank god). There was absolutely no rain; it was clear and sunny. We saw all the glaciers. The captain was great in giving updates and the park rangers who got onboard were very good. The food was very, very good. We got special order Indian food on dinner for all days. We probably could have done that for lunch also, but because of the uncertain nature of our sleep times and other activities, we did not. We had lunch generally at the Lido deck on the horizon court. The food was always available and the presentation was awesome. They were refilling constantly and accommodated all our requests. We requested hot milk for our son three times a day and it was available in minutes. The service people were very friendly and helpful. For breakfast I went to the Trident grill for special omlets and fresh waffles and it was just awesome (wish we had that kind of service at home every day). Food is always available in one place or the other. I took the coffee card and it was okay, everything cappucino, latte, mocha etc tasted the same. I would avoid that on the next trip. We do not drink soda or alcohol...so we cannot comment on that. We had a few virgin drinks and they were very good. My son had pizza a few times and it was very very tasty. Same with the french fries that I packed for snaks in the afternoon. They provided free cone icecreams (vanilla and chocolte) and that was a pleasant surprise. The coffeee, iced tea, lemonade etc all were of good quality. A note for vegetarians, particularly Indians: if you want Indian food, make sure you register and put your request once you enter the ship. It does not matter what you do before you get on to the ship. What you do on the ship is what is taken care of. Once you tell them about your vegetarian needs, everything is taken care of. They provide so much food for two people! Sometime we felt bad we are wasting so much. We had a Balcony stateroom on the Baja deck. Our room attendant was Orlando. He was very very friendly and a really nice guy. Was very playful and friendly with our son. He took care of the rooms like they were his own and was always smiling. The balcony was very very nice and useful. We paid twice the amount for our room, compared to a inside stateroom. I felt that since being our first cruise and also having a 4 year old, we should not feel claustrophobic. I feel that the first impression is always the best impression. It was worth the money. Most of the glaciers were on our side (port side) and we had tremendous views of sunset. There were plenty of onboard activities but we did not take part in any due to lack of time. The daycare (Fun Zone) for kids was just awesome. Misty and gang there at funzone were great and took care of the kids very very well. Cannot comment on excursions since we did everything on our own. Everything was great about the trip! Our flights from Baltimore to Vancouver and return from Anchorage were all on time. The cruise was on time. It was a great feeling once we hit the port at Vancouver. We drop our suitcases to the cruise guys and that's it....immigration and customs was a breeze...there are so many people to help you. Once that was over, you get to the Princess counter and everything is ready for you. They give you the information cards, your onboard cards...it was great. Also the way they provide information every night on next day's activities was great and useful (too much literature at sometimes). Lot of paper could be saved. We got into the ship by noon on saturday. We were able to get a good lunch, look around the ship and take a nap, before it left port around 4.40p.m. One of our bags did not arrive till about 4p.m and I was worried...but turned out it was delivered to our adjacent room by mistake. The 7 days went by really fast! We saw 10-15 whales on Sunday on our way to Ketchikan. All the three stopovers: Ketchikan, Skagway and Juneau were good. We did some shopping, the usual t-shirts, magnets etc. The best part of the trip was the glaciers. Mendanhall was a disappointment though. Margerie glacier in Glacier bay and the Harvard Glacier in Prince William sound were unbelievable. There are no words to describe. Piece of advice: if you are looking for cruise for first time, don't think twice. Book a inside stateroom as they are cheap. They're $500 per person for seven days. They are 3 star accomodations and 4 star food. What more do you want? Additionally you do not have to drive. It is definitely worth it.

Read More
  • New

Aug 26, 2009

Alaska

This was my first cruise. You need to know that I brought by daughters (12 and 14) and had two adjoining balcony staterooms-port side, upper decks (Aloha). My family and I very much enjoyed the cruise. If you've never been crusing before, it is largely what you have heard. There are a lot of seniors and the general vibe on the boat leans that way. The entertainment is good-fun dance shows etc. - but again, it is the sort of thing you would expect

on a cruise ship. I'm not putting it down, its just that if you go onboard expecting it to be beyond your wildest dreams, like any other trip, it will let you down. I wouldn't recommend the casino as the slots are set at payoff levels that are really low. I liked the in house band. They did a lot of covers of rock songs that were sort of cheesy, but fun to listen to. The dance show we went to was good, but clearly aimed at an older crowd. It was a history of dance and ends it with the seventies and disco (my kids noticed that hip hop was missing and, to be fair, it is big omission). But, again, who really cares? If you are getting on a ship expecting to see the finals of So You Think You Can Dance - you are asking more than they can provide unless you want to double your passage. There is so much to do during the day for kids that if you have a family I think it is definitely worth taking them. The 10-12 group was especially good. They might think about doing a 13-15 and 15-17 group because the 13-17 group makes it difficult for the kids at both ends of that age group to relate (big developmental differences). Meaning, my 12 year old loved her group - my 14 year old not so much. I was blown away by the quality of service. We had any time dining but ended up in the Sante Fe room where the waiters new our names, remembered what we ordered the night before. I didn't care for the check in process of embarkation, but it wasn't the Princess end of it so much as it was American immigration in Vancouver (you have to go back through INS because you are heading to Alaska from Canada). That is more a problem with the nonsense of US law than a fault of Princess. If you have the cash, however, I would recommend spending the night in Vancouver before boarding. We muscled it out and flew from LA to Seatle to Vancouver and the journey started at 3:00 Am, we were a bit fried by the time we got on the boat. The food is good, often very good (they do a crab and lobster night); but you won't find a lot of serious spice or anything that really grabes the taste buds (I would imagine the general demographic would have a problem with a lot of spice). Like you've heard, there is a lot of it - almost to the point of being gross. In the buffet they serve it up on platters. We did the premium Italian one night (you pay an extra 20 per person), and it was very good as well. There were multiple courses and excellent service. We also did both wine tastings. They will try to sell you the wine and, frankly, the prices aren't bad for the high end stuff, but we just tasted. It was still fun and interesting. Like I said above, my perception was that they really could have a few dishes that have some serious kick to them (but I'm a spice head). If you are still active, there is a gym on board. I ran the deck, it was great because you get your work out in and still get to see all of the cool stuff. The rooms were great! They had comfortable beds (like a very good hotel - not high end, but very good). The bathrooms are not huge, but very adequate. There is great water pressure in the shower (I know that sounds trivial but if you travel a lot you know what I mean). Our room steward (hey Leno) was excellent. The bed was mysteriously turned down each night. He kept the rooms clean without lurking around. The balcony made the room for me. I had no problem with sea sickness, despite a couple of rocky nights (they pick up the speed at night to get to the next port and the ocean, while very calm in this area, was choppy enough to rock the boat a bit). I think being able to have an open balcony helps with that. A tip-I would reserve on Aloha or one below if I was going for the balcony again because the balcony is covered by the floor above. The lower deck balconies are exposed and it will rain in that area from time to time. BTW-the Port side actually seemed to be better for viewing. The captain will turn the ship for both sides to view glaciers, but they seemed to naturally come up on the Port side more on the Northern passage. I was concerned that Port wouldn't be as good. If you are really tight on funds, I wouldn't do a cruise. The cost will be too dear and you will, therefore, expect more than anything they can offer. The booze is extra, and there are some things to buy on board that will catch the eye. I think it is possible to just do the ship and not excursions. I know my parents who did this in their seventies didn't do excursions. I really enjoyed the shore excursions-particularly the Iditarod Dog camp in Juneau. Yes, everything is a bit pricey, but not unreasonably so in my view. If you have the funds (and this one was pretty cheap) to do the Rainforest tour in Ketchikan. You'll see bears, reindeer, eagles and you will get wet. Additoinally, you will be simply blown away by the glaciers and wild life that surround the boat. We had killer whales and hump backs right off of our rooms on many occasions. We did: Juneau Dog Sleds- We loved this, but you need to love dogs. These are real dogs, and they smell and howl and pull you and you get to see dogs the way the are supposed to be: active and real and slightly uncivilized. You get to hold the pupies at the end. Rainforest Expedition- We loved it despite being drenched. Whale Watching in Skagway with Salmon Feed (best meal of the trip-out door) - Saw many, many whales and the Salmon Feed was excellent. Eagle Santuary Jet Boat Adventure- This was very cool. You really get back into the woods and see eagles. Everything else was hiding. It was fun to talk to the guys who work there and hear about living in Alaska, one of the last free places. Overall: if you have the cash and aren't looking for perfection go for it. If you are looking to be annoyed, it won't matter where you are, you are there. It is an awesome experience. I think the crew generally goes out of their way to be helpful. There are lines at the purser's desk from time to time. It's good to be flexible. I would definitely cruise with Princess again. BTW, the Holland American ship left Vancouver with us and followed us around. By comparision, I felt sorry for the Holland American passengers. The Diamond was really the best looking ship out there and seemed to have priorty docking (front docking) at the ports we were in.

Read More

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?

Service

Food

Décor

Value

Cruise Forums

Have a cruising question? Ask our Fodorite community.

Cruise News

Read our latest news about cruises.

Store

Shop our travel guides on European, Caribbean, and Alaskan cruises.

Back To Top

No Thanks