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Princess Cruises: Sun Princess

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Sun Princess Review

Launched in 1995 as the first of Princess Cruises’ Sun-class ships, Sun Princess was a cruise industry pioneer. When she was christened, she set the bar for offering more staterooms with private balconies, which became a Princess signature. Sun Princess is now based in Australia year-round, sailing mainly from Sydney and Fremantle. The ship has been updated to include popular onboard venues, including The Sanctuary and Movies Under the Stars

Refined and graceful, Sun-class ships offer many of the choices attributed to larger Grand-class ships without sacrificing the smaller-ship atmosphere for which they're noted. The four-story atrium with a circular marble floor, stained-glass dome, and magnificent floating staircase are ideal settings for relaxation, people-watching, and making a grand entrance. Only Sea Princess sails Caribbean cruises; Sun and Dawn Princess are deployed in the South Pacific.

Onboard decor is a combination of neutrals and pastels, which are easy on the eyes after a sunny day ashore. The main public rooms are situated in a vertical arrangement on four lower decks, and, with the exception of promenade deck, cabins are forward and aft. In a nice design twist, the casino is somewhat isolated, and passengers aren't forced to use it as a passageway to reach dining rooms or the art deco main show lounge. Sea Princess also has an outdoor Movies Under the Stars LED screen.

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.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • You can always escape the crowds by ducking into the cozy reading room
  • No matter what flavor is on the menu, dessert soufflés can't be beat
  • On Riviera Deck a dramatic, partially shaded pool with two hot tubs appears suspended between two decks

Cons

  • Horizon Court Lido buffet restaurants occupy the far forward space, meaning there is no observatory lounge
  • There's nothing about the interior decor that'll knock your socks off
  • These are large ships but not large enough to overcome the invasive art auctions
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 900
  • Entered Service 1995
  • Gross Tons 77,000
  • Length 856 feet
  • Number of Cabins 975
  • Passenger Capacity 1,950
  • Width 106 feet
  • Service

  • Food

  • Décor

  • Value

Feb 1, 2017

Review of Sun Princess

Emily le Age: 22 Occupation:Student Number of Cruises: 1 Cruise Line: Princess Ship: Sun Princess Sailing Date: 2013-11-21 Itinerary: New Zealand This was a lovely first cruise for the family. The crew are very friendly, helpful and welcoming. We were always greeted with a smile! I can confidently say the best customer service I have had; from the stateroom stewards to the waiters. A special thanks goes to Paolo (Deck 10) our stateroom steward who

always made sure we were comfortable in our rooms and Suttipong (Marquis dining room) who was a outstanding waiter every night. The scenery was beautiful and ship well organised. The food was average, what to be expected in a buffet. The best place to eat is probably the pizza parlour on deck 8; with delicious wafer thin crust pizzas. The main downfall as other reviewers have mentioned, is the main age demographic being the older generation. This left not much for kids and younger adults to do. However; I would highly recommended this cruise to couples over 50 or people looking for a holiday to relax and spend all day eating free food! There was a extensive variety in food. However just standard quality. The stateroom was neat and tidy. Always well kept by the stateroom stewards. Quite a good variety, although mostly aimed at seniors. Pick and choose the excursions you are most interested in since they can get quite expensive.

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Dec 16, 2013

New Zealand

This was a lovely first cruise for the family. The crew are very friendly, helpful and welcoming. We were always greeted with a smile! I can confidently say the best customer service I have had; from the stateroom stewards to the waiters. A special thanks goes to Paolo (Deck 10) our stateroom steward who always made sure we were comfortable in our rooms and Suttipong (Marquis dining room) who was a outstanding waiter every night. The scenery was beautiful

and ship well organised. The food was average, what to be expected in a buffet. The best place to eat is probably the pizza parlour on deck 8; with delicious wafer thin crust pizzas. The main downfall as other reviewers have mentioned, is the main age demographic being the older generation. This left not much for kids and younger adults to do. However; I would highly recommended this cruise to couples over 50 or people looking for a holiday to relax and spend all day eating free food! There was a extensive variety in food. However just standard quality. The stateroom was neat and tidy. Always well kept by the stateroom stewards. Quite a good variety, although mostly aimed at seniors. Pick and choose the excursions you are most interested in since they can get quite expensive.

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Apr 12, 2012

New Zealand

We recently sailed to NZ on our honeymoon. This cruise is for the older generations. Just not suited to the couple. All the activities are aimed at the over 50s and were quite boring at times. There were no activities foe the younger people unless you are a child. The shore excersions were quite expensive. You could organise them your self for much cheaper. The food was fantastic, however at times it was dissappointing. We

paid extra for a port hole. The room was quite small, but sufficient. Boring. Even the night club was for the pensioners. If you can organize it yourself from a private company before you go. This will save you money. It was breathtaking scenary in Nz. Apart from it being a pensioners cruise, it was a lovely experience. I don't think you should have to pay extra for yoga and plates classes. This is a rip off.

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Feb 19, 2011

new Zealand

From the first time we stepped aboard it was WOW. It looked like a movie setand a bit unreal.the first day I requested an electric extension lead for a CPAP machine, which was at my cabin before I got back from the persers office. The staff where excelent could not fault them. the cabin (inside one) was very clean and comfortable, the bed very comfortable and did not have a problem sleeping. The food was amazing, I like the fact that you could get

a cuppa ant time and if you just wanted a snack it was available all the time at no extra charge.I thought that the entertainment was world class and some thing for every taste. We loved it so much we have booked another cruise of 35 days with them. The food was first class, lots to choose from and of a great quality. very well prepeared and served Our Cabin was very good, we had booked an inside cabin, it had enough room that we not cramped and it was kept spotless throughout the cruise. Good shower, the bed was very comfortable and we never had a problem sleeping, we had the beds in the queen size configuration they where excellent, always some thing to do or some where to go, day or night I think the excursion where very good. What we did was see what was available early and linked it to the places we wanted to go, we used the tour excursion because we had the knowledge that if some thing went wrong we were not going to miss the ship sailing, very good pease of mind We had the very best time met some wonderfull people whom we stay in contact with.The staff made the trip with there frendlyness and level of service. We saw all the places we had intended to see and had a great time doing it

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Oct 18, 2008

Pacific Rim

This was actually a 75-day Pacific Rim cruise, but with the now-familiar American spin to hype was billed as a "World Cruise." It was conducted in 3 segments, Sydney to San Francisco, San Francisco to Xingang (Beijing in the advertising, but this was actually 3 and a half hours away by bus) and Xingang to Sydney. Your reviewer was aboard for the whole nine yards. Accomodation. An outside cabin on deck 9 (Caribe) with window, but no balcony.

Although small, the cabin was comfortable enough in a pedestrian sort of way, with a choice of double or twin bedding.Plumbing problems were experienced throughout the ship, but they were usually attended to within a reasonable timeframe, but tended to recur. Certainly this vessel has no claim to the 5 stars billed, but is probably not the worst afloat. The service provided by the cabin staff was beyond reproach but we would have liked to have our window cleaned more than once in the two and a half months. Meals. There are two main a-la-carte restaurants. Breakfast and lunch are served in open sitting, no booking required, in the Marquis only. Dinner is served in two sittings, both there and in the Regency dining room, with set seating. At the time of booking, open seating was offered for dinner as well, but shortly before sailing this was withdrawn. All I can say is, 5:45 dining cuts into the afternoon activities whilst leaving you seated before you are hungry (perhaps not really a problem, because service was pretty slow) and 8:00 diners complained that their tummies were rumbling for an hour before. The fare offered would probably be quite satisfactory on a 14-night cruise, but over 75 nights, tended to be somewhat repetitive. The buffet restaurant is available 24/7, but the food is a little below par and the competition for tables can be fierce. However one has to admit that it is always there. There are several "specialty" restaurants. The Sterling Steakhouse is open for dinner only, and occupies a corner of the buffet restaurant. Not surprisingly it seems not to be terribly well patronised, with its $20 per head cover charge. Although your correspondent has not actually eaten there, anecdotal evidence suggests that the fare is much the same as offered in the a la carte restaurants. The Verdi Italian restaurant offers pizza and pasta, the former served very runny and cheesy, and the latter in small helpings, but you can of course request a second helping. At least there is no cover charge. Poolside. There is a grill which serves hamburgers, steak sandwiches, pies and pastries (if you're quick), souvlakis and various grilled sausages. This operates at lunchtimes only. There is also an ice cream bar which serves sundaes and milk shakes (at a price). By my reckoning, this makes 5 dining options, not 8 as mooted in the advertising. However I suppose it's possible that there are three more that I did not manage to find in my 75 days aboard. One should also mention the price of drinks. When we first started cruising, years ago, the duty saved by the company on alcohol passed on to the consumer so that drinks were considerably cheaper than at home. Now, not only does the company pocket the savings, it slugs the consumer an extra 15% for compulsory "tips," while still having the nerve to request an extra voluntary gratuity on the docket. Entertainment. The production shows were excellent, but infrequent. Some of the visiting artists were good, but I suspect for most you would have been very disappointed had you paid for tickets and parking to have gone to see them in a theatre ashore. There were a wide range of movies offered, both in the theatres and in-cabin television, but they certainly weren't the "first-run" movies promised in the pre-cruise advertising. The best-attended activities seemed to be twice-daily team trivia contests, contract bridge play, dancing lessons and the casino. And, of course, later sessions of snowball bingo. Some guest lecturers drew an audience, but, as their appearances were recorded for next-day broadcast on TV, most preferred this option. The disco appeared to be a no-man's-land, apart for those poor souls who needed somewhere that smoking was permitted indoors. Speaking of TV, you could have been forgiven for thinking that you were cruising out of Galveston or Seattle. For the first 9 weeks, only US stations were aired live. The rationalization that they were the only ones available was somewhat unconvincing when one was sailing two days out of Sydney but unable to watch Australian TV. Thankfully two weeks out we were treated to one Australian channel so that we were able to view AFL/NRL finals. Staff. Cabin crew were excellent, as were the waiting staff, mainly. It was not their fault that service was slow - the system seemd too cumbersome. The cruise staff themselves were also in the main excellent, although the cruise director seemed out of her depth in the role, but her support was great. Facilities. These were of a fairly high standard - the interior was kept spotless throughout and maintenance seemed adequate, except for the plumbing, with burst pipes being commonplace throughout the cruise. Laundry facilities also left much to be desired - ship's laundry obviously being unable to dry washing other than in a hot dryer, resulting in shrinkage of clothes, whilst passenger laundries seemed not to be maintained at all. With two washing machines/dryers per passenger floor already being less than adequate, when any one failed the result was further inconvenience and when both failed, as happened in at least one laundry, catastrophe. At least one machine was inoperative when we first left Sydney and had not been repaired during the entire cruise. Ports. There were 29 listed for this cruise; one was bypassed completely. One gets the impression from reading other reviews that this is not a rarity on Princess cruises and one wonders if this is not perhaps a device to save on berthing fees to help the company's bottom line. Certainly when Kodiak was bypassed no compensation was offered to the passengers who had paid to visit that port. When the itinerary was first published, Nukua`Lufa was offered as a port but by sailing time had been deleted, without explanation, in favour of Dravuni Island. Beijing and Ho Chi Minh City were also on the itinerary, although the ship actually berthed some distance away and an 7-hour return (minimum) bus trip was required to visit them. Then again, the actual time spent in any port was only 6 to 10 hours, grossly inadequate in such ports as Honolulu, San Francisco, Vancouver and Hong Kong. And the number of ports visited on a Sunday when nothing was open, was ridiculous. General Comments. She is certainly a tired ship, badly in need of a refit and replumbing. One boards with high expectations but over the trip this tends to evaporate into something resembling resignation. One is always feeling the company's hand in one's hip pocket and delivering value-for-money appears to be an outmoded concept. Tipping. A word to the wise. Unless prompt action is taken, you will find that about $10/day/person will be charged to your shipboard account for "tips". In our case, this would have inflated our fare by a further $1500. Should you wish to travel with this company, be sure to visit the purser's desk and decline to pay this "tax". If you wish to tip for good service, do so of your own free will for those who deserve it.

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