Sail Date: December 2018
Great price and great itinerary. First time in south America and enjoyed the heck out of it. we enjoyed this trip and met a lot of friendly people. Embarkation process went smoothly even though our bus from the airport was late arriving to ... Read More
Great price and great itinerary. First time in south America and enjoyed the heck out of it. we enjoyed this trip and met a lot of friendly people. Embarkation process went smoothly even though our bus from the airport was late arriving to the port. Disembarkation also went smoothly. Our waiters (Renato and Nikki) at Portofino Dining Room are very professional and the Head waiter Sebastian was superb. These people took care of us for 30 days. Our cabin was always very clean. Our steward (Michael) always go out of his way to make sure our cabin was cleaned and sanitized. All ports were exciting even though lots of guest were scared to go out to one specific port because of the letter sent to all guests by the ship. My wife and I are planning to take another 30 day cruise this coming April 2019. Have a happy New Year to everyone. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
The basics: Howdy. I went on the 30-day encompassing travel from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires. Travel was part of a family/family friends unit accompanying passengers in their 60s and 70s, one with mobility, non-wheelchair ... Read More
The basics: Howdy. I went on the 30-day encompassing travel from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires. Travel was part of a family/family friends unit accompanying passengers in their 60s and 70s, one with mobility, non-wheelchair considerations; we're mostly a group that wanted to see the sights and hopefully get an inkling of the life of the region with less emphasis on the bells and whistles of cruise life/services and holiday cruising. Some, but not extensive cruising experience prior to this one. All in all, I feel that our days were lucky and well spent with very comfortable service/passage, interesting ports, and fortunate weather with the caveat and advice that the experience is also more driven by your own efforts, energy, and embracing come what may of the cruise experience. Ship: Ship spaces are generally pleasant. The Star feels more of a modest environment: There are few-to-no grand visual statements and often swaths of low ceiling, unexciting carpet, and mild patterns; the best of what decor offers is more in some updated spaces that are intimate and comfortable (Wheelhouse Bar, and the fee-dining areas of Sabatini's and Crown Grill - perhaps my gravitation for polished wood and booths, here). Other areas feel a little more perfunctory and are deflated a little by what feels to be almost consistently cramped design: The flow and available space in the Horizon Court dining areas, for example, seem to subdivide yet compress traffic flow, and the Piazza/shopping area feels a tad compact and cold in comparison to other cruise experiences. There are also some awkward moments, such as locating the nearest bathroom of the Amalfi 6th-floor dining room one floor up, the random corridor/dead end in navigating from one side of the ship to the other, and what came to be called 'elevator roulette' in trying to figure out which door opened (sometimes behind you) - small details and decisions that don't necessarily make sense or feel accommodating to the passenger. Cabin: Cabin space continues the general idea of functionality without much flair - for three passengers, ours was an obstructed view starboard with two twin beds and two fold-down options. Sharing for three is possible, but dependent on traveling style. Storage includes a small safe (not for anything larger than small electronics - maybe one camera, a footprint not much larger than a paper sheet) and cabinet column next to an open closet (with plenty of hangers) and then a few open shelving corners, drawers, and a night table per twin bed. There was some fair space in the closet for standing luggage, but at the same time there was barely desk space for two and open floor was very limited - seating and rest were pretty much constrained to the beds which were happily comfortable. (Note that the upper berth has a light switch that is permanently lit in green.) Unfortunately we didn't check the lamps for USB ports; we relied on the two available room outlets to rotate between charging our gadgets. The bathroom is basic with a shower stall and again some limited open shelving and one outlet. TV and phone were without frills and fine - ultimately, our cabin only served for rest and recuperation as needed. Service: Professional service was the norm - overall, the impression was attentive and dedicated, particularly despite the extensive hours and scheduling being worked by some staff. The weaker points come from the instances of when service fell through, most prominently in information distribution and scheduling and handling of port day organization. Causes seemed variable - a lack of confidence in providing/committing advice, an outdated piece of information here and there - but it also felt almost structural - never had I been more aware of feeling like the staff somehow needed more resources and bodies to address the needs of the passenger audience. Nevertheless, those thoughts don't diminish that we had wonderful stewards and waiters during our month on board, with great conversation and care that made traditional dining always a highlight to wind down the day (many thanks to Julius and Fitri!). There are many teams hard at work on board - dining, bar, entertainment, photography, to name a few - and the sparks of friendliness helped to create a sense of consistent community on the ship, especially in the cheerful atmosphere set from LA to Santiago under the command of Captain Michele Tuvo (a definite highlight - passengers on the Sky Princess will be in good hands). Dining: Mostly traditional, no-fee for our experience; for the most part (along with our excellent service) we were pleased with the various menu ideas and items if equally occasionally disappointed in the execution. Appetizers - a wild mushroom tartlet, crab cake, for example - were probably the most satisfying, with dessert second. Cold soup options like one with crystallized ginger and a lychee-coconut drink and sorbets in honeydew and apple cider were among our favorite and most surprising discoveries over the whole course. On the other hand, savory soups were frequently salty, and over the course of two menu cycles it was possible to encounter variance in quality in any item (a disappointing, fibrous vegetable quiche to a fantastic slice; a supremely sweet mousse to one well balanced). For traveling along South America, fruit itself also seemed inconsistent, perhaps a necessity of cruising but still perplexing. Outside of dinner, the options were serviceable: Secondary notables included the reliable and satisfying Prego Pizzeria slice for lunch and the often overlooked afternoon tea on sea days (tea, scone with jam and cream, sandwiches, and desserts in a brief window). The Horizon buffet options were standard with a clear orientation towards quantity production - a good option for a do-it-yourself sandwich, but for most items often featured idea over execution with a few finds. Paired with tight spacing and inconvenient seating, it was less favored than a formal dining room or grab-and-go. Late-night grub is also limited to one option after 11 p.m., which ties a bit into the overall ship life... Entertainment, Programming, and Ship Life: Programming/ship life unfortunately was probably the flimsiest portion of our cruise experience, whether navigating past the cascade of jewelry and gallery events to queuing for limited seating in craft sessions to the early morning scheduling of enrichment lectures and so on. Personally, I was a little disappointed by how promotional activities wanted to be, with art lectures that tried to tie into the auctions, craft sessions with purchasable kits, and port lectures with excursion ops: these seemed less suggestive of personal enrichment and kept events from feeling as professional, educational, or enjoyable as they should have. Intentions, demographics, and target audience aside, many ship activities never seemed to really gel, dogged by a feeling that resources and space were never really meant to accommodate the audience that arrived. Easier options included Movies Under the Stars (which sometimes allotted three showings of the same film), but seating, preparation, and planning otherwise for events would have benefited with more attention - not placing an event at the same site as a sale or an auction, ensuring that passengers waiting for an event had an alternative to sitting on the floor, checking that equipment compatibility did not delay a start for twenty minutes - the cumulative details felt unrefined. Entertainment quality was also mixed - musical entertainment outside of evening shows held up well with performers providing enjoyable listening (what felt like nightly Tango music with the Bujacich Quintet was very in-theme and well appreciated) whereas mainstage acts could impress (magician Alex Ramon, guitarist Nestor Santurio) or less depending on the evening. One major miss for me was a silent run through Glacier Alley: whether simply unscheduled or maybe a technical malfunction, the Star Princess sailed through the area without announcement and a far cry from the Alaskan Glacier Bay experience on a different cruise line. Port/Itinerary/Excursions: The port schedule serves to balance out the unflattering as-you-go nature of sea days - the itinerary, particularly in the main leg of San Antonio/Santiago to Buenos Aires, is filled with singular experiences of landscape, wildlife, history, and culture, paced often with an alternation between port days and sea days to rest and prepare. The repositioning from Los Angeles to Santiago is deceptively slow, with two sets of three sea days back-to-back, but its ports of call can also provide for some expansive offerings to those traveling first-time like we were (San Martin was a spectacular surprise in providing terrain and wildlife we'd never seen before). As strong as the itinerary is (and our schedule also saw us as the only ship in most ports), a warning that doing research on the ports and vendors available can be well worth the time and money saved. Skip out of what might seem like a convenient bus-based city tour for taking the courtesy shuttle and/or walking the path directly (San Martin, Punta Arenas, and Montevideo come to mind) and also realize that comparable and reliable options do exist at sometimes less than half the price. Another major shortcoming is the management of tender and shuttle ticketing: we were ill-prepared for how poorly operations went for Lima shuttle tickets and not-insignificant wait times were involved for most tender operations without personal planning. (Aside from the iconic Captain Tuvo, nothing unified the ship more than the antipathy towards the WiFi and tender services.) Odds and ends: For repositioning to the first run of the season, the 30-day sailing does encompass the winter holidays and New Year's. Nods in the decor were trees, wreaths, and other decorations for the entirety in addition to some light scheduling of holiday events (card making, gingerbread houses, caroling, etc.) and a special dinner menu for each occasion. A piazza balloon drop celebrated the turn of the year - enough late-night fun for me! - but other cruisers might have preferred something that felt more extensive and encompassing. Young adults on this cruise should be prepared to find or prepare their own entertainment. The two portions of the cruise were markedly different in composition, so finding a similar cohort was even more challenging before the family groups and end-of-year cruisers arrived for Santiago to Buenos Aires. There are all-ages activities and enrichment opportunities, but nevertheless, targeted activities were scarce. Embarkation from Los Angeles went smoothly with friendly service. Disembarkation was more reflective of the organizational ambivalence that emerged through the course of the cruise with disembarking excursion passengers called very early in the morning to assemble before waiting further to disembark. Nonetheless, the excursion itself was a very smooth process (be warned - EZE was not). In any sort of going on and off the ship, those with mobility issues were often lost in the crowd. Conclusion: In hindsight, we all had a memorable experience with the essence of what we had hoped - new experiences, culture, land, and people with hopefully more revelation of how little we do know. In that regard, I'd like to say that it was excellent. Nonetheless, for the purposes of this review, I can't really say that we lay that claim to the Star Princess, however grateful we are for the excellent instances of service and the privilege for the convenience and comfort of the ship. Depending on what you're looking for, this could be a very good cruise - one where you form friendships and memories and travel affordably - but if it is, it will likely be because of your own efforts, investment, and objectives as opposed to the experience of the vessel. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We bought the cruise last winter as a 30 cruise. We were not informed that it changed to a B2B Cruise. All ship experiences were a repeat the second half. There were many unhappy customers!! Classic Bait and Switch. Embarkation was a ... Read More
We bought the cruise last winter as a 30 cruise. We were not informed that it changed to a B2B Cruise. All ship experiences were a repeat the second half. There were many unhappy customers!! Classic Bait and Switch. Embarkation was a nightmare. Never experienced anything like the confusion, being bullied by people taking your luggage, 2 hour wait, etc. The crew was wonderful! Food OK but repetitious. A little more variety would be appreciated. I actually lost weight on the cruise. Crossing the equator ceremony was very fun! The Captain on the first 1/2 was great!! Very visible and funny! The ship excursions were just OK. Some better than others. The ship needs some updating and maintenance but the overall condition was good. The Christmas decorations were beautiful!! My daughter is disabled and the crew were fantastic with her!! She has a wonderful time thanks mainly to the caring, sweet and funny crew. Everyone knew her name and went out of their way to make her smile! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this ship because of the itinerary. I wanted to see South America especially the end of the world. First the good things...Great Food, friendly staff , comfortable cabin. But...many of the stops were at container ports with ... Read More
I chose this ship because of the itinerary. I wanted to see South America especially the end of the world. First the good things...Great Food, friendly staff , comfortable cabin. But...many of the stops were at container ports with strict security so just walking off the ship was often not possible. Many ports were tender with long tender rides, long wait lines to get a tender, things just generally seemed disorganized with no concern for passenger time wasted. I had any time dining which worked well for me. While there was a swimming pool and hot tub that were supposed to be adult only the rule was not enforced, nor was the no jumping or diving rule enforced. Never a problem getting a deck chair there were always plenty. The dining area is not open for lunch on port days which required one to use the buffet which is never my choice. I booked my air with Princess which was American Airlines. My return flight required 3 flights not in the logical direction but I did get home eventually..Next time apparently for a fee one can book this way but have a choice of itinerary. I did see most of the things on my list however it would have been preferable if Sunday and holidays ( Christmas & New Years) would have been sea days , being in port when most venues are closed is poor planning. There is supposed to be a library and a sign says there is one but it is basically a room with shelves, one must rely on other guests to donate a book as they finish reading. I was not impressed with the lectures. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Star is just waiting to be turned over to new buyers . . ., in 2 - 3 years . . ., and it shows. Excursions/getting off the ship needs better "organization". Number of groups meeting in dining room exceeded space available. ... Read More
Star is just waiting to be turned over to new buyers . . ., in 2 - 3 years . . ., and it shows. Excursions/getting off the ship needs better "organization". Number of groups meeting in dining room exceeded space available. Last Debark tour personnel at least provided update info, rather than no info at all for tender service. Why does Princess charge $50 for an "on your own" excursion, compared to a one way $5 taxi ride? Really really overpriced excursion. Although we realize all cruise lines are watching their $$$, the menus could be improved upon on the Star (we just got off the Regal and are comparing our meals to that ship). Menus between 1st leg and 2nd leg of our B2B cruise appeared to be a major difference in menus, with both being pretty basic. Also, why does it take two reports of a maintenance issue to occur, before repair is made on the Star? e.g. a balcony door that wouldn't lock on a previous cruse on the Star, and a water leakage on our latest cruise on the Star. On the positive side, handling of our lost luggage was handled quickly and positively, thanks to Ghandi at Customer Service Desk. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Ever since hubby went on his first cruise two years ago, he's been constantly on the lookout for bargain cruises that might fit our budget. (We're based in Asia, and the steep air fare to/from the embarkation/disembarkation ports is an ... Read More
Ever since hubby went on his first cruise two years ago, he's been constantly on the lookout for bargain cruises that might fit our budget. (We're based in Asia, and the steep air fare to/from the embarkation/disembarkation ports is an important factor in calculating overall cost.) A big plus was that this cruise was long on sea days, which are both busy with onboard activities, and relaxing. The ship was repositioning from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires, but we sailed only on the first leg (16 nights), from L.A. to Santiago. The itinerary allowed us a taste of two metropolises new to us: Lima (2 days) and our disembarkation city Santiago. We didn't go on any ship's shore excursions, choosing instead to spend our port time walking around the areas where the shuttle bus dropped us off. Actually, we had bought the "Salsa and Salsa" excursion for Cabo San Lucas, but we were informed the day before that it had been canceled. No reason was given for the cancelation. This was the first time we chose a mini-suite class cabin, and we very much enjoyed the larger sitting area and especially the bathtub shower instead of the tiny shower stall we've endured up till now. The mattress and bed linens were extremely comfortable. Each of the three table lamps had a built-in USB connector. There's a thermostat control in the sitting area and another in the "bedroom" section. A second large flat-panel TV is in the sitting area, but unfortunately there's no on-demand video. I did notice some mold in the shower tile grout. The bathrooms are dated due to ship age, but even so are in good condition. Everything in the cabin felt clean, clean, clean. The balcony did not get much use, due to cooler temperatures than we expected and very windy conditions. Having cruised on two other Princess ships of the same class, we were by now thoroughly familiar with the basic deck plan. Our Deck 9 cabin was just two decks above the Princess Theater, and four decks below and on the opposite end from the Horizon Court buffet--a good hike to burn off some calories. Our cabin steward Remus, though young and a bit shy, was diligent about keeping our ice bucket filled and requested wine glasses replaced. We ended up spending a lot of time in the aft Vista Lounge, doing zumba, line dancing, merengue and Argentinian tango classes, occasional Bingo, and game shows. (Don't miss the side-splitting Liars Club game show!) In the Princess Theater, we thought the "Born to Dance" production show with the Star Princess performers was outstanding! As this was an Argentine-bound cruise, there were several Latin America themed entertainers. Professional Argentinian tango dancers Fernando and Cecilia were onboard for the entire cruise to give progressive lessons and as well as to perform in the Piazza. An instrumental group of varying number performed tango music daily, also in the Piazza. "Duo Olé," billed as a "musical flamenco" act, was very good. There were a couple of other acts and shows that we're glad we didn't miss. Overall, we felt that the entertainment was pretty good. As for other areas of the ship, the library and Internet center are combined in one room, with the computers taking over most of the space. The library's few shelves were almost bare of books. Plan on bringing your own reading material, and maybe even consider donating your paperbacks to the empty shelves. Dining: Love the pizzeria. Chef made pizza with a couple of cheeseless slices for me, no problem. For vegans, the lunchtime selections in the Horizon Court were pretty much limited to salad and fruit, as almost every dish contained fish and/or dairy. Occasionally I'd find a vegetable curry there, but only after we'd already had dinner in one of the dining rooms. We opted for anytime dining but were lucky to find a table with a great wait staff in the Capri Dining Room on the first night. From the first night, I was shown the menu for the following night so I could pick out dishes for the next dinner that would fit my dietary plan. However, a few times I was happy just to have a nice salad, some avocado slices, and a baked potato. As for dessert, sorbet every night is just fine with me, but chef went out of his way to make something special in addition....a fruit parfait, poached pear, chocolate muffin, or several times a whipped concoction that I have to trust was made from aquafaba! The dining service was always EXCELLENT. Finally, a couple of pros on this particular cruise: The very entertaining Captain Michele "Nevertheless, bye bye!" Tuvo, which whom we also sailed last year.Unfortunately for passengers who continued to Buenos Aires and later, Capt. Tuvo also disembarked at Santiago. And also cruise directors Fernando, Veronica and Nat; A+ for availability and personality. They constantly kept us entertained. As for Cons: Being bombarded daily with wasteful ads for the EFFY store and the art auctions. Does anybody appreciate these two cruise ship "features"??? Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I only went on this cruise because I was invited and paid for by family. I don't want to know how much it cost them, considering how laughable the cruise was. The buffet was generally gross. Breakfast items like scrambled eggs and bacon ... Read More
I only went on this cruise because I was invited and paid for by family. I don't want to know how much it cost them, considering how laughable the cruise was. The buffet was generally gross. Breakfast items like scrambled eggs and bacon were average (how can you mess those up?), and "advanced" items like salmon fillets were revolting. Almost all the food was lukewarm, nothing ever being actually hot. No wonder everyone on the ship gets sick. It's all breeding grounds for bacteria. Food is definetely on par for the 70+ crowd. Think IHOP. The dining rooms were fine, the food being what I like to call "fine-industrial". It's fine-dining, but it somehow manages to still have that industrial, mass produced flavour. It's an enigma. Maybe I am used to a higher standard of cooking, but none of the fine dining food was on par with a restaurant on land. Maybe Olive Garden? The only time on the ship that I anticipated eating was at the pizzeria as it was actually normal tasting. It didn't have a weird "off" tinge. It was just average pizza. Better than Dominos and Pizza Hut, mind you! Staff were apathetic and not really keen about serving you. I don't exactly expect them to be joyful, seeing as their job is to serve people on a tacky boat. But a smile goes a long way. However, our steward, Job, was very kind and I got to talk to him quite a bit as a I sought refuge in my cabin from the hoards. The only exception to the apathetic staff was one of the pizza chefs, who always seemed to be smiling, and the adjacent bartender, who late at night would play ukelele for everyone. That was one of the rare good parts of the cruise. The ship captain, Michele Tuvo was cheerful too. The bartender at the very end of the ship, with the pool, was also kind, and he always gave me free sodas, probably because he knew how much of a rip-off it was. You've paid for the cruise and they don't even have the decency to give you free soda? It's sugar syrup and water. Seriously? What a joke. He made my cruise somewhat better. Cabins were outdated, tacky. The bathroom was astonishingly small. I don't expect it to be full size but c'mon. The soap and shampoo/conditioner were terrible. Makes your hair rough and smells weird. Very industrial. The TV was fine. One positive is the balcony, which was a relaxing place to sit. I loved to hear the water crashing. I enjoyed sitting in the hot tubs and swimming, but found it frustrating how there were no change rooms nearby any of the pools. I don't really want to walk back to my cabin completely soaked, dripping water down the hallway. Surely there is a more logical solution to this... And the pools closed quite early. 10 pm, and they were blocked off. I think midnight would be more appropriate, but of course, as senior cruises go, everything shuts down after 8. Movies Under the Stars was something I always looked forward to. I only wished they played more interesting movies and less family movies, I mean there weren't any families on this cruise. Maybe a handful of children, but it was mostly elderly. What's the point? I would have liked to see more movies in general, a lot were repeats. Programming was ABYSMAL. NOTHING for people below 50. And I mean it. Everyday there were the same old health seminars. "Rejuvenate wrinkled skin!" "Lower Back Pain and How to Treat It" "Arthritis 101". Are you actually kidding me? This is the entertainment? THIS is what costs thousands of dollars? The science-related slideshows were amateurish and slow. Information that could be said in 10 minutes was turned into a sluggish hour. With ugly slideshows that could have been done better by a highschooler. It was so sad. Theatre seats were uncomfortable. All in all this cruise sucked even more than I had anticipated. It was by definition, LAME. Lame food, lame entertainment, and lame people. The whole ship was a drag. Sorry, but hanging around 80 year olds, as a 19 year old is not fun whatsoever. Save your money, and by god do your research. I wouldn't recommend Princess cruises one bit. Shameful cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We choose this cruise is because we have never been to South America. We took an excursion in Puntaeranes, Costa Rica and could not find the bus that was supposed to take us to St. Jose. There were no guides at the terminal and we ... Read More
We choose this cruise is because we have never been to South America. We took an excursion in Puntaeranes, Costa Rica and could not find the bus that was supposed to take us to St. Jose. There were no guides at the terminal and we asked the bus drivers where our bus was and was directed to outside the gates of the terminal but the bus was actually the first bus in the terminal closes to the cruise ship gate. The food was very salty especially the soup which cannot be consumed. In the Royal Princess, there were 2 pots, one salted and the other not salted and we could blend both soups to make it not too salty. The food is also very salty, not like on other Princess ships. The menu was always the same especially at breakfast. The entertainment was excellent and we enjoyed the production shows. Service was sometimes lacking especially in the early mornings when half the staff was not on duty yet although the restaurant was open. The cabin was comfortable. I would avoid Star Princess in my future cruises. I will stick to Royal or Regal which are better managed although the Captain of Star Princess was very attentive and resolve problems on the spot. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We liked the idea of a cheap cruise. So did everyone else in board. We did not find any compatible cruise companions. Mostly old or cheap travelers. The cruise line cut corners. Cheap food (no smoked salmon, all the good stuff on the ... Read More
We liked the idea of a cheap cruise. So did everyone else in board. We did not find any compatible cruise companions. Mostly old or cheap travelers. The cruise line cut corners. Cheap food (no smoked salmon, all the good stuff on the formal nights only) The real problem was the ports. Or lack of ports. And parking in the cheapest, furthest away berths in commercial ports, not cruise ports. I have been to several of these ports before with Celebrity so I know there are other places to park a ship. So... we got what we paid for. A cheap cruise, cheap food, bad location for parking. But wait.... Did I mention the awful embarkation and disembarkation? Top hour wait sitting around in Lima, an equal number of hours to get on the ship in LA. A real dealbreaker as far as I am concerned. And prepaid gratuities is a bad idea. Poor service throughout. On the positive side the entertainment was excellent and lots of room in the tiny cabin (no sofa) to put away out clothes. Bottom line: my second and last Princess Cruise. Celebrity and Royal Caribbean are simply better, even if the entertainment is less professional. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We were looking to escape for Thanksgiving, and because we enjoyed Hawaii on the Ruby Princess we decided to return. We arrived early hoping to find a little time to make it over to see the USS Iowa berthed nearby, but that didn't happen. ... Read More
We were looking to escape for Thanksgiving, and because we enjoyed Hawaii on the Ruby Princess we decided to return. We arrived early hoping to find a little time to make it over to see the USS Iowa berthed nearby, but that didn't happen. Despite her age, the ship is in really good shape. The bathrooms in the cabins look a bit dated, but outside of that, you wouldn't know her age. Having been on the Ruby, Emerald and Caribbean the layout is familiar. The Horizon buffet is a bit smaller, with a what seems a bit less seating. We chose this cruise because we enjoy sea days. My wife was delighted to find many activities to fill her day. This cruise featured a couple (Kimo and Lokelina) which served as Hawaiian Ambassadors. They taught Lei Making, Hula, Ukulele and exposed us to a bit of the Hawaiian language. When they weren't teaching classes, they gave port and island lectures and exposed us in the Hawaiian culture. But they also entertained in the Piazza with their music. By the time we arrived in Hilo, we looked at Hawaii in a totally different way, it was fantastic. This couple was great, as they were always around and were more than happy to share their knowledge of the island with you. If you're planning on doing Hawaii find the cruises with them booked, I believe they are on the Grand Apr 6 - May 4, out of SFO and then on the Star sailing Oct 7, Nov 4, and Nov 19. I wish more Princess cruises featured destination Ambassadors like this couple! Daily activity scheduling could have been a bit better, as frequently I found myself with several things I wanted to do, and others open, which made for some good reading time. We dined mostly in the Horizon but several nights in Anytime Dining which was good when we went. We had one rough day at sea, which the captain announced vacancies on the bridge the following day. Speaking of the captain, Cpt. Tuva was quite visible throughout the day and the cruise checking on the passenger experience, and talking to the guests. He also had quite a sense of humor, and the crew was great and very friendly. I got quite use to watching walk through the Horizon for breakfast and be in the Piazza mid morning making his rounds. Normally we buy coffee cards, and enjoy the unlimited brewed coffee benefit to go with it, but the brewed decaff most of the time seamed burnt. The coffee in the other venues was quite good in comparison. I think the warmers were too hot. We chose A611 for a cabin which was convenient as it was very close to the laundry for wash days. The bed was comfortable the new beds are firm, but have like pillowtop coverings. The rooms also have large panel TVs. Unfortunately they haven't upgraded to the video on demand, and the broadcast resolution is not HD, even though the TV's are. While they carry many NFL games on board. Thanksgiving rivalry weekend will leave you disappointed with the only college games being the ones on ESPN. One of the other neat features in the cabin are the bedside lamps have a USB charging port built in. After being spoiled on the Regal with the Medallion Internet Services, wifi service during the day was very slow. If needed fast, you had to rise early in the morning. One of the better secrets learned on other Princess cruises is the Trident grill after 6pm brings out Pulled Pork, and Ribs on alternating nights. Albeit expensive, the Crown grill serves a fantastic Filet, and the Black and Bleu Onion soup is to die for, and on the Star they did not disappoint! I also really like the layout of the Vista Lounge on the Star better than the later ships, especially for trivia. We ran into Veronica one of the CD Staff that we first met we on our South American Cruise on the Emerald in February, She's high energy, a lot of fun, with a has a great sense of humor. Be sure to catch her for the Liar's club! Parting thoughts, I was disappointed in the post cruise Venice / Santa Monica Pier - Airport tour. Spent way too much time at Venice and hiking to a restroom leaving little time for the pier where we had planned to have lunch, but didn't have the time. Princess said not to book a flight before 5 for the tour, but we were at the airport by 1:30pm. All in all it was a really good cruise, and we made quite a few new friends. Read Less
Star Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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