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Watch out this is long, but any review worth it's salt covers a variety of things: Date: April 29, 2016! 15 Day HAWAIIAN CRUISE aboard the “Star Princess”! Member Name: RetiredNTraveling. Embarkation: Vancouver, B.C. Destination: Hawaii. Cabin Category: Aft Penthouse Suite, Cabin Number: C749, Booking Method: TA “The Second Shining of the Star Princess was truly Wonderful”! This was another spur of the moment Hawaiian Cruise, in as much, as I received the e-mail on Jan. 27, 2016 for a Mini-Suite Sale for a 15 Day Hawaiian Cruise aboard the Star Princess. The cruise was for April 29, 2016. This gave us just several month to book, plan, and finance, schedule and get to Vancouver, BC, Canada from Oklahoma. Our first and primary call was to our TA how handled everything for us. She is works wonders and had everything done within 3 days! We discussed the offer and determined that while it was short notice, the deal was just too good to overlook. Since we had have been to Hawaii before back in Mar. 2013, we knew what was needed! Over the next 3 months, we retrieved from various nooks & cranny’s and closets our suitcases and items of importance (?) as was determined necessary. I purchased a couple of new Hawaiian Shirts and an extra pair of Bermuda shorts for the trip, while the wife was pretty much in need of a whole new wardrobe since she has lost over 40 pounds in the last 6 months. We were able to take several outfits to a seamstress in Tulsa who was able to alter them for less than new. But she did require almost all new slacks and capris. We really did a good job of getting her decked out. During this time we selected a number of excursions that might be of interest to us and start to compare them to what was best for our first trip to Hawaii. We booked 4 PCL Excursions! They turned out to be really great excursions and just what we needed in allowing us to see what we wished to see. Then, we received a “Special E-mail” on April 29 with the offer to upgrade to a Full Suite from the Mini-Suite. *PRINCESS CRUISES ANNOUNCES A SPECIAL OFFER FOR CAPTAIN CIRCLE MEMBERS BOOKED IN A MINI-SUITE STATEROOM ON THE APRIL 29, 2016 STAR PRINCESS SAILING. Cruise 15 nights in a luxurious FULL SUITE for only an additional $899 per person! (Offer based on double occupancy, plus the additional cost of Princess Vacation Protection, if purchased). For us the cost was a very reasonable amount since we had received such a fantastic rate to begin with. Making that call was easy and accepting the revised location was just as easy. The suites offered were located at the aft & sides of the ship! We chose Aft Suite C749 on the Caribe deck. We had never been anywhere but the middle of the ship this presented us the opportunity to sail in an Aft Suite. Start of Vacation: We started out by spending the night prior to our flight in OKC at the Four Points Hotel. This allowed us to get up for our 6:00AM flight at 4:00AM instead of around 1:00AM if we had stayed home instead. Our flight was from OKC to DFW to Vancouver and took a total of 8 ½ hours. We flew to Vancouver the day before the cruise and stayed in the Pinnacle Hotel by the bay area. We arrived around 12:05PM and after going through Canadian customs we took a taxi (Flat Fair) to our hotel. We checked in around 2:00PM and rested until time for our private limo tour of the Greater Vancouver area. This proved to be a wonderful tour and we got to see so much that it was worth every dollar. Our tour included among other things: Vancouver’s Stanley Park Adjoining the West End of downtown Vancouver, the magnificent Stanley Park certainly enjoys one of the world’s most breathtaking settings: the park is surrounded on three sides by the ocean and loomed over by the snow-capped North Shore mountains. The Original Vancouver Established around the area’s first tavern, Gastown is the heart of Vancouver. Designated a National Historic Site in 2009 it offers a skyline that dates back to the 1800s, showcasing some of the city’s best Victorian Italianate and Romanesque architecture. Gastown is central to Vancouver’s position as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, providing a rich, textured backdrop. Vancouver’s Chinatown Located on the eastern side of downtown Vancouver, the bustling district is North America’s third largest Chinatown by population, after those in San Francisco and New York. Its roots trace back to the late 1800s, when early Chinese immigrants who arrived to work on B.C.’s railroads and in the mines were settled in a ghetto on the edge of the city. After the tour, we were dropped off at Joe Forte’s Seafood & Chop House for a 7:30PM reservation. As is our practice, we usually take the time to eat at one really nice restaurant our first time in a new city. This proved to be a great choice. We spent over 2 ½ hours at supper and were treated like we were the only ones there. Then we took a taxi back to our hotel and got ready for bed as we were beginning to get a little tired from a 22 hour day! Cruise Time: Embarkation & 1st Day of Voyage Friday 04/29/16. The morning of our cruise was cool and clear. We enjoyed a breakfast at the hotel before making arrangements to boarding the complimentary shuttle to the ship. I contacted the Head Bellman for assistance with our luggage and we agreed upon the best time to catch a shuttle. At the Pier, we were directed to the proper line based upon our boarding passes and quickly preceded through the check-in process which took less than 30 minutes total. Then we were directed to the Priority Check-in waiting area and that took around 45 minutes prior to be directed to begin boarding. Then after boarding the Star we were directed to our suite and upon arriving found it to be just a luxurious as the suite on the Caribbean on our last cruise. The Caribbean and the Star are as close to twins as possible. The major exception is the suite was located on the Star Aft Caribe Deck! This proved to be extremely a relaxing cruise and just perfect for Betty and I to get comfortable with cruising after our Medical Emergency just prior to our last scheduled cruise. By the way, every time we left the room it seems that we saw our room steward, Lem. He turned out to be the best that we have ever had, bar-none! Then we proceeded down to deck 5 to the MDR for lunch. After lunch, we found that they had delivered the luggage to the room and began we began to unpack. What timing, however, that unpacking would come after “Muster.” This is mandatory and you are checked into your muster station with a scanner. After Muster as a perk for booking a suite, we had a free cover charge for the sail-away dinner and we chose Sabatini’s (again) so we stopped by and made a reservation. Then it was back to the room to complete the unpacking. We then combined our luggage within itself and stored it under the bed. However neatly we pack, it seems that there are always things that need pressed. So we laid out my Tux, Hawaiian shirts along with several of my wife’s pants suites and nicer blouses to be pressed. One of the many perks of a suite is “free laundry, pressing & cleaning”. Before dinner time our room steward Lem had retrieved them and brought more ice for our bucket. He was starting off really great. Now it is time to relax and unwind on our wonderful full deck with a glass of the complimentary Champagne and “Chocolate Cover Strawberries”. There was also a large Fruit Bowl of selected fruits and of course let’s not forget the beautiful Orchid Plant in the room. Now that is rejuvenating and relaxing. Sabatini’s was just as good as ever, and we had a fantastic meal which got this cruise off on the right foot. The staff at Sabatini’s was probably the best we have seen on any of our previous cruises. 2nd Day of Voyage Saturday 04/30/16! Sea Day! The ocean cruising days were simply refreshing! Then Betty & I really got down to the enjoyment of & relaxation that came with cruising! We began to fall into a rhythm that soon became the norm. The day began with coffee delivered to our room around 6:45AM, followed by breakfast at Sabatini’s around 8:00AM. Breakfast always starts with a Mimosa (OJ & Champagne), which can be quite habit forming. The Star Princess has to be one of our favorite cruise ships. The first two days were uneventful except for the M&G in Skywalker Lounge. They separated couples and this provided for a unique way to force people out of their comfort zones. Then halfway through, we played upset the apple cart and we were moved into different groups. Quite different and very enjoyable. Oh yes, I forgot, around 3:00PM it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo which was relaxing as well as exciting. Betty started in on the Bingo games and we made several friends that we saw each time. Also, the young ladies that worked the buy-in desk soon knew her and just what she wanted. I guess that I’m not the only one who can read her mind. LOL! As the cruise went on, we began to become better friends with them. As always, we had Anytime Dining so we could meet other cruisers and experience everything. One thing I do need to comment on is the very large number of Canadians on this cruise. Approximately ¾ were Canadians and of them at least 40% had booked through the same TA! They really got so great deals and that soon became tiresome during the 15 day cruise to hear about this TA. 3rd Day of Voyage Sunday 05/01/16! SEA DAY! 1ST FORMAL NIGHT! Now we are really starting to enjoy the aft facing balcony, as there is little to wind to bother you. We had sun in the mornings and shade in the afternoon. At 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo. Betty was now playing Bingo twice a day on sea days. She seemed to relax and was getting her spirits back. It was good to see her feeling good again and not be worrying about her previous health issues. The Naturalist was as good as the one on our first Hawaiian cruise, because he didn’t show up. The Hawaiian Ambassador’s took over that responsibility. While they did ok the information wasn’t theirs so they were not that familiar with it. We went to most of the presentations anyway to get in the mood and gather info. This was the 1st Formal Night of the cruise and most people were decked out in their finest! 4th Day of Voyage Monday, 05/02/16! Sea Day! As always our day began with coffee delivered to our room around 6:45AM, followed by breakfast at Sabatini’s around 8:00AM. Oh yeah, there was something new with this cruise. We had the same young lady delivering our morning coffee every day. She told us that she was assigned to our pod of rooms and would be our only contact with Room Services. If we called and requested anything she was the one who delivered it. This was great because she go to know us and our likes. She got a nice tip every day and again at the end of the cruise! 5th Day of Voyage Tuesday, 05/03/16! Sea Day! At 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo. 6th Day of Voyage Wednesday, 05/04/16! Sea Day! At 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo. 7th Day of Voyage Thursday, 05/05/16! Hilo, Hawaii! As this was our second cruise to Hawaii, we wanted to do different things from our first trip. So we managed to book different excursions for each of the four islands that on our first time. We also didn’t want to do any of the excursions that we would do if we are able to take the 28 Day Hawaii, Samoa & Fr. Polynesia cruise in 2017. We had our work cut out for us! On Hilo, we decided on the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden tour. While waiting in the que area for the tour to start, we has some Hawaiian entertainment and then I made a terrible discovery! My battery for the camera was not fully charged and would soon run out. There was not enough time to go back on board the ship to get the backup battery so I learned a big lesson! It was not on a bus or a people mover van, but was on a 13 passenger econo-van. And I ended up on the last row. When reading the tour description it said nothing about the steep incline getting down to the main part of the garden. By the way you have to come back up! However, if you are willing to stand in line they do have golf cart vehicles that you can ride down and of course back up to the top. This was a life saver for quite a few of us. Once down in the garden it was quite beautiful and very interesting. However, the humidity started to get unbearable and soon forced us to take the cart back to the top. There we shopped for a coffee mug souvenir and found just the perfect one for Betty. Upon returning to the Star Princess, we had a relaxing lunch and enjoyed our wonderful balcony deck. When money is no problem, we will always take a suite and now we want an aft suite! Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden ITO305A | Hilo, Hawaii, Status: Confirmed Depart: 10:00AM ~ Return: 12:30PM ~ Date: May 05, 2016 Tickets: Adult: 2 @ $49.95 Total Price: $99.90 8th Day of Voyage Friday, 05/06/16! Oahu, Hawaii! While this is a similar excursion to the afternoon tour on the previous cruise, it is different because it covers the exact opposite side of the island. We had taken the eastern & southern side tour and this was the North and Western side of the island North Shore Tour. I did a lot of research and found that we should sit on the right hand side of the very nice people mover van. We had a young lady who had moved to the islands about 5 years ago and had become a tour guide/driver and was a fountain of information. The tour lasted most of the day and she kept up a constant flow of facts and stories. Again upon returning to the Star Princess, we relaxed on our wonderful balcony deck. That evening we were seated at a table for 4 and the other couple was from Vancouver and was of Chinese ancestry. The man was open and outgoing from the start and later the lovely lady came to open up. This proved to be one of the most interesting dinners of the cruise. We saw them several times more on the cruise and we always spoke to each other. Later in the cruise we were seated at a large table for 10 and there they were again. Oahu's North Shore: Sit on passenger/right side of bus HNL125A | Honolulu, Hawaii, Status: Confirmed Depart: 08:30AM ~ Return: 03:00PM ~ Date: May 06, 2016 Tickets: Adult: 2 @ $149.95 Total Price: $299.90 9th Day of Voyage Saturday, 05/07/16! Kauai, Hawaii! We thought long and hard about taking “Wings Over Kauai” again but decided to take the Waimea Canyon ground tour. It proved to be a very nice tour on a comfortable bus with Cousin Moy as our guide/driver. He was just another of the friendly Hawaiian people that we have had as guides. The tour was a little long in getting there but well worth the time. Waimea Canyon, Wailua River & Fern Grotto LIH100A | Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii, Status: Confirmed Depart: 08:30AM ~ Return: 04:30PM ~ Date: May 07, 2016 Tickets: Adult: 2 @ $149.95 Total Price: $299.90 10th Day of Voyage Sunday, 05/08/16! Maui, Hawaii! This was a tour that we were going to take on the cruise that wasn’t! I did a lot of research and found that we should sit on the right hand side of the very nice people mover van. Except that it ended up being a 13 passenger van and while Betty sat on the first row with another couple I ended up on the next to last row. Not comfortable and there was this one guy who immediately started complaining that we should change seats every time we stopped. That went nowhere fast. However, the seat beside the driver was empty and when several got out to sight see in the rain, the driver suggested that I should move up there. Upon their return the complainer started to get in and there I was. Again he was not happy. (We have found that if you are last to the bus, van or whatever, you get what is left!) The tour lasted half of the day and he provided lots of facts and stories. Also, I would never have driven on that road due to the extreme narrowness of it. Best of West Maui: Sit on driver’s/left side of bus JHM170A | Maui (Lahaina), Hawaii, Status: Confirmed Depart: 09:30AM ~ Return: 03:00PM ~ Date: May 08, 2016 Tickets: Adult: 2 @ $179.95 Total Price: $359.90 11th Day of Voyage Monday, 05/09/16! Sea Day! 2ND FORMAL NIGHT! I love sea days! They are so restful and relaxation and of course at 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo. 12th Day of Voyage Tuesday, 05/10/16! Sea Day! I love sea days! They are so restful and relaxation and of course at 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo. 13th Day of Voyage Wednesday, 05/11/16! Sea Day! I love sea days! They are so restful and relaxation and of course at 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo. 14th Day of Voyage Thursday, 05/12/16! Sea Day! 3RD FORMAL NIGHT! I love sea days! They are so restful and relaxation and of course at 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo. 15th Day of Voyage; Friday, 05/13/16! Sea Day! More rest and relaxation and of course at 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo. This was the last day for Bingo and the super jackpot was given away! However, Betty didn’t win! One of the best things about this cruise is that we didn’t have to stop in Ensenada! 16th Day Debarkation Day, Saturday, 05/14/16! With coffee delivered at 6:30AM for the last time I enjoyed it while shaving on the balcony as the Golden Princess docked for the last time. After docking, around 7:30AM, we checked out of our suite S703 by 8:15AM and went down to our assigned disembarkation site, the Bernini Restaurant, where we were served an assortment of pastry’s, coffee or tea. We said our goodbyes to several new friends (including Pam & Cal) that we met on this magnificent cruise! Several of us went out to the International Café and picked up breakfast croissants. Our Color (Red) Tag & # was called around 9:30AM and we proceeded through the “cattle chute” of disembarkation. Surprisingly, we flew through customs and immediately found our luggage. (We wrapped each piece in a brightly colored and decorated duct tape which made identification quite easy. We quickly found a porter with a cart that collected our luggage and lead us quickly, very quickly to our rendezvous point (he received nice tip) where we loaded our transfer bus for LAX. We waited to leave for around 20 minutes and were finally off. We got to the airport where again I found a skycap looking for a good tip and he took us all the way through baggage check-in and ticketing and to the que for customs. (He also received a nice tip!) The service on board was fantastic and we had about 4 servers that got to know just what we wanted. They made this cruise so great! The entertainment was very good and somewhat new. As for cruising to Hawaii again, OF COURSE WE WOULD! In fact we are booked on a 28 day Hawaii, Samoa & Fr. Polynesia in the fall of 2017! Now let me inform you that while we prepaid gratitude’s I always had several $2.00 bills on hand to reward the extra service that we received almost all of the time: morning coffee, bar service, special waiter/waitress, International Café and other services too numerous to mention. I also carried a stack of $5.00 bills for bellhops, shuttle drivers, tour drivers, parking attendants, etc. I believe that you get what you pay for and I believe in rewarding service and extra for great service. At OKC we got out luggage with the aid of a skycap and after getting our car (with a very low tire), it was on the road to get it aired up. Then on home! Sea Days are the Best! Remember what my wife and I always say; “TRAVEL FIRST CLASS, IF YOU DON’T, YOUR KIDS WILL! Just us, RetiredNTraveling!

The Second Shining of the Star Princess was truly Wonderful!

Star Princess Cruise Review by RetiredNTraveling

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2016
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Penthouse Suite with Balcony
Watch out this is long, but any review worth it's salt covers a variety of things:

Date: April 29, 2016! 15 Day HAWAIIAN CRUISE aboard the “Star Princess”!

Member Name: RetiredNTraveling. Embarkation: Vancouver, B.C. Destination: Hawaii. Cabin Category: Aft Penthouse Suite, Cabin Number: C749, Booking Method: TA

“The Second Shining of the Star Princess was truly Wonderful”!

This was another spur of the moment Hawaiian Cruise, in as much, as I received the e-mail on Jan. 27, 2016 for a Mini-Suite Sale for a 15 Day Hawaiian Cruise aboard the Star Princess. The cruise was for April 29, 2016. This gave us just several month to book, plan, and finance, schedule and get to Vancouver, BC, Canada from Oklahoma. Our first and primary call was to our TA how handled everything for us. She is works wonders and had everything done within 3 days!

We discussed the offer and determined that while it was short notice, the deal was just too good to overlook.

Since we had have been to Hawaii before back in Mar. 2013, we knew what was needed! Over the next 3 months, we retrieved from various nooks & cranny’s and closets our suitcases and items of importance (?) as was determined necessary. I purchased a couple of new Hawaiian Shirts and an extra pair of Bermuda shorts for the trip, while the wife was pretty much in need of a whole new wardrobe since she has lost over 40 pounds in the last 6 months. We were able to take several outfits to a seamstress in Tulsa who was able to alter them for less than new. But she did require almost all new slacks and capris. We really did a good job of getting her decked out.

During this time we selected a number of excursions that might be of interest to us and start to compare them to what was best for our first trip to Hawaii. We booked 4 PCL Excursions! They turned out to be really great excursions and just what we needed in allowing us to see what we wished to see.

Then, we received a “Special E-mail” on April 29 with the offer to upgrade to a Full Suite from the Mini-Suite.

*PRINCESS CRUISES ANNOUNCES A SPECIAL OFFER FOR CAPTAIN CIRCLE MEMBERS BOOKED IN A MINI-SUITE STATEROOM ON THE APRIL 29, 2016 STAR PRINCESS SAILING. Cruise 15 nights in a luxurious FULL SUITE for only an additional $899 per person! (Offer based on double occupancy, plus the additional cost of Princess Vacation Protection, if purchased).

For us the cost was a very reasonable amount since we had received such a fantastic rate to begin with. Making that call was easy and accepting the revised location was just as easy. The suites offered were located at the aft & sides of the ship! We chose Aft Suite C749 on the Caribe deck. We had never been anywhere but the middle of the ship this presented us the opportunity to sail in an Aft Suite.

Start of Vacation:

We started out by spending the night prior to our flight in OKC at the Four Points Hotel. This allowed us to get up for our 6:00AM flight at 4:00AM instead of around 1:00AM if we had stayed home instead. Our flight was from OKC to DFW to Vancouver and took a total of 8 ½ hours. We flew to Vancouver the day before the cruise and stayed in the Pinnacle Hotel by the bay area. We arrived around 12:05PM and after going through Canadian customs we took a taxi (Flat Fair) to our hotel. We checked in around 2:00PM and rested until time for our private limo tour of the Greater Vancouver area. This proved to be a wonderful tour and we got to see so much that it was worth every dollar.

Our tour included among other things:

Vancouver’s Stanley Park

Adjoining the West End of downtown Vancouver, the magnificent Stanley Park certainly enjoys one of the world’s most breathtaking settings: the park is surrounded on three sides by the ocean and loomed over by the snow-capped North Shore mountains.

The Original Vancouver

Established around the area’s first tavern, Gastown is the heart of Vancouver. Designated a National Historic Site in 2009 it offers a skyline that dates back to the 1800s, showcasing some of the city’s best Victorian Italianate and Romanesque architecture. Gastown is central to Vancouver’s position as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, providing a rich, textured backdrop.

Vancouver’s Chinatown

Located on the eastern side of downtown Vancouver, the bustling district is North America’s third largest Chinatown by population, after those in San Francisco and New York. Its roots trace back to the late 1800s, when early Chinese immigrants who arrived to work on B.C.’s railroads and in the mines were settled in a ghetto on the edge of the city.

After the tour, we were dropped off at Joe Forte’s Seafood & Chop House for a 7:30PM reservation. As is our practice, we usually take the time to eat at one really nice restaurant our first time in a new city. This proved to be a great choice. We spent over 2 ½ hours at supper and were treated like we were the only ones there. Then we took a taxi back to our hotel and got ready for bed as we were beginning to get a little tired from a 22 hour day!

Cruise Time: Embarkation & 1st Day of Voyage Friday 04/29/16.

The morning of our cruise was cool and clear. We enjoyed a breakfast at the hotel before making arrangements to boarding the complimentary shuttle to the ship. I contacted the Head Bellman for assistance with our luggage and we agreed upon the best time to catch a shuttle.

At the Pier, we were directed to the proper line based upon our boarding passes and quickly preceded through the check-in process which took less than 30 minutes total. Then we were directed to the Priority Check-in waiting area and that took around 45 minutes prior to be directed to begin boarding. Then after boarding the Star we were directed to our suite and upon arriving found it to be just a luxurious as the suite on the Caribbean on our last cruise. The Caribbean and the Star are as close to twins as possible. The major exception is the suite was located on the Star Aft Caribe Deck!

This proved to be extremely a relaxing cruise and just perfect for Betty and I to get comfortable with cruising after our Medical Emergency just prior to our last scheduled cruise. By the way, every time we left the room it seems that we saw our room steward, Lem. He turned out to be the best that we have ever had, bar-none!

Then we proceeded down to deck 5 to the MDR for lunch. After lunch, we found that they had delivered the luggage to the room and began we began to unpack. What timing, however, that unpacking would come after “Muster.” This is mandatory and you are checked into your muster station with a scanner. After Muster as a perk for booking a suite, we had a free cover charge for the sail-away dinner and we chose Sabatini’s (again) so we stopped by and made a reservation. Then it was back to the room to complete the unpacking. We then combined our luggage within itself and stored it under the bed. However neatly we pack, it seems that there are always things that need pressed. So we laid out my Tux, Hawaiian shirts along with several of my wife’s pants suites and nicer blouses to be pressed. One of the many perks of a suite is “free laundry, pressing & cleaning”. Before dinner time our room steward Lem had retrieved them and brought more ice for our bucket. He was starting off really great.

Now it is time to relax and unwind on our wonderful full deck with a glass of the complimentary Champagne and “Chocolate Cover Strawberries”. There was also a large Fruit Bowl of selected fruits and of course let’s not forget the beautiful Orchid Plant in the room. Now that is rejuvenating and relaxing.

Sabatini’s was just as good as ever, and we had a fantastic meal which got this cruise off on the right foot. The staff at Sabatini’s was probably the best we have seen on any of our previous cruises.

2nd Day of Voyage Saturday 04/30/16! Sea Day!

The ocean cruising days were simply refreshing! Then Betty & I really got down to the enjoyment of & relaxation that came with cruising! We began to fall into a rhythm that soon became the norm. The day began with coffee delivered to our room around 6:45AM, followed by breakfast at Sabatini’s around 8:00AM. Breakfast always starts with a Mimosa (OJ & Champagne), which can be quite habit forming.

The Star Princess has to be one of our favorite cruise ships. The first two days were uneventful except for the M&G in Skywalker Lounge. They separated couples and this provided for a unique way to force people out of their comfort zones. Then halfway through, we played upset the apple cart and we were moved into different groups. Quite different and very enjoyable.

Oh yes, I forgot, around 3:00PM it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo which was relaxing as well as exciting. Betty started in on the Bingo games and we made several friends that we saw each time. Also, the young ladies that worked the buy-in desk soon knew her and just what she wanted. I guess that I’m not the only one who can read her mind. LOL! As the cruise went on, we began to become better friends with them. As always, we had Anytime Dining so we could meet other cruisers and experience everything. One thing I do need to comment on is the very large number of Canadians on this cruise. Approximately ¾ were Canadians and of them at least 40% had booked through the same TA! They really got so great deals and that soon became tiresome during the 15 day cruise to hear about this TA.

3rd Day of Voyage Sunday 05/01/16! SEA DAY! 1ST FORMAL NIGHT!

Now we are really starting to enjoy the aft facing balcony, as there is little to wind to bother you. We had sun in the mornings and shade in the afternoon. At 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo. Betty was now playing Bingo twice a day on sea days. She seemed to relax and was getting her spirits back. It was good to see her feeling good again and not be worrying about her previous health issues. The Naturalist was as good as the one on our first Hawaiian cruise, because he didn’t show up. The Hawaiian Ambassador’s took over that responsibility. While they did ok the information wasn’t theirs so they were not that familiar with it. We went to most of the presentations anyway to get in the mood and gather info.

This was the 1st Formal Night of the cruise and most people were decked out in their finest!

4th Day of Voyage Monday, 05/02/16! Sea Day!

As always our day began with coffee delivered to our room around 6:45AM, followed by breakfast at Sabatini’s around 8:00AM. Oh yeah, there was something new with this cruise. We had the same young lady delivering our morning coffee every day. She told us that she was assigned to our pod of rooms and would be our only contact with Room Services. If we called and requested anything she was the one who delivered it. This was great because she go to know us and our likes. She got a nice tip every day and again at the end of the cruise!

5th Day of Voyage Tuesday, 05/03/16! Sea Day!

At 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo.

6th Day of Voyage Wednesday, 05/04/16! Sea Day!

At 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo.

7th Day of Voyage Thursday, 05/05/16! Hilo, Hawaii!

As this was our second cruise to Hawaii, we wanted to do different things from our first trip. So we managed to book different excursions for each of the four islands that on our first time. We also didn’t want to do any of the excursions that we would do if we are able to take the 28 Day Hawaii, Samoa & Fr. Polynesia cruise in 2017. We had our work cut out for us!

On Hilo, we decided on the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden tour. While waiting in the que area for the tour to start, we has some Hawaiian entertainment and then I made a terrible discovery! My battery for the camera was not fully charged and would soon run out. There was not enough time to go back on board the ship to get the backup battery so I learned a big lesson!

It was not on a bus or a people mover van, but was on a 13 passenger econo-van. And I ended up on the last row. When reading the tour description it said nothing about the steep incline getting down to the main part of the garden. By the way you have to come back up! However, if you are willing to stand in line they do have golf cart vehicles that you can ride down and of course back up to the top.

This was a life saver for quite a few of us. Once down in the garden it was quite beautiful and very interesting. However, the humidity started to get unbearable and soon forced us to take the cart back to the top. There we shopped for a coffee mug souvenir and found just the perfect one for Betty.

Upon returning to the Star Princess, we had a relaxing lunch and enjoyed our wonderful balcony deck. When money is no problem, we will always take a suite and now we want an aft suite!

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden ITO305A | Hilo, Hawaii, Status: Confirmed

Depart: 10:00AM ~ Return: 12:30PM ~ Date: May 05, 2016

Tickets: Adult: 2 @ $49.95

Total Price: $99.90

8th Day of Voyage Friday, 05/06/16! Oahu, Hawaii!

While this is a similar excursion to the afternoon tour on the previous cruise, it is different because it covers the exact opposite side of the island. We had taken the eastern & southern side tour and this was the North and Western side of the island North Shore Tour. I did a lot of research and found that we should sit on the right hand side of the very nice people mover van. We had a young lady who had moved to the islands about 5 years ago and had become a tour guide/driver and was a fountain of information. The tour lasted most of the day and she kept up a constant flow of facts and stories.

Again upon returning to the Star Princess, we relaxed on our wonderful balcony deck. That evening we were seated at a table for 4 and the other couple was from Vancouver and was of Chinese ancestry. The man was open and outgoing from the start and later the lovely lady came to open up. This proved to be one of the most interesting dinners of the cruise. We saw them several times more on the cruise and we always spoke to each other. Later in the cruise we were seated at a large table for 10 and there they were again.

Oahu's North Shore: Sit on passenger/right side of bus HNL125A | Honolulu, Hawaii, Status: Confirmed

Depart: 08:30AM ~ Return: 03:00PM ~ Date: May 06, 2016

Tickets: Adult: 2 @ $149.95

Total Price: $299.90

9th Day of Voyage Saturday, 05/07/16! Kauai, Hawaii!

We thought long and hard about taking “Wings Over Kauai” again but decided to take the Waimea Canyon ground tour. It proved to be a very nice tour on a comfortable bus with Cousin Moy as our guide/driver. He was just another of the friendly Hawaiian people that we have had as guides. The tour was a little long in getting there but well worth the time.

Waimea Canyon, Wailua River & Fern Grotto LIH100A | Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii, Status: Confirmed

Depart: 08:30AM ~ Return: 04:30PM ~ Date: May 07, 2016

Tickets: Adult: 2 @ $149.95

Total Price: $299.90

10th Day of Voyage Sunday, 05/08/16! Maui, Hawaii!

This was a tour that we were going to take on the cruise that wasn’t! I did a lot of research and found that we should sit on the right hand side of the very nice people mover van. Except that it ended up being a 13 passenger van and while Betty sat on the first row with another couple I ended up on the next to last row. Not comfortable and there was this one guy who immediately started complaining that we should change seats every time we stopped. That went nowhere fast. However, the seat beside the driver was empty and when several got out to sight see in the rain, the driver suggested that I should move up there. Upon their return the complainer started to get in and there I was. Again he was not happy. (We have found that if you are last to the bus, van or whatever, you get what is left!) The tour lasted half of the day and he provided lots of facts and stories. Also, I would never have driven on that road due to the extreme narrowness of it.

Best of West Maui: Sit on driver’s/left side of bus JHM170A | Maui (Lahaina), Hawaii, Status: Confirmed

Depart: 09:30AM ~ Return: 03:00PM ~ Date: May 08, 2016

Tickets: Adult: 2 @ $179.95

Total Price: $359.90

11th Day of Voyage Monday, 05/09/16! Sea Day! 2ND FORMAL NIGHT!

I love sea days! They are so restful and relaxation and of course at 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo.

12th Day of Voyage Tuesday, 05/10/16! Sea Day!

I love sea days! They are so restful and relaxation and of course at 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo.

13th Day of Voyage Wednesday, 05/11/16! Sea Day!

I love sea days! They are so restful and relaxation and of course at 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo.

14th Day of Voyage Thursday, 05/12/16! Sea Day! 3RD FORMAL NIGHT!

I love sea days! They are so restful and relaxation and of course at 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo.

15th Day of Voyage; Friday, 05/13/16! Sea Day!

More rest and relaxation and of course at 10:00AM & 3:00PM on Sea Days, it was time for Snowball Jackpot Bingo. This was the last day for Bingo and the super jackpot was given away! However, Betty didn’t win! One of the best things about this cruise is that we didn’t have to stop in Ensenada!

16th Day Debarkation Day, Saturday, 05/14/16!

With coffee delivered at 6:30AM for the last time I enjoyed it while shaving on the balcony as the Golden Princess docked for the last time. After docking, around 7:30AM, we checked out of our suite S703 by 8:15AM and went down to our assigned disembarkation site, the Bernini Restaurant, where we were served an assortment of pastry’s, coffee or tea. We said our goodbyes to several new friends (including Pam & Cal) that we met on this magnificent cruise! Several of us went out to the International Café and picked up breakfast croissants.

Our Color (Red) Tag & # was called around 9:30AM and we proceeded through the “cattle chute” of disembarkation. Surprisingly, we flew through customs and immediately found our luggage. (We wrapped each piece in a brightly colored and decorated duct tape which made identification quite easy. We quickly found a porter with a cart that collected our luggage and lead us quickly, very quickly to our rendezvous point (he received nice tip) where we loaded our transfer bus for LAX. We waited to leave for around 20 minutes and were finally off. We got to the airport where again I found a skycap looking for a good tip and he took us all the way through baggage check-in and ticketing and to the que for customs. (He also received a nice tip!)

The service on board was fantastic and we had about 4 servers that got to know just what we wanted. They made this cruise so great! The entertainment was very good and somewhat new. As for cruising to Hawaii again, OF COURSE WE WOULD! In fact we are booked on a 28 day Hawaii, Samoa & Fr. Polynesia in the fall of 2017!

Now let me inform you that while we prepaid gratitude’s I always had several $2.00 bills on hand to reward the extra service that we received almost all of the time: morning coffee, bar service, special waiter/waitress, International Café and other services too numerous to mention. I also carried a stack of $5.00 bills for bellhops, shuttle drivers, tour drivers, parking attendants, etc. I believe that you get what you pay for and I believe in rewarding service and extra for great service.

At OKC we got out luggage with the aid of a skycap and after getting our car (with a very low tire), it was on the road to get it aired up. Then on home!

Sea Days are the Best!

Remember what my wife and I always say;

“TRAVEL FIRST CLASS, IF YOU DON’T, YOUR KIDS WILL!

Just us, RetiredNTraveling!
RetiredNTraveling’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service

Cabin Review

Penthouse Suite with Balcony
Cabin S4 C749
Like always, our suite was simply outstanding and our steward was the best that we have ever had! This was our first aft suite and we fell in love with the aft suites. It was quiet, no fumes, no vibrations or anything.
Caribe Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews