We chose this cruise as we have always enjoyed Princess cruises, the Sun Princess is a particular favourite, and the itinery enabled us to stay close to home, whilst seeing places we had not seen before.We were also attracted by the idea of disembarking in Fremantle - our home port - thus avoiding that often long tiring flight at the end of a great holiday!
The flight from Perth to Sydney was without incident, and we spent the night before embarkation in the very pleasant Sir Stamford at Circular Quay, Sydney.
As we are Elite passengers, boarding was fast and uncomplicated. At least until, having passed through security we realised that we had left my wife's important medication in the fridge at the aforementioned Sir Stamford. Princess'people were amazing! We continued to board, whilst they arranged with the hotel to get the medication into a taxi, bring it to the cruise centre, where it was met by a Princess representative, who delivered it personally to our stateroom!! Thank you Princess, and the wonderful Susan who made it all happen.
Sun Princess was as we expected. She's getting on a bit, and if you want to, you can find a few frayed edges - but she is kept scrupulously clean, and the crew seem very happy to be there,. Nothing was too much trouble for them, and I don't believe the word "no "is in their vocabulary!
Our stateroom - a Club Class mini suite was perfect! A good size, with a very comfortable bed, and adequate sitting area. We love the fact that these mini suites have a separate shower stall. My wife has some mobility issues which makes it difficult for her to deal with a shower over bath arrangement - and the mini-suites on the majority of other lines (and most if not all newer Princess ships) have this arrangement.
Food on this trip was well above average. On our previous Sun Princess cruise we felt that the standards had slipped - this was NOT the case on this trip. Variety was more than adequate, and everything came to the table hot and tasty. We had a couple of meals in the Horizon Court buffet, and found the quality and range of dishes to be surprisingly good.
We have never been much for organised entertainment, preferring to just relax and enjoy each other's company. However, from what we saw, the entertainment is perfect for the demographic it is pitched to.A special word of praise for the solo, duo and trio musicians on board - They all really knew their stuff. The deck band were also very good at what they did - although I have to ask whether - as a young "funky "soul band they were appropriate for the passenger demographic.
The service we received was exemplary across the board! From our lovely room steward to our crazy gang of waiters in the club class dining we were made to feel very special. It's sad that these days, one sees very little of the more senior officers. their job is clearly to deal with all things nautical, leaving the hotel department to deal with the passengers. I question too the value of the "Cruise Director" On recent cruises, I have barely sighted the CD, and on this cruise I probably passed her several times without knowing who she was. It used to be that the CD was, for the passengers at least, the heart and soul of the ship. Not so now.
In summary then, did we enjoy our cruise? - an unqualified yes!
Wee we happy to be back on Sun Princess - again yes!
Would we cruise on her again - A BIG yes!
Are we fans of Princess cruises - I think you can work that one out for your selves!!
Good size, well equipped and very comfortable. We find that on most "modern "ships mini suites are just standard cabins on steroids , These are different. In effect they offer two quite distinct rooms - one for sleeping, and one for sitting and relaxing - We love them!! If I had one gripe, it was the size and condition of the balcony. Very narrow, and not in good condition. The ship is over 20 years old, and this is one area where it shows. rust is evident in several places, and there have clearly been many, many repaints!!
Been to Sydney many times. One of the great harbours in the world, and sailing under the harbour bridge is a wonderful experience.
Exceeded our expectations! Huge variety of animals, and helpful staff. Recommended to everyone!!View All 12 Australia Zoo Reviews
Probably not fair to review, as we did not go ashore. This review is based on what we could see from the ship, and feedback from other passengers who DID go ashore.
Went ashore under our own steam for some shopping and a seafood lunch. What we saw was encouraging. A vibrant city, welcoming to tourism.
Went ashore briefly. Seemed like a nice place but we were defeated by the heat and humidity. Intended to have lunch and do some shopping, but in the end beat a hasty retreat back to the ship!!