Occupation:TA and Teacher
Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Pacific Princess (New)
Sailing Date: December 4th, 2007
Itinerary: Hawaii - Tahiti
This was a cruise of a lifetime for 4 of us ladies, all about the same age. Actually we were celebrating my sister's 60th birthday on the cruise.
When we arrived in Honolulu 3 days ahead of the cruise departure date, I was surprised to see the Pacific Princess already in port. After boarding the ship we found out that the ship had been in port for 9 days for interior renovations. The public rooms had new carpeting, draperies and such. It was also decorated beautifully for the holidays. The cabins didn't look like they had been redone but they were very clean and just fine. I'm sure they'll get a make-over soon.
The ship is really small but had a nice English manor look that I loved. At least I didn't get lost as often as I usually do on a ship (I tend to let my fellow travelers "navigate" while I take in the sights-much like I do in a car). I can't think of a single thing I can complain about as far as the decor or cleanliness goes. However, I'd like to see more public restrooms near the casino area. We had a balcony cabin, which I believe is a little more spacious than an inside, but they're still pretty small. The shower was really tiny. I think I could have lathered up the walls and just spun around for a good bath-and I'm not a big person. I was happy to see lots of hangers in the closets and enough storage space for the rest of my finery. There was a wee table next to the sofa that didn't have much room for our room service deliveries, but we managed.
The food was good but not exceptional. I haven't found any cruise ship food to be exceptional. My cousin says it's because I'm too good a cook. They need to add lots more CHOCOLATE to the menu! We really didn't eat in the buffet much because we like to be served. Although we did have hamburgers at the grill a couple times and they were really good, as were the French fries. I enjoyed the different cocktails that were featured each day. Funny, because I'm not much of a drinker, but I could really go for one of those confections right about now!
I can't say enough about our wait staff. We had the only female waiter, Sue, and she was a delight! Her assistant, Christopher, serenaded us several times with his guitar. He should keep his day job but we thought he was cute to do that. My sister said the best dessert she had was her little celebration cake that they gave her on her birthday.
All the crew (except for a young lady at the pursers desk, who was surely and unhelpful on 2 occasions) were great. Especially the dancers, who made it a point to get us "Old Spice Girls" in on all the action. We tangoed, cha cha'd, line danced, hula danced, belly danced and dance danced! Because of them, we had a ball! The entire cruise was non stop fun and games. We loved it.
The downside is that we were unable to visit Maui or Christmas Island due to weather conditions for tendering. The entertainment group quickly came up with more fun for us to fill the extra days at sea.
Interestingly, I forgot that the journey was rough the entire time (my sister reminded me). I believe it's because the ship was so small it just rocked and rolled all over the water.
As for entertainment, the production shows were pretty good considering the small venue. We had a good comedian-an older guy, a good female singer, and a piano bar guy who was more impressed with himself than we were.
Ports-We "tubed the ditch" on Kauai (that was fun), and my sister and I did a 4 1/2 mile hike in the DRIVING rain) over the volcano on the big island. That wasn't fun but it was worth it and we were proud of ourselves for doing it as we usually hardly walk to our mailbox. We took "Le Bus" tour on Bora Bora. I think we all needed a trip to the chiropractor after that one-the roads were AWFUL! I was disappointed in Bora Bora. It just wasn't as pretty as I expected. Moorea was paradise! But don't tell anybody 'cause we don't want it over run with tourists. After our cruise we went back to Moorea and stayed in a bungalow at the Sofitel. Fabulous! Tahiti was nice but I'm glad we didn't stay there. Papeete was a pretty big city with lots of traffic. Outside of the city was much more interesting.
This was a wonderful trip, a really nice
ship with really pleasant and helpful staff. I would recommend it to anyone.