Just Back - Diamond Princess

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#1
Cary, NC, USA
309 Posts
Joined May 2000
We are back from the 6/12 sailing of the Diamond Princess. I will post a more thorough review later. But in summary the Diamond Princess was FANTASTIC. Of our six cruises this was without a doubt the best by far. In fact, this was the best vacation we've ever been on. The Diamond was terrific. Food was great, service was great, ports great and the weather was even great. Did not have any rain at all. Sun was out when we were in Ketchikan even. Went on a whale watching tour at Juneau and saw 7-8 whales as well as sea lions and bald eagles. Did the Yukon train at Skagway and it was a great trip. In Ketchkikan, we just walked around town and did the same in Victoria. The hit of the cruise though was sailing up Tracy Arm. Absolutely breath taking scenery. We just sat on our balcony in total awe. We did Anytime dining and it was great. Never had to wait for a table any night. We never ran across a single crew member that didn't have a smile or say hello. Food was delicious in both dining room and in Horizons. We also loved our afternoon pizza. We ate at all four Anytime dining rooms and they were all good. My favorite was Sterling but I think rest in my group liked Sante Fe best. Pacific Moon was also very good. Some favorites were the prime rib and steak in Sterling. The lobster on the second formal night was delicious. Also the crab legs were great. In fact, there was only one dish the entire week that I didn't like and that was the chilled pumpkin soup on the final night. Entertainment was really good also. We really enjoyed Bert Stratton all week. If anyone has any specific questions, I'll be glad to answer them. One final point, if anyone comes back from this cruise griping or complaining then they would have to be about the hardest people in the world to satisify. I just wish we were sailing on the ship again this week.

Oh one final thing. We had a terrific thing happen on Saturday after we sailed. We met up with the Sapphire Princess, which circled around us. All the crew was out on the decks cheering at each other and the two ships traded salutes with the air horns (this really sent chills up my spine). Then the two ships joined up in formation, side by side, while a helicopter flew over taking photos. This was a once in a lifetime experience, two sister ships meeting up like this for a photo session. WOW was it ever neat.

Now, to get back to reality - oh bartender, I'll have another Chocolate Banana please .

-----
WolfpackFan

June 1994 Premier Atlantic
June 1995 Regent Rainbow
March 1998 Celebrity Century
January 2000 Norwegian Sky
January 2003 Golden Princess
June 2004 Diamond Princess
Nov. 2005 Disney Magic
Summer 2006 Pride of Aloha

[This message was edited by WolfpackFan on 06-20-04 at 12:28 AM.]

[This message was edited by WolfpackFan on 06-20-04 at 12:32 AM.]
#3
Canada
10 Posts
Joined May 2004
Great to hear the good news and that the earlier cruise problems have been attended to. Guess they really do read and act on those cruise evaluations!!
#5
Seattle Area, WA
2,730 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Sounds fantastic. So glad you had a wonderful time and the weather cooperated with you. Makes it so much more fun. Can't wait for my short cruise on the Diamond this September. Will be hard to get off the ship.

Welcome home and I'll have a Banana drink also.

Hulagirl



Grand Princess Baltic Cruise


Diamond Princess - Northwest Cruise


Star Princess - Eastern Caribbean



Diamond Princess - Alaska
#6
Southern California
2,836 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Wolfpackfan... thanks so much for the review. You've described the Princess we've grown accustomed to over the past several years. Counting the days until our August 21st Diamond Alaska cruise and hoping the weather will cooperate as well as it did for you. Welcome back...

Sandy
#7
oregon
10 Posts
Joined Oct 2002
wolf.....just returned from that cruise also, 6/12. I totally agree with you're points. The service was amazing, seems the crew went out of their way to accomodate. In fact, we were waitlisted for traditional, about #112. We stopped at the concierge, shortly after boarding, and politely requested being put on a waiting list. The next day, much to our surprise, we received word that we had been assigned a table in traditional. We were thrilled, however we had enjoyed the Sterling dining room so much the night before, we opted out on traditional anyway.
We found the pools warm and the spas steaming. We recommend the adult pool and spa at the Lotus. No need to even bring the pool towels there, since they provide them.
It certainly was exciting meeting our sister ship, the Sapphire on the first night and also at Tracey Arm. To see yourself in mirror image like that as she passed by was truly amazing. As was Tracey Arm itself. I got the distinct impression, judging by the amount of crew on deck during the passage of the fiord, that the conditions we had that day were unsurpassed.
And, oh, the food.........!!!!!!

red
#8
Vancouver, Wa.
23,894 Posts
Joined Apr 2002
Wolfpackfan,
I'm glad you had good weather, service, food, and therefore enjoyed your cruise! Good conditions do improve one's vacation! The photo op sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

Nita
#9
Canada
65 Posts
Joined May 2001
Thanks so much for your review! Glad you had a great time. Reading your post brought a smile to my face, because we were on the Diamond Princess last month and had a lot of fun as well.!!
#10
phoenix, az. usa
6,732 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Another cruiser who sees why we booked 5 Diamond or Sapphire cruises in 8 months after our first one. We miss her terribly.

Life is at it's best when your address floats
One MORE open Booking(s).
<FONT color=red>Alaska</FONT>
Sapphire Princess 09/04
Diamond Princess 05/04 ~~ Mercury 06/02
Rhapsody o.t. Seas 05/98 ~~ Legend o.t. Seas 09/95
<FONT color=red>Mexican Riviera</FONT>
Diamond Princess 12/04
Diamond Princess 11/04 ~~ Diamond Princess 04/04
Sea Princess 01/02 ~~ Vision o.t. Seas 04/02<FONT color=red>
West Coast-Baja Mexico</FONT>

Ecstacy 09/01
<FONT color=red>Eastern Carribean</FONT>
Century 12/97
<FONT color=red>Western Carribean</FONT>
Century 9/96
#11
Phoenix, Arizona
305 Posts
Joined May 2002
We are just back from the Diamond also!..Beautiful ship, great weather, great ports, good service, 12 rolls of film, food was average.

Scandinavian Sun
Emerald Seas
Island Princess
Seaward
Norway
Westward
Sensation
Facsination
Majesty of the Seas
Dawn Princess
Inspiration
Norwegian Dream
Norwegian Sun
Grandeur of the Seas (June 2002)
Carnival Paradise (Sept 2002)
Grand Princess (June 2003)
Disney Magic (Sept 2003)
Diamond Princess (June 2004)


Diamond Princess Here We Come!
#12
24,347 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
What a great summary! I knew the Diamond would be a great ship after the first few sailings! Thank you for writing such a great summary!

When we were on the Celebrity Millennium - we did the same thing to the newest Celebrity ship (Infinity?) when we left FLL (circle the new ship). It was pretty cool. Must be a ship tradition of some sort.

[This message was edited by Coral on 06-20-04 at 10:24 AM.]
#13
97 Posts
Joined May 2004
Things seem to be looking up for the Diamond. Getting excited for my 7/3 trip....only two weeks!!

Who is serving as captain of the Diamond now? Is the original one back from vacation? Would something like his return contribute to the mood of the crew/staff?
#14
97 Posts
Joined May 2004
One more question for those of you returning.

Where were your cabins? I'm still looking to see if noise from the public spaces is an issue anywhere on the Emerald Deck. I'm in E415 above a bar with mellow music(Crooners), I'm wondering if any noise carries through to the deck above (not that I can do anything about it at this point)
#15
Cary, NC, USA
309 Posts
Joined May 2000
Captain is Philip Pickford (the relief captain). Cruise Director was Trevor Bradford. Our cabins were A420 and A422 right under the Lido deck overhang. Never had any problems with noise from the Lido deck at all. We loved our cabin. Because of the coldness, we spent alot more time in our cabin and used our balcony alot; rather than being up on deck. Our room steward was Vhal. He did a great job keeping our room straight. When we first got aboard, the bed configuration for the cabin where our son and daughter were was a single bed (which obviously wouldn't do with them being 24 and 29). A quick word to Vahl and he immediately separated them. He then brought all four of us robes and unlocked the door in the partition separating the two cabins. Basically what we had was a two bedroom suite with our connecting balconies serving as our living room (what a view). We were constantly going back and forth and it really worked out great. I highly recommend this setup for families.

I don't think I mentioned much about embarkation. The key to getting on without waiting too long is to either arrive early (like 11:00) or late (after 2:00). We left our hotel, the Westin, about 10:30 and were in our cabin before noon. There were lines for folks arriving at noon. But it appeared to be pretty quite after 2:00.

My wife, after reading my review, said I should post that she thought that the service in the dining room was a little slow. This was particularly the case between the soup/salad course and getting our main entree. I will admit it did seem to lag a little then, but you know it really didn't matter that much. All our meals were very good and so what if it took 10 mins. or so longer getting out of the dining room. One suggestion don't book Vivaldi on Tuesday night, that's Italian night. Why eat in the Italian restaurant on Italian night. Also, you might not want to eat in Sterling on the second formal night (Thursday night) if you like lobster. I was really torn betwen lobster and the Sterling prime rib (which is delicious), so did a surf and turf, but it was really way too much food. They did put both the prime rib and lobster on the same plate, which isn't what some cruise lines do when you order two entrees.

I can't really speak much about the casino. Other than giving my usual two rolls of quarters to the slots, I don't play any of the other games. The two production shows are really great, don't miss them if you can. Most of all though, don't miss Bert Stratton up in the Crooner's lounge. We saw him on the Golden last year and really enjoyed him again this year. It is hard to describe his performance, but it is really great.

-----
WolfpackFan

June 1994 Premier Atlantic
June 1995 Regent Rainbow
March 1998 Celebrity Century
January 2000 Norwegian Sky
January 2003 Golden Princess
June 2004 Diamond Princess
Nov. 2005 Disney Magic
Summer 2006 Pride of Aloha
#16
phoenix, az. usa
6,732 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Glad to hear Billy Hygate isn't the CD on Diamond currently, nice enough man, but way too in love (alone on this) with his own singing voice.

We agree about the lag, but we found ordering an extra course solved that. The embarkation trick is a good one, we are habiutally EARLY so don't know what it would be like to get there later in the day.

Life is at it's best when your address floats
One MORE open Booking(s).
<FONT color=red>Alaska</FONT>
Sapphire Princess 09/04
Diamond Princess 05/04 ~~ Mercury 06/02
Rhapsody o.t. Seas 05/98 ~~ Legend o.t. Seas 09/95
<FONT color=red>Mexican Riviera</FONT>
Diamond Princess 12/04
Diamond Princess 11/04 ~~ Diamond Princess 04/04
Sea Princess 01/02 ~~ Vision o.t. Seas 04/02<FONT color=red>
West Coast-Baja Mexico</FONT>

Ecstacy 09/01
<FONT color=red>Eastern Carribean</FONT>
Century 12/97
<FONT color=red>Western Carribean</FONT>
Century 9/96
#17
14,192 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Thanks for posting your comments, WolfPackFan. A little good news will go a long way to making everyone feel better.

Completed:
Sea Princess, Royal Princess, Grand Princess (3X), Caribbean Princess, Golden Princess
#18
Midlothian VA
951 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Hi Wolfpack Fan,
Boy, you have sure gotten me thinking about another cruise. Our first cruise to Alaska on the Dawn Princess was much as you described. It got us hooked for life! I thought our last cruise to New Zealand/Australia would last for a while but it doesn't work that way for us addicts. After some less-than-complimentary reviews on the Diamond, it was good to see an excellent one. Each cruise experience and individual is a little different.
BTW, the new ACC should be very interesting. I'm proud to say I'm definitely NOT a Wolfpack fan. Wa Hoo Wah! Look out for the Cavaliers next season. LOL!

Bop (we seem to look alike!)

Dawn Princess 97
Sun Princess 98
Grand Princess 99
Crown Princess 00
Royal Princess 01
Celebrity Century 02
Star Princess 1/04
#19
Midlothian VA
951 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Hi Srphnx,
Billy Hygate was the CD on the Dawn for our first cruise. (C'mere, c'mere.) He was, indeed full of himself but we thought he was very good overall. He was friendly, a pretty good singer, and a funny comedian. He staff was energetic and excellent. So he liked to hear himself sing. Our vote goes to Billy as the best CD we have had so far. Different strokes for different folks.
Take care,
Bop

Dawn Princess 97
Sun Princess 98
Grand Princess 99
Crown Princess 00
Royal Princess 01
Celebrity Century 02
Star Princess 1/04
#20
San Antonio, TX
5,206 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Great review of what sounds like a great cruise! We were on the 5/15 Diamond cruise and had some problems as everyone knows - but not with the ship or the service. We came away from that cruise (our second) thinking that would probably be our last - but that was last month - this month I'm looking at the Panama Canal early next year. Time and reviews like this heal all :-)