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Pacific Princess - 14-Day South Pacific & New Zealand or Tahiti?


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Hi folks,

 

My wife and I are booked on a 14-day East/West Caribbean cruise on the Enchanted over the Christmas holiday later in the year.  There is a good chance the cruise will not happen, thus I'd like to get something else on the books.  We have only sailed once before, last year on the Caribbean Princess over the Christmas and New Years holiday via the 14-day Circle Caribbean.  We had such a good time, we booked the Enchanted a week after returning.

 

In terms of the "next" cruise, my wife would like for us to explore the South Pacific.  I came across an interesting itinerary (for us) on the Pacific Princess 14-day South Pacific and New Zealand cruise.  While the itinerary looks to be suitable for us, I'd like to understand more about the ship.  On the Caribbean Princess we really enjoyed the International Cafe.  we'd sit and drink tea during sea days while people watching.  We also spent quite a bit of time in the various evening venues with the ship's Caribbean band.  Every now and again we chose to visit Skywalker's at night.  We are not "young", being in our mid-upper 30s.  We don't crave a lot of activity on the ship but do enjoy a couples evening "out".  

 

So, what if anything does the Pacific Princess have that would compare to what we enjoyed on the Caribbean Princess?  During the cruise, I spoke with a crew member to inquire about a pacific cruise.  He told us to stay away, we would be bored out of our minds.  Literally, a crew member told us this.  Maybe he was right?  We only have one cruise under our belts, over the winter holidays none the less.  

 

One more thing, while we are considering this cruise that ventures down to New Zealand and Australia, there is another cruise that I am looking at, the 10-day Tahiti and French Polynesia.  Which would be more ideal if any?  I've never been to New Zealand or Australia, thus this would be a great opportunity to see a little bit of both.  Still, I hear French Polynesia is nice.  Is a full 10 days warranted there?

 

I'd love to hear thoughts on the ship and the itineraries.

 

Thanks so much

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I have done both of these cruises and loved them. Tahiti-French Polynesia & Cook Is. & Sydney to Queensland & Sydney around New Zealand. Ports were Not boring to me at all.
I have not been on Pacific Princess, but have been on Caribbean Princess, so cannot compare ships. 

 

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The Pacific Princess is our favorite Princess ship.

 

We were on it for two weeks in the Caribbean last December over Xmas and New Years holidays. Our scheduled cruise on it this December from Tahiti to Sydney was cancelled because of the pandemic.

 

With 680 passengers, it is never too crowded and you can get from one end of the ship to the other very quickly.

 

Show room is not stadium style like the other Princess ships, but most seats are closer to the perfomers than on other ships. The production shows have less people in the cast, but their enthusiasm and professionalism make up for that. Other entertainment in the show room is typical Princess.

 

No, there are not six choices of activities at the same time, but most regular activities from dance music to trivia, from Crooner's type piano playing to a (small) casino are there.

 

No International Cafe, but the Club Bar and the bar near the buffet do offer the opportunity to sip tea and people watch.

 

Dinner (except for Club Class) is traditional fixed time early or late seatings only, no Anytime. The two specialty restaurants alternate evenings they will be open.

 

Outside Promenade desk is not wrap around, but is wide and a great place to relax.

 

Swimming pool (just one) is saltwater.

 

We have taken the 10 day French Polynesia cruise on the similar size former Tahitian Princess. As people who enjoy visiting ports and what they have to offer, the 10 day cruise was definitely worth the time to us.

 

Any more questions, just ask.

 

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My wife and I have done both these cruises and, without any bias, I would recommend the Aust/NZ cruise.  The Tahiti cruise would be warmer, but I think there is more to see here, particularly NZ and the fjords. Just spectacular. 

 

We haven't cruised on the Pacific Princess, but have done two cruises on the Ocean Princess (formerly the Tahitian Princess), which is the twin sister of the Pacific Princess. We loved this type of ship and I agree with everything Caribill has said. With 680 passengers, it is much more personal and the staff certainly get to know you quickly. We are a little older than you, and admittedly, there is not as much to do on the smaller ships compared to the bigger ones, but we just loved that class of ship. 

 

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I think you will have to look at the itineraries a little more closely and see exactly what you would like to see and do.  I have been to all the places you mention and they are all beautiful and each city/town/island has unique charm.  I have not been on Pacific Princess;  and I know a lot of people love this ship;  however,  I would get bored with it.  There is not enough on this ship to keep me interested.  They do not have a main theater;  it is more of a lounge.  There is no int'l cafe;  which you said you liked hanging out in.  Good luck with planning your trip.  I prefer the larger Grand or Royal class ships.

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You said you enjoyed Skywalker's in the evenings so you may enjoy the Tahitian Lounge. It's on deck 10 forward and has continuous almost floor-to-ceiling windows port, forward and starboard. There's a bar as well. While mostly used for games and other similar activities during the day and into early evening, around 9 PM it switches to one of the two ship bands for dancing until around 11 PM. Yes, for some it's early but heck, if you've got an early excursion the next morning, it's good.

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Because the PP is small (640 pax) there are fewer features that Princess customers are used to.

 

IMO, Princess, CLIA and other cruise lines have avoided cancelling their sailings in December because the holidays are a major profit center.  They will likely hold off on cancellations until the last minute.

 

I suggest, also, that you keep up with the COVID restrictions imposed by the various countries on that intinerary.  If you can't get to the embarkation point, being booked is pointless...and likely expensive.

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The ship is small.   And as such the ride is not as smooth as a larger ship.     If you get motion sickness easily I would think twice about a smaller ship.   Or make sure your cabin is low and center of ship.    A beautiful ship , great library and all cabins have a small love seat in them.   If you can entertain yourself easily during the day then you will enjoy the ship.   What's not to like about Australia and/or New Zealand.  

Edited by waltd
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1 hour ago, waltd said:

The ship is small.   And as such the ride is not as smooth as a larger ship.     If you get motion sickness easily I would think twice about a smaller ship.   Or make sure your cabin is low and center of ship.    A beautiful ship , great library and all cabins have a small love seat in them.   If you can entertain yourself easily during the day then you will enjoy the ship.   What's not to like about Australia and/or New Zealand.  

One small correction - cabins which have an adjoining door don’t have a love seat, they have a chair instead. We love the Pacific Princess and it’s our first choice when selecting a cruise. 

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I've been to French Polynesia and New Zealand.

 

The 10 day Tahiti and French Polynesia is a fantastic itinerary.  There are ports I've never been to, because our cruises always started from Los Angeles and included Hawaii.  Plus, you get overnight in both Bora Bora and Papeete.  

 

 

The 14 day itinerary only has Bora Bora and Pago Pago, unless you go into Papeete for 2 nights ahead to give yourself a chance to see some of the sights, etc.  Even sailing at 9pm from Papeete, that day you have to check out from your hotel, deal with luggage and dock check-in.  A good part of the day is taken up with this, and if you go snorkeling or have a beach day, there are some logistics to deal with for clean-up, wet clothes, etc.  That's why the 2 nights ahead are advisable.

 

Pago Pago  and Apia are not the more attractive ports to visit.  Bora Bora is fabulous.

 

So, if you want a taste of French Polynesia, and really want to see  a bit of New Zealand, then this is a good itinerary, but I'd do the 2 nights before for Papeete.

 

You aren't seeing much of New Zealand, either, and it will only make you want to book another NZ cruise to see more.  It's amazingly picturesque, and the people are truly wonderful.

 

And, you must enjoy sea days, because there are 8 of them.

 

So, French Polynesia immersion, or a taste of Tahiti and NZ?  I see these as your choices.

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1 hour ago, shellbeachjim said:

One small correction - cabins which have an adjoining door don’t have a love seat, they have a chair instead. We love the Pacific Princess and it’s our first choice when selecting a cruise. 

Yes you are right.    I remember reading about the adjoining cabins not having the love seat due to the door.   Thanks

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My wife and I have enjoyed the 10-day Tahiti and French Polynesia cruise numerous times.  Our opinion is the Pacific Princess (and the other ships about the same size) are perfect for the area.  It is like a floating all inclusive resort.  An affordable way to enjoy the French Polynesia particularly Bora Bora and Moorea.  It is really not about the ship and we were never bored.  The return flight from Papeete was the only downside for us.  

We have also enjoyed B2Bs with the Hawaii to Tahiti cruise and a Tahiti to Hawaii cruise (avoids the return flight from Papeete).  We also have cruised the 28 day round trip from San Pedro (Larger ship) and  a Papeete to Sydney cruise (larger ship).


I would not recommend the Papeete to Sydney/New Zealand cruise in the fall due to the weather.  My wife and I did not enjoy (as much) going from the warm climate to the cooler weather.  I am sure it is better in the spring.  I did this itinerary on a larger ship and there were a lot of sea days. 
 

The bottom line recommendation from me is to do the 10-day Tahiti and French Polynesia cruise, especially if you like to be on the water and enjoy snorkeling.


I am obviously biased because the French Polynesia is my favorite cruise designation.

 

Good luck

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This is excellent feedback, thank you all so much.  Given what I have seen, the Pacific princess appears to be a favorite of many while a bit small for others.  While it does not have an International Cafe, it does have the Club Bar which may work for us.  Also, it does not have as many entertainment options as the larger ships, but has a few options and thus should be okay. My wife and I do a reasonably good job at entertaining ourselves, I think we'll go ahead and book the 14-day option to Australia & New Zealand.  Covid related restrictions were mentioned, this cruise is scheduled for February of 2022, I hope we have all in order by then.  

 

I'll try to get to Papeete a few days early, tough with work to take too may days off in a row but I suspect I'll be able to make it happen.  

 

I am curious about motion sickness as was mentioned up thread.  I have a huge problem with motion sickness, I have to take dramamine when driving as a passenger in a car.  Has anyone taken dramamine/bonine and still had an issue?  I need to take meds regardless of the size of the ship.  

 

And we do enjoy sea days, albeit we have had one cruise thus far.  This is probably a good step before a transatlantic. 

 

Thanks, really I appreciate all of the help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We sailed around New Zealand in October. The Tasman Sea was rough   Otherwise smooth sailing for us.  I was on Dawn Princess for that cruise. And for Tahiti it was the Tahitian Princess.  

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1 hour ago, blloydtbird said:

This is excellent feedback, thank you all so much.  Given what I have seen, the Pacific princess appears to be a favorite of many while a bit small for others.  While it does not have an International Cafe, it does have the Club Bar which may work for us.  Also, it does not have as many entertainment options as the larger ships, but has a few options and thus should be okay. My wife and I do a reasonably good job at entertaining ourselves, I think we'll go ahead and book the 14-day option to Australia & New Zealand.  Covid related restrictions were mentioned, this cruise is scheduled for February of 2022, I hope we have all in order by then.  

 

I'll try to get to Papeete a few days early, tough with work to take too may days off in a row but I suspect I'll be able to make it happen.  

 

I am curious about motion sickness as was mentioned up thread.  I have a huge problem with motion sickness, I have to take dramamine when driving as a passenger in a car.  Has anyone taken dramamine/bonine and still had an issue?  I need to take meds regardless of the size of the ship.  

 

And we do enjoy sea days, albeit we have had one cruise thus far.  This is probably a good step before a transatlantic. 

 

Thanks, really I appreciate all of the help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join the crowd on motion sickness.  As you probably already know if you take  dramamine/bonine you should start taking it the day before you board the ship.  It does not work if you take it after you get sick.   I usually start taking it two days before so it's in my system.   I usually take it at night.   Even the Non-Drowsy formula makes me tired so why not sleep through some of it. After a couple of days on board you will know if you still need to take it.  It has also been recommended to take ginger to help settle the stomach.   I have a brand that is a soft gel with powder form not a rock-hard tablet. I think they also have a candy form but I'm not crazy about it.     I've also used wrist band, pressure points.
If it's still available you can also get the patch from your doctor.    I hear that works well but does come with some side effects.   I think one is dry mouth.   I have never used it but you could talk to your doctor about it.
At the end of the day does any of this work   Maybe.    I've been lucky.   Over 50 cruises and so far, no sickness.   But I did feel more motion on the smaller ships we have sailed on.  
One sure thing ,   the on-board doctor has a shot they can give you, for a fee, that I hear works great.  It does knock you out for a few hours but everyone I've talked to said it was a Miracle.   I have not had to try it yet. lol   
Good luck and enjoy your cruise.
 

 

 

Edited by waltd
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This will be a great cruise!  New Zealand is stunningly beautiful.  What an experience!

 

The Pacific Princess is a nice little ship, a very different experience from the Grand Class ships.

 

Enjoy every minute!

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I have been on the Pacific Princess for Iceland/Norway and her sister the Ocean ( now sold to Oceania and renamed ) for the round trip Papeete. They are great ships. The mini-suite is particularly nice and on Oceania is called a Penthouse suite. You will not be bored. The show lounge is great with little tables like an old fashioned nightclub. The entertainment staff wonderful and very talented. Princess brings on lots of local talent . Dancers etc. every port is more beautiful than the next. We loved our lunch in the ocean that we had on one excursion. We flew in early and stayed two nights at the intercontinental in Papeete.which was great.you should be fine with occasional Bonine. I get sick in cars and in 49 cruises only twice ( near Bordeaux and crossing from Athens to Venice. The 10 day Tahiti is one of our favorite cruises. As far as Australia/New Zealand- a great trip you need a lot of time. We were on the Diamond Princess 2006.we flew to Sydney( took a whole day) stayed 4 nights , flew to Auckland, two nights and then circled the north and South Island . There was a severe hurricane that blew the Princess logo off the ship. At the time we were on a three day add on to queens town then Milford Sound where the ship was suppose to pick us ( a bus load) and the ship had to steam directly to Hobart. Princess flew us to Sydney and put us up at the Four Seasons . It all was fabulous! We were gone for 22 days and didn’t even see the Barrier Reef because my husband had to get back to work in New York. It was an Epic Cruise.!i highly recommend either one.

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While we have the government we have don't expect to arrive in New Zealand on a cruise ship, or by air for that matter, as they have a POLICY that the borders will not be open till there is a vaccine.   That also means that we can't get out to cruise either!!!

 

Also remember that Melbourne (Victoria) is a hotbed of Covid and has recently entered a 6 week total close down with BIG fines for repeated offenders.

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14 hours ago, beg3yrs said:

You said you enjoyed Skywalker's in the evenings so you may enjoy the Tahitian Lounge. It's on deck 10 forward and has continuous almost floor-to-ceiling windows port, forward and starboard. There's a bar as well. While mostly used for games and other similar activities during the day and into early evening, around 9 PM it switches to one of the two ship bands for dancing until around 11 PM. Yes, for some it's early but heck, if you've got an early excursion the next morning, it's good.

After 11, the Tahitian Lounge becomes the nightclub, so even though there's not a Skywalker's on the Pacific, it doesn't mean that there is no late-night venue.  It's got quite a nice-sized dance floor, too.  I loved that ship . . . .

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On 8/8/2020 at 4:01 PM, blloydtbird said:

This is excellent feedback, thank you all so much.  Given what I have seen, the Pacific princess appears to be a favorite of many while a bit small for others.  While it does not have an International Cafe, it does have the Club Bar which may work for us.  Also, it does not have as many entertainment options as the larger ships, but has a few options and thus should be okay. My wife and I do a reasonably good job at entertaining ourselves, I think we'll go ahead and book the 14-day option to Australia & New Zealand.  Covid related restrictions were mentioned, this cruise is scheduled for February of 2022, I hope we have all in order by then.  

 

I'll try to get to Papeete a few days early, tough with work to take too may days off in a row but I suspect I'll be able to make it happen.  

 

I am curious about motion sickness as was mentioned up thread.  I have a huge problem with motion sickness, I have to take dramamine when driving as a passenger in a car.  Has anyone taken dramamine/bonine and still had an issue?  I need to take meds regardless of the size of the ship.  

 

And we do enjoy sea days, albeit we have had one cruise thus far.  This is probably a good step before a transatlantic. 

 

Thanks, really I appreciate all of the help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope to see you on board the Pacific Princess in February 2022. We are booked on this cruise (Papeete to Sydney) and on the 10 day French Polynesia cruise just before it. We have been on the Pacific Princess before (and on its sister ship the Ocean Princess) and we love it. I have occasionally taken one bonine on a rough sea day and it usually does the trick. The Tasman Sea can be rough so I expect I may have to take one again! I hope we get to sail in 2022!

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On 8/8/2020 at 1:01 PM, blloydtbird said:

I am curious about motion sickness as was mentioned up thread.  I have a huge problem with motion sickness, I have to take dramamine when driving as a passenger in a car.  Has anyone taken dramamine/bonine and still had an issue?  I need to take meds regardless of the size of the ship.  

My DH also suffers from seasickness.  The "cure " for him is to wear the acupressure anti-nausea wrist bands, Sea Bands.  Wonder workers!  https://smile.amazon.com/Sea-Band-Wristband-Anti-Nausea-Acupressure-Sickness/dp/B001F731N0/ref=sr_1_38?dchild=1&keywords=accupressure&qid=1597174350&sr=8-38

 

Also,  my two cents.  The Pacific is my most favorite ship in the Princess fleet and Tahiti is my most favorite place on the planet.  AUS/NZ is my second most favorite place so you really can't go wrong with either choice!

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Another problem for those wanting to visit NZ.   We have our first community transfer of Covid after over 100 days.   4 new cases in Auckland so they are back in Level 3 and the rest of us to Level 2.

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We were on Pacific Princess II (the current one) for a Tahiti to Hawaii cruise, which was fabulous!   The ship has a more intimate feeling, and we were lucky enough to get to know the Cruise Director and staff as they have more time to meet guests.  

If flying from the USA (we went through LAX), do try to book Air Tahiti Nui.  Even economy felt like luxury, and the people who flew in a day or two earlier reported a lot fewer passengers onboard.

Our cruise had no issues at all with rough seas, and even the day of more wave amplitude the ship's stabilizers handled it well.

 

Regarding upcoming TransAtlantics, the ships are much bigger and quite a bit less susceptible to motion.  Indeed a lot of the time we couldn't feel anything at all.

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On 8/8/2020 at 1:01 PM, blloydtbird said:

I am curious about motion sickness as was mentioned up thread.  I have a huge problem with motion sickness, I have to take dramamine when driving as a passenger in a car.  Has anyone taken dramamine/bonine and still had an issue?  I need to take meds regardless of the size of the ship.  

 

Thanks, really I appreciate all of the help!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our standard for avoiding motion sickness:

 

I take a bottle of generic, non-drowsy bonine (meclazine).  In your case I'd recommend moving this whole schedule back 1 day.

 

We each take 1/2 tablet when we go to bed the night before the cruise.  We take another 1/2 tablet the morning we embark.  We take 1/2 or 1 tablet when we go to bed the first night.

 

After that, we take another tablet as needed during the cruise.  My "alert" is if I suddenly am "aware" of my stomach.  It's not nausea, but more like an "OH" feeling.  Take a pill.

 

The point is to have the medication in your system before sailing starts in order to keep yourself from getting nauseous at all.

Edited by pcur
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