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Sea Princess sold to new Chinese cruise start up


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During the week Sea Princess was handed over to new owners, a new Chinese cruise start up - Sanya International Cruise Development Co.  She will be renamed Charming.  This now solves the puzzle of what was happening to Sea and Sun as we had earlier been advised that Sun Princess will be operated for the Japanese NGO Peach Boat sailing as Pacific World.  Guess it's good news that they have both been given a new life and not heading to the scrap yards.

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11 minutes ago, SinbadThePorter said:

If we miss that class of ship, there will still be the Pacific Explorer to remind us.

Does the Pacific Explorer as P & O, compare well with  Sea and Sun Princess?

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3 minutes ago, Bowm54 said:

Does the Pacific Explorer as P & O, compare well with  Sea and Sun Princess?

Pacific Explorer is ex Dawn Princess, Sun Class exactly the same as Sea and Sun, the three sisters. Good ships, 77,000 tonners, carry about 2000 pax.

Edited by NSWP
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1 hour ago, Bowm54 said:

Does the Pacific Explorer as P & O, compare well with  Sea and Sun Princess?

I sailed on her in 2018 and the cabins hadn't changed from her Princess days besides from a lighting strip under the bar fridge which was a good edition for the night time.

The dining room and buffet were completely changed.

Not much of the fixed fittings in the wheelhouse bar were different but all the soft furnishing had changed. Outside the wheelhouse, the corridor had comfy cushions placed in the window ledges. These were a popular spot to relax and read a book in.

 

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31 minutes ago, sewgood said:

I sailed on her in 2018 and the cabins hadn't changed from her Princess days besides from a lighting strip under the bar fridge which was a good edition for the night time.

The dining room and buffet were completely changed.

Not much of the fixed fittings in the wheelhouse bar were different but all the soft furnishing had changed. Outside the wheelhouse, the corridor had comfy cushions placed in the window ledges. These were a popular spot to relax and read a book in.

 

Yes a refurb, did the 'Pantry' get installed in the old Horizon Court buffet area? 

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Just now, NSWP said:

Yes a refurb, did the 'Pantry' get installed in the old Horizon Court buffet area? 

I have just been reading up on the re-furb and yes it has the Pantry setup.

It does look pretty good.

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1 minute ago, Bowm54 said:

I have just been reading up on the re-furb and yes it has the Pantry setup.

It does look pretty good.

Some pax don't like the Pantry set up on the P&O Australia ships, they say it is like a Westfield shopping centre food court. I have not seen it. But post Covid I think many of the cruise lines will adopt that form of service, you go to the relevant section and the attendant puts the food on your plate, no more feeling the bread rolls and other unsavoury and non hygenic practices.

Edited by NSWP
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They also added lots of "pop up bunks" thereby increasing the capacity.  I haven't actually seen these but from the videos on you-tube they are awful.  Have a family trip booked for Dec 2021 and we decided to pay extra and only use twins.  They converted all the cabins on deck 12 to quads and many cabins on other decks.

 

I notice that on their website they now have different pictures of quad cabins for the refurbished Golden and Star with bunks being built in along the sides of cabins which look a lot better.  Pity they find it necessary to add so much capacity.

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1 minute ago, Aus Traveller said:

No. The Pantry is in P&O ships. Staff serve all the food (except tea/coffee). On the Sea Princess and the Sun Princess, the food area of the Horizon Court didn't change, but the seating area was totally remodeled. The Sun was changed first when it  was heading up to Japan for a season of cruising..

I was referring to Pacific Explorer only, did they change the buffet to the 'Pantry' on her? 

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5 minutes ago, NSWP said:

Yes a refurb, did the 'Pantry' get installed in the old Horizon Court buffet area? 

 

1 minute ago, NSWP said:

Some pax don't like the Pantry set up on the P&O Australia ships, they say it is like a Westfield shopping centre food court. I have not seen it.

Yes it was installed on the Explorer and yes it does look like a food court.

Sometimes it felt like one as well with lots of rice (or other carb) and a little stir fry.

But I did have some good meals on the ship.

Others enjoyed all their meals.

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10 minutes ago, NSWP said:

Some pax don't like the Pantry set up on the P&O Australia ships, they say it is like a Westfield shopping centre food court. I have not seen it.

 

I don't mind the Pantry set up on the Pacific Dawn. I imagine that the buffet section on the Pacific Explorer is similar. Staff serve all the food so it has reduced or eliminated the dreaded noro virus. I prefer to serve myself, but can see the benefits of the P&O version.

Edited by Aus Traveller
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3 minutes ago, Ondine said:

They also added lots of "pop up bunks" thereby increasing the capacity.  I haven't actually seen these but from the videos on you-tube they are awful.  Have a family trip booked for Dec 2021 and we decided to pay extra and only use twins.  They converted all the cabins on deck 12 to quads and many cabins on other decks.

 

I notice that on their website they now have different pictures of quad cabins for the refurbished Golden and Star with bunks being built in along the sides of cabins which look a lot better.  Pity they find it necessary to add so much capacity.

Thats what Carnival Corp do, they did it to ye olde Regal Princess when she became Pacific Dawn. These increases in passenger capacity have an impact on public areas. All about bodies in bunks = $$$$$.

Edited by NSWP
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16 minutes ago, NSWP said:

Some pax don't like the Pantry set up on the P&O Australia ships, they say it is like a Westfield shopping centre food court.

 

I have no problem with the layout or the way food is served, it's the actual food that's the downside for me. I find the P&O Pantry food too uninspired, repetitive and stodgy. But that's just me.

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Just now, SinbadThePorter said:

 

I have no problem with the layout or the way food is served, it's the actual food that's the downside for me. I find the P&O Pantry food too uninspired, repetitive and stodgy. But that's just me.

Agreed that it is repetitive. I suppose I can cope with it on a seven day cruise when I would be going to the dining room most of the time and only go to the Pantry for lunch on port days.

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25 minutes ago, SinbadThePorter said:

 

My alternative was Angelo's.

We haven't been on the Pacific Explorer. A few times we went on the 7-day Island Hopper cruise on the Pacific Dawn when we got the cruise at a great price. A cruise out of Brisbane is better for us without the cost and inconvenience of flying to Sydney. The Pacific Dawn didn't have Angelo's restaurant or Dragon Lady.

 

We have booked a couple of P&O cruises on the Pacific Explorer and the Pacific Encounter. Once again, great prices and leaving from Brisbane. It will be interesting to see these different P&O ships. We will definitely try the alternate dining rooms.

Edited by Aus Traveller
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15 minutes ago, Aus Traveller said:

The Pacific Dawn didn't have Angelo's restaurant or Dragon Lady.

 

I've been on the Pacific Aria, Explorer and Dawn. Pacific Dawn was the only one I wished to the breakers yard, but very often it was the only ship operating out of Brisbane and like you I hated flying to Sydney. The stress and angst of flying made for an unpleasant start and finish to a cruise.

 

When the new cruise terminal opens it's going to be a game changer. 😁

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6 minutes ago, SinbadThePorter said:

 

I've been on the Pacific Aria, Explorer and Dawn. Pacific Dawn was the only one I wished to the breakers yard, but very often it was the only ship operating out of Brisbane and like you I hated flying to Sydney. The stress and angst of flying made for an unpleasant start and finish to a cruise.

 

When the new cruise terminal opens it's going to be a game changer. 😁

We have cruised mainly on Princess ships, and only went the Pacific Aria when she was HAL Ryndam operating out of USA. I agree that it will be a game changer when the new terminal comes into operation.

 

I hope cruising can start by the time of our first booked cruise - the Pacific Encounter from the new Brisbane terminal on 7th August, 2021. I feel we have a 50/50 chance of this cruise actually happening. It was originally booked at a great price on the Pacific Explorer, but P&O cancelled the cruise and substituted the identical itinerary on the Pacific Encounter.  They gave us more OBC to transfer to the newer ship. 😁I was disappointed when we got the email to say the cruise was cancelled because we had such a good deal on the cruise. It doesn't matter to us that we have done the Island Hopper itinerary many times. We go for the life on the ship. 

Edited by Aus Traveller
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2 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

Agreed that it is repetitive. I suppose I can cope with it on a seven day cruise when I would be going to the dining room most of the time and only go to the Pantry for lunch on port days.

You get what you pay for, budget cruiseline, budget food.

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5 hours ago, NSWP said:

Some pax don't like the Pantry set up on the P&O Australia ships, they say it is like a Westfield shopping centre food court. I have not seen it. 

 

In a way it probably is. But I'm not sure why that's a bad thing. I don't really see how an RCL or Princess buffet area "looks" any better. It's what the food is like, not how it appears. And I think the seating area is actually decorated better than any other buffet area.

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The pantry style of “buffet” beats hands down the traditional buffet.  People sampling food, then putting it back, dropping serving utensils on floor and placing them back in the food, taking food with fingers rather than use the serving utensils etc.  People can be such grots.

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