benzbaby Posted November 21, 2006 #1 Share Posted November 21, 2006 Just returned from our 1st Princess cruise, which was on the Star. A few of my opinions/observations: Got to the pier in Ft. Lauderdale at 11:45, and after standing on about 30 minutes, started the boarding process. The line moved quickly, it was covered from the sun and there were benches available to sit if you chose to do so. We were onboard in our cabin within 20 minutes after check in. We had a room with balcony on the Lido deck where both pools and the buffets were located. Even so, it was quiet and we didn't experience noise from the hallway in the evenings. Our balcony was covered as was the deck's below ours; however, the mini suite balconies have no cover/shelter and therefore, no privacy either. The room was adequate for my husband and I. Nothing really special. Yes, the beds, bedding, pillows are awful as mentioned before on this board. The sheets and blankets don't fit the beds, and are of extremely inferior quality. Our cabin steward, Luis, was wonderful. Anything I asked for I received. Thinking about it, I should have asked for a softer pillow. I had thought robes were supplied as they were on Carnival and RCL, but on Princess, apparently not in our class of room. Luis brought us two to use. He was quick to make up the room, and was very personable. The lobby on the ship is quite attractive. I personally would like to see brighter colors all around the ship. I think it's ready for a refurbishing. The two pools on the 14th floor (where we were located) are beautiful, and the water a bit cool. The mosiac work is outstanding. The hot tubs were nice and warm, but I found them a bit unclean at times with dirt in the bottoms. (This was not at the end of the day after they had been used extensively, but in the mornings.) The pool located in the Lotus Spa area is the place to go. No one seems to use it, and it's quiet, no kids allowed, has shaded areas and has a current you can swim against. Do go there if you want to relax and read a book and have a peaceful time. It also has two hot tubs, but they aren't very warm. There's another pool in the stern of the ship which wasn't very crowded either. It was also for adults only. The water in that pool was, let me think...freezing!!:eek: The Lotus Spa offers a week pass to The Sanctuary for $75. The Sanctuary consists of contoured stone beds that are warmed from within. Another room had a sauna with stone settees, again, warmed from within, and a herbal steam room. I decided to pass on that since the Star has a steam room and a sauna that you can use for free in the Ladies changing room. The steam room was great, and afterwards you can use the showers there. But, the showers weren't very clean and didn't drain well. If you do this, use your shower shoes. The foyer to the shower/sauna/steam room was constantly flooded too, so be careful you don't slip and fall. We had anytime dining. That was a mistake. I felt like we were on a cattle line waiting to get into the dining rooms. Unfortunately, you don't eat at the same table each night or have the same waiter. So you don't get to know your tablemates very well and your waiter doesn't get to know you or your preferences. The waitstaff seemed to be shorthanded. We waited for refills on tea, or just for the table to be cleared for the next course. The food was OK, the menu a bit weird at times. But you can have steak or fish if nothing appeals to you. I had steak 2x in a row. The buffets were pretty good. I enjoy fresh fruit and salads, nuts and cheeses, and they were plentiful. I liked the desserts because many of them came in small portions. The fruit tarts were delicious. One night we had dinner in the buffet and they had prime rib which was perfectly cooked. But, it was buffet, you serve yourself and there's no real service. I asked a bus boy for a napkin and he pointed in a direction and said "They're over there". Hello?? Another time I observed another chap who was disabled and he asked the bus person for a glass of water, and the bus boy pointed to the water station and said "It's over there". The man asked him a second time for a glass of water and got the same answer. So he then said "I know where it is, I asked you to get it for me", and only then did the bus boy get the water. This, to me, is unacceptable. The entertainment was just so-so. They had a comic/magician and another comic. The big song and dance shows were ok. They didn't measure up to others that I've seen on other ships. The shows can get crowded so it's worth it to get there a little early. We didn't get the Coke Card and drank iced tea. Being from the South, this is what we are more used to. You can bring on bottles of wine for your consumption in the room. On person in our group (there were 44 of us) said he called and was told he could bring on wine. He asked if there was a limit and was told he could bring a case if he liked! You may bring your own bottled water too. The last day we did the Princess Cays thing, and enjoyed it tremendously. Rent a cabana if you don't want to get scorched by the sun! It's well worth the few dollars. We also rented the snorkle vests but we had our own snorkle gear. The 4 person peddle boat was fun, and the banana boat looked like a blast! Getting off the boat was quick, easy and painless. You have your breakfast, go to a public waiting area, and get off when your color and number is called. We found immigration and customs no big thing, got a porter and found our bags. The porter took the bags all the way to the car in the parking garage. The fee for parking is $12 per day. All in all, I was a bit disappointed in this cruise. I expected more in the line of service and food. The service was poor, and the food, just ok. The actual cruise was very relaxing since the water was calm and I had decided that I would not over extend myself as I have on previous cruises. FYI: I've cruised several times on NCL, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity, the old Majesty line and even done a Windjammer Barefoot cruise. But, as they say, to each their own. Go, enjoy. It beats staying at home and cooking and cleaning. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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