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Star Princess 11/11 -11/18


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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.

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If you find a table and "wait staff" that you like, you can request that table at a specific time. We love anytime dining, and on our last cruise on the Coral Princess "19 days" we had the same great waiter and asst.waiter at 7:30 everynight. They made our cruise sooooooo much fun.


On our next cruise next April 15 day to Hawaii, we'll also have anytime dining. We just find that 6pm is to early and 8:30 is to late.

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I was on the Star last January and had a great time. We experienced excellent service at the buffet. I realize that the staff has turned by now, but I had a broken foot on that cruise. Every time I went to the buffet, a waiter would come and grab my tray and dish out my food for me. Then she followed me to a table and went and got my beverage!:) I must have looked pitiful, but definately enjoyed the extra pampering!

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The bedding is the main reason we like the mini suites - plus we bring our own bed topper


I love the open Mini Suite balcony - we are from fl and love the sun


I don't think the star is ready for a refurbishing (when it was fixed from the fire I would assume they did some refurbishing work)- the soft colors are a trademark of Princess - If you want bright colors - NCL is the way to go.


You said the service was poor, but your room steward sounded like he was very good....


So, you forgot to get a napkin and you want a bus boy to get you a napkin? Interesting....I would never think to ask a bus boy who is cleaning tables and I have no clue where his hands had been to get me a napkin that could touch my face. On the last cruise we went on with Princess there was usually a crew member that handed you napkins that had gloves on - same be said with the water - but that is just me - I am clean freak on cruises -


I will agree that the shows are ok at best -


After what I experienced with NCL - I can't wait to get back on with Princess - the Decor, the Service, the way the buffets are set up and the food in the main dining rooms far exceeds what we experienced with NCL

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Thanks for the review, we leave on Dec. 2 on the Star.


One question for you. We have a mini suite on Emerald Deck and by all the responses on here and research done, I believe it is a covered balcony. You write otherwise. Perhaps someone can answer this for me. Am I wrong?


Agree with the other poster. Although this is our first cruise, we were deciding between NCL and Princess and the only reason we decided against NCL was the "Austin Powers" crazy colors!



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just off the Star from a New England and Canada cruise and had one of the best cruises ever. Princess is much more relaxed then RCI, Carnival and NCL . The food was very good in the Horizon Court (which I usually don't expect) and the dining room (with traditional late dining ) was excellent. Service was outstanding the ship. The shows need some work (again a plea to Carnival to take over the entertainment!!). As far as need updating. . .no way! She looked great! Princess ship feel more like a 4 or 5 star resort in Hawaii and the Star was true to form.


Hope you relaxed dispite your let down, Princess may just not be your cup of tea. :)

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Thanks for the review, we leave on Dec. 2 on the Star.


One question for you. We have a mini suite on Emerald Deck and by all the responses on here and research done, I believe it is a covered balcony. You write otherwise. Perhaps someone can answer this for me. Am I wrong?


Agree with the other poster. Although this is our first cruise, we were deciding between NCL and Princess and the only reason we decided against NCL was the "Austin Powers" crazy colors!




Emerald deck minis are fully covered...parents had one last april and loved it, My dad fell asleep out on the balcony almost every day.

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We were on the Star 4 years ago & loved it. Perfect, no. Terrific, yes.


Refurbished...its only 5 or 6 years old! Soft colors are preferable to me.


Actually, the buffet & desserts were let down to me. I felt all the dining room meals were great.


I agree beds were BAD--will request egg crate mattress for this one.


I hope the cleanliness issues haven't developed, as you shared. I never noticed anything on the last cruise...hope it was situational and not a reflection of this staff.


It is always interesting how one person can find things SO good, and others on the same trip SO bad...certainly there are situational differences. And there are those that will find wrong w/ every trip. Most of us realize no trip is perfect, and have a good time no matter where we are!


It will be an interesting comparison...my folks have cruised Celebrity (FAV), RCI (2nd fav) and NCL ( a MUCH lower fav---but they still cruise them if the deal is right). They will be on the Crown Princess this Feb. It will be interesting to hear their take. Funny, some LOVE Carnival...my aunt & uncle (who have done above cruises) felt it was considerable step below the above 3.


It's nice we all have different preferences. Keeps all those cruise lines in business!

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