CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Princess Cruises Star Princess by Daniel-Malibu Alaska September 7, 2002

I'm sure that if you are reviewing information for cruiselines, like I did prior to my Alaskan cruise with Princess, you are reading this and the other reviews to find out more about the ship. There is plenty of information about the ships size, rooms and entertainment, but I'm going to get to the "important" information so that you really know the "Star". Also, if you want information about Alaska email me. It is the most beautiful place I've been so far in my lifetime......

Checking in to the ship was a snap. I was done within 2 minutes. We checked in and after security screening (not a hassel at all), we were onboard. Your picture was taken as you boarded the ship by friendly and quick photographers. After boarding the ship you enter your personal ship account card/key for room into this machine that sounds like a disney sound...Tinkerbells rings...Ding....(quite cute!) then your onboard.

I think the ship is very attractive throughout. The exterior of the ship is beautiful and always clean. The staterooms are bigger than I expected (we stayed in the Dolphin Minisuite--Highly recommend, if you go with the Star). The cabin steward for our suite "Danny" was friendly and always had our cabin clean, well stocked and if you needed his help he was there so fast I thought he was just outside our room waiting to be paged by one of his cabin guests..haha....

We did the traditional dining the first 2 nights and decided to change to personal choice, were we had our own table and it was more intimate. The food was the same choices whether you went with personal choice/traditional choice with one huge exception: The Service. The service with traditional dining was Excellent!!! The service for personal choice dining was Very bad! Put it this way its like the difference between Sizzler waiters and a 5star restaurant service. We always had to get the waiters attention for the personal choice dining room for more water etc. Otherwise, they just stood around and talked amongst themselves. The food was average and the portions were very small when compared to restuarants back here in L.A. So, make sure you order soup/salad prior or you will eat again later that evening.

The entertainment was great! Movie nights were always packed and the movies which played were fairly new ones. There are a few problems that I and others had with the movie theatre. The theatre was located within a Bar/show lounge and always followed a show. A small screen came down in the middle of the stage and then the movie started. I was expecting a movie theater by itself not a screen like you have at home. The room was filled with smoke, since the bar was behind you and people smoked during the film. We left early due to this. I think that Princess can afford to ban smoking during the movie and provide snackes/popcorn while viewing the film.

Here's were I'm going to get blunt about this ship.... I felt if though Princess hired carsalespeople for this ship. Meaning: from the time we boarded till the last day of our cruise, someone had something to sell you. It was annoying and at times rude. When boarding the ship we were tired due to a long travel to the ship. We were excited and once aboard there were greeters by the elevators. Not to greet you though. They stood there with bottles of soda etc standing there. Not welcome! Hello! I thought that they were providing us with a great welcome drink. I asked one of the "Salesman" for a drink. He said "Oh, no this is not for you to consume now, it is for a sodacard for your trip for only $20 you can drink (only fountain) unlimited sodas....No thank you i said. In the room, once again i saw a tall bottle of water with the words "Welcome and enjoy" on the advertisement on the bottle. For $3.50 you could "enjoy" the water. I really think that after paying a lot of money for this cruise they can at least welcome you with a fr! ee bottle of water at least for the first day.....

The selling didn't stop. I went to the spa..The treatment was excellent. I did the floatation treatment 2.5 hours followed by a nap on the tiled beds ah wish i was there now. However, after my treatment the spa employee right after my massage, said "Well to rid of the toxins blah blah blah you need these pills, lotions, soap and masque". I said no thank you. The part that troubles me is that he wrote up the purchases on my "spa purchse sheet". Yes for $375.00 i can rid my toxins. After I said no thank you he looked at me and said: "Didn't you enjoy the treatments today?". I said yes a lot. He said: "Well then continue the process with these great products". I said no thank you. He said: "You just told me that you enjoyed this spa treatment so I think you should continue it with these items i personally picked out for you". I stood up looked him straight in the face and said: "Yes, I fully enjoyed this treatment up until now. The spa treatment was great, but your aggresive s! ells pitch just ruined my last 2.5 hours of bliss". After he scratched out the items for purchase he walked out then came back with the changed receipt and asked if i was still leaving him a tip. I said: "Yes, my tip is that you ask your spa patron if they want a particular item. If they say yes great..If no..great also". He said that they are required to sell products after each treatment. I told him that I frequent spas in Beverly Hills, Calfornia and never get that sells pitch. I left him a tip and talked to the manager the next day about this.

If you don't mind the sells pitching, upgrade drinks etc. for additional $$. Poor dining food and service (buffet and personal choice dining), great spa treatments with bad attitude employees the the Star is for you. I will not be cruising with the Star ever again, but I might try Princess once more to be fair. Which ship? Probably a smaller one with more charm and hopefully better staff with less sales experience!

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