CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Princess Cruises Star Princess by Jeffrey Mexico March 23, 2002

I'll keep my review "brief" - since I could write so much about both this ship and the itinerary I could spend hours, and since there is already a lot of information out there about both the ship and ports of call.

The Star Princess is spectacular!

This ship is just beautiful - and large! To me, it was really like taking a huge Las Vegas Casino Resort Hotel and making it a sailing vessel -- and for me, this is a good thing! I was not bored, not even for a moment, unless I chose to be.

The ship, though huge, manages to still feel intimate, particularly in the dining rooms. I read this before hand, and it's true!

The food was very good (though NOT spectacular, and I wasn't expecting it to be), and the service throughout the ship was superb. Our cabin steward was very helpful, nice and efficient. Dining room and other wait staff were fun and on top of things for the most part....just a few minor lapses. Personal Choice Dining worked out well, but if you don't make an advance reservation you'll either wait (20 to 40 minutes) or need to come back. We often ate about 8pm, and it was fine for us - walked right in or we were able to reserve easily a few hours (3-4) in advance. Sometimes we had tables for two, and sometimes we ate with a small group...we had a choice. Tables for 2 did take longer though if you didn't reserve!

The burgers and pizza by the pools were very good - they even had garden burgers and veggie pizzas! The pools and spas were beautiful, though the lap pool never worked the whole time, which was disappointing. We loved the tile work and the themes! We didn't see a lot of chair saving - and if a towel was there with nothing else (like a book or suntan lotion) it was moved and the cahir was used. This is how it should be!

The fitness center is well done with GREAT equipment, but it can get VERY crowded, luckily you can reserve a treadmill. Staff was slightly aloof. They had a good variety of programs though. The Spa looked wonderful, though we didn't try a message or any other service.

Our cabin was great - we were on Aloha Deck in an outside double with private balcony. The room was spacious enough and had excellent storage (and I bring a lot of luggage). We LOVED the balcony. We saw a shark, dolphins, and sea lions right from the room, and had breakfast out on the balcony every morning - a nice thing! We saw several inside rooms though, and they were certainly nice enough.

The atrium is BEAUTIFUL and the public spaces are well arranged. The elevators are a bit crazy. I think they were having some problems with them. The wait could be LONG! We just walked! The food in Tequilas was very good, and the $8 surcharge includes a BIG margarita (though not that strong). We didn't like the people parading past during our dinner though, on their way to the showroom...they should divert them around the restaurant (which they CAN do).

Didn't eat in Sabatini's - from what people told us it was very good, though 2-1/2 to 3 hours long. Too long for me to sit! :-)

The entertainment was good - GREAT comedians, good service in the showrooms. The Princess Production Shows were very professional, though not varied enough for my taste. I got bored towards the end.

Express Check in made embarkation a breeze (about 10 minutes) and disembarkation was not bad at all (about an hour including the immigration check).

We also enjoyed the "adults only" aft pool quite a bit. The casino is fun too, but the slots are SUPER tight! Decent shopping on board. "Skywalkers" is very, very cool - you must go up there both at night and during the day. The view is stunning, and the room is very well done.

Our shore excursion was nice (did Deer Island in Mazatlan, kayaking and a hike) and it was very well run. Puerto Vallarta is simply beautiful. Our favorite port! Great shopping and restaurants! Cabo san Lucas was also nice, though there isn't much time to do anything meaningful (we docked about 7am and left about 2pm, had to be back on board by 1:30). The crowd (and the ship was full) was really varied - many young people, younger couples, 40 something's and on up. Lot's of birthdays and anniversaries too! A nice mix!

"Smart Casual" seems to mean "whatever you want to wear", but formal night meant dress up, which was fine. I'd say about 35% of men did tuxes, 60% did dark suits, and 5% ignored it!

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