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Sun Princess Review
Regency Restaurant - Sun Princess
Restaurants onboard Sun Princess.
If you are contemplating your first cruise and are expecting a taste of luxury, then you won't be disappointed with a Princess Cruise. The food is out of this world.
The service and attention to detail is nothing short of amazing either, and the comfort level is superb. Wherever you go on the Sun Princess the emphasis is on service, Not to the point where it becomes annoying, but very accessible should there be anything that you need.
The staff are truly wonderful with your every need catered for promptly and efficiently. They really do take pride in their extremely high level of hospitality. It is very hard to fault.
Do you pay for meals on Sun Princess?
Dining is free in the main formal Regency dining room which has a set menu to choose from each night. Meals are also free at the alternative Horizon Court buffet restaurant where it seems every food on earth is on offer. The choices are mind boggling!
Whilst your table is reserved for you at the formal dining room, you may need to share a table with fellow travellers in the Horizon Court buffet restaurant depending on how busy it is.
If you are travelling with friends or family in different cabins, be sure to request that you dine together at the same table in the formal dining room. You do not have to eat at the formal dining room for every meal, you are free to choose whatever dining experience takes your fancy. Be aware that the specialty restaurants such as the Pizzaria have extra charges.
Room Service on Sun Princess
You will find a room service menu in your room and it is simply a matter of picking up the phone and ordering. There is a reasonable choice of food available but nowhere near the vast array of choices in the Horizon Court buffet restaurant.
Alcohol on The Sun Princess
The Princess cruise line has a very strict policy in regard to taking alcohol onboard. As this may change from time to time, it is probably best to check with your travel agent. There are drinks packages (including soft drinks and cafe-style coffee packages) available for purchase which are better value than buying one by one.
Tipping on Sun Princess
There is no tipping on the Sun Princess whilst she is in Australian and New Zealand waters. The reason for this is that generally speaking Australians do not like giving a tip for service. Princess has recognised this and instead of tipping, there is a charge added to your booking which is called a gratuity.
You can increase your gratuity or decrease the amount. We chose to leave it at the recommended level. I understand that this is passed on to the crew.
Great food onboard.
Cruise Tips and Tricks
Princess Cruises Cabins
Probably your first consideration when booking any cruise (after deciding on your destination), is what type of cabin will suit your needs. These range from a shared, inside cabin (no view of the water) which is the least expensive. Next are oceanview staterooms available with a window (which doesn't open), then a slightly more expensive Balcony Stateroom which Princess Cruises recommend and was the one we decided on. Then there is the Mini Suite and Suites option, which will have you digging a litlle deaper into your pockets, but a wonderful option if it's available to you, as they offer a more spacious alternative.
The Balcony State Room that we chose was on Baja Deck around Mid-ships. We had a great view from the balcony, and there was no noise from above or below which might have kept us awake.
Balcony Cabins on Sun Princess
We mentioned to our travel agent that sea-sickness was something that we should consider and she highly recommended a cabin towards the middle of the ship. Apparently this area has the least amount of movement when it comes to rocking and rolling out at sea. She was right! It's also great to be able to get some fresh air when you are not feeling the best.
Our balcony cabin was very comfortable although quite compact. We had a good size modern flat screen TV, comfortable bed, bar fridge, and the all important balcony which I highly recommend. It is so nice to be able to have the option of opening the balcony door for some fresh air, or to take in the views especially when coming in to, and going out of Ports. You get a great birdseye view!
Ensuite Bathroom on Sun Princess
The bathroom is compact but adequate for 2 weeks at sea. There is body wash and shampoo supplied in the shower. The toilet is a vacuum type which failed to work at one time, but was quickly fixed by the maintenance crew. There was always plenty of hot water available for showers.
Housekeeping on Sun Princess
Our cabin was cleaned every day. If you want fresh towels just put your wet ones on the floor of the shower, and they will be replaced. In the evening the housekeeping staff would fold down the bed and place chocolates on the pillow. Our cabin was kept spotlessly clean for the whole trip. There is a request form for fresh fruit to be delivered to your cabin. This is best done in the early part of the cruise when the fruit will be at its freshest.
The 'Princess Patter' is a 4 page publication which is printed everyday and delivered to your 'mailbox' just outside the cabin door every evening. The 'Princess Patter' lists all the activities for the next day, including information about the next Port of call. It's a great way to keep up to date with what's happening onboard, and there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to activities.
Balcony Cabin Sun Princess
Sun Princess Excursions
Sun Princess offers a great range of onshore excursions which you can book either before you travel or once onboard the ship. If you book through Princess Cruises you are guaranteed that the ship will wait for you, should your tour be late back to the wharf. Even though this is a convenient way to make bookings, it is actually more expensive.
The reason for this is that it costs a great deal of money to delay a ship in Port, hence the higher cost of booking this way. It is kind of an insurance policy. Most passengers are very conscious of the necessity to be back onboard on time, every time.
If you research and book your own excursions, and the tour doesn't make it back to the ship ontime, then you will be responsible for your travel costs to the next port of call to rejoin the ship.
Sun Princess Shore Excursions
Entertainment onboard Sun Princess
Lets just say you will never be short of entertainment on the Sun Princess. Every day (and night) there is a huge range of activities and entertainment. Here are just a few:
- Movies on deck under the stars
- Shows and comedy acts in the Princess theatre
- Swimming in the various pools and spas
- Shopping at the Boutiques
- Art Auctions
- Musicians performing in the Atrium
- Lounge Bars
- Book Club
- Cooking demonstrations
- Interesting lectures
- Spa treatments
- Ukulele lessons
TV and Movies on the Sun Princess
You can also choose to have a lazy day and stay in your cabin to watch movies. These are added to the list day by day after being screened on the main deck "Movies Under the Stars' the night before.
There are also a good range of TV channels, including 2 of the ships own channels which keeps you informed of the ships location and weather forecasts, and bridge cam which brings you a view of the ocean overlooking the bow of the ship.
Seasickness has for a long time been one of the dreaded side effects of life onboard a cruise ship. Unfortunately on our cruise from Sydney across the Tasman Sea to New Zealand, we encountered some heavy weather and decided to lay low in our cabin for a couple of days until we found our sea legs.
We both felt green around the gills and didn't have much to eat for the first 3 days until our stomachs settled down. After that we were fine and enjoyed the onboard activities. Room service was available whenever we needed a light snack.
Whilst I took my Travelcalm tablets which worked very well, my partner decided on Acupuncture that was available onboard and got great relief with a session each day to conteract the seasickness and nausea.