Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise as we can drive to the port and LOVE Hawaii. The ship was nice, it is older but in great condition. We found the new Princess beds too soft for our liking! We had the pleasure of sailing with Captain Tuvo!!! I never ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we can drive to the port and LOVE Hawaii. The ship was nice, it is older but in great condition. We found the new Princess beds too soft for our liking! We had the pleasure of sailing with Captain Tuvo!!! I never thought that it mattered who the captain was...boy, was I wrong! We saw him everywhere...in the dining room, participating in game shows, doing the hula, you name it! The cruise director was Fernando, and we NEVER saw him except on stage or on the Wake Show. We have done this itinerary before but found the activities lacking this time around. We found ourselves bored on many occasions. We ate in the Capri dining room for anytime dining and had Francisco and Serhii as our wait team. They were TERRIFIC! They were very attentive and enjoyed the fun that we had at dinner. We met a few couples on the ship, clicked, and had dinner together every night with the same wait staff. It really added to our experience. The ports were terrific...exactly what you would expect in Hawaii. The weather in Hawaii was wonderful although the sea days were virtually all too cold for us (no fault of Princess) Overall, I would recommend this cruise although I KNOW that it could be better than this time, based on past experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We love cruising round trip from LA (no flying!) and Hawaii is one of our favorite destinations. What made this cruise even sweeter is that we were meeting up with a British couple we had made friends with on a cruise five years ago. The ... Read More
We love cruising round trip from LA (no flying!) and Hawaii is one of our favorite destinations. What made this cruise even sweeter is that we were meeting up with a British couple we had made friends with on a cruise five years ago. The food was excellent, although many special dishes from the past (e.g., rack of lamb) have disappeared. Also, the traditional coffee card is no longer usable on subsequent cruises, which significantly reduces its value. The entertainment on Princess is probably the best in the industry, especially since Steven Schwartz begain creating shows for them. "Born to Dance" is our favorite; we stayed to see it twice on two separate cruises. Fernando, the Cruise Director was outstanding, and the Captain was an approachable and unforgettable character who ended every announcement with "but nevertheless, by-by." Our room steward, Russell, was always there with whatever we needed. The cruise loses a star only due to the uncomfortable cabin that was assigned to us (see below). Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Service was excellent in the Capri Dinning Room. Service was also great at the bars, but no appetizers, just oriental cracker mix or peanuts. Food was average Coffee Shop quality in the Dinning Rooms. Horizon Court was very poor ... Read More
Service was excellent in the Capri Dinning Room. Service was also great at the bars, but no appetizers, just oriental cracker mix or peanuts. Food was average Coffee Shop quality in the Dinning Rooms. Horizon Court was very poor quality food. Eat in Dinning Room or fast food places on ship when you can. Embarkation very fast. Getting off the ship was not as easy. Very crowded . Entertainment was excellent but not enough of it. Ship closes down @11:30pm (Except for the disco). Captain was one of the friendliest we have experienced . The ship showed its age. Lots of areas for activities were beautiful but not used enough. More movies could have been shown in the Vista Lounge. Shops were few for such a large ship. Not many choices. They also closed too early . Got bored after the 9pm show. Not much to do after 10pm. The ship really showed its age even after being dry docked for renovation. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Fabulous trip, crew was awesome, lots of activities and enrichment opportunities. Killed it in trivia, NOT! Hawaiian ambassadors Kimo and Lokelini were most informative. Hula and ukulele lessons with guest show afterwards was awesome. Pop ... Read More
Fabulous trip, crew was awesome, lots of activities and enrichment opportunities. Killed it in trivia, NOT! Hawaiian ambassadors Kimo and Lokelini were most informative. Hula and ukulele lessons with guest show afterwards was awesome. Pop choir fun too! Veronica taught dance classes and fun in the Atrium, Piazza area was great. Captain Tuvo greeted us daily in the dining venues. Food and service in Capri was outstanding. Fish always cooked to perfection. International Cafe has great snacks and designer coffees. Met lots of experienced and first-time cruisers. Loved Nano Prado in Crooners. Cameron was cool too with his guitar. Meet and Mingle was lame, too cliquey. Danced nightly and entertainment was good. 4th trip across Pacific to Hawaii. If you don’t enjoy sea days, don’t take it. Do Noweigian’s Pride of America instead. ATV’s in Ensenada with wine tasting was best excursion ever! A few rocky nights, but that’s okay. Casino paid off! Great trip! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My parents took this cruise to Hawaii and they both came back extremely happy. My mom were especially happy, saying how there were so many things to do. She wanted to express her gratitude and appreciation for two particular waiters, ... Read More
My parents took this cruise to Hawaii and they both came back extremely happy. My mom were especially happy, saying how there were so many things to do. She wanted to express her gratitude and appreciation for two particular waiters, Norman Lualhati and Roldan Casulla, enough to ask her son (me) to write a review for her just to highlight their excellent service. She also wants to say that all of the staff were great, always serving them with pleasure and always willing to help. There were many things to do, such as shows, dancing, exercise lessons, gambling, and shopping. There were also a lot of chances to meet people and friends. My parents were able to make a great memory on this cruise. They don't know much English so they weren't able to understand most of anything that was said on the cruise, but they still found it fun. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Our 15 day cruise on the Star Princess began on November 4, 2018. Round trip from San Pedro to the Hawaiian Islands and a Jones Act stop in Ensenada, Mexico. We have cruised many times before and so often on Princess we are Elite. This is ... Read More
Our 15 day cruise on the Star Princess began on November 4, 2018. Round trip from San Pedro to the Hawaiian Islands and a Jones Act stop in Ensenada, Mexico. We have cruised many times before and so often on Princess we are Elite. This is the best time of year to cross the South Pacific. The weather was on our side and even in Hilo where we enjoyed sunshine and a view of the observatories atop Mauna Kea. The first day at sea was a little rough, as was the first day at sea on the return trip. Otherwise by the second day you could feel the balmy weather. Had no rain but some clouds. The sunsets were fabulous. Embarkation was a breeze. We literally walked through. Princess had a line of at least 20 folks to process us in. And, a change, they eliminated the Health Form you had to fill out before going aboard. I always thought those nubby pencils they provided, that everyone touched, were a source of contamination. We were in our aft balcony room in 15 minutes. Our room steward, Claudine was wonderful. She was furloughed home in Honolulu and another helpful kind lady named Phean was our new steward. We have never had a bad experience with princess steward staff. The cabin was clean. The bathroom was spotless. Carpet a little drab, but so what. Chairs recently recovered in leather. Beds were very comfortable. The televisions are large flat screens.The bedside lamps are new with swivel arms and include a USB port for device charging. Smart! Another change for the better. No need to lug life jackets to the Muster Drill. Made it a lot easier. And BEST of ALL, Captain Michel Tuvo gave our welcome address. He ended with his signature sign off of “Never the less, Bye Bye”. More on him later. After the drill we avoided the crowd back up at elevators and went to Crooners Bar. Had a couple adult beverages and talked to many excited folks. We got our Olive tray assortment, to include bleu cheese stuffed olives. It seems to be little known that Princess does this, and especially now that they no longer display olive jars at the bar. But ask, they are free and good. The ship started to move from the pier so we went to our cabin for the sail away. Always enjoyed passing the Port Authority Restaurant because they would call out to us on a PA system as we passed. “Hello Star Princess” and so on. But alas, the place was boarded up. Too bad! The food on board was outstanding. We ate in Capri dining room, International Café, Horizon Court, had cheeseburgers, brats, pizza, ice cream and popcorn. Zero complaints. The Horizon Court selection was great. As usual we tried food we never had before. We tried the soups this cruise and quickly became addicted. Really tasted great. Wait staff were quickly at our table to take the beverage order and always with a smile. Everyone we talked to was complimentary about the food and staff service. The deserts are especially good. Try the cream puffs and macarons. The furniture is new, with the lighter more comfortable chairs. When the Horizon buffet was crowded, we like sitting all the way aft in the outside area overlooking the ships wake. And, something new. They have added hand washing basins as you enter the buffet area. Great idea. There were no illness issues on this cruise that we heard of. Little coughing that we observed. Thanks to Ann for the Meet and Greet on sea day one. Got to meet some roll call mates. Several ships officers attended and were gracious and informational. Missed the second one Meet and Greet. The Tea in the afternoon was great also. Pianist playing, wait staff fast, food good and the pastry never stopped coming. Met some nice folks here. The casino seemed to have lost half the slot machines. The remaining had high minimum bets, say 60 cents, dollar, etc. We played a little, not like we used to. It was a great place to go after the lecture and have Bloody Mary’s. Never seemed crowded when we were there. We hope Princess changes back to more slots. I did buy a used deck of cards for $1. An area that disappointed us was on board lectures. The port lecture was delivered by reading a script, little personalization, slides that were out of focus and completely disjointed. No continuity, for example looking at a map of Kauai, jumping all over to different beaches, never saying how to go there, what’s there, why it would be a good stop, etc. After two we stopped going. The naturalist was okay, not useful. He talked about himself and his third wife too much. Went to just one of those but saw one on TV and there was no improvement. And too bad no special lectures. In the past Princess had folks from industry or academia to talk about the History of Sea Travel, Ship building through the ages, Navigation, and so on. Some folks liked them but agreed it should be better. The shopping guy was terrible! We saw continuous maintenance going on. Everyday an area was being painted and when in ports the hull was painted. Wood rail tops were resealed and some replaced. Observe some rust on pipes on our veranda. Put some water on a paper towel most of it came off. So it looked worse than it was. Carts of new bathroom mirrors were in our corridor as a major replacement was going on. The furniture in the Skywalkers lounge was worn and should be replaced. Otherwise the ship looked good. We kept telling ourselves to look for something “dated”, but had no luck. The internet was okay. Sometimes slow. Everyone seemed to have devices. So going on line during off peak times helped. The added personalization of Princess at Sea was great. Without logging on to internet, you can look at activities from Princess Platter, look at your booked excursions or specialty dining. One improvement would be to post the dining room menus for lunch and dinner each day both here and on TV. Carnival brand ships do it. We ordered room service two times after long days ashore. Great sandwiches and salads. Ask for extra whatever you want, such as extra crackers, two cookies, extra dressing, etc. The room service staff was very friendly and helpful. Our orders arrived in 15 minutes. We used the ship laundry service. Returned to us in 1 ½ days. We used specialty dining two times. Big disappointment at Sabatinis. Good food, great wine, wait staff wonderful. But they did not offer Lobster Three Ways. We were thinking about that meal for 6 months. Oh well, we will not go there again. Come on Princess. The Crown Grill was good. The filet seemed small and I had to send it back twice for more cooking. I’m a carnivore but not a cannibal. Also got a very small baked potato. The variety dessert tray was great. Service okay, although wait staff seemed harried, rushing around. Perhaps they were short staff. But they smiled and were friendly. Next time well do the Surf and Turf to get the lobster hit. Went to several bars including Elite Lounge in Skywalkers. Drinks good. Notice that they pour to shot glass and then add some more. At one time they had those metered stoppers atop the bottles. Try the Berry Berry Berry AKA Three Berry Daiquiri, a tall red drink glass complete with sugar on glass rim. MMMM good. Folks ask what drink we have and I tell them it’s medicinal and Medicare approved. Bartenders really had to hustle at times due to crowds. Always smiling and watching for you to ask for something. The photos are overpriced. I think we paid $14 for one. Some were in the $20’s. I think if they lowered the price they would sell more and make more money. Or why not just make it nicer for people. Many we talked to agreed. The photo staff were friendly and accommodated our request to print a picture we had taken on a different background. We like the one that shows the ship with the itinerary. No problem. Ready the next day. My wife loves the “gold by the inch” sales. Bought necklaces for her and our daughters. Came with free bracelets. These staff were busy also, but smiled, took the time to make them exactly as we wanted, no problem. On the other hand there was Effys. They advertised free gemstones at eleven am. We showed up, snarled at us to come back at noon. We did, they said come back later. I thought the one gal was going to kick us out. Oh well, we avoided that place. Speaking of sales, there was something that really bothered us. We got phone calls from spa asking us to use their services. Come on, we left that crap at home! Also, on sea day on return trip, when elevator doors opened on deck 14, Horizon court, for several days we were rushed and told to attend a back pain seminar, diet seminars and we are given handouts. Hey, I avoid our local mall because of all the hustlers. Come on Princess. Okay, some really good stuff. There were many older cruisers and some with mobility issues. Princess staff was on alert. In the buffet line, if you were in a walker for example, they came and walked through holding your plate and serving up food for you. The “bosses” you see roaming these areas also pitched in and helped. Folks were very appreciative. My wife walks with a stick due to ortho-issues. Always approached and asked if we needed help. And, on shore excursions, they spotted her, led to bus and got the front seats. How wonderful. I’m very sure all the folks with limitations appreciated the thoughtful and gracious courtesy. My wife sure did. In Hilo we took a cab to the Tsunami museum. Well done with a lot of personal memories displayed. Then we walked and shopped, had lunch and then stopped at the farmers market. Took a cab through Liliuokalani Park, Banyan drive and the long way back to ship. We miss the bazaar they used to have in the port building and Hawaiian entertainment for our arrival. Hilo charges the highest port fees, I think they could do better. The three excursions we took were good. No problems except some rain in Honolulu on the south shore excursion to Hanalei Bay and around the backside of Diamond head to the Pali Lookout. Actually it felt like a hurricane up there, as the vegetation was going sideways in the rain. Back to Honolulu and the streets were dry. Ended up at the Royal Hawaiian, a table on the rail to Waikiki and a view of Diamond Head. Couldn’t ask for more. On Kauai the Waimea Canyon was clear. Unbelievable views. On a previous trip it was cloudy, rainy and cold up there. We noticed that upon return down the mountain the stop at “Blowhole” has been changed to the stop at the “Spouting Horn”. Makes no sense, maybe political correctness at play. On Maui we took the Plantation and Ioa Valley excursion. Great driver/guide. The Plantation is very picturesque and the tour of fruit trees was good. We returned to complete a ritual. Ate upstairs opposite Banyan Park at the Cool Cat. Had patty melts and root beer floats. A traditional that goes way back. Then walked Front St. to the Christmas Store at the front of Koas. They have ornaments for personalizing. Add all the names you want. Koas was closed so went to Kimos for adult beverages while ornaments being prepared. Open air, a view of the Star Princess anchored offshore, pleasant breeze and friendly service. Couldn’t ask for more. We disembarked easily. We were off ship by 8 am. Got car, loaded luggage and on our 108 mile way home by 8:30 am. Amazing. Notice another change, the Immigration and Customs folks don’t ask for those declaration cards to be filled out. We felt this was one of our best cruises, despite the things that were silly, and could be changed. Sunsets on the veranda, rolling with the ship to sleep, sunrises sitting in the spa on deck 16 and all the places to escape the crowds hide and read or snooze. The best part of the cruise was Captain Tuvo. We had sailed with him on the star to Sea of Cortez a couple years ago. What a wonderful person. He is so funny, as his Coffee with the Captain in the Piazza was packed and every one was laughing. His signature sign off of Nevertheless, Bye Bye was repeated by everyone. He added to that by opening the noon update from the Captain with Yoo hoo, this is the Captain. Sometimes he would play some appropriate music before he talked. When we sailed with him before, as we left Loreto, Mexico many whales were in the area. He came on the PA, said he was turning the ship into the world biggest whale watching boat, and he did just that. He was on the bow, talking via his phone, telling us where to look. He said don’t worry, I’m spinning the ship around for all to get goods views. And he did. We followed the whales for 2 hours. We were all enchanted and became Captain Tuvo fans. On this cruise we saw him several times every day. Walking the outside decks, going through Horizon court, the dining rooms, the lounges, he was everywhere. Always stopping to talk to people. Assuring, friendly and always asked if there was anything he could do. His approach was infectious, as the staff was the best we ever had. We have Princess Cruises booked on the Ruby Princess to the Sea of Cortez this coming February and a family cruise for New Years 2019. There will be 10 of us on the Royal Princess for that cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We love to visit the islands of Hawaii. This cruise was on Aloha deck, one deck below the Horizon Court. Food and soup items in buffet area and dining room (anytime) were mostly too salty to taste, I wonder why could the chefs add little ... Read More
We love to visit the islands of Hawaii. This cruise was on Aloha deck, one deck below the Horizon Court. Food and soup items in buffet area and dining room (anytime) were mostly too salty to taste, I wonder why could the chefs add little salt and let passengers decide for themselves to add more if needed. Kitchen staff members were working on the deck between sleeping time of 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., created a lot of noises for the passengers who slept below the deck 14. Some laundry mistakes were also noted, such as dirty towels and bedsheets were given to our room unnoticed, due to their folding process. Overall the cruise is a delight, and many entertainments we had seen before, as this was the 4th cruise around the 4 islands of Hawaii for us. Princess cruise could do more to improve passengers' cruise experience and to be sure they will come back again. Mahalo and Aloha to all. May our Lord Jesus Christ give you all peace, love, and good health throughout the holiday season. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
DW & I just returned from a 15 night R/T Hawaii Cruise (San Pedro) onboard the Star Princess. This was our 18th cruise overall and 12th in a row on Princess. It was also the third time we did this itinerary which has a lot of what I ... Read More
DW & I just returned from a 15 night R/T Hawaii Cruise (San Pedro) onboard the Star Princess. This was our 18th cruise overall and 12th in a row on Princess. It was also the third time we did this itinerary which has a lot of what I like; "Sea Days." Prior to the cruise we had an active Cruise CriticRoll Call which is in my opinion a great way to get to know your fellow cruisers and plan things. Even though we only live 92 miles away from the cruise terminal, we did a two night pre-cruise stay at the Hilton Doubletree in San Pedro. For the two days we just hung out and got more motivated for the cruise. The night before embarkation, we dined at a wonderful nearby restaurant called "22nd Street Landing." As far as the Hilton DoubleTree goes, I would highly recommend it for anyone thinking of a pre-cruise stay for a cruise out of San Pedro. The hotel also offers a free shuttle to the cruise terminal which is a relatively short distance from the cruise terminal. On embarkation day we arrived at the cruise terminal before 1130 and were onboard fairly quickly. I did however experience some contradicting and confusing information from two terminal employees. Since we are quite familiar with the Grand/Crown class ships, we had no problems finding our way to our cabin. For this voyage I treated DW to the Grand Suite (B748). When we arrived at our cabin, we were immediately greeted by our cabin steward Gerardo from Mexico. We were also able access our cabin despite the early hour. During the entire voyage Gerardo did a good job in attending to our needs and keeping our cabin clean. What else can I say about the Grand Suite other than wow! This was our second time staying in the GS and we loved the tons and tons of space. I also spent a great deal of time on our expansive balcony to include a sail away party that I hosted and a wonderful Ultimate Balcony Dinner with my DW. Only downer with the eventual transfer of the Star & Golden to P&O, there will only be four ships left with the GS. I must say, I was very impressed with the Star Princess. Everything was pretty much spotless and I always saw crew members cleaning. Sure there was a little rust on the ship but this 16+ year old gal is in the water 24 hours a day 365 days a year. I enjoyed having a ship with Crooners and Explorers. I spent many evening there talking with fellow passengers. As far as entertainment goes, we did not attend any production shows. We like to eat late and the Princess Theater show times (1900 & 2100) made it very difficult for late eaters to see a show. We were able however to enjoy a comedian in the Vista Lounge on one particular night. As far as service goes, I must say that this was probably the most friendliest crew we've ever had. I can honestly say that I had zero experiences of poor or rude service. Captain Tuvo was our captain and he is by far the best Captain we've ever had the pleasure to sail with. For the subjective area of food, we only dined in Club Class a couple of times. The food and service were adequate. I honestly would not book CC unless I was in a suite. Way too overpriced for what is received. I had our suite perk embarkation dinner rescheduled for the second night in the Crown Grill. DW had the Surf & Turf that she said was quite good. I had the porterhouse that was really nothing special. What I really enjoyed, as far as food goes, what I really enjoyed was the newly redesigned Sabatini's restaurant along with the new menu. The food was excellent in every detail and the service was amazing. We ended up dining three times in Sabatini's. We also enjoyed the suite perk of breakfast in Sabatini's. Headwaiter David along with his staff (Marius, Romell, and Ricky) were over the top excellent. They were also our staff for dinner in Sabatini's. We ordered a couple of times from the MDR menu for dinner in our cabin. While we got the food all at once, it was still tasty. As far as the buffet goes, I found items for breakfast items very repetitive. I also noted a number of hot items not warm enough for my liking. The temperature issues were also present for lunch and dinner. For shore excursions, we did a helicopter excursion on the big island and a sunset dinner cruise on Oahu. Both excursions were enjoyable. On Kauai, we had originally planned a flight excursion in an open cockpit bi-plane. We ended up canceling due to the plane going down for maintenance. On Maui DW and I met a former co-worker, who had moved to Maui after retiring, for lunch. Sea days going to and coming from the islands were my favorite. Weather was good for the most part during the entire cruise. In closing, I'd have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. Next up, hopefully a Cali coastal in March 2019 and a T/A on the new Sky Princess in November of 2019. Princess, at least for me, continues to provide a great experience for a competitive price. Sure there are some hiccups every now and then but overall it remains my line of choice for the foreseeable future. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We always wanted to go to Hawaii and this was a perfect way to go. Captain Michele Tuvo is awesome. Our cabin steward was wonderful. We miss the happy hour specials and wish Princess would bring them back. The food was very good, not ... Read More
We always wanted to go to Hawaii and this was a perfect way to go. Captain Michele Tuvo is awesome. Our cabin steward was wonderful. We miss the happy hour specials and wish Princess would bring them back. The food was very good, not fantastic. 2 of the ports, Hilo, HI and Ensanada, Mexico could have been skipped. It would have been far better to spend an extra day in Honolulu. Some of the entertainers are good, some not so good. We never go to the "production shows". All in all we met a lot of nice people. I did get a gift certificate to the spa. The person that did my hair spent the whole time upselling, which put me off. The ship looked good, I would give it a 4 out of 5. One of the bartenders in Crooners voiced her political beliefs and got quite nasty when she thought no one could hear. We put in a formal complaint. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
The staff was the best! From Captain Michele Tuvo to Leo, Michael, Bryann, Keto and Mia in food services, to Jennifer at the Spa to Roselle in our stateroom, everyone was so friendly and welcoming! One of our best cruises ever (hard to ... Read More
The staff was the best! From Captain Michele Tuvo to Leo, Michael, Bryann, Keto and Mia in food services, to Jennifer at the Spa to Roselle in our stateroom, everyone was so friendly and welcoming! One of our best cruises ever (hard to beat son's wedding)! Was our second cruise with Captain Tuvo (sailed to Panama with him in Dec 2017). Actually got teary eyed when saying goodbye! Fernando at Bingo was a hoot! His jokes were so bad, but so enjoyable! Looked forward to his "show" as much as the actual Bingo! Our excursions were great. Hilo was very educational. Honolulu was very moving visiting the Pearl Harbor Museum. Will definite have to go back when the Arizona Memorial is reopened. Nawiliwili was just beautiful! Took a tour of a Grove Farm and a train ride. Our tour guide was so very knowledgeable about the Grove Farm and all it's history. Kept us completely interested the whole 2 hours! Lahaina was a very pretty and quaint town. Very easy walking from the pier to shopping and dining. Read Less
Star Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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