Few cruise companies operate from Fremantle. The luxury not to fly anywhere and just get on to the ship within an hour from home was our main motivator to book this cruise. We were pleasantly surprised with the whole experience and the destinations. Doing a Christmas and New Years cruise is always special. The ship was full of families, kids and grandparents. And some oldies complaining that there were too many kids....
We had a great time and my biggest problems were to choose which entertainment options to do and which to leave as it was impossible to do all.
Make no mistake, cruising to Indonesia in December is a hot affair. If heat and humidity is not your thing, maybe book a NZ cruise. We were extremely luck with VERY calm seas and no wind for 3 days while crossing from Australia to Komodo Island. Woke up at Komodo with a whale Shark hanging around the stern of the Ship.
Our cabin was sufficient (We wait listed and got a spot only 4 weeks before the cruise, so we could bot choose our cabin, and although obstructed view, the location was good (D623). The tender outside this room was used on Tender Port Days, the noise might bother some, but we enjoyed the added sea view due to the tender being lowered.
The Cruise Director was fantastic, the entertainment was mostly good. The food was pretty good, but I would lie if I said it was excellent. We did eat at Curtis Stone's Share and that was excellent.
The Grill outside on Deck at the Pool was excellent and provided Burgers, hotdogs, pies, chips, ribs, Schwarma's etc for easy access on the pool deck.
There are ample Ice machines and free lemonade (not soda) and Orange Juice and coffee and tea available on the pool deck as well as the buffet.
Service was good. We were happy.
Princess excursions, we only did Komodo island. We were the last group for the day (12h30) and we missed the morning rain. Komodo walk was OK, hot and not very exciting, but it was good to see the Dragons. Komodo is closed to tourists from now. Rumoured that they want to charge $1000per person. Not sure what will happen in the future. Pink Island was a boat hopping affair with excellent snorkelling. We had enough time. Other groups complained they were rushed. You need to be fit and able and completely mobile to do this tour. All other ports we negotiated with a driver and did our own tours. I knew where we wanted to go, wrote it and the price on paper and stood my ground. Much cheaper and better than a busload of people.
Cabin was good for us. 2 Adults and two kids. Bunk beds that came out of ceiling (Not out of the wall). Enough space for clothes etc. Great TV. You look into tender. They use the tender on tender port days. Can be noisy. Did not bother us. You get a sea view when the tender is out. On random times crew would be in tender cleaning etc. Privacy might be an issue.
Great embarkation and debarkation. We did get on last and got off last. So not crowded. Luggage collection easy.
Local community do a lot to make cruise feel welcome.
Beautiful port. Komodo Dragons was good. We saw a whale shark. Interesting little fishing boats etc. Pink beach was good.
Negotiated our own driver. Went to Sengiggi. Some people went to Gili Nangu Island. Worth it.
Tender takes some time but is entertaining. We took a blue bird taxi to Sanur. Great beach walk and beach clubs. Download the Bluebird taxi app. Works really well and cuts out the confusion. Was cheaper and safer than the negotiations and dodgy taxi's.