The married man I live with and I are planning to book on the new STAR PINCESS and were told that the Grand is a sister ship, any and all info would be appreciated as we have never sailed on the large ships..700 passengers max thus far.
Would like input on inside, ocean view and balcony, the ship is scheduled to go from Singapore - LA.
Any and all info that you might be able to give both pro and con would be most appreciated.
How were the tours? How long a wait to eat? Is there an indoor whirlpool?..do they charge extra to use it.
What extra charges should we expect, aside from the usual, laundry, drinks, etc.
The Star is smaller than the Grand. It is supposed to be the newest most hi tech ship afloat. Much more on par with the Radiance or the Infinity class. We cant wait to have her here on the west coast. Id love the opportunity to go from Singapore. What a blast deffinatly get a balcony you wont regret it. A cruise like that will be a memory forever. Bring enough usual tip $ and booze you should be fine. Enjoy the days at sea and be assured you will be pampered to the max. on a state of the art ship. LSOB :-) Rix and Heather
The Grand (3/28/01) was HUGE. We worked our way up to that size ship, too. Previous cruise was on Millennium @ 2,000 passengers. I felt disoriented on many occassions. Variety was very good, shows, lounges, restaurants even pool areas. Plenty of Hot Tubs scattered throughout the pool areas including swim against the tides pool in the spa area and adult only pool at the stearn, dome covered pool, etc. No problem at all with lines except getting into some shows because of Personal Choice; theaters fill up fast and late seating guests due to the dining time may be out of their dining room late and be out of luck finding a seat. Alternative dining options; Southwestern, Italian and the buffet area (late night Bistro) were good and people who have taken advantage of the options appear to not mind the additional Service Fee (Sabattini's $30 per couple). Gym was way too smal for the number of passengers, but teak walking/Promenade deck was great. Embarkation and disembarkation is one of the best I have experienced. Princess has recently changed to Personal Choice dining. Many new cruisers seem to like this flexibility. We are traditionalists and like the dress codes for different nights, dining with the same group for dinner and don't like the "It's my vacation, so I will do as I please, crowd." We saw a lot of this unfortunately - shorts in the main dining rooms, shirt sleeves on formal night without even a tie. Just an I don't care attitude.
The balcony cabins on the Grand were slightly larger than on the Sea Princess; 172 SF plus verandah of about 40 SF. Very nicely done accept for the TV position, but we don't watch much TV while cruising. Hairdryers, mini-fridg, bowl of fruit and robes upon request are all nice amenities to have. Food on board was fine. We never had a meal we didn't like this time. I have only had two dishes on 9 curuises that I didn't like; steak with too much pepper and Beef Wellington. Others probably would have loved those meals! Service was ok, but our bus boy had just been promoted and was very slow (he now is the bar waiter/wine steward too.) Cutbacks you know! Automatic charge for dining room staff tips seems to be working out well. I was going to change our option, but decided they deserved the total amount which is shared by "all" dining area staff servers including alternative restaurants You can always take the charge off of your account and tip personally or give your special server extra (which our table did).
Princess has a good reputation and is trying to capture a portion of the "non-cruiser" population with "choice". Some see cruising as very regimented especially in the dining and dress recommendation area. Hopefully they will not alienate their past passengers thus defeating their new Marketing scheme.
Sorry, but you are misinformed. MV Star Princess is identical to MV Golden Princess. Princess originally ordered these vessels as identical sisters to MV Grand Princess but subsequently made some changes in the layout (primarily in the locations and types of full suites, the configuration of the atrium, and the arrangement of the on-board shops).
The two vessels under construction that are smaller than MV Grand Princess will be MV Coral Princess (slated for delivery in October, 2002) and MV Island Princess (slated for delivery in June, 2003). There are also two larger ships -- MV Diamond Princess and MV Sapphire Princess on order for delivery in July of 1993 and March of 1994.
The current plan is for MV Star Princess to spend summers in Alaska and winters on the Mexican Riviera -- Princess's original cruising area -- after her inaugual cruise from Singapore to Los Angeles.
I have already posted comments about MV Grand Princess on several threads so I'm not going to repeat them yoet again. If you use the links to "Older Threads" at the bottom of the list, you will find several threads on this topic over the next few pages.
As to choice of cabins, the question is how much you want to spend. I generally opt for more frequent cruises in less expensive cabins since my vacation budget is pretty fixed. Balconies and suites are wonderful if (1) you can afford them or (2) you get upgraded, but I see no point in spending the extra money for a fancier place to sleep, to shower, and to shave.
Now if it were a honeymoon cruise, I would spring for the best suite that I could afford....