Sunday, April 22, 2012

Personal Reflections of This Voyage to South America

  • I loved the itinerary and the different ports of call, the languages, the wildlife, the variety of climate, and the views

  • Really enjoyed the port lecturer Joe May he was very interesting and helpful, he was always approachable no matter where you saw him on board.  He is an asset to this ship and itinerary.  Now there is another lecturer Wesley Smith who we have sailed with before who as soon as I heard him on this trip I recognized him.  He has some interesting stuff to say but his very very right wing political message comes out in every lecture.  In fact a lot of people walk out of his lecture because of his comments.  He even had the never to say that the tree huggers are overreacting and their slanted views costs billions of dollars to Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  Needless to say I walked out of his lecture.  He really needs to keep his lectures free of his political views.

  • The ship is beautiful and love sailing the Star and would not hesitate to sail on her again.  Things I love about this ship are the new layout of Horizon Court with the dessert/bread/toast section separate from the main food area and the layout of the tables, I love the extra pool at the back of the ship on deck 16.  Things I dislike about this ship:  hard to think of one but wish that the Wheelhouse was larger.

  • Found both specialty restaurants to be lacking in staff and this affected the service in the five times we visited them.  Often it took a long time for wine to be refilled, orders to be taken, plates to be cleared.  The staff that were there were run off their feet so I believe it is just a lacking of another body or two.

  • Crew on board were pretty much all great, we did encounter a few boutique staff that we thought were not very helpful and had to pursue things that should have been taken care of right away.  For example Bernie bought a $700 watch but they did not have the correct manual for him they said they would get one for him, but it took us having to visit the store on two separate occasions for them to agree to get us the manual.  I did buy a few other items in the stores and found the staff were very helpful and friendly if you talk with them only. 

  • Restaurants, food has been very good on board, not as good as it use to be – but I have found this to be true in the last few sailings we have done.  Now don’t get me wrong, I always found something to eat and it was always presented beautiful but the downside is I still find the foods overly salty (maybe it is just me) and often food in Horizon Court is just warm, and forget getting hot toast anywhere.  But overall the dining room food was very good.  Again staff appear to be understaffed and are run off their feet when the dining room is full.  And even when the dining room is not full service is lacking by some wait staff and then great with others.  When you find a good waiter stick with them.

  • We did have incidents of Norwalk like viruses on board near the end of the first leg and right away the ship put in place measure to combat the spread of the virus.  We no longer had butter, rolls, salt, pepper, sugar, cream, on the tables and the staff handed out utensils rolled in napkins in the horizon court.  Tongs in the buffet are changed constantly.  Crew are constantly sanitizing areas throughout the ship, railings, walls, chairs, slot machines, photo gallery, computers, you name it.  Drink menus on all the tables have been removed, but you can still ask for one and they will hand you one and then sanitize it afterwards.  The big dining room sales like the Bijoux sale have been cancelled and the Chef’s table has been delayed until the alert has been lifted.  Hand washing is the best thing to combat the virus.  Hand sanitizers are all over the ship too and are a good alternative. It is a lot more work for the crew and dining room service takes longer. 

  • I have to say that Captain Perrin has been the best Captain we have ever sailed with.  He faced a lot of obstacles this cruise with Ushuaia and then Lima, but his professionalism and his constant updates were appreciated.

  • Room service is a nice treat and find the service very quick and efficient but often find we get more than we actually ordered, like two sandwiches when we ordered only one. 

  • Since I used the doctor’s services twice on this voyage I can report that they have been very efficient and helpful and very professional.

  • Haven’t taken advantage of the spa services on board, sometimes I do but this voyage I just haven’t felt like doing any services.  I have been to the sauna and steam room.  It was very nice but is in need of a face lift as many items in the sauna are worn down, broken, or missing.

  • Mae our cabin steward is out of this world, she is so efficient and any request we have had has been met.  She is quiet and is hardly seen but that is what makes a great steward.

  • I would like to commend Dou from South Africa, the head waiter from Amafi who has been so sweet and helpful and a joy to know.  It is so nice to see him and he is always so happy and helpful I know he is a definite asset to Princess.

  • We love how diverse some of the activities have been on this voyage that we have never seen before – Kudos to Sami and her cruise director team – egg drop contest, whacky speed games, radio call in show, speed chest tournament, Sundowners Club (gather for drinks to toast the sunset), and a variety of other things.

 I would do this trip again in a heart beat

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