Pros:Personal Choice dining; perks from being Elite
Cons:Lack of cleanliness, entertainment options, staff attitude, not so great food.
The Bottom Line: I wouldn't recommend the Sun Princess as it is no longer the wonderful experience it once was. Money saving cuts are very apparent.
We sailed on the Sun Princess for the first time in 1998 and I always thought of the ship as being my favorite in the Princess line. It was a beautiful ship with wonderful art work. We have been on many Princess ships and are in the Elite status of the Captain's Circle. Needless to say, our experience on the Sun Princess on the March 18, 2006 sailing was entirely different. The best way to describe the experience is that Princess has cut way too many corners in order to save money.
Our room steward was very good. He was friendly and generally did a very good job. This is the first time, however, that we've had a room steward tell us that he didn't do that (stock our refrigerator with sodas) and we needed to call room service. In the past it was done by the room steward when we asked so we had no idea. He was probably the best of the service staff that we encountered.
A great many of the service staff are now Eastern European and there is an "attitude" that is hard to define. One day I met a bar server head on while walking down the hallway. I zigged when I should have zagged and apologized. She just made a rude noise and walked on. Needless to say, the graciousness of many of the staff is long gone.
The shows were disappointing. The most glaring change is that they production shows have fewer entertainers in them and they repeat the shows two nights in a row. They said it was so everyone got a chance to see the show. Personally I believe they are just saving production costs. The special acts were poor at best.
Another thing that I noticed was a lack of cleanliness in the ship. The linen on our bed wasn't changed even though it was soiled. Drink glasses were sitting around. In the Horizon Court one day some tables were stacked with dirty dishes that no one seemed in a hurry to remove. We ended up eating at the bar most days because it was hard to find a cleaned table to sit at. The food there was pretty poor, by the way.
We were glad we had a balcony because most days it was impossible to find a spot up on deck. The room and balcony were small so it wasn't the best solution.
We enjoy the Personal Choice dining and never find it difficult to get a seat in the dining room because we are willing to join others. It is an interesting way to meet people and if you aren't compatible, it is only for one meal.
We did have a couple of tours cancelled. We suspected it was because the Caribbean Princess was in port and they took all the spaces.
In general, we were really disappointed with the ship. We will cruise with Princess again to see if it is just the Sun Princess that is failing or if it is Princess in general. It is a shame to have such a grand ship become an just an okay one.
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Best Suited For: Couples