There must be some people who read my blog occasionally and probably get fed up with the blizzard of mega ships, water slides and stories of 3,000 plus people having fun all explained in a babble of preposterous superlatives.

Of course it’s not hard to see why this might be so. Cruising used to be about a ship, a Captain and crew, ports of call, a comfy chair to sit in and meet Mr and Mrs. Smith from California. Then it was off to dinner followed by dancing, a walk on deck under the stars and a bollocking from the wife for staring at Mrs. Smith’s bottom.

For those who miss those days and thought that they had gone forever ……….. well …………..I am happy to tell you…………..they haven’t…………..and these values can be found alive and well onboard the Pacific Princess.

This is not a ship that is all loud and shouty with “look at me” features………no……… doesn’t need to………..this ship is quiet and dignified yet like when a Rolls Royce pulls up outside a hotel lobby you immediately know that the car and the people inside are both very special.

The ship was built in 1999 for Renaissance Cruise Lines in a French shipyard and while I am not going to submit my normal attack on the French I do have to say something about the name they choose……………..the M/S R3. Now, either they had absolutely no imagination or they ran out of paint………….R3…………that’s a cabin on the Holiday and Fantasy Class.

Unfortunately Renaissance built too many ships too quickly and before you could say R2D2……………the company was broke and the R ships were scattered to the four corners of the cruise ship world. Princess took 3 R’swhich became the Tahitian, The Royal and the Pacific.

Today, I traveled to the surely one of the most beautiful spots in the world ………….. Portofino. When God made Belgium he stood back and said “bugger” I messed that one up” and realised he had better make something incomparable ………….he did ………………..Portofino.

I had been collected by that huge Mercedes limo again and this time Maurizio drove me right down to the Picola Harbour. As the huge V12 engine purred down the quayside I once again felt guilty that the tourists armed with Canons and Nikons ready to snap the star of stage and screen stepping out of the car to head to their yacht would be disappointed to discover it was just a fat bloke who needed a pee.

If Portofino is Catherine Zeta Jones then the Pacific Princess sitting in the harbour was the Cartier Diamond Necklace draped round her perfect neck and as the tender which took me nearer to the ship I once again felt like one very lucky chap.

I was met at the tender station by a group of men whose uniforms had obviously just returned from the laundry and the only things that were brighter were their smiles of greeting. I met the Passenger Services Director Peter who has been at sea for 41 years. He was guide and not just around the ship but through a veritable history of the industry which he has seen change so much in his many years of service. He talked about ships I had read about in history books and ones that I have never heard of. He must have many stories to tell and I will therefore in the days ahead be interviewing him and tapping into Peterpedia………the online cruise historian.

However, as I was escorted to the bridge I couldn’t take my eyes off the handsome Italian Captain……………….don’t panic………………just because I listen to Mariah Carey occasionally doesn’t mean ………well…………you know………………I couldn’t take my eyes off him because I felt like I knew him………… turns out I didn’t………..but I knew his brother.

In 1987 a young stud from the beautiful island of Progida joined the Carnival Cruise Lines vessel Holiday to work as a Fire Patrol Officer. At the same time an ugly and spotty Brit joined the same ship as a bar waiter………………..the young Italian stud who broke girls hearts just by looking at them was Rocco Lubrano. The young spotty bar waiter who made girls vomit …………was me.

The two became best friends and one is now an ugly Cruise Director and the other is Captain of the Carnival Liberty. When we realised that we had a mutual friend in Captain Vincenzo Lubrano’s brother Rocco any tension on meeting for the first time was broken as we chatted about the old days and Rocco’s love of the air conditioning service room as a young third officer…..and that’s all I am going to say about that.

And so, the tour of the Pacific Princess began.

You may have seen a photo of the ship but you don’t really get a sense of scale from the pictures — and nor do you get an impression of just how beautiful she is. The ship has an extraordinary blend of presence and tradition.

The ship had 600 plus guests onboard ………600…………lets say that one more time………….600………when was the last time I said that about a ship.

These days ships are often referred to as floating hotels………….something by the way that makes me mad. Well, just for the sake of argument let’s continue with that analogy. Hotels these days are mostly the same…………revolving doors………..a bit of tired red carpet to stand on while you wait for the 12-year-old behind the desk to tell you that your room won’t be ready until Friday and when you do finally get there the furniture was bought from Hotels R Us ………….you sit in your room trying to decide if you can afford to pay the $89 they want for a bottle of water from the mini bar before going to the hotel’s restaurant where the 12 year old receptionists sister is ready to serve you something with fries.

The Pacific Princes could not be more different. This is a English Country hotel where Jeeves and Wooster are ready to serve. Deep brown woods, deep luxurious carpets and huge sofas invite you to stop and stay a while you enjoy a cocktail and listen to the music in one of the bars and lounges. The cabaret lounge, the library in fact all the public lounges made me feel like I should kick of my shoes…………..put on a big pair of comfy slippers………….light my pipe and watch the world go by.

The dining room was massively impressive. The seating is assigned and although most of the evenings are smart casual the restaurant gives off an unparalleled sense of tradition. We enjoyed a beautiful lunch prepared by the ship’s Italian Executive Chef. You will be proud of me when I tell you that I ignored the bread, the potatoes, the cheese soufflé and grazed instead on artichoke (I think that’s a vegetable) and beautifully cooked lamb.

The Pacific Princess also has two alternative restaurants. The Grill serving Princess’s famous T-Bone Steak and other carnivorous delights and of course there is the legendary Sabitini’s This is never-ending recapitulating cycle of Italian gourmet delights can be found on all the Princess ships ………..and is to date……………….still my favorite private dining restaurant on any ship………………..there…………..I said it.

We also toured the open decks with loads of space in which to worship the sun, the fully equipped spa and beauty salon and a visit to life below stairs to visit the crew only areas. The crew is International and all had that special comraderie that comes with working on a smaller vessel. Everyone knows everyone and that in turn bares fruit to a unique bonding between all the crew which I am positive is noticed by the crew …………………… Peter the PSD and the Captain called most if not all by their first names as we walked the ship………….that’s not something you see everyday.

And this must be the same for the passengers as well. I experienced this togetherness years ago as Cruise Director of the Carnival…………you saw the same people throughout the voyage and each night on the Pacific Princess I am sure stories of the day are shared and plans for the days to come explored.

I have nothing much else to report. There are no gizmos or gadgets no icons ………… why ……… doesn’t need one…………..the ship IS the icon……….it’s simply a luxurious way to see places other ships cannot………….it’s what cruising has and should always be about……..the perfect way to meet new friends, see the world and stand on the deck under the stars holding the hand of the one you love and remember how much you love them.

Walking aboard the Pacific Princess is like climbing into your Tuxedo or Ball Gown ……….there is a sense that you’re about to do something very, very special.

Here are a few photos which I hope you enjoy.



Your friends John and Heidi and the Captain and Crew of the Pacific Princess

Comment Policy

Look, friends — there are a few things you should remember before you comment. The space below is for you to post your comments about the post I've just written above. Now, while I may not be able to reply to your comment below, I do sit in my underpants almost every morning and read everything that is here. So feel free to comment on the comments and then if someone wants to comment on the comment to the comment then go ahead as well. Please be courteous, unless the poster is French...........then you can say whatever you want.

89 Responses to Pacific Princess…..A Day Onboard a 5-Star Country Inn

  1. Host Mach says:

    Gorgeous! Her beauty belies her age. What a wonderfully well fitted out vessel.

    I love the heavy woods, the leather and the rich fabrics. It almost looks like a museum!

    How right you are, John. Zip lines, skating rinks and laser shows are more DIStraction than ATTraction…

    Here’s hoping that more cruise lines will treat us like passengers and not tourists. We understand that the VOYAGE is the main thing.

    Thanks again for a great blog, my friend!!

    Pass along my howdies to the lovely Heidi and my thanks to the industrious Stephanie!!


    Host Mach from Cruise Critic

  2. Snoozeman says:

    Beautiful Ship. It has to be wonderful to sail on the unique Princess ships.

  3. kiciaski says:

    Hi John,

    Thanks for the review of the Pacific Princess. We did a 10 day cruise from Tahiti on the Renaissance R3 in 2000. That was one of our favorite cruises. It was nice being on a small ship and it was an all adult cruise because you had to be 18 or older to sail with Renaissance. A really nice feature was that we spent two days at each port so you got to really see more. I believe Princess does the same itinerary with their ship in Tahiti (or at least they did) and we would like to do that one again. The R class ships were very classy vessels.

    Can’t wait to see you on the Splendor. In just a few days Carnival gets possession and that will be a great day for you.


  4. John that is a beautiful ship. Is it geared more to adults as it sounds?
    Now I would like to praise you. We are all so proud of you and your dedication to sticking to your diet. I hope you have started seeing the weight come off each time you step on the scales and you aren’t feeling you are fighting a losing battle.
    We’re wishing you all the best with your diet.
    Carolyn and Don
    PS…… you’re doing a great job Stephanie.
    Hi Heidi ! we miss hearing from you

  5. TXLADYDI says:

    John, Thanks for the tour of the beautiful Pacific Princess – I was most impressed by the fireplace in front of the comfy couch and arm chairs!!

    From the pics it looks like you have dropped more than just a few pounds! Great Job!! I’m doing the same style diet you are, no bread, potatoes, pasta, as little sugar as possible. Works absolutely great, I’ve done it before. Keep the faith, you will be slim and trim again!

    Greetings to the beautiful Heidi.
    Many thanks for the hardworking Stephanie!

    Looking forward to the Bloggers Cruise with my Cruise Critic Krewe,

  6. cheryl says:

    Wow John, Great Ship! I love the pics, she is a beauty, the pics of you were great! We may just try to sail with her this winter. We are going to be on Spirit this September going to Alaska Can not wait!

  7. scootage81 says:

    So, John, how much weight have you lost. You look a little smaller to me in these photos. Hope the diet’s going well. For what it’s worth, I’ve managed to lose a shade over 40 pounds since September, mainly just by eating more sensibly, and I’d probably have lost a bit more, but I indulged during a Med cruise, plus during a three-week vacation with my parents. I’m sure you can meet your target of 60 pounds in a year. Good luck, mate.

  8. Squidly says:

    She truly looks and sounds marvelous.She looks like a ship a man or woman could truly relax and sit back watch the sea and drift off into wonderful memories.Just proves new is not always better.Thanks John bless you and Heidi and Stephanie
    Your Friends Gary and Bug

  9. Mark Twain and a Half says:

    Nice pics, John! Who took ’em? Was Heidi with you?

    I especially liked the dining room. Very elegant. While I am generally a fan of Joe Farcus’ “Vegas-esque” decorating style (I think a cruise should be a special, over-the-top experience), I do think the dining room should be a calm, cool space to allow one to concentrate on the food and to reflect on the day’s activities. The Princess’ dining room is exactly the kind of thing I mean. Lovely.

  10. Pismo Jim says:

    The great thing about the Princess “Renaissance class” ships are their itineraries. Because of their size, they can go to some of the smaller ports. Princess has a fantastic “exotics” program and has ships going to ports all over the world.

    We were on the Pacific Princess for 4 weeks in 2006 (Bangkok to Cape Town) and I think it ranks right up there as my favorite ship along with the old Royal Princess, now P&O’s Artemis.

    John, who was the cruise director of the Pacific Princess?

  11. Jeri Green says:

    What a great ship. We’d love to try a Princess cruise sometime in the future.

  12. Carol Schoenberger says:

    Hi John & Heidi,

    Thanks for the photos & descriptions – it’s nice to see all the various ships in the fleet. I remember the R’s, black-hulled & boring looking. Not the Pacific Princess, she’s lovely. A fitting replacement for the original “Love Boat”.

    Mille grazie, John,

  13. GARY says:

    Thanks for the PP review, but I’ll stick with the Splendor. I like them new, big and beautiful.
    See you next month.

  14. dwa76 says:

    Hi John/Heidi:
    Immediately you can tell how different she is from many of the other vessels in the company.
    I do like the color scheme and it seems like it would be a wonderful cruise to take.
    Thanks for the in-depth review.
    Hope everything else is going well.
    Take care,

  15. Linda (Mom of DJ) says:

    Thanks John for the Princess review.

    That is definately one of the cruise lines in our future. (when DJ can’t go to Club O2 any longer)

    I have been told that Princess still gives us freight haulers the Interline discount AND that Princess and Cunard reciprocate loyalty “perks”. (IE: if you have a Black card on Princess but have never sailed on Cunard…you still get their loyalty perks!)

    Now all I need to find out is do they have “karaoke”? LOL

    Linda (5 pounds lighter and now walking 5 miles a day)

  16. Kathy K. says:


    All I can say is it takes my breath away. What a lovely ship just gorgeous! Thank-you for the beautiful pics.

    I enjoy each and every detail of the ships and the people you bring to us everyday. You make my day! Keep’em coming!

    My best to you and Heidi!

  17. Now THAT is a ship! Wow! you mean I could live the life if Bertie Wooster there?

    BTW, you looked quite dashing descending the grand staircase…you still got it, John!

    Hugs to you and your lovely bride!

  18. Jeff says:

    That ship is pretty sweet. Who knew?

  19. msqpon - Jo Myerly says:

    Hi John, Your photos today brought back many happy memories. We sailed on the Tahitian Princess several years ago. We loved the ship. It is the perfect size. I really don’t like the huge ships that are being built today. Bigger is not always better. We pick a cruise for the ports it will take us to so we end up on the new gigantic ships. Maybe with the price of gas cruise lines will return to building smaller more energy efficient ships. The Carnival Legend is our favorite Carnival ship mainly because of its’ size.
    You are look like you have really lost weight. You look terrific. Thanks for taking us along on your travels.
    Jo and Dave

  20. John N says:

    My first cruise was on the old Island Princess, also about 600 pax. There is a lot to be said about smaller ships. We prefer them.

  21. SALLY OWENS says:

    I TOTALLY agree with you. I have sailed on Princess line many many times !!!
    (and hope to again, soon) I am also VERY fond of Holland American. To my taste, the best food of
    all the lines. You were the HIGHLIGHT of my last cruise on the Carnival Freedom. (my first and last on a Carnival ship) TOO BIG !!! Food left MUCH to be desired.

  22. Capt Bill says:

    I have stayed in R3 before on several Carnival ships, Jubilee, sensation, Holiday, and some of the other R rooms LOL. I have to agree that I am one of the people who prefer the smaller fantisy class ships over the larger ships. Yes I have sailed on the spirt, and Discovery class ships, but out of all my 23 cruises I like the Fanatsy class the best.

    I can only imagine what a great time you had touring the Ship. You are deffenetly Carnivals
    ambasidor to the other lines. Keep up the good work, and while I don’t get to write every day, I do read the Blog Thingy every day.

    Take my friend,

    Capt Bill floating around Boston Harbor

  23. John H says:

    John – We did a cruise to Bermuda last summer on
    the Celebrity (Azamara) Journey which started out I think as the R6. Your pictures from the Pacific Princess looked nearly identical to what we saw on the Journey. It is a neat little ship – definitely different from the Triumph or Glory or one of the Princess Grand class ships. It was just too bad the service on Celebrity did not measure up to that which passengers receive on Carnival or Princess. You got the feeling the crew was just there doing a job and nothing more. There certainly was not a ‘We are Cunard’ feeling about it.

  24. Ah, Renaissance Cruises – how I miss them. Their drawing card was that their ships were entirely smoke-free.

    The wife and I dreamed of cruising the Tahiti-Bora Bora itinerary before they went bankrupt.

    Alas, those days are long gone.


  25. "BIG" ED says:


    Maybe that’s why Renaissance Cruises are no more because they WERE smoke free.

    BIG ED

  26. where2next says:

    Your blog put into words exactly how I felt after spending 24 days on the Pacific Princess last October for a B2B ~ Hawaii to Tahiti and return.

    The library is elegant and yet so comfy, where you actually ponder going back to your stateroom grabbing a blanket and curling up with a great book. And the book exchange is like no other.

    Every aspect of ship oozed sophistication and yet a level of intimacy that made you feel so at home

    After 30 years of cruising since I was a young child I have 2 favorite ships that are still sailing…
    The Prinsendam and Pacific Princess…they take me back to the time of traditional cruising.

    Since you usually work on much larger ships, it’s great that you were able to have this fabulous experience!

  27. Pia says:

    I loved seeing this ship again. Thanks. We spent 84 days on her in 2004/2005 and expect to cruise on the PP again for 28 days in 2009.

  28. LambKnuckles says:


    The Princess is a princess!! Pampering and elegant!! Even if you grazed on artichokes and lamb… (I love ’em both!!)

    I truly enjoy touring other ships through your eyes and lens! We’re seeing so much more than we would just looking at their website!

    THANK YOU!!!

  29. Expat_Canuck says:

    Speaking of Princess, has anyone sailed on the Dawn Princess and/or taken a South Pacific (Sydney, Fiji, etc) cruise?

    I’m doing a 12-day sailing over New Year’s on the Dawn Princess from Sydney and would be interested in finding out what people think of this ship.


  30. Alex G. says:

    Beautiful ship! Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos! Perhaps, I will sail on a Princess cruise to see what the experience is all about.

    Alex G.

  31. Marilyn says:

    I sailed on the ‘original’ PP AND IT WAS A GREAT 14-day cruise from Bombay, India to Singapore, Thailand–ending on a Christwas week. If you’ve ever seen NYC at Christmas, Singapore goes even more over-the-top in its decorations!!!

  32. Teresa says:


    2 weeks home from the Rome to Venice trip and while looking for another cruise (Oh Yes) I started to read all the blog about your trip – I think we had one of our best holidays aboard the PP and I think the size of the ship had a lot to contribute – we met some lovely new friends and visited amazing destinations (No. 1 Kotor) which other ships pass by. So now I’m off searching for the next destination probably the PP but most definately Princess.

  33. tess2cruz says:

    My my, what an elegant ship. Love the staircase. I love the feeling on any ship when you see the same people day after day, feeling of family. Would love to experience it on this beautiful ship.

    Thanks John.

  34. Roger Miller says:

    Since my daughter works on the Pacific Princess I am always delighted to hear more about her workplace which she enjoys so much. My first voyage on a Princess ship will be the Golden Princess to Alaska in July.

  35. Gill Leather says:

    Hi there, great to read as I am due to sail on this very cruiser end of September but many many years ago my husband I sailed on the orginal Pacific (Love Boat) and since we have cruised on the largers Princess ships so this time we chose the smaller – photos great but were is the photo of the rooms

  36. Eric loves to cruise says:


    Appreciate your views (and pics) on the “small ship feel”. My wife and I are booked on the Tahitian Princess for the November 9 sailing in the French Polynesia. Must say I have been having my concerns over a much smaller ship than I am use to.

    Last year we cruised on the Star Princess from Copenhagen to Rome, and the year before on the Golden Princess from Rome to Venice. These two ships are the more lately traditional “floating hotel” as you noted. I must say after reading your blog I am looking even more foward to the “small ship” feel.

    Thanks again for your review.

  37. Linda says:


    Thanks for the amazing review on the Pacific Princess. In April did a 16 day cruise on the Pacific from London to Venice and was so delighted to sail on a small ship again. Started cruising with Princess in 1981 and it always felt like going home with each cruise I took. You always met up with a staff member you met previously on another cruise and it was so special when they remembered you. Let’s hope there are more small ships in the future.


  38. Joe Wood says:

    Hi John. Not sure if you’ll read this in time, but dear friends of ours are on your ship right now. Former Anglican Archbiship Harold Nutter and Mrs. Nutter are wonderful folks and I’m sure would be delighted if you could possibly say hello. If you can, my thanks. If not, I understand.

  39. Pingback: Princess « Jake silverbergs blog Weblog

  40. aCapricornia says:

    Thanks, John for the review and the photos. It brings very happy memories of two cruises on Pacific Princess when she was operating in the south-west Pacific off the coast of Australia. Now we are ready to join her sister, the Tahitian Princess, on her cruise around beautiful French Polynesia.
    With much sadness I note that just like PP no longer spends 5 months/year sailing out of Australia, Princess is pulling TP out of French Polynesia at the end of this year, will be renaming her Ocean Princess and sending her cruising elsewhere. (emoticons with a mix of sad and angry faces here)

  41. Julie says:

    So happy to hear the great reviews. We’ll be on the Pacific Princess in March ’09 for a cruise from Manaus, Brazil to Ft. Lauderdale. Seems like we have something wonderful to look forward too.

  42. Pam says:

    Great info and pics! I look forward to my next cruise on a small ship rather than being “one in the herd”or…maybe on a large sailboat. Either way, it will be on a smaller vessel.
    I definately enjoyed the crew and the amenities of the Crown Princess, but I also prefer to shop in small unique stores than the “marts” and “big boxes” when looking for something unique…similar to a vacation.
    Thanks for you wit and wisdom.

  43. Lois says:

    John, Thanks so much for the splendid review of the Princess Ship. I realllllly want to go on a small ship now.

  44. Gwen says:

    My spouse and I were on the old R3 for a 10 day tahiti cruise in May 2001. What a wonderful cruise and ship. We have been on several HAL,RCCL and the Queen Mary2 since then and are really looking forward to our next cruise on the Royal Princess this November for 24 nights. Love the library and saltwater pool. Can’t wait! Thanks for the review.

  45. Beatrice Walsh says:

    Your review of the Pacific Princess was exactly correct. My husband and I have been on 2 cruises on this ship and are going to Manaus, Brazil in January. I love this ship. It is so warm and friendly. No waiting in line. EVER…. We have been on over 30 cruises and this is the best ever. We have been on the Tahitian Princess which is the exact same size ship and found it to be just as great. This is what cruising is all about

  46. Patricia Ochsner says:


    Enjoyed the blog and responses. We will be sailing from Athens on Nov 16, 2008. Really looking forward to it!

  47. Meredith says:

    Enjoyed this article. We were on the Pacific last November and loved everything about the ship. Such a beautiful vessel and the crew was OUTSTANDING! Great to see some of them again in your pictures.

  48. ann says:

    I am planning a 14 alaska cruise on PP
    and looking forward to seeing different
    ports than doing a back to back cruise.
    Have cruised with RCCL HAL NCL and
    of course Princess Since we opt out of
    spending big $$$ on cruise think we can enjoy some shore tours instead.
    Am concerned about my obstructed view but hope it won’t spoil our trip.
    We can always go to the Prom Deck for
    our sites. John Cleese helped us with one of our cruises. Who can explain a GG cat on PPrincess Sounds like most of your posts are very positive will send
    this to my friends who are cruiseing with us Thank you all Ann

  49. ann says:

    Planning Alaska on PP June 25 will be going with friends and chose GG category to be able to spend on tours.
    Hope we won’t miss to much of the
    scenery but are close to an exit so we can go down to the deck for our views
    Will have only 3 sea days out of 14 so we
    should be OK let me know Ann

  50. Katherine says:

    Sounds fabulous. Two of my daughters and I are sailing to Alaska on the PP leaving Seattle July 9th. We’ve never been on a smaller ship and look forward to it! Thanks…just hope the months fly by until we’re on our way.

  51. ann says:

    We are also looking forward to our June
    25 Alaska Cruise

  52. Jean says:

    I have sailed on the original Island Princess and Pacific Princess. They were wonderful ships. We are booked on the Pacific Princess August 6 Alaska Cruise. I am excited to experience the “new” Pacific Princess. I enjoyed your excellent blog about the PP.


  53. ann says:

    Maybe will see you on the June 25 cruise to Alaska.
    What deck did you choose.?
    Are you going with a group?

  54. ann says:

    Has anyone booked an obstructed room on the PP?
    What deck and how was it?

  55. C Ocran says:

    I’m thinking of organising a cruise for about 300 couples for about 4 nights departing from and returning to Ghana in the first quarter of 2010. The proposed dates are 12 to 15th Feb. It is a church program. Does the Princess organise such specialised events?

    I have tried without any success (I would like to add) to find just an email link to get someone to get me the information. I hope you can help


  56. Lorna from ireland says:

    came across you blog, was delighted to see the photos, my daughter is working on the ship as a spa therapist, havn’t seen her since last september, miss her so much, but looking at the photos gave me a sense of her surroundings. Would have like to sail on this lovely ship, unfortunately am going to have to mention the R word! recession, will not be able to but maybe in the furture. Am expecting her back in July and yes i agree with you, there is a great sense of family, according to her that can only be found on a smaller cruise ship like this. By the way you are a fine figure of a man!

  57. Orv says:

    Do they have facilities for ping pong on the Pacific Princess?



  58. ann says:

    My husband and I are going with another couple.
    We did get a balcony

  59. ann says:

    Orv yes they have ping pong tables on the smoking side of the ship Just got back from Alaska it was nice but not my favorite ship. Not enough to do
    Hope you enjoy. Missed getting the Alaska Connoseur t- shirt

  60. Alterego says:

    We are looking forward to sailing on the Pacific this coming October to Tahiti.

  61. Lisa Modrick says:

    Wonderful review. We will be sailing her with our group Sept 28 2009 from Hawaii to Tahiti. Our travel agency has had this group booking for 2 years and our time has finally come.

    We are the South Dakota agents that were on the first Dottie Cruise with you. And have had the fortune to sail with you many many times and always to our pleasure.

    Bon voyage to us as we sail into two paradises of Hawaii and Tahiti aboard the Pacific Princess.

    Lisa and Mike Modrick
    Modricks Travel

  62. Bruce & Debbie Warnock says:

    Hi John,

    How well we remember the several cruises we have taken with you as our Cruise Director. Our number on Carnival is now 11 and we are booked on Pacific Princess for May, 2010 to the Holy Land. Thus, we read with interest your Blog. We will be with Larry and Sharon again, whom you know well. Sure hope you and Heidi can find a way to join us.

  63. Willie Banger says:

    Always great to read your blog!

  64. Don Glenn says:

    John: Thanks for allowing me to reminisce about our 10 days aboard one of the R ships. Having been on 5 cruises on four lines, the Tahitian Princess will always be my favorite. You get to meet and know people aboard. not the 3,500 person mass aboard the larger ships. There is a stately elegance aboard. Of course, it did not hurt to be able to get off on Bora Bora and Moorea. We will always have fond memories aboard her.

  65. Prien-Cammert, Margret says:

    I have been on the Pacific Princess about Christmas and Sylvester 2009/10 in South Pazifique, it was wonderfull. Merci!!!
    Best regards
    Margret Prien-Cammert

  66. Gary Noyes says:

    My wife & I were on the Royal Princess for an Amazon cruise ~2 years ago. Enjoyed it, but would have much preferred “anytime dining” on these ex-Renaissance ships. But we were told Princess plans to keep “traditional dining” (fixed times and dining partners) on their 3 small ships. Pity, as they can handle true anytime dining, as proven by Oceania and Azamara. So, until Princess changes this, we’ll keep sailing on “O and A”.

  67. marie says:

    my husband and I have taken many cruises both on large and small ships. We are contemplating taking the Royal on it’s journey from Tahiti to Ft Lauderdale next April. There are many sea days. Can someone tell me if there are adequate activities? Scholarship at sea is probably not available??? I will miss Movies Under the Stars. Do they show movies daytime as well as at night in one of the lounges? I think this should be a lovely itinerary and am looking forward to a small ship. Our last trip was on the Grand this year and last year on the Emerald.

  68. Ann says:

    I was on the Pacific Princess14 day Alaska in 2008 and I wasn’t to happy as there wasn’t enought to do
    and just think of it as abut 1/4 the size of the big ships
    and you can figure there is not much to do. You mentioned you will be on the ship many days.
    Our cruise had many days in port but there were not
    any movies no entertainment in the bars,and as far as
    meeting everyone I found the people very much on there own and not friendly.
    Enjoy but this year I’m going on the Caribean Princess
    in Sept with the Movies under the Start
    Good luck on yours Ann

  69. Alan Black says:

    Would like to send an email to Mr John Heald please

    I’m 75 and not very good on computers

    Alan Black

  70. Robert Lawson says:

    Mr. Heald,
    Sir, I enjoyed reading your review of the Pacific Princess. I am looking for a replacement for the Vistafjord/Caronia that my wife and I enjoyed very much. The wife is gone now so I travel alone, I am 83 years old.

    Does the Pacific Princess compare to the Vistafjord? If no then can you suggest a ship that does.

  71. Alan Black says:

    Live aboard They tell me its cheaper than a retirment village

    Any information on this would be greatly appreciated

    Which are the best ships for a young 74 year old


  72. tattoomat says:

    My son got this awful tattoos
    at bum it’s peculiar!

  73. Rick Talazus says:

    I am leaving in a few weeks on the Pacific Princess for a 29 day cruise and was hoping to see some up to date blogs or comments. I was very disappointed to find there wasn’t any thing about the Holy land cruise or comments fresher than 2008.

  74. Ruth Kirchner says:

    We have sailed 50 cruises so far, various cruise lines. We were on the R4 ship, 15 days to tahiti, about 6 months before they folded. We will be going on the Pacific Princess on Dec. 22, 2010, 14 days to the Amazon River. Quite excited about that cruise. The R ships were built very ellegently, we can’t wait for our 51st cruise.

  75. Roy Perrone says:

    You never mentioned anything about entertainment on board. Is there a ships entertainment group?

  76. Charlene says:

    Does this ship have any tables for 2? My husband and I enjoy having dinner by ourselves. Where do we eat breakfast?

  77. MaryAlice Denson says:

    I’m trying all available avenues to find out how to get seated at a table for 6, at least, and NOT 4. My travel agent at V2go replys that itineraries will be given out onboard. Doesn’t help when I didn’t ask for it. How do I take care of this? We are boarding Pacific Princess in Sydney on Feb 27, 2012.

    It was nice to browse through your blog on this ship, which seems to be like the Royal. We were on the Royal in the Mediterranean a few years ago. Looking forward to this.

  78. Olive says:

    Hello John. I have just read your blog on the Pacific Princess. Thank you. She sounds wonderful. I am sailing on her in a week’s time and very much looking forward to it. I hope – 4 years down the line she is still as beautiful as you say?
    Also – I am travelling solo. Can you tell me if there are any events, i.e. coffee mornings, for solo travellers? Thank you for your help. Olive

  79. Audrey says:

    What fun to read about a small ship experience.

  80. Rita says:

    What a beautiful write up of your experiences. We love the pampering and keep coming back for more. We have cruised two world cruises(2008 and 2010)on Pacific Princess and one round trip Amazon River cruise(2011-2012). We have tried out different rooms and visited others not in our categories. We love the scholarship at sea program and I loved the book club. We also are self directed in our activities…sometimes we and others even suggest activities to the cruise director and they are enacted. I bring my knitting for those restful days at sea. We call the seating area near the purser’s office/reception desk as our “living room” where many friends visit us!

  81. Julie says:

    Hello John, you write the most wonderful stories, have you written a book yet? of your travels on board the worlds beautiful ships. I met you in 2007 on Carnival Freedom in Europe, I am from Sydney Australia, and was travelling with Mum. I lost my camera in Venice. You were kind enough to let people on the ship know what happened and I was spoiled and treated like never before. A gentleman from the US bought me a new camera and another man printed me 250 of his travel photos, as I had lost the lost. Unbelievable. I have cruised a few times since then and I have not had the pleasure of meeting you again yet, but I can’t wait until the next time. You amused me on the ship, your outgoing and beautiful personality and your wonderful stories or people and places. Keep up the wonderful work John, and come and visit Sydney soon. Love Julie. PS: I hope to be able to travel on Pacific Princess once day, I did have the pleasure of an on board visit a few years ago and my parent enjoy her immensely.

  82. carolyn says:

    Have quickly become a cruise addict after 4 Princess cruises within 12months. So far have sailed Dawn, Sun & Sapphire. Considering 21 day cruise on Pacific fr Sydney to HK where there are quite a few days at sea. What can we expect re activities on sea days. Do they have floor shows and other performers on board? Any comments welcome

  83. David Hardy says:

    Pacific Princess obviously as magical as its sister Ocean Princess . Notice in your photos Princess Cruise Director David Bradshaw who was on our October 2012 Civitavecchia – Singapore cruise on OP . Long live the wonderful R class boats .

  84. Mary&Lloyd Purdy says:

    So looking forward to our cruise Jan 20/2014.We will be celabrating our 75th birthday,cant wait.

  85. Vicki Stuart says:

    Since I started cruising I have wanted to try one of Princess’ “small” ships. I will have the opportunity this August on a 12-day Black Sea cruise. I already was so excited. After reading your review I know I have made the correct decision.

    I am going on a Carnival cruise next month but I am a Princess person. Can’t wait to be back on deck in August.

  86. Patricia Bowler says:

    John, I enjoyed hearing of your experience on the Pacific Princess so very much! Years ago my mother cruised for three weeks on the Princess Italia which only had 400 guests! Imagine that!
    Now my question: WHY would you be touting the Princess ship when you work for Carnival? Yes, I know, Carnival owns Princess as well as other lines but it looks as tho you really prefer the luxury and small number of guests on the Princess.
    Please explain why you posted this. Loved it tho!

  87. Meredith LaRatta says:

    John,thank you for this review. We are going on the Pacific Princess to the Amazon in Jan. 2014 and the Ocean Princess to West Africa in May 2014. We sailed with you on the Breeze Med, the cruise before the Transatlantic in Nov. 2012. You and Calvin made the cruise so much fun!!!

  88. gtg says:

    Unfortunate that she doesn’t sail Australia as much as she used too. I wouldn’t care if she was the only ship I ever cruised on. A true lady of the sea!

  89. John says:

    Me’n the child-bride will board the Pacific Princess on 13th May. It is nice to see that Princess do not overlook the charms of the ‘fuller-figured man’. I understand fully the concept of ‘girth = worth’ I assume that you are English. I am Australian. Do you have Vegemite? Can we talk cricket

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