Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 392 out of 500
Accommodation: 150 out of 200
Food: 252 out of 400
Service: 287 out of 400
Entertainment: 71 out of 100
Cruise: 290 out of 400
Overall Score: 1442 out of 2000
Pacific Princess Statistics
Size: Small Ship
Cruise Line: Princess Cruises
Former Names: R Three
IMO Number: 9187887
Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique (France)
Original Cost: $150 million
Entered Service: Aug 1999/Nov 2002
Length (ft/m): 593.7/181.0
Beam (ft/m): 83.5/25.5
Draft (ft/m): 19.5/6.0
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (18,600kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 9
Total Crew: 373
Passengers (lower beds): 688
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 44.1
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 1.8
Cabins (total): 344
Size Range (sq ft/m): 145.3-968.7/13.5-90.0
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 232
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 3
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 1
Hot Tubs (on deck): 3
Self-Service Launderette: Yes
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: US$
English country house decor for mature-age cruisers
Overview. Pacific Princess appeals to mature adults seeking value for money aboard a comfortable mid-size ship with plenty of dining choices and limited entertainment.
The Ship. Pacific Princess has an all-white hull which makes the ship appear larger than it is - and a large, square-ish funnel. A Lido Deck has a swimming pool and good sunbathing space, while one of the aft decks has a thalassotherapy pool. A jogging track circles the swimming pool deck, but one deck above. The uppermost outdoors deck includes a golf driving net and shuffleboard court.
Although there is no walk-around promenade deck outdoors, there is a small jogging track around the perimeter of the swimming pool, and port and starboard side decks. Instead of wooden decks outdoors, they are covered by Bolidt, a sand-colored rubberized material. There is no sauna. The room service menu is extremely limited. Stairways, although carpeted, are tinny. In order to keep the prices low, often the air routing to get to/from your ship is not the most direct.
The interior decor is quite stunning and elegant, a throwback to ship decor of the ocean liners of the 1920s and ’30s, executed in fine taste. This includes detailed ceiling cornices, both real and faux wrought-iron staircase railings, leather- and cherry wood-paneled wall, trompe l’oeil ceilings, and rich carpeting in hallways with an Oriental rug-look center section. The overall feel echoes that of an old-world country club. The staircase in the main, two-deck-high foyer recalls the staircase in the 1997 movie Titanic.
The public rooms are spread over three decks. The reception hall has a staircase with intricate wrought-iron railings. The Nightclub, with forward-facing views, sits high in the ship and has some Polynesian-inspired decor and furniture.
There are plenty of bars - including one in the entrance to each restaurant. Perhaps the nicest of all bars and lounges are in the casino bar/lounge that is a beautiful room reminiscent of London’s grand hotels and understated gaming clubs. It has an inviting marble fireplace - in fact, there are three such fireplaces aboard - and comfortable sofas and individual chairs. There is also a large Card Room, which incorporates an Internet center with eight stations.
The Library is a beautiful, grand Regency-style room, with a fireplace, a high, indented, trompe l’oeil ceiling, and an excellent selection of books, plus very comfortable wingback chairs with footstools, and sofas you could sleep on; it’s the most relaxing room aboard. There’s very little entertainment, but it is not needed in the cruise areas featured. Pacific Princess is much more about relaxation than the larger Princess ships.
As with all Princess Cruises ships, 15 percent is added to all bar and spa accounts - most drink prices are moderate, but beer prices are high. A standard gratuity is automatically added to onboard accounts - to reduce the amount, you’ll need to go to the reception desk.
There is a charge - tokens must be obtained from the reception desk - for using the machines in the self-service launderette. A change machine in the launderette itself would be more user-friendly.
Accommodation. There is a variety of about eight different cabin types to choose from, with prices linked to grade, location and size.
All of the standard interior and outside-view cabins are extremely compact units, and extremely tight for two persons - especially for cruises longer than seven days. Cabins have twin beds or queen-size bed, with good under-bed storage areas, personal safe, vanity desk with large mirror, good closet and drawer space in rich, dark woods, and bathrobe. Color TVs carry a major news channel, where obtainable, plus a sports channel and several round-the-clock movie channels. The bathrooms, which have tiled floors and plain walls, are compact, standard units, and include a shower enclosure with a removable, strong hand-held shower unit, hairdryer, 100 percent cotton towels, toiletries storage shelves, and a retractable clothesline.
The suites/cabins that have private balconies (66 percent of all suites/cabins, or 73 percent of all outside-view suites/cabins) have partial, and not full, balcony partitions, and sliding glass doors. Thanks to good design and layout, only 14 cabins on Deck 6 have lifeboat-obstructed views. The balcony floor is covered in thick plastic matting - teak would be nicer - and some awful plastic furniture.
Mini-Suites (52). Units designated as mini-suites are in reality simply larger cabins than the standard varieties, as the sleeping and lounge areas are not divided. While not overly large, the bathrooms have a good-size tub and ample space for storing toiletries. The living area has a refrigerated minibar, lounge area with breakfast table, and a balcony with two plastic chairs and a table.
Owner’s Suites (10). The most spacious accommodation, these are fine, large living spaces in the forward-most and aft-most sections of the accommodation decks. Particularly nice are those that overlook the stern, on Decks 6, 7, and 8. They have more extensive balconies that really are private and cannot be overlooked by anyone from the decks above. There is an entrance foyer, living room, bedroom, CD player, bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, as well as a small guest bathroom. The bed faces the sea, which can be seen through the floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass door.
All suites/cabins located at the stern may suffer from vibration and noise, particularly when the ship is proceeding at or close to full speed, or maneuvering in port.
Dining. There are four different dining spots - three restaurants and one casual self-serve buffet:
The Club Restaurant has 338 seats, all with armrests, and includes a large raised central section. There are large ocean-view windows on three sides, and some prime tables that overlook the stern, as well as a small bandstand for occasional live dinner music. However, the noise level can be high because of the single-deck-height ceiling.
Sabatini’s Trattoria, an extra-cost Italian restaurant, has 96 seats (all chairs have armrests), windows along two sides, and a set ‘Bellissima’ three-hour dégustation menu.
The Sterling Steakhouse is an ‘American steak house’ with a good selection of large, prime steaks and other meats. It has 98 comfortable seats, all with armrests, and windows along two sides. It has a set menu, together with added daily chef’s specials. There is a cover charge.
The Lido Café has seating for 154 indoors and 186 outdoors, with white plastic patio furniture. It is open for breakfast, lunch, and casual dinners. The ship’s self-serve buffet restaurant, it is open 24 hours a day and has a small pizzeria and grill.
All restaurants have open-seating dining, so you dine when you want, although reservations are necessary for Sabatini’s Trattoria and Sterling Steakhouse, where there are mostly tables for four or six - there are few tables for two. In addition, there is a Poolside Grill and Bar for fast food.
Entertainment. The 345-seat Cabaret Lounge, in the forward part of the ship on Deck 5, is the main venue for entertainment events and some social functions. The single-level room has a stage, and circular hardwood dance floor with adjacent banquette and individual tub chair seating, and raised sections on port and starboard sides. It is not a large room, and not really designed for production shows, so cabaret acts and local entertainment form the main focus. Mini-revue style shows with colorful costumes are presented by a troupe of resident singer/dancers in a potted version of what you might experience aboard the large ships of Princess Cruises. Inevitably, art auctions and bingo are pushed almost daily.
Spa/Fitness. Facilities, which are located in the forward part of the ship on a high deck (Deck 9) include a gymnasium with ocean-view windows and some high-tech muscle-toning equipment and treadmills. There are steam rooms but no sauna, changing areas for men and women, and a beauty salon with ocean-view windows.
The spa is operated by Steiner, a specialist concession whose retail products will be pushed. Some fitness classes, such as Stepexpress, Power Walk, Total Body Conditioning, Xpress Circuit, are free. Others, such as yoga and kick-boxing, cost extra, as do massage, facials, pedicures, and beauty salon treatments.