Passengers: 1,990 Crew: 910
Built: 1998 Refurbished: 2012
Gross Tonnage: 77,441 Length: 262 metres
Captain: William Kent (UK) Decks: 15
PRINCESS Cruises’ “three white sisters” based in Australia offer
voyages around the country, New Zealand, the South Pacific & Asia.
Sun, Sea and Dawn Princess are almost identical in design, with
some differences after recent refurbishments.
This review refers to the Cruise Weekly editor’s recent voyage to
Tasmania aboard the Sea Princess.
Demographic: Majority are older couples; Australians & Americans.
Cabins: 1,008 (six suites, 32 mini-suites, 372 balcony cabins, 193
oceanview cabins, 405 inside cabins).
Best features: 3 pools, 6 spas, Movies Under the Stars, The Sanctuary
(adults only), Lotus Spa and gym.
Restaurants: Two main dining rooms, Sterling Steakhouse, Café
Corniche, Horizon Court buffet, Rivera Grill, Scoops ice cream bar.
Food: Sailaway dinner highlight was the baked seafood parcel;
chef’s dinner included a slow-roasted rack of lamb, seared scallops or
orange roughy; the captain’s gala featured beef Wellington, lobster
tail and king prawns, and roasted pheasant. All pasta dishes and
soups were very popular. My pick is the steakhouse, where service is
Highlight: The galley tour, which incorporates a 10-course feast,
is an interesting behind-the-scenes insight into the workings of
the kitchen, bakery, pantry and dishwashing areas. After a glass
of Heidisieck Monopole Blue Top Champagne, the executive chef
prepares beef tartare for you to sample, followed by pancettawrapped
tiger prawns and his signature red snapper mojito. Moving
into the dining room, you will drool over the twice-baked goat
cheese soufflé and the mushroom risotto, cooked tableside, as well
as the veal tenderloin.
The international cheese plate is a work of art. Accompanying wines
include Amarone Bolla 2006 and Duckhorn Paraduxx 2009.
Entertainment: The usual theatre productions, musical comedy, a
comedy magician, pianists and string quartets.
The poolside big screen shows outdoor movies, where you can
recline on a deck chair with a blanket.
Other highlights include daily films in the Vista Lounge, a nightclub,
karaoke and game shows.
Shore excursions: Tasmanian Devil Conservation Park is worth a visit
to observe the feeding of this snarling, growling endangered species,
and to hand-feed kangaroos, watch a bird show and see baby quolls.
The Cradle Mountain National Park tour is very scenic but spends
most of the day on a bus (90-minute drive to the park from Burnie,
then transfer to a minibus with very quick stops at Dove Lake and
Port Arthur is a must. Your cruise fare includes entry, so be sure to
walk around the beautiful, haunting, waterfront convict site, or take
a guided tour to learn more.
In Hobart, catch the fast ferry to MONA (Museum of New and Old
Art) or visit the Salamanca Markets.
For other itineraries, see www.princess.com.au.
Sun, Sea and Dawn Princess by: Louise GoldsburyDecember 10, 2013