I’ve fallen in love… with cruising! I just returned from the most magical experience cruising Southern Australia and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Cruising is back in a big way, and Australians are choosing to cruise now more than ever before. As the Majestic Princess charts her way on a circumnavigation around Australia, I jumped aboard to find out what all the fuss is about. I boarded a sceptic, but disembarked a cruise convert and I’m already planning my next cruise adventure – here’s why…
Food is central to any cruise, and with dining options aplenty onboard Majestic Princess, we were spoilt for choice. I felt it was my duty to try everything, so I’ve come back with a couple of extra cruise kilos around the waist… but it was so worth it! There’s a range of dining options available around the clock, so you can choose your own schedule and dine your way. The Marketplace offers a huge selection of food in a casual setting, and it’s a hive of activity – a great place to meet up and share a meal with newfound friends! If you prefer a la carte, you won’t be stuck for choice. Concerto, Allegro and Symphony dining rooms serve up delicious three course meals every evening. You can either reserve your dining time each evening, or just turn up when you’re feeling hungry, and the staff will look after you. For something really spesh, you can pay a cover-charge to dine in one of the specialty restaurants, each with a focus on a different cuisine. My favourites were Sur La Mer French Bistro for the delectable desserts and the Crown Grill where you can get your fix of steak and seafood cooked to perfection! Did someone say surf ‘n’ turf? Yes please!
If you want to grab something on the go there’s a noodle bar, a pizzeria, a hot dog stand and even an ice cream bar! Oh, and if you feel like having a quiet night in, you can order room service and it’s all included in your cruise fare. See what I mean? You’ll never go hungry on a Princess cruise.
If you’re looking for entertainment, you are going to LOVE a Princess Cruise. Every day there is a jam-packed schedule of fun and games onboard Majestic Princess. From dazzling theatre performances to game shows, bingo and trivia, there is never a reason to sit idle (unless you want to!). For those who love a flutter, there’s also a casino which operates when the ship is at sea.
There are some interesting seminars to attend, as well as group meets for single travellers and special interest groups (like the lovely knitting ladies that meet each day to drink tea and knit together – bless them). I really enjoyed the camaraderie that came along with cruising — you’re never stuck for someone to talk to and there’s always group activities to get involved in.
If you really want to feel like a princess, I can personally recommend a trip to the Lotus Spa and the Enclave for a pamper session whilst at sea. Treat yourself to a massage, manicure, or a new hairdo, or consult with the inhouse experts about acupuncture, teeth whitening, medi-spa treatments and nutrition and fitness consultations. Speaking of exercise, the gym on board the ship is phenomenal. There’s nothing like walking on the treadmill with ocean views as far as the eye can see. Personally, I preferred to take a brisk walk around the top deck each morning and it was so peaceful up there… a great way to start the day!
Take me ashore
Look, I’m not going to hide the fact that I absolutely LOVED the days at sea. Those are the days where you don’t need to hurry to anything. You can relax, eat when you want, sleep in late and have afternoon naps if that’s your thing (I’m owning it!). But when the ship is at port, it’s a great time to explore a new destination. On our itinerary we stopped in Port Lincoln and Kangaroo Island. We took the opportunity in Port Lincoln to visit an oyster farm with Experience Coffin Bay and this was so interesting (the oysters were the freshest I’ve ever tasted!).
Then we visited L’Anse French cafe & Croissanterie in Port Lincoln for a delicious lunch, followed by coffee and pastries. On Kangaroo Island we had some fun with Andrew from KI Marine Adventures who took us swimming with dolphins! Then to top off an already amazing day, we headed to Kangaroo Island Spirits for a gin tasting.
The best part about it all is that we didn’t have to unpack and pack again at each destination – our floating hotel was waiting for us at the end of each day!
Make it easy for me
Technology on board cruise ships has come so far and Princess Cruises are leading the way with Medallion Class – a state-of-the-art technology system designed to enhance the guest experience. All guests are given a wearable device which serves as a key to your stateroom and allows you to personalise your journey on board the ship. You can locate friends and family travelling in your party and no matter where you are on the ship you can order food and the crew will deliver it straight to you. Yay – no need to leave your sun lounge to go get a burger.
The other thing I loved about Majestic Princess was the little touches that some people might not even notice, but that made me feel so comfortable and safe. Like the soft night light that came on when I got out of bed overnight, and the support the crew provided to get my Wi-Fi up and running when I encountered a problem on my laptop.
My absolute highlight on the cruise? THE CREW! The Princess Cruise’s crew members are second to none. The waiters and chefs remembered my name, there were smiling faces welcoming me at every turn, and they intuitively preempted my every need. You can tell they have a great team culture as they all work together to give their guests the best experience possible. Every crew member I met was warm, attentive, and genuinely had a passion for what they were doing. By the end of the cruise, I didn’t want to leave. I’ve got a new family now with Princess Cruises and I’m already planning my next trip so I can go back and see them all again.
If this hasn’t convinced you to go and book a cruise right away, here’s the cherry on top: champagne breakfast on your balcony… bliss!
Go book that cruise, then thank me later.
Visit the Princess website for more information or speak to the travel experts, our friends at Phil Hoffmann Travel.