This is a side-step from blogs about our spring 2016 road trip to comment on the Pacific Princess. I want you to know no one paid for this rave review. [I’m not virtuous; nobody offered.]
Do you remember the TV series The Love Boat? Princess Cruises’ Pacific Princess was the Love Boat. Some say that TV series created the modern cruise industry. The boat, however, was sold several times and broken up in 2013. Today’s ship carries on the name — and the program on stateroom TVs.
How one travels is a matter of personal preference. I envy young people spending months on the road, taking advantage of “couch surfing” and other methods to keep their expenses at a minimum. But at our age, we like comfort.
How one cruises is also a matter of personal preference. Some lines are less expensive. Others are more luxurious. Some ships are hugel they carry over five thousand passengers; others are small.
We tend to choose a cruise on the basis of itinerary rather than the ship.
Nonetheless, we both agree the Pacific Princess is now our favorite ship.
At 30,277 tons, it is a relatively small ship. [Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas is 226,963 tons.] It offers fewer dining and entertainment choices than some larger ships. But it is easier to walk to those choices (or to the exercise room). Also, you are more likely to get to know crew and other passengers on a small ship.
I call the current decor “Twentieth Century gentlemen’s club.” You might prefer something more modern. We liked the reserved elegance of the Princess but have liked others too.
Where is this rave review you ask? The service and food on the Pacific Princess were the best we have ever had. That is what made it our favorite.
They anticipated our needs before we could ask. Our cabin attendant Robert kept the place spotless and did more. Alie un-tucks the bedding over her arthritic toes at night. She did so the first night, and thereafter without being asked Robert folded the bedding rather than tucking it in.
In a lounge, a waiter observed Alie had trouble holding a glass and produced an extra-long straw so she could drink more easily.
Gomer, our dinner waiter, was the most efficient we ever had. It seemed we had barely ordered and our appetizers were served. They were quickly followed by soup and salad when ordered. Those dishes had hardly been removed and the main course arrived.
No one rushed us, we relaxed and took our time, and we never sat around wondering where the food was as is common on many ships.
It is hard to prepare fine food for hundreds of people at a time. The food on the Pacific Princess was good, often excellent, and hot dishes arrived hot. The plates were heated. Alie says it is the first time she ever finished pasta in any restaurant when the last bite was still warm.
Norman Love is a world-renowned chocolatier based in Fort Myers, Florida. Princess sends their staff to Love for training. The Pacific Princess has many very good desserts. The featured Norman Love desserts were out-of-this-world good. Alie is famous among our friends and family for her desserts. But even she could not figure how some of the Norman Love desserts were prepared. It was indeed the “Love Boat.”
I suppose our preferences say something about us; what do you like?