Hey all! I’m glad to be joining the BoardingArea family as part of Travel Update, alongside other passionate and talented individuals.

Short Bio of me: I love to travel and I’m constantly searching for new places to discover, as well as great deals. I started booking trips for my friends and family at the age of ten and have loved travel ever since. Now, eight years has flew by (pun intended). I’m eighteen, and I’m just about to graduate high school. I will be attending UCLA in the fall (go Bruins!) With my young perspective in tow, I hope you enjoy my posts.

Now, back to talking about my first cruise:

Background:

My first cruise was aboard Star Princess last month. Originally, I never found cruising really appealing, but I thought “hey, you must try something before making judgments about it.” For my spring break, I found a repositioning cruise that started in Los Angeles and ended in Vancouver, with a stop in Victoria. (I loved Victoria when I visited about ten years ago and I liked it even more after this trip.)

Planning:

I decided to bring a friend with me on this cruise as it would be way more fun. I had originally booked an inside cabin for my friend and I and a balcony for my parents, but the price went down a month before and I was not really happy. I called to ask what they could do and thankfully, Costco Travel contacted Princess Cruises for me and got our inside cabin upgraded to a balcony and the balcony upgraded to a mini suite!

Tyler’s Travel Tip: It doesn’t hurt to call and check your bookings after you book, as prices may go down and you might be able to get some sort of compensation.

The Cruise:

In short, the balcony cabin was small, yet well designed. The décor, however, was very outdated. The food was solid at the dining room, yet very lacking at the buffet. Entertainment was a hit or miss, with the comedian being great, but the stage production lacking.

For a review of the cabin itself, click here to check out my detailed cabin review.

For a review of dining and entertainment, click here to check out my detailed dining and entertainment review.

Tips to Know:

  • Milk, Teas, Coffee and Water are included in your cruise fare
  • Check Out is really early in the morning, earlier than hotels. Our check out time was 8:00 AM. But, we were allowed to leave our stuff in the room until disembarkation. Each floor has different disembarkation times. Our time was 8:30 AM.
  • Wifi is VERY EXPENSIVE. I remember the “deal” being $20 for 15 minutes to print out boarding passes.
  • Front and back of the boats are the most rocky, and the HIGHER the level, the rockier it is.

The Verdict: 

I actually truly enjoyed the cruise. It was fun, relaxing and a nice experience. However, the cruise confirmed my previous stance on cruises. I always questioned how people could explore a city in only a day; I would not want to take a cruise somewhere I had never been before and if I wanted to explore a city. Cruises don’t allow enough time to adequately explore what a city has to offer. Thankfully, the only port on this cruise was Victoria, and I had already visited before, so I just wandered around the town, to get the feeling of the city again. The boat actually stopped at Victoria from 8 AM to midnight, which is quite long compared to other cruises, such as Mediterranean cruises that stop in Rome for a mere 8 hours. There’s no way you can explore Rome in 8 hours and truly embrace the culture and environment. To me, just taking pictures at each landmark is not exploring a city, because you can simply look at postcards online.

In all, I would be open to taking another cruise, but not to explore a place I haven’t been before or a place I want to embrace the culture in. I think I’ll stick to airplanes and hotels for the most part. The only exception would be Alaska, as it is hard to explore Alaska by land (and Antarctica of course!)

The Star Princess was a nice mid-sized ship that needs to remodel its cabins. My friend Noah (who has been on about 10 cruises), says Royal Caribbean and Disney are still the “better cruises.”

Cheers,

Tyler

theresorttraveler