The Savvyseafarer’s Polynesian Odyssey aboard Royal Princess

Your Savvy Seafarer just returned from a magical journey onboard the spunky, little Royal Princess–Princess Cruise’s little gem that sails around French Polynesia from now through May 2011.

We embarked in Papeete, Tahiti en route to Hawaii with stops at Bora  Bora, Raiatea, Moorea, Hilo, Kona, Maui and Oahu.

Tahitian dancers perform while passengers embark in Papeete where the ship sailed from at 4 AM.

The 680 passenger ship oozes charm and old world cruising elegance even though life onboard is casual and relaxed.  Captain Ivan Jerman (seen here on the Bridge) , a witty, friendly Brit, set the tone for the comfortable voyage while a mixed crew from Asia and Europe  provided efficient, friendly service.

Our room steward from Singapore, whose name is so hard to pronounce he goes by Jean,  was one of the best ever–which is saying a lot for someone who’s taken more than 250 cruises.

The Restaurant wait staff was also phenomenal starting with Saranel (who manned our table) to Sebastian (seen below) who served a fabulous stateroom balcony dinner.

The ship features four dining venues: the main restaurant, Panorama Lounge (open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks), Sabatini’s ($20 per pax additional charge for multi-course Italian meal), Sterling’s Steakhouse (also $20 per pax for multi course steak dinner with a choice of meats presented for your selection  prior to the meal). Below is the carpaccio course from Sabatini’s that was exceptional:

The Lotus Spa outdid itself with two of the best Elemis massage treatments we ever had.  I had the bamboo massage from Sherry that includes the use of heated bamboo sticks adeptly kneaded into every nook and cranny, alternated with wonderful hand massaging. Dreamy and expensive ($199)  Richard had a head to toe Elemis rub  that he couldn’t stop raving about. Elemis is the signature cosmetic of the spa which is operated by the ubiquitous Steiner.

The Lotus spa sports a steam bath (free for all passengers to enjoy), lockers, showers and an adjacent well-equipped fitness center.

Your Savvy Seafarer up on deck.

You can even get a Brazilian Blowout on board for about $425.


Freshly baked cookies served on deck in the afternoon, the peanut butter ones were the best!

The Elemis treatments in the Lotus Spa……

And of course the food which was best in the Panorama Lounge. The desserts, pastries and breads were the best at sea.

You really should hurry up and book this precious pearl of a ship because she heads to England in May and will be replaced by another Princess vessel in Tahiti.  Hopefully her replacement will prove equally as entertaining and inviting.

The fabulous French Polnesia ports—above sailing out of Bora Bora.

Fares vary so it’s best to check out the offerings at or consult a travel agent, but this ship’s worth the cost.


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