cruises

Princess Cruises Star Princess Review

Aims for a consistent, if conventional, experience, catering to the masses, and delivering a little something for everyone

December 17, 2012
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Star Princess had more than a dozen dedicated bars sprinkled across the ship. Bar service could also be ordered at the pool areas, inside the theater, and at the casino. We particularly enjoyed Crooners, the spot for martinis (especially at sunset) while the retro Skywalkers Nightclub suspended above the ship’s aft section was fun for dancing late in the evenings (and conveniently quiet for enjoying the view by day).

A 15-percent service charge was added to all drink orders. The minimum age for drinking was 21.

Beer & Wine

Wines available by the glass included Chateau St. Michelle Riesling, Simi chardonnay, Rosemont shiraz, and Kenwood Jack London cabernet sauvignon, at prices ranging $7.25-$10.50. Korbel brut reserve was available in 187ml bottles for $7.25 and Nicolas Feuillatte brut reserve by the glass for $13. An expanded wine list was available at both the Crown Grill and Sabatini’s dining rooms.

The beer selection included the usual domestic favorites for $4.25, plus Bass, Dos Equis, Blue Moon and Beck’s for $4.95, and Grolsch and Guinness for $5.95. There were also a few beer cocktails for $7.25.

Mixed Drinks

Martinis were priced $7.95 and included the traditional “007 Classic.” The list of signature margaritas were all $7.95, as were other mixed drinks such as caipirinhas and mai tais. Simpler concoctions (made with house brands) were $5.50.

House spirits were $5, while call brands started at $5.50, and went up from there.

Drink Packages

Several drink packages were available for cabin consumption. A six-pack was available for the price of five for beer ($21.25) and soda ($9.75); four 187ml bottles of wine were $25 (brand unspecified) and a beer and wine package availed three 187ml bottles of wine and four beers for $32. There was also non-alcoholic drink package: the Ultimate Kids Package of unlimited soft drinks, mocktails, milk shakes and juices was $7 per day, “for kids aged 2 to 102.”

Non-Alcoholic Options

Several non-alcoholic cocktails were available, all priced $4. A coffee card was priced $29 for 15 drinks at the International Café, a good deal for those wanting a better grade of java.

Lobby Bar

The lobby bar was conveniently situated next to the International Café, making it a nice place to gather for a drink and hors d’oeuvres. It was also a good spot for live music of all stripes, including solo guitar, piano, a string quartet playing classical, and a band that played Swing and Big Band hits. The schedule for performances was found in the ship’s newsletter, Princess Patter.

The ship’s standard wine list was available at the Lobby Bar, and cocktails from the standard drink menu could be ordered.

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Vines

This wine bar on Star Princess is a pleasant enough hangout, located on the ground floor of the lobby atrium. But it appeared that most or all of the wines offered—32 choices, by the glass—mirrored the ship’s standard wine list, which seemed like a real underutilization of the concept. This was the only venue, however, to offer wine flights—three smaller pours priced $8.25-$10.25. Even here, it would have been nice to sample more exotic offerings.

Light crudités were available, for those feeling peckish.

Most glasses were priced $7.25-$9.50, and among the better options were Seghesio zinfandel, Santa Margherita pinot grigio, and La Crema pinot noir. There were three choices with bubbles—at $17.50 per glass, Veuve Clicquot Brut was the most expensive offering at Vines.

Crooners

The ship’s de facto martini bar, Crooners has an expanded selection of mixed drinks on offer—more than 50 iterations, including many we’d never heard of. The friendly bartenders knew their way around the list. It’s a great spot pre-prandial, with lots of people-watching or enjoying the sunset panoramas; a pianist shows up most evenings for light entertainment.

In addition to the standard bar list, Crooners has a special martini list, mostly priced $7.95, but some Ultra Premium for $8.95. All were shaken tableside (or at the bar) and served with cocktail mix and (as appropriate) a choice of olives.

Several versions of the Manhattan and Rob Roy are also served, along with wine and champagne by the glass and champagne cocktails (Bellini, etc.).

Crooners was open from 10 a.m. till late in the evening.

Wheelhouse Bar

This large, centrally located bar was decorated with paintings of old ships and sea heroes. The venue was used for various events during the day, before the bar opened at 4 p.m. There was a bandstand and dance floor here, and techno music ramped up as early as 7 p.m.

The ship’s standard wine list was available, and cocktails from the standard drink menu could be ordered.

Wheelhouse Bar was open daily from 4 p.m. till late in the evening.

Shooter's Bar

Tucked away beside the lower entrance to Princess Theater, this cozy bar was an enclosed space for cigar lovers. More than a dozen Dominican stogies were available for purchase, along with various whiskeys and cognacs. Shooter’s Bar also served as the sports bar and occasional live events were shown here, but those pool tables on the ceiling were strictly decorative!

The ship’s standard wine list was available, and cocktails from the standard drink menu could be ordered. We also found Johnnie Walker Blue Label here, along with Rémy Martin Louis XIII cognac ($75 for a 1-oz. shot).

Shooter’s Bar was open daily from 5 p.m. till late in the evening. It could be used for indoor smoking when the bar was closed.

Mermaid's Tail

This was one of five bars available on the upper open decks for sun-lovers—this one on Deck 14 facing the screen for Movies Under the Stars. During movies a small selection of candies was available for purchase.

The ship’s standard wine list was available, and cocktails from the standard drink menu could be ordered.

Outrigger Bar

Overlooking the Terrace Pool, the Outrigger Bar was one of five watering holes available on the upper decks. It was also a good option for those dining at Horizon Court, just inside.

The ship’s standard wine list was available, and cocktails from the standard drink menu could be ordered.

Tradewinds Bar

When the weather was right, this was a great spot for enjoying a drink. The open-air spot faced the giant screen for Movies Under the Stars, but during the day, people-watching was a solid diversion.

The ship’s standard wine list was available, and cocktails from the standard drink menu could be ordered.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Cabins
  3. Dining
  4. Drinks
  5. Activities
  6. Kids, Service, and Other Details
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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