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Cruising is back – Aboard the Majestic Princess

It’s been a long ride to get back here but cruising is back in Australia. When P&O’s Pacific Explorer arrived in Sydney on 18 April 2022, the first cruise ship to return to Australia since March 2020, there was a lot of fanfare and excitement as the final barrier to open travel had fallen. Here in Perth, we had to wait until October 2022 to see the Coral Princess in Fremantle Harbour – while the fanfare wasn’t as impressive, there was still a buzz in the Fremantle area.

Getting ready for my own cruise aboard the Majestic Princess in November 2022, my excitement was palpable. The communication from Princess Cruises around what to expect and what was needed to check in, then around the reintroduction of mask-wearing onboard in response to COVID cases on previous cruises was comprehensive and timely. Getting back onboard a beautiful cruise ship was amazing. Apart from masks indoors, it didn’t feel like there were any restrictions, and nothing was missing. In this post, I’m going to go through a few things I experienced onboard the Majestic Princess on the 5-day Tasmania cruise from Sydney to get you excited for your next cruise!

All-in-all, it was amazing. Princess Cruises is a leader for a reason and their ships are beautiful, their crew are lovely and the destinations are amazing. The Majestic Princess was beautiful, very large, but beautiful. Cruising is a great holiday for relaxation – you unpack once and you travel while you sleep. There’s something for everyone, from babies to the elderly and are always a unique holiday. I had an amazing time onboard and I fully recommend a cruise with any cruise line but especially aboard a Princess Cruises ship.

Check in and boarding

I will admit the first part of check in was a little messy with everyone packed into the same lines with no respect for Captain’s Circle levels or boarding groups to pick up Medallions. Once we’d picked up the Medallions, it was much smoother. As an Elite member, we were able to head to the priority line for check in – we had to show a photo of our negative tests and vaccination certificates, as well as our boarding pass in the MedallionClass app. Security was seamless as well. Walking along the gangway, excitement was building to actually board the ship and get going with our holiday!


If you’ve been on a Princess ship lately, you’ll know about their Medallions and MedallionClass app and features. I honestly loved this bit of tech, with touchless entry into our stateroom and super quick and easy ways to check in to places, when leaving the ship for shore days, ordering food and amenities, or checking times for shows or attractions.


Your Medallion is everything on the ship – your room key, ID, and money! You don’t need to carry anything around with you on the ship if you don’t want to – we had our phones with us for photos and communication but honestly if you don’t want anything you don’t need it. When they boast your Medallion allows you contactless entry into your stateroom, they weren’t lying. Walking down the hall you will notice your door handle lights up green as you near it, then you just need to turn the handle and you’re in – no holding a card to a reader or inserting a card or key. Easy, especially if you’re carrying food or drinks!

MedallionClass app

Princess Cruises’ new app, MedallionClass, is great and brings everything to your fingertips. Honestly it can be a little glitchy, on- and off-ship, but it was great to be able to get on-demand schedules of activities no matter where we were on the ship or check cocktail menus when there were no cocktail menus in the dining room and things like that. Other features of the app (that I didn’t use) include – being able to find your travel companions on the ship and ordering food, drinks and amenities to wherever you are located on the ship.

‘Physically distanced’ Muster

There have been changes to how the emergency safety muster that you must attend when you board. Back before the ‘vid’ you were instructed to attend a safety muster to learn about the safety procedures at a location on the ship that was allocated to you – this location will be where you go if there is an emergency. The safety muster presentation is now available to watch in your cabin when you arrive. You will find it on your in-room TV – the tech in the rooms and the Medallions will register that you’re in the cabin and watching the presentation. You will then need to attend your muster station you’re allocated and tap your Medallion to show you’ve visited and know where to go if there is an emergency. I find this way better – much more comfortable – and you’re able to do it as soon as you get on the ship instead of at a time set by the ship.


Princess’s onboard Wi-Fi worked well enough. I didn’t use it for streaming or anything like that, just social media and browsing so it worked well enough for me. I bought the 4-device package but ended up not using our laptops so 2 devices were wasted. It also didn’t work on my travel partner’s phone, so we really only used one device – not especially cost effective. However, I have heard from others that it worked fine for them so it could have been our devices and a one-time thing. If you’re wanting to access the internet for any reason while you’re at sea, I would recommend getting a MedallionNet package as it’s really the only way to basically guarantee connection.


We stayed in an interior cabin on the 12th deck in a twin configuration. For an interior cabin, it was really spacious and had everything you could need. Two single beds, each with its own bedside table with lamp, desk, small bar fridge, considerable storage space and a well-appointed bathroom. The beds were comfortable enough (just like most hotel rooms). Be aware that the walls do vibrate from the ship’s engines but it’s not distracting, in fact it was kind of nice and felt a bit like a massage.

The entertainment options on the TV in the cabin were great! In addition to information about the cruise and the ship, they have ample destination and cultural documentaries, plus blockbuster movies and television shows! You’re definitely not lacking for entertainment at any time you’re onboard!

Food and beverage

Oh my gosh, the food! I’ve never been on a cruise where the food wasn’t absolutely incredible. Plus, almost everything is included in your cruise fare! All food (except specialty restaurants) and most beverages (unless you want speciality coffees or alcohol) are all included – great right?! This includes the literally all you can eat buffet! I did not personally eat at any specialty restaurants on this trip (it was only a short trip so not really enough time) but I did visit the buffet, known as the World Fresh Marketplace, and the Concerto Dining Room. Breakfast and lunch were eaten in the buffet and dinners were in the dining room. The buffet has cuisine themes each day – these will be laid out in your Princess Patter, the printed daily program that is delivered to your room each day.

My travel partner and myself usually have lactose free milk at home, but the ship did not have it. They had soy as an alternative but not actual lactose free milk so having a barista coffee was difficult for us, but my travel partner did have a soy chai latte and they said it tasted great. I had a couple of frappes – cookies and cream I think – and it was delicious (though made with real milk).

Cocktails – mmmm yum. While onboard we had the Dirty Banana, Bahama Mama, and Blue Hawaiian cocktails – all classified as frozen cocktails. All of them were amazing. Though the lack of straws onboard was a little frustrating, trying to drink a frozen cocktail or frappe with no straw is a little difficult, or a cocktail in a long glass with a short straw. Honestly though, everything we consumed was amazing.

Onboard entertainment and amenities

There’s always something happening onboard a Princess Cruises ship, you’ll never be bored. From dance classes and live musicians in the atrium, workshops and seminars, trivia and social groups, to large productions in the Princess Theatre. The Sail Away party was loads of fun as we left port. With the performers and other crew members singing and dancing welcoming everyone on board it was a really great time. We also got up and had a dance on the middle stage with everyone! Onboard the Majestic Princess for this cruise there were two major productions. Encore was a beautiful production that celebrated popular opera with some incredible vocals from the performers and of course some of most gorgeous dresses I’ve seen on a stage. This was performed on the formal night, so it was really great going into the theatre in our formal wear to watch an opera show. The second major production was Fantastic Journey – a concert of chart toppers and amazing costumes. Both shows were thoroughly enjoyable and felt like we were at the theatre.

Lotus Spa and the Enclave

If you’re looking for pure relaxation, you need to try the Enclave. While I didn’t sample any of the other offerings from the Lotus Spa, we had a 5-day cruise pass for the Enclave, Majestic Princess’s relaxation area within the spa area. Inside the Enclave, you will find heated stone loungers, a great place to relax that also give you that healing warmth (there was 12 loungers in all); 3 saunas, 4 spa showers, and a hydrotherapy pool. Our cruise pass cost $123 each for 5-day unlimited access to the Enclave. We spent between 1-2 hours in there each day, absolute heaven.


There are 3 saunas, 1 dry and 2 steam rooms.

  • Laconia, a Roman-inspired dry chamber that reaches temperatures of 50-60C (122-140F) inside. Stone benches line the walls (I recommend having at least 1 towel to sit on!) with a few cold-water faucets in case you need to cool down while you’re in there. It is recommended to only spend 10 minutes inside. We were able to spend longer in here, the dry heat was much easier to stand than the wet heat in the steam rooms. Only stay in a sauna as long as you are able and don’t push beyond comfortable – heat can be damaging. This was my favourite of the 3 saunas.

  • Hamman is a Turkish-inspired steam room that reaches temperatures of 40-50C (104-122F) inside. Inside you’ll find an area much like the other sauna with benches and faucets, plus a black tiled bench (more like a ‘bed’) with a showerhead beside it, with twinkling lights overhead to simulate the night sky. Once again, bring a towel in to sit on… it gets hot! Also be aware that the condensation on the roof does drip down and feels a little like acid when it hits your skin. Again, it’s recommended to only spend 10 minutes inside – I only lasted a few minutes in here, breathing in steam is difficult. And finally,

  • Caldrium, a Roman-inspired steam room that reaches 40-50C (104-122F) inside. Individual circular seats are scattered throughout the room with three shower heads around the room with cold water if you need to cool down. Once again, 10 minutes is recommended in here – I lasted about a minute.

Spa showers

The Enclave features four standing spa showers that are great to rinse off after time in the pool or the saunas. They can all be switched between ‘normal’ showers and rain showers. The options are:

  • Tropical: hot at 37C (100F) with a pleasant aroma,

  • Cool Mist: cool at 20C (68F) it provides a nice refreshing mist,

  • Rain: warm at 32C (90F) and feels like standing in summer rain, and

  • Siberian: a refreshing cool cloud of mist then a 20C (68F) shower.

Hydrotherapy pool

The pool was amazing and my favourite part of the whole place. The water is heated, I’m not entirely sure of the temperature, and is only about 1 metre (3 feet) deep – I’m only 5’3” and I could comfortably walk throughout the pool. There is a large rain showerhead in the middle of the pool which was lovely to stand under, two high-pressure showerheads that give you a great massage. There is also 2 ‘vertical spa cages’ – probably the worst way to describe them, but there are two circular cages that you can sit in with spa bubbles that give you a great massage on different parts of your body depending how you sit or move in the chair. I liked to do some exercises in them, moving my legs up and down and doing pull ups. Finally, there was a lounger that spread across the whole back of the pool with massage spa bubbles underneath. It was a lovely place to relax and chill for a while, it’s where I spent most of my time.

Captain’s Circle perks and customer service

The crew are great in general. They’re all so helpful and lovely it’s difficult to find any faults if you’re looking for them (I was not). I cruised as an Elite Captain’s Circle member so there were a few perks that were available to me that I definitely sampled! Elite members are able to have a complimentary mini bar setup, canapes before dinner on formal nights, complimentary wine tasting and some discounts and things. The wine tasting was great, only attended by Elite members (invite only). I did have to follow up multiple times to get my mini-bar set up (meaning I only had a couple of days to drink it all so we didn’t get through it), and my canapes were late so we had to eat them fast before heading for dinner. Other than that, honestly everything was amazing and the people were so lovely!

Health and safety

Cruise ships have always been persistent with cleaning and washing hands etc, but it is definitely enhanced since the ‘vid’. Buffets were open, but you had to wash your hands before going in. Hand sanitiser was EVERYWHERE. Before our cruise, Princess Cruises reintroduced face masks indoors so there was also that precaution that kept us safe. We didn’t feel like there were any ‘restrictions’ and we got through without infection so I’m all for these precautions.

Prior to boarding, we were required to undertake a RAT within 24 hours prior to boarding (or a PCR test less than 72 hours prior) and be able to produce a photo of it at check in. We were also required to upload vaccination certificates to prove vaccination status. We’re fully vaccinated so we had no issues.

Facts and figures – Majestic Princess

  • Guests: 3,560

  • Crew: 1,346

  • Built: 2017

  • Inaugural Cruise: March 31, 2017

  • Chinese Name: 盛世公主号 (Shèng Shì Gōng Zhǔ Haò)

  • Naming Ambassadors: Yao Ming and Ye Li

  • Number of Cabins: 1,780

  • Number of Decks: 19

  • Tonnage: 143,700

  • Length: 1,083 feet

  • Height: 224 feet

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