We didn’t need Vegas style razzle-dazzle, but entertainment aboard Star Princess seemed pretty routine.
The ship’s main showroom was used for multiple events during our cruise, including naturalist lectures and a few afternoon movies. But the main focus is evening stage shows, ranging from a comedy-magic act to Broadway-lite extravaganzas to the closing night Princess Pop Star guest showcase. One show, called “Destination Anywhere,” struck us as creaky and dated. But the “British Invasion” production was invigorating, with vivid costumes and sets, solid choreography, and a talented cast of singers and dancers.
Architecturally, the theater not a flashy joint, efficiently squeezing in about 750 passengers at a go.
This was one of our favorite features on Star Princess: a dedicated outdoor movie theatre. Although many ships have movie screens above their main pool areas, Princess does a particularly good job for its guests, putting blankets out on loungers, having fresh popcorn and even servers providing cookies and milk. It’s like a cozy drive-in at sea.
The outdoor screen rises above the Neptune’s Reef pool area. The movie selection represented relatively fresh releases that had been theaters within the last 6 months. And the presentation quality was strong enough that a relatively bright, crisp picture can be enjoyed, even when the sun is out (though it’s at its best after sundown). The usual schedule was each movie would play once or twice in the evening, around 7:30 and 10 p.m.; most of these repeated on another day at 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. There was also a daily concert video—Stevie Wonder, Pavarotti, U2, Paul McCartney—that would be played at 5:30 p.m.
The popcorn station was next to Sundaes, and the adjacent Mermaid’s Tail Bar offered a small selection of candies to complete the movie-going experience.
One complaint: Although sound volume was fine during most movies played here, one action film had a hefty bass track. The volume was so loud during certain scenes that bottles and glasses on the bar shelves opposite the screen rumbled and rattled, and conversations came to a halt. The entertainment staff should have been more attuned to the divergent needs served on these decks.