The purpose of this report is to mention some Diamond Princess problems (by the way we have sailed Princess several times before and not encountered these things before).
1. There were no hand sanitizers before you entered the restaurants or buffet. Even when many passengers had colds and flu and the Medical Officer put a report in the bulletin that we should wash our hands because there were alot of people sick on board!
In the buffet there was one stand with sanitizer standing hidden by a wall a long way into the buffet but you really had to search to find it. Even the waiters in the Lido weren't sure where it was when I asked!
2. There was a very poor Captain's Party indeed. There were no hors d'oeuvres and very few drinks; some people didn't even receive a drink. The waiters just disappeared and never returned after about 10 minutes. They had a loud band playing - so loud that we couldn't even converse with the couple sitting next to us! Why do they have to play soooo loud? Does no-one control these boys? Do they think we need a "Carnival party atmosphere", or what is this? On a 17 day sailing in February there were no youths or teens on board to appreciate that racket. And the Captain didn't come. The cruise director made announcements and gave the usual presents to long-time members. No handshake with any officers or anything.
3. The Captain did address us for a "welcome" in the Atrium. He stood on a balcony and his words through a microphone into that space were so muffled that no-one could hear what he said. Many people just gave up and started to talk the others beside them, so that didn't help. Fortunately, most people at least got one drink as the waiters continued to circulate with trays for about 1/2 hour.
4. We were constantly pestered to buy stuff, more than usual for Princess.
5. There was no Princess blue bag supplied to take on shore excursions. That was a first for us. We could have brought a day bag from home had we known.
6. They only supplied cheap one-ply toilet paper that tore into bits when you tried to use it. The steward did not provide new kleenex, toilet paper, and soap unless we tracked him down and asked for it. He stopped providing anything fresh 2 days before the end of the cruise. Is this new Princess policy - maybe not. Guess he already had his standard tips by then? He sure didn't get anything extra from us - and we usually give our steward a little more on debarkation day as a thank-you.
7. Stateroom needed attention. There was a sharp needle sticking out of the carpet right in front of the bathroom door where you had to put your foot to enter. I cut my toe on it twice until I learned to put a hand towel over it. Of course every time the steward entered the cabin he took it up and I had to replace it.
I must however commend the front office staff. They were terrific, sympathetic and efficient. I had left something important on shore in China and they managed to get it to me at the next Chinese port (albeit at some cost to me).