This cruise was a gift from my children for my birthday. We were looking forward to some warm weather as we had a horrific winter in the Pacific Northwest. This was our eighth cruise with Princess.
The prepaid transfers from MIA to Ft. Lauderdale were very poorly organised. We arrived at 6:15 AM and missed the first bus as we were given the wrong information by Princess agent. We flagged down the first shuttle we saw instead of waiting another hour for next coach...we'd already been there for 6 hours......waiting.
Cabin: Embarkation as usual was very good, and we were settled in our cabin by 1PM and our luggage arrived promptly.
Three weeks prior to our cruise we were assigned an "upgrade" ocean view cabin and discovered that we were given a quad cabin. I was very concerned about the bunk bed location so I phoned head office right away. They assured me that the beds would not be in our way as they were tucked up into the ceiling. Having had wrong info from head office before, I phoned them again 3 days later and this time I was told the beds were tucked away in the side walls and would not get in our way. Hmmm! Three days before we left home for this cruise, I phoned again and this time I was told the bunks stick out 3". I asked to be moved to another cabin and I was told "full ship".....too late to be asking. I emailed my travel agent and she called head office and they replied to her by email that the bunks are "flush to the side walls". At this point I had been given four different answers and it was now much too late for another cabin assignment. When we entered the cabin, we found that the beds stick out TWELVE inches and the only way you could get into bed is to walk "sideways". I did the usual visit to the front desk and requested ANY cabin with a window and we offered to PAY for an upgrade....any upgrade. Within 24 hours we were advised that nothing was available, so we had to make the best of it.
Ship: This was our second time on the Crown and we found it very clean as usual. The staff was also the usual...tired looking but friendly.
Dining: We were confirmed early dining, 6PM,in the Botticelli Dining Room. I got this info in writing from my Travel Summary before we left home. Our cruise card showed that we were 5:30PM in the DaVinci. No one told us of this change. Our waiter was very experienced, had lots of professional smiles,and always remembered the first names of everyone at our table of 9. Dinners were always very "rushed". The food was the usual fare, not fabulous but better than what we would get at our local dining spots. We ate there 3 times.
Shore Excursions: We did not arrange any organised excursions through the cruise line. Princess Cays was a total disaster. Tender lines were very long...1 1/2 hrs....not all boats were running? We were ashore less than 2 hours. Nothing there. Boring. We got off in Aruba for only 2 hours as I was throwing up with upset stomach from pills I was prescribed by ship's doctor because I crashed into one of the bunks in our cabin and ended up with encapsulated bursitis.
Things went downhill from here. We spent the next 4 days in our cabin, I had to sleep sitting up in the desk chair as pain was too severe to lie down. My husband had to blow dry my hair and help me get dressed. Ship's doctor could not help me. He gave me pills that made me throw up, then he wanted me to take another pill.....anti nausea....I don't think so.!!! He did not know how to give a cortisone shot. He referred me to a clinic in Ft. Lauderdale half way through the 14 night cruise. $6345.00 for a cortisone shot.
We have always loved cruising and we have always had a very high opinion of Princess Cruises and we have referred them to many friends and family. I am not a sickly person. I am very very active for my age. Longevity runs in my family. My father is still alive as is my mother. They are 97 yr & 96 yrs old.
We are quite disappointed in Princess for not acknowledging the fact that there is a design problem with these beds, or that there is no hazard warning and that there is no padding along the steel edges. They say to me "An ordinary person would have "perceived" these obstructions". Unbelievable!
Anyway, that is my story and I am so sad that we will not be cruising anymore. All is well if one is well!!!!