We took a 7 night repo cruise out of Vancouver. Embarkation was a breeze we were on the ship before noon. We usually get a mini suite but decided to get a balcony since we didn't think we would need a whole lot of space on a seven day cruise, never again. Princess balcony cabins don't have small couches like other cruise lines we have been on, only one chair.
We did our last Princess cruise over a year ago and noticed that the quality of food had gone down quite a bit. We found the food to be without flavour. We did the buffet only once and it was for breakfast. They have done away with small milk cartons for cereal, so it was a juggling act to get some fruit, cereal and pour your milk into your bowl for your cereal, and forget coffee or juice unless you go put your plate and bowl down then go get your beverage. If you are going to do things like this Princess, then bring back the trays. We did both Sterlings Steak and Sabatini's for specialty dining. Sterlings was no where near as good as the Crown Grill on other ships. I honestly believe Sterlings was an after thought as they transformed part of the Horizon buffet area into Sterlings at night. Sabatini's has had a menu change and not for the better. Used to be you would only have to choose your entree and they would come around with a little sampling of everything else. The service in both restaurants was very good. We ate all other dinners in the dining room where we were anytime dining and tried all the different dining rooms. Food was not very good and usually cold by the time we got it. Even the crew in the buffet said all they are told is to cut, cut, and it is really showing.
Billy Hygate was the cruise director and not once did we ever see him out and about the ship, only time we saw him was if we put the morning show on the tv. I really think he should do the morning announcement since the person doing them you couldn't understand.
On two separate occasions we had room service and neither time our room steward took away the tray after doing our room in the evening.
As shareholders we feel that Princess is going in the wrong direction. We did a cruise in May on the NCL Star and it had Princess beat in all aspects hands down. We would like to pay more and have the quality of food back and the sail away parties back as we'll.
Since we left Vancouver then did two Canadian ports when we got to San Francisco we had to clear customs before we could get off for the day. I had called Princess before leaving on the cruise asking if we would be clearing customs in SF and were given three different answers, but not one said we would be clearing in SF, one even said we would clear in LA and we would just be in transit.
Princess think about what you are doing with your cut backs, it's not for the good. How this ship got one of the highest ratings of all the Princess we will never understand.