We came aboard Princess lines expecting to be treated fantastic because of the previous reviews from friends and family.
We went on board and were checked in easily. Very efficient and straight forward. We found the staff to be very helpful, and when we got to our room and met our room steward we were all smiles and excited for the experience.
We had our first meal in the Michaelangelo dining room and found the food to be excellent, and the waiter/host suggested the family friendly drink option since my wife and I dont drink very much. They kept us happy with the food, and drinks.
We walked the decks and found everything to be very clean and orderly.
Wife was a little disappointed only to find chocolates on our bed, and not the folded animal towels from other cruise lines. I was OK with the chocolate.
We elected to have the dining anytime option to keep our options open with out the timelines. We have found this worked for us majority of the time. The buffet each morning and evening was a little disappointing. The food was very good, but the options were small. Unlike another cruise line the buffet was alot larger and much more selective in the types of foods. The food was very good though on what we ate and I couldn't help but load my plate. Seating was difficult at times. There is 2 buffet dining rooms and the ship alternates closure of each, even though they sit next to each other. So I can understand closing one buffet line to clean and prep for later, I didn't understand the concept of closing the dining areas. This caused passengers from having to stand waiting for a seat and table with a food plate, or the other option is to go looking out on deck for a seat.
The other problem we had was the service in the dining room. My wife and I sat at a table that lacked silverware, and we had to wait for a dining steward to come by and ask about drinks. On several occasions we sat with empty glasses and had waiters/waitresses walk by and see the empty glass but didn't stop and ask if we needed refills. We would have to stop them and ask if they could, or get up on our own and get the soda. Not something I'm accustomed to having to do. Some waiters/ waitresses were helpful, but other times we were left with staff that seemed to have attitude. We were always polite and said thank you when ever we were helped so its not a matter of selective help.
The pizza/ice cream bar was delicious. The staff behind the counter of the ice cream bar was great.
The bars were good, but the bartender behind the Wheelhouse bar was exceptional. He was quick to chat and carry on conversation. I wish I noted his name, but I didn't. He deserved commendation.
Didn't visit the casino to play but it was very clean and orderly. I liked the non-smoking days.
The excursions were fun. The only exception I had on 2 separate excursions was the St Thomas to St john ferry boat ride. Once off the ship we were instructed to go to the end of the pier to meet with Island Girl ferry. There was no direction, nor a orderly approach to get on the boat. The Island Girl crew lacked the ability to get passengers onboard in a orderly fashion. There was a very large number of passengers from 2 separate cruise lines trying to board the boat. We found alot of jockeying and people going from a mass to a single line going up to board the boat. Just think perhaps the excursion staff would've allowed a more orderly approach. On the return trip we found not quite the problem. The passengers decided to make a line off the pier on St johns. This was great with the exception of one tour group deciding it was in their best interest to make their own line causing abit of uproar of the earlier passengers.
The excursion itself was great, and the tour guides very informative.
The other excursions we took was fun and informative.
We had a large layover from the disembarkation from our arrival in Ft Lauderdale so my wife and I thought it would be fun to do the airboat ride in the everglades. Something neither of us has ever done before. And we still hold the never had done before.
The disembarkation was very easy in the beginning. We gathered in the theatre and waited. Then the problem started. We were instruction to go to the next level down to go to the exit area. We were in a line and moving thru a hallway and stairwell. Though no fault of the couple ahead of us being elderly and slow to move thru the corridor. We got separated from the group ahead of us and soon was lacking direction. There wasnt any staff to help guide us thru the halls and where to go. At one point the Cruise tour director "Foxy Roxy" had to come back to find us, and pointed us in the right direction.
We went thru customs with out a hitch and went outside to try and find our bus to go to the excursion. Again no direction amongst a large number of passengers from other cruise ships all disembarking at the same time. Eventually we found our tour sign being held up.. Not by a Princess rep. but a passenger. We eventually got on the bus. Again delays. We were told we would make our flight easily at 130pm since the tour would have us at the airport by 1130 after the tour. This isnt happening since we took several round the block tours of the terminal area waiting for the tour guide. He every once in awhile came on the bus and then popped off making excuses for the lack of organization because of the new under construction terminal. He did board and take all our tickets and then left the bus.
The decision was made because of the lack of being able to make the tour we would have to go to the airport to make flight, as well as other groups of passengers. Bus driver pulled up to the airport bus area to unload our baggage and allow us off. Bad decision to gather our baggage from under the bus by having us and another person go to the driverside of the bus and stand in the roadway gather our bags. Minding the traffic so we didn't get hit by cars moving around us. We made our flight very disappointed.
Not sure we will do Princess again if this is what could be expected.
The entertainment was very well done, and the favorite for my wife and I was Tim Triplett the hypnotist. Very entertaining. Havent laughed that hard in quite a long time. The dance and singing was fantastic also.