We were so excited to get back on Princess and feel that Princess level treatment. We have cruised 14 times..Princess 06, Carnival 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, and 2012, Royal Car in 2007. Our first cruise was a Princess cruise and we were in awe of the whole experience. I realize it being the first may have impacted our memory, but we knew what service, pride, great food, attentiveness, and genuine care all meant to us in our first experience. THIS TIME NONE OF THOSE ATTRIBUTES were found. Sure...there were a few (4 that we can name) employees that were awesome. But, beyond that here are the challenges and issues we were faced with daily:
1. They would run you over in the hallways and never move out of the way or say excuse me or good morning...etc
2. The boat was filthy. We always noticed dirty plates and trash left on tables for hours.
3. They didn't have coffee ready in the mornings on deck 16...sometimes it would be there but behind the bar...and the person they had working was too lazy to set it out...even though there would be 20 people waiting for it
4. They would be talking and joking to themselves in packs and would completely ignore you unless you said "excuse me"
5. In the dinning area upstairs once we saw a dad with his kids...one of the kids knocked over a glass of milk..two waiters were standing at the station 3ft away and totally turned their backs and one walked off quickly not to help. The father had to clean it up himself
6. Their non-smoking policy is ridiculous! If you enjoy a cigar don't take this cruise. You will be required to smoke it only in certain area which take you away from any of the fun. You can't even smoke on your balcony.
7. The staff won't help uphold the "no saving chairs" rule. We saw people literally saving chairs with towels as early as 6:30 am...and they would save them in two areas so they could have sun all day or shade all day...two people taking up 4 chairs...and the staff never paid attention to this even when it was brought to their attention
8. Their staff around the pools was horrible. Twice we were out at the pools for hours and NOT ONCE did someone even walk by to ask us if we wanted anything to drink...so be ready to serve yourself
9. Anytime dinning - AVOID IT LIKE THE PLAGUE. when you do anytime dinning you get a new staff each time and they simply act as though you are a POS and that somehow you don't deserve great treatment because they won't see you again...we will never do anytime dinning again even if that means choosing a whole different cruise because seating is unavailable
10. The food was sub-par...worse than Carnival food. Temperature not hot. Hard cold rolls. Menus were horrific...not even themed.
11. Who purchased their salt and pepper shakers? What a joke. Even in the upscale dinning areas you get the same shakers...now this might seem trivial...but here is the issue...food was horrible...you could not get pepper out of shakers...and worse...we found in 4 different dinning areas salt in pepper tops...pepper in salt tops...it is like they simply don't care
12. Silver unpolished everywhere...we never sat at a table where the silver on the table had been cleaned...and it appeared that it had been weeks since the last time they took care of their silver
13. The heat in the buffet lines was Stupid. Since day 1 they have had to know that they have a serious heat issue in the buffet area. I watched people sweating and dripping sweat onto the food areas...you may think this is an exaggeration...but it isn't...the temperature in the buffet lines easily hit 85 degrees.
14. The spa is a joke. They over promise and their treatments don't work. They don't follow through on things they promised to send to your room later. They don't cancel your reservations and then call you wondering why you don't show up. The worse part is the PRODUCT SELLING at the end of a treatment. It is low class...hi pressure...poorly timed...and way too obviously a commission deal to me. Advice...if you do a spa treatment tell them up front that afterwards you don't want to be pitched ANYTHING!!!!!!! On both my treatments I had to shut off the pitch after 10-15 minutes and say I am not buying and can I relax now and enjoy the spa. A 45 treatment should not be followed by a 10 minute pitch for lotions that cost more than the treatment itself.
Sadly Carnival and Princess are the same company. Carnival is a better choice but if you spend money on one you are supporting the other...so our next cruises will be on Royal C and we will now try Norwegian because Princess has totally lost our business for life. I hope you don't read this and think we just had a bad cruise...we didn't. Our vessel and crew were the bad points...not the cruise itself. We will continue cruising...it is one of our favorite things to do...but on a Princess vessel...NEVER AGAIN. Don't trust them to deliver that old Princess level treatment anymore.