As a recent Retiree, I have experienced only two Cruises to date. Once with NCL which I enjoyed thoroughly and now with Princess Cruises which I have experienced a constant frustration with noise issues. In all fairness, there were many positive experiences with the Golden Princess that I enjoyed, but due to the aggravating noise, the overall trip was somewhat ruined.
When we boarded the Golden Princess on Sunday, May 19th, there was a constant "hammering" below our room. At first, I thought about talking to the passengers below us about the noise, but discovered there were lifeboats there and Maintenance Personnel were doing the hammering. Being a retired Airline Pilot, I understand the need for maintenance while in home port, so we spent time away from our cabin to get away from the noise. During the evening, the hammering stopped BUT to my surprise, the hammering started up again the next morning while at sea and it woke me up from a nap. It also lasted for the entire day!! We bit the bullet and tried to ignore the noise but that got frustrating. At 2 pm, the hammering got so loud, I had difficulty talking to the other person in my room. I finally called Customer Service to notify them and she mentioned that she could hear all that noise and wondered what it was. I said that's what I was calling about!! She came to our room to confirm the noise and later, Supervisor Jun came to our room to explain that work is being done on the lifeboats, and he remarked the work will stop at 5 pm . He ASSURED me there will be no more disturbance after 5 pm and for the rest of the cruise. Just to make a point, I repeated after 5 pm - and that's IT?!! Jun said yes! I guess half a day in port and one day at sea of "hammering" could be overlooked as just one of those things that can happen on vacations.
HOWEVER, to my dismay, the hammering started up on the 3rd day!! This time there was also a strong odor of paint thinner which made our room unbearable. I walked over to Customer Service on deck 6 to personally file a complaint. I spoke to Juan Antonio and filled him in on my problem. He spoke to a manager and returned to say that this maintenance MUST be done on the lifeboats. He made it sound like some sort of emergency repair. I explained to Juan that if the lifeboats were inoperative, the Coast Guard would probably not allow the Golden Princess to leave port. So all this is NOT emergency maintenance, but regular maintenance. They were actually chipping paint and repainting areas around the lifeboat. Juan excused himself to speak with a manager again. When Juan returned, he asked me what is it that I wanted. What do I want?! Common sense would dictate I WOULD LIKE PEACE AND QUIET AND TO ENJOY MY CRUISE!!! When you spent money to purchase a cruise, what would anyone want? Juan then ASSURED me that the noise would stop at 2:30 pm. Does this kind of empty promise sound familiar?
Wednesday and Thursday were the first two days we actually got to enjoy the peace and quite of our cruise.
However, at 7:45 on Friday morning, the hammering started up once again and woke me from my sleep. This time it happened for only a short period of time, but now, this issue has become such a raw irritation. Same thing happened on Saturday morning at 6:35 am. There were no incidents after Saturday morning and we returned to Seattle early Sunday morning.
In all fairness, the positive aspects of our trip were our cabin steward, Mike Eugenio, who was extremely nice, very hard working and provided an excellent service. Seems like Mike was always just outside of our door or in the hallway to help if needed. I also enjoyed the Naturalist Kathy onboard who for the entire trip pointed out numerous things along the way and I learned so many things about Alaska. Also thanks to Customer Service Manager Ferdinand, who I made a point to speak to before leaving the ship of all these problems I experienced. He took the time to sit with me which I appreciated, but of course, there was not much he could do at this point of the trip.
Golden Princess may have gotten their maintenance work done, but it was at the expense of my vacation. The Assistant Manager of Customer Service credited us with $75 for all the aggravation. I would prefer Princess Cruises to keep the $75 and take more responsibility in providing less aggravation, and a more enjoyable cruise to its passengers.....especially after a problem has been brought to your attention. There were other passengers in my area that mentioned the same type of noise issue, but not as extreme as it happened in my room, D719. This whole experience left such a bad taste in my memory, I don't think I'll ever consider cruising with Princess again.