A visit to Las Vegas followed by a cruise to Hawaii - holiday of a lifetime or at least a good way to celebrate 30th wedding anerversary.
Embarkation. We were rushed to part with our bags outside of the terminal only to join the usual long queue for the embarkation process. The queue did move quickly and staff were helpful and friendly. On the ship one of our suitcases arrived about an hour before our set meal time but the other one only arrived after I phoned reception. When it arrived the bag had clearly been damaged, breaking a glass pot inside. Inside I also noticed that my contents had been rummaged through and I subsequently noticed that an expensive bottle of whiskey (an anniversary gift) was missing. Raising this issue with the ships staff I was told that it had been confiscated. When I asked when I would get the item back I was told that it had been destroyed. Subsequent investigation revealed that MY bottle was being sold by the measure in the Promenade Deck bar (distinctive mark on bottle and one of the crew agreed that the ship did use some confiscated spirits - theft?). Ship was always clean and tidy and food good but neither compared well with other ships that we have been on (including other Princess ships). It seemed that the main priority of the crew was to sell. This was either drinks (I refused to buy any drinks for the first week in response to seeing my whiskey on sale) at dinner, on deck or in social rooms. There was a constant stream sale activities on the ship from 'Art' through to 'tack' in open areas and on the ship's TV. The four days sea crossing to Hawaii was cold and windy with some rough seas. A member of crew called for medical assistance for my wife but it never arrived so we resorted to the limited over the counter medication that didn't work resulting in four wasted days for my wife. Hawaii - sorry but what a disappointment. Caribbean has so much more to offer. As usual the ships tours were priced at twice the local rate. Return crossing was equally disappointing as the outbound journey only the entertainment was becoming a little stale as well. Mexico - pointless. Obviously the ship needed to 'tick' the necessary boxes for their operations but this was at the expense of the passengers. Disembarkation. As usual in USA long queues = wasted day. Plus points - many of the staff did a fine job (conversations with some of them were very revealing about the ship & company!). Most crew members were definately overworked e.g. cabin staff, resident entertainers, food & waiting etc. Quality suffered as a result.
After seven or eight cruises this one has given us an experience that tells us that we will not be cruising again for some time, if at all and certainly not with Princess.
Finally, I did send a complaint to Princess but they have not replied. Perhaps my wording was not good enough as it is the first (only) complaint that I have made like this.