Dissapointing return to Princess: Royal Princess Cruise Review by Rotherham_Cruiser
Overall Member Rating
Dissapointing return to Princess
Destination: Cruise to Nowhere
Parking at the docks was straightforward, so in awe of the wonderful first sight of the Royal Princess we
I must try to be fair in this review, and take account of the fact that this was a Preview Cruise. I realise we were mainly there to iron out any glitches or problems prior to the maiden voyage, but the fact remains, there were several basic issues on the ship and with Princess that cannot simply be passed off as "teething problems"
Parking at the docks was straightforward, so in awe of the wonderful first sight of the Royal Princess we entered the Ocean Terminal - to be greeted with More queues spiraling both the downstairs and upstairs check in areas. We were given by 2 ladies a green card with a letter on it and advised to grab a seat because it would be at least an hour, "due to the ship not releasing the passes until 11" whatever that meant. Anyway, an hour and 20 minutes later we were called forward to check in, which, along with the security checks were thankfully swift, so within a couple of hours from arriving we were climbing the gang plank. A month ago we boarded the Disney dream by being asked our name and walking alone through the atrium to the applause of the officers and staff, and a warm greeting over the tannoy. Princess chose the alternative greeting. Shove us along the promenade deck, in through a side door, and steered into a packed elevator area along with equally lost passengers and the occasional staff member who didnt have a clue.
The biggest Atrium at sea, and we are ushered to the corridors. Big big opportunity lost Princess. We could have said WOW when when came aboard. Instead our reaction was "what the....."
We were in Deck 9 Dolphin 709, a standard balcony room. This is the first big issue I have with the Royal. The room was minute, and this coming from someone who usually prefers inside cabins. The beds were stupidly short. Im 6ft 3" and my legs went well over the end of the bed, not to mention the narrowness, which bing a big bloke was very much an issue. It was rock hard as well. I thanked my foresight in only booking the 2 nighter. Much more in this bed would have crippled me. As we discovered that night, the walls were paper thin. We could hear clearly normal conversations next door, and was treated to Skyfall at 1.00am that morning. Again something I had never experienced before. The bathroom was adequate and cupboard space quite good, so no real issue there. The TV function was poor. The GPS location map didn't work, nor was there any Account access to see what you had spent - standard for every previous cruise I had been on.
Much has been written about the new royal Princess, but I must say, it failed to impress this reviewer. Don’t get me wrong. I love cruise ships. I love the aura, the atmosphere, the grand atrium, the show bars and the quiet piano lounges. The Royal however just didn't offer anything additional that impressed. I'd seen it all before, and though I would no doubt enjoy a trip on her, I view other ships in a better light, with better layout, better organisation, better food and a bigger WOW factor to be seen on Cunard, Independence of the Seas, even the Sapphire Princess. I just didn't take to her.
Poorly trained. Over enthusiastic when you wanted to be left alone. Not interested when a bit of assistance would have been appreciated.. My biggest gripe is reserved for the Cruise Director, Ron Goodman, however. I likened him to Hughie Green - oozing insincerity from every pore. Too slick. Too smug. To pleased with himself to be opening his eyes and looking at the obvious issues the ship has. The shows were good - loved the big production number with the lighting in the main theatre, and the ABBA tribute band were better than most act I have seen on a ship. The bar staff tried hard to please, with the best service witnessed in the Wheelhouse bar. The worst at the Seaview Bar. Inept. The bars around the Atrium closed at 11 on the last night, yet the waiter seemed happy to serve their mates but refuse others sat nearby. I expect that behaviour in a dodgy local pub, and not the supposed pride of the Princess fleet.
Horizon Court. The first breakfast was horrible. Nothing tasted right or nice. The worst Corned Beef hash I have ever had, and that’s saying something. The bacon was inedible. Eggs were sloppy. Very very poor fayre. The meals in the main dining room were an improvement. Nice Beef Wellington and nice steak on 2nd night, but I wasnt a fan of the decor or layout, however. The waiters were good - fair play to them, they tried and tried to give us what we wanted. Cant ask for any more from them.
Overall we paid £300+ each for a 2 day trip which to be blunt was simply not worth it. We willingly paid over the odds expecting to be given a memorable introduction to a wonderful new ship. The entire setup seemed to be with the objective of fleecing you - getting every available buck out of you, but with none of the class or charm offered by Cunard or Celebrity. We were given sub standard fayre, and we left with a firm conviction that we would in future stick with the names we usually stick with. Less
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