Dining: marginally adequate, asked waiter when we were going to have T-bone steak and he said I had to go to the speciality restaurant. I read where one could have NY strip on request on Cruisecritic but it was disallowed. Celebrity and Carnival Spirit had NY strip on request. Sapphire food generally tasteless and mediocre. New York Strip served on last evening meal wasn't as good as I've had at chain restaurants. Other passengers made similar comments in conversations as lacking in quality and taste.
Baked Alaska? Not creamy and as tasty as on other cruise lines, desserts in general tasteless and bland with the exception of the banana creame pie on last evening meal.
Pizza not prepared to our taste, pizza bought at grocery stores and taken home for baking more suitable for consumption.
Ate in International Dining Room on 2 Aug and fried fish not crisp, tarter sauce loose and runny. French fries hot and tasty. Cole slaw apparently very expensive based on the amount received with fried perch meal. I ate until I ran out of slaw and pushed the plate aside due to poor taste. There should be ample servings of each food ordered to last the entire meal and tartar sauce should have body, not too thick and not too loose. The fish should be cooked crisp but not dry and when served should be free of unnecessary grease.
The Horizon Court Buffet would do well to post a lunch and dinner menu for guests to read prior to deciding where one wants to dine-perhaps that is the plan to keep guests guessing where the best meal might be served?
Our cabin was adequate, had everything we possibly need or want including room service.
Cabin Steward kept room clean but was somewhat difficult to reach to turn in a form that was assigned to another passenger/room but delivered by error to our room. Again on the route back to Vancouver the wrong folio with $500 deposited to our Excursion Account that sadly we had to turn in at the Passenger Assist Desk for appropriate disposition. Perhaps it wasn't the steward but someone from passenger services?
Extremely difficult to find photos in the Photo Gallery, it would be beneficial if the photos had a number assigned to each photo or belonged to such-and-such room to make it easier for guests to find their pictures. I and another guest were commenting on the difficulty.
Explorers Lounge 1030 on4 Aug-Morning Trivia-why does the MC (Mark) have to use the term "fart?" This in in front of all ages from small children to elderly and is inappropriate. Sure some children use the term, we hear it in movies but does that make it "cultured" or proper? Where is the Princess civility?
This is our first and last trip with Princess, other cruise lines offer more for the dollar and we received far less than expected. If we wanted to enter the "Sanctuary" there was a fee of $60 per person? Other passengers were commenting on the additional cost of the cruise in certain areas and the poor quality of prepared food. Enter the Horizon late and the food in some hot pans were nearly empty and the food was dried. I have worked with several chefs and the food served late should be as fresh as it was when the serving line opened.
Summarization: The crew was overall excellent and to a person were polite and considerate. They provided everything they could that the cruise line would allow.
The ship contrary to what others have commented on was in good shape and crew worked diligently keeping it clean. However, Princess Cruise Line has cut corners to cut costs and in so doing have alienated many potential future customers. I would have to put Princess on a par with The smaller ships in the Carnival line. Even NCL is somewhat better than Princess. Princess attempts to pawn and foist eye of round off for filet migon and the astute traveler can quickly discern what is in their plate. However, one thing that Princess does well and that is the nearly grease-free french fries -every other food item looks better than they taste which is a waste of time when one either dresses up for one of the dining rooms or stands in line at the Horizon Court. Based on food repetition and use of leftovers, it would do Princess Lines well to eliminate the Chef and have the first and second cooks plan and supervise food preparation if they continue as they are-food prep is repetitious and rote, they don't need to pay a "chef," they'd save even more money by eliminating his job. The cooks know what they have to do-all season and beyond. I enjoy the food on most cruises but the food on Princess as they say in England, "took the biscuit."
Princess has nearly convinced both the wife and I to not take another cruise but after talking to other passengers we'll try Holland America Lines someday but not in the near future, it's gonna be along time.
I have sent part of this assessment to Princess Cruise Lines but don't know if they'll answer and I don't particularly care.
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