Not sure where Princess has been when all the other cruise lines (yes even Carnival), have been upping the ante to make sure that their passengers are entertained and enjoying their cruise vacation for the money they paid. We went on a 4 day to Ensenada, Mexico out of Los Angeles. Boarding was quick and easy and we were onboard in no time..
The ship seemed quiet and very tired and the crew even more so. No happy smiling faces. No welcome aboard greetings. No lively welcome on deck. We were not addressed properly by our cabin steward (she used only our first names, not the customary Ms. before the first name). She gave us warnings about smoking in our cabin and balcony (no smoking at all in the cabin or balcony!! At all!!), instead of the warm greeting that we should have received. She also banged repeatedly on our door and called out my first name urgently, multiple times while doing so, to tell us that our card for appetizers was put out at the wrong time. Easy fix. Why all the drama?
The cabin was clean and tidy, but needs updating to be sure. The mattress and pillows on my bed were absolutely horrible. The shower was so small I couldn't even bend over to pick up the soap and stay inside it. But, the closet was gigantic. I think they should work on making the closet space a little smaller and the bathroom a bit larger. Really.
The Horizon buffet was really not very good. The food was cafeteria style and not very appetizing at all. The line for the buffet was confusing and the small area was extremely crowded. There was no restaurant open upon boarding for us to eat in. Just the Horizon. Also, during times when you would think people would want to eat (breakfast and lunch), they closed one side. Not sure why, but that's what was going on.
We had 8:30 dining time for dinner and the food and service in the dining room was a gigantic improvement over Horizon, but not spectacular. I guess if you want really good food on the cruise, you have to spring for the dining rooms that have an additional charge.
We sat down for a drink near the pool and no one came to take our order, but two people came and tried to sell us a wine tasting for 25.00 each. No thanks.
We received free internet on the ship, but were never able to sign on with our cell phone. The only time we were able to use it was at the internet cafe. Asking at the front desk only resulted in the clerk telling us that it wasn't working. No kidding.
Entertainment is geared towards people who want to sleep I guess. No music or fun games around the pool. Just videos of bands playing in the afternoon and movies at night. They give you a blanket and a lounge chair and I guess they hope you fall asleep. It looked like a real snooze fest on the Lido deck, that is for sure. The "bad boy of comedy" was awful. Lame jokes and tricks. He pulled a kid out of the audience to assist with his act, even though the material was not so kid friendly.
I think they need to also rethink the disembarkation process as well. They tell you to be out of your cabin at 8:00 am and then go to a "meeting place". Imagine my surprise when I found out that we would not be able to disembark until 11:25 am! I was astounded. I also felt like a hostage. I understand the Federal Agents are not working full time right now, but really??? No shops or regular dining rooms were open (just the Horizon dining), and the only thing to do was sit around and eat pastries and drink coffee for 3.5 hours? Nope. Fail again Princess.
Princess, you have not impressed me one little bit. I was hoping for a fun cruise with lots of activities to keep us busy, but you failed us miserably. I can't believe I paid so much for a lovely balcony stateroom and got substandard service and food.
I have sailed before on Norwegian and I really enjoyed myself with their bright energetic entertainment and friendly staff. I think Princess might just be courting the elderly passenger crowd. I feel I severly overpaid for what I received.
Step it up Princess, or you will be losing customers. I will definitely not recommend this itinerary to anyone. It was boring and not fun at all. I actually had a lot more fun on Carnival, but even that was not nearly as nice as Norwegian.