I have travelled on many ships in my life and was looking forward to our 12 day Mediterranean cruise with Princess, having previously travelled with Costa, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Cunard and P & O and thoroughly enjoyed all of them.
We boarded Ruby Princess in Venice with our two teenageers and within 24 hours had experienced some very arrogant behaviour by a Restaurant Manager who kept us waiting for Anytime dining for over 30 minutes with no explanation or apology. When he was approached for information regarding the wait , he brushed off saying it wasn't his fault a lot of people had come at once. As a travel professional I suggested that it might have been good service to explain to customers there might be a wait and give some sort of indication how long. He blamed his staff and said it was their job not his and offered no apology and or resolution. After 45 minutes (total) we went to the buffet missing out on a more formal dining experience for which we had dressed. I contacted Customer Services on a number of occasions regarding this matter and some 48 hours later they offered an alternative restaurant.
Following that, we were woken daily, when in port (nine days in total) by shipboard announcements at 7am with details of how to disembark etc. After each announcement, in a number of languages, it was impossible to get back to sleep. by day 6 of a 12 day cruise I was besides myself with tiredeness and asked if they would stop. The disembarkation information is available through a number of different means and when awoken with this sort of information you can not take it in so it is of little value.. Additionally, I spoke with other passengers who felt the same. The customer Service Manager admitted there had been complaints but couldn't do anything about it unless the ship's managment agreed. Nothing was done and I returned home exhauseted and unable to appreciate any of the good things about the cruise.
I have written to Princess Cruises and had to chase their response (28 days after writing). The eventual response was evassive and said that my comments would be passed on, etc Whilst there is nothing Princess can do to make good an expensive two week holiday that was ruined, I had hoped they would realise how serious sleep deprivation can be for some people. Their response does not indicate it is an issue they are concerned with.
I have found some of their responses to cusomer service issues, both on board and off, to be somewhat arrogant and would wish to advise anyone who values sleep to check beofre travelling as to the policy on early morning announcements. I would certainly not have booked with princess had they made me aware and am still cross that they would not listen to me or other passengers. They had every opportunity to put this right on board but chose not to for reasons I still cannot understand.