Royal Princess Cruise Review by Johunte: Inaugural Caribbean Cruise.... The cruise leader in standing in queues
Overall Member Rating
Inaugural Caribbean Cruise.... The cruise leader in standing in queues
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
After being told not to arrive before 12 noon , our cab arrived at the port at 11.30, we then queqed to get into the port which ran up the cab fare from the airport next door to 40 dollars for 2 persons. After eventually joining the long queue to get on the ship, we finally boarded at 1.25 and went straight to the sanctuary. Very disappointing that it was already fully booked for the week, we were told to come each day before 8.00am and queue until the opening time of 8.30 to see if any loungers were available . To be honest we didnt want to spend our holiday waiting in line constantly so did not arrive until 9.00 each day, every time it was full. We did hear an employee advising customers who were staying on for the next cruise to book on tne morning of change over to guarantee them a space before any new guests arrived. I assume that is what happenned on our cruise ?
We stayed in a mini suite on deck 12. The room was nice, and so was the bathroom which was a very good size. More The balcony was terrible, it was sooo small. Two chairs with foot rests that stored underneath . The footrests were impossible to use as there was not enough room to pull them out. The room lacked sockets which made charging phones etc difficult. Bed linen was good and bed was comfy unlike the pillows whiich gave us both neck ache. The room steward kept a very low profile, we only saw him in the evenings when we returned to our cabin around 10pm and had to wait for him to finish the turn down. Cleaning was not very thorough.
We ate on the anytime dining plan, food and service varied from great to poor, but more the lattter :( we tried to book the specialility restaurants but all were full . Each time we called room to try to book it took 15+ minutes for them to answer the phone. We ate lunch in the buffet restaurant which had a good choice and plenty of tables.
We used the gym severAl times , it was a great facility and very underused. We walked through the casino one evening and saw people queueing 5 deep to play the slot machines! We didnt do the show's not really our thing.
The most annoying thing was the lack of stairs mid ship, we prefer to take the stairs when possible and found it really inconvenient to have walk either to the front or back of the ship to find stairs. The lifts were constantly full and slow, at time we waited for 6 lifts before we could actually get a space in one!
The laundry was useful and cost 4 dollars for a self service wash and dry .
With just 2 ports on the cruise, the first being princess cays, we arrived a little late and had to wait over an hour in a lounge after getting a tender ticket to get on a packed hot tender to the 10 minute journey ashore.
Having last visited princess cay 20 years ago, i was surprised that it hadnt changed. Long queue for the BBQ lunch , nice beach not a lot else to say. Grand Turk was easier to disembark and you immediatley are gretted by the carnival cruise shopping terminal which seemed completely out of place with the rest of the island. We grabbed a cab to the Osprey beach hotel , the hotel let us use their loungers ans we had the beach to ourselves all day ! We had lunch on the hotel and can thoroughly recommend their local fare.
Sea days were noisy, we managed to get loungers in the retreat area , which we thought would be peaceful but the noise from various bands and piped music was so loud that even with my headphones on full blast my ipod was drowned out . By contrast noise level in the cabin was minimal .
We took the walk off option and were placed in the 1st group due to depart at 7.00am , disembarkation was complete chaos, it took 20 minutes to get into the lift and then had to wait in a dining room, which was not suitable for hundreds of people and all their luggage. By 6.45 it was full to bursting with people having to wait elsewhere.
We wont be cruising with Princess again, im sure we spent most of the holiday standing in queues! Less
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