There is a cruise line for every pocketbook, and Princess fits mine very well. Although we have never been displeased with Princess..nothing is perfect.....Every time we are asked for a survey, I comply..constructively....I 'critique'..not 'critic'(rhymes with acidic).....?how else do things improve?...We decided to take the "maiden Caribbean voyage" for Royal Princess..a 5 day sort of shakedown cruise. I have to agree somewhat with those reviews done during the Med cruising. A bigger ship of 3600 passengers..not designed to handle the flow.....seemed as if the crew was overwhelmed..from dining to disembarking for excursions..Seemed like the crew was staffed for 2600 passengers not 3600. The "lifts" were programmed horribly..took forever to use..and for me, a mobility impaired person, this WAS inconvenient.
CONS:1. "lifts" were programmed so that one could only press the button only if all doors on all lifts were closed (best way that I know to describe it)
2.No true Promenade deck..can't walk around the ship..
3. (This was the biggest complaint of many, many passengers)..The toilet paper holder placement is the cabin heads were VERY inconvenient and hard to use..you have to be a contortionist to be able to use them!!!
4.COMMUNICATION ON THE OVERHEAD P A SYSTEM WAS ALMOST NON EXISTANT. NONE IN THE CABINS..FEW IN THE PASSAGEWAYS.THEY COULD INTERRUPT TV (LIKE ON PLANES) TO PASS IMPORTANT MESSAGES. and don't give me that crap about "you can access our website(royal.princess.com)-free while on board for info"....what if you don't have that source..they assume everyone has that capability..when most of the passengers were retired over 60..and are not that saavy!!!!
5. The Port Everglades people(not Princess) longshoremen? handling loading baggage do a poor job..two cruises in a row from there the baggage was late and we were late leaving..and we were the only ship in port..we watched them dilly dallying from our balcony!!!! so evident!!
1. Food was excellent..Horizon Buffet expanded and very good....Dining Room menus could be better.
2. Entertainment was very good......
3.Staff..was excellent..although they looked overwhelmed....
Bottom Line.....the kinks of operation, logistics. communication should have been worked out while on the Med cruises....it seemed like this"maiden" voyage WAS a maiden voyage, not like one for a ship that has been cruising since June... I will probably NOT cruise on Royal or Regal..because of the Passenger numbers...and I HOPE THAT PRINCESS IS NOT BECOMING "CARNIVAL"!!!!!!!!!!!!