Champagne ship on a beer bottle budget. Our 8th princess cruise and experienced a lot of firsts which can be mostly attributed to Princess cut backs on staff and really bad ship design. Would have preferred less ship with better service and more attention to overall cleanliness.
1. Embarkation day arrived to find our room had been minimally cleaned (spills on the desk top, past passenger sport sock beside the sofa), spills on the carpet. Bathroom had been missed all together (used towels still on the floor) Called our room steward to address the matter. He had just been assigned to our section so it was not his fault. The other steward got off the ship that day as his contract had ended. Our new room steward addressed the matter but was really torn as he should have been passing out those useless Passport to Savings that was mandated by Princess for him to do at that time. Really! Our steward did a good job making up our room the entire week but what it needed was a thorough cleaning...wrote my name in the dust in the night table storage space...the bottom of the tub was a shade of grey...the balcony was grimy. Actually had to ask to have soap in the bathroom replenished mid-week as no additional bars of soap had been provide other than the 2 at the beginning of the cruise...note to self pack soap next time.
2. We were mid-ship. "We did the mid-ship stairs go? They must be here somewhere?" Still shaking our heads with that stupid design decision. There are mid-ship service stairs but only to be used by passengers for muster drill.
3. Tiniest balcony ever...and we spend a vast majority of our time on the balcony...if we wanted to recline in our chairs we had to put the balcony table in the room.
4. Called room service several times and started making a game of counting the number of rings....35 got cut off and another 50 when calling back....next day 49 times (improvement from the day before).
5. The ship was not cleaned to the standards and frequency of past Princess cruises. Maybe Norwalk virus has been eradicated so cleaning is no longer a priority. Public washroom were tiny and cleaned with less frequency, the men's change room in the Lotus spa was so disgusting I just walked out....the floor was all wet from water running out of the showers yet no benches to put your things on while changing, used robes and towels shoved on a shelf above the clean robes and towels (no bins to deposit them in). That fact they didn't charge me a last minute cancellation fee was to me acknowledgement it was indeed disgusting.
6. For the size of the ship and number of passengers the size of the pools were a joke.....but then again it wasn't an issue as they were always freezing cold.
7. Service around the pool was no existent (easier to go to the bar ourselves) until the port day in St. Maarten. We stayed on the ship. The entire morning there were groups of people from the travel industry touring the ship. Funny how that morning the # of servers and pool attendants almost out numbered the small # of us who decided to spend the port day around the pool.....it was such a smoke and mirrors moment it was almost laughable.
8. The novelty of the skywalk wore of after the first day....so missed the promenade deck which we would normally walk everyday. There is a walking/running track at the very top of the ship, which in the Caribbean is in the blazing sun a day.
9. The Princess Live theater was just a cold waste of space.
The Royal Princess was launched with a lot of glitz and glamour but it actuality has very little substance. It is probably too late for the Regal as it is now under construction...so sad Princess will be making the same mistake twice.