Golden Princess Cruise Review by bonnietheb: We need a better travel agent.
Overall Member Rating
We need a better travel agent.
Destination: South America
Embarkation: Santiago (Valparaiso)
I titled this as such because clearly the woman we used did not take into consideration our age, our level of comfort,our standard of living and our interests. We booked through one of those agencies that use people that are trained to point and click not a real travel agent so what we got was a vacation suiting a retired teacher not a younger vibrant couple who are not cheap and petty and not thrilled because food is abundant rather than good.
Long review short.
Ship is old and tired-visible wear everywhere including the staterooms
Buffet is terrible, same food over and over every day. Buffet dining room is filthy, they should really collapse the leaves on those table and get out those heinous likely ancient crumbs. Every table is cracked and has dirt in the cracks as well, so disgusting. The servers in this room walk around occasionally offering coffee and juice but not with any regularity-we had coffee served 2 out of 8-9 breakfasts the rest of the time More it was serve yourself if you can get near the coffee station.
Main dinner venue- there is traditional dining and anytime dining. We chose the anytime dining and were told that given the passengers were mostly south American there would be lots of people dining late. We did not find this to be the case-we are late diners-we did find the food over done, cold and tasteless. Some nights the menu was so bad we headed to the steak house or Italian restaurant after reading. In EVERY dining venue we found it ridiculous that they explain every little thing about every dish. It's like they think this is the finest dining a person has ever experienced. I know am likely over critical on this point but it I just so patronizing-mind you it is hilarious the way they all go on over the $155 price tag of the a certain bottle of wine-shows the mindset of the staff and I guess tells the mindset of passengers. For us that was actually a good price for that particular bottle and we had a few of them :)
We were not warned that excursions would probably be booked up pre cruise so imagine our dismay to find all the good excursions sold out upon arrival to our stateroom. It actually worked out better for us, I just got on the internet and booked private tours in the ports with local companies and we learned more and had a way better experience than your usual busload tours sold by the cruise line.
The service level on this cruise was so poor that based on that alone I would likely not cruise Princess again. No where did we experience good service-except in Skywalkers which was empty most of the time (since the demographic is ignored and loud dance music played most of the time-we are more classic rock people) we went up there because it was the only thing open after 12:30 most nights.
The boredom on this ship cost us about 20k in extra charges etc-nothing to do but drink nice wine, hang in the casino and shop in the jewelry store.
Here are the positives: The movies during the day and under the stars was nice. The pool and hot tubs remain open at night so we could have a nice quiet soak late at night (like we do at home). We enjoy this and this is the first cruise line we have been able to have that privilege.
That's it, even the itinerary was not the best-something I found out after the fact-again it was the Cruise Ship Centre that booked this at fault-I trusted the person and they just booked what THEY were comfortable with. From now on I will be checking this site as well as using a proper travel agent.
We are cruising again 2 weeks after this one, it will be interesting to compare while the memory is still fresh. Less
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