This was my third Princess Cruise and my fifth cruise. Booking fine, embarkation fine except for 2 hours sitting In Sydney Airport awaiting a Princess bus to Circular Quay after an early rise to drive one hour than fly from Brisbane.
Food was fine, excursion booking were done online prior but there was a problem booking two people's tours, one must do each under their own name otherwise the whole $'s are charged to the one account, no problem solving this problem once it was discovered.
My account got 'locked' due to some transposition of a date on my credit card, my input would not have accepted had it have been incorrect. Embarrassingly, I was unable to charge even a drink until after a second visit to the customer counter!
Having worked in a very confidential Government Department I was more than concerned when passports to obtain Vietnam visas were taken by the steward and just left on top of his trolley. An earlier attempt to leave at the customer counter was rejected. On top that concern, I had reason to return to my cabin and the steward who was in the passage way said, Oh, I am just reading passports and he was!!!!
On gratuities, I only learned at the end of the cruise that Australians can obtain a waiver. I am on a low income and had used savings to pay for the cruise. The gratuities charged were equal to 3/4 of my weekly income? I have written to Princess on this matter 16/3/2014 but no response to date.
This has caused me not to pay an advance deposit on a future cruise as I'd done previously.
On gifts & gratuities, I have to say that on each of the two previous cruises with Princess I took over AU$140.00 of my hand crafted jewellery for the female staff gifts and I know they were appreciated. This trip just the steward received a small reward.
On arrival home after 14th March, I checked my bank details to ensure all costs were covered. Well imagine my surprise to find two unaccounted for charges totaling AU$145.69 made on 10th & 11th March whilst I was still on the cruise! Not mine! No explanation has been offered to my query however after a time this had disappeared from my account.
The online survey was not completed properly due to no online facility for a time.
This cruise we booked early sitting and were placed in the International dining room. Fine until late arrival at 7.45pm and quite reasonably the door was closed. Going to the Anytime Dining we were not going to be accepted as we HAD to dine in our dining room! The fact of the matter had to be strongly repeated several times before we were allocated a shared table.
First cruise we had late dining, this time early, either way it is difficult to attend events This time the Captains formal night and the crew concert both of which we missed out on. Anytime dining now seems a more suitable choice.
The meals we had were great, the service was quite good and we had an experienced waiter looking after us.