The good: The St. Thomas suite is rather roomy and could easily accommodate six people for cocktails canapés and even dinner. The main atrium was generally well-done, and the offerings (vines) above average. Our itinerary voyage of the glaciers southbound seemed to be superior to the itinerary of a number of other cruise passengers we met throughout the week at the pair of overlapping ports. Embarkation for passengers traveling in suites could not have been better- dedicated line and expedited handling. Complementary use of the thermal suites and access to the spa gym was a very nice touch reserved for suite passengers. Similarly the expanded room service affording complete menu offerings for suite passengers also proved to be valuable, as the quality of the food received from room service was superior to hash being slung in the main dining rooms. The food and service at the Crowne Grill and wheelhouse pub (although only open for lunch two of the seven days) was generally very More
good, the breakfast in Sabatini's for suite passengers also a very nice touch.
The bad: Despite throwing the cabin steward an extra hundred beginning of the trip service was average at best. While the room was clean and well refreshed daily and ice was omnipresent, getting the correct daily menus was a challenge. Speaking of menus, food in the main dining rooms could best be described as a bland version of bland. Why in the hell a suite contains two twin beds smashed together to create a queen is beyond me. How often has a passenger(s) booked a suite and specifically requested two twin beds? Several of the other public areas of the ship or downright pathetic and included the mini golf course, arcade, boards that contained a map of the voyage were 25% map and 75% exposed plywood. The evening canapés were pathetic and when specific items were ordered (chocolate covered strawberries) and claim to have been delivered only to realize they had not the excuse became "We must of been out of those."
The ugly: The spa and associated services go well beyond being a bad joke and border on the criminal. After specifically declining a number of product's my wife was still charged almost $400 for said product's. After objecting she was told that the transaction had already been completed and it was suggested she just take the product's and try to return them at a later when a "Supervisor" was on duty. This was obviously an attempt to extract as much "additional income" as humanly possible and a source of great aggravation for my wife and by extension me. On the first day of the cruise we were told that the specialty restaurants could be booked the day of and not in advance, as suite passengers we had preferred reservations and not overly concerned. Halfway through the cruise we found out that the specialty restaurants were completely booked for the remainder of the voyage, and could not accommodate any any additional reservations. Given the lackluster food options, this was particularly infuriating because in addition to the preferred reservations for suite passengers not being applicable, at no point were any of the specialty restaurants more than half full on nights that were supposedly "Sold out."
Summary: Most of the other reviews about the Princess line slipping into and below mediocrity are by in large accurate. This is particularly disappointing given that we popped for a suite, as we were traveling with a group of 16 people. Our group consisted of a suite, a family suite, a mini suite, a premium balcony, and two premium Oceanview cabins. At the end of the day if you're looking for a bargain, sale with Norwegian, Carnival, or Princess. If you're looking for a better boat, service, and overall experience sail with Celebrity or Holland America. Full disclosure I am a carnival cruise stockholder Less