Star Princess Cruise Review by Jim Winkley: Antarctica----yet again.
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the cruise was enjoyable with many positives but marred by a whole series of irritations.the cabin was excellent and our cabin steward adequate rather than good.The restuarant was fine and we were pleasantly surprised by the price of the wine.Plenty of choice around the 22$ price.This was very surprising as it was 4 years since we had cruised with Princess and the basement end then was around 18$.On previous cruises with Princess that had always run out of the cheaper wines during the voyage but not this time. Although 2500 passengers aboard there was crowding,the only indication of this was at embarkation and queueing to return after excursions.
Our embarkation was quick but as platinum captains circle members we got priviledged treatment.A lot of passengers grumbled about it.the facilities were about what one would expect on a ship this size except the library.Most ships would have been ashamed at the size of the library and the condition of muany of the books.apparently it More had been bigger but had been cut down in size to accomodate a wine bar which was hardly ever used. no to the irritations which were changes to the previous cruises we had had with Princess,6 in total.There was no daily news sheet,USA today and Britain Today.The excuses given varied from its unavailable to the use of the paper damages the planet.after talking to the Maitre'D he got it for me every night.There was no intermediate account put in our cabin,again saving the world was the reason.However most people went and asked for one,
There was no excursions brochure sent,again saving the world was the excuse,when it was pointed out to the staff that most people would make a copy from the net and those without a computer got the travel agents to do it,one just got a shrug of the shoulders.Even the flight e ticket was claimed as a save the world measure.This refusal to admit that these changes were simply cost cutting irritated in the extreme, For the first time on a princess cruise there was no catholic priest or Rabbi aboard.Since then we have found that the excuse given by Princess was that passengers had complained at favouritism.If that were true it had taken nearly 20 years for Princess to accede to the request.Pity really as I was waiting for them to blame that on ecological grounds. the flights were with Iberia who surely must be one of worlds worst airlines.I have been told that in future when booking it should be made a condition that the flight will not be with Iberia. the staff were lovely and I sympathise with them to have to combat our grumbles with so obviously stupid answers.
Finally the entertainment which was average except one night we had an act called the Gauchos they were dreadful.For once we had an british comedian we had last seen on the Wheeltappers and Shunters on ITV and he tried hard but was with the wrong audience Finally we were puzzled by the laissez Faire attitude towards dress in the dining room on the 3 formal evenings.If we wanted that type of thing we would have booked on Ocean Village, Less
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