I've been on about 7 cruises, Carnival and Princess only. This was my second Princess. The first was Alaska on Sapphire three years ago. I will list some key points to consider.
Do not stay on Emerald Deck 8 if you have ears. I specifically asked about any issues with this area of the ship and the Princess agent, Ann Butler, who booked the cruise for me assured me there might be some bumpiness back there or engine sound but that's it. My elderly mother, who is almost deaf, could hear the thumping bass coming from the Universe Lounge below. until 4 in the morning a few nights!! Just be honest Ann, and let me make an informed decision!
I also inquired as to whether the ships ever get bedbugs and she acted like I was stupid and said no!! Well, I found out they had an outbreak on the Coral Princess only a few weeks earlier! Of course they can get bedbugs, I realized. The issue came up after being in Panama when everyone was getting bit by mosquitoes. The best hotels get these, just be honest with me. Someone said maybe she didn't know. She bragged she knew a lot, having worked there 5 years, so she must have heard about it at some point before.
Despite the Universe Lounge noise, I loved the deck out back on deck 8. Nobody knows it's there so it's almost like your own private area. Though deck 10 has a bigger one. I found this out when one of the ship officers invited me for a drink, then a stroll, where he proceeded to seduce me despite my protests. He couldn't believe it when I jumped up from my deck chair because he seemed to be finished talking and I wasn't interested in kissing a stranger. He thought I was the rude one! whatever.
Shocked to find that there were no feminine products sold in singles, as I needed only 1 or 2 more. TWELVE DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS for a box in the gift shop!!! Due to the couple thousand I spent onboard, after a written complaint I thought they might have a heart, open a box, and deliver a few! It was the principle of the thing. Other prices seemed rather reasonable to me. But if someone didn't have a choice and really NEEDED this item, they were exploited and had to pay a 300% markup! They act like they want you to feel like a valued guest, or family. Elite! Gold! no. The bottom line is always just that. Disgusting.
Nobody ever did even respond to my complaint. rude
Food, about a 6 most of the time. A few happy surprises of DELICIOUS 10 though! That doesn't bother me so much because I didn't gain any weight since I don't eat food that isn't "worth it". So one bite, if it's not worth it I don't eat it. I must say the sweet waiters seemed to be disturbed by this. Excuse me, Miss? Don't you like it? Please! let me get you something else from the kitchen!! I said no worries, the next course is coming, I'm quite certain I will be full by the end of the meal! To be honest, I'm not really hungry now, but it's dinnertime and mom wants to eat. They were not happy with this response and tried to get me something else repeatedly. very sweet.
Pizza and burgers were great. Soft serve ice cream not. again, that's fine or I would surely have gained 10 pounds because I love the stuff.
LOVE the fish n chips they do a few times in the bayou cafe for lunch. Divine. That place had such ambience for dinner. too bad I never ate there.
ate dinner at the Horizon once and liked it better than the dining room. But mom likes to dress up and be served dinner so that's where we ate. Waiting times with buzzers were never that bad. Like any restaurant. big whoop.
Champagne split a good price.
I LOVE that on this ship the promenade deck goes all the way around. It was so much easier to navigate this ship than the Sapphire, which cut off and I never bothered to figure out how to go all the way around. better things to do.
Having cruised Carnival a couple years ago again, I must disagree with another review that said Carnival is better. Despite my complaints, I do still love Princess and the efforts the majority onboard go to making you feel special and like a princess! Carnival is kind of a joke compared to Princess. Great for when you are young and drunk. But as a more mature woman, absolutely not. They do not disinfect the public areas regularly like Princess does. And force hand sanitizer, at least not when I was there. It makes a difference. I don't hear of anyone getting norovirus on Princess like other lines.
My friend and I ordered room service one evening on Carnival as we were getting ready for dinner and a night out. We decided the Assortment of Desserts would be a fine pre-dinner choice! Well, it was 2 tiny hockey puck brownies and 4 stale hydrox chocolate and vanilla sandwich cookies. Needless to say, we did not eat them.
I really don't think Princess would do that to me. In fact, the hotel manager asked me my favorite pillow chocolates and when I said I hate them all, they are like hershey bars, he had chocolate covered strawberries in my room continuously, until the end of the cruise. I do hope they value these employees, they are the ones keeping us loyal to Princess, despite the mishaps and golden tampons.
Oh, but I hated that they thought Bingo more important than our final lecture with Jim Kennedy, which got bumped!! He filled the Princess Theatre with his amazing lectures, and we were so looking forward to the grand finale, the blast off!! Despite all our complaints the smug little event planner cruise director guy said he can make that choice and he did. Bottom line again, Bingo makes them some more money...oh but we loved Jim Kennedy.... :)