We've been cruising Princess since 1987 and have cruised over 30 times, Princess and other cruise lines. Over the years we've seen the changes, not all for the good. After Carnival acquired Princess, more cutbacks and less customer service has been observed. It's the passengers fault! We have allowed the cruise companies to compromise the level of service, food and professionalism the staff took pride in.
Of all cruise weeks we chose, it was the week of Hurricane Irene. We flew into LAG on August 27, 2011. Our check-in person, without a name tag, was short (I don't mean height) and showed no sign of being interested in her job. We asked her name and reported her conduct once on the ship.
We had read that the ship will go in dry dock soon and had concerns with the condition of the cabins and common areas. Upon boarding, we were quite pleased and found little wear since we had sailed on this ship during her first inaugural year.
In preparation of the hurricane, we left port early to avoid the storm. Our balcony cabin had all of the balcony chairs & table inside our cabin. It stayed that way for 3 days. We could not access the fridge or desk without hazard and rearranging the placement of the furniture. HUGE INCONVENIENCE!
The food served on the buffet was consistantly on the cool side. Our wait staff was excellent but that did not make up for the less than average meals presented to us. The soups were very salty, salads left much to the imagination and the lobster night was a joke. Small slipper tails accompanied with prawns. Even neighbors who had recently traveled on RCCL were served regular sized lobster tails during their 7 night Caribbean cruise. Lamb chops were overcooked and our waiter kept apologizing...it wasn't his fault but the kitchen!
All the above was placed on the Internet Evaluation I received. Calls from the Princess rep were returned but we never connected. A letter written at the suggestion of our cruise travel agent prompted another call from Princess.
This time we spoke. Repeatedly I said the letter said it all, and she had a copy in front of her with our request for over a $500.00 refund we felt due. The reason? Over 300 people were unable to board the ship due to the weather and flights canceled. Cruisers leaving the ship from prior cruise had no flight to get home, so Princess offered these passengers the same accommodation or upgrade for $75.00 per day rate to fill the ship. After calculation, this is what we felt we were entitled to as a refund.
All Princess was willing to do was give us a $150 future credit towards another cruise. This is not an incentive.
The ports visited were fine, but due to the storm we missed New Brunswick and had an extra day at sea.
OH Princess...we've already booked another cruise...but on Celebrity. They've yet to disappoint us. Our Select status is proof enough.
Probably wouldn't have written this review if the Princess Customer Service representative had understood what we requested and delivered.