Well lets start from the top. We have sailed with the Walmart of ships aka Carnival as well as Royal Caribbean and Disney.
Princess was on par with Disney even though once onboard we had a bit of a rocky start with some really horrible service from guest services.
We stayed at the Ramada Cruiseport Everglades which isnt much of a hotel but has a free shuttle and pretty well organized. beware here though. They had told us we got a free shuttle back after the cruise to the airport. Not true we had to pay 20.00 apiece for this service.
We took the early shuttle 10:30 am to port and Princess has their own terminal and very well organized.
We were in the first bunch (number 1) they let the suite guests on first and then we were on board and actually straight to our room at noon.
Then out to a meet and greet with some cruise critic friends around 3pm.
This is a really great good sized ship is great repair and brand spanking new looking. Cleaning was done everywhere all the time kudos to the hard working crew here.
Well the usual muster drill took place and the weather out of Lauderdale was a bit wet so no sail away party to speak of.
The purpose of our cruise was celebrating my 4 years cancer free so I was told by a Princess rep I spoke to on the phone as well as my AAA rep that I could go to guest services and ask how I could celebrate my 4 years cancer free anniversary.
I had originally signed up online for the anniversary celebration since there was nothing specific to my situation thats why I visited the guest services desk.
I was appalled, embarrassed, and got pretty red faced at the poor service I received from some young lady from Brazil.
There was no one in line at guest services so the young girl motioned me over. I let her know that this was my first Princess cruise and I was celebrating my being 4 years cancer free and wanted to know what I could do to celebrate that. She kinda looked down her nose at me , snickered, and stated "We dont do anything like that here". I told her that I had been directed by a Princess rep to ask do this and she again restated we dont do that here. Walked away from me and then pointed and joked with her fellow guest service members. Man I felt about two inches tall then I got ticked. I went back up and told her I wanted to cancel all my anniversary plans I made online. She grinned and said ok and then went back to talk with her other cohorts.
Well the next day I spoke with Crissy Reid who was the Captain Circle Host and Crissy seemed to get pretty concerned stating she would report this to Miguel in guest services. Crissy stated they did the Susan Komen deck walk so there were things to do for cancer survivors. Two days went by heard nothing from Miguel spoke to Drayton Pinton who assured me Miguel would contact me. It was only after persistent followup that I finally did get a meeting with Miguel who comped and my wife a meal at Sabatini's (I asked for nothing free) as well as sent me a letter of acknowledgment of being 4 years cancer free signed by some of the staff as well as a very nice Swarovski pen as a gift.
The problem here was I hadn't asked for anything free I just wanted to know how I could celebrate on board the ship.
One of Princess stated values was that they never say no to a guest and they always go to a supervisor and look for an alternative. This was not done by a guest service member.
I liked the outcome but if not for a lot of my own follow up(7 days worth) I have to wonder what would have been done.
Sorry about the rant.. here is the rest of the review.
Princess is every bit as good as Disney.
Our room was a simply inside room. Very comfy we usually go balcony but wanted to save a little and it was still a great room great shower amenities.
Opportunity was we had asked online for robes and extra pillows as well as the egg crate on the mattress. None of this was done at all. It was done after we asked our room steward Eduardo who was a great hard working guy but I think their is some opportunity here for communication between online and the ship. Why offer it if you don't follow up
Entertainment wise they had a great cruise director in Billy London.
Great show.. Beatle maniac's was one of the best beatle tribute shows I have ever seen with period costume changes.
All the other shows were good as well. Pretty decent bands in the lounges.
Food was very good. Presentation was not as good as Disney but there asparagus soup was the best I have ever had.
Finally real Baked Alaska on board a cruise ship as well. Bravo.
The Champagne waterfall was very classy and neat.
Plenty to do on board lots of fun without the typical lowbrow games played on board other cruise ships.
Halloween party was great.
The head lady in the Lotus spa was rude that why we didnt go there but the gym was great. Free sauna and steam room in there as well.
I had never been to a church service on board a ship and being a Christian I wanted to check one out.
The service lead by Colin was one of the most solid and wonderful services I have been to anywhere.
Great service. This is not a blanket endorsement just a good service. Thank you Colin nice job.
The Da Vinci dining room had it together much more than the Michelangelo dining room. We did Anytime dining.
You really should try Sabatini's the service and everything here is excellent top notch really. Its at least a 2 1/2 hour meal so pace yourself and don't try to eat everything put in front of you or you probably will pass out.
The dining staff here was the best I have ever had at sea most of all in the buffet. Really top notch servers that even remember your name. Not really much in the way of a Chocolate buffet or themed buffets with specially craved items or ice sculpture and decorations. But fair trade off for a very ever changing variety of food. Lots of different stuff every day.
We choose the walk off disembarkation and got there about 45 min early. Very easy off.
Pretty good job by Princess even though there is a huge opportunity with guest services.
We will sail on her again.
All the ports were great Princess excursions were good and reasonable priced. Plus you could reserve online with no up front cost.
One other little stumble was they said the tips would be 10.50 per person per cabin per day. It actually stated this on the paperwork as well. Once on board we were charged 11.50 per person. I had the charges removed and paid in cash. Don't want to sound cheap but don't quote me something and then change the price.
Again though I would suggest a Princess cruise to anyone.
I remember the last Carnival cruise I took and it was a photographer trying to block my way and my families from getting on board the ship insisting we took a picture. After a complaint to Carnival I was offered a 12.95 chocolate covered plate of strawberries by Kay Savage on my next cruise with them.
Princess will take better care of you than that