Just before our cruise, the Crown had had two weeks of norovirus problems. They returned two days early and cleaned the entire ship. We were the next group to go out and were praying that everybody would be healthy this time and that it would not be necessary to come back early. There was no problem at all! Just a wonderful cruise.
Loved the Captain--he seemed to really care about his passengers. Heard he was quite funny but never met him. Just was quite impressed by his announcements and the way he kept everyone informed and clear about what was going on and what we should be doing. The food was good.
My only complaint has to do with the International Cafe. Everyone on the cruise was wonderful except for three people. Strangely, they were all from the same area--one from the Cafe part and the other two around the corner where the specialty coffee is served. I asked the food person (after getting a sandwich from them) whether they had any mustard. I received a very short "No!" I made the mistake of saying, "You don't have any condiments?" which was greeted by another abrupt and not very friendly "NO". So, I left there and walked around to the drink area and asked for a glass of iced tea. I was told that they do but I would have to pay for it and I was told that in a not very pleasant way by the two men behind that counter. Are you kidding me? So, I ended up with a free but very dry sandwich and had to hurry up to the Horizon Court (10 floors up) trying to make it there before it closed so that I could add a little mustard and get a glass of iced tea.
That is really, really ridiculous. I don't understand why a cruise line that gives its customers free pizza, ice cream, pastries etc. would ever charge them for a glass of tea or a non-specialty cup of coffee if it is available!!!!! The crazy part is that the tea and coffee becomes free the minute that the Horizon Court closes for the evening. Which means that a person who likes to grab a late night snack (like me) must wear a watch and keep track of what time it is and whether or not the Horizon is open. What a pain.
I have 2 suggestions for the International Cafe area:
1) Have condiments available, and
2) Provide free iced tea and regular coffee at the International Cafe (whether or not the Horizon is still open)
We are big game players--love trivia and other games. There were plenty of things to choose from. In fact several times, I had to actually choose between several fun activities (example: trivia or scattergories, etc.)! Everyone involved with the entertainment was wonderful!!!
This was a super cruise and it followed a very bad one the week before on the Grand. We were actually considering never taking another Princess cruise -- going back to Royal Caribbean BUT this one was so nice that we may give them another try.