We had been looking forward to this cruise for several years. We were celebrating a significant anniversary and we had had a wonderful experience on a previous Princess cruise. The ship sailed from Vancouver to the Hawaiian islands and ... Read More
We had been looking forward to this cruise for several years. We were celebrating a significant anniversary and we had had a wonderful experience on a previous Princess cruise. The ship sailed from Vancouver to the Hawaiian islands and back. It was a 15 day cruise.
The ship itself was clean but not maintained all that well. There were mysterious wet spots on the carpeting in some areas and the occasional funky smell. There were also a lot of burnt-out or non-unctioning lights, which may seem trivial but often indicates a general lack of maintenance that may extend to areas not so visible.
The seating in the Princess Theatre was atrocious. Any of you who are large might consider that there is only an 18" width to the seats and the sides are hard. (Picture sitting in a box 18" wide.) EVERYONE that we discussed this with felt that those seats were awful! To give you some idea of the width, 18" is even less than the 18.5" that airline seating allows.
The food had also gone downhill siginificantly, as had the service. Everything appears to have been cost-cut to the point where it is obvious to pretty much all of the passengers. The staff in the dining rooms is running to keep up, the wait times between course servings is frequently a half hour or more, and the food delivered may, or may not match the descriptions in the menus. Much of the hot food or soup is luke-warm at best. (The Princess chefs need a Truth-In-Advertising refresher course.) In addtion, the food is generally just plain bland.
The pace and working conditions of the staff show in their attitudes. Where you never used to encounter an "attitude" with the crew and service people, these days you hear not-so-subtle complaints and encounter mediocre service on a fairly regular basis.
Worse yet, every where you turn somebody is trying to sell you something at an additional cost. This encompasses not only all of the regular shops and over-priced drink packages, but also periodic sales in the dining rooms between meals under conditions that would make a discount store blush as well as the purported "activity" programs offered to pasengers which are thinly disquesed sales programs. It gets really, realy old in a hurry.
Lastly, the premium restaurant that we tried was the steak house on board. Bearing in mind that this meal cost an additional $29 per person, (although ours was part of our tour package), one would expect a really fine steak. However, the steaks we ordered, while beautiful and beautifully cooked, had no flavor whatsoever!
Yes, there were some really fun surprises and a few really memberable dishes in the dining rooms. Yes, some of the shore trips were great. But overall, I'm thinking that this was probably our last Princess cruise. Read Less