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731 Caribbean - All Entertainment Cruise Reviews

We have been on close to 30 cruises, most on Princess. I was so excited about this cruise; I chose it for the ship, not the itinerary. It was so underwhelming and many shared our feelings. It's similar to the Regal & Royal but ... Read More
We have been on close to 30 cruises, most on Princess. I was so excited about this cruise; I chose it for the ship, not the itinerary. It was so underwhelming and many shared our feelings. It's similar to the Regal & Royal but they are better. I must say Captain Tuvo was among the best. He was always being seen and had a great sense of humor. Our cruise director was also alot of fun as was the comedian. We had one production show and it was excellent but it seems we were cheated on the entertainment. The thing that totally amazed most people was no library. if you want a book, you go to guest services and get to pick from books left by passengers. The claim is people steal the books and Princess decided enough, I guess. As for dining, we have always had traditional seating but got stuck with my time dining. I'm not a fan because sitting with the same people and having the same waiters makes for a pleasant dining experience. Unlike Royal Carribbean, you cannot book the same table and time for every nite. You have to reserve each day and that means waiting on the phone and speaking to someone with poor english or arriving at 5:00. As for the food, the beef was excellent and the rest a matter of taste. Let me say the elevators are the worse! they will pass your floor several times, once when we were in it. And if that isn't annoying enough, when one finally stops, the rude people inside make no effort to make room; in fact, more than once I saw someone push the button to close the doors. Trust me, I can see when there is room. My husband and I both used a cane noone cared. I think with so many elevators, Princess should dedicate one to wheelchairs and walkers. I can't imagine how long they waited to get on. That brings me to, anyone who is familiar with Princess knows they mostly have an older crowd. I'd guess 60 - 80 years average. Children are rare. Princess could do more to accommodate the handicapped. For example, You won't find anything on their website telling you how to reserve a wheelchair for embarkation. I waited 45 min on the phone to reserve 2 chairs and the girl gave me the wrong info. Finally, our cabin. It looks exactly like the pictures. we had an obstructed balcony which wasn't all that obstructed. I love the closets on Princess as they are open and large. Plenty of room for clothes and luggage. The shower was larger than most with a ledge! The tv is on the wall and large. We had a phenomenal steward in Santhosh. First thing I always request is removal of the duvet and a blanket and sheet instead. And ice. He was most pleasant in accommodating any requests. One thing most people noticed was this ship is a bit noisy as in squeaks, etc. I should add, everyone working this ship is friendly and always smiling. Overall, this cruise wasn't cheap and if I had to recommend it, I'd say take the Royal or Regal instead. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My friends and I have been on 3 Norwegian cruises and this last one topped them all. Although we missed out on 2 of our ports due to weather and it was 2nd time not being able to see Great Stirrup Caye, we still had a blast thanks to the ... Read More
My friends and I have been on 3 Norwegian cruises and this last one topped them all. Although we missed out on 2 of our ports due to weather and it was 2nd time not being able to see Great Stirrup Caye, we still had a blast thanks to the staff. Kasi, one of the bartenders made every day special. His personality and helpfulness was above and beyond what I expected. By the end of the trip he had me drinking Campari shots like it was nothing. Having to say goodbye to him was my least favorite part but now I have a friend for life. Along with Kasi their were a few other crew members that made our trip amazing. Marcus one of the bar waiters felt like family by the end, Iwana created a drink just for us that we named after him, Lee was another great bartender, Deadra from Osheeans dealt with all our drunk loudness after bliss each night, Predrag another bar waiter played the floor is lava with us every time we saw him in passing, Gustav- Guss(our housekeeper) cleaned our 3 rooms with no complaints always helpful and always smiling. These people deserve praise for all the hard work they put in each day and night. Belize was one of our favorite ports because we got the private cabana just steps away the the ocean. It was absolutely beautiful. Another favorite was Nassau Bahamas and Cozumel Mexico. Gian guided us during our tequila tasting for my birthday. He was so informative and genuinely nice. I didn’t expect to like Cozumel as much as I did but now I can’t wait to go back! I could go on and on about how much fun we had. I will definitely recommend this cruise to everyone I know! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Overrated., oversold..dated ship.. staff unprofessional... unorganized.. not a luxury ship at all. From the moment we boarded the ship( had to carry our carryon ourselves) we sensed something was not right. Although the weather ... Read More
Overrated., oversold..dated ship.. staff unprofessional... unorganized.. not a luxury ship at all. From the moment we boarded the ship( had to carry our carryon ourselves) we sensed something was not right. Although the weather stopped us from going to most of our ports, the crew certainly did not make up for what was lost. Finally got us to Dominican Republic( not planned) and they planned excursion only for 40 people ( ship held (295). So many of us wanted to finally get off the ship as we could not because if the weather. We asked the director to help us find another excursion and they simply would not help us. We had to find our own and transportation too Excuse was they could not get connect with any hotels or taxi service. In a manner of minutes we set everything up! It was bizarre. They just did not care. It just lacked in luxury as was advertised and sold. Compared to other ship lines we have been on Silverseas is really not top notch at all. The food was average. Service in the restaurants was very poor and communication with the staff was difficult. We had one server out of all, Jerry who was a professional and we tried to find him throughout the ship when we dined.. A wine tasting was planned one day at 11:15am? Why? Makes no sense. We even paid extra for La Dame restaurant which is highly overrated. No future trips will be planned with Silverseas. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We just got back from 7 days on the Sirena and had a great time. It was our first time cruising with Oceania so didn't know what to expect. Pros: very nicely decorated ship and easy to find your way around. Very friendly staff and ... Read More
We just got back from 7 days on the Sirena and had a great time. It was our first time cruising with Oceania so didn't know what to expect. Pros: very nicely decorated ship and easy to find your way around. Very friendly staff and food was excellent. State room was very well organized with lots of storage. Very nice not having to pay extra for sodas, specialty coffees and specialty restaurants. There's a free laundry to wash clothes. There were no children running around and screaming. Efficient embarkation and debarkation. Cons: the cruise was much more expensive than what we're used to and not sure it was that much better. Food is not always available as on other ships. I went looking for something to eat about 3:30 in the afternoon and could find nothing. Most ships have at least burgers, hot dogs or pizza available 24/7. The bathrooms in the state rooms are very small. They say they are eliminating plastic from the ships but still have the little plastic bottles of shampoos, etc in the showers. We encountered several very grouchy fellow cruisers and have not encountered that before. I'm guessing it is because of the higher socioeconomic status of most guests. They seemed very entitled. The entertainment was average. Nothing really great. There were also very few places outside on the decks to just sit and relax and it was always difficult to find a seat by the pool. They cater to a much older crowd. All in all we had a great time but again, it was quite a bit more expensive than any other cruise we've taken and not sure it was that much better. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
After encouragement from myParents that Marella cruises were not just for the over 50’s- I booked for me and my husband (both in early thirties) to celebrate new year in the Caribbean. Embarkation was seamless- very informative staff ... Read More
After encouragement from myParents that Marella cruises were not just for the over 50’s- I booked for me and my husband (both in early thirties) to celebrate new year in the Caribbean. Embarkation was seamless- very informative staff and our cars were at our cabin right after we left the muster station briefing. The food and drinks available are plentiful and something for everyone (inc fussy eaters like me) the premium drinks package wasn’t pushed on us and I didn’t feel the need to buy it due to the vast range available in the AI package We ate in the surf and turf restaurant one evening and it was well worth the additional charge- if your interested book early as there is limited space available. Our favourite restaurant was Vista and a special mention to Allen, Jonathan and Salvin who went above and beyond for us each time we visited!!! We booked one excursion with TUI to A private island in Aruba which was a great day out and good value for money. However, we saved $50 in BVI by booking our own trip to Virgin Gorda and it was the same trip! We arranged all our own island tours and beach transfers and this saved us a lot of money. Top tip- if you like animals stingray city in Antigua is amazing! You can’t book with TUI but the tourist information at the port can arrange it $50pp plus transport but an amazing place to swimWith the rays on a shallow sandbank The entertainment team were engaging and the broadway shows were brilliant! Great comedian in josh Adams My only niggle was that there was no ironing facilities available unless you sent out to the laundrette service. You can’t take an iron on board but on other cruise liners there have been ironing rooms- small issue but it didn’t affect the trip Wide range of passengers and the best new year celebrations I’ve ever had!!! Definitely looking at a marella USA cruise for Mardi Gras in 2021 Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We, as a group of couples, decided that we would like to be on a New Year’s Eve cruise. This was one that had an itinerary, and price that we were interested in. Check in went well and was efficient. The rooms were a great size and ... Read More
We, as a group of couples, decided that we would like to be on a New Year’s Eve cruise. This was one that had an itinerary, and price that we were interested in. Check in went well and was efficient. The rooms were a great size and had tons of storage. Not happy with not having a turn down service,but, found that that was the least of our problems. The first night at dinner, I decided to order meatballs and some pasta. This was seriously the worst meatballs I’ve ever seen. They were made with the teeny tiny portion or the melon baller. They usually y give you only three but he said he would give me a large order. Everyone at the table actually broke out in laughter when then saw the size of the meatballs. Then we tried to get drinks when we first sat down and was told they don’t do drink service in the dining room. We finished dinner and went to the bar. The bar’s didn’t have cranberry juice. Our friend only drank cosmos. Only one bar had cranberry. Someone else decided to have a Bloody Mary. No bloody Mary mix. No tomato juice either. Then, my husband drinks crown (in our drink package). All out. Had to go to a different bar. If all of us were together and we wanted t-o drink , we had to follow each other to different bars so we could all get our drink of choice. We went to the pool. The pool bar said they don’t stock crown. They didn’t have cranberry either, and they ran out of Bloody Mary mix. I even approached the bar manager. He did make sure we had cranberry, but the rest were missing. Most ships give you all of the ice cream you want. On this one you had t-o buy it. Water too. The tv was ridiculously small. The shows were ok but the translation after Italian, French German, Spanish was so long. The muster on the first night at nine o’clock took 45 minutes. Tiresome and frustrating. There was little to no communication on this ship. Most staff didn’t speak English. The topper was when I met a family that the father/father in law took them all on a cruise. He , as it turns out. Was the former president of costa cruise line. He gets free trips. He said he wouldn’t go on another costa cruise. Now for the food. On New Year’s Eve we picked lobster. The absolute worst thing EVER. It was not a full lobster but sliced in half and you only got half. Of that half, there was , maybe , a quarter of an ounce of lobster in the tail (I’m being generous). It was over cooked. You didn’t know how little there was because the tail was filled with potatoes. Ugh! The claw was so overcooked that you couldn’t prey the meat out. Not that you had the opportunity to because they never gave you a fork that would fit in the claw. We were all so disappointed. We had a cruise booked on the costa favulouso. We canceled. We were also unhappy with the crew. They seemed like they didn’t want to be there. Almost all had attitudes. The bartenders were awful. We asked for a mudslide and they said they don’t make them.....company policy. Never again Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
have cruised with P&O several times previously and fancied some winter sun with a company we were familiar with but we had some issues on this cruise. There was an horrendous smell of sewerage wafting around the ship over several ... Read More
have cruised with P&O several times previously and fancied some winter sun with a company we were familiar with but we had some issues on this cruise. There was an horrendous smell of sewerage wafting around the ship over several days of the cruise and it was most unpleasant!. Our itinerary was changed and we did not visit Grand Turk which was very disappointing as we were told this was the best place on out itinerary. I found out on the way home that this was apparently due to the grey sewage tanks being full to the brim and the port at Grand Turk could not facilitate the emptying of them so we diverted to Tortolla and Martinique was added to the itinerary instead. If this is the case, I think that is poor management! We stayed in cabin E215 above the playhouse theatre, we did experience some noise on an afternoon from the show rehearsals which did not really bother us too much but what did bother us was that we were kept awake for the first 4-5 nights of our holiday due to a compressor type noise that went off every 10 minutes or so all through the night, it kept us awake and drove us mad but after that it stopped, I believe P&O turned it off and operated it manually after the first few days. We could not fault the waiter service in the Meridian restaurant but the general waiter service around the ship was inadequate, there weren't enough waiters on the ship to accommodate the volume of people and you could never find a waiter around to order drinks from. The Azura is looking a bit tired and shabby in some places. I am not sure if I would cruise with P&O again after this as it marred our holiday quite a bit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Ship was looking very tired. Really poor layout! Unnecessary amount of black tie nights for no real reason. New Year’s Eve wasn’t even 1 of these for which they did nothing special. The buffet was of very poor standard. ... Read More
Ship was looking very tired. Really poor layout! Unnecessary amount of black tie nights for no real reason. New Year’s Eve wasn’t even 1 of these for which they did nothing special. The buffet was of very poor standard. Selection was small and in general not very fresh. All restaurants require long trousers. They are okay. Getting a drink could be hard work and in particular at shows was regularly 20 minute waits. There didn’t seem to be enough staff for the bars and in general a lack of bars and areas to go. Steward was very good in keeping our cabin clean. Entertainment wasn’t great and you had to arrive 40mins prior to the popular shows as the Manhattan room isn’t big enough. I don’t know why the theatre wasn’t used more. Ship badly needs it’s refurbishment! Seems to be too many people for communal spaces and not quite enough staff. Really disappointed with the ship and the cruise line is not in the same league as NCL(out last cruise before this). All bars were shut by 12-1am most nights also which we found strange. Caribbean stops were good but disappointed that the schedule changed and we got a poor substitute of a stop. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had an absolute ball! It was our friends 50th Birthday. Staff were pleasant and helpful. Special thanks to Elias our cabin lad. He was so pleasant and lovely and very attentive to our needs. Thank you Elias. R 616. The food ... Read More
We had an absolute ball! It was our friends 50th Birthday. Staff were pleasant and helpful. Special thanks to Elias our cabin lad. He was so pleasant and lovely and very attentive to our needs. Thank you Elias. R 616. The food and restaurants were spot on. Entertainment was ok, but not brilliant. Plenty to do on board to suit all. Loved the dancing ballroom, Latin and the Salsa class. Quizzes were great and set the mood for the day and evening. Overall it was a fantastic holiday. We didn’t go on the ships tours, but instead got Taxis and found wonderful, quite beaches, with bars and gentle entertainment (if desired). Azura herself is a beautiful ship, although looking a tad tired, but I believe she is in for a revamp this year. We really enjoyed our holiday and would certainly, do it again. You only get out of a holiday what you put into it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This cruise was a last minute decision and I was skeptical of the low fare, but booked the 10 day cruise out of Ft Lauderdale and traveled with 10 friends. I have traveled the last two years with Viking and had 3 previous cruses with ... Read More
This cruise was a last minute decision and I was skeptical of the low fare, but booked the 10 day cruise out of Ft Lauderdale and traveled with 10 friends. I have traveled the last two years with Viking and had 3 previous cruses with different lines and I have to admit that my experience with Costa on the Luminosa exceeded my expectations. Was it perfect? No. But I have very little to complain about. I don’t understand the food complaints. The dining room food was as good or better than Viking. The service was a little slow, but we had 11 at our table and there were few mistakes. The buffet on deck 9 was equally good...both breakfast and lunch. The pizza was good and always available. Wonderful fruit and pastries. There was a full selection of onboard activities. My group participated in the 4 dance classes offered most days. The show each night was entertaining and no problem getting seating . There was live music in numerous locations and plenty of dance floor. My cabin was the largest I’ve had on a cruise; elevators were quick; and I thought the decor was uniquely Italian...beautiful. Language no problem. Cons: only two electrical outlets in cabin; one in bath and one across from bed...non on headboard wall. No free wi-fi. Two of the excursions were more about selling you merchandise than anything else. IAll-in-all, very pleased and will cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was my first cruise experience, my partner's second. Nothing went as planned, changed flights at the last minute, terrible food, awful customer service and the captain must have been racing other cruise ships. While we tried to ... Read More
This was my first cruise experience, my partner's second. Nothing went as planned, changed flights at the last minute, terrible food, awful customer service and the captain must have been racing other cruise ships. While we tried to look at the positive during our trip it was difficult to find the silver lining. Something as simple as requesting a Turkey burger became a task, I was profoundly dissappointed. Not one staff person could provide us with a clear answer when asked, the room never received fresh sheets, and that was just a small peek into our NCL experience. I can not say it enough, I will never travel NCL again. The booking experience was even hellish! We were never assigned a dedicated consultant, so every time we called for info we were met with long hold lines and many apologies. What I will say is this.....Makiba our Stewart definty tried to make our stay warm. The shows were palatable, and the cranberry juice was great. That's it, that's all I have to say about the positives, oh the in room movies were good. The excursions were best booked when we docked, NCL over charges and we even had to walk to out excursion! I hope this doesnt sound like we were looking for things to complain about, because it felt like those things were looking for us. No NCL I am not looking to be compensated or even a response, but as a responsible keep traveler I would be remiss if I didnt warn others of the worst ahead. Turn around now, dont do it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
It sounded like fun to sail away for the Christmas holiday but it was last minute and many cruises were booked. Along comes Costa with their fantastic itinerary and price. I read many negative reviews before sailing but I am here to tell ... Read More
It sounded like fun to sail away for the Christmas holiday but it was last minute and many cruises were booked. Along comes Costa with their fantastic itinerary and price. I read many negative reviews before sailing but I am here to tell all of you and especially those of you in the US, not to pay attention to the negative reviews. Embarkation was the fastest we have had out of 6 cruises including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Carnival and MSC. We arrived about an hour after they said we could embark and got right on the ship with no waiting. Our room key was in the room so we went directly there and while checking out our cabin, the suitcases were delivered! The balcony cabin on deck 7 was like any other balcony cabin room we have had however there was much more storage space on Luminosa. The ship is immaculate at all times. We had a service problem with the only American electric outlet in the room but it was fixed immediately. Entertainment crew does their best to get everyone involved. There is sometimes a language barrier but it wasn't an issue. Our one and only issue was that the cruise director spoke mostly in Italian and when he spoke in English it was so rushed we couldn't understand. Food was outstanding. The buffet is open several hours a day. The restaurant was entertaining. Excursions were well organized and we enjoyed our very much. Disembarkation was organized and very fast. All in all, we had a wonderful time on Luminosa and it was a terrific value for the money! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This year my family and I decided to take a cruise to celebrate the Christmas holiday. We took the 7 day our of Puerto Rico. We had a total of 12 people (6 Adults and 6 Children). Here is the review. Check in: Be aware that this ... Read More
This year my family and I decided to take a cruise to celebrate the Christmas holiday. We took the 7 day our of Puerto Rico. We had a total of 12 people (6 Adults and 6 Children). Here is the review. Check in: Be aware that this takes time. The road to the cruise terminal is a two lane street. Prepare yourself that it takes about an hour before you get on the ship. Once you get to the terminal, its fast. Food: The food was great as always. Really enjoyed the complementary restaurants as well as the specialty restaurants. Whats awesome about the Epic is the Chinese restaurant is included. Very nice. The Manhattan room was our favorite in terms of atmosphere. French is our favorite for the specialty restaurant. Beverage: The open bar feature is the best at sea. Almost all call brands are included, and they allow you to get 2 drinks at a time. Plenty of options and service is fast. Best value at sea. Cabin: Our cabin was an inside room with plenty of room for two people. Three or Four maybe a little tight. Everything worked and it was very clean. The beds are very comfortable. Service: This is really one of the best part of our trip. The service was excellent. Everyone was in a great spirit. The hotel director (Nelson) was always interacting with guests and making sure everyone was having a good vacation. Bartenders and Servers went above and beyond your expectations. Entertainment: The kids loved the watersides and the bowling alley. Kids club kept them occupied and they met some new friends. The Shows are great and are similar quality of what you find on Broadway. Ports: This was a very heavy port focused cruise. We enjoyed all of the islands and was nice to see islands that we normally wouldn't go to. Overall, we all had a great time. Very nice to be on the boat during the holiday season. The cruise line made a big effort to spread the holiday cheer. Will do it again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Having an opportunity to experience the Atlantic and Caribbean islands during Christmas and New Year 2020 on a smaller cruise ship is why we choose the Pacific Princess. This allowed us to have 2 sea days to get acquainted with the ship ... Read More
Having an opportunity to experience the Atlantic and Caribbean islands during Christmas and New Year 2020 on a smaller cruise ship is why we choose the Pacific Princess. This allowed us to have 2 sea days to get acquainted with the ship and new friends while heading to St. John, USVI where we snorkeled in Trunk Bay. Our itinerary took us to the lovely islands of Guadeloupe, St. Kitts, Martinique, Barbados, Antigua. The smaller ship allowed us to visit the small island of Mayreau, The Grenadines with its beautiful coconut palm lined beaches and lovely crystal clear waters. Our furthest island south was Tobago. Our final island paradise was Virgin Gorda, BVI with its dazzling views from Gorda Peak National Park of Eustatia, Prickly Pear, Necker Island and Mosquito Islands with their many turquoise waters and numerous beaches. The Pacific Princess entertainment was the best that we have ever experienced on our many cruises. Joe Thomas provided us with his stunning piano playing of memorable songs of the 50s, 60s and 70s. AJ Clarke is a composer, pianist, singer and entertainer. He featured very unique renditions of songs at random requested by the audience and self arrange the songs in one continuous song. Lowell Fox provided numerous lectures accompanied by old TV video clips of the era of early live comical television such as Sid Ceasar, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope and George Burns. If you are looking for a small and quality cruise ship with world class amenities I recommend booking a cruise in the Pacific Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our second cruise with Princess Cruises after having a fantastic cruise in Alaska. We loved the crew again, they were very attentive to any need or desire we had , pleasant, helpful, ready to assist us. The boat has many ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Princess Cruises after having a fantastic cruise in Alaska. We loved the crew again, they were very attentive to any need or desire we had , pleasant, helpful, ready to assist us. The boat has many areas to explore and enjoy. It is in good shape and the crew is always taking care of any maintenance details. Our bedroom, a balcony cabin, was just comfortable and big enough for the two of us, with many places for storage. Oh... the bed and linens!!! Delightful! We enjoyed having different kind of wonderful professional shows and all over the boat entertainment. The variety and quality of the food was great and the sweets amazing! We didn't get a beverage package and the cost of the cocktails are reasonable. The cruise itinerary was fun and interesting, and having a few days at sea was relaxing and peaceful. We will be cruising with Princess Cruises again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Hi there. It’s January, and I’m back home in Michigan. We are all snowed in today so I’m finally going back to submit my review for my holiday cruise. Most of which I typed while I was on the ship, and some I filled in just now. ... Read More
Hi there. It’s January, and I’m back home in Michigan. We are all snowed in today so I’m finally going back to submit my review for my holiday cruise. Most of which I typed while I was on the ship, and some I filled in just now. (So please excuse my mixed tenses!) Here it is: ROOMS: It’s 4:24 a.m. and I'm on the ship, on Christmas Eve morning, actually. I’ve been thinking about it since my first dinner here, so why not start my review now, because the reason I’m awake now in the first place is because I’m suffocating in this too-hot room. I bought a small digital clock to take with me that also shows the temperature. I would get the room just right and the system was set to auto-regulate. Then it would be too hot. I finally figured out that any time housekeeping would come in the room, they were setting the thermostat back to their set point of TOO HOT AND STUFFY TO SLEEP. I am laying by the floor by the door now in hopes of sucking some fresher cooler air into my body and to limit the light from my iPad. Since I mentioned the room temperature, before I move on from talking about the room, the smoke alarm went off the first time after I took a quick shower and left the door open. We’d all been diligently keeping the shower door closed after showering since. The second time it went off, I took a shower and although I was careful to keep the door shut, the captain started making announcements so I creaked the bathroom door to hear them, what with being a responsible guest and all. It almost immediately went off. It didn’t wake me, as I was up since 3:30. It did however (almost) finish the job of waking up my kids, which could stay asleep under interrogation lights. Interestingly, the smoke alarm has not gone off the last few nights when we distinctly smelled cigarette smoke. We called and the guy turned it off and explained to me how smoke alarms sense heat and smoke (well except cigarette smoke) and how it was all for our well being and the safety of the ship, Like I’m an absolute complete ticking idiot and never understood in 46 years the purpose of smoke alarms. Basically there is nothing they could do but turn it off remotely each time after they inspect for no fire. So I said thanks and “okay I’ll see you the next time I take a shower again, I guess.” Overall, though, sneaky temperature changing and smoke alarms that go off when there is steam but not when there is smoke, the rooms are good. More spacious than Carnival and the bathroom didn’t induce claustrophobia. SHIP DECOR: Now that I’ve gotten out of the way why I’m writing this at this very moment, I’ll start properly! I am on the Holland America cruise line’s ship “The Zuiderdam.” I took a short Carnival cruise over the summer with just the kids and wanted to go with my husband for a longer vacation over the winter break. The kids and I wanted more cruise fun but slightly more upscale. (That is to say, less people that see a cruise as a prolonged drinking contest, and less people that don’t have manners and step slightly to the side when they decide to plant themselves in doorways and see other people trying to get around them.) I researched and this ship’s size-to-occupancy ratio was one of the best. That is to say, it had the most square feet per person, so the overcrowded feel of The Carnival cruise would hopefully be avoided. Although generally this cruise line is thought of as more expensive, I shopped Carnival cruises at the same time and the prices were very close worked out on a per day cost but Carnival didn’t have one that fit our schedule well. This is my fifth cruise. The prior one was Carnival, about 6 months ago. Go back 20 years to two more Carnival cruises. Then one more when I was a kid. I don’t remember the line, but it wasn’t Carnival or Holland. I remember though, as a kid, the shows were amazing. I was in awe! That is the breadth of my expertise as a cruise guest. I’m no expert but am very well positioned to compare/contrast Carnival and Holland, so here goes! The ship took a little getting used to. It’s beautifully, well at least plushly, decorated. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It feels decadent with its plush fabric chairs and spacious layout. But it is decidedly less open than the three Carnival’s ships I’ve been on. The atrium only spanned three floors and isn’t spacious. It’s just more of a 3 floor open staircase isha. Crystal seahorse hanging down in the center. The center floor had some Christmas decorations there. It didn’t seem that even without the decorations there would be space for a d.j. And there wasn’t space around the edges enough for audience to gather. There were chairs put around but it wasn’t a comfortable place to gather around a performer. It was more of a very comfortable waiting room, with the exception of being overly lighted to the point of wincing - but more on that in a bit. What I’m trying to say is it was impossible to get that sense of a ship that was a singular cohesive body with all its separate parts working together, which I realize now was what was in large part appealing about the large unifying open inside atrium spaces of the Carnival ships. I got used to it after about a day, after learning my way around more. You really couldn’t go to the atrium first and then look around and see or remember. I had to always strategize in my head first where I was going, and how to get back. Felt like lots of luxurious appointed tunnels. Other than the general lack of an open floor plan, of note was that this ship has two additional full restaurants they’ve built into the main areas. They push them, announce them, put them prime and center in most of their print-outs for the days’ activities. I find this tacky because all the food is paid for in the price of the cruise, and here I am being told if I want a true fine dining experience I have to make reservations and pay more. That’s right, did I not mention they are full on paid restaurants? There is a sense of luxury in the use of the space (minus the open concept, as I mentioned). Halls that are curvy for no reason except that they can be. Little curved corridors with lighter art insets in the wall. His luxury isn’t as felt on the Carnival ships, where walkways always seem to be made the shortest space between two points. The Zuiderdam throws down the mike here, and deservedly. SHOWS: It’s important to me that you take a moment to recognize I did say some positive things first about the ship. Because it’s all downhill from there. Entertainment. Oh boy. Reviews said this ship was top rated for entertainment. Maybe those reviewers were very heavy drinkers? The first night, there was no show. The cruise social director kept asking about great upcoming shows they had, such great dancers. I was thinking maybe she just really like the dance part, because watching just dancers for an hour - that can’t be right. Right? It was right. The second night was all and nothing but dancers. I made everyone go, we stayed for 10 minutes. There was no second show going anywhere here to catch. They have an ongoing blues band act with a dance floor. It’s not something to go sit and watch, though. I walked up to the edge of it a couple of times. Nobody was dancing, and the music was so loud you wouldn’t have been able to hold a conversation in there. I was used to Carnival that had a main show and on a smaller stage other side of the ship they’d have a comedian or something smaller. The next night’s show was a guy that did a Beatles tribute. Why yes, that WAS on the main stage, it was the main show. It was starting out okay, I mean the Beatles, right? He told some little stories and did some songs but mostly lots of tiny bits of songs. Then his wife came out. I winced, just like I did with the interogation-wattage-level lights at dinner, which I’ll get to later. She was like a more saccharin and thin (personality-wise) version of Kathie Lee Gifford. Hey, Kathie Lee did Carnival Cruise commercials early on, so maybe this is the Holland America version? Wow. I can’t think of anyone more Beatles-contrary. Then she sang one of the best songs ever - "Let It Be." Were it not possibly the best song ever, it would have ruined it for me forever. If a female is going to sing that song at all, shouldn’t it be a little more Edie Brickell and less fake Marilyn, dramatically flitting her skirt around and coming out in different glamorous outfits that were all basically the same cut, but in different colors, with no explanation, on and off 5 times in a 45 minute show? Last night there was a comedian. He was mentioned excitedly by one of the cruise hosts earlier. I should have been on alert since the other host got so excited talking about dancers. This guy had no act. Zero. I kept waiting for it. He knew it, too, and seemed embarrassed, even. He was affable enough and talked to the audience for 45 minutes but no show actually came. He had just written a book and was on a late night show and taped a special, (and he told us all, plus he had done 10 commercials) so maybe he had no jokes left. My kids enjoyed it more than the dancing show or the Beatles guy, but still not as much as watching a movie in their room. They didn’t know how much of a non-act it was, as they are ages 9 and 11. His show was truly far below the standard of what you’d get from that comedian on Carnival on the smaller stage - that wasn’t even the main act. The last night of the cruise was supposed to be the “good” show, as touted by the comedian in his first show, when explaining why he had no jokes. (He was saving them for the last night.) It was going to be a variety show. It was about 17 minutes more of the comedian. Then the Beatles guy and his sacharrine wife again. Not really a variety show by my definition - more of a warmer-over recycling of what was bad to begin with. I missed the first 5 minutes of the comedian. When I was walking up the stairs outside the theatre to join my family I heard the comedian saying something about how he told his wife when she gives him the silent treatment it's not really punishment. As I sat down I was thinking "tonight's the good stuff?" He made a bunch of age put-down jokes the first night. My husband said that as soon as he came out onto the stage for his "finale show" some guy yelled "I don't like you." So, that has to suck as a comedian, but I'm not sure he didn't deserve it. Other "jokes" included saying he needed surgery once and started with a Jewish surgeon and then got "upgraded" to an Indian surgeon and they're smarter, so... (insert laughter here?) FINE DINING: Fine dining that is included? I’m still trying. The first night, as soon as we sat down to dinner, I winced in the brightness of the faux incandescent colored light. Why. So. Bright. Fluorescent supermarket lighting would be better, truly. I couldn’t stop wincing. Then they delivered a bloody rare steak to my daughter even though she ordered it medium well. They took so long to come back to the table that everyone was mostly done by the time they even knew they needed to try again, this time cooking it. And my husband and I very stupidly agreed to a salad which meant our kids just sat there for the first 20 minutes or more. I ate as fast as I could when I realized they were waiting before my kids could get to eat. We were there for an hour and a half with no dessert. And I never was able to stop wincing from the light. The next night at dinner I asked the dining manager if we could possibly please sit somewhere less bright. He said they were assigned, so no. I could wait “over there” for a family with another table to be asked I they’d be willing to trade with us. No straight thinking person would trade with us, and I didn’t want to be further at their mercy, so I said it was fine, I didn’t want to wait, I’d just wear my sunglasses. I went back to my room and brought back my sunglasses and wore them, like a jerk, through dinner. There are darker normal-restaurant-light-level tables around the edges and the very center of both floors. The overhead oval of light that goes all the way around both floors is nauseatingly bright and really I couldn’t get past it. After dinner I went to the desk and they said the only way I could change tables was to forfeit my assigned table if he manager would “release” us from it, so we could go in unassigned on the other floor. But we had to get permission to go in unassigned at a certain time and there were no slots. The other option was to make reservations in the main (still) free fine dining restaurant. There were no spaces for actual reservations, no spaces to reserve for “unreserved” spots. But guest services said I could always “try.” She said she couldn’t guarantee anything though because it was just like a regular restaurant and again we could not even try without getting permission to be released from our assigned table which, once we forfeited, could not get back. I said it’s not really like another restaurant, because if it were home like another restaurant, you could go home to feed your kids, or go to another restaurant. I had to risk losing all dining options for my kids on Christmas Eve and Christmas for the gamble to get away from the light. Please be warned that if you order anything from a different category from your fellow diners, they will not bring it all at the same time. They will serve the first course and not bring others’ food until you have sat there with the empty plate for quite a while for whatever soup or salad you were so dumb to say “yes” to when they suggested it. A waiter at dinner asked me if I wanted ice cream with the slice of apple pie for dessert I ordered. I said "okay." A different waiter delivered pie. I said “I ordered this with ice cream?” The waiter said it doesn’t come with ice cream, but if I wanted ice cream too, he could bring me some. (Because I'm a huge pig and he was making a special exception? No thanks!) Also a wrong desert was brought second night. Waiter set it down and walked off, and I had to wait SO long to get a chance to tell him he brought the wrong thing (which was getting awkward to keep repeating.) Another time, my husband had breakfast in the dining room with my daughter, just the two of them. The dining room was mostly empty. A while after they were seated, an older "proper" British couple were seated RIGHT ON TOP OF THEM. Well, right next to them, filling out the remaining 2 seats at their 4-top, but it felt uncomfortable to the British couple apparently because she politely asked to sit somewhere else (not in my family's lap) and the waiter said "no." I get cruise seating style but when someone politely asks to sit somewhere else, even one table over, and is told NO by the waiter, well, that's just weird. My husband said it was certainly memorable to hear this proper British lady get angry and raise her voice with her British accent at the waiter after he kept saying "no." It's just weird that it's the opposite of "customer's always right" here. It's "the ship staff is always right." Another time, my husband ordered a coke, waiter took forever, husband asked again, waiter dropped off TWO warm cans, no ice. Husband FINALLY gave up waiting for the waiter to come back, and walked around and found the waiter to return the second coke. The waiter said he'd take it off beverage gift card, and said he'd get back to us with a cup of ice. We gave up on ice eventually and took the can to lido to get our own cup of ice. The next morning, I tried to get a coffee with the beverage card and I couldn't because the beverage card showed no balance, because, of course, the errant charge for the unordered second coke can had not been removed. Finally, on Christmas Day, I was seated with 3 other ladies that were strangers but we were having a touching conversation about something very important that had happened to her, and were all leaning in. Other people around us were still eating their main course. We were finishing our coffee. The waiter INTERRUPTED her emotional story ON CHRISTMAS DAY to ask us IF WE COULD LEAVE. One of the other ladies snapped back at him "no we'll leave in a few minutes." I just really couldn't believe I wasn't hearing things. Nope, that really happened. ROOM SERVICE: The first night, we filled out our little placard for breakfast in-room the next morning. We all woke up but it wasn’t our set delivery time of 8:30 to 9:00. We could have gone to the lido deck or the fine dining restaurant, but we’d ordered something so kept waiting in the room the first morning of our cruise. I called and asked about it 10 minutes past the window, and we got it 20 minutes later, so it was 30 minutes after the end of our set window. Well, most of it. Except my husband’s, which wasn’t included at all. I called. We left and he stole a piece of my son’s toast. We got a message at 10:30 saying they tried to deliver the food but nobody was there. Next morning, the only thing that changes was that I started to ride them faster. 5 minutes before the end of the window, I called them and they THEN started the order and we got it in about 20 minutes. Still later than our window. It would be nice if on a trip like this I didn’t STILL feel like as a mom it was my responsibility to be sure my kids get food, but whatever. We get it. In room dining isn’t something they make more money off of, like their other paid restaurants. It doesn’t seem to be a priority to them to actually fill the orders, at least not ours. To that end, there is also no printed in-room dining menu anywhere to be found, as there was for Carnival. I waited in line to ask at the desk and they said I could find it on the television ship channel. One night we were hungry after the lido deck shut down everything but pizza, but we didn’t want pizza. So we tried room service and after an hour of no delivery we called and then were told again “we’ll follow up.” No explanation given. Seems they don’t start a room service order until the first complaint of it being late comes in? REFLECTIONS ON THE FOOD: It was difficult for the kids and even my husband to find things to order at dinner. There was usually just one thing they would eat, and the order would have to include instructions to leave certain things off. Carnival’s menu worked better for us. It had several recognizable things, a few fancier things, and one “exotic” type thing each evening as choices. Most of the food on this cruise was for the “refined” pallette so much it was alienating. Waiters would drop off food and then be gone for a good long while unless I was rude enough to wave them down, for, say, water. (The glasses were empty when the waiter set down the food and walked off.) My daughters’ medium well steak was ripe with fresh blood in the center. It took forever to get the waiter to come back, and then we had to wait for a new steak that was cooked. The first night that dinner took an hour and a half, with no dessert. Prime rib is suppose to be pink but we all found it too disgusting, wet with red blood in the center to eat, so we could never order that again. The coffee was way too strong. In the lido deck I would get 2/3 of a cup and add hot water to it to make a full normal cup. I could never get coffee in the dining room. I tried once. I only was given creamer and sugar, no Splenda or anything. I often felt I was breaking decorum to ask to get my family’s dining needs met. (Also please be aware that soy, almond, or coconut milk is not available for coffee.) There IS an awesome coffee bar on the 10th floor at the front of the ship. We didn’t discover it until halfway through our cruise, though, because it is all by itself and not listed as anything except EXC Tour Cafe in all the paperwork. We thought it was a desk where salespeople tried to sell excursion. I was looking for where I could get lattes and cappuccinos since I had these $25 drink cards and don’t drink alcohol. Do you understand I was LOOKING for this place and still only found it by accident out of boredom on the 3 rd day of the cruise? It’s a neat room. Seriously it is the coolest space on any cruise ship I’ve experienced. If you are reading this and go on this ship, go there first - it’s awesome and you’ll likely have it to yourself a few days with crickets chirping as nobody else will have figured it out yet. Unlike other cruises I’ve been on, about 9:30 the only offerings in the lido deck were self-serve pizza. Well, there was pasta with meat sauce behind the counter but glass separated you from it and there wasn’t someone to serve it. No cookies, cupcakes, sandwiches... just pizza. Good pizza. But wow if you didn’t want pizza and were hungry, you’d have to get room service, and you’ve read how that turned out for us… AFFILIATIONS, “O”/OPRAH AND MICROSOFT: There is a connection with “O” magazine they tout.. They advertise that they offer yoga and meditation classes for a comprehensive Oprah inspired well-being experience. One class was a guided meditation class at 5:30 the first full day. It was printed on the daily activity highlights insert as well as the daily schedule. It was supposed to be in the fitness center and was to be $15. I went with my daughter, who is mature for her age, and wanted to go. She does yoga with her dad sometimes. The first person in the fitness center said there was no class. I got out my paper daily schedule and showed it to her. She led us into the fitness room where on the floor in the center of all the loud machines were some mats. The fitness guy came up to us and clearly had zero class. I mean, had no idea of any meditation class. ; ) He handed me a clipboard and said "you can take one fitness class for $25 or a pack of 5 for..." I said, no, I wanted the mediation class for $15. I gently asked if he had done this before. He defensively said "yes, I've been in fitness for 10 years" or something. I said, "it's a little different." He looked alarmed, and seemed defensive. This guy was threatened and it didn't seem likely he meditated himself much less had ever led a meditation class. I said "Is it going to be in here?" and he said, "oh, well, you can do it in here" and led us back to the little room on the side with chairs. He walked off and I told my daughter I was sorry, but I didn't feel good being "led" in a meditation with this guy. We were getting up to leave when he came back and I politely said "we're going to pass this time" as I walked out. I didn't make eye contact with him. It was so awkward and embarrassing. For him, too, I think. I’m sure he was relieved. Oprah, methinks, would not be proud. The onboard daily schedule had huge spans of hours with nothing worth doing, so I went to a class on something I wasn’t really interested in. There is a Windows connection and I went to learn how to use a program that came on Windows that I don’t ever use. There were other classes that I didn’t go to because they were on how to use paid programs. OTHER SHIP “FUN” The piano bar had two pianos with guys singing. I usually love piano music but those guys were so canned and tame there was just nothing to latch on to. Definitely not dueling pianos, and absolutely it wasn't a sing-along piano bar. Trivia was a couple of times a day, we did that out of desparation a few days but by the end that was too boring to keep going to. Also, my daughter and I went to watch someone cook food, because we were that bored. I learned the difference between rice pilaf and just rice. Yay. One “game night” we went to had a capacity to be fun, but the female host wouldn't read a funny answer and she whined and ruined the joke like it contaminated everything. It was a PG-13 joke and it was mostly senior citizens, and us.. Ugh sometimes I had to wonder if this was a European sense of humor thing, like how in Europe maybe populations as a whole think crying clowns are hilarious? She was the same host that thought watching dancers with cool lights was just the bee's knees, so… I'm glad the televisions in the cabin had movies loaded on them for the kids. They watched about 5 movies and I let them have their video games. It was my intent to just let them have their "tech" on the plane too and from, but I felt sorry for them for having nothing to do. I made them leave their home from Christmas to be on a ship with no entertainment! I wish I could combine the spacious plush ship and polite other guests from this cruise and mix it with the "everything else" of any of my prior Carnival Cruises. I can't believe a Holland Cruise, which is supposed to be the top of the line, failed so greatly by comparison. I’m really glad my husband didn’t hate this, his first cruise, which I forced upon him. He is even willing to try again. He has no idea that cruise ships usually have nonstop ENTERTAINING “entertainment,” and by comparison this ship sucked SO BAD as far as that goes. The most entertaining thing I did, truly, was watch “Blinded By The Light” one afternoon in the main theatre. But even that had issues. It froze several times and had to be re-started, and fast forwarded up to the point where it had stopped. By the time it reached the end, I was almost the only one there. Like this too-long review, which if you are reading it, you may also be the only one “there”... ; ) Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The first and foremost part is what let’s the whole thing down. We were forced to leave our baggage outside the rooms at 2am the night before leaving . I complained and said I wasn’t comfortable and I was told their was no option. ... Read More
The first and foremost part is what let’s the whole thing down. We were forced to leave our baggage outside the rooms at 2am the night before leaving . I complained and said I wasn’t comfortable and I was told their was no option. My case and my wife’s case turned up in the U.K. missing a £3.5k work MacBook Pro , 400 cigarettes and several items of designer clothes. The security seals were broken and the locks completely gone . After speaking with other cruisers since back they had the exact same issue with security seals tampered with and missing items. When I contacted TUI they weren’t in the slight bit interested and fobbed me off to travel insurance despite me asking for help in trying to track it down. No ownership of the problem whatsoever essentially means I have spent my last penny with TUI and will be telling people to avoid also. All in all the ship has been updated in the public areas but needs renovation in staircases and cabins. The atrium lifts were always filthy. Most staff are pleasant and friendly on the bars and restaurants but the entertainment staff less so (apart from Manuel and Tom) Restaurants are generally good however it’s very chaotic at times and service can be a little all over the place. My 30 year old wife was served a dessert saying “happy 60th Tony” on the plate. The buffet is absolutely atrocious and is school canteen standards, You would easily find a better breakfast in Asda. Alcoholic drinks are good but soft drinks again are atrocious with the syrups not mixed properly due to old machines and poor mixing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
You'd think it would be difficult to be pissed off after spending a week somewhere as gorgeous as the Caribbean. But congratulations, Regal Princess - you've succeeded. I'll start with a little background: This was the ... Read More
You'd think it would be difficult to be pissed off after spending a week somewhere as gorgeous as the Caribbean. But congratulations, Regal Princess - you've succeeded. I'll start with a little background: This was the FOURTH cruise I've taken with Princess just this year alone - and my second on the Regal. I'm not the type to complain about every little issue on a cruise - I'm generally pretty easy to please. I did Panama Canal last month on the Island Princess and it was amazing. Zero complaints. I wrote a great review after that cruise because they deserved it. I just got home from a seven day Western Caribbean cruise on the Regal Princess. The ports of call and shore excursions were excellent, as always, but many things about the ship itself were pretty terrible. I don't even know where to begin, so I'll take it from the top... I boarded the ship the first day and headed up to the Riviera Deck to my stateroom - R311. I immediately noticed a funky smell in the hallway - almost like the cleaning products used to deodorize a toilet in a bus or airplane bathroom. It was pretty gross. I noticed that the carpets were wet, too, so I assumed that they had just wet vacuumed the hallways or something. I went into my stateroom and began unpacking. The carpet in front of my bathroom was also wet - bad enough that my socks got soaked after stepping on it. And the bathroom itself smelled like urine, which really bothered me, because I had the same problem last Spring in my stateroom on the Aloha deck. Later in the afternoon I went to explore the ship and stopped by the front desk to tell them about the smell in the bathroom. They said they'd have the steward take care of it, and he did - when I went back to my room an hour or so later, the bathroom had been bleached and scrubbed and the smell was almost totally gone (note: if you want your steward to take great care of you, give him/her a $20 tip at the beginning of the cruise as soon as you meet them and they'll do almost anything for you). I was tired that evening and decided to just order room service. This also turned into an exercise in frustration. I called several times and nobody answered. I was put on hold each time. After spending about 10-15 minutes waiting, I'd had enough and called the front desk to complain. They said they'd have the room service people call me back, and eventually, they did. I tried not to get too worked up about the situation because it was the first night of the cruise, and the room service staff are often pretty backed up at this time. I ordered the lobster and steak and paid $19 for it (it wasn't worth it, and not only that, they got my order wrong). Later in the evening I tried calling the dining reservations line to make a reservation for the following evening at Sabitini's, and same situation - nobody answered. I gave up after several attempts. That night I went to bed in a not great mood but was hopeful that the rest of the cruise would be much better. I was startled awake at 5:30am by a SCREECHING alarm that went off in my stateroom. I called the front desk and they said they were aware of the problem - someone else had also called from their room on Riviera to report the same thing - and that they were working on fixing it. The alarm continued screeching for another 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, I'm wide awake, and I go to use the bathroom. I open the bathroom door and the bathroom stinks like urine again. Now I'm definitely not happy. There's no way I'm getting back to sleep. The alarm is still going off. I go down nine flights of stairs to the front desk to complain about the alarm and the smell of the bathroom. They send a housekeeping manager up to my room to check out the bathroom, and he sends the plumber up. Eventually the alarm turns off. The plumber fiddles around with the bathroom drains for 15 minutes or so, and then says he's sorry but there's not much he can do - the entire Riviera deck was flooded yesterday by a burst pipe, which is causing the sewer smell in both the hallway and possibly the smell in my stateroom bathroom, too. Basically, I'm out of luck. I appreciated the honesty, because this was the first time someone had the decency to actually explain to me what the TRUE situation was. A simple letter of apology or acknowledgement from Princess would've gone a long way here. "Hey, sorry the hallway is flooded and smells like a sewer and we did nothing to warn you", or "hey, sorry to wake you up from a sound sleep at 5:30am with an ear-splitting alarm that went off in dozens of rooms for 20+ minutes with zero explanation and no way to quickly turn off". Needless to say, this never happened. In any event, I called guest services and told them that I wanted a new room on a different deck. They said the ship was filled to capacity but that they'd see what they could do and get back to me. I heard nothing back for several hours. It wasn't until I got my travel agent involved AND threatened to contest the entire cost of the cruise with my credit card company that guest services finally had someone up the chain reach back out to me. I received a call a little later from Dean - the guest services director - and he was fantastic. I really need to give credit where credit is due here. I explained to him that pretty much every single thing about the cruise up until that point had been a complete nightmare, and that nobody on staff either seemed to care and/or had the ability to help me fix the problems I was having. I pretty much gave him a list of complaints and he immediately began addressing and trying to fix each one. It made all the difference in the world to me that he took my complaints seriously and actually worked to correct them. He even made me a complimentary reservation at Sabitini's that evening. Without my experience with Dean and his help resolving everything here, I doubt i'd ever be taking a Princess cruise again. From this point on, some things improved and some didn't. I went to Sabitini's that evening and this was literally the highlight of the cruise. They were so welcoming and friendly - the level of service and quality were amazing. I wish the entire cruise was like this. It meant so much to me that they actually treated me like a guest, because for most of the cruise up until this point (and after it), I felt like just a number. The ports of call and shore excursions were all excellent. Thank God for that because this helped the cruise not seem like a complete disaster. I did have some fun, at least. But overall, the negative experiences I had that first day or two of the cruise overshadowed the entire vacation, especially because many of them were never completely resolved. The hallway and bathroom continued to smell, it was difficult to get a human being on the phone when calling room service, the dining reservation line, or even the front desk, and the ship seemed very understaffed for the amount of guests on board. With so many shortcomings during this cruise, I've been trying to put my finger on how things could've gone so noticeably downhill since my last Regal cruise this past March. My theory is that it all boils down to the Medallion system. It's obvious that Princess is eliminating staff and replacing them with a terribly inadequate and cumbersome system of online Medallion applications. What a huge mistake. Human beings should not be replaced by automation in an industry where the overall level of quality/satisfaction is so heavily determined by the level of care/attention you receive from actual humans. If I go to McDonald's, I don't care if the human interaction is replaced by a self-service kiosk. When I'm on a cruise, it's a completely different story. Not to mention the fact that the apps often don't work or drastically limit the number of things you can do/order compared to when you interact with an actual human staff member - which often necessitates an additional human interaction, anyway. The few staff still employed seemed totally overwhelmed with the number of guests on board. They couldn't keep up, guests were getting frustrated, there were lines for almost everything, and the decreased morale was pretty apparent. it's a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. I really hope someone high up at Princess reads this review. Some of the issues on this cruise might've been bad luck, but others were entirely preventable. A lot of it boils down to customer service. I've given Princess many thousands of dollars in business in the past year alone. Just because I'm on the younger side, and traveling solo, doesn't mean I should receive a lower level of service than an older couple or a family with kids - and that was the impression I got again and again on this cruise (as well as other Princess cruises I've taken). I guarantee you I'm contributing just as much to your bottom line as these people, if not more. Perhaps you should realize who your truly loyal customers are, and start treating them that way. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
embarkation was terrible all aspects were overcrowded, pools, bars, buffets, restaurants did not port in Bonaire that was part of package Sailed out of san juan , did not leave when scheduled had to pay tax on drinks when in port ... Read More
embarkation was terrible all aspects were overcrowded, pools, bars, buffets, restaurants did not port in Bonaire that was part of package Sailed out of san juan , did not leave when scheduled had to pay tax on drinks when in port Port of san juan traffic was that bad it took us 2 hours to get to ship our hotel was 20 min away Could not book some specialty restaurants always fulll Buffet area did not have enough indoor seating during the day we would have to go to the outside seating area and sit in the sun and wind. There were some coverd tables outside but always full. Most of the ice machines were not working. The pools were always over crowded we did not get to use them one time At the h2o spice bar the mens room was locked everyday you had to go down the steps to next level for restroom To many people for the amount of amenities this ship provided Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have typically enjoyed princess cruises in our past. This one exceeded expectations as the staff was friendly they ship clean organized and very active. The food was excellent in all then use that we tried. We were very pleased with the ... Read More
We have typically enjoyed princess cruises in our past. This one exceeded expectations as the staff was friendly they ship clean organized and very active. The food was excellent in all then use that we tried. We were very pleased with the food and all of the restaurants. We get try both specialty dining restaurants both Sabatini and the Crown grill and found the service exceptional and the food delicious. The new additions of Alfredo in the International cafe made for excellent breakfast or watch stops during cruising versus going to the traditional buffet. The public areas on the ship are roomy and do not appear to be overcrowded considering the other 3400 passengers with you. The dining Room, which we did anytime dining, was excellent although you do miss having the same servers the overall food and presentation was excellent. Would highly recommend the regal princess for anyone wanting to experience and excellent crews. I would make one comment in that with a larger ship some of your port selections can be limited. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We went on this same itinerary last year and loved it! We have cruised on the Epic before. This cruise was not what we expected. The elevators were like cattle cars. They were always filled and took forever to get where we wanted to be. ... Read More
We went on this same itinerary last year and loved it! We have cruised on the Epic before. This cruise was not what we expected. The elevators were like cattle cars. They were always filled and took forever to get where we wanted to be. The dining in specialty restaurant was very good. The problem was availability after excursions. The staff did not manage the numbers of people that wanted to eat. Lines were fifty deep. The one restaurant opened had an hour wait! This is unacceptable!! They would only have food out by the pool. They knew the numbers of peeps coming aboard and did nothing to alleviate this mess !! On a positive note the entertainment was phenomenal ! Each and every production was first rate and totally awesome!!I would not go on this ship again!! Nor would I recommend it!What would happen in an emergency ? Scary thought.!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
One of the newest ship from Princess cruise. Little disappointment about the food. There're great food for almost every ship of princess, but this one is really bad. Ship are new, beds are very comfortable . Room is small for 3 ... Read More
One of the newest ship from Princess cruise. Little disappointment about the food. There're great food for almost every ship of princess, but this one is really bad. Ship are new, beds are very comfortable . Room is small for 3 people. Our waiter from dining room is good, most of the food are cold, really bad compare to other Princess Cruise. Buffet breakfast harsh brown use to be one of my favorite, this ship make very very bad harsh brown, I have never eat a chewy harsh brown. Also, the scramble egg has very strange textures, like eating flour more than egg taste. Coffee machine broke down most of the days. They use a electric pot to heat up some coffee but it's always empty. Ask the manager what happened and he asked me back if I know how much it cost to fix the machine and he's asking someone to do it! Should I know how much it cost them? I guess not. Also, they start cheap to their casino customers, you have to ask for a manager approval to get a drink everytime. I sail at Royal Caribbean, they just put a sticker on my card & I could get drink whenever I want. At princess casino, I just need a bottle of water still need to approve by manager. This is the first time I sail back to back. Let see if the second week gets better! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have just been on our first cruise with Celebrity so of course we compared We come from Canada so we flew to Fort Lauderdail,. We enjoyed the ease of getting onto the ship, we loved our room, our steward was great "boy they work ... Read More
We have just been on our first cruise with Celebrity so of course we compared We come from Canada so we flew to Fort Lauderdail,. We enjoyed the ease of getting onto the ship, we loved our room, our steward was great "boy they work hard". We had the early dinner in the restaurant, The first problem i had was no plug to work for my cpap machine but the English Rep on the boat sorted that out and our lesson was learned yes I had already learned to take an extension cord. The food was an issue but only because I have an allergy to the protein in Milk not lactose intolerant no sensitivities but a full blown allergy, which means no butter milk cheese yogurt cheese and think about baking and butter and milk are in most things so it makes like hard for me. The restaurant manager sorted this out by me ordering my meal for the evening the day prior. Lesson for me to take a list of foods I like for breakfast and lunch we were placed in another section of the restaurant along with others who needed different things, in one way it was great as I met a lady from Germany who had the same problem as myself we could not speak much about the situation but we hugs in understanding. The ship is spotless in every way. The entertainment in the theater was great, we know most of the time its there own staff who put on the shows but for 45 minutes we were entertained we did have a great singer who was shipped in, we also had a very very bendy lady and her partner they were brilliant, so no complaints about the entertainment. Now the activities were so much dam fun, the restaurant staff entertained us I danced with my waiter "who i will say was very cute" we did the conga around the eating area so much fun. They also have a great dance area for real dancing which was great to watch others do, but they also had a crew of young people for line dancing and games we did win some pickle bats and a tote bag it was so much fun to join in.. IF you don't join in you miss out on having fun Im 68 and i set out to have fun with my hubby and it was great. Our time on shore was great ANYONE WHO GOES TO JAMAICA do go on the bob slay don't use the brakes trust and enjoy your ride its fantastic. Would we ever go on this boat again HELL YES Im just waiting for a cruise I can afford again. I would love to do a transatlantic cruise with them but the flights to get from or to the ship costs to much right now.. AS soon as we can we will be back. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We are avid cruisers ,over 30 under our belt,mostly Princess and Celebrity. We booked this as a getaway ,and a chance to try Norwegian. Well it did not start well, the port in San Juan can’t handle big ships and there was 2 in port, Epic ... Read More
We are avid cruisers ,over 30 under our belt,mostly Princess and Celebrity. We booked this as a getaway ,and a chance to try Norwegian. Well it did not start well, the port in San Juan can’t handle big ships and there was 2 in port, Epic and a Royal Caribbean . Traffic was atrocious. A 20 minute drive from the hotel ended up a 1 hr 40 min trip . When we did get off the bus at 1:40 pm there was along lineup. They were not letting anyone on! When we were on the bus waiting in the traffic ,we saw3 ambulances and hazmat vehicle rush to the epic. We had to wait in line in the sun for hours , no water until past 3 pm,,, disgusting! Boarded at 5:10 pm ,,,nice! We never got an explanation from the ship about what really happened, rumours abound about people dying on the ship. The ship just completed a transatlantic. We had an interior , it was small but adequate. The ship was beautiful . The pools were a joke! The main pools if you put them together they would be slightly bigger than your average backyard pool . The adult pool in the back of the ship was half the size of my pool. The water temp was a joke ,very warm ,not refreshing! For 4100 people this was also a joke! Food was average ,nothing exciting, Buffett had roasted chicken several times , boring ,one night they had turkey and no mashed potatoes! Staff looked overworked. Cabin cleaners were overworked 14 room versus 10 rooms on other lines. Bartenders were badly overworked. Staff in general were not happy! Entertainment was fantastic! Priscilla Queen of the desert was great! The Cirque show with dinner was great! The Cavern Club with the Epic Beatles was great! Burn the Floor was great! We made the best ,it was okay. It was a 7 day crowd, wont do that again,,lol! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
You don’t go to Bonaire. According to the port authorities in Bonaire, the Epic is not registered to port there ever. The port is being sold as part of the curies package next month, Jan. 2020, but this ship is not allowed to port in ... Read More
You don’t go to Bonaire. According to the port authorities in Bonaire, the Epic is not registered to port there ever. The port is being sold as part of the curies package next month, Jan. 2020, but this ship is not allowed to port in Bonaire, apparently because of its size. It was sold to us as part of the package but 60 days out we received a letter that we would instead, enjoy our balconies’ for an extra day. This is fraud! Our first day at see was spent in the harbor. When I complained I was told, “You’re on the ship so it counts”. Not in my book. Our seven day cruise was cut short to 6 days without compensation. Then there is the part everyone else is talking about. The heinous way were treated at the port. Over a mile backup in traffic, five hour delay getting boarded, no help from crew or security. People jumping line, passengers finding wheel chairs for the elderly and a few people passed out and one in front of me was injured. I was told by a member at the Latitudes counter that the ship had been boarded one day before and the Coast Guard required the papers of all crew members. It was not stated but implied that many of them were not legal. Then the Coast Guard again boarded the same day we were to ship out. According to the latitudes representative they searched and the crew had to present papers again. This set them behind by 12 hours. I have no way to neither prove nor disprove his accounting. Beyond this, our excursion reservations were lost, and when we reported this to Haley, we were told it was our fault for not taking care of it the day we launched. Everyone else in our group got theirs but not us. We also found out we were supposed to get a bottle of champion , but that never came. When I asked for it I was then made to feel like I was asking for an extra bottle. Here is what the company needs to hear from me. My wife and I were planning on surprising our family with a cruise with Norwegian for May or 202. Because of the discount of booking on while on board we decided to wait until we were at sea to book this trip, total of 6 tickets, three rooms. Because of the inability of Norwegian to live up to its reputation we have decided to go with another company. I know this will not break the company and it is all about the money. But you have lost a total of 12 customers for life because of you ham-handed dealings with me and my family. A few odd things also happened. Our first morning I opened the drapes and a pair of men’s red under-wear came falling out at my feet. That was strange. Our apps failed and internet use was unreliable. Three contracts I wrote on the ship never made it to the recipients. After eating in the Garden café we noticed each day that stewards were staring agape out the windows as if this was their first day away from their home. While they were mesmerized at the vista our plates piled up and we ended up moving tables. I found it odd that there was not a single comfortable seat on the entire ship. it was as if it is a concerted effort to keep you moving. I was told that the black jack seats were very comfortable. I didn't play. One more odd thing. At the ice/water stations we were not allowed to fill out water bottles. Ice stations were usually empty of ice and when we asked for ice we were pointed to another station at a different part of the chip or another deck for ice. One last warning. Don’t fall for the “please take a towel with you” trick. They plan on your losing your towel and then charging you $25 for every one that does not come back. Look at your cabin number on the sing out sheet as they sign you out a beach towels. Right beside that you see “price $25.00” I do want to say that the entertainment was good and the food was good. I really enjoyed Doug, guitarist, and the dance company, Burn the Floor. I was put off by the main event being a drag show. Drag queens are not appropriate for family friendly cruises. I don’t know why the leadership at Epic doesn’t know this. If I ever do cruise this line again it will never be out of PR nor will it be a big ship. It’s just not worth the overcrowding and lines after lines. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019

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