This cruise is billed as the Panama Canal cruise. If you accept that then the abbreviated shore excursions in other places become acceptable. If not, then the extremely short layovers will not be satisfactory. That being said, this is an ... Read More
This cruise is billed as the Panama Canal cruise. If you accept that then the abbreviated shore excursions in other places become acceptable. If not, then the extremely short layovers will not be satisfactory. That being said, this is an excellent cruise. It is very relaxing and the ports are excellent.
1. This is an older ship, and showing its age. You can see lots of rusted areas, damaged tiles and carpets, lighting in the dining rooms that doesn’t work, broken lounge chairs, and technical glitches on stage. You can see the difference on the exterior in the ports when you compare it to other ships, which seem to show no rust at all.
2. Total mess up by Princess regarding pre-order of water and beverage service. I was constantly told water pre-ordered would be delivered, but it wasn’t. When I asked Guest Services about it, I was told that the order was lost, and could not be filled while at sea (water pre-order is before it leaves the port). Yet they were willing to sell me individual bottles at an inflated price. Disappointed on how they handled this since it was their error.
3. Very short port stays except for Panama. After 2-1/2 days of sailing, the first port was Aruba where everyone wanted to get out and stretch their legs. Unfortunately the layover is only 4 hours, leaving very limited time to do anything. On top of that, our arrival was on a Sunday and many shops where closed (at least until noon when we were leaving). It would have been better to have a longer stay here and skip Columbia.
4. Port loading and loading is a joke and extremely slow. The boarding at Colon was a total mess. No announcements that could be heard, no explanations for the considerable delay. Everyone just standing around (limited seating) for 2+ hours to re-board. (Holland was next to us and boarded in 30 minutes). Total disorganization.
5. Ship announcements from the Captain or crew during the day can’t be heard unless you are in your room with the TV on. On the 13th and 14th floors they are impossible to hear, even in quiet areas. However, the movie the play in the pool area can be heard all the way to the next port it is so loud. Need to up the volume and the ship announcements.
6. Poor excursion communication. While waiting to disembark at Grand Cayman alternate port, no staff member explained any limitations on any shore excursion. Only when you got on shore did you find out that swimming was not allowed, or other restrictions. Many people refused to go and returned to the ship to get a refund. It would have been much better to explain any limitations in the theater while everyone was waiting. Also, because of the alternate docking location, the on TV display continually showed the next port as “Grand Cayman” even when docked in Fort Lauderdale. Staff was told but no one made an effort to update the information.
1. Extremely friendly staff, some of the best I’ve encountered on cruises.
2. Food was excellent. Buffet themes were not publicized anywhere, so you had to visit the buffet to see what they were serving that day. Sit down dining was excellent, and a good variety during the entire cruise. Beef was properly cooked to the individuals specification every single time.
3. Entertainment is very good. Unfortunately, the majority of the entertainment is the singers and dancers on the ship. Only the first couple of days had outside entertainment (comedian, singer). The dancers are very good, and the shows excellent, but it got old. It would have been nice to have some other entertainment towards the end.
4. The beds are the new Princess beds (soon to be on all ships) and are wonderful!
5. The WiFi access on the ship is good (very slow for outside internet). Their web page gives you the events for the day. It continually requires you to re-log on, which is annoying, but easy to do. The app does NOT have any maps or layouts for the port, which is needed. It also does NOT let you see events for the next day, even late at night, so you can’t plan the next day until it arrives! But the web page gives you the summary of your events you have planned, which is nice. No alerts for messages from your ship mates. You have to have the web page opened to see any messages. It would be nice if the phone buzzed when a message was received.
Overall a great cruise with lots of wonderful people we met. As an older ship, it still was very nice, especially for the older crowd aboard. No need of cosmic slides or fancy features. Plenty of lounge chair access and not overly crowed, even on sea days. A wonderful 10-day cruise. Read Less