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186 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) to South America Cruise Reviews

Why did I choose this cruise? I have no recollection of why I chose Princess again after a mediocre world cruise experience in 2018. What could I have been thinking? What "offer" caught my attention and convinced me to ignore ... Read More
Why did I choose this cruise? I have no recollection of why I chose Princess again after a mediocre world cruise experience in 2018. What could I have been thinking? What "offer" caught my attention and convinced me to ignore my "never Princess again" decision? Whatever it was, it was a mistake to book another long cruise with this pitiful line. I had hoped, I suppose, that the Island Princess, being a larger ship, would offer a better experience than the smaller Pacific Princess had. The ship itself is past its prime and is beginning to mirror the image of the faded blondes and paunchy men surrounding its numerous bars. In the two month journey around the perimeter of South America the windows of the ship collected grime and salt and were more a hindrance than an aid to viewing the sights we were passing. The early morning sail down "glacier alley", when we sat in the Lido restaurant with our coffee and breakfast hoping to view the glaciers, was an exercise in futility, as the windows were so dirty and streaked we couldn't see through them. Enrichment offerings were disappointing and seemed to ignore or avoid any information or connection with the countries we were sailing past, except for a few early morning talks by a man with an impenetrable accent which were not available later on room TV. Shopping seemed to be the main concern. Our hopes to be informed about Chilean and/or Argentinian wines were squelched and when we questioned the dining officers, being given the "fisheye" and dismissed. Seminars on Italian and French wines were offered however. The menus adequate, if somewhat repetitive in the dessert category. Dinner rolls however were exemplary, fresh, wonderfully crusty and fragrant. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We had an amazing time on the Coral Princess during our 18-day Brazilian Adventure in December 2019. The Coral Princess was the perfect sized cruise ship!! It was a very well maintained and the staff as usual was terrific. Fernando ... Read More
We had an amazing time on the Coral Princess during our 18-day Brazilian Adventure in December 2019. The Coral Princess was the perfect sized cruise ship!! It was a very well maintained and the staff as usual was terrific. Fernando the cruise director was the best we have had with this being our 17th cruise on Princess. The production show “The Bayou” was terrific as was the other production show “Motor City.” During our overnight stop in Rio de Janeiro the cruise line brought on a Carnivale show from Brazil which was absolutely amazing. During the sea days there were plenty of onboard activities (human slot machines, wooden horse races, etc.) and as “pollywogs” we loved participating in the “Crossing the Equator” ceremony. As has been the case with our previous Princess cruises the food and dining onboard was great. We loved the layout of Horizon Court on the Coral Princess since it made for much less congestion. The ports of call were all amazing. Loved our tour of Salvador, Brazil with its colorful buildings. We will never forget the first time seeing Christ the Redeemer or the views from Sugar Loaf Mountain. We walked the city of Montevideo, Uruguay and loved seeing the many sites along with experiencing some local food. We did a post cruise city tour of Buenos Aires, Argentina and saw an amazing tango show during lunch. This was a cruise we will never forget!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
One star for Lincoln Center Stage and One more for our waiters and cabin steward, I'm behind generous. We chose this 30 day itinerary, round trip Fort Lauderdale, because we were anxious to sail on the Amazon River in Brazil and ... Read More
One star for Lincoln Center Stage and One more for our waiters and cabin steward, I'm behind generous. We chose this 30 day itinerary, round trip Fort Lauderdale, because we were anxious to sail on the Amazon River in Brazil and see the towns and villages that were scheduled. As always I'll try to indicate the good points and not so good experiences so you can make your own decisions as to what might matter to you. The good points were very few: > Lincoln Center Stage was a home run and became the one on board offering that we enjoyed whenever they played. Flawless. > The evening meal in the MDR was very good with both food and service meeting our expectations. We enjoyed late seating and were very lucky with our wait staff. We enjoy wine with meals, bought two different wine packages that were OK but quite expensive for what you got. Sadly, that wraps up the positives, If you book, choose your cabin carefully. We took a cabin on deck three (promenade). The mornings were very noisy with crew moving deck chairs. I didn't love the lack of privacy on that deck. My fault in not thinking through my decision. They were not successful in many ways: > If you enjoy dancing you need to bear in mind that there is only one very small dance floor on the entire ship, in the Ocean Bar. The trio will be playing mostly foxtrots and waltzes with most music having been written in the 30's through 50's. There is no longer a dance floor in the Crow's New as the floor has been carpeted over and the bandstand removed. > Staying on the topic of music, besides the LCS which was great and the down tempo, pretty boring after 3 days trio, they offer dueling pianos (not our thing). Most importantly they have no "band" at all. The small orchestra that plays on occasion on the Main Stage never entertains anywhere. No band. No live music on the pool deck, ever. Such a waste of space, the Crow's Nest was a ghost town in the evening. Imagine a ship with nowhere to throw a party and no band to play. The "Orange" event in the Ocean Bar was music off a laptop and was far too small to accommodate the ship. > The rumor has always been that HAL caters to an older crowd. I find that to be somewhat exaggerated, they simply act older as the entertainment and daily schedules are so boring. > The buffet was very mediocre with food that was consistantly served at the wrong temperature. The poolside grill produced very ordinary burgers and dogs most often after a wait of 20-30 minutes. Ridiculous. The specialty coffee shop doesn't offer anything to eat (unlike the International Cafe on Princess) and we never, literally never, over 30 days saw them make coffee for anyone that didn't work on the ship. > The evening entertainment was terrible. 2 or 3 three good headliners over the entire cruise. No singers and dancers, no production shows and no energy whatsoever. > The Cruise and Travel Director had one job too many as he was the absolute lowest energy CD we've seen, and we've seen many. The daily activities were a joke. The enrichment programs were very hit and miss with the main speaker as his very strong accent made his, probably interesting lectures, meaningless to us because we simply couldn't understand him. That was a shame. A few things to note that may or may not be specific to this cruise. > The tender operation was the worst we've seen. We gave up twice and stayed on the ship instead of waiting for hours in the cold theater. > The ship ran aground on the river, settling on a sand bar where we sat for eight hours until we got free. As a result we got to that days port after dark, left the next morning at eight (so we missed the port completely) and then, because we stayed overnight we missed the next (once in a lifetime) port as well. The captain took no responsibility for the mishap, blaming the pilots. Very unprofessional in my view. > The excursions were managed terribly. On one occasion, after spending 2.5 hours on a bus and in a city that we were just supposed to drive by (maybe 20 minutes) on route to our overnight in an Eco Lodge, I complained. A HAL employee on the excursion told me if I wanted to get off the bus we could leave, get to the ship on our own (in a very third world, unsafe environment) and as far as the $1300 we paid, I could discuss that when I got back.. We chose to continue but the point is that we did not feel well taken care off, we didn't get we bought and our safety seemed irrelevant. > Aside from our steward and waiters the crew was grim, literally grim. I suspect they felt as I did that not much more could go wrong. There's probably more to say but I'll leave it here with the following summary. Dancers beware, if you like uptempo music beware, if you relish a good evening in the theater beware, if you're booking a trip with tender stops beware, if you enjoy some energy throughout the ship beware, if you like a live band that plays rock and roll, disco, latin music beware. Imagine a cruise where they didn't have the capacity to sing the corny songs like YMCA or Last Dance. If you like going to your cabin after dinner to watch a movie, this is the ship for you. Just my humble opinion. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Having been on the Zaandam in January 2018 and been very impressed with the ship and its amenities, I chose this cruise for the chance to be on her again and to transit the Panama Canal again with stops in South America. ... Read More
Having been on the Zaandam in January 2018 and been very impressed with the ship and its amenities, I chose this cruise for the chance to be on her again and to transit the Panama Canal again with stops in South America. Embarkation/debarkation: As always, HAL did these impeccably for a mass market cruise line. Both were a breeze and I was onboard for a nice lunch in the MDR in minutes. The guarantee that one's cabin will be ready when boarding is a nice touch. The ship: The Zaandam is a nice sized ship and is easy to get around. The public rooms and walkways have been left as they were intended when the ship was built. It has a real, wide, walk-around promenade deck: a large library space even though few books; wide internal hallways; excellent, easy to read signage. It was well maintained. The cabin: I had a standard verandah cabin in the aft part of the ship, It was a very good size with many more closets and drawers than I could use. The beds were comfortable and I had the best pillows I have ever had on a cruise ship in my 44 years of cruising. The furniture and bathroom had been refurbished and the floor coverings were new. The verandah furniture was new and very nice, with a foot stool. The dining: The food in the MDR has definitely taken a downturn since my prior cruise. The appetizers, soups, vegetables, and desserts were good. They managed to overcook all the fish. The only good fish we had was fresh tuna brought on in Ecuador and prepared seared on the outside and rare on the inside, the correct way to cook it. I skipped the meat. We were in some of the best South American fishing grounds and some of the best wine countries in the world; they should have been bringing on local foods and wines in every port. The entertainment and activities: The shows done by the production cast of singers and dancers were all very good. Some of the contract performers were also good. In general, nothing was too loud; I hate sitting through performances with my fingers in my ears and only had to do it once on this cruise. There was always live music in multiple venues in the evening. The only underused space was the Crow's Nest, where there should have been a ballroom dance ensemble all evening. There were two enrichment lecturers who were excellent. One was a flora and fauna specialist and also did a very good talk on the Galapagos. The other was a specialist in South America, particularly the music and dance. HAL has chosen to combine the cruise director position with the EXC or port lecturer position. In general, this is a mistake since the cruise directors aren't knowledgeable enough to do it. However, we lucked out -- our cruise director had been an EXC manager. He did very good presentations on the ports. The service: I had excellent room stewards. They were efficient, personable and attentive; and they fulfilled every request I had. The first two nights in the MDR, there was a general service issue; it was corrected by the third night. I had early fixed seating and had excellent waiters and wine steward. The service at breakfast and lunch in the MDR was always limited and slow. I only used the Lido buffet a couple of times and found it to be well laid out and well supplied with a variety of foods. The ice cream was exceptional everywhere. As always, I attribute the food service issues to staff cutbacks. As always, the Guest Relations representatives were less than helpful. They have few problem solving skills and no authority to fix anything. Up until the last night, I actually thought I was going to experience a first for all my HAL cruises -- no error on my onboard statement. Alas, it was not to be. When the error was pointed out to the GR rep, she agreed that it should be removed from my final bill before I left the ship; but, of course, it was not. I had to take it up with the corporate office and still don't have my refund. If a request is made in the initial booking for a twin bed cabin configuration, why is this not transmitted to the cabin steward? If the embarkation day's program is supposed to be distributed at check-in, why isn't it? With this many sea days, a passenger book exchange must be provided and properly promoted and labelled. The Canal: I had done the full transit from Ft. Lauderdale to Santiago once before on Celebrity and chose this cruise because it was a similar itinerary. The Canal is endlessly fascinating. Unfortunately the Canal guide provided to the ship was not very informative; we certainly learned nothing about the ships we were seeing, their cargoes, the new canal, the flora and fauna around us. In addition to the provided Canal guide, Celebrity had an enrichment lecturer who did talks about the canal before we got there and did an extensive and informative narrative while we were in the canal. I was expecting the same from HAL and was disappointed. The ports and shore excursions: The first port was Aruba; there are many better ones in the Caribbean that could have been chosen. In South America, all the ports are working ports and require special transportation; it was provided at no charge which was quite nice. I thought all the ports were worth a visit -- Fuerte Amador, Panama; Manta, Ecuador; Trujillo, Lima, and Pisco, Peru. We had to skip Coquimbo, Chile, due to civil unrest. I would highly recommend that the cruise line find another termination port than Santiago. The airline flights from this port are not until late in the evening; the air lines do not open their check-in desks until about three hours before flights; there is no comfortable place to wait in the airport with one's luggage; HAL does not provide a day room in a hotel or at the airport for those who are waiting. This requires an expensive all day shore excursion to be purchased. HAL has really upped its game on shore excursions. In many ports, food and wine focused excursions were offered. I took them all and they were excellent. I read the HAL online shore excursion descriptions, make my decisions based on them, and purchase them before leaving home. For the most part, the excursions as executed were exactly as described. This does not always happen with cruise lines and I expect a refund when it does not. Miscellaneous comments: Approaching Chile, there was a great deal of concern about ongoing civil unrest. I felt that HAL and the captain handled this well and I felt safe with their decisions. The captain kept us well-informed. Indeed, there was a contingency plan in place in case we needed to remain on the ship and disembark in Argentina. If there was ever a time I was glad that I had purchased my air and transfer arrangements from HAL. I felt comfortable in the thought that they would take care of me in this event. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Why? The Itenary A not so common one, long and much to see. Done out of Europe, by a German travel office: Berge und Meer Yes we know it's an old ship wich had the atmosphere of faded grandeur But the compagny ... Read More
Why? The Itenary A not so common one, long and much to see. Done out of Europe, by a German travel office: Berge und Meer Yes we know it's an old ship wich had the atmosphere of faded grandeur But the compagny plays it all very poche, a bit pathetic... This was our 23rd cruise, and the first with HAL. There was a cabin on the promenade deck confirmed by the HAL 5 months in advance. However, 5 days before this was moved to a so-called upgrade, I was not happy with that. after complaining seems nobody could change it any more. cabin 6100 was a terrible loft, I could not get up straight from bed, the desk was unusable and the layout unlogical, curtains had to be closed with Velcro tape. In the afternoon was no sleep possible, 2x 1.5 hours were practiced with the music, so noise, in the evening, 2x1.5 hours the performance, again noise till 22.00 hour and sometimes from 00.00 hour to 2.00 hour practice with the staff presentation for a few hours. After difficult reaching the hotel director, (permanently protected by guest service employees), I got the cabin that was originally promised after a week by grace. Incidentally, with that rediculous small bathtub it is difficult to shower, you cannot take a shower over you, but shower against you. Later I got out of the bath and fell because I had the handle in my hand, it was not stuck in the wall, the next day it was screwed in another place in the wall. Evening meals were good, but monotonous, and not always in accordance with what was on the menu (but that happens with more ships; drinks were extremele expensive. Breakfast and lunch in Lido and restaurants were exellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We did this cruise before, we had a great time so we decided to do it again as there were some different ports. We ate in the Allegro dining room with Victoria and I Made as our servers. They were wonderful. Our Room steward was Edward ... Read More
We did this cruise before, we had a great time so we decided to do it again as there were some different ports. We ate in the Allegro dining room with Victoria and I Made as our servers. They were wonderful. Our Room steward was Edward A737 I can not say enough about him he was fantastic. If we needed anything, we just needed to ask him.Thanks for getting our TV fixed, also for all the tissues as we had colds. Now for some complaints for Princess. In Rio De Janeiro what were you thinking when you made your passengers walk so far in the heat to the buses. Did you not take into consideration we were old folks 65 +. A shuttle would have been a god sent in the heat. I said to my husband I wonder how many were going to have heart attacks today. Well!!!!!!! When we returned there was Princess with wheel chairs to help people. After getting to the terminal guess what was waiting for us, a shuttle bus to take us to the cruise ship.??????? Puerto Montt our tender, was#1return trip from tour. He was the only tender fellow that said to the passengers to sit down to let the people on the top of the Tender off first. I told him he was excellent. Please let the people with walkers off next. Hellooooo Princess have you been to the Tango Show in Buenos Aires. What a fire trap!!!! that place is. If there was a fire no one would have got out alive. I gave the Captain Nash a tea towel I had made to give to different people I met on the cruise. I was surprised he never asked us our names. Shore excursions I was so sick I had to go to the Dr. so I could get them to sign me off the next cruise. Why can the shore excursion people see we were sick????? Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I found this trip as a special in January and booked it true HAL, I'm so glad I did it was amazing. From the captain down the crew was outstanding, one of my best cruises yet. Fun facts of the day were my highlights, captain and ... Read More
I found this trip as a special in January and booked it true HAL, I'm so glad I did it was amazing. From the captain down the crew was outstanding, one of my best cruises yet. Fun facts of the day were my highlights, captain and staff captain very friendly and eat meals in the Lido. From the cabin stewards to the dinning room stewards it was excellent, off course on a long cruise you get to know the crew. Only the ports of call in Brazil I did not feel safe. The ship shows it age a bit with no HD tv or other fancy things but then I don't spend much time in the cabin. My reason to use Holland America is that I like the mature crowd and love the small ship feel. The next cruise is on another HAL ship the new Statendam. Look forward to a new ship even she is a lot bigger. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My wife and I booked this cruise due to its itinerary. However, it appears to us that HAL is relying on its past reputation with older cruise passengers and not putting much effort into providing a new shipboard experience. For example, ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise due to its itinerary. However, it appears to us that HAL is relying on its past reputation with older cruise passengers and not putting much effort into providing a new shipboard experience. For example, the Canaletto and Pinnacle restaurant menus have not changed in at least 10 years. Boarding in Fort Lauderdale was quick and easy. A dedicated ‘Mariner 4 and 5 Star’ line combined with a priority boarding card meant we were on board by midday. Our verandah suite towards the rear of deck 9 was not quite ready but we were able to leave our carry-on luggage in it while we went for lunch. At 12.45 pm they conducted a 3, 4 & 5 star Mariners welcome drinks in the Crows Nest. The compulsory lifeboat drill was on the open deck 6 at 3.15 pm on time for our departure at 4.15 pm. The young captain was very visible throughout the ship and was very approachable, spending time talking to passengers. He and the officers ate mainly in the Lido. The captain was also compassionate – he had no hesitation in turning the ship around and heading full-speed for Rio as a passenger required immediate medical attention not available on the ship. Well done. Two of the four front elevators were out-of-action for most of the 50 days, which meant a slow ride when the gangway and tender platforms were forward. On the second day of the cruise we noticed that HAL had garnashied (a “credit hold”) our Mastercard to the amount of US3k (=$30 each x 50 days). The front desk explained that the “may” in the fine print actually meant “will”. This was an unnecessary intrusion. The ship’s internet was fast and reliable. We purchased it for the second half of the trip, at $199.99 for 21 days. On this trip, talks in the auditorium mainly centred around World War II sea battles, which were irrelevant. However, an excellent idea was a “Beginner’s Guide to Portuguese” (the language of Brazil) session in the showroom on the day after Devils Island. The HAL shops are a waste of space. They need to visit Princess and Royal Caribbean to learn how to sell goods to cruise ship passengers. The only ones we saw liberally using the perfumes were the staff as they came into work each day. Yves St Laurent men’s eau de toilette was $122 on the ship, $79 at Key West. My wife went to the poorly advertised “Shops Farewell Party” on the last night – 12 people turned up and they had to draw the raffle 8 times before a winner was found. The prize consisted of two t-shirts from a previous cruise to places we had not been plus a hat (11 people were glad they hadn’t won!). Daily ‘Trivia’ on the ship was basically a mess. Initially they concentrated on American sports and after complaints decided that “trivia” actually meant “obscure” (like ‘how many stomachs does a cockroach have’) and their fact sheets were out-of-date, to the extent that some of their answers were categorically wrong. Daily ‘Trivia’ was really a frustrating and annoying waste of time, which was a pity as we have enjoyed it on every one of our previous cruises. After leaving Key West, the last American port, they announced there would be no currency exchange with Brazilian Real on board and suggested trying to exchange at upcoming Ports’ banks. They also stated that all currency exchanges in Rio would be closed during carnival. This should have been advised well prior to the cruise starting. After some complaints, they later announced that on board currency exchange would be available in Salvador, our third Brazilian port. The ‘Captain’s Toast’ on the evening of the third day was held in the auditorium on decks 7 and 8, but drinks to toast by were only available on Deck 7. The Port talks by the “Exc” person and Port expert were excellent – well worth attending. Also excellent were the constant reminders in the ‘Where & When’ daily newssheet to be very careful when in port in regard to personal safety. We learned from taking to tourists on shore that other cruise ships did not provide this advice. There were warnings about not to wear any jewellery whatsoever, keep cameras and phones hidden and only to take off cash or cards you would need for the day. As it was, we heard of one fellow losing, from a Velcro flapped pants pocket, his credit card, drivers licence and $200 cash (in Rio), a lady and a man who each had a necklace ripped off from around their necks (in Recife) and a lady on a walker who was pushed over and her purse stolen (in Manaus). No doubt there were others. Food on the ship was “the usual”, except for the very good Pizza Bar manned by James and Ronald. They remembered our order from the first night, even though we did not eat there very often. At Port-of-Spain the captain announced he was cancelling Vitoria and replacing it with Buzios, due to a low bridge and tides. As it happened this was an excellent decision! We had one fellow on the first half of the trip who only wore his HAL-logoed bathrobe and flip-flops – on the ship, to meals, walking around the ports and into the towns. HAL said they could not prevent it as how he dressed was his decision. This should save me a lot of packing for our next cruise! Passports and Brazil visas were collected a few days out from Brazil and were returned after we had left Brazil. At Recife, our first major Brazil port, passengers from 3 cabins were not allowed off the ship due to not having correct documentation (presumable the Brazilian Visa). There were rumours that the laundry service would be cut in the Amazon due to the brown muddy water but a response by the passengers to the captain’s plea to save water meant that this did not eventuate and the service continued as normal. Disembarkation at Fort Lauderdale was quick and efficient, although we were glad we were not in the “US citizens” line which snaked around like waiting for a ride at Disneyland. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Always wanted to do S. America. We left from Ft. Lauderdale and 49 days later arrived in Los Angeles. Google this and you will see all the ports those cruises go to. Regal Princess is a good ship, big waves seem have no effect on ... Read More
Always wanted to do S. America. We left from Ft. Lauderdale and 49 days later arrived in Los Angeles. Google this and you will see all the ports those cruises go to. Regal Princess is a good ship, big waves seem have no effect on the ship. Food was perfect, the Piazza was to noisy for our taste. There is the ice cream parlor, wine bar, International coffee with snacks for during day and night. Internet was good and affordable. The buffets are great, no long lines and you can sit outside too. On the 13st floor is a Jogging trail which we used everyday to walk 4 miles. Pools where heated and not crowded. The SPA's had about 100 degree. Movies under the stars is a highlight for the evening. We have more than 250 days of cruise experience - so we know about illness. So much noise is made about the NOROvirus - which one can avoid through hygiene. Not much news about getting upper and lower respiratory illness. We did not go to: restaurants, theater, other gathering of people, had a balcony and used the buffet sitting outside eating. In Spite of that both of us - and 1000+ guest fell ill. So if you plan on going on a long cruise - get ready to get ill. This is true for all current cruise ships, maybe new once have better air management. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was the newest Princess ship we have been on to date. It is also somewhat bigger so there is plenty to do and enough places to go, although the library was like "Old Mother Hubbard's Cupboard", so if you are a reader ... Read More
This was the newest Princess ship we have been on to date. It is also somewhat bigger so there is plenty to do and enough places to go, although the library was like "Old Mother Hubbard's Cupboard", so if you are a reader bring your own reading material. We had a balcony cabin on the Aloha deck toward the rear of the ship. Comfortable and quiet. Easy access to the rear elevator to access the Allegro Dining hall or go top side for poolside activities and the Horizon. We ate most of our meals in the Allegro -- breakfast, lunch (when not in port), and dinner basically for portion control. A few mornings we had early shore excursions and had to be in the departure point close to 7 am, which is when the Allegro opens, so we either got something from the International Cafe or in the Horizon Court. On port days, after our shore excursion, we would have lunch in Alfredo's, the grill, or the Horizon Court.. The HC didn't seem to vary their lunch menu much, unlike we had found on previous cruises. Basically same old, same old, so take out of one dish one day, and another the next, and so on. We found the service in the Allegro to be somewhat slow for our tastes as the average time for any meal was 1.5 hours, which made it close to get to a show in the evening. The CD recognized the problem and had 3 shows, one at 4:30, one that was at 7:30, but got moved to 7:15 or even 7:00, so he adjusted the wrong way, and the other one at 8:30, which is close to bed time for some of us (Hey, it's vacation :-)) After putting up with nothing but singers and musicians on previous cruises, we were pleasantly surprised to have 4 comedians during our 19 day cruise. So Thank You Princess for getting some entertainment worth going to. Also the production show -- The Secret of Silk was fantastic. Hopefully they don't run it into the ground like they did with Magic To Do. You know, you see it once and it's great, you see it on your next cruise and it's OK, you see it on successive cruises year after year and it's not worth going to. Also the in-room entertainment is greatly improved. Instead of a couple of.episodes of Love Boat repeating day after day and a movie running constantly all day, there was plenty of variety to keep one entertained if you're not into the casino and "children's party games" thing. The ports were what you would expect on a cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Buenos Aires -- a small sampling of the Caribbean, a few ports in Brazil, then Montevideo, and finally BA. The Caribbean are still rebuilding following the 2017 hurricanes, so some of the scenery was remnants of the devastation. Fortaleza, Brazil is a mixture of rich and poor intertwined throughout the city, not much else to see. Salvador de Bahia is also an old city, some historic sites, the cobblestone roads are rough and difficult to walk through, and as we were there just before Carnival, the bands were practicing for the parades so the guide was difficult to hear at times. We had been to Rio, Montevideo, and BA on previous cruises, so we looked for something different in our shore excursions going to Petropolis, quite interesting; a winery via an old steam train, and then the debark. Rio, Montevideo, and Buenos Aires were all quite hot. In Rio, we docked in front of terminal 2, but after exiting the ship had to walk past terminal 3 and then into terminal 4 before we could get to our transportation. That seemed a little strange to me.. The ship had some problems with some people who did not have visas to enter Argentina. They hid on the ship which caused a delay in our departure because the ship could not sail with them on board. So they had to be located and escorted off the ship. This together with the replenishing of items for the stores on board caused a lengthy delay in our departure. As a result the captain lost his slot to enter the single lane channel between Montevideo and Buenos Aires. We had to anchor through the night until the next morning when the channel was clear of other vessels which had moved up in position to cross the channel. Instead of getting into Buenos Aires at roughly dawn and going on our excursions, we were delayed and unable to dock until almost 2 pm. Needless to say the excursions had to be cancelled. The luggage which would have been waiting for us at the airport following our excursion was still on the ship and only gradually off-loaded and taken to the terminal. Information for how we were to get off the ship was not very clear. Fortunately we got to stay in our cabins until we docked. Then had to wait another couple of hours for the ship to be cleared and the luggage taken to the terminal, which was quite a distance from he ship. Released in groups we made our way off the Royal and down to the pavement to walk some distance to crowd onto buses to be taken to the terminal. Getting to the terminal we were joined by passengers from an MSC ship and a Holland American ship which were also debarking. So everyone was in this hot, confined "warehouse" terminal trying to find their luggage. It was wall-to-wall people and trying to find their suitcases among thousands of other suitcases. Once we got out suitcases, we had to slowly make out way outside to the buses that would take us to the airport. Meanwhile, the Royal had a scheduled overnight in BA.before moving on down the Argentine coast. The embarkation was great, probably the best I have ever had. The debarkation was horrible and needs work. Love Boat fans will be happy to know that sometimes when sailing away from a port, the ship's horn will sound the first notes of the theme song. When leaving other ports, it sounds like the home team team just scored a goal at the hockey stadium. The few children that were on the ship were all well-behaved and mostly accompanied their parents. A big improvement over some previous cruises where they run wild on the decks, play elevator tag, and scream and shriek as they run past the cabins. Glad we didn't have to put up with that this time. We are looking forward to our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise due to both the itinerary and the ship. We enjoy the large ships and had sailed on the Regal Princess previously so were especially happy to reserve space on this voyage. We flew to Fort Lauderdale on the day the ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to both the itinerary and the ship. We enjoy the large ships and had sailed on the Regal Princess previously so were especially happy to reserve space on this voyage. We flew to Fort Lauderdale on the day the ship was to sail. This was the first time we had flown on the day of departure. All went well with this and we were on board the ship a little before 2 PM. The lines to enter the terminal were extremely long. We had "priority" boarding but the line to reach the door was so long it was not especially useful. Once on board, we stopped at the international cafe for sandwiches before heading to our cabin. The ship is lovely looking with good flow between areas. The piazza is very attractive. We noticed lots of colorful flags throughout the atrium. These flags changed according to the ports we were in. The ship is large with lots of smaller sitting areas scattered about. The only area where improvement is needed is the library. The library is too small for the size of the clientele. On the second day of the cruise there were only 4 books in the library all in Russian. I had polio as a child and require an accessible cabin. We selected an inside, Dolphin 319, for this journey. This room had a wide entry door and an excellent bathroom with raised toilet, hand rails, and an integrated shower seat. The wash basin allowed for a wheelchair to be pulled underneath. The shower head could be adjusted in height as well as hand held. The room itself was very poor. There was insufficient turning space in the cabin. Primarily this was because the double bedside table was fixed in place. With no space between the beds (about 12 or so inches with the beds separated) it became very difficult to turn my scooter around. We reported this to guest services but there were unable to make any changes and for forty-nine days we struggled with attempting to turn my scooter. In my opinion, this room should NOT be sold as an accessible cabin. Another problem with this cabin was the placement of the flat screen TV. The TV is not across from the beds but on a side wall. This made viewing and changing the channels difficult. We spent much more time in our cabin on this cruise than we had ever done before. I fell twice in the room and ended up being diagnosed with pneumonia. Although the medical care I received was excellent I basically stayed in the room except for forays to the medical center for intravenous fluids and antibiotics. I had three days of twice a day IV's and another seven days of oral antibiotics. During this time I watched a lot of TV. The news channels of CNBC, MSNBC, FOX, BBC, and two ESPN stations were less than enthralling. Soccer and politics with the occasional stock market news were all that was shown. Thank goodness for on-demand programming of relative new movies and very old TV shows. We had anytime dining for this cruise. We never waited for a table. We always shared with others. The dining room food was very good with excellent service. We did find a few evening menus to be less than inspiring. On those evening we went to the expansive buffet where we also found the food to be very good. The buffet stewards always offered to bring us drinks, whether coffee and juice at breakfast or water at dinner. We found the service here to be excellent. I wish there were a few tables that had seating with arms. I prefer to transfer to a seat for meals but find rising difficult when the chair does not have arms. All chairs in the buffet are armless. We really enjoyed the cruise director an his staff on this cruise. For the first 2/3 of the cruise we had Ron Goodman as the entertainment director. He instituted an early show time of 4:45 PM as well as 7:30 and 9:30 PM. This worked very well and accessible seating was available at every early show. The early shows were very well attended. On the last 1/3 of the cruise Billy Hygate was the entertainment director. He did not schedule any early shows and the seating at the earlier of the two remaining times became a problem with the accessible seats being taken over 30 minutes before the show was scheduled. The cruise director, Matt O'Brien was outstanding. He was everywhere and very personable. He did trivia and line dancing as well as introducing the production shows. We especially enjoyed his "Wake Show" on TV. Service on this cruise was excellent. Our room steward I Wayan from Bali was outstanding. Even when I was in the cabin he was able to keep everything clean and neat. He was also personable and seem genuinely interested in us. This cruise visited many ports. First, we cruised in the Caribbean. We especially enjoyed stopping in Trinidad where we took a taxi tour of the island. We also greatly enjoyed Montevideo, Uruguay where we took a bus tour. We had trouble leaving Montevideo as one couple who did not have an Argentina visa (required because of their nationality) hid rather than leaving the ship. This caused us to be late leaving so we lost our scheduled arrival slot in Buenos Aires. This caused a cascade of problems as the people who were scheduled to leave the ship were too late to make their flights home. All excursions were cancelled in Buenos Aires including the over night ones to Iguazu Falls. We had repeated problems with late arrivals and departures from ports, usually because there were stores to be loaded. Other favorites for us included the Falkland Islands where only my husband was able to go ashore to see the penguins as this was a tender port, Rio to see Christ the Redeemer and Ushuaia. We enjoyed this cruise immensely even though there were challenges, especially my illness. The medical staff were outstanding. Cuan, from South Africa a paramedic who helped me when I fell, Dr. Belton who diagnosed and treated me and also my nurse Dingaan, also from South Africa who was excellent with placing my intravenous needle. We had an outstanding destination lecturer Vickie Bowne who provided the necessary information for our ports without being a shopping tout. We also enjoyed the enrichment lecturers, especially the aviation expert. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The ship is very nice and up to date. The facilities like pool area, piazza and restaurants are very well thought and nice. Any time dining was perfect to us and there was hardly ever any waiting time. The food was better than expected, ... Read More
The ship is very nice and up to date. The facilities like pool area, piazza and restaurants are very well thought and nice. Any time dining was perfect to us and there was hardly ever any waiting time. The food was better than expected, especially in ala carte restaurants and in the Horizon buffet. Formal night are not very formal, you could see people in the dining room in jeans and t-shirt. We had packed too many suits and dresses. Employees work hard and the service is mostly good if you don't have too many or difficult requests. The drinks are the worst part. Straight up Dry Martini is 40 % of water. I had them many, but always the same. The alcohol doesn't cost the company very much, but still they try to maximize their profits with watery drinks. The greed of the ship company in general was the biggest disappointment. Over all, we were very happy to choose Royal Princess. It is big, but you really don't feel it that way while on board. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose to do the 19 day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Buenos Aires because of the variety of ports - 4 in the Caribbean and 5 in South America. The ship was continuing on after Buenos Aires for another 14 days to Santiago Chile and then ... Read More
We chose to do the 19 day cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Buenos Aires because of the variety of ports - 4 in the Caribbean and 5 in South America. The ship was continuing on after Buenos Aires for another 14 days to Santiago Chile and then to Los Angeles. The bulk of the passengers were travelling the full 49 days from Fort Lauderdale to LA. More than 2/3 of the ship were Princess Elite passengers. The average age was probably mid 70s - and only 12 children on our portion of the cruise. Cabin We had an inside cabin on deck 12 which while not huge worked well for us. Denys our cabin steward did a fantastic job taking care of the cabin. Dining We did anytime dining the first couple of nights. The food was fine but we felt that the servers for the most part did not want to engage in conversation with us - basically serve you and move onto the next table. So one night we tried the buffet in the Lido and were blown away by the variety of the food. Every night they featured a different country’s food and we found because of the variety that we tended to eat too much but really enjoyed it more than the dining room (except we over ate!). We also had lunch a few times at a small cafe in the piazza which served salad and sandwiches which were quite tasty for a lighter meal (it is open 24 hours!). Entertainment The singing/dancing shows were ok - some better than others. There were a lot of comedians (one was supposedly the best entertainer on Princess overall in 2016 - if he was the best I’d hate to have seen the worst). Also a lot of musicians. The Royal Princess band was fantastic in backing up all the acts with little preparation. Cruise Director Matt O our cruise director was without a doubt one of the best if not THE best cruise directors we have ever had. He was fun and funny. I felt sorry for him that people were rude by running to the dining room the second that the show finished not willing to stay for another 2 minutes to hear him talk. People were going to his trivia contests and not playing trivia just to be entertained by him. Ship The ship is quite nicely decorated and a lot of things take place in the piazza which can be awkward for seating but still an enjoyable venue. Ports: St Thomas always a nice stop - we did the Kon Tiki Harbour and beach tour ship excursion to Honeymoon Beach and had a great time. Nice beach, not too crowded and a wonderful time with the crew on the Kon Tiki - flowing rum punches, band and limboing on the return journey. Antigua We did an island tour with Barry from Barry Taxi - very reasonably priced, well guided and taken care of by Barry. Barbados We did a Sunbury Plantation, Orchid World and Gun Signal Hill ship tour - the highlight of which for most would have been a rum punch demonstration at Sunbury Plantation which was very generous and very funny. Orchid World was alright - nothing special. Port of Spain This was not a port I was looking forward to having heard many negatives about Trinidad and safety issues. We chose to do the Caroni Bird Sanctuary with the the ship’s excursion. The drive there echoed what I expected about Trinidad - looking very third world and not inviting. The bid sanctuary was meh - the only real highlight was having a snake asleep directly above our boat - UGH. Fortaleza We had heard news reports of significant violence - burning vehicles and businesses several weeks before our arrival and scores of military had been sent in. No signs of the violence to be seen - not a particularly exciting port but was nice to be in Brazil. Salvador If we thought Brazil was going to be like Fortakeza we were wrong. What a nice port Salvador was. So much more lively and vibrant. In Fortaleza the beach had barely a handful of people on it whereas Salvador’s beaches were packed. We did a city tour with Do Brazil Right - only 8 of us and a great Italian guide named Alfredo. We quite enjoyed it. Rio What can I say but WOW. What a great port - wish we had an overnight stop. We did a ship’s tour to the Christ statue, Brazilian steak house and Sugar Loaf Mountain. It was well organized and quite busy at the places we went to. The Christ statue was packed but quite breath taking. The Brazilian steak house was packed with cruise ship tours - the meat kept coming and coming despite putting out our red stop sign for no more meat. The service was a bit slow and there were some translation misunderstandings - I asked for orange juice and got onion rings - oh well it makes for a good story! Sugar loaf was also quite busy but great views. Montevideo We did a ship’s tour to La Rabida which is an estancia (ranch). It is family owned and only opens for cruise tours. Wonderful hospitality and food - got to milk a cow and get dragged behind a horse. Montevideo is a clean city and Uruguay is not typical of other South American countries - it has the highest literacy rate in South America and supposedly no corruption. Buenos Aires See disembarkation Disembarkation We left Montevideo 52 minutes late due to late loading of stores (third such delay in this cruise) and an immigration issue for 2 people. The Captain announced about an hour after departure because of our late departure we had lost our slot into a narrow channel into Buenos Aires and would have to anchor until 3am. In the end we finally arrived in BA 9 hours late at 2pm. We had booked a debark City tour and tango show with drop off at the airport thru Princess. Because of the late arrival our tour was cancelled and we were supposed to join the ship’s airport transfers. The communication about the tours was not great although we ended up figuring out when/where to meet quite by chance. We disembarked to a dark, crowded and quite chaotic terminal with no signage as to what luggage tags were where - actually they were still offloading luggage from one of two trucks when we arrived in the terminal. It was VERY hot - an elderly lady fainted. When we finally got our luggage went outside and lined up for the 2 buses that were there which filled up and left. Then we heard from one of the other passengers that apparently there had only been 6 buses for airport transfers and they were all enroute to the airport (1 1/2 hours one way in rush hour) and the ground handling staff had no idea if or when another bus would come. They apologized but said that Princess had deserted them. They suggested to take a taxi if we had a flight that evening. So we lined up for 30 minutes and finally got a taxi around 6pm, arriving at 7:20pm at the airport for a 9:45pm flight. After a wonderful cruise the disembarkation left a bad taste in our mouths and a bad impression. Overall the Royal Princess is a lovely ship and this was a great cruise with great ports. Unfortunately all the positives were wiped out by the fiasco in a Buenos Aires. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
my wife and i just got back last week from our 49 day cruise of south america on the Royal Princess which was a nice cruise even though the captain missed a port and got us late to a few others...but the mini suite we got M105 on the Royal ... Read More
my wife and i just got back last week from our 49 day cruise of south america on the Royal Princess which was a nice cruise even though the captain missed a port and got us late to a few others...but the mini suite we got M105 on the Royal Princess was terrible...simply terrible..we were mislead by the website and brochures about a mini suite...i was expecting a mini suite like the diagram which showed a bedroom, a separate tv room with a couch and a balcony..what we got was not like that at all. Room M105 was just a big room with 2 tvs, a couch, and a bed-plus a forward facing balcony which was pretty much unusable when the ship was moving...i expected a room for tv so if my wife was asleep in the bedroom i could watch tv in the other room and not disturb her...imagine my shock when we just got a big room with 2 tv's and a couch in it...all in the same room..no privacy if one of us wanted to watch a tv show..we complained to customer service on the ship 3 times to see if they could get us moved but never heard back from them..when we got home after our 49 day trip--which was a lot of fun except for our room which we paid the big bucks--i contacted princess customer service...they got back to me after a week and told me that i would get no refund or on board credit due to our disappointment in the room..even though the website and brochure shows a mini suite with a separate bedroom and tv room... in small print there is a disclaimer that says the ship may change the way the room appears..i was not happy to find out about this since i believed i was getting a bedroom and separate tv room with a curtain--not one big room which was kinda like a balcony room we have gotten in the past..i was and still am disappointed with Princess Cruise lines for not having a room as pictured in the diagram on their website...plus i paid a lot of money for what was essentially a big balcony room..so warning to all you Princess cruisers...make sure you know what your room will look like since it doesn't look at all like the mini suites pictured on their website...maybe you should consider just getting a balcony room and not a mini suite like M105 which was just one large room and was terrible..simply terrible.. Luckily the rest of the cruise was great. ..great dining experience in the club class section of the ship.. great bar service...they always knew the drinks we liked every night..and we drank a bunch..we were on vacation..lol Nice day activities scheduled every day.. And the night time shows were very varied..we especially liked the comedians.. So I would definitely recommend this cruise...just not the mini suite M105.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this 49 day cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles because of the itinerary and because we would only have to fly once from Los Angeles to FL and only drive from Los Angeles back home. We chose Princess because we thought we ... Read More
We chose this 49 day cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles because of the itinerary and because we would only have to fly once from Los Angeles to FL and only drive from Los Angeles back home. We chose Princess because we thought we would have an above average experience. Princess failed to impress us and although we are close to elite status, will have to rethink going on our next cruise on Princess. We were happy with our balcony room, room stewart and the ship in general. The library was sad as it is very small and there are not many books or reading material. Dining: We tried our assigned table and early dining three times but found the food subpar, lacking taste and options limited. After that we ate our meals in the Horizon Court which offered more variety, but not taste. Most foods were on the salty side. I did not like the soup stations as I found the soup ladel too small for the huge pots and found people trying to fish for the dropped spoon with their hands in the soup. I eat fish or vegan/vegetarian dishes and found that the fish offerings were poor. The cheapest fish was offered and it is mostly freshwater tilapia, trout or on occasion sole. You never know what type of fish you are eating because the dishes were just labeled baked fish, fried fish, fish in sauce..etc. with no details as to the type of fish being served. Personally I don't care for freshwater fish, and tilapia seemed to be the only fish available. If you like mahi mahi, swordfish yellotail, etc....you won;t find it here. Shrimp was always offered, but I have a thing with farmed shrimp or fish and stayed away from shrimp. I prefer the larger wild caught shrimp. Chocolate Journeys/Desserts: Poor in my opinion. I have a sweet tooth and enjoy good desserts or baked goods. I found the cakes very dry as if they had been baked weeks before and then decorated on the day they were served. There was not one dessert that I found that left an impression. Grandma's chocolate cake gave me an upset stomach the two times I ate it and I think it's because the cakes are left at room temperature in the Horizon - this partifular cake's frosting always seemed melted due to the lights and room temperature. Entertainment: I expected better and only saw two shows they were that bad to us. Also not enough seats for everyone in the theater. Cruise Director: Some people loved him - we did not! He was a little bit too much for us and not so professional. Guest Service Desk: Tired. No hello or thank you. No enthusiasm. Tour Excursions Desk: Tired. Attitudes. Excuses. Staff in public areas, Horizon Court: Like others have mentioned, the staff on the ship were tired looking, like they are on their last days before their breaks. No smiles, enthusiasm, or eagerness to help or do their job. Their supervisors not doing their jobs, but rather conversing in small groups. Port Destination Presentation: Sorry, but we did not like Vicki the destination"expert". She had trouble reading her notes and mispronounced people and places a LOT. I would remove "expert" from her title. Again, some people liked her, others including us did not and think Princess could have done better with presentations. Ports: We had many late arrival/departures from ports and given excuses from ship staff. Buenos Aires turned out to be a mess and all excursions were cancelled as we arrived too late into port. Loading of supplies at ports took too long making our departures late. Princess again? I don't know. Will have to be a really good deal, as this cruise did not meet our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
After a few days, the design flaws really showed up. With only one show lounge, activities like any form of dance instruction we relegated to the central piazza. Participating in these venues meant being on full public display and the lack ... Read More
After a few days, the design flaws really showed up. With only one show lounge, activities like any form of dance instruction we relegated to the central piazza. Participating in these venues meant being on full public display and the lack of a stage and screens for the instructors made the process unenjoyable. The Princess Live venue is just a lecture theatre with terrible short squab seating. As usual, the Princess theatre was packed for the early show, again an oversight in design. Even the Vista lounge is poorly designed and appears to hold less people, it also has no bar. Shopping outlets are rewarded with huge spaces as are the Art sales. Overall the food offerings were of a good standard in the main dining areas but the Horizon Court rarely met expectations with much of the food being displayed being very tepid. Princess simply failed to enforce good hygeine standards with lip service being paid to proper santatiin for all. Quite a few times we arrived lat and left early for port days, weather caused us to miss a port and administrative ineptitude meant that most Beaunos Aires tours were cancelled due to an almost 9 hour tardiness in arrival. Simply, the schedule was too tight to allow for any catching up. Of course, there were rusted on Royal fans but we will not be among them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Chose the cruise for the itinerary and as an opportunity to begin an adventure in Argentina by cruising to Buenos Aires. Ports were new to us, which was nice. However, disembarkation into some of the ports was disorganized and stressful, ... Read More
Chose the cruise for the itinerary and as an opportunity to begin an adventure in Argentina by cruising to Buenos Aires. Ports were new to us, which was nice. However, disembarkation into some of the ports was disorganized and stressful, taking well over 1 1/2 hours on one occasion. We were recurrently leaving port late, including the night before our disembarkation port, resulting in our arrival 8 hours after we were scheduled. This resulted in our missing our flight. Many others missed flights and excursions. Cost us over $700, which was not reimbursed despite the fact that the reason for the late departure from the previous port was due to bad decisions by Princess. The food on the ship was very good, with the buffet being surprisingly enjoyable. The entertainment was better than expected. The lectures were interesting and the port talks good. The cruise director's staff was a highlight. However, the disembarkation and subsequent interactions with Princess will make me think twice before sailing with them again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Fantastic cruise. Friendly staff. Excellent food in buffet. Dining rooms service could be better with respect to service and delivery times. Entertainment was fabulous because of the excellent and friendly cruise director and his ... Read More
Fantastic cruise. Friendly staff. Excellent food in buffet. Dining rooms service could be better with respect to service and delivery times. Entertainment was fabulous because of the excellent and friendly cruise director and his wonderful crew who always seemed to know what the passengers wanted. The production shows were great and I always heard the people who were coming out of the theatre say that the shows were great. The dance bands were great and responded to requests that the people wanted to hear. Royal Princess should be awarded the BEST ENTERTAINMENT SHIP FOR 2019. The Captain had a wonderful sense of humour. The crew ranging from the housekeeping attendants to servers in the restaurants and bars were always friendly and they always smiled while working. If I seemed lost they always were quick to ask if I needed help. I have done several cruises and this cruise was by far the best cruise and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Why did we choose this cruise: * itinerary (countries, ports expected experiences) * great package, inclusions and pricing provided by Cruise Connections in Vancouver, BC - inclusions such as two extensive tours (Montevideo and ... Read More
Why did we choose this cruise: * itinerary (countries, ports expected experiences) * great package, inclusions and pricing provided by Cruise Connections in Vancouver, BC - inclusions such as two extensive tours (Montevideo and Rio de Janeiro) incl. spectacular lunch and wine; flights YVR to Ft Lauderdale and from Santiago back to YVR, ship gratuities, ship board credits; free pre-cruise night in Ft Lauderdale, etc. * smooth check in * major problem / issue was approx 5 hrs delayed arrival time in Buenos Aires - one of the most desirable ports of the cruise; reasons are based on gossip only, so I wont repeat them here. But it appears that Princess dropped the ball at some stage. * my problem with Princess is that it is difficult or almost impossible to find a quiet place to read a book or simply enjoy life. Everywhere - constant entertainment, bands, music - are we so dependent on being stimulated or annoyed by noise? * We chose anytime dining - so easy and pleasant and informative to strike up conversations with a wide variety of people. We more and more trended towards the Horizon Court for dinners - we felt that many. too many servers in various dining rooms are tired, exhausted and want you to order, eat and leave. Yes, there are exceptions but the majority appears to be tired and over worked. * I had bad experiences with Crab Shack on several previous (Alaska) cruises - so we did not even try this time. I am always disappointed by the lack of effort Princess puts into converting a corner of the Horizon into Crab Shack. Sabatini is grossly overpriced with their US$ 29.00 cover charge. Just not worth the money - so it is empty most of the nights. * Wine pricing has gone through the roof. Buying a gold wine package (12 bottles) is the only way to go to undercut the exorbitant prices * Management: invisible, nowhere to be found, including the captain. A bit more PR polish would not hurt at all. Overall: not bad, very middle of the road Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Embarkation absolutely fastest, friendliest and most-efficient ever. Really enjoyed this experience, as well as sail away from Fort Lauderdale. The ship is big, and manages crowds well. Anytime dining was a good option, and the ... Read More
Embarkation absolutely fastest, friendliest and most-efficient ever. Really enjoyed this experience, as well as sail away from Fort Lauderdale. The ship is big, and manages crowds well. Anytime dining was a good option, and the Symphony dining room staff is great. Warm greetings, good service and good conversation with fellow passengers, too. We chose this cruise for the new experience to explore the Atlantic side of South America, specifically Montevideo and Buenos Aires. We mostly enjoy sea days for the relaxation, and excursions not a priority. Rio was a nice plus, with a good, albeit brief tour of Sugarloaf. An overnight here would have been welcomed, if anyone's listening. Fortaleza was a disappointment, with a tour guide who barely spoke English, never led the group anywhere, and thanks to a delay exiting the ship had to bring us back early. Salvador has an easily accessible funicular that will take you up the hill to the UNESCO shopping area for 15 centavos each way. They won't take $US, but the ticket girl's brother will sell you 2 pesos for a dollar. Glad we skipped the guided tour up here, because the nicest part is undergoing an urban renewal, and that entire plaza is fenced off. Still, it was a good stroll around the adjacent plaza and shops there. Montevideo is beautiful, and the short tour of the city very informative. People who went out to the ranches said they really enjoyed their experience. We'd heard disembarking in Buenos Aires can be difficult, and inquired about a morning city tour ending up at the Hotel Sofitel despite being booked at the nearby Hotel Sileo. We were told no problem, and booked the tour. We were later told we had to come back down and rebook to the drop off at city center. It took yet another trip to the Shore Excursion Desk to get the name of the hotel, which is the Sheraton Convention Center. As luck would have it, a combination of passengers with immigration issues and a collision of two MSC ships in Buenos Aires resulted in a delay of arrival into that port until about 2pm. This resulted in the cancelation of everyone's shore excursions. Already receiving luggage tags to send our bags to the Sheraton, we were told we needed new tags and would need to find our own way ashore. We later found out we could have kept those bags out for collection and retrieved them at the hotel. We are still wondering why Princess did not verify luggage colors/numbers before allowing passengers off the gangway. Literally hundreds of passengers left the gangway ahead of their luggage being ready. We entered what looked like a stockyard of cattle pushing their way to the edge of the fencing in the unlit warehouse, blocking access to the other end for those of us whose luggage was there. We managed out to the sidewalk to await a taxi. While the cue ahead of us went quickly, there was a forty-minute lull in available cabs once we got to the front of the line. It is unfathomable that Princess did not have any contingency in place for such a delay. Qui L'umbo. It is such a beautiful ship and staff. Our sympathies to our fellow passengers and crew whose plans changed for the worse due to this delay, but enjoy safe and happy travels moving forward. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Itinerary: leave out Caribbean islands except for Trinidad/Tobago; Fortaleza Brazil NOT worth visit/ exclude. Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires are wonderfully memorable stops. But disembarking at BA was the worse experience we’ve ever ... Read More
Itinerary: leave out Caribbean islands except for Trinidad/Tobago; Fortaleza Brazil NOT worth visit/ exclude. Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires are wonderfully memorable stops. But disembarking at BA was the worse experience we’ve ever had. Taxis are scarce ( though not expensive) and we spent 2 hours in bad heat/ humidity on line of at least 100 people for few taxis. I advise you pre-book private pickup at any price ($75??). Cruise director Matt O’ was best in the business. Buffet food was also best we’ve ever had, especially dinner. Room service and stewards were excellent. Entertainment top notch. Deluxe Balcony cabin D148 was fine with good AC ( tiny balcony but not important). PLEASE improve Shore Excursions and ask for evaluations right afterwards. The vans on all Caribbean islands were I poor condition with poor AC and very cramped. Guide’s ok. Trinidad/Tobago was Best island stop with great guide and van. Shore excursion of Monastery in hills with homemade breads/cakes, tea was SO lovely. Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires are unforgettable and worth money of cruise to see! Ship Captain excellent. Others were doing longer 49 day segments. We were happy and ready to disembark at 19 days in Buenos Aires. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The breadth of ports was very attractive, from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, the long way. It enabled visiting places that one might not see otherwise. Prices for cabins with an "obstructed view" were excellent & the view ... Read More
The breadth of ports was very attractive, from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles, the long way. It enabled visiting places that one might not see otherwise. Prices for cabins with an "obstructed view" were excellent & the view was still quite good. Dining & entertainment were terrific! Condition of cabin was very fine. A couple of excursions were horrible and many very over-priced. Sailing around the tip of S. America was lovely and very interesting. The crew failed to assure that all passengers had valid travel documents. This resulted in our being kept in Montevideo for several extra hours & arriving in Buenos Aires about 9 hours late. That meant hundreds of people missed their flights home & we missed our flight to visit Iguazu Falls. Plus, hundreds had to sit in a non-air conditioned terminal while waiting many hours for the ship to arrive. Some Princess employees should be fired for that, or shot! Fitness Center was the best of any ship that we have been on. Princess over sold the excursion to the Christ The Redeemer Statue in Rio. Result was standing around for hours due to not enough vehicles for the number of passengers. Tour should have taken 90 to 100 minutes. It took over 4 1/2 hours. At a couple of ports, Princess only bought space for one tender boat at a time to dock. This resulted in the trip on the tender boats to take 50 to 60 minutes when it should have taken 15 to 20. The staff at the Excursion Desk were not empowered to satisfy the many, many dissatisfied customers. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was an exciting cruise going all the way aroundSouth America from Ft. Lauderdale to LA. We were a bit apprehensive about the length of this cruise as it was over 20 days longer than our previous longest cruise. That ended up not ... Read More
This was an exciting cruise going all the way aroundSouth America from Ft. Lauderdale to LA. We were a bit apprehensive about the length of this cruise as it was over 20 days longer than our previous longest cruise. That ended up not being an issue as the cruise was a very good mix of sea and port days. This was the first time the Royal had been in most of these ports and was the biggest cruise ship many of these ports had seen. This was in part a repositioning cruise getting the Royal from the east coast to the west coast. While we have been on many Princess cruises this was our first time on the Royal or a Royal class ship. We missed the Explorers Lounge and did not like the Princess Live venue for trivia. The Piazza was used a lot and was the venue for music at night and dancing. Seating could be a bit of a challenge in this area. We had Club Class Dining and did not like the way that is handled on the Royal. On smaller ships, the port side dining room entrance is CC only and the service is more personalized. Once we got seated the service and food were good and the manager's special salads and pastas were welcome. Some of the CC specials were nice but we ordered off of the regular menu most nights. On the Royal CC dinner in is one dining room and breakfast and lunch are in a different place with different servers than at dinner. The same dining room and staff for each meal were one of the CC attractions. Alfredo's pizza and pasta restaurant was one of our favorites for a light lunch or dinner. We ate at Sabatini's 3 times and Crown Grill twice and enjoyed all of the meals. The service and food are very good. Sabatini's for breakfast (a suite passenger benefit) was very nice and something we enjoyed most mornings. The menu never varies but they will try to make just about anything you would like or any variation if they can. We enjoyed all the ports and did a mix of walking around on our own, taking Princess tours and private tours. All the ports were new to us and we enjoyed most of them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
It has taken me a few months to write my review for our cruise. I think this was our 4th or 5th cruise with Princess. The embarkation process was very crowded but the staff at the desk were excellent. The ports of call, except for Rio, ... Read More
It has taken me a few months to write my review for our cruise. I think this was our 4th or 5th cruise with Princess. The embarkation process was very crowded but the staff at the desk were excellent. The ports of call, except for Rio, all seemed about the same. Not much of interest. The food was very disappointing, so much so that we quit going to the dining room and just tried to find the best on the buffet line. The entertainment was disappointing, except for the small groups in bars, etc. Our cabin steward was excellent. The dining staff was excellent. The ship on numerous occasions was either late getting into port or late leaving port. On our last port of call, Buenos Aires, it creating a headache. The ship was late leaving the port before, so we were denied entry to the port by 3 hours. We had booked a day long tour in Buenos Aires - well obviously that didn't happen. We didn't get off the ship until around 3pm. We had many conversations with front desk and the tour desk regarding our tour. No problem with getting the credit, but the tour including our transfer to the airport. We were assured by several people at the front desk and the tour desk that we would still have a transfer. When we were let off the ship we went by bus the a metal building for our luggage. There was no air conditioning and no order to the luggage. You had to try to go from one one of the huge building to the other to find your luggage. We waited in that hot building for almost 2 hours before our luggage arrived. We got in the long line for the airport transfer. After being in line for almost an hour, someone from Princess came over and said we would not have a transfer, there were other people in line that experiences the same issue. We then had to go to another long line (had we known we would have been in that line to begin with) for a taxi. We waited another hour to get a taxi. Thankfully, we had a 9:30pm flight. Even with that late of flight, we barely made it, that was due to a short line for security. The service by Princess was inexcusable. We have sailed around 23 times over the years. I have to say this has soured by taste for cruising. I'm sure we will cruse again, but we will try river cruising next. We will never take a Princess Cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
There are a few people that are complaining about problems with stores loading delaying departure and late arrival at some ports. We missed a tour in Buenos Aires and our “Best of Fortaleza” was mainly a 4 hour motor coach ride because ... Read More
There are a few people that are complaining about problems with stores loading delaying departure and late arrival at some ports. We missed a tour in Buenos Aires and our “Best of Fortaleza” was mainly a 4 hour motor coach ride because we late into port. Sailing on a ship is NOT like riding a bus. We have sailed a bit and know that delays happen. We were disappointed but it is all part of being a traveler, not a tourist. The entertainment on board has been first rate. The Princess singers and dancers are wonderful. The musicians are also great. The production numbers were very well done. Most nights the Princess Theater has been packed. Vickie Bowne is our destination lecturer and her personality adds to the wonderful information about our ports of call. Matt O’Brien is the Cruise Director and is a bundle of energy. We are going to continue to enjoy our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019

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