It would take us some hours to list all the issues (from a customer’s viewpoint) that need immediate addressing by Princess, as a result of our experiences during the 48 day Southampton to Sydney cruise on the Emerald Princess, but here ... Read More
It would take us some hours to list all the issues (from a customer’s viewpoint) that need immediate addressing by Princess, as a result of our experiences during the 48 day Southampton to Sydney cruise on the Emerald Princess, but here are just a few to start with, just off the top of our head:
UPGRADING TO MINI SUITE:
When we originally booked the cruise, we wanted a mini-suite but were told there were none available. While in UK, we were told by your Southampton office that mini-suite A329 on Dolphin deck was available and an approximate upgrade cost would be around AUD$2,500.
We were told that we would have to contact Princess in Australia as that was where our booking was originally made. This was where we found out that if in UK or Europe, it was impossible to call Princess Australia as all calls were diverted by Princess to Southampton office.
Not to be deterred, we then emailed Princess Australia who replied that the cost to upgrade to the mini suite would be AUD$11,640
When we told Princess what to do with their AUD$11,640 upgrade, they replied that they would do it for AUD$2,000 provided that we called them on a 13 number within 24 hours (Impossible from outside Australia and they knew we were then in UK). Well, by the time we did contact them (through the kind help of a Southampton offices staff member’s friend in Australia) Princess told us that we hadn’t replied within the 24 hours demanded by them and consequently the mini suite was no longer available to us.
COST OF CRUISE DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU BUY IT !
As if this experience wasn’t bad enough, during the cruise a fellow passenger from UK asked how much the cruise had cost us. When we told them AUD$20,000 plus they gasped – they only had to pay the equivalent of AUD$16,000 for the same cruise. An American passenger present then advised us that they had paid a little over AUD$12,000 for the same cruise that we were all currently on
There’s a lesson here, never buy a Princess cruise in Australia – much cheaper if you buy in UK or better still in USA ! ! !
We were told by Princess prior to the cruise that we would be denied boarding if we had not obtained a visa for India, whether or not we planned to go ashore there.
We had no intention of going ashore in India and would have been more pleased if the ship did not even call there.
We then had to spend some AUD$400 to obtain the visas required by Princess but when we arrived in India, the hundreds of passengers that had not obtained their visa’s were told they didn’t need a visa if they stayed on board as we had planned to do.
It turned out we were not the only passengers who had been forced by Princess to spend hundreds of dollars completely unnecessarily (and we spoke with several Americans who had been forced by Princess to similarly spend over a thousand dollars [AUD.] to get their Indian visa’s that they didn’t really need as they did not get off in India)
To rub salt into the wound, all passengers were then hurriedly sent a letter from Princess’s lawyers trying to shift the blame to the Indian government (obviously to try to avoid the class action that we have been told has been started by passengers against Princess for damages and compensation caused by Princess)
Not even so much as a word of apology to affected passengers from Princess for their incompetence !
Shortly after embarkation we decide to visit the library on board. There was no library attendant and there were NO BOOKS other than a few in non-English languages (see pics) just bare empty bookshelves !
ON BOARD ENTERTAINMENT:
There seemed to be only a few decent shows put on by Princess and these were repeated over and over during the 48 day cruise. The other entertainment provided by Princess was of poor quality and obviously the cheapest they could get.
Most of the remaining entertainment was provided (at no cost to Princess) by the passengers – e.g. Fashion Parades, Choir, Talent Time etc and even those were repeated over and over.
Princess even spoiled the Talent Time show by apparently pre-selecting a semi-professional screamer (singer) as the winner when there were several other contestants with more talent in their little finger and who the consensus of passengers gauged to be much better than the person selected by Princess.
FORMAL DRESS CODE:
Your review of this ship is misleading stating “Most men wear suits, though a number wear black ties, while most women opt for cocktail dresses rather than all-out formal evening gowns.”
There were around 8 Formal nights during our 48 day cruise and on each of these nights at least 95% of men wore Black Tie and the majority of ladies wore evening gowns. It was rare to see a man in a suit or a lady wearing other than at her glamorous best.
Princess advertising blurb carries on about dress on Formal nights but we were amazed to witness a few improperly dressed male passengers (open-necked golf “T” shirt, no jacket) that were allowed entry to dinner at Crown Grill on a Formal night.
When we questioned the Maître D, we were told “We cater for everyone - casual dress is OK”.
What about the heavily tattooed male passenger wearing a blue singlet, shorts and scuffs who was allowed entrance to Horizon’s for dinner ?
After trying both dining rooms (we had anytime dining) we dined in the dining rooms only a couple of times after finding the food pretty ordinary and the service not much better. On one occasion, my wife sent her meal back 3 times and in the end, we walked out in disgust and went up to Horizons to eat. Other passengers at our table had similar experiences
We found the food here ranged from average to excellent and much better than the dining rooms. We found the staff both behind the counters and in the dining areas very good. As a result we ate here most of the time
We dined here on three occasions and found the food and the service excellent on each occasion. This restaurant was without peer in the dining stakes on board the Emerald !
Pathetic little menu - food served is terrible – examples - sandwiches made with dry, stale bread without butter, requested 3 minute boiled eggs and received cold, harder than concrete 30minute boiled eggs, etc etc all of which is obviously designed by Princess to save money by totally discouraging passengers from using room service
We were disappointed by the lack of knowledge or information / misinformation / (untruths) re ports and tours etc. by staff, especially tour desk and after our experiences during the Civitavecchia and Dubai excursions, we cancelled all 11 of our remaining prepaid excursions
Rome excursion 3 October 2016 (winery) 3 ¼ hours in bus – told would be 1 ½ hours – no vineyards – taken to a shed with a few bottles of wine for sale – elderly passenger unconscious after falling backwards off a stool - bus would not start to return to ship – injured passenger not transferred to working bus for repatriation back to ship and forced to wait until bus repaired – tour was to have ua back on ship by 2pm – back at ship 5.45 pm
Dubai excursion 17 October 2016 – Elderly passenger about to collapse on the street - no compassion or assistance offered by guide - fellow passenger ill trying to walk back to bus in unshaded blazing heat told by guide “Come on hurry up we must get back to bus”
We arrived no board to find a warm refrigerator in our cabin. Although a man came to “fix” it, he told us that it was the best he could do. It was not even cold enough to stop butter from melting, for the entire trip
Its one thing to restrict smoking to one room but quite another to restrict it to a tiny dirty, non-ventilated room with not even enough chairs for passengers who do smoke to sit in there (see pic)
ON BOARD CLASSES – EDUCATION:
Apart from those talks simply seeking to sell something at grossly inflated prices (by Princess) e.g. Diamonds, artwork, massages etc there was simply nothing !
What about some classes in Photoshop, Chess, Bridge, basket weaving etc. like other cruises ?
Again, apart from blatant advertising talks by Princess, most talks and discussion groups were contributed by passengers who advised us that Princess were too stingy to pay them even a small fee or even present them with a small gift or certificate for their trouble !
UNSOLICITED JUNK MAIL:
Finding unsolicited junk mail in our cabin mailbox daily and in also daily bulletin was a big turn off as was being personally accosted in public areas by Princess girls trying to sell overpriced massages etc
We had a good one. However others were not so lucky e.g. comment one from cabin boy to another cabin boy overheard by passenger while placing room service tray out for collection “They must have been hungry – why can’t they eat with the rest of the passengers ?”
On a positive note there were some excellent, professional and caring staff on board who went “the extra mile” in Customer Services front desk, Drink waiters, in Horizons, our cabin boy, the bar boys on 16th floor smoking area (Southampton to Singapore) and Manager Michelangelo Dining Room to mention but a few.
However, there was also a really ignorant, arrogant senior staff member who had a standard reply to anything one said to him.
Obviously, this person never listened to comments/questions from passengers and would simply smile and reply “I’m so glad to hear you’re having a wonderful cruise on the beautiful Emerald Princess”
I’m pretty sure if I said to him “The back of the ship has fallen off and there are 400 passengers swimming for their lives” I would get the same smile and the same reply !
THE CONSUMMATE HOST ?
After our experiences during a 48 day cruise from Southampton to Sydney on board the Emerald Princess, we simply could not believe the sheer, bare-faced arrogance of Princess cruises claiming over and over to be “The consummate host”.
This claim repeated over and over both orally and in writing by Princess during the cruise antagonized not only us but many other passengers as well.
We doubt that any Princess staff even know the meaning of the word “CONSUMMATE”? (i.e. “showing a high degree of skill and flair; complete or perfect”)
Despite being in business for many years, Princess are nowhere near “complete or perfect” as they so arrogantly claim.
The naked and insatiable greed and grab for every possible dollar by Princess, coupled with their sheer arrogance, is really breathtaking!
We have been on many cruises over the years, mostly with Princess.
The first time we sailed with Princess was from Sydney to Los Angeles in 2008 and that cruise was magical – when we arrived in LA 32 days later, none of the passengers including us wanted to disembark as we had all enjoyed it so much. It convinced us to cruise with Princess in future.
After our experiences with the cruise from Southampton to Sydney, we would never sail with Princess again. Read Less