2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise because we liked the ports of call and were looking forward to sailing with Princess again. This was our 5th Princess cruise but it has been 10 years since we sailed with them. The ship itself was small and would be ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we liked the ports of call and were looking forward to sailing with Princess again. This was our 5th Princess cruise but it has been 10 years since we sailed with them. The ship itself was small and would be more suited for mature travelers. There were not many outdoor activities for the younger crowd. We actually enjoyed the quiet and didn't see many children. The decor seemed a little dated but it was clean. If you like on board shopping and gaming, you will be disappointed. The casino was extremely tiny. Our cabin and balcony were spacious except for the tiny bathroom and shower. I almost fell trying to maneuver in the shower. There was ample closet space. We took 2 Princess shore excursions and 3 from private tour operators. The private tours were more efficient and offered alternate experiences. I highly recommend Blue Hole and private beach house in Ocho Rios. This was the highlight of our trip. The entertainment was enjoyable but "old school". We loved it. Unfortunately, we were unable see all of the entertainment venues due to scheduling conflicts. The service was always top notch. All of the cruise staff we came in contact with were pleasant and eager to please. No complaints here. The food, which should be the highlight of any cruise, was horrible. There was not a single meal without something inedible on the plate. Salty soups, tough meat, smelly fish, watery oatmeal, banana shortages, disgusting ice cream, sorbet and crystallized soft serve, limited, repetitive menus and small servings. Hamburger was considered a standard, alternate menu item on the dinner menu instead of steak. Compared to Royal Caribbean and Norwegian the food was so disappointing. The wait staff always tried to steer us away from the less desirable menu offerings. We ate a lot of bread and butter. Donuts were only offered in the International cafe and never served in the breakfast dining room. You were out of luck if you got there too late. They didn't make enough. The mixed drinks were inconsistent. Most of our drinks were never made the same twice. We were so looking forward to enjoying our Princess cruise, unfortunately, this cruise will be our last with them. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We have cruised over 30 times, but only once before on Princess, in Alaska. We gave it rave reviews. So we talked another couple (first timers) into traveling with us to the Panama Canal. The first two days at sea went well, except for a ... Read More
We have cruised over 30 times, but only once before on Princess, in Alaska. We gave it rave reviews. So we talked another couple (first timers) into traveling with us to the Panama Canal. The first two days at sea went well, except for a bad stench. There was a sewage smell in various locations all around the ship and it continued for the entire cruise. Then we had maintenance problems in the cabin and the staff were less than responsive--leaking sink and no hot water in the shower. After a few days I requested to be moved, but the ship was sold out. The A/C was out in several areas of the ship and the staff acknowledged that they were hot also but had no solution. We had our hearts set on seeing Costa Rica, but the captain said the seas were too rough. Then we were looking forward to Grand Cayman and the captain said the sea was too rough. All of that is understandable, but for two good ports, they gave us Belieze, followed by a lecture that the streets were not safe. The food was for the most part, good, except for the fish entrees. The two days we spent at the Sanctuary were the very best. It's worth the 40 bucks to receive the royal treatment. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
The good. 1. $12.80 +tip cab fare from FLL to the cruise ship. 2. Suites are nice and not claustrophobic. 3. Bed was very comfortable. 4. Head Chef and Maitre D were very nice. Chef's Table was excellent. ($95 ... Read More
The good. 1. $12.80 +tip cab fare from FLL to the cruise ship. 2. Suites are nice and not claustrophobic. 3. Bed was very comfortable. 4. Head Chef and Maitre D were very nice. Chef's Table was excellent. ($95 each) 5. Food was good--but not great. 6. Service was excellent. Especially the cabin attendant for our D711 suite. 7. Quick embarkation and debarkation. 8. Easy access to shipboard charges. 9. Easy internet access--for a charge either by the minute or a package. The Bad 1. Anytime seating usually meant you will have to wait for an available table. 2. This ship rocks more than any of my 12 cruise ships. It didn't rock while it was in port. It looked like everyone was drunk walking on this ship while at sea. 3. The hors d'oeuvres sold to be delivered to the room aren't that good. 4. Very few passengers used the extra charge restaurants (+$29 per person) 5. The casino, especially Blackjack, had the worst playing rules to give the house the advantage, as if they needed it. I guess that's why so few played. 6. The MAJOR reason I will never cruise Princess is they blacked out the Championship NFL games in all rooms on Sunday. They allowed the pre-game shows, then the actual games were replaced by soccer, from who knows where. They only televised the NFL games on deck 14 in the heat of the day so they could sell more drinks. (It was kind of like going in your back yard at 1pm on July 4th in a lawn chair and watching TV with no shade on a 12 inch TV!) Then the evening game was televised while the ship was moving at sea and we were all almost blown away by the wind and had to cover up with beach towels to keep warm. The large screen TV was so poor that following the flight of the football was extremely difficult and many times impossible. I asked if I could complain to the captain and was told I would be able to express my disappointment on line when I returned home. Well Princess Lines--this is my complaint and my promise that you have seen my last green US dollar. I'm still waiting for my email as I haven't expressed my true disappointment with your refusing to allow NFL football in my suite as harshly here as I'm going to in my email. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We sailed to the Panama Canal on the Coral Princess in Oct 2016 Anytime dining is an epic fail.On arrival we were told we needed to make reservations The only available reservation times were 8:30 pm or you were given a beeper and ... Read More
We sailed to the Panama Canal on the Coral Princess in Oct 2016 Anytime dining is an epic fail.On arrival we were told we needed to make reservations The only available reservation times were 8:30 pm or you were given a beeper and the wait was 25 mins or more. I had a bug in my salad at the buffet.I called over a head waiter and told him that the lettuce needed to be washed more carefully.The waiter took the plate to the kitchen. He returned and told me the chef said "It happens. Believe me I KNOW it happens,it's not supposed to happen. The movies shown were old releases ( The original Ghostbusters for example) and there was not enough activities onboard, to keep us entertained. One day there was a game hour scheduled at 1:30pm. We waited until 1:45 and no one from the staff had showed. The most disturbing issue was the final bill.I was surprised to see a $20plus charge from a bar onboard. I say surprised because we do NOT drink. It turns out we were charged for Mai Tai's, which is impossible since we do not drink. Another passenger was next to me who had been charged for a round of drinks including a strawberry daiquiri and he had NEVER been in that particular bar, and they only drink wine and beer. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I know the heading is tuff.. but at 46 and 48 we where some of the youngest people on board.. Here are some Pros and Cons Pros 1. Quick checkin - under 5mins 2. Food was good compared to other cruise lines ( just don't order ... Read More
I know the heading is tuff.. but at 46 and 48 we where some of the youngest people on board.. Here are some Pros and Cons Pros 1. Quick checkin - under 5mins 2. Food was good compared to other cruise lines ( just don't order any beef) 3. "The Voice at Sea" was a great show 4. Drinks where great and not watered down like other cruise lines Cons 1. Ship is very dated 2. Cabins are also very dated 3. Other entertainment onboard was very limited and targeted to a older crowd 4. Ports where O.K. but over priced.. ( We found we could book the same trip for $15 USD per person direct vs.. the $45 the ship was charging) 5. Casino was very small and if you play black jack.. only one table that you could use Bottom line.. For 16 Days there is not enough to do on this ship Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We couldn't have been more disappointed. The cabin was okay and that was about it. The room was a reasonable size and had bath but the bottom of the shower curtain was mouldy. We have previously sailed with Norwegian and there is ... Read More
We couldn't have been more disappointed. The cabin was okay and that was about it. The room was a reasonable size and had bath but the bottom of the shower curtain was mouldy. We have previously sailed with Norwegian and there is no comparison. The standard of the food was very low. The Italian restaurant was ok but you had to pay a supplement and some of the food at Bordeau was ok but the service was very patchy. The rest of the food was abysmal. The drinks were also bad with loads of premixes. There was one bar that was more expensive where the drinks were good. Even the coffee was awful. The service was variable. We had a very good steward and there were a few friendly waiters but they were often quite surly. The ship was old and shabby and often smelt dank and mouldy. Our deck furniture was railings were rusty and the paint was peeling. The entertainment was poor and once again no comparison to Norwegian that had Broadway standard entertainment. All the music and performances were 3rd rate. For the main part the ports were disappointing as they exist for the cruise ships. Skagway in particular was like Disneyland. The excursions were poor and there were unnecessary charges for bus transport when it was a 5min walk from the ship to the excursion. We would never go on another Princess Cruise and it has actually put us off cruising period. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
Horrible smell in the bathroom. We had to close the door to the bathroom so we would not smell it at night. Got very sick last day of cruise. One woman was in the hallway with a mask on and no one knew if she was sick or did not want to ... Read More
Horrible smell in the bathroom. We had to close the door to the bathroom so we would not smell it at night. Got very sick last day of cruise. One woman was in the hallway with a mask on and no one knew if she was sick or did not want to get sick. Glasses in bar area filthy. VERY DISAPPOINTED!!!!! Sheets were not changed daily. We came back to our room early one day and found a bag in front of our door and as soon as we put the card in the door a guy opened our door.He was a creepy guy who said he was an "electrician" and there was a bulb out. I asked him which one? He said," I don't know," and left hurriedly. Luckily, we had put everything of importance in the safe. People at the front desk were very rude and not helpful with the most basic of questions. First cruise ever and will not cruise again on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2016
This was my first cruise. I was enticed by the reports of friends who said the cruise to Alaska was fabulous. My flight arrangements were delayed and I did not get a chance to explore Vancouver. I did not realize that despite the plea ... Read More
This was my first cruise. I was enticed by the reports of friends who said the cruise to Alaska was fabulous. My flight arrangements were delayed and I did not get a chance to explore Vancouver. I did not realize that despite the plea from the Cruise line to arrive early since two ships were in port that I would have to wait on a metal chair for three hours before boarding the ship after checking in, clearing immigration and customs. Should have waited until after 2 pm. I was overwhelmed by the number of times the cruise line wanted to take my picture. Not to my liking. The cabin was fine (definitely clean); the steward good (but I am low maintenance); the food okay (I lost 7 lbs on the trip) and the entertainment acceptable (not amateurish). The excursions on an Alaska trip require cautions. Halibut fishing via Princess: we were the guides' only folks in 5 days who caught halibut. My halibut arrived home warm and had to be trashed. And I only got 5 lbs despite having caught a 25 pounder. Don't trust the packing and shipping folks, nor the captain to deliver the right amount of fish. The bike and tram tour in Juneau was conducted in serious blowing rain and clouds. The tour information doesn't tell you it rains 240 days a year in Juneau - who would even offer a bike tour? Our guide said the day before it was 60 mph gusts and a half inch of rain an hour. I thought that was us but I guess we had it better. The clouds made the tram trip useless because there was no view. Even my friends who went on the helicopter glacier tour saw little and the professional pilots in my group said that the helicopter pilots flew visually through the clouds - a serious safety concern. My friends wondered how many helicopter accidents there were since there were a ton of trips before they cancelled all helicopter trips after 9 am. The cruise line arranged train and bus tour to White Pass & Yukon was also conducted in clouds and serious rain. Very little scenery to see (it rains 300 days a year in Skagway). The almost 5 hour bus portion of the tour was destined to a cruise passenger erected false façade tourist place with a mediocre lunch, a one room RCMP museum, some very nicely done stuffed animals and sledding dogs. At least I can say I was in the Yukon Territories. The bus driver acknowledged that the survey cards said he talked too much, but that didn't stop him. The views of the glaciers were fine (I have been to Antarctica) and the few bits of wildlife we saw from the boat fun. I traveled with friends (in the 50 - 60 year range). I would not go again. I will not cruise like this again. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Unable to see anything of Anchorage as we had to board a bus by 11 a.m. to take us to the ship, which departed at 8.50 p.m.. Embarkation was handled very well. Our cabin was adequate, but the shower was very small and with a curtain that ... Read More
Unable to see anything of Anchorage as we had to board a bus by 11 a.m. to take us to the ship, which departed at 8.50 p.m.. Embarkation was handled very well. Our cabin was adequate, but the shower was very small and with a curtain that permitted water to get all over the floor. Although we had anytime dining, we were told that the first night we had to go to dinner a 5 p.m.. They had two formal nights in our assigned dining room so we had to dine in one of the expensive restaurants as we had no dress clothes. The on-board newspaper giving scheduled event times was often in error, and you would arrive to hear a talk on something and it would only be people selling jewelry. Both my husband and I came down with the flu and were quarentined to our room for 2 days, necessitating using room service. The menú for room servicew was extremely limited and when we asked for dinner rolls we were told "bread at night, you want bread order sandwich". To top this off the 2 hot dishes (lasagna and chili) were terrible. Food in other dining room and Sabatinis was good, but definitely not gourmet. Buffet was OK but was the same ítems every day. This whole experience with Princess Cruises was a disaster. We booked the cruise through a travel agency and then contacted Princess directly to book our air through their E-Z air service as I felt they could better coordinate flights, transfers etc. than us doing it ourselves. Big mistake. They originally booked us on a flight to return home from Vancouver that had a time change that we would not have been able to take as it left before the ship arrived in Vancouver. If I had not gone on line with the airline directly I would not have been aware of this problem. I contacted Princess and advised them of this problem and asked why they had not contacted me about this time change and was given a platitude of "we are sorry" and after 45 minutes on phone was told that we would have to take a flight from Vancouver the next day after disembarkation. I asked if they could arrange hotel, sightseeing, airport transfer and was told they would. Naturally this involved a charge of $8 to 900 more. They sent me an itinery showing us going to the hotel and on a tour to Victoria Island and departing Vancouver on Sunday 7/24 at 5.40 a.m.. On arrival at the Westin we were advised that we were booked and paid for 2 nights (Sat. and Sun.) and to go on the tour Sun. at 9 a.m.! I showed them our itinery and asked how I could accomplish this if our plane left Sun. at 5. Westin told me to go directly to the Princess rep in their lobby to straighten this out. He proceeded to tell me he could do nothing that I had to contact Princess on their 800 number to get a credit to my account for the difference . I did that on reaching our room and was told that I had to send an e-mail explaining everything to receive a credit. Sent e-mail on arrival home and received an automated response that someone would contact me promptly. It is now Aug. 6 and still have no reply from Princess. I would never go on a Princess Cruise again, nor would I recommend it to anyone else. Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
My wife and I planned for an Alaskan cruise back in 2015. We selected Princess in that we both have sailed with Princess in the past and have appreciated the level of service that they provided. This cruise was one that showed me that ... Read More
My wife and I planned for an Alaskan cruise back in 2015. We selected Princess in that we both have sailed with Princess in the past and have appreciated the level of service that they provided. This cruise was one that showed me that changes have taken place within Princess at the top and are rippling through the organization. When we planned the cruise, we let them know of special occasions, desire to dine in the Bayou Café, desire to sit at a table with 8 other people, robe in the cabin, etc. We planned to eat in the Café on June 30th, my birthday. When we arrived in our stateroom after embarkation, there was a note saying that we had reservations for June 28th, not the 30th like we requested. Not a problem, we would just call the DineLine and switch. I called – the phone kept ringing until there was a beep sound – the kind of sound you hear with an answering machine. I left a message asking for a switch. The next day, we heard nothing. I called again during their normal business hours. No answer. My wife called later. No answer. I called again. No answer. My wife called twice more. No answer. I am sure that Princess would have a great excuse for the problem. We then called Passenger Services and asked for help. The woman that we talked with said that she would look into it and get back with us. Never heard from her after that. We called DineLine again and finally got through to someone. They told us that the restaurant was booked for the 6:30 slot that we requested. If we wanted to eat there, we could come at 8:30. We called Passenger Services again and were told by them that there was noting that they could do. Simply out of their hands - that was a great excuse. I went to Passenger Services and asked to speak with a manager. The individual came out, listened to me and said that he would see what he could do. I asked him for a name of someone at Princess corporate that I could contact about the service that we were receiving. He absolutely refused to provide me with the name of anyone yet promised that someone from Customer Service would contact me. I also told him about the other poor service that we had received. That included a few other trifles, like when we were seated at dinner, we were seated with another couple, not the large table that we had requested. There were no robes in the room, like we had requested. Not big deals, but an indication that communications within Princess is pretty poor. Why ask people for preferences prior to a cruise if you are not going to do anything with the information. I am sure that they have a great excuse for why communications isn’t working. Later I was told that he was able to secure a reservation in the restaurant for the 30th. When we arrived at the restaurant, there was plenty of seating – more than 50% of the restaurant was empty! What was the big deal about us not being able to get a reservation? Lack of communications again on Princess’ part. I am sure that they have a great excuse why this happened. The next day I received a letter from the Passenger Service Manager apologizing for the screw up. He also said that we would be contacted by Customer Service. As a further example of poor communications within Princess, we have not been contacted by anyone. I am sure that they will have a great excuse. The final problem that we encountered was when disembarking. We received the questionnaire – when are you planning on getting off the ship? We were traveling independently so we planned to leave at 9:30. This was a Silver 4 departure. When our cabin steward brought us our luggage tags, it was for 6:30 am. We went to Passenger Services to get Silver 4 tags for 9:30 when the person we encountered let us know that there was no Silver 4 departure at 9:30. Even though Princess had it published in their disembarkation guide, we were told that it didn’t exist. The agent argued with us refusing to provide us with Silver 4 tags. We finally settled for Silver 3, which disembarked at 8:30. In that our ride was not scheduled to be there until 9:30, we were off the ship. No longer Princess’ problem. I can’t even imagine what great excuse they would have for this. Just very poor communications. My situation is that I am a knowledgeable cruiser who has over 18 years of experience where I have received exceptional service for the money that I paid for the cruise. What we experienced at Princess this year was upsetting. I am not looking for a cruise line that has great excuses – I am looking for one that values the partnership that they have with their guests and wants to excel at creating the type of environment where people are looking forward to their next trip. We have planned our trips in the past by looking through the Princess catalog and seeing what trips are available and then booking through Princess. I simply do not have a level of trust with Princess at this point. I am not willing to risk the investment that I have made in the cost of the trip to poor service and excuses. The problems that we experienced through Princess were not horrible. They did get us to focus on trying to resolve problems rather than enjoy the trip. I do not believe that this level of service could happen within an organization that truly wants to create a great experience for their guests. Princess talks about “Come Back New” in their advertising. This simply isn’t true. Don’t waste your money with Princess. Seek out cruise lines that deliver on promises that they make. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Cruise was ok but there are major opportunities for improvement. Regular rooms are average. Shower is so small you can't raise your arms to wash your hair without hitting walls and shower curtain. Room attendant was very good ... Read More
Cruise was ok but there are major opportunities for improvement. Regular rooms are average. Shower is so small you can't raise your arms to wash your hair without hitting walls and shower curtain. Room attendant was very good and efficient. We always had a clean room. The Restaurant is good. The appetizers were the best part. The service is average to poor. The waiter watched my vision impaired, 80 year old Father-in Law, trip on the step and made a joke to everyone. Very disappointing behavior that is unacceptable. We got the beverage package for $50 a day to simplify things and it was a complete hassle. We were denied water if we ordered it with a cocktail, only one drink allowed at a time! NOT WORTH THE HASSLE as we are not big boozers. After a good workout in the gym I went to the bar for a sparkling water and asked for two since they are so small and was denied two. I had to drink one, sign for it and then ask for another one and wait while the bartender huffed away because I asked for another. They know how to really aggravate you and have no shame in it. I'm not sure if this is the goal to make you give up and save them money? It was completely ridiculous. I will never go on Princess Cruises again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We are elite Captain's Circle passengers. Had a problem with the spa on Royal Princess and went to RCCL and Celebrity for a few cruises. Thought Princess would do a good job on Alaska. Stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver for 1 ... Read More
We are elite Captain's Circle passengers. Had a problem with the spa on Royal Princess and went to RCCL and Celebrity for a few cruises. Thought Princess would do a good job on Alaska. Stayed at the Hyatt Regency in Vancouver for 1 night before cruise. Had an excellent meal in their restaurant. We sailed on Coral a few yeas ago to Panama Canal and liked it. Service was excellent except for a few managers. Only took Princess excursions on land part of the trip. In Juneau I booked a whale watch cruise with a company that had a little stand on the pier because it was a smaller group. It was okay but didn't go close enough to the few whales we saw. The naturalist talks always seemed at a time when we were eating or otherwise busy. I wish they had multiple talks. Dining was a big disappointment. We had anytime dining and had to wait in line every single night. It was difficult to find something on the menu every night. We had to send some meals back because they were over cooked and dried out. There was nothing that I could say was good except the crab legs we had one night. The buffets were like school cafeterias. Okay my biggest gripe. We got a free dinner in one of their restaurants. They gave us Sabittini's. We've eaten there before and hated it. I was going to try to change it. We went to the restaurant and saw posted outside a large photo of a king crab bake with clams and shrimp and lobster. We went there and tried to order it. We were told that was only served at the Crab Shack I asked them to go to the crab shack and get it for me. The manager said, "I understand" about 10 times bur would do nothing for me. Why was the sign posted in front of Sabitini's?? We ate our meal and it was bad. Now the best part. On the first day of the cruise we got a schedule for the crab shack. I made a reservation for the 3rd day, June 2. That was the day we were at Glacier Bay. We were out of the cabin most of the day. When we returned to the cabin to get ready for dinner there was a message for us. It was from reservations. There was a misprint and there was no Crab Shack that night. I could call and they would get us a res. in Sabitini's. They had had the Crab Shack for 2 nights already so I was out of luck!!!! How could they take a reservation for something that doesn't exist??? Why didn't they call earlier when I could have still gotten the Crab Shack? I was told they don't have the Crab Shack on formal night when they have lobster. Was I supposed to know that? I was told to go to the dining room and have some nice lobster. The problem at Sabitini's was bait and switch. It was done for a reason. There is nothing there that justifies an upcharge. ( We paid tor our son). We will not go back to Princess again. We will go to RCCL or Celebrity. We are satisfied with those cruises. Bye bye Princess. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise because of the land tour that we could take in conjunction with it. The land tour was very good: well run, nice facilities. We had been on a Princess cruise about 30 years ago and were disappointed. We thought we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the land tour that we could take in conjunction with it. The land tour was very good: well run, nice facilities. We had been on a Princess cruise about 30 years ago and were disappointed. We thought we would try them again, but again disappointed. We had been cruising on a "more expensive" cruise line. (Please note my explanation at the end why more expensive is in quotes) However, we went with an open mind to try Princess again. Disappointment starts with embarkation. On the other lines, you are given a map of ship - I had to go to passenger services, and wait in line to get one. In other rooms, there is a deck layout - not here, never found one - had to ask steward where the laundry room was. To get a equivalent sized room to the standard room on the "more expensive". we booked a mini-suite. The size and storage was good. The first disappointment was the bathroom. The shower curtain continually billowed in and stuck to us. I am average size person. I tried everything I could think of to not be stuck to the shower curtain - tried open door, closed door, cool water, hot water - always having the curtain sticking to me - yuck! The biggest disappointment was dining. We chose "anytime" dining, and I guess just about every one else did because most nights the lines were just too long to wait (clear down the hall, across the Atrium) That forced us to eat at the buffet - which we NEVER normally do. We do not like buffets in the first place. However, really gross was that in the Horizon buffet the dishes and "glass ware" was PLASTIC - yuck! Imagine drinking wine out of a plastic glass. And how do they sanitize them - yuck! I only see plastic ware justified if is adjacent to a pool, which this is not. In general, the food tasted good except for desserts. They may have started OK, but seemed like the cut pieces sat out for hours and some of the cake was rock hard and inedible. What a waste. The service was passable, but certainly not good. On the "more expensive" cruise line, although the ship was almost 1/2 as large, there were 5 specialty restaurants - 4 of which had NO additional charge (like the $29 per head charge on Princess), plus a buffet, main dining room, grill, etc, So no, or minimal lines, for dining. You absolutely cannot compare the dining experiences - one is a 2 and the other a 10. Another disappointment, we had the "all inclusive" beverage card. However, no beverages were supplied to your room. You had to go to a bar to get a bottle of water - and they would only give you one at a time. On other lines, water is available lots of places including in your room fridge for no extra charge. The entertainment was good, but one had to go really early to get a seat. Again, on the much smaller "more expensive" line, the venues were about as large, so no hurrying to get a seat. We did not find this relaxing which we look for on vacation. Moreover, there was a constant selling, mandatory stop for picture taking, auctions, etc. Some people may like this, but we do not like all the hype, and it jangled our nerves. The gym seemed adequate, but there was no one to monitor, and no means to wipe down the machines! - yuck! Did not go back there As you can see that is more than 3 "yucks" - 3 strikes your're out! Please note: when comparing price, the "more expensive" cruise line, not only was it more pleasant, but the price INCLUDED air fare, a regular room is equivalent to a mini suite, beverages, free wi fi, some shore excursions, etc. So in the final total, the cost is about the same for a much better product! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
As mentioned by others , intermittent sewage smells throughout cruise. Water problems in Cabin three times during cruise ( Dolphin deck 9). Crew did not seem happy . Service for any time dining generally very poor, portions for starters ... Read More
As mentioned by others , intermittent sewage smells throughout cruise. Water problems in Cabin three times during cruise ( Dolphin deck 9). Crew did not seem happy . Service for any time dining generally very poor, portions for starters seemed small, food quality only average, all fish dishes overcooked . I tried to discuss matters with Hotel Manager/ Chef but was told I needed to fill out a form !! I gave up at this point, could have been filling out forms all cruise. Entertainment scheduling poor . We like to dine at 7.30 and show schedule was mostly 6.45 & 8.30, so not possible. Only caught two full shows all trip. Cabin was very good ( apart from water issues) and cabin attendant excellent. The ports visited & tours taken were good, and experiencing Panama Canal great. Will not travel Princess again. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Family of 4 (42, 41, 12, 11) in a mini-suite w balcony C721. Flew in the night before, stayed at Courtyard Marriott Ft. Lauderdale Beach which was nice except for getting stuck in the elevator the next morning. This was our first ... Read More
Family of 4 (42, 41, 12, 11) in a mini-suite w balcony C721. Flew in the night before, stayed at Courtyard Marriott Ft. Lauderdale Beach which was nice except for getting stuck in the elevator the next morning. This was our first cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale and I can see why it is a popular port. The airport, cruise port, beaches, accommodations, etc. are all so close to each other. I could see staying a few days before/after a cruise before flying back home. Embarkation was good. I saw an email the morning of that stated our embarkation should be delayed until 1pm "due to operational reasons" (the first clue this cruise might not go our way) but when we got there at 1pm, we pretty much sailed through and made it to our cabin without issue. We have left out of Port Canaveral and Tampa previously and this was definitely the fastest embarkation we have experienced. The ship itself was nothing to write home about. It was similar in size to other ships we have been on but for some reason it seemed a little smaller. The main atrium area is not very big or open. It is quaint, but its not going to take your breath away. I will say that I liked the open balcony areas that run the length of the aft of the ship on the cabin decks. Those were nice and provided some great views. The fitness center was nice but a little small. We only walked through the spa but it seemed nice, like your average spa area on a cruise ship. Otherwise, I would say the ship is in "fair" shape. There were urine/mold odors on some of the passenger deck hallways on the port side and wet spots in the hallways on the starboard side. Walking through them with sandals on would cause your feet to get wet with whatever unknown liquid caused the issue (assumed plumbing since access panels from the hallway were constantly open). From our balcony we could look down and see paint completely peeled off of the balcony railing below us, running the entire starboard length of the ship. Aesthetic things like that which you would have thought would have been taken care of in dry dock really stood out. The Princess Theater was a little smaller but nice too, and probably our favorite part of the ship. We saw all of the evening shows and they all were great. I would not compare them to something like on the larger Disney ships but for the space they had to work with they really put on some good shows. I should also add here that the pools and hot tubs were not functional for a part of the trip as well, I think this was attributed to the dry dock. I know they weren’t available for the first day but I’m not sure how often afterwards. Food - We all agreed that the food was the best food we have had on a ship as far as quality goes. The selection, especially in the buffet, seemed a little light in comparison but when we did find something that we would eat we enjoyed it for the most part. A good mix of vegetarian options in the main dining room as well. The desserts in the main dining room were great too. We purchased the soda package for all 4 of us and it included a stamp on your room card and also 4 refillable mugs. These are the types of mugs that have the RFID sensor in the bottom so I assumed there would be somewhere on board that you could go and fill up your drink yourself. That is not the case, you must visit a bar each time you want a refill. The main problem with this is that many of the bartenders, and this is not just Princess, act annoyed when you come up to them with 4 refillable mugs. I understand that to a point since they cant charge an automatic gratuity on it but when that is the only option you have of utilizing your beverage package, you expect to be treated like any other customer. Really something that I wish all cruise lines would look at. Activities - Princess delivers the "Princess Patter" to your stateroom each day and it lists all of the scheduled events onboard the ship for the day with the corresponding times. Great, except most of it was about purchasing art, photos and jewelry or purchasing health or beauty treatments. Throw in the mix of ping pong and Pictionary and the daytime activities were really very blah. The cruise director seemed like a nice guy but the only time that we ever saw or heard from him was after one of the evening shows. In 6 days on the ship I never saw him outside of the theater, did not hear him over the PA system or anything like that. I appreciate the information and energy that a cruise director can bring to a cruise but that appeared to be lacking here. I'll add to this that the entire time on the ship there never seemed to be that fun vibe, that "Hey, your on vacation!" vibe. No real hustle and bustle about the ship, it just seemed to lack any energy. The crew (cruise director, etc.) did not create any kind of atmosphere to facilitate a fun time around the ship so it seemed like we were all going through the motions. I would have thought that especially with the problems that we encountered, that trying to lift the spirits of the passengers would be a higher priority. One positive that I should mention, and I'll put it under the activities section is that that family movie channel in the room was appreciated by us. They showed a lot of recent popular movies (Inside Out, Big Hero Six, Peanuts, The Good Dinosaur). While we signed the kids up for the childrens club, we never ended up going there so I can't comment on that. On this cruise I don't think there were any more than 15 kids, from infants to teenagers on the entire ship so I don't know how effective the clubs would have been this time around. Service was mostly good, our steward Bernard did a good job and our server Faye and her assistant Vincent did a good job for us. When my daughter broke her refillable mug when she dropped it, one of the crew replaced it for us without question which was nice. Had some minor issues with some of the folks during embarkation and as I mentioned some of the bar staff but otherwise the service was good. So now, what made this a really disappointing cruise for us? The dry dock was not completed properly so sometime after we left Ft. Lauderdale the ship had slowed. At one point I believe the captain came over the PA system and stated that we were being propelled by the stabilizers. The issue was with an engine shaft bearing. I'm not an engineer nor am I a mechanic or familiar with such things but I can surmise that if your sole means of propulsion is your stabilizers then that is not good. Not only did this issue cause us to lose most of our propulsion, it also made for a rocky ride. While we were supposed to arrive in our first port, Cozumel, at 7am, it was not until after 8pm (3 hours after our scheduled departure time from Cozumel) that we actually arrived there. In the meantime, we weren't even sure what was going to happen, were they going to turn around and go back? Were they going to find another port to stop at for repairs? A lot was up in the air that day without much communication. I should mention that the engineers were able to fix the issue (I assume temporarily) which allowed an increase of speed to allow us to get to Cozumel. They decided to overnight there and then spend the next day there as well which we were told gave them enough time to completely fix the issue. This also meant that they had to cancel Roatan... Now when booking a cruise, for some people the ports of call are more important than others. We are those people. We had done a similar itinerary a few years ago and could not wait to get back to Roatan and Costa Maya. We did not care if we did anything at Cozumel and in fact had just planned to shop that day. To cancel our stop in Roatan because of the ships issues, was very deflating. Still we tried to make the best of things as we had Costa Maya to look forward to. We woke up the morning of our scheduled stop in Costa Maya only to find ourselves far offshore being tossed about. The captain came over the PA system and explained that due to rough seas, swells, etc. that we would not be able to dock there. Safety is the first priority, we can't control the weather, etc. etc. etc. The captain continued to state that there were no alternate ports of call so we were just heading back to Ft. Lauderdale. So now, we are on the 4th day of a cruise where we have missed the only two stops that we actually wanted to go to all of the while on a ship that offered a very rough ride for most of our time on it, either due to technical issues or due to weather. To top it off, we are just going home now but instead of traveling at normal speed to get back, we are going to go very slowly because we have an extra day now to make it back. Very slowly through rough seas. It was on this day that my kids and I finally broke and we took turns being ill in our stateroom. I've never been close to being seasick in my life but we all lost our lunch that day. Again, I'm not an expert on these matters but with an extra day to make it back to Ft. Lauderdale could we have not gone faster through the rough seas to get out of them or perhaps taken a more circuitous route that would have gotten us out of rough water? It was an entire day of rough seas. Alternatively, if the forecast predicted poor weather in Costa Maya, why go there to begin with? Why not find another port to make it to? This is why I do not buy the whole "can't control the weather" excuse they seemed to constantly want to reinforce to us at every opportunity they had (the whole crew at that point was speaking the same mantra). I never expect them to control the weather, I just expect them to use the tools at their disposal to avoid it as best as they can, and I can't begin to imagine that they actually did that in this case. The final sea day was mostly uneventful as far as the weather/technical issues went. The ship seemed to be operating fine at that point. Probably the most excitement we had was when someone spotted a makeshift raft with about 12 people on it north of Cuba and the captain decided to go and see if they needed help. We got to within 300 yards of them (my best guess) and they did their best to ignore us. The logical conclusion was that they were trying to get into the US but since they did not want the help of the ship, we continued on our journey to Ft. Lauderdale. At about 6am on disembarkation day, we were awoken by what felt like an earthquake going through the room. For a good 30 seconds, if not longer, our entire room shook, glasses were clanking all over the place, the whole ship seemed to shudder loudly. My daughter woke up screaming because it was so loud. This apparently is the docking process. I can't recall ever docking so violently before but there you have it, the icing on the cake. So for compensation, Princess provided $100 per person in shipboard credit and half off of what you paid for this cruise, as a future cruise credit to be booked by the end of this year (can travel after 2016, just have to use the credit by the end of the year.) The problem that I have with this is that I have no desire to ever sail with Princess again so I'll lose $1500 in compensation. Even if I did want to sail with Princess again, our family takes other vacations as well. We enjoy going to Disney, we have a trip planned for Europe next year, we would have to rearrange our plans to take a cruise on a cruise line that failed us in the first place. I don't know if this is always the case, but the vast majority of our fellow cruisers on this itinerary were retirees. They would seem to be in a better position to be able to take advantage of this form of compensation than those who are still working full time and have younger children in school. It would have been nice if they would have offered a choice of compensation but I'm not surprised that they didn't. Considering we spent 6 days on the Coral Princess, with a total of 6 hours ashore in Cozumel, and the majority of the time the ship was not very stable, either due to technical or weather issues, it really felt like a disappointing cruise to nowhere. You always hear that "Hey at least you are on a cruise" or "There are no bad cruises" and I've tried to be fair in my review here but this was a very poor experience for us and I can't recommend the Coral Princess nor Princess as a cruise line to anyone that might ask. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
On the January 30th 2016 cruise this was truly the cruise from hell. First the cruise was late getting to port from dry dock and left the port 90 minutes late. At this time there were no pools or hot tubs. Some rooms had no operating ... Read More
On the January 30th 2016 cruise this was truly the cruise from hell. First the cruise was late getting to port from dry dock and left the port 90 minutes late. At this time there were no pools or hot tubs. Some rooms had no operating toilets or A/C. Some had sinks that would not drain. Some, like me, had sinks that had hot water coming out of the cold tap. Many of the casino slot machines were either not operating or having issues. The ship was not pristine, but dirty in places. On Sunday they had an issue with one of the thrusters and had to stop in the ocean for repairs. This took a couple of hours. Then at 3 am Monday we lost a propeller. This took 14 hours to fix and we missed Cozumel that morning. We finally made it to Cozumel at 7 pm and stayed until 5 pm the next day. We did not go to Roatan. We did not go to Costa Maya due to bad weather. We got the pools and hot tubs on Tuesday. On Wednesday I lost hot water in my shower, but it was back the next day. Princess gave everyone on the ship a 50% credit based on the base rate everyone paid for their rooms, but only $27 for the taxes. Nothing was refunded on the port fees, even we did not go to 2 of the ports. This was basically a cruise to nowhere. Many of the public restrooms were inoperable. Some complete floors had not A/C for much of the cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
Embarkation: Very smooth. It took no more than 10 minutes from check-in to entering the ship whether you were Elite or otherwise. Cabin: Our cabin had a nice-sized balcony, far bigger than the one we had on the Royal. The bedding and ... Read More
Embarkation: Very smooth. It took no more than 10 minutes from check-in to entering the ship whether you were Elite or otherwise. Cabin: Our cabin had a nice-sized balcony, far bigger than the one we had on the Royal. The bedding and TV were new, but the TV remote didn’t work properly. Our cabin steward was average. We had to ask him for soap for the shower (not everyone likes body wash) and lotion, which was not provided. Due to mechanical problems, we had no water on arrival until the evening, then until the following day, we had no hot water. We received no notices in our cabin about this, yet the ship kept filling our “mailboxes” with adverts about “champagne art auctions”. The ship’s priorities were clearly askew. Food: The MDR food was quite good, with outstanding waiters. Desserts were on the dull side. Due to the “technical difficulties” the ship had no ice cream the first day. The lunch buffet was decent. The layout of the buffet on this ship was roomier than that of the other older ships, but there is no place to eat outside, unless one eats by the pool. We ate at the Bayou Café one night. Those at the table who had steak were happy, but the waiter informed me the gumbo had meat in it (I don’t eat meat). The only other options were fried catfish (no biggie, to be sure) and shrimp, which was last night’s MDR choice. I took the shrimp, but it had meat in the rice. What bugged me the most was that some at the table complained about their dessert, and were surprised with desserts from Sabatini’s, but I was never offered fish from there (they have an excellent bronzini there)…..and yet I was charged for dinner. Entertainment: I only attended the production shows, which were OK. The dancing in the show “Dancing” was good, but the singing subpar. My traveling companions went to the Billy Joel-type singer and comedian and enjoyed them. They didn’t like the magician. Trivia was fun and smoothly run. Pool: There were never enough pool chairs or towels. This did not seem to be a chair-hog issue, though, they were clearly in evidence. Two pool attendants told me there weren’t enough chairs on the ship. I saw numerous people pull up straight back chairs by the pool. Gym: All brand new equipment! WOW! The square footage of the gym made it hard to fit all of the equipment--no room for stretching compared to other ships. The wraparound promenade was great for fast walking and early morning or evening jogging. My partner, who is an avid jogger, however, that jogging on the promenade felt that jogging is dangerous at any time! What a pleasure to have a deck which goes totally around the ship on one level! Ports of call: Now the fun starts! The captain must have gotten so many complaints about not speaking to the passengers (who realized we were traveling in circles) without any explanation, he made an announcement at 7:00am. I’m sure waking many passengers up, on Day 3 to tell us we had problems. No one still knew whether the cruise would continue. We arrived in Cozumel at 7:30 pm (about 12 hours late). The captain was reactive in telling the passengers we had mechanical trouble. He later told us we’d miss Roatan, and on the next day, we found out we’d also miss Costa Maya, but this time, due to high seas. We were promised 50% of what we paid, plus $100 OBC for a future cruise. Too little, too late, especially for those who didn’t have water or deck chairs. Possibly, the captain held back information due to corporate direction. However, I feel that was not the best way to handle this. Disembarkation: We left around 9:40 am. It was the fastest I’ve ever seen. Not a single person in line at Immigration. It’s possible everyone wanted off the ship fast! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
We too had a poor experience. I took my 81 year old mother and her friend on a cruise while they were visiting me. As previous reviewers have mentioned vacation time is precious and while I have never sailed princess before I expected ... Read More
We too had a poor experience. I took my 81 year old mother and her friend on a cruise while they were visiting me. As previous reviewers have mentioned vacation time is precious and while I have never sailed princess before I expected better. I occupied a mini suite B201 and my mother & Friend balcony cabin B315 Overall cabin size good, although I missed the balcony in the minim suite and would opt for less floor space and a balcony on a future cruise. The advertised big picture window was equivellant to just a standard window on other cruise lines. I pre booked two cases of water to be in the cabin. Took three days and lots of phone calls to get them. Not acceptable. Finally after several phone calls it was delivered with my first of several apology letters. The Good The cruise staff (Miranda) and the house band Xtasea were excellent. Entertainment overall very good, although the "New Show" being debuted wasn't great. Fitness staff excellent. The Bad & Ugly On embarkation a strong smell of sewage in the atrium area especially deck 6 and 7. Public restrooms not working in these areas THE ENTIRE CRUISE. Public restrooms in other areas never fully functional. Two of three stalls locked for maintenance. Hand sinks in public restrooms not working (Including the one near the buffet) a public health concern. Refrigeration not working (using time instead of temperature because cold plates were not functional on the buffet lines). Some bars had only warm bottled water (Because as the bartender explained the refrigerators were not cooling.) A/C's in some areas not working No Pool for several days No jacuzzi's for several days. Buckets collecting water leaks in hallways entire cruise. 12:30am water pipe broke with a flood of water coming down in the hallway outside my mothers room. Followed by a shop vac which woke up several cabins.(Yes I have pictures). Bartenders very slow, especially at one particular pool bar, which led to everyone going to a different bar making life difficult for the good staff, who were now working twice as hard. Inconsistent stocking of bars. Ship was just not ready to sail. Got into Cozumel area at 5:30am according to my cell phone and observations. Captain sailed back out to sea then made an announcement that due to the engine problems and slow speed we had not yet arrived (We are not all gullible, honesty is always the best policy). Continued to sail around in circles for an entire day and missed a port day. Missed Roatan due to engine issues Cozumel a day late (Not the reason for anyone to choose this itinerary) Missed Costa Maya (Due to weather?) Big Movie screen not working until the last day Not enough deck chairs. Balcony Cabin only had one chair on balcony for several days. Food poor compared to Celebrity. Ordered Rare steak on the last day. waiter gave me a very well done steak and laughed saying here is your rare steak. Would you like to wait for me to change it! Although paying double for a single fare only received half the OBC compared to other cabins! Given a 50% discount on My Cabin expense only for a future cruise. Since I cannot see may mother choosing to sail princess again (This was a gift to her) the discount on her cabin is useless. The potential for this ship is endless. The public areas really are lovely. The running of operations sub standard and antiquated. Anytime dining a joke. Never possible to make reservations and waiting in line was a given. I have sailed another line with engine issues. We were given notice before embarkation, a credit for the missed port, and kept accurately informed throughout the process. Issues happen and unavoidable, how they are handled is the Key to success. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
My Dh and I, ages 56 and 50, just returned from a 6 day adventure on the Coral Princess. We were in mini suite, D328. Embarkation: great, we arrived at the time Princess recommended, walked through, checked in and photo taken and we ... Read More
My Dh and I, ages 56 and 50, just returned from a 6 day adventure on the Coral Princess. We were in mini suite, D328. Embarkation: great, we arrived at the time Princess recommended, walked through, checked in and photo taken and we were in our cabin within 20 minutes. Cabin: Pros: plenty of room, great bed, bedding, bathtub and most storage we have ever had on a ship, larger balcony. Cons: shower curtain, yuck. Uncovered balcony, shower is hard to get the hang of and no hot water from Saturday u til Monday afternoon. Public areas: not crowded and plenty of room except on the pool decks:Chair hogs were out in full force. Plenty of deck attendants around, but no one removing towels. We went out Tuesday morning at 8:15 am, put our towels and books down. There was 2 chairs beside of us with personal items in them. We went to eat breakfast and we're back in our chairs before 9:00am, the chairs remained empty until we went to our cabin at 3:00pm. This is so annoying and I know it is a problem on all ships. Food: I have had better. Horizon Court Buffet. I found very little that I liked and found it was poorly laid-out. Large salad bar, but main courses seemed like a mish-mash of leftovers, fruit was hard, not ripe, and sandwich meats looked like they were just old. Bordeaux Dining Room:Was okay. We ate there on three nights. The 2nd formal night had large lobster tails and jumbo prawn entire'. If was large and fresh and very good. Crab Pot: it took forever to be served and I thought that was because they were steaming each pot fresh. Ours was cold and had been sitting. What should have been a great meal was disappointing. Bayou Cafe and Steakhouse: Filet and seafood were excellent, jumbalya appetizer was great, but did not care for the Cagun sides. We would have preferred a more traditional steakhouse. Pizza and Burger Grill were very good. Coffee: was bad in the buffet and room service. Not fresh brewed. I guess they want you to buy it or a coffee card. Shows: we only watched the singer, sang Billy Joel, he was great. Movies Under the Stars: showed a great selection of fairly new movies, but the pool deck scream did not work until Wednesday, so they were showed in a louge and in rooms. Smaller ship, I thought the staff was great, no problems other than mechanical issues with the ship on weather related issues at Costa Maya. This ship was just out of dry dock and had many problems. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Our cruise started with a 3 day land portion. Sights were great, lodging and food were not. Rooms at both lodges were equal to a stay at a Super 8 motel, in fact our room at the Denali lodge had mold in the shower. Food was over priced ... Read More
Our cruise started with a 3 day land portion. Sights were great, lodging and food were not. Rooms at both lodges were equal to a stay at a Super 8 motel, in fact our room at the Denali lodge had mold in the shower. Food was over priced and below average. We did a Back Country dining tour in Denali--don't waste your time or your money. 2 high school students took us back on a covered wagon, and struggled to answer basic questions about the area. We were then served Costco heated food for dinner which was pretty awful. To top it off we got a flat tire on the way back and were asked to hike the rest of the way. Denali was a different story, we upgraded to the Tundra tour, and would highly recommend it. Our tour guide/bus driver was amazing and we saw beautiful sights and lots of wildlife. Our train trip back into Whitter to meet the cruise was less than steller. 12 hours, and our A/C stopped working turned our rail car into a 90 degree hot box. The "princess customer representative" did nothing, nor apologized,but seem to avoid our car all together. Once we boarded the Coral, the ship is in need of some dry dock time (which I think it is scheduled for). Biggest disappointment--food. The buffet choices was very limited, and was very subpar, as far as my previous cruise experiences go. Dining room was equally disappointing. The menu choices, as well as the actual food was just not good. We had better meals in town. We booked a few excursions indepently in Anchorage, both I would high recommend. Salmonberry tours--Anchorage conservation center. Great tour guide, and a great place to see the animals up close. And in Whittier, Philips 26 glacier tour, beautiful sights. On the cruise we booked through Princess, would highly recommend Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier with Allen Marine in Juenau. Great crew, and overall great tour. Don't miss White Pass Rail in Skagway. One of the most scenic yours I have ever been on. In fact it was the second time, we had done the same tour 5 years ago. All in all I would skip the land portion, spend some time in Anchorage, and privately book a trip in Denali, mind you not staying at the Princess Lodge. The inside passage is something you shouldn't miss but I would recommend a different cruise line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
This was our first cruise ever, so we did not know what to expect, though Cruise Critic was a good source of information. Overall, we were disappointed. The crew seemed tired and, in general, were not very helpful (perhaps understandable ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever, so we did not know what to expect, though Cruise Critic was a good source of information. Overall, we were disappointed. The crew seemed tired and, in general, were not very helpful (perhaps understandable as this was their last trip north for the season). The 1st day was a madhouse and we were not prepared for the zoo in the boarding area where we had to clear customs (we were directed to the wrong staging area and, in general, we did not get any directions on what do do and where to go). The minute we got on board, the push began to buy the unlimited alcohol passes - we were dismayed by this effort to take advantage of the passengers; either they would make an unwise financial decision (drink passes very expensive) or would drink an unhealthy amount of alcohol during their week aboard. We were also disappointed in that our special requests made at the time of booking were ignored. One member of the party purchased the unlimited soft drink pass only to find that the soft drinks were only available from the bars on the boat and were not carbonated (when we complained, we were told that is just the way it is - the bartenders apparently do not go to the trouble to hook up new CO2 cylinders when they run empty). The assigned dining room was okay, and the food is also okay, though plentiful; recommend going with anytime dining as this gives you so much more flexibility. Recommend the specialty restaurants, especially on formal nights, though they do cost an extra $35 per person per night - they made a nice change from the tiresome buffet. My wife had the best comment about the food in the buffet: "sure looks good but it has no taste". The buffet, though had some advantages: open most of the time and nice views (all of the other restaurants have no views). Overall, our opinion of the food was that it was mediocre, which was disappointing, since we were looking forward to it. Other more experienced cruisers told us that they shared our opinion. You should know that tipping is completely optional, despite the verbiage in the Princess literature (another tip from an experienced cruiser). You can see the purser at the beginning of the cruise and have that automatic tip removed from your bill. We would have much preferred to tip as we went, as the level of service definitely varied from good to bad. Recommend not using the Princess shore excursion booking service unless you like being moved around like sheep, paying more than you would like and being misled (we were wait-listed for tours that were no longer running!) We booked the cruise thru Costco Travel and they have a very nice shore excursion booking service. Another nice way to handle sightseeing on shore is to book a rental car in each port (offices always close to the docks) and see the sights yourself. We actually enjoyed when we did this and found our sightseeing much more enjoyable than the escorted crowded shore excursions we booked thru Princess. The end of the cruise was especially disappointing. Roused at 5 am, we were hustled outside in the dark into a cold rain and a long walk to the trains for the land phase of our trip. We were ordered not to bring any food (there were vague statements about Alaska not allowing food to be brought ashore, though the shore personnel said that no such policy exists). After we boarded the train, we found out the reason for the policy as were given the option to purchase expensive food and drink while we listened to sales pitches). Nothing like being a captive audience while sitting in a crowded little booth on board a train sharing leg space with strangers across from you! All in all, our first cruise was very disappointing. We gave Princess a chance to address our complaints; while they did respond, the level of their response was definitely disappointing especially in the light of their supposed attitude towards customer service. We honestly cannot recommend Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
My wife, children, and I have traveled all over the world. Both on our annual vacations (typically one or two) and my time served in the US Navy. As far as Cruises go, this is our third different Cruise Line we have tried. We must say, it ... Read More
My wife, children, and I have traveled all over the world. Both on our annual vacations (typically one or two) and my time served in the US Navy. As far as Cruises go, this is our third different Cruise Line we have tried. We must say, it was pretty disappointing compared to the other two. I will try to be as detailed as possible so that this review is actually published. Embarkation: A fairly long, single line that moved at a relatively slow pace. All told, it probably took about an hour to get to our stateroom. We were allowed to bring one bottle of wine onboard, and I did like that our luggage was transferred to the ship directly from the airport. The embarkation crew were very polite and courteous. Stateroom: Our room was actually very nice and spacious, with a window view on the bottom level of the ship. The disappointment came with the bathroom, however. I have never in my life seen a shower that small. It was physically impossible for me to use it without completely soaking the floor and wasting towels trying to keep the mess manageable. The room was always warm, despite the thermostat setting, and the tapwater was HEAVILY chlorinated. The stateroom staff was very polite but they lacked a lot of the little extras you would experience on other cruise lines such as folded towel creatures or other little suprises in your room to brighten your day. That was disappointing. Dining: Breakfast had a wide assortment of fruits, parfaits, eggs, pastries, and the typical breakfast meats. The parfaits were made ahead of time so the granola was very soggy. Eggs were always overcooked, especially disappointing on the day they had eggs benedict. Lunch was hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, nachos, and other similar items. The hamburgers actually made my wife ill so we stuck with pizza for lunch. We attended the sit-down "fancy" dinners every evening. The waiting staff were extremely polite and would always seem interested in how your day was. They always remembered our names and our favorite drinks. The food was a hit-or-miss at these dinners. Some dishes were very good while others I could not even finish. The ones in between were very bland, with almost no seasoning. I'd like to mention that as much money as this cruise costs, the only free coffee you have access to is actually instant coffee from a spigot. Public areas: Areas were visually very appealing, but could get extremely crowded during any shipboard events. The hot tubs were very nice and relaxing.....when they were working. They had a total of six, but typically only half of that were actually hot or had all of the jets working. Out of the 2 or 3 that were fully functional they were typically filled with ten year old children so my wife and I considered ourselves lucky when we could actually get into one that worked. The pool areas were smaller than the other cruise lines I have been on and only about 5 feet deep. Bathrooms were typically well maintained but after the third day at sea one of the bathrooms had some kind of septic backup or failure. Every time you passed that area of the ship you were inundated with the foul, noxious odor of human sewage. This was not repaired at all during the cruise. Children's Areas: It was only my wife and I so I cannot comment on these areas, however it seemed as if all of the children were constantly in the hot tubs. Entertainment: One of the things my wife and I loved most about our previous two cruise experiences was the plentiful and varied amount of entertainment that was available to us as passengers. We were sorely disappointed with what Princess had to offer. Don't get me wrong, the quality was very good. But I can honestly say that there was MUCH less options and a LOT more "empty" or down time as opposed to our other cruises. Also, after every single event there was something they were trying to sell. It has happened on other cruise lines as well but the sales pressure on Princess was very, very intense. And it was with every entertainment venue. Excursions: They had a large variety to choose from but they were extremely expensive compared to just hiring somebody on shore independently. I will say that I heard a few of my fellow cruisers complaining about the professionalism of some of the independent contractors. We did not have that problem with the Princess excursions, but the politeness must have been included in the price. Customer Service: This is the biggest problem I had with Princess. You can only purchase items on the ship with your Cruise Card. Princess's finance department kept shutting my wife's and my own card off, which would sometimes even lock us out of our own room. We had to go to the service desk on 4 separate occasions to sort out the mess, and each time they neglected to annotate the problem in their computers so it kept on happening. When I complained, I received a call from the "Finance Manager" who first apologized, and then proceeded to tell me that it was all my fault and that even though I wasn't satisifed with Princess, 99% of their customers ARE satisfied. What kind of an apology is that? Just imagine how frustrating it would be if you are trying to buy a toothbrush in the ship store, or a bottle of wine at dinner, and you are told that your ship card has been shut off AGAIN. Disembarkation: We disembarked at 5:45 am, which seemed very early to us. However, it went smoothly and even though it was raining, Princess had these portable tube-like structures that kept the rain off of us until we could reach the train. Summary: For the price that we paid, we expected a lot more in terms of quality. The sales pressure and the poor customer service was perhaps the breaking point that will prevent us from ever trying Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
I am a seasoned cruiser having cruised with several cruise lines and I'm an elite member with Princess. Overall this cruise was somewhat disappointing. I agree with all that was said in the previous review by Rebel2386, except that I ... Read More
I am a seasoned cruiser having cruised with several cruise lines and I'm an elite member with Princess. Overall this cruise was somewhat disappointing. I agree with all that was said in the previous review by Rebel2386, except that I thought the quality of the food in the main dining room and the buffet was not up to the usual standard of Princess. There wasn't a lot of taste, spice, seasoning in the food to make it shine. Presentation was good but flavour lacking. There was little to do on sea days. Trivia was the only thing that interested me. The port lecturer was quite good, but I didn't enjoy the guest presenters and their subjects (as per rebel2386's review). Were they catering to the older age demographic????? There was nothing happening after 10 at night anywhere.... I was glad to get off in LA and I don't usually say that after a cruise. We went on to do an Alaskan cruise a week late with Carnival and it surpassed the Coral Princess in food and entertainment. I will travel with Princess again. I'm putting this one down to a one off. At least I hope so! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
No matter how old you are, if there is any live in you, you don't want to go on this cruise. The whole atmosphere on this cruise was old, old, old, from the piped in music to the entertainment. A constant barrage of music, originally ... Read More
No matter how old you are, if there is any live in you, you don't want to go on this cruise. The whole atmosphere on this cruise was old, old, old, from the piped in music to the entertainment. A constant barrage of music, originally performed by people now all dead. What really turned me off is all the people that took their naps in all the public places. Everywhere you went on this ship there were people sleeping in chairs, head back, mouth open and snoring. Not a pretty sight. I am 71 years old myself and if I feel sleepy I go to my cabin This was my first princess cruise, also the last. The food was boring, same O, same O every day. The hallway to my stateroom smelt musty, and there always were fans running, drying off something or other. They were working on some water pipes and our toilet wouldn't flush 5 times and it would take a couple of hours to have running water again. The cabin next to us was being remodeled and for 3 days we had tapping and banging noise all day. As soon as that was done, they started scraping paint right above and below us and we had that noise all day long. We had booked a junior suit, hoping for some quite reading time, but no such luck. It really was all very disappointing the whole ship has such a tired feel to it. I felt sorry for the few younger people on board. Thankfully there were port days, we could not wait to get off this ship, even for a few hours. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
I’m sorry to say that had this cruise been our first on Princess, it would have been our LAST. We’ve had 5 positive experiences, so we had little doubt that our 6th would be problem-filled, but it certainly was. Princess has joined the ... Read More
I’m sorry to say that had this cruise been our first on Princess, it would have been our LAST. We’ve had 5 positive experiences, so we had little doubt that our 6th would be problem-filled, but it certainly was. Princess has joined the Carnival/Costa “family” – and I’m afraid the result is NOT good. THE GOOD (MOSTLY): Cabin We’re both on tight budgets, so opting for an interior cabin was a must, however we never felt “2nd class”. Our room steward, Dante, did an excellent job of keeping our environment clean and looking good with his twice-daily visits. As you’ll read later, he maintained his good spirits, despite “challenges” from the ship’s faulty equipment. We ordered morning coffee from room service and it was always delivered piping hot and on-time by Clifford. Food We’re not partial to sit-down dining, so we used the Horizon Court exclusively. We got to choose from a wide variety of menu items, sample new ones, and return to the buffet for more of the ones we liked. The food was always fresh, and well-presented. If there’s a down-side to dining on a Princess ship these days, it’s the desserts. They’ve taken the “economic” route. Most of their dessert offerings were “pre-fab” items that had been made onshore and frozen. The soft-serve ice cream (served at a venue off one of the pools) was really ice-water. It lacked the rich taste of the soft-serve offerings from Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, etc. Perhaps Princess should brand it as a “diet” dessert. Entertainment The onboard specialty acts (comedian, pianist, illusionist) were great, as were the singers and dancers, but I got the feeling that much of the singing and music was pre-recorded. The ship offered an internet lecturer as part of it’s “enrichment” program and he was a joke. His lecture was supposed to be about developing websites as a means of aiding one’s business, but he focused on the “quick buck” business of registering domain names that others would buy from you. What should have been a 10 minute discussion, ran on for 5 sessions. I gave up after 3. If Princess offers these “experts” any sort of compensation for their “work”, the cruise line is being ripped off. Another cruise line offers guests the services of a Microsoft-trained computer expert. Princess’ offering looked like a bargain-basement version, and was a complete waste of passengers’ time. We’re not drinkers, so we didn’t partake of the ships’ lounge offerings. Those who did seemed pleased. Speaking of drinking, a mid-cruise check of our billing showed mixed drinks. A visit to Customer Service rectified this, but passengers would be well-advised to check their onboard account frequently. Shore Excursions We chose an excursion that included the Skyride and Bobsled in Jamaica – combined with a climb of Dunn’s River Falls. What a great day! However, the Falls are really not for those who have heart problems, breathing problems, or whose joints don’t work as well as they once did. We also purchased a shore excursion in Panama that included a visit to the Visitor’s Center at the Canal, and a boat ride on Gatun Lake. The Visitor’s Center trip was worthwhile, but our guides did little to earn their $$ at that stop. It was pretty much self-guided. The Gatun Lake boat ride was interesting, but we saw no wildlife – our bad fortune. I realize that Princess has no control over that. My only complaint was our difficulty in understanding one of our 2 guides. His accent was extremely thick. We switched guides (and buses) halfway thru the trip – problem solved. I assume Princess contracts with local tour companies for these excursions, but they could do a better job of insisting that guides are good communicators. THE BAD Our cruise was marred by what the captain called “norovirus”. We were not alone. News reports indicated that several other ships, on various cruise lines, were also stricken to a greater or lesser degree. One of us spent three days in our cabin – eating nothing but bread and Jello. To it’s credit, the ship adopted numerous measures to help lessen the spread of the virus. We chose not to report the incident, and it’s a good thing we did. Reports from other passengers indicated that the ship’s medical department charged them hundreds of dollars for diagnosis and remedies. Our dose of unpleasantness came in our cabin, when the fire sprinkler directly over our bed erupted on a Monday afternoon. We brought it to the attention of our cabin steward, who immediately changed the bedding, which was soaked right down to the mattress pad. We also contacted onboard Customer Service. When no further eruptions occurred the next day, we assumed the matter had been addressed by the ship’s maintenance personnel. On Wednesday, the sprinkler erupted again – same procedures. Customer Service was notified a second time. When it happened again on Thursday night, and we had to report the incident a third time, the Customer Service agent said she’s “take it to a higher level”. Apparently, that’s’ what it took because the eruptions stopped. Through it all, our cabin steward maintained his cheerful and cooperative attitude. While they were pleasant, Customer Service personnel apparently had no ability to address the problem after the first two reports. As I’ve pointed out to Princess management after we returned, had this happened in a land-based hotel, we’d have changed rooms, or changed hotels. Onboard a sold-out ship, those aren’t options. THE UGLY I would have thought that Princess management would have made a serious offer of restitution for the problems we experienced. Not so. We were offered complementary dinners at one of the ship’s upscale restaurants while we were onboard. We declined. Upon notification after our cruise, Princess management offered us each a $100 credit toward a future cruise and $50 in onboard credit. This, after 3 days of being drenched from above by an obviously faulty sprinkler. I have to wonder how that sprinkler would have performed in the event it was really needed! We have also declined this offer and will take action involving our attorney. As I said at the outset, had this been our first Princess cruise, it would have been our last. Suffice it to say that we’ll think long and hard about traveling with them again. I sense that now that Princess is part of the Carnival/Costa family, we’ll see continued belt-tightening.   Read Less
Coral Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.0
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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