From start to finish this cruise was a huge disappointment. We had sallied on the Emerald Princess before and love the ship. It is clear that Princess (parent Carnival Cruise Lines) have made an all out push to cut cost at the expense of ... Read More
From start to finish this cruise was a huge disappointment. We had sallied on the Emerald Princess before and love the ship. It is clear that Princess (parent Carnival Cruise Lines) have made an all out push to cut cost at the expense of service and quality. In my opinion they are ruining the “brand.” Princess is a shell of what it once was, and is no longer a cruise line I will sail on. As of today we have cancelled our future cruises with Princess and gladly relinquished the deposits we made.
• On the plus side, practically every person we encountered was kind, courteous, and helpful. No complaints with the staff (except the help desk where there main goal seems to be to just make you go away).
• We arrived at LAX for our Princess Transfer to the Cruise Terminal and were told by two octogenarians, one of whom barely spoke English, it was running about three hours late and that we could “walk” to the food court in the international terminal and get something to eat while we waited. When asked if we could just take a cab and get a refund we were told flatly no.
• Once we arrived at the terminal to process went well until we got to the cue for boarding, which took another three and a half hours. Inadequate seating and communications was the theme of the day. We were also told hat there wer over 170 wheelchairs and electric carts on this cruise. By observation, our best guess is that there were about 1,000 guests with walkers, cains, or other ambulatory challenges. We saw practically no special accommodations made for this onslaught of special needs guests, or for the chaos it caused for he rest of the passengers.
• Elevator service was a nightmare, as one might imnagine with that many challenged passengers.
• Every venue was a mob scene, long, disorderly lines everywhere.•
• Our cabin, B602, was “upgraded” to A337 which is a connecting cabin with a bunk bed that pulls down from the ceiling. It was most certainly not an “upgrade” and I object strongly to a connecting room for safety reasons. The cabin was dirty and shabby. Windows were never washed. Stained carpet, walls and shower curtain. Much sign of hard use and abuse. WE felt like we had been shafted from the start.
• Ship show much evidence of deferred maintenance, an obvious intentional strategy to maximize profit prior to the upcoming re-fit in the fall of 2018.
• It was obvious from speaking with crew members that their workload has been increased (probably another cost cutting measure). Cabin steward(es) had her load increased to 18 cabins. Waiter, who was a prince of a fellow, was on his own part of the time resulting in slow service and mistakes.
• Our cabin steward(es) was a disappointment. She did a barely average job and frequently solicited praise for it. Even the best steward could not make up for the shabby cabin condition.
• Cabin bathroom had a strong odor of sewage, especially when the toilet seat was up.
• Electronics for Bingo game broke in the middle of the game on 7 May
• Theater performance literally packed – every seat filed (Princess theater deck 6&7 forward) – people standing in the back and sitting on the steps both sides of theater. No Security presence to manage the mêlée. Major fire hazard if theater had to be evacuated.
• Entertainment was average at best. Basically the same shows as last year.
• Card scan on our cabin door failed twice, had to go to desk for help both times. Treated very abruptly and rudely on phone. Once again was told it was the fault of our card key. Had to explain – again- that it was the door lock and not our cards.
• Received a flyer advertising an LA disembarkation tour at the conclusion of cruise. The points of interest on the brochure said “see a number of highlights in Los Angeles….” When we checked into purchasing the tour we were old that the only destination was Long Beach, where we could shop for two and a half hours. No highlights…no nothing. Major misrepresentation.
• One major frustration was the televised Alaska presentation that seemed to “loop” endlessly. It was so poorly done from a composition and text standpoint (yet so well done from a photographic perspective) . To begin with Princess needs to hire people who can speak English clearly and write it well also. You simply can not put a non-English speaker in charge of composing an advertisement like this. Let me provide some examples of quotes from the advertisement that reflect the grammatical "issues" as as" factoids":
o “all the sudden” – instead of “all of a sudden”
o “men had struck rich” instead of “men had struck it rich”
o ”They came to escape from depression. Simply not historically accurate. Although there was a depression in the US from 1893 o 1898 the Alaska Gold Rush did no play much of a role in ending it. Most of the prospectors who came to Alaska for the Gold Rush were opportunists, looking for a quick buck. Only a handful actually benefited financially. Kep in mind that tteh strike was technically in Canada.
o “All we had was hope” is a very poorly worded statement. All WHO had was hope?
o “Hope swept the Nation” Oh really? On what do you base that comment.
Food (A Parade of Culinary Abominations)
• In short, we are certain that somewhere in the galley the Emerald Princess has a giant “Ronco” food taste extraction machine through which all meals are processed. The lack of taste was astounding, made all the more interesting by the shrinking portions (which turned out to be a blessing).
• All portions much smaller that previous cruises
• Dinner platters have now been replaced with smaller dishes.
• Salt and Pepper shakers replaced with paper envelopes “single service”
• Quality markedly lower
• Lobster tail small and poor taste
• My wife’s favorite, the afternoon tea, has been thrown under the buss as another cost cutting measure apparently. On a 12 day cruise there were 4 teas, of which 1 was for “singles only.”
• There is no longer a bread service at dinner, just two small bread dishes which on one refills even when asked.
• Every pasta dish every day was undercooked
• The wonderful cheese selection, complete with big wheels of blue cheese, etc. now largely replaced with single slices of inexpensive, common grocery store variety. Very sad.
• Salad bar was basically salad with some dressings only. No more cheese, garbanzo beans, olives, etc. Only the basics. McDonalds is better
• One breakfast “treat” was biscuits and gravy with cheese gravy. Sorry but for biscuits served with cheese gravy is not a dish, it may be an invention of a non-American who has never enjoyed biscuits and sausage gravy. A culinary abomination.
• Every breakfast sausage was pink on the inside. Basically a tray of trichinosis waiting to happen.
• Breakfast hash looked and tasted like “Kal Kan” or “Whiskas” cat food.
• In an unbelievable stroke of stupidity some genius decided to thin out the bisque with beef broth to save a buck or two. Same ploy was attempted on the escargot, which ruined that dish as well.
• Bratwurst from the Trident Grill was also under cooked, and pink on the inside.
• Low fat cream cheese substituted for real stuff.
• The signature “love boat” desert had no taste what soever.
• The maple syrup crusted salmon dish was not “crusted” at all, basically it was barely cooked. The “maple Syrup” glaze was store bought Aunt Jemima syrup made from corn oil.
• A gnocchi dish that my wife had looked and tasted like dough balls for carp fishing.
• The meat loaf dish was pink and undercooked, which was the theme of the cruise. Basically a gastric odyssey to test your immune system, or a culinary voyage to Hell.
• In 12 days we can not recall one single meal worth praising, apart from the creamed spinach dish at the Horizon Court.
• Table Partner allergic to peanuts (waiter and head waiter were well aware) and they served her ice cream with peanuts in it. Read Less