Chose this cruise because of time of year and itinerary - the ship was beautiful and clean and service was good. Food was plentiful on the buffet with lots of choices but dining room food selection did not particularly appeal to us. ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of time of year and itinerary - the ship was beautiful and clean and service was good. Food was plentiful on the buffet with lots of choices but dining room food selection did not particularly appeal to us. Beef was tough and lobster was the size of a extra large shrimp and tough, but service was good.
Ports were nice but Saint John was not very interesting to us; it's an older city which has not done much to move forward or has much to offer in terms of interesting places. The ship docks right in town and its and easy to get off and on. Any of the other ports would have been good overnight stops.
We tendered in to Bar Harbor and Rhode Island and it was busy but handled well because of the amount of folks going to town. The ship's personnel knows how to do this routine and going and returning to ship was easy. We were also met at the piers by crew members offering us drinks and cool towels which was very nice.
Note: if you decide to take the old town trolley in Boston, I recommend purchasing the tickets through the ship and you will be met at the terminal by the trolley, OR purchase on line ahead of time. You will need to walk a few blocks from the terminal to find the ticket booth and the stop, but the line to purchase tickets was at least 45-60 minutes long (it was 88 degrees that day and no shade), then you needed to wait in another line for the trolley. Additionally, the tickets on line are cheaper by about $5 per person than in Boston and cheaper than through the ship. The ship prices for all hop on/off tours were $59.95 per person in Boston and Canada. In Canada, we purchased tickets once we got off the ship and since the line and ship work hand in hand, we paid in American dollars and the cost was charged to our rooms.
Our biggest and serious complaint was regarding the entertainment on board. (It was so bad that it became a topic of conversation with the people we met on ship, so it wasn't only us). This was by far the worst cruise I've taken for activities. Shows were all musical, Broadway and opera influenced except for one night show of an American Idol finalist and comedian. If this was not your style, you would need to find something else to do, which was difficult.There were 2 nights that had technical difficulties and one event stopped the show, while the other continued. The "newly wed game" has always been popular on every cruise I have taken and is guaranteed for a laugh. This show was held in the smaller "live" theater where tapings occur; not enough room for the guests crowding in the hallway to get in. Again you needed to find other entertainment.
The activities were geared to elementary school children - one "event" was dropping drink stirrers into thermos type bottles, another was stick "race" horses competing by a toss of a foam die. The movies on board were incredible for the age range of the guests - Men In Black, Rocketman and Aladdin! Princess surely knew the ages of the folks on board and this was unbelievable. Additionally, the pool side only had a live sail away show that lasted for perhaps 20 mins, then the top deck was quiet all week (there was a Cheryl Crow concert from 2004 and a few other old concerts). People on deck either slept or watch other people. When the movie, The Greatest Showman started, it played for at least 20 minutes with no sound, then the sound was so loud we got up and left. I have never been on board with a cruise director and cast so absent. Much of the interesting (to me) live music was during the time we were dressing for dinner or eating, so that we missed most of it.
The worse part of the cruise for me was our cabin location. We were as far forward as possible and therefore needed to walk the length of the ship to go to the dinning/buffet rooms. This was my fault for not choosing a cabin when booking; I booked a guarentee room. I had a procedure on my knees the week before leaving (although I planned to have this done after the cruise) so the walking was difficult. Lesson learned and I will never let someone else pick my cabin for me in the future. Only mention this because if walking is a problem, make sure your cabin is convenient for you.
There were many people on board with walkers, canes, wheelchairs and scooters and they were able to get around with little difficulty. This was an older crowd and people were friendly, quiet and mannerly. In this regard, the cruise was a pleasure. Very few kids (I only counted about a dozen from 3 infants up to 2 young teens).
The ship is large but didn't feel crowded except for peak times for elevator usage. The buffet staff was good and able to keep up with the crowds and people tended to eat and leave. Boarding and Departure was delayed due to a Coast Guard Inspection and drill so we left New York more than an hour late. I felt that it condensed all the on board required activities (muster drill and orientation for the medallion at sea Princess uses. ) That was probably an additional hour required to handle these required activities.
Other than the boring time on ship, the ports were nice and the ship was lovely. The activity level is surely a personal thing so not everyone would be bothered by our experience.
Cabin was nice, linens very nice but we didn't like the bed (just a personal thing). Steward Fidel was very attentive and good. The colors were sedate but I found the room to be boring. Additionally, our tv broke 2 nights, the first time it was quickly fixed, but the last time was the final night. Since we needed the tv for light and clock (time change from Canada), we waited in our room 3 hours for the tech to come. Never did, so we spent our last night of the cruise in an interior room with no tv, not able to leave as you needed to be in the room for the tech to fix the tv. We weren't happy about that. And since we didn't pay for internet, our phones didn't work either. So, next morning our alarm went off an hour sooner than we wanted. We did however, get to see the ship dock as we were up and ready at 5 am! Thought there was plenty of space but one thing--ladies, the blow dryer was not particularly powerful and it was plugged in a drawer next to the desk. You could not remove it so the cord was always in my way as I am right handed and hold the dryer in my left hand. Read Less