I LOVE cruising, and even the worst day at sea beats the best day at work (and I love my job, too... so that says a lot!) So writing this review is a little bittersweet, but as I still to this day have a bit of animosity towards Princess, and especially because we are booked on another Princess cruise (not by choice, but by destination and limited options), I am going to write this in hopes that perhaps they will make some improvements!
Our first red flag, was getting on the ship in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Now all of us cruisers know that long lines at embarkation is a likely thing you will face, but this was beyond anything I have ever witnessed. Our bus (transfer bought through Princess) was scheduled to take us from the hotel to the pier at a specific time, but it was nearly an hour late picking us up at the hotel (an hour we would have preferred spending at the hotel's beach, right?) Then when we arrived at the pier, we were dropped off at the front, and told to walk to the end of the line that was formed outside. as we walked down to find the end of the line, we realized it wrapped around the entire building and extended down the parking lot. Now a long line in the hot sun with no shade or place to sit is one thing... but the rudeness of the staff as they walked by and answered questions was completely unacceptable. At one point a Princess staffer walked passed us, shouting out "Any Elite or Platinum members please come with me" I asked "How do we become an Elite or Platinum member?" and he said "If you have to ask, you can't afford it." REALLY? I was so shocked and offended that anyone even still says such a thing. We stood in the outside line for over 2 hours. We laughed it off but little did we know at the time that this was just a taste of the poor customer service yet to come.
Now, let me say, to my fellow coffee drinkers out there... my husband and I love a good cup of coffee, and we have come to learn in our cruising and travel adventures that this is not always available. However, if a cruise line sells a coffee card with so many "punches" on a literal card that you prepay for... and if they advertise a coffee bar that has lattes - they should make sure they are working machines! Or, at the least, refund the purchase price of the cards when the machine breaks down. I am not a cheap person and will gladly pay extra for quality, and neither my husband or I are chronic complainers... but on the fifth time that we headed to the coffee bar and were told the espresso machine was not working, we did ask to speak to thesupervisor, her name was Beverly, and she wanted to argue with us, first telling us we could have hot cocoa. I told her we bought the cards for lattes and if those were not available, we wanted to know where we could return the coffee cards for a refund, and she rudely told us we could have cocoa, wait for the machine to be fixed, or use the cards on our next cruise.