We took the Grand Mediterranean cruise which departed Venice on August 6th 2014, and stayed in Aloha cabin 501. We were so excited for our first Mediterranian adventure. This was our fourth cruise on Princess, so we were confident the room would be as spacious and well configured for our family of four as on our previous trips (including British Isles cruise and two Carribean cruises). However, upon entering our cabin, which was already turned down for the night, my wife literally burst into tears. The cabin looked like a bunk house on a fishing vessel. Although we were assured that we would have a queen size bed, the room was set up with two twin beds that COULD NOT be pushed together to form a queen due to the absurdly awkward room configuration. Not only did we have to sleep seperately in very small "twin beds" (for the first in time our our 17 year marriage), the two bunk beds that pulled out of the ceiling were so close to our TWO BEDS that we felt like we were sleeping in coffins. We hit our heads repeatedly throughout the trip, could not sit up in bed to watch TV or read, in fact, you could not even see the TV from all the beds. Furthermore, there was NO STORAGE space for our youngest son who had to live out of a suitcase the entire trip. On all our previous cruises, there was ample space for all four of us to unpack, as we are very strict about only packing one medium bag per person as we do recognise the limited cabin space. However, this cabin was atrocious. There not even doors on the closets!! This may not seem like a big deal, but keep in mind this means that when the cabin steward refreshes your room with your cabin door open, everyone can see everything in your closet which is unsafe and embarrassing. In summary, these cabins are a physical safety hazard both and afford no privacy whatsoever.
I literally left my wife in tears to go down to the front desk to see if they could push our beds together, only to find out this is not possible due to the useless, space hogging furniture that they plop down throughout the cabin. Seriously, do you really need 2 nightstands plus a big desk and coffee table and cabinet for the refrigerator? I would rather sleep next to my wife thank you. But I digress. So, after they tell me i am stuck with sleeping in a toddler bed for the next 12 nights, I ask what else can be done? A suite perhaps? Inside cabins with more space? Or maybe would they let me have the key to the upper bunks so I can open/close them as needed to avoid countless blows to the head? Nope, they could do none of these things, nor would they remove any of the needless furniture that did not provide any additional storage space. The only thing they did was "promise me" they would look for other accommodations and contact me within 24 hours, which was a lie. They never contacted and I had to wait in line yet again at the customer service desk only to find out the ship was full. Really?
Apart from from the appallingly bad room, this is the first ship we have been on that did not require hand sanitizer or wipes upon entering the dining areas! Meaning there was no crewmember ensuring good hygiene. Which brings me to the food, which was average at best. The buffet set up is a disaster. In fairness, the main dining room was lovely and the service was great. But overall, WOW, this ship was really poorly designed. Which brings me to the elevators. We purposely booked desirable mid ship cabins, which typically provide easy access to all areas. Although this is a huge ship ship, it has stairs only in the forward and aft, and the elevators were constantly broken or packed with people.
Overall, we had a great trip because of the itinerary alone, but doubt we will ever sail Princess again due to their appalling lack of concern regarding hygiene and accommodating families in safe, private cabins.