1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Royal Princess
My wife & I were not overly impressed with this Royal Princess experience. It was an experience of some great moments, punctuated with some serious stuff ups. I'm generous to give an overall score of 6/10. Value for money: 4/10. Unfortunatey from Australia, you pay premium prices for O/S holidays. Cruises are no exception, so you want decent value for the hard earned you have handed over. Unlike some previous cruises, we don't feel we got that on this cruise. Embarkation (Brooklyn): 3/10. We arrived just prior to our allocated timeslot (2:00pm) and there was utter panic & confusion from the port staff. There was nothing that you could call a line, just a mass of bodies, looking for some form of direction and several port staff looking like they had lost control of the herd. Our tickets and pre-cruise PR from Princess indicated we had dedicated suite boarding, so I pushed through the thronging masses & headed for that line, but halfway there, was stopped by the port staff (trying to get some organisation of the masses). She viewed out tickets, looked a bit confused and instructed us to join what she called the check in line. After about an hour in line (as we were nearing the check-in desks) I noticed people with the same type of tickets as ours going to the suite line, so decided to check with the staff at the suites desk & was advised that yes, we should be in the suite check-in line. Aside from that, once at the desk, it was pretty quick & easy. Disembarkation (Brooklyn): 1/10. Bag tags and information not delivered the evening prior, so we called the customer service number later that evening. When delivered, our tags were for the wrong disembarkation time. We required early disembarkation as we purchased transfers through Princess for our early connecting flights. Another call to customer service and we were advised we would have to go down to the main desk to have it sorted out. Once disembarked, the port staff sent us to the wrong transfer bus. When we eventually found the correct bus, the bus driver dropped us (& several other passengers) at the wrong terminal. Overall Customer Service: 4/10. In the face to face environment, very good. Over the phone, very poor. In the face to face retail environment, you get what you expect – attentive staff (no doubt searching for an extra tip). The poor customer service experiences we had really left a bad impression with us. The ones that come to mind and are worth mentioning are the embarkation and on-ship disembarkation as previously mentioned. The laundromat token dispensers never worked. The first time I called the customer service line for this, I was told to find another laundromat on board to use. The 2nd time, it took about 15-20 minutes for someone to come, by this time there were another 2 guests waiting to use the facilities. The on-board (in-room) internet...appalling. In summary, phone customer service could care less & they advised I attend the IT room and speak with the on duty manager (but like most speciality staff was only available at certain times). I arrived early for the allotted time & thankfully, I was only 3rd in the line. The manager arrived about 20 minutes late and by that time there were about 20 or so in line. Oddly enough, most in line had the same issues. In my case, he was more than happy to credited back the unexplained double-charging and unexplained data usage. He couldn't however, do anything about the snails pace of the internet, nor the constant connection hangs, etc, etc, etc. Cabins: 7/10. The Suites are small compared to other cruise liners & overall, the balconies are tiny. We were fortunate enough to have one of the few cabins with a slightly larger balcony. The rooms are however, very comfortable, well appointed and the cabin service staff were excellent. We like to spend time in our room and on the balcony, especially of an evening, with a bottle of Champers, so whilst the balcony size was disappointing, the cabin comfort & appointments make up for it. Dinning; 7/10. We had any-time dinning and mainly ate in the Concerto Room. Food was very good and service was a bit hit & miss. We only ate in the Symphony Room once, as the service was poor to say the least. We do have to say though, that the quality of food in the Horizon Court & Horizon Bistro is actually quite good for cruise bistro food and the service there was also excellent. Didn't try any of the speciality dinning on this cruise. Mid-ship lifts: BEWARE, if you have a midship cabin above Deck 7, there are no stairs, only lifts and the lifts can take for ever to arrive, especially to the upper decks. This was a common point of discussion among patrons waiting in the lift area. There are fore & aft stairs however. Shore excursions: 7/10. Standard fare really. One was excellent, a couple were quite good, one was very disappointing, but that was mainly due to the host...boring and more interested in telling everyone what she has done with her life. Conclusion. We provided our experiences to Princess in the post cruise feedback process. I haven't heard back from them, but I hope they received it & try to lift their game.

That's not a hiccup, it's serious heartburn.

Royal Princess Cruise Review by The Hamiltonian

Trip Details
My wife & I were not overly impressed with this Royal Princess experience. It was an experience of some great moments, punctuated with some serious stuff ups. I'm generous to give an overall score of 6/10.
Value for money: 4/10. Unfortunatey from Australia, you pay premium prices for O/S holidays. Cruises are no exception, so you want decent value for the hard earned you have handed over. Unlike some previous cruises, we don't feel we got that on this cruise.
Embarkation (Brooklyn): 3/10. We arrived just prior to our allocated timeslot (2:00pm) and there was utter panic & confusion from the port staff. There was nothing that you could call a line, just a mass of bodies, looking for some form of direction and several port staff looking like they had lost control of the herd. Our tickets and pre-cruise PR from Princess indicated we had dedicated suite boarding, so I pushed through the thronging masses & headed for that line, but halfway there, was stopped by the port staff (trying to get some organisation of the masses). She viewed out tickets, looked a bit confused and instructed us to join what she called the check in line. After about an hour in line (as we were nearing the check-in desks) I noticed people with the same type of tickets as ours going to the suite line, so decided to check with the staff at the suites desk & was advised that yes, we should be in the suite check-in line. Aside from that, once at the desk, it was pretty quick & easy.
Disembarkation (Brooklyn): 1/10. Bag tags and information not delivered the evening prior, so we called the customer service number later that evening. When delivered, our tags were for the wrong disembarkation time. We required early disembarkation as we purchased transfers through Princess for our early connecting flights. Another call to customer service and we were advised we would have to go down to the main desk to have it sorted out. Once disembarked, the port staff sent us to the wrong transfer bus. When we eventually found the correct bus, the bus driver dropped us (& several other passengers) at the wrong terminal.
Overall Customer Service: 4/10. In the face to face environment, very good. Over the phone, very poor. In the face to face retail environment, you get what you expect – attentive staff (no doubt searching for an extra tip). The poor customer service experiences we had really left a bad impression with us. The ones that come to mind and are worth mentioning are the embarkation and on-ship disembarkation as previously mentioned. The laundromat token dispensers never worked. The first time I called the customer service line for this, I was told to find another laundromat on board to use. The 2nd time, it took about 15-20 minutes for someone to come, by this time there were another 2 guests waiting to use the facilities. The on-board (in-room) internet...appalling. In summary, phone customer service could care less & they advised I attend the IT room and speak with the on duty manager (but like most speciality staff was only available at certain times). I arrived early for the allotted time & thankfully, I was only 3rd in the line. The manager arrived about 20 minutes late and by that time there were about 20 or so in line. Oddly enough, most in line had the same issues. In my case, he was more than happy to credited back the unexplained double-charging and unexplained data usage. He couldn't however, do anything about the snails pace of the internet, nor the constant connection hangs, etc, etc, etc.
Cabins: 7/10. The Suites are small compared to other cruise liners & overall, the balconies are tiny. We were fortunate enough to have one of the few cabins with a slightly larger balcony. The rooms are however, very comfortable, well appointed and the cabin service staff were excellent. We like to spend time in our room and on the balcony, especially of an evening, with a bottle of Champers, so whilst the balcony size was disappointing, the cabin comfort & appointments make up for it.
Dinning; 7/10. We had any-time dinning and mainly ate in the Concerto Room. Food was very good and service was a bit hit & miss. We only ate in the Symphony Room once, as the service was poor to say the least. We do have to say though, that the quality of food in the Horizon Court & Horizon Bistro is actually quite good for cruise bistro food and the service there was also excellent. Didn't try any of the speciality dinning on this cruise.
Mid-ship lifts: BEWARE, if you have a midship cabin above Deck 7, there are no stairs, only lifts and the lifts can take for ever to arrive, especially to the upper decks. This was a common point of discussion among patrons waiting in the lift area. There are fore & aft stairs however.
Shore excursions: 7/10. Standard fare really. One was excellent, a couple were quite good, one was very disappointing, but that was mainly due to the host...boring and more interested in telling everyone what she has done with her life.
Conclusion. We provided our experiences to Princess in the post cruise feedback process. I haven't heard back from them, but I hope they received it & try to lift their game.
The Hamiltonian’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Princess price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.