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My wife and I joined two other couples for a 12 night grand tour Mediterranean cruise which embarked in Venice and finished in Barcelona. The ship underwent a two or three month re-fit which eliminated some lounge areas, down sized the fitness center and moved it into the bilge and added a couple hundred cabins. I'm sort of a fitness nut so the losing the luxurious fitness center was a bummer, but I tried to keep an open mind. And we boarded the ship in Venice with high hopes. Sadly developments were to show the re-fit wasn't very well done and some of the staff were not sufficiently familiar with the Mediterranean ports, having spent the winter cruising the Panama Canal. The first night at sea introduced us to the re-fit issues. Most of the ships decks lost all electrical power. Lucky for us we were already in our cabin. There was an announcement to not use the elevators. Not sure what happened to those poor souls already in the elevators when they went black. The electrical problems resurfaced several other times during the voyage interfering with stage show being delayed or cancelled. The next morning I visited the dark little fitness center in the bowels of the ship only to find it closed due to flooding from plumbing issues. It would eventually re-open but I found it so dingy and depressing that I just worked out in my cabin the rest of the trip. I tried the promenade deck where I'd read passengers could do a mile walk around the ship. In fact there was a helpful sign telling us how many circuits was a mile. In fact I found the promenade deck blocked at the stern by new cabins. The sign hadn't been adjusted to reflect this new reality. I tried to find the indoor golf which was advertised. Nope. Closed. The first breakfast at sea one of our couples reported their toilet wasn't working and they weren't the only ones. We found several people with that problem, mostly in the new cabins. And for the rest of the voyage we had to rush through the passageways near the aft stairwell which smelled of sewage every day. Another problem with the new cabins in the stern was vibration from the engine. Some passengers couldn't get any sleep as a result and had to be moved. Speaking of the engine, after our Naples stop we were informed the engine was having problems causing us to be significantly late into port for the rest of our voyage. The resulting problems connecting with excursions caused us to have to rush some visits, miss some sites (Pisa for instance), and completely miss some excursions all together, (Toulon & Provence). On the whole the cabin stewards and waiters were very helpful, but the staff in charge of disembarkation were clearly not up to speed on the Mediterranean ports yet. The stop in Mykonos was our first clue. There was apparently a local requirement that our ship was limited to using local tenders instead of the ships tenders. There were only six local tenders. The ship staff collected the passengers for disembarkation and we waited for hours with no explanation. Eventually they explained the problem, but too late. At other ports where we could dock, the staff couldn't seem to get the gangway down and again passengers were languishing in long lines with no explanation of the delay. In Livorno (where we were an hour and a half late) our off ship excursion directed us to take the Princess shuttle to the bus park to meet. Yet our help desk staff swore up and down there was no such shuttle. Nope, wrong again. When we finally got off the ship there was the Princess shuttle to the bus park first in the line of buses. Some of these things Princess can hopefully fix and perhaps the staff will get more familiar with the Mediterranean ports. I hope so for those who've already booked a cruise.

First Island Princess cruise after dry dock re-fit was a bust.

Island Princess Cruise Review by I am blank

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2015
  • Destination: Europe
My wife and I joined two other couples for a 12 night grand tour Mediterranean cruise which embarked in Venice and finished in Barcelona. The ship underwent a two or three month re-fit which eliminated some lounge areas, down sized the fitness center and moved it into the bilge and added a couple hundred cabins. I'm sort of a fitness nut so the losing the luxurious fitness center was a bummer, but I tried to keep an open mind. And we boarded the ship in Venice with high hopes. Sadly developments were to show the re-fit wasn't very well done and some of the staff were not sufficiently familiar with the Mediterranean ports, having spent the winter cruising the Panama Canal.

The first night at sea introduced us to the re-fit issues. Most of the ships decks lost all electrical power. Lucky for us we were already in our cabin. There was an announcement to not use the elevators. Not sure what happened to those poor souls already in the elevators when they went black. The electrical problems resurfaced several other times during the voyage interfering with stage show being delayed or cancelled. The next morning I visited the dark little fitness center in the bowels of the ship only to find it closed due to flooding from plumbing issues. It would eventually re-open but I found it so dingy and depressing that I just worked out in my cabin the rest of the trip. I tried the promenade deck where I'd read passengers could do a mile walk around the ship. In fact there was a helpful sign telling us how many circuits was a mile. In fact I found the promenade deck blocked at the stern by new cabins. The sign hadn't been adjusted to reflect this new reality.

I tried to find the indoor golf which was advertised. Nope. Closed. The first breakfast at sea one of our couples reported their toilet wasn't working and they weren't the only ones. We found several people with that problem, mostly in the new cabins. And for the rest of the voyage we had to rush through the passageways near the aft stairwell which smelled of sewage every day. Another problem with the new cabins in the stern was vibration from the engine. Some passengers couldn't get any sleep as a result and had to be moved. Speaking of the engine, after our Naples stop we were informed the engine was having problems causing us to be significantly late into port for the rest of our voyage. The resulting problems connecting with excursions caused us to have to rush some visits, miss some sites (Pisa for instance), and completely miss some excursions all together, (Toulon & Provence).

On the whole the cabin stewards and waiters were very helpful, but the staff in charge of disembarkation were clearly not up to speed on the Mediterranean ports yet. The stop in Mykonos was our first clue. There was apparently a local requirement that our ship was limited to using local tenders instead of the ships tenders. There were only six local tenders. The ship staff collected the passengers for disembarkation and we waited for hours with no explanation. Eventually they explained the problem, but too late. At other ports where we could dock, the staff couldn't seem to get the gangway down and again passengers were languishing in long lines with no explanation of the delay. In Livorno (where we were an hour and a half late) our off ship excursion directed us to take the Princess shuttle to the bus park to meet. Yet our help desk staff swore up and down there was no such shuttle. Nope, wrong again. When we finally got off the ship there was the Princess shuttle to the bus park first in the line of buses.

Some of these things Princess can hopefully fix and perhaps the staff will get more familiar with the Mediterranean ports. I hope so for those who've already booked a cruise.
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