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Just returned from a 14-day trip to the Shetland Islands, Iceland and Norway. This cruise was hard to review, because so many things were variable. PROS: 1. Staff were great. Everyone from the captain on down couldn't have been friendlier or nicer. They went a long way to cover up some negatives that otherwise might nave been glaring (see CONS below). 2. Small ship is nice. 674 passengers (capacity is 777) meant that it never felt crowded or overwhelming. 3. Breafast in the Panorama Buffet was always nice. Plenty of choices, food was always hot and good. Great staff in there. 4. Itinerary was amazing. Shetland Islands are really worth the trip. Going all the way around Iceland gave us a very good feel for the people and the country. The two stops in Norway (Skjolden/Sognefjord and Bergen) were mostly good, though Skjolden was much nicer. 5. Obstructed-view cabin was decent size. Plenty of storage space. 6. the desserts and the breads in the Panorama Buffet were uniformly good. This was a good thing, since many nights, there wasn't much else worth eating in the buffet! 7. Princess singers and dancers were generally decent and sometimes good. they were always entertaining! CONS: 1. This ship has already been sold to Oceania, and it was obvious that Princess is doing just enough to keep it going to the end. In many places, her age is showing. The ship reminds me of an old lady that's dabbed on extra makeup, hoping to hide the years, and fooling only herself. 2. Food generally was at best average. If it weren't for breakfast, I'd say the food was poor. Lunch was usually OK in the buffet, but dinner was rarely good. I never go to formal dinners (there were 3 on this cruise), and after looking at the menus, I skipped the dining room four other nights as well. This meant that I had to eat in the buffet half of the time, which was (other than 2 of those nights) really bad for dinner. The selection was not great, and (like the dining room) if you don't like seafood, you're pretty much out of luck. Very poor choices, poorly prepared, bland, often cold food, or overly dry from sitting in the steam trays too long. It was also obvious that what they couldn't push for lunch (or dinner the night before) was often recycled into other dishes the next day. If it wasn't good today, it won't be any better tomorrow, Princess! The only really memorable dinner in the dining room, in fact, was the Italian night. The highlight of the Chef's Special Dinner menu was the sorbet: after that, it was pretty appalling. It was clear that Princess is not putting any money into this ship: just enough to keep everyone fed, but nothing interesting, adventurous or expensive. 3. Cabin cleaning. My steward was very nice, but apparently the stewards were told to only change bed linens every four or five days. My sheets were stained when I arrived, and I had those same linens for nearly a week. I think the sheets were changed twice in the 14 days. The stewards also have huge areas to cover, which means that room cleaning and "refreshing" didn't take place very often. 4. The cabin bathroom is very small and not well designed. For example, you cannot sit on the toilet normally: you have to sit at an angle, or else your knees are halfway up the wall! And of course the shower is not only very small but you cannot turn or move with encountering those clingy shower curtains. 5. The casino is a joke. Here was another evidence of Princess' early retirement of the ship. There are maybe 30 slot machines, of which 23 or so are quarter machines. The newest machine on board is at least 15 years old. Everything is packed into a very small area. There is one place where you have to sit right up to the machine, so that people can get past you to the other areas of the ship. The casino really is a wasted space: if you're not going to have a good casino, don't have one. But Princess is clearly more interested in sucking every available penny out of the passengers than in providing a modern gaming experience. These are machines that should've been retired years ago, but it's obvious Princess is just filling up the space and sending newer machines to other ships. 6. Another real weakness for Princess is the "destination expert." The lady on this ship is really bad. Her lectures are some very poorly-organized slides, with notes that were clearly googled on the internet and "cut-and-pasted" together. If I had a dollar for every time she said "I think you can go here" or "I think that's what it's called" or "I think.....", I could've paid for my cruise and then some. If she was an expert, I'm the next Emperor of China. I had done a fair bit of research before the cruise, and it was appalling to see how badly-organized this woman was. I thought I could've done a better job, and many times my ship mates agreed, as I was often asked by strangers about different places we were visiting. The comment heard often on excursions was, "I wish that lady had told us about this!" I can't say that I have ever had a destination "expert" on Princess that was much of an expert, but this one hit a new low. How she still has that job is a mystery to most of us. 7. The lounge entertainment was painfully bad. Two in particular deserve special note. The piano player in the Casino bar spent a lot of time telling us about his meth addiction (and various other addictions as well), his lifestyle, and his life in general. According to him, this is the 55th ship he has been on. I pray desperately that he will never be on another ship with me. I had to sit though his "show" because I was with friends in the casino. The "stories" are bad enough: then he starts to sing and the pain really begins. He may have once had a decent voice, but off-key singing and growling seem to be his current forte. There is also a duo (piano player and singer) that frequent the Casino Bar that should be avoided at all costs. He is a good pianist, but she can't carry a tune in a bucket. I literally avoided Deck 5 in the evenings, simply because of her caterwhauling. Boy, she was bad!

Tired ship seems already retired

Ocean Princess Cruise Review by eurocougar

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2015
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview (obstructed view)
Just returned from a 14-day trip to the Shetland Islands, Iceland and Norway. This cruise was hard to review, because so many things were variable.

PROS:

1. Staff were great. Everyone from the captain on down couldn't have been friendlier or nicer. They went a long way to cover up some negatives that otherwise might nave been glaring (see CONS below).

2. Small ship is nice. 674 passengers (capacity is 777) meant that it never felt crowded or overwhelming.

3. Breafast in the Panorama Buffet was always nice. Plenty of choices, food was always hot and good. Great staff in there.

4. Itinerary was amazing. Shetland Islands are really worth the trip. Going all the way around Iceland gave us a very good feel for the people and the country. The two stops in Norway (Skjolden/Sognefjord and Bergen) were mostly good, though Skjolden was much nicer.

5. Obstructed-view cabin was decent size. Plenty of storage space.

6. the desserts and the breads in the Panorama Buffet were uniformly good. This was a good thing, since many nights, there wasn't much else worth eating in the buffet!

7. Princess singers and dancers were generally decent and sometimes good. they were always entertaining!

CONS:

1. This ship has already been sold to Oceania, and it was obvious that Princess is doing just enough to keep it going to the end. In many places, her age is showing. The ship reminds me of an old lady that's dabbed on extra makeup, hoping to hide the years, and fooling only herself.

2. Food generally was at best average. If it weren't for breakfast, I'd say the food was poor. Lunch was usually OK in the buffet, but dinner was rarely good. I never go to formal dinners (there were 3 on this cruise), and after looking at the menus, I skipped the dining room four other nights as well. This meant that I had to eat in the buffet half of the time, which was (other than 2 of those nights) really bad for dinner. The selection was not great, and (like the dining room) if you don't like seafood, you're pretty much out of luck. Very poor choices, poorly prepared, bland, often cold food, or overly dry from sitting in the steam trays too long. It was also obvious that what they couldn't push for lunch (or dinner the night before) was often recycled into other dishes the next day. If it wasn't good today, it won't be any better tomorrow, Princess! The only really memorable dinner in the dining room, in fact, was the Italian night. The highlight of the Chef's Special Dinner menu was the sorbet: after that, it was pretty appalling. It was clear that Princess is not putting any money into this ship: just enough to keep everyone fed, but nothing interesting, adventurous or expensive.

3. Cabin cleaning. My steward was very nice, but apparently the stewards were told to only change bed linens every four or five days. My sheets were stained when I arrived, and I had those same linens for nearly a week. I think the sheets were changed twice in the 14 days. The stewards also have huge areas to cover, which means that room cleaning and "refreshing" didn't take place very often.

4. The cabin bathroom is very small and not well designed. For example, you cannot sit on the toilet normally: you have to sit at an angle, or else your knees are halfway up the wall! And of course the shower is not only very small but you cannot turn or move with encountering those clingy shower curtains.

5. The casino is a joke. Here was another evidence of Princess' early retirement of the ship. There are maybe 30 slot machines, of which 23 or so are quarter machines. The newest machine on board is at least 15 years old. Everything is packed into a very small area. There is one place where you have to sit right up to the machine, so that people can get past you to the other areas of the ship. The casino really is a wasted space: if you're not going to have a good casino, don't have one. But Princess is clearly more interested in sucking every available penny out of the passengers than in providing a modern gaming experience. These are machines that should've been retired years ago, but it's obvious Princess is just filling up the space and sending newer machines to other ships.

6. Another real weakness for Princess is the "destination expert." The lady on this ship is really bad. Her lectures are some very poorly-organized slides, with notes that were clearly googled on the internet and "cut-and-pasted" together. If I had a dollar for every time she said "I think you can go here" or "I think that's what it's called" or "I think.....", I could've paid for my cruise and then some. If she was an expert, I'm the next Emperor of China. I had done a fair bit of research before the cruise, and it was appalling to see how badly-organized this woman was. I thought I could've done a better job, and many times my ship mates agreed, as I was often asked by strangers about different places we were visiting. The comment heard often on excursions was, "I wish that lady had told us about this!" I can't say that I have ever had a destination "expert" on Princess that was much of an expert, but this one hit a new low. How she still has that job is a mystery to most of us.

7. The lounge entertainment was painfully bad. Two in particular deserve special note. The piano player in the Casino bar spent a lot of time telling us about his meth addiction (and various other addictions as well), his lifestyle, and his life in general. According to him, this is the 55th ship he has been on. I pray desperately that he will never be on another ship with me. I had to sit though his "show" because I was with friends in the casino. The "stories" are bad enough: then he starts to sing and the pain really begins. He may have once had a decent voice, but off-key singing and growling seem to be his current forte. There is also a duo (piano player and singer) that frequent the Casino Bar that should be avoided at all costs. He is a good pianist, but she can't carry a tune in a bucket. I literally avoided Deck 5 in the evenings, simply because of her caterwhauling. Boy, she was bad!
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