We were cruising because my wife recently turned 50, it was her dream to go on a tropical cruise. We departed Singapore with Freemantle as the destination.
Tuesday 19th April 2016, Everything was fine when we boarded the SUN PRINCESS around 1500hrs, we excitedly went straight to our cabins.
As soon as we opened the cabin door we noticed how hot the room was.
Our cabin had Non-operating air-conditioning, Non-operating toilet and no hot water.
We went to the customer services desk on level 5 and notified them of the problems in our cabin. We assumed that these would be fixed quickly, so we left the room to explore the ship and attended the muster station drill.
After departing Singapore several hours late, we returned to our room only to find that nothing had been fixed yet.
The queue at the customer service desk was a mile long, so we left and waited in an air-conditioned lounge area.
Every now and then we checked our room and it was still uninhabitable and the customer service desk queue was still growing.
This situation was becoming more frustrating and stressful every minute.
Later when we were getting ready for our evening meal I spoke to our room attendant as I was needing to use the toilet and he suggested I go up one level and use the public toilet above us. I found that toilet had an out of order sign on the door, I then went up to next level and they also had an out of order sign on the door. I returned to our room to inform the family that I had to go searching for a public toilet that worked.
I eventually found a working toilet on level 5 adjacent to the restaurant, I was beside myself with sheer frustration.
Again the customer service queue was so long that I couldn’t find out why everything was not functioning.
After dinner we went to the customer service desk and joined the queue around 2300hrs, we were told the toilets would be fixed soon.
In the lifts at the rear of the ship it was a common topic of conversation as many passengers on our floor were having the same problems as us.
The family went to bed later that night with wet towels to try and keep cool enough and get some sleep, my head was pounding with frustration as nothing had been looked at or fixed yet, it was so hot and humid in our cabin and the essential basic facilities were not working still, so I paced the decks until I was exhausted, I did not see one maintenance person fixing any toilets, I only saw cleaners cleaning the public areas. In the meantime my wife went back down to the customer service desk after midnight to find out what was happening about the broken air-conditioning, and said that our fridge wasn't working either, even at this time of night it took over half an hour to speak to someone.
The customer service person apologised to my wife and acknowledged that our situation was not good, she said she would log this complaint as urgent.
While in the queue, my wife noticed quite a few couples with suitcases sitting in the lounge area as they had nowhere to sleep as all their cabins had been flooded. I later found out they were from deck 12.
Wednesday 20th April 2016 At approximately 1100hrs a technician arrived to check our fridge, (he said the fridge was working ok, but because it was so hot in our room the fridge couldn’t cool the fresh water in it) while he was there we asked him about the air-conditioning, he removed the ceiling vent and inserted his arm and it sounded like he was turning something after a while he pulled his arm out and he said it’s fixed, he replaced the ceiling vent and left.
We finally had cool air blowing into our room.
Today was a full day at sea, and we still had a non-working toilet and a shower without hot water, and still most of the public toilets were out of order. Totally unsatisfactory.
Later that day the corridor outside our cabin looked like a building site, in the corridor there were cabin beds up ended, lounge chairs, rolls of carpet, mattresses and blowing machines going flat out. Several cabins adjacent had toilets that had flooded their rooms and they needed drying out and they had their carpets replaced. I can’t believe a ship in this condition was allowed to leave Singapore.
We noticed that many people on our floor were having problems, and we also heard that deck 12 passengers were having very serious problems too. We unfortunately spent the day listening to so many horror stories from fellow unhappy passengers.
I went back to the customer service desk and joined the massive queue, eventually I was informed that most of section 7 was having difficulties and they were working on it. The customer service people had put up a sign saying that the ship was sailing full and therefore there was no free cabins available for people to move into.
Our toilet is eventually fixed at around 1800hrs. It seemed that there were so many problems on this ship that the maintenance staff were overwhelmed and didn’t know what to fix next.
Thursday 21st April 2016, Still no hot water in the shower, today we spent the day ashore and we returned to the ship late afternoon.
After boarding we return to our cabin and used our toilet and to our horror the toilet won’t flush again, and the public toilets at our end of the ship were also still out of order. It’s absolutely appalling. We are so frustrated and disappointed that our exciting first cruise experience is quickly being crushed.
I logged another complaint about the toilet fault, but for some reason it again wasn’t looked at and fixed until the following day.
It appears to me that there is no maintenance staff available after 1700hrs.
I spoke to the customer service desk again, I explained to her that my frustrations are not directed at her but she needs to know how I feel, so I expressed how unhappy I was being stuck on a ship in this condition, I told her that I expected a refund and that if this ship was a hotel, I would have already checked out and gone somewhere else, unfortunately being on a ship I cannot checkout.
Friday 22nd April 2016, The toilet is fixed again this morning and its working finally but still no hot water
Outside in the corridor we find that toilet water has overflowed and run down the corridor from two adjoining internal cabins. I noted that these carpets we just left to dry, they were not replaced like cabin carpets were.
It is so disgusting, again I cannot believe a ship that has just spent two weeks in dry dock ( according to Princess they spent $30 million) has been allowed to leave port and sail with passengers in this condition. Just as well we could spend the day ashore.
Saturday 23rd April 2016, Still no hot water. The toilet has stopped working again, this time it flushes but it won’t refill with water.
Rather than queue forever at the customer service desk we report this to our room attendant. The public toilets on both decks above us are still out of order. It has gone beyond a joke, but passengers in the lift are talking about finding the captain’s cabin and making him sleep on deck 11.
At least we could get off this ship again today and away from this horrible mess.
Sunday 24th April 2016, Today is a sea day and for something different, rather than not working at all,
Our toilet overflowed out onto the floor, faecal matter included. I quickly grabbed every towel available and blocked the toilet door so the mess wouldn’t flow onto the carpet in our cabin, I also used the swimming pool towels to soak up the mess and I went straight down to the customer service desk and reported it. Surprisingly to me, when I returned to the cabin, there was a staff member right behind me inquiring about the toilet overflow, he turned off the water, removed the dirty towels and cleaned up the mess in the bathroom. He placed further towels on the floor to soak anything else up. We were again without a toilet to use.
What I didn’t find surprising anymore, was that it took another day for someone to come and fix the toilet and to turn the water back on.
While searching the ship for a toilet that worked I came across two old gentlemen that were standing guard outside a working male toilet on a lower deck, their wives were in there as the female toilets were not working.
Tuesday 26th April 2016, The roof in the corridor outside our cabin had been opened up, and pipes were exposed, our room attendant told us they were fixing our toilet again but this time the problem was in the roof area somewhere.
From this point on the toilet worked whenever it felt like it, sometimes it did flush and other times it wouldn’t or it would start emptying itself during the night, I would be woken up by the suction noise only to find the toilet was empty and everyone was still in bed.
Two other times our cabin toilet overflowed, once with my wife and once with a child in the room. Luckily the kids were watching TV and they could throw the towels everywhere to stop the cabin being flooded. The kids didn’t know what to do so they hung the filthy towels up in the balcony.
I gave up trying to get help from the customer service desk as there was always an hour wait to speak to someone, our room attendant bore the brunt of our complaints and it seemed that he was forever in the back of the toilet trying to fix it.
The public toilets above us were now working but the other public toilets were randomly locked as they each broke down and were subsequently repaired at a later time, usually 2 days later. Going to the toilet was like playing Russian roulette.
At one stage one of our friends children had to go into a female public toilet adjacent to the restaurant as all the male toilets were again out of order, when he entered he slid over and was soaked because the whole public toilet area was flooded with toilet water.
Apart from these essential facilities not working, we also still do not have hot water in our shower, It’s day 9 and we are arriving at Benoa.
Day 10 and guess what, we finally get to have a hot shower,
Finally our cabin seems to be getting habitable, just as the cruise is ending.
The aforementioned covers the serious problems in our cabin, then there was the dirty carpet and the biscuit pieces under the lounge chair when we first boarded and entered our cabin, these remained for 3 days until I decided to dispose of the biscuit pieces myself, under the bed there were also pieces of metal shavings and rivets. my hand found these sharp pieces of metal when putting our luggage under the bed.
Our friends in an adjacent cabin went through many of the same issues we did.
The next cabin down from them travelled with extended a few families, they had carpet replaced due to toilets overflowing
This next section is because after notifying Princess Cruises several months in advance that I have a food allergy, and cannot tolerate Gluten in my diet and that my wife is vegetarian, and after receiving a confirmation email from Princess Cruises regarding this, it appears that nothing was done regarding myself being a Gluten intolerant passenger and my wife being vegetarian. We were never told that being Celiac and therefore allergic to Gluten would be a problem onboard, in fact their reply email just indicated,
"Please be advised your request for gluten-free meals is confirmed and the vessel will be made aware of your allergies/restrictions closer to the sail date. Please review the dietary information in the Cruise Personalizer. Once onboard, it is very important that you contact the Maitre d’ Hotel to discuss your special dietary needs and any special preparation of your meals".
My first night at the restaurant I spoke to the Maître D as mentioned in my acknowledgement email from Princess, There was no Gluten free menu available, and he apologised, he said that he would arrange something for me tomorrow. He mentioned that there were about 100 Gluten free passengers on the ship.
Tomorrow came and again there was again no Gluten free menu available.
Out of a 12 night cruise I ended eating roast chicken (entree) for 10 nights and steak (main) for 10 nights
There was never a choice in desserts.
At the international café on deck 5 they would only have a selection of one gluten free pastry, once per day, either morning, lunch or afternoon, there was nothing available throughout the day to go with your tea or coffee. Many times I went to the International café and asked what items were Gluten free and I was told there was nothing Gluten free available in the cafe.
At the Horizon food court, nothing was labelled Gluten free, every time I went there, I was made to ask for a Head Chef, I had to wait for him to arrive, and then I had to get him to go through everything for me, at times he didn’t even seem sure, this was very concerning. Meanwhile everyone else at the table ate, I found it extremely embarrassing and humiliating that I was made to go through this routine every day and if I asked for a slice of bread, I then had to wait outside the kitchen door for another 5-10 minutes for it to be brought out to me.
I could not eat from the Amuleto Cafe, or The terrace Grill.
I found that on the Sun Princess, my treatment as a passenger with dietary allergies quite appalling.
I have been to Australian outback hotels like Silverton (near Broken hill) NSW and at Kadina SA, and I have been treated properly, they have complete separate gluten free menus available. I would have thought that a company like Princess Cruises, whose job it is to look after thousands and thousands of passengers every single day, would look after passengers with food allergies without making them feeling embarrassed or humiliated.
Our exciting cruise ship experience has been completely ruined. We will never go on a cruise again after being on the Sun Princess.
It has completely destroyed our future cruising ambitions.
I believe that the condition of the SUN PRINCESS was not only unacceptable but unhygienic. The fear of getting Gastroenteritis was constant, being forced to constantly search for a public toilet that worked because the cabin toilet was broken is also unacceptable. (public info recommends that you use your cabin toilet to help prevent possible Gastroenteritis outbreaks)
Lifts were constantly breaking down. Laundry machines were broken, the token machines was broken, No soap powder available, (this was happening on every deck) you then had to line up for an hour to buy tokens from the service desk. When you did eventually get to complain it always seemed like it took two days to rectify anything, even filling up the laundry powder machine took two days.
There were so many people complaining every day that the queue was always long, you could hardly ever get the service desk to answer the phone because they were so busy.
Princess Cruises main advertising slogan is “come back new”
I heard young kids running around their corridors singing “come back smelling like poo” when faced with their cabin overflowing.
We spent the majority of our time being frustrated and stressed due to non-working private and non-working public amenities, no hot water and no air conditioner, and hardly anything to eat if your Celiac.
Dirty upon entering.
Airconditioning not working.
No Hot water
Toilet not working
4 Berth with two pull down beds that fold down from the wall top to make bunks.
Bottom two beds are fixed to the wall. The top beds are directly above.
One of the bottom beds is not full width as it has a couch back along the wall. I assume you could turn this into a couch during the day if the top bunk was folded away first.