I will begin by saying that my husband and I have cruised enough to understand that not everyone's experience will resemble ours and that expectations have a lot to do with the overall satisfaction of the experience. We value the itinerary, the aesthetic of the ship, the quality of the food, the comfort of our cabin and above all, service. We do not expect to have a 5* gourmet experience when dining with 2,000+ passengers. We do expect staff members to be fully trained, professional and enthusiastic about performing their jobs. We also recognize that things will go wrong and we might have to adjust to conditions.
We chose the Caribbean Princess and this cruise line for the itinerary and did indeed enjoy the ports of call as expected, although we would have preferred having an overnight stay in Dublin since our time there was far too short to even hit the highlights of the city. The reason for my average rating has to do with the ship itself and the quality of service provided by staff. From Guest Relations to the dining room, most employees were less than enthused about doing their jobs well and seemed to be going through the motions most of the time.
Most of our complaints sound too petty to actually say out loud, but when we string them together it adds up to disappointment in this cruise line; starting with our dining experience.
We had a balcony cabin on the 14th floor just below the cafeteria. Sounds awful, and we anticipated some noise, but were pleasantly surprised that it was pretty quiet. We did encounter an occasional unpleasant food aroma drifting downstairs and into our hallway, but it wasn't an ongoing problem. The cabin (especially the bathroom) was small (as compared to the same value on other cruise ships) and the balcony was tiny. In fact, we typically love having our morning coffee or afternoon snack there, but on this cruise it went unused. Still nice to have it for added light and to make the room feel bigger. The bed was comfortable and cabin service was orderly and efficient. The only complaint that I have about our cabin steward was his habit of hanging our used wash clothes on the line in the shower instead of replacing them. How weird is that?