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Majestic Princess Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
444 Reviews

Brand New Ship but Obvious and Concerning Cost Cutting

Majestic Princess Cruise Review by Vanctraveller

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Apr 2017
  • Destination: the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony

Sailed on the brand new Majestic Princess at the end of April for a Greek Islands cruise.

Elite status made for a very expeditious boarding with almost no waiting at all.

The Majestic is well appointed since it is a new ship and, as it is designed for the Asian market, all of its signage is bilingual with Chinese under the English (even the test the water temperature sign in your shower in your cabin!). There were noticeably more crew with a China origin than is normal for a Princess ship and everywhere one could find Mandarin speaking crew. In the main dining room at our table, our waiter was from the Philippines but our assistant waiter was from China. There were also noticeably more Chinese food menu items in the buffet offerings at breakfast and lunch, although at dinner in the dining room, there was no sign of the Asian leaning (we were told however that when the ship reached Asia later in the year, the dining room will have full bilingual menu in English and Chinese).

Service was fine and friendly as is usual for a Princess ship.

I have been on both the Royal and the Regal, sister ships to the Majestic, and by comparison, the Majestic has much of its open deck space and deck loungers removed, likely because Asian are thought to be less enamoured with sunbathing but also probably to reduce weight carried by the ship as part of cost-cutting.

In fact, cost-cutting measures were very very much evident on my cruise: (1) I requested a queen bed configuration in my balcony stateroom for single occupancy and instead of using a queen mattress to top two twin beds, they simply pushed two twin beds together leaving a prominent ridge in the middle of the combined bed, a complaint to the hotel manager did not help as he simply had his assistant call to leave me a message indicating they no longer provide queen mattresses except for suites, (2) instead of the Princess standard (at least as of last year) three choices of soups and two choices of pastas set out in separate sections in the dining room menu, the Majestic dining room combined all soups and starters under one heading for appetizers with only two soup selections and one pasta selection each evening, and the special Norman Love collaboration chocolate desserts were not available every evening but instead on just some of the evenings, (3) the dining room was opened for lunch only one day - the at sea day - instead of being opened each day of the cruise for those who would like to dine in the dining room rather than just go to the buffet, (4) the lunch buffet had the same food, except for the daily roast, each day for two or three days in a row so combined with the dining room not being opened for lunch, made lunch a somewhat less interesting and more repetitive experience than on previous Princess cruises, (5) the entertainment in the piazza consisted only of the piano entertainers and string quartet that usually provided entertainment in the various lounges in the evening rather than special acts such as body balancing duos or jugglers brought in just to perform in the piazza as in past cruises.

As a result of these cost cutting measures, I wrote a long multi-page comments letter to the hotel manager, made much mention of cost cutting in completing the post-cruise survey and e-mailed an inquiry to Princess on its website about whether the no-Queen mattress policy applied only to the European cruise or will apply also to Caribbean cruises. I have had no response to my e-mail inquiry and no follow-up from Princess on any of my comments of concern. In particular, as a single occupancy traveller, I stressed to Princess the no Queen mattress policy would be a serious deterrent to my booking with Princess for future cruises.

As for the itinerary, the 7 days Greeks Islands cruise has a good itinerary with a good combination of islands with historical cultural sites, and sunny beach-filled islands like Mykonos. I was particularly surprised by Kotor Montenegro, which has a very lively city center with lots of cafes, restaurants and bars that I wishes I had more time to enjoy after taking a Princess tour of local sites. Another nice surprise was Khios (or Chios), a small island only a few km and less than 30 minutes by boat away from the coast of Turkey. In addition to showing us the sites, the guide also gave us some local thoughts on the impact of the migrant crisis as Khios is close enough to Turkey to receive its share of migrants even if most head for neighbouring Lesbos instead.

As a sign of the changing demographics for Mediterranean cruises, our cruise director told us that of the approximately 3,600 passengers, about 1,000 were from the US (less than 1/3), followed by about four or five hundred Australians, about four hundred Canadians, and then a couple of hundred from each of Russia and the UK. In fact, there were so many Russians that all shipboard announcements were repeated in Russian after being made in English.

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Cabin BD B709

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