We have been cruising for a dozen or so years now and on various cruise lines. We chose this cruise for several reasons. It was a Princess cruise which we had not yet done and it allowed us to spend a few days in London before the cruise. The big attraction was it having a chance to visit Norway and the Norwegian Fjords.
While the scenery was amazing and had no issues with the cruise itinerary or the ports we visited the ship experience was a huge disappointment.
I describe it to friends this way. I believe the company has tried to cut costs by reducing staffing levels so low it now seriously affects the entire experience. While the service we did receive from individual staff members was good the quantity and quality of service was poor at best. The crew appeared to be working very hard, looked very tired, frustrated, were constantly rushing around and on a few occasions we witnessed arguments, some very loud and vocal.
There were line-ups everywhere. I even took pictures of the line-ups at the buffets because I couldn’t believe how long they were. This, I believe, was due partly to the fact that they kept most of the buffet restaurants closed except for a very brief period at the peak of meal times. The food in trays was often empty or only a few morsels left to be picked over, until someone ran by and literally threw more into it. Many, many times the food labels did not match what was in the trays. This being more evidence to the lack of quality control we witnessed throughout this ship. Every single day beverage stations in the buffet area had “please use other station” signs on them. There were constantly dirty dishes piled up all over the place finding a clean table a challenge with guests often removing the dished themselves. Between finding a seat or a beverage we did a lot of unnecessary, and frustrating, walking around at meal time. The closing of the other buffet sections made it very, very, difficult to find a place to sit (other than as a cost saving device, I can think of no other reason to do such a stupid thing especially when people are lined up out the doors).
We had purchased a premium coffee package to enjoy on the trip. Once/if we could finally catch a server to order one, the wait was incredibly long. Most times we had completely finished our meals and had to stay and wait for the coffee to finally show up. On several occasions, we simply chose to leave and not wait.
At night, they featured their “Movies under the stars”. Here again, there was plenty of evidence of a complete lack of quality control. One day there had been a light rain in the very early evening. When we got to the movie, all the chairs were soaking wet. No one had come by to flip them over to drain them or wipe them down. (Something we saw done on every other cruise line we have travelled with.) On two nights, the volume was so low it was difficult to hear. Had any crew member been assigned to check on the movie venue, they would have notice that immediately or at least we could have mentioned it to them.
All in all, this cruise line was a disappointment! As mentioned earlier I believe there has been a significant cut in staffing levels to appoint that they can no longer supply a minimum level of expected service. We have sailed many times in the past and on several different cruise lines, this by far was the worse. I can see by reading other reviews we are not alone in our evaluation of this ship. How sad. No more Princess sailing for us!
The cabin was ok. It was looking dated and was stating to show it's age.
It was well organized and enjoyable.View All 35 Stonehenge Reviews
We chose to tour ourselves at the ports.